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A Definitive List of Books You Must Read

Take a moment and think back to the last time that you read a book. FYI: That doesn’t include that lame Intro to Communications textbook that bored you half to sleep! When was the last time you felt passionately about words on the page? When was the last time that you read a book that shattered your perspective of the world around you and introduced your mind to a new, interesting way of thinking? When was the last time that you read and thought for an instant that the letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs had the ability to change you?

If you are like a frighteningly large number of college students, chances are that you haven’t read a really “good book” – or read anything at all that wasn’t required reading – in a long time. It’s easy to claim that you “don’t have enough time to read,” but let’s be real: if something is a priority for you, you’ll find time to do it. The same goes for reading.

So, get back into it this spring semester. You have the chance to relax during the upcoming Spring Break, so take advantage of it, and hit the books! No, not the textbooks, but the REAL books, the ones that matter.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 

First, start with a classic. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is a stellar place to begin. A star-crossed love story! The Roaring 20s! Opulence! Recklessness! Infatuation! What more can you want? Not to mention, that once you finish the book, you can totally check out the film adaption (which features Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby – swoon!). Always remember though one truth acknowledged by all book-lovers: the book is ALWAYS better than the movie (even though, when it comes to Gatsby, the movie is pretty darn good!).

Memories by Lang Leav

Now that you’ve made it through a classic, try some poetry! Lang Leav’s book of poems Memories is an absolutely amazing collection of prose, poems, and tidbits that will leave you musing about love, life, and everything in between. It’s one that you won’t want to miss for the simple fact that you don’t have to have a whole chunk of time to sit down to appreciate this book; simply flip to a random page, and you will get your daily literary fix in a few minutes or less.

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

If you’re in a more reflective mood, check out Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees. Set in the South in the mid-1960s, the book deals frankly with the Civil Rights movement, while always staying interesting, relevant, and relatable for the younger generation. It’s one of those books that has some “zinger” quotes – sentences that stop you in your tracks and force you to reconsider everything. On that idea, Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist is lyrical, interesting, and approachable. It is written with words that aren’t too lofty or difficult to digest, so it will for sure feel like a break from dense textbook reading. Coelho’s piece is a life-changer, with short sentences and memorable prose that force the reader to figure out their place in the universe. You will not want to miss it, as a college student, who is trying to do just that!

And there you have it. Reading doesn’t have to be a chore, or boring. You’ve got to get your hands on these books, so they can prove themselves and change your life, one word at a time!  

Madison is a senior journalism student at Marist College with an affinity for all things writing, iced coffee, and Great Gatsby related. She is currently a Lifestyles & Her Future writer for Her Campus.
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