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January marks the beginning of a new year, when we all create resolutions to accomplish personal goals, improve ourselves, or jump back into an old hobby. Since life is so unpredictable at the moment, there is no better time than the present to dive into the fictional world of a great book. If you’re determined to read more this year, then you’re in the right place! Here are 6 great books I recommend to get yourself out of a reading slump!

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

This novel is set in a Tokyo cafe where customers can travel back in time…  as long as they come back to the present before their coffee gets cold. I mean, what a premise! The story follows four patrons with their own unique goals, such as reading a letter from a husband who has lost his memory due to Alzheimer’s or meeting a long-lost daughter. This story makes the reader wonder what we might change or do if we could go back in time. 

My Body by Emily Ratajkowski 

This memoir by model and actress Emily Ratajkowski is a compilation of 12 essays in which she explores the commodification of women’s bodies, the complexities of social media and offers the reader an inside look into the world of fashion and film. Despite her starkly different life from mine, Ratajkowski discusses many common experiences of young women in this day and age using a unique tone.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

If you’re looking to read some dark academia this year, this novel is perfect for you! This story follows a small group of misfit classics students at a New England liberal arts college in the 1980s, where, of course, a murder takes place. It is an immersive, mysterious and dark story that transports the reader into the dynamics of the group and constantly has you questioning the actions and morals of each character.  

Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism by Amanda Montell

This nonfiction book explores why so many of us are fascinated by infamous cults and how we cannot help but wonder if we could ever be tricked into joining one. Montell argues that the creation of cult influence does not come from brainwashing, but instead from influential language and myths like the prosperity gospel. She examines the fanatical language used in cultish environments from Scientology to SoulCycle and masterfully blends research with witty storytelling.

Night Sky With Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong

This is a stunning collection of poetry by Vietnamese American author Ocean Vuong. Only 89 pages, this book is a wonderful place to start if you are just warming up to reading. Vuong’s poems discuss his intricate family history while touching on broad themes of love, war and identity. My personal favourite poem from the collection is “Someday I’ll Love Ocean Vuong”, and I’m sure you will also have some new favourites after reading!

Normal People by Sally Rooney

I am confident that you’ve been hearing about this book everywhere – but with good reason! Rooney perfectly captures what it is like to be an ever-changing young person. This book explores class, young love, the university experience and the turbulence of life in your late teens and early twenties. Protagonists Marianne and Connell feel like real, relatable people with an authentic relationship. I devoured this book in a matter of days. To make things even better, there’s an incredible show based on this novel that you can watch as well. 

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Sophie Gregg

Dalhousie '24

Sophie is a second-year Dalhousie University student majoring in law, justice and society. She is an avid reader and writer with a love of current events, media and fashion. In her free time, she can be found drinking iced lattes, shopping for books and clothes, and scrolling through TikTok.
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