Ten of the Greenleaf Review Staff’s Favorite Books
Compiled by Jonahs Jones
1. Laura Todd, from the magazine’s general staff, recommends Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass By: Lewis Carroll
The two stories are difficult to understand on the first read, but they are full of memorable poetry, strange, rich imagery, and many layers of meaning. You can read them for the poetry, the mathematical logic, the historical references, the social commentary, the humor, or the basic weirdness. All in all, these books have a lot of scope for the imagination
2. Vanessa Okoyeh, from the magazine’s general staff, recommends Candide By: Voltaire
From its clever innuendo to its hilariously dreary ending, the book radiates wit and skillfully presents critiques of Leibniz’s theory of optimism and the Reformation-era religious
3. Julia Geaney-Moore, from the magazine’s general staff, recommends The Supernaturalist By: Eoin Colfer
This is a story about a boy who is an orphan in a futuristic, technologically advanced world. His experiences of abuse and isolation are vivid, and when he finally finds a group of friends it seems like everything is going to be okay. He helps them in a war against supernatural beings. A clever plot twist creates a surprising, heartbreaking story to fall in love with.
4. Samantha Metzner, from the magazine’s art editors, recommends For Whom The Bell Tolls By: Ernest Hemingway
A must read due to Hemingway’s unique style; his short sentences and poignant descriptions are able to evoke a lot of emotion in the reader. It is an incredible war novel, one that certainly will leave an impression on you.
5. Cassidy Crump, from the magazine’s prose editors, recommends The Awakening By: Kate Chopin
This book was my first introduction to feminism in high school, and I related to the main character – Edna Pontellier – and her struggle with gender roles and expectations. Edna’s sexual awakening and desire for romantic love conflicts with expectations for her to be a dutiful wife and mother. It is a beautiful novella that I finished reading in one night during my first read.
6. Addy Allred, the magazine’s supervising editor, recommends Lord of the Flies By: William Golding
William Golding creates a visual and physical experience for the reader that pulls you into the story and the character’s mindsets. As a horror fan, I was intrigued and moved by this book because it scared me without excessive gore or suspense. Golding took a leap and decided to answer a hypothetical question that we all have thought about before: “What would I do if I was stranded on a desert island?” I think the greatest lesson I learned from this book was how fear cannot hurt you physically, but acting on this fear can hurt you and everyone around you.
7. Elizabeth Houde, from the magazine’s general staff, recommends The Complete
Sherlock Holmes By: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sherlock Holmes is one of, if not the, best literary character of all time to me at least. He’s got the most seemingly obtainable superpower ever, and I find it ridiculously wonderful. He’s what interests me about psychology. I adore Sherlock Holmes.
8. Faith Krech, from the magazine’s general staff, recommends Ishmael By: Daniel Quinn
This book tackles the ideas of our modern society and how we assume we are doing everything “right” in terms of population growth, community, ethical decisions and many more topics covered in the book. Through the text the main character (a talking Gorilla) mentors the other main character (a human) and challenges him to think deeply about the earliest conventions in human history and how each individual person can make a difference in this world to make it better or worse.
9. Jonahs Jones, from the magazine’s general staff, recommends The Sound and the Fury By: William Faulkner
This novel portrays a tragic melodrama in such a way that instead of focusing on the melodramatic plot, the focus is on the characters. Each character is painfully real, and honest making the portraying the decay of the South in the post-Civil War era through the downfall of the Compson family. The novel is challenging, making it that much more rewarding after reading it.
10. Karlen Lambert, the magazine’s poetry editor, recommends The Harry Potter Series By J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter is my favorite series because it matures as it progresses, and for me it correlated with the speed that I was maturing so I always felt as if we were growing up together, the characters and I. Also, I love the fantastical world that J.K. Rowling was able to create. The wizarding world was like a little pocket of inspiration tucked away from the mundane life of muggles. I love everything about Harry Potter, from its innocent beginning to its complex thought-provoking end.