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What’s on My “To Read Next” List?

With the sweet release of December break coming up, I’ve found myself fantasizing about all the ways I can take time for myself without classes. A great way to entertain yourself in the winter months is to curl up with a good book, hot chocolate, and a cozy blanket. Here’s what’s on my list for December.

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

This is Irish author Sally Rooney’s debut novel. It was written in 2017 and was named Vogue’s 10 Best Books of 2017 and Shortlisted for International Dublin Literary Award. Sarah Jessica Parker also loved it, if you’re a die-hard Sex and the City fan. The novel follows Frances, an aspiring writer in Dublin, and her beautiful best friend, Bobbi. The two meet a well-known photographer, Melissa, and her husband, Nick. Frances and Nick start taking a liking to each other, and things go downhill from there. This is a romance fiction novel and the perfect romance novel for the modern young adult. Frances and Bobbi struggle to be young adults in the world, much like us. Don’t worry if you hate drama; past readers assure that it’s not too soapy.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid, the author of the acclaimed “Daisy Jones and the Six,” returned in 2017 with The Seven Husbands. According to Reid in a PopSugar interview, this Historical fiction novel is inspired by Ava Gardner’s tell-all biography and Elizabeth Taylor. I came across this book on Book Tik Tok (or Book Tok, if you will), and tons of bloggers are raving about it. The story follows the mysterious Evelyn Hugo, an old Hollywood star. When she finally decides to tell the world her secrets in a biography, she chooses Monique Grant. Monique is a struggling journalist in professional and personal life, so she is shocked by Evelyn’s request. Evelyn’s story is unfolded, her seven husbands, glamorous life, friends, ambition, and love. Finally, Monique and Evelyn connect unexpectedly. If old Hollywood appeals to you, this book is up your alley. It’s full of drama and history, perfect for anyone that’s a fan of plot twists.

Birthday by Meredith Russo

Meredith Russo wrote the popular “If I Was Your Girl,” inspired by her own life as a transgender woman in Tennesse. “Birthday,” released in 2019, follows a similar story to Russo’s as well. The Young Adult novel tells the tale of Eric and Morgan, best friends born on the same day. They have been through everything together, namely Morgan’s mom dying, her move, Eric joining the football team, and his parents’ hardships. But Morgan has a secret, one that she feels that Eric can never know– she’s transgender. We visit Eric and Morgan each year on their birthday as they navigate life, their relationship with each other, and their places in the world. “Birthday” has been nominated for New York Public Library Top 10 Teen Book of the Year and nominated for Carnegie Medal 2020, so it’s not a typical cheesy YA book. This book provides representation, understanding, and acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community. It’s perfect for someone who wants more transgender characters on their bookshelf or wants to understand identity more. It’s heart wrenching and authentic according to past readers, and I can’t wait to read it myself.

The Girls by Emma Cline

This is Emma Cline’s popular debut from 2016. It was named Best Book of The Year by many publications like The Washington Post, NPR, People, and many more. It was also a Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and Shortlisted for the Center of Fiction First Novel Prize. This psychological and historical fiction follows Evie Boyd, a Northern California teenager in the late 1960s. After becoming mesmerized by a gang of girls in the park, she joins them and their cult in the hills. She becomes obsessed with an older girl named Suzanne, leading her down a rocky road. This is perfect for true crime junkies or people who love history but not the glam of Evelyn Hugo. It highlights friendship, adolescent anxiety we can relate to, and a mind-boggling story. It’s sure to be a page-turner!

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Frustrated that black British women were rarely featured in literature, author Bernardine Evaristo published “Girl, Woman, Other” in 2019. It was the joint winner of the 2019 Booker Prize and was shortlisted for the 2019 Gordon Burn Prize. It was even featured in President Barack Obama’s top 19 of 2019! The novel follows the lives of 12, mostly female and black characters, who are somehow connected throughout time. Each character’s story highlights them navigating their place in the world. From nonbinary to female, old to young, this book has many different perspectives. It’s classified as fiction, but I would call this intersectional activism fiction, perfect for feminist readers. It’s also great for someone that wants to read short stories. Although the stories are connected, each character tells a unique story that can be finished quickly.

The One by John Marrs

In an alternative universe, a company created a way to take your DNA and match it with someone else’s to find your soulmate. Five people are notified that their match has been found, but is love a science? This science fiction with psychological twists is perfect for lovers of dystopian fiction and thrillers with a hint of romance. This book’s suspense had past readers flying through the book. John Marrs’ 2017 novel was a huge word of mouth hit in Britain. It is also soon to be a Netflix original, so you know the story is fantastic!

I hope these books have excited you, and that you read them with me!

Sophia Kenny

Gettysburg '24

Sophia is a sophomore at Gettysburg College. She is a Business and English double major. On-campus she is also a member of Alpha Omicron Pi. In her spare time, she loves doing arts and crafts and cuddling with her cat.
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