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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Drexel chapter.

Whether you’re in self-isolation and need a way to pass the time as it gets colder out, or if you just feel like reading a really good book, these recommendations are here to help!


The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones is a must-read for all women. From simply reading the summary, the novel might just seem like another story about a horrific incident and the resulting trauma from it, but Sebold is able to craft something beautiful and poetic from a tragedy through her rich storytelling. What makes this book so special are its complex characters. Each one is flawed, struggling, and inherently human in a way that all characters should be. While reading, you’ll find yourself wanting to reach into the story and comfort one character, grieve with another, and shake another one into facing reality. 

The Road by Cormac McCarthy 

Full disclosure: The Road is not for the faint of heart. It is definitely not pleasant to read and can be difficult to stomach at times. However, it is probably one of the most poignant and insightful pieces on the nature of humanity ever written. This novel tells the story of an unnamed man and his son traveling through a barren wasteland, making up the ashy remains of civilization. Their journey is long, treacherous, and without any clear destination. The nature of this story is so bleak that frankly, it is disturbing. However, despite all this, the novel is ultimately a love story, showing that even in the darkest of circumstances, love and the bond between family is resilient. 

Black Hole by Charles Burns 

Although not a traditional novel, this twelve-issue comic book series is one of the most beautiful works of art and literature to exist. In this graphic novel, Burns crafts a tale set in the suburbs of Seattle in the ’70s, focusing on high school kids. Initially detailing the life of “normal” teenagers exploring parties, drinking, drugs, angst, and sex, the tale soon takes a sharp turn. As a result of unprotected sex, a sexually transmitted disease begins spreading among the characters, causing various physical mutations on the body. One character sprouts a lizard tail, while another grows a mouth on their neck. The artful storytelling is paired with visually stunning and grotesque imagery. Through this comic series, Burns is able to create an artful metaphor for the turmoil of teenage years. The feelings of isolation, insecurity, and lust endured by infected teens are something that is universally felt by all young people. 

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado 

Another must-read for women, this award-winning collection of short stories details the different struggles and triumphs faced by girls everywhere. The eight stories that the book is composed of vary in their characters and writing style, but one truth binds the stories together; In their lives, women have experiences that are so traumatic and horrifying, yet are dismissed as “normal”, or something that is not a big deal. Machado’s stories are a sort of safe haven for girls. Beautifully written despite the heavy material of the stories, this book is startlingly therapeutic. 

On the Beach by Nevil Shute

On the Beach is a novel that is truly unforgettable. This novel focuses on a group of characters in Melbourne, Australia as they grapple with their impending death. Following a nuclear war, deadly radiation begins spreading towards them, and each character deals with the prospect of dying differently. Despite the concept of the novel being shockingly frightening, there is something so vulnerable and open about this book. Shute crafts his characters imperfectly, and makes no attempt to rationalize their actions; Because there is nothing rational about the situation. 

Drexel 23' Graphic Design
Her Campus Drexel contributor.