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

For those of you who choose books over movies, or anyone who is looking for a good read, this list is for you; these are books that I keep coming back to. I recommend them to everyone. because they are unforgettable books with important messages. Most of them are popular book-turned-movie phenomenons, but I’ll defend myself by saying the annoying phrase, “I read these books before they became hyper-idolized films.” So read them and become convinced by reading what cheesy, life-changing messages they conveyed to me! Xoxo.

1. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Some people joke about finally having their cliché Eat Pray Love moment, where suddenly the divine guides you towards fulfillment, happiness and wholeness again after some sort of life disaster. All clichés aside, this honest autobiographical work inspires readers to take control of their life and let go of their destiny at the same time. Gilbert overcomes life-consuming stress, divorce, self-neglect, depression and societal expectations by dropping everything and going on a spontaneous trip to Italy, India and Indonesia. Everything is not solved by running away from reality, but it is solved by running towards the answers and the changes you may be afraid of.

2.  The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

From a dog’s perspective, this novel follows a family that experiences a fair number of tragedies. Readers can view human conflict, love, grief and suffering from an uncommon perspective. Enzo, the family dog, reflects upon his memories with his family and teaches readers what is truly important in life.

3.  Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel

Elizabeth writes about her experience of being “young and depressed in America.”  She grew up in a time when mental illness was unacceptable, or unheard of, and when drugs like Prozac and other anti-depressant/anxiety medications did not exist. Looking back, she has an interesting and personal perspective on what depression and Prozac has become in this country. She sees today’s society as being generally dissatisfied, and its solution is prescribing Prozac to millions of people. Wurtzel’s humor and honesty make this harsh reality relatable and readable.  

4. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

This novel follows an unconventional couple through time. Unconventional, because one half of the whole is a time traveller. Of course they love each other, but seeing as they often are living in different time periods, their personal love stories and identities are totally separate. In the simplest sense, it beautifully captures the fleeting yet urgent feeling of love. Super mushy but seemingly realistic fantasy.  

Eat Pray Love, The Art of Racing in the Rain, Prozac Nation, The Time Traveler’s Wife