Top Shelf: Staff Suggestions

By De'Channe Lane

I want to thank all those involved in making this column possible. Columns here aren’t as easy or as regular as one would think, it’s quite the commitment. Things only get more challenging when the column is based on the opinions and statements of others. Therefore, I want to thank all the students, faculty and staff that have participated in the “Top Shelf” series.

While I highly recommend the entire “Harry Potter” series, if it must boil down to one, I’d have to go with the fourth. “The Goblet of Fire” is extremely well-written and intricate. We are able to witness Harry becoming vulnerable and without hope. Hogwarts had always been his place of refuge, yet in this book he was an outcast in both the muggle and magical realms. I’ve always loved the “Harry Potter” books for the values they taught, and here we learn of rising above adversity. – De'Channe Lane/Columnist

For young adults still searching for tomorrow, no other book gets a stronger endorsement than Herman Hesse’s “Siddhartha.” The eponymous character has a goal that almost takes a lifetime to achieve. As college students navigate the years that would eventually shape their future and career, “Siddhartha” is a reminder that the journey is just as important than the end goal. It’s story where achieving true happiness and inner peace, doesn’t happen overnight. Time is ultimate educator. – Hanajun Chung/A.V. Editor

While I don’t have many favorites per se, I’ve devoured existentialist text as of late and “How to Be an Existentialist" offers a great primer on the philosophy of authenticity. As individuals, we inherit the absurd conditions we’re born into. And while we can’t control the complex ebb and flow of contemporary events, we can manufacture meaning. Our duty is to create a narrative guided not by the values imposed on us, but rather, by the values we genuinely adopt and cultivate. Pick it up. – Chris Salazar/Opinion Editor

Stephen King’s book is a hybrid that’s half memoir, half memoir. It’s an interesting departure from his fiction work, but rather offering somethinng much more personal. It’s that intimacy that inspired me to follow suite in writing. I recommend this book to anyone wishing to become a writer. If you happen to be a Stephen King fan, it’s still worth the pickup. Thanks to this book, I probably would never use an adverb again, but I don’t see that being likely. – Roberto Hernandez/Editor-in-Chief

“Shantaram” is a massive novel about Lin, an Australian fugitive who fled from a maximum security prison to Mumbai, India. It’s a story about everything: fleeing one’s past, guilt, crime, love and survival within the dangerous and bustling Indian city. It’s a long read, but the scale of the adventure and the fascinating characters create one of the most memorable books I’ve ever read. For those with wanderlust who love a mix of danger and drama, I couldn’t recommend “Shantaram” enough. – Daniel Steele/Online Editor