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I am currently in my third year of undergrad, and the first week of October tends to feel bittersweet because you know fall is finally here, but you are starting to miss the warm summer rays or home. Amidst the nostalgia fall can bring, I tend to enjoy getting wrapped up in a book in a local coffee shop. With the stress school can bring, reading can be a good escape and allow you to live your Pinterest dark academia fantasy.

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

Calling out the people who love listening to Japanese Breakfast, inspiring artists, or people who have mommy issues – this book is for you.

Not only is Michelle Zauner a remarkable multi-talented artist and author, but the story felt very unique and personal to how she precisely associates food with her Korean culture and her memories of her mom. Growing up with immigrant parents, I sincerely related to having a bit of an identity crisis in your adolescent years and resenting your parents for not understanding how you feel or accepting anxiety or depression. Crying in H Mart is a quick read consisting of 257 pages, making it a perfect book to get you out of a reading slump and will make you want to call your mom.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

It’s back to school season; the leaves are orange, and it’s your first day attending a private liberal arts class in Vermont to study Latin. How could it get more dark academia than that! I love lighting my candles and listening to Claude Debussy and Phoebe Bridgers.

The Secret History is a popular book on TikTok, as it certainly should be! Donna Tartt follows the legends of Greek tragedies remarkably. The book is a new modern classic – and as someone who has read it, I can’t wait to reread it this fall because I couldn’t put it down the first time!

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

If you think falling in love with the characters is enough, just wait until you read the last chapter.

If you are interested in Greek mythology and queer books. The Song of Achilles will leave you captivated, from the character development between Patroclus and Achilles and seeing them grow up into adulthood. Madeline Miller creates a tumultuous journey for Patroclus but love and courageousness spill throughout the story.

Writers and Lovers by Lily King

Lily King, who is also the author of Euphoria, depicts the journey of a mid-20s aspiring writer who is also dealing with grief, craving love, and financial problems but is determined to persevere through the card’s life is currently handling you. I love reading this book during the fall because it reminds me why I want to be involved in journalism, and great authors like Lily King highly inspire me to focus on my writing and to read more. Further, I think the protagonist is quite relatable in which we all have dreams that we continuously strive to achieve.

Hi I'm Michelle Zapata (: I'm currently a junior at Pace University, majoring in Communications! I am highly interested in current beauty/fashion trends and how they can be a reflection of current-day society. And love everything about pop culture.