By The Broadside Staff
Not all readers are writers. But all writers are readers. So here at The Broadside, we decided to share with you some of the books that we think students, staff and faculty at Central Oregon Community College should take a look at and read this holiday season.
Seth Root, Editor-in-Chief
1) “The Press Gang” by Armond White, Godfrey Cheshire & Matthew Zoller Seiz
What is the job of a film critic? Is it to tell people whether a film is entertaining or not? Or is a film critic’s job something more?
In “The Press Gang,” three film critics, Armond White, Godfrey Cheshire and Matthew Zoller Seitz show what a film critic should be. All three writers, who have a passion for film and film culture, do not write based on whether a film is entertaining or popular. Instead, they write thoughtful and engaging essays that help the public understand just what the film is attempting to say. Then they give their verdict as to whether the director achieved their goals or not.
“The Press Gang” is a great collection to add if you want to know the correct way to critique a film.
2) Lost In Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life by Zena Hitz
When I was in sixth grade, I took it upon myself to read, with no prompting from anyone, The Illiad. Suffice it to say, it was hard. Pronouncing all those names and keeping up with the timeline was especially hard for me. But once I finished it, I felt better for it. Not only did I accomplish something that my fellow sixth graders have never achieved, but I also learned something about the greek culture.
When I set out to read the book, I was not reading for some kind of gain. Instead, I was reading it for its own sake.
This type of learning, doing things for its own sake, is what’s missing in at our colleges and universities.
You see, in today’s higher education, many colleges and universities defend the humanities by their economic or political usefulness. Zena Hitz, the author of “Lost in Thought,” challenges that and provides a defense by saying that learning should be about making us better human beings. Not to about success and achievement.
I highly recommend it.
3) “Mithermages Series” by Orson Scott Card
There are precious few books that I re-read. But the ones I go back continually to is the Mithermages series because the three-book series have so much depth and feeling in this three-book series. I love the idea that there are gods among us that are trying to rule the earth. Anyway, I recommend it.
Sarah Lightley, News/Opinion Editor
1) “Since You’ve Been Gone” by Morgan Matson,
I read this book in high school and fell in love with the subtle mystery of the main characters missing best friend and the main girl’s self-discovery. She follows a list left behind by her friend, and it takes her on a crazy adventure, and she learns how to be more outspoken and live without someone talking for her.
2) “11/22/63” by Stephen King
Unlike King’s other books, 11/22/63 is not scary. But a masterful work of written art, as the main character travels back in time to stop JFK’s assassination. Students, faculty, and staff of COCC should pick it up.
3) “Paper Towns” by John Green
This is another mystery/follow-the- type clues book. A “unique” girl seeing the world as it is and finally takes her life into her own hands. The boy who has had a crush on her since they were little, have one night to do the unthinkable, and then she is gone, and he follows the clues that she left to find her.
I like books that follows clues and have a little mystery to it. So, if you are into mystery, you should read it.
McKenzie Leary, Reporter
1) “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas
The Hate You Give follows 16-year-old Starr Carter after her childhood best friend Khalil dies. Starr is forced to watch his name blow up in the media on top of balancing a life in a fancy suburban prep school where she maintains one persona and a life back home in a poor neighborhood where she is looked down upon. Starr struggles with finding her voice and healing. This book is incredibly moving, powerful, and timely given the Black Lives Matter movement’s fight and social justice this year.
2) “The Sun is Also a Star” by Nicola Yoon
The Sun is Also a Star is a love story about the power of the universe and destiny between two teenagers, Natasha Kingsley and Daniel Jae Ho Bae. Natasha doesn’t believe in miracles or fate; she likes the facts. Daniel is an aspiring poet who has his head up in the clouds. When both of their fates collide, Daniel is sure it’s love at second sight. He’s determined to prove it to Natasha. She is desperately looking for a miracle as she’s about to be deported back to Jamaica.
This book is a quick and meaningful story for hopeless romantics, showing multiple views and an authentic look into Jamaican and South Korean culture.
3) “100 Days of Sunlight” by Abbie Emmons
Abbie Emmons’s book is a wholesome and heartfelt novel that will take you away from some of the world’s darkness and stress today. 100 Days of Sunlight follows 16-year-old Tessa Dickinson, who recently lost her eyesight in a car accident. Tessa is overwhelmed with grief and has lost all light in her life. That’s where Weston Ludovico comes in. Weston has no legs and thinks he can help Tessa find the light again through relating to her and showing her there’s more than one way to find happiness. Tessa and Weston complement each other and help each other get over the barriers that have been put into their lives through an unlikely friendship.
Ayla Adkins, Reporter
1) “The Witch’s Daughter” by Paula Brackston
A modern witchy adventure that takes place in a small town as Bess deals with a dark history that she thought she had outrun. This novel is fantasy with a reading level is above young adult.
2) “Afterworlds” by Scott Westerfeld
This fantasy sci-fi young adult novel bounces between two perspectives with each chapter. The first perspective is a novel that delves into the worlds that surround our own. The other comes from the author of said novel as she writes the sequel and deals with life as a young woman.
3) Great Goddesses by Nikita Gill
For poetry lovers, this book dives into the different worlds of gods, goddesses, and independent woman who can surely handle themselves. Each poem caters to the larger story that is sure to be a hit for anyone who loves poetry or past tales.
Marvin Walder, Photographer
1) “Save The Cat!” by Blake Snyder
Save The Cat is a fantastic book on screenwriting, and it does a lot to break down the structure of most modern mainstream films and explain why things are done the way they’re done. It’s a must-read for aspiring screenwriters or filmmakers because it has plenty of valuable knowledge from an industry professional.
2) “Thrawn Trilogy” by Timothy Zahn
I’ve heard that the Thrawn trilogy is some of the best Star Wars reading out there, especially for fans who want something more sophisticated and is plot-heavy. It sounds like it’s based a lot more on tactics and strategy, which is a welcome change to the increasingly superhero trend in the newer movies.
3) House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski
This book is just weird. A friend showed it to me, and the first page I landed on just said, “Don’t read this book,” with the rest of the page left blank. I’m not sure if it’s a warning, but I’m only intrigued by the formatting’s absolute chaos. I want to find out what’s going on.
Fredrik Jordet, Reporter
1) “The Sculptor“ by Scott McCloud
One of my favorite books, The Sculptor, not only has an excellent plot–based around a struggling artist who quite literally gives his life for art, but it also incorporates the foundational concepts of graphic novel structure and design that McCloud himself coined in his earlier theoretical works. With a story that feels full of charm and wonder, as well as struggle, of our own daily lives, you’ll notice something new with each read of The Sculptor.
You can look up this book at the Deschutes Public Library.
2) “Usagi Yojimbo“ by Stan Sakai
t might be cheating to put a monthly on here. Still, in my opinion, the compendiums or trade paperbacks of Usagi have earned their place among graphic novels. As it becomes increasingly ill-advised to go outside, I’m particularly drawn to the beautiful detail in Sakai’s environments of Japanese hills, coasts, and mountain peaks.
You can pick up book one at the Deschutes Public Library.
3) “Blankets” by Craig Thompson
This is one book I’m looking forward to reading, as I haven’t read it yet. A semi-autobiographical story, Blankets features beautiful art and an enticing tale of a sibling rivalry.
You can pick this one up at the Deschutes Public Library.