Staff Picks: Favorite books

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March is National Reading Month, and while our staff spends most of our time reading textbooks, we also enjoy diving into a good book recreationally. Check out some of our favorite reads down below.

Grace Ducanis, co-editor-in-chief, said, “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde.

“Few books achieve the perfect mix of narrative, philosophy, wit and artistic mastery that Oscar Wilde perfected with ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray.’ Wilde’s only novel chronicles the life of a rich and angelically handsome young man as he is influenced by a witty, morally lacking older lord and a sentimental, fawning artist. The book raises questions about how we view good and evil and its relationship to beauty and art.”

Danielle Pucillo, multimedia manager, said, “Hannibal” by Thomas Harris.

“Reading and writing are two great passions of mine, and my favorite piece of fiction is ‘Hannibal’ by Thomas Harris. I first read it in middle school, and it introduced me to the works of Dante Alighieri. From there I was inspired to study Florentine history, Latin, and abnormal psychology. I also consider it to be a great love story.”

Jenna Kopec, features editor, said, “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Milan Kundera.

“When you’re talking about life-changing reads, ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’ is definitely the first thing that comes to my mind. It’s definitely a book that includes a lot of adult concepts so college is a perfect time to read it for the first time. One of my favorite things about the novel is the way Kundera acknowledges that his characters aren’t real. He uses them as commentary – a way to express concepts that he feels so desperately need to be told.”

Melissa Boneta, news editor, said, “The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold.

“’The Lovely Bones’ is about the rape and murder of a 14-year old Susie Salmon. After her soul passes on, she continues to tell her story from her vantage points in her personal heaven. She narrates the story of her death, her killer, how her loved ones moved on, how she let go of her lover, how she has changed, and how she finally accepts the things she once couldn’t. I love this book because of how the main character enters her afterlife story so gracefully, even in her most trying moments, and how she behaves beyond her years. Sebold creates characters relatable to the human experience and creates experiences that wrench the soul but mend the heart. I remember reading it for the first time and how it shifted something inside of me that made me appreciate life for way more than I used to. Sebold’s writing style captured me in the deepest ways with just the flick of her wrist. No book had done it in such a lovely way before.”

Brianna Walker, news intern, said, the “Percy Jackson and The Olympians” series by Rick Riordan.

“Any book involving demigods, goddesses and Percy Jackson is likely to be my favorite book. What makes this book my favorite is that I grew up with the characters in the novel. I was the same age and grade as the characters when I read the books, so each year as a new book came out the characters and I aged together, up until I turned 18. It also helped that all my friends at the time loved the series too, and we all still talk about its epic-ness to this day.”

Jeweliana Register, arts and entertainment editor, said, “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes.

“It is difficult to come up with just one favorite book, but one that has impacted me within recent years is ‘Me Before You.’ I love romantic books and movies, especially the ones written by Nicholas Sparks, but this book was much different than others that I have read. The conclusion is not the typical ending to a romance story, but it made so much sense. The entire book is very charming yet realistic, which I like.”

Nicole Chavannes, copy editor, said, “Memoirs of a Geisha” by Arthur Golden.

“Though it’s difficult to narrow down the books I like most to one favorite, I think it would have to be ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ by Arthur Golden. It tells the story, in first-person perspective, of a retired geisha, Sayuri, from her childhood to the present. I love the imagery, the storyline and the way seemingly simple or meaningless anecdotes explain so much about the character. The film adaptation is amazing too, so whenever I want to immerse myself in the story again but I don’t have the time to read the entire book, I watch it. Needless to say, I’ve seen it more times than I can count.”

Jacqueline Lytle, co-editor-in-chief, said, “A Dog’s Purpose” by W. Bruce Cameron.

“I love reading, so I’m not sure I could really choose a favorite. However, I just finished ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ and loved it. Aside from my undying love for dogs, it’s a great book with an original concept. The story is told from the perspective of a dog that goes through various lives, coming back as a new dog with a new life each time, all while searching to find its purpose. I laughed. I cried. My heart melted. I couldn’t get enough.”

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