Top Shelf: For Your Enjoyment

By De'Channe Lane

As college students we are all too familiar with classic books that were required readings throughout our scholastic years. Excluding great literary works such as Hamlet, here you will find some lesser-known pieces that should be placed on your list of essential reads.


“Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov is a controversial book but still a must read for those not easily offended. If you are able to stomach reading through a story of a middle-aged man and his relationship with an underage girl, you will find witty writing that causes the reader to delve into the problems within our society.


“Disgrace” by J. M. Coetzee forces the reader to deal with ethical issues on a personal level. The story takes place in South Africa and is a fictional tale of the life of the main character David Lurie. The story has a serious tone mostly outlining the darker side of life.


“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou is an eloquently written and raw account of Angelou’s life. The book tackles issues that are constant problems within our society such as rape and racism. Confronting the disparities she endured as an African American woman along with the injustices from her own people.


“The Shack” by William P. Young- While this book is Christian fiction do not let that shy you away from reading the story. No matter what your beliefs are there are many topics addressed that relate to us all as it covers the many emotions and thoughts we experience when dealing with death. Most notably the question we have all wondered, “Why do bad things happen?”


"Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky- After committing a crime, a man battles with inner guilt, paranoia, mental anguish and self-justification. The story reminds readers of the ways in which we punish ourselves for our perceived wrong-doings ultimately becoming our own worst critics.