In this Ask the Gav’, Gavelers are asked about their favorite book of all time. At this point in the semester, stress relief tips are essential, and reading a good book may be the trick you need! Whether you are looking for books to read for stress relief purposes or are hoping to build your summer reading list, The Gavel has got your back.
Michaela Brant, Editor in Chief
My favorite book, as of right now, is Know My Name by Chanel Miller. I first heard Miller speak at the 2020 BC Women's Summit and fell in love with the way she spoke about how she saw the world. Know My Name is about her experience surviving sexual assault and living through the incredibly high-profile court case following. She is a writer who I really admire stylistically and I was blown away by how beautifully she writes about such a painful time in her life. I read most of it on a plane ride, and I was just crying most of the time because her words were so moving. I think, while it is difficult, heavy, and emotional, it is a book everyone should read if they are able to.
Molly Wilde, Features Section Head
My favorite book is On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. The summer before I came to BC, I came across a New York Times article raving about Vuong’s newest book, which had just been released at that time. I decided to pick up a copy from my library, and I finished it two days later. It’s structured as a letter from a Vietnamese-American son to his illiterate mother and chronicles his experience with abuse and difficulties navigating personal and family relationships. This nonlinear narrative also features stories from the main character’s mother and grandmother, and the challenges they endured during the Vietnam War. I wasn’t really sure what to expect at first because, at the time, I didn’t have a strong background in history or reading poetry, but I found this book to be beautifully written and highly engaging. It was definitely a nice change of pace from the books I usually read in class. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to try something new.
Devin Klein, Sports Associate Editor
My favorite book is Unbroken. This is a true story about World War II veteran Louis Zamperini who was captured and placed in several Japanese internment camps. I like the way that the book illustrates the true feelings of people experiencing the kind of torture that took place everywhere during WWII. It gives a very real sense of just how horrible these people had it and why this kind of treatment should never take place again. My favorite part of the book is when Louis stands up to The Bird, an infamous Japanese officer who would pick an American and torture him until he couldn’t take it any more. However, Louis withstood his treatment and never gave in to his cruel ways. Louis survived all of this and returned home to his future wife whom, he started a family with and lived to be nearly 100.
Zoe Pochron, Features Staff Writer
My favorite book is The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. I remember reading the children’s version when I was little, so when I reread it recently it was a very nostalgic experience. The book follows the emotional journeys of a few characters through the eyes of their dog, Enzo. Enzo is absolutely infatuated with his owners, and reading a very realistic storyline from his perspective adds a twist that other books do not have. While the story can be heart-wrenching at times, the heartwarming sections balance it out, allowing for a beautiful narrative. I would 10/10 recommend this book to others as long as they are willing to shed a few happy and sad tears.
Lily Steele, Features Staff Writer
My favorite book is, and always has been, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I absolutely loved this book when I was younger, and find so much comfort in the story. I often reread it when I’m stressed. The Hitchhiker’s Guide is a satire science fiction story about Arthur Dent, who explores the Universe with his alien friend Ford Prefect after the demolition of Earth. Dent comes to discover that the Earth is actually a huge supercomputer controlled by another supercomputer, and that every human endeavor that this supercomputer orchestrated was motivated by the march towards the meaning of life and existence [spoiler alert: the meaning of life is 42]. This book is riddled with cryptic motifs and random characters, told through an excessively sarcastic narration. My childhood copy had a “Don’t Panic” sticker on the cover illustration, which embodies the overall message of the book—seems ironic, considering it’s actually about the end of the human race. This absurdist story helped me develop my sense of sarcasm and general outlook on life: stay calm, and don't take yourself too seriously.
Emmie Siddons, Sports Staff Writer
My favorite book is The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. This novel focuses on the psychological implications of war as we follow O’Brien and his platoon’s experience in Vietnam. O’Brien pushes the boundaries of truth as he explores reality within the realm of war. The Things They Carried blurs the lines between fiction and nonfiction. It values kinship, struggles, and global politics.