17 Books to Read Over Break

Winter break is a great time to sit back, relax, and enjoy some down time.  College courses don't leave a lot of time for reading, so why not catch up and curl up with one of these titles over the holidays?


1. Yes Please by Amy Poehler 

Whether you love Amy Poehler or not, her book is a must read. Her stories will make you laugh out loud and shed a tear all on the same page. It feels more like talking to a friend than reading a book by a celebrity.

Quote: “You have to be where you are to get where you need to go.”


2. Looking for Alaska by John Green 

​A novel by John Green is bound to make you cry, and Looking for Alaska is no exception. The slightly awkward protagonist, Miles, switches up his life at a boarding school in rural Alabama. What he didn’t see coming was Alaska, a girl who was a little bit damaged and a lot a bit mysterious. She changed his whole world, in ways you could never imagine.

Quote: “So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.”


3. The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan 

This book wraps together hope and grief in a nice little bow. Marina Keegan was killed in a car accident just five days after her graduation from Yale University. But in her short time, she was able to understand more about life than most people. This collection of her stories and essays are raw and candid, and inspire people to persevere through the future with their heads held high.

Quote: ​​"What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over.”


4. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Milk and Honey employs a modern style of writing poetry that encapsulates what it means to feel everything within the spectrum of human emotion. It touches on violence, abuse, love, loss, femininity, and how to get through everything in between.

Quote: “The thing about writing is I can't tell if it's healing or destroying.”


5. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

On a day like any other, Clay gets home and receives a shoebox filled with cassette tapes. These cassette tapes were recorded by Hannah Baker, a girl who had committed suicide two weeks earlier. The tapes are sent to thirteen people… thirteen people who were reasons as to why she committed suicide. And Clay’s one of them. You’ll be eager to flip through each page to unravel the mystery behind Hannah’s death.

Quote: “No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same.”


6.  The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

This novel follows five friends from their adolescence all the way through adulthood. They meet at a summer camp “Spirit-in-the-Woods” for artistically inclined teenagers and formed a group called the “Interestings.” But just because there’s something that sets you apart as youth does not always mean you find success in adulthood. Each character is constructed with flaws and strengths that mirror the complexity of the people we know in our lives. Life is messy even when you’re interesting.

Quote: “You didn’t always need to be the dazzler, the firecracker, the one who cracked everyone up, or made everyone want to sleep with you, or be the one who wrote and starred in the play that got the standing ovation. You could cease to be obsessed with the idea of being interesting.”


7. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

Dating nowadays is a struggle and Aziz Ansari gets that. He explains the challenges of having a love life when a cell phone is involved. He perfectly sums up the anxiety and panic that we all feel when trying to flirt through a screen and reminds us that we’re not all alone in this.

Quote: ​“While we may think we know what we want, we’re often wrong.”


8. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

1960s Mississippi was a tough place for a lot of women. Skeeter, a woman returning from college, decides to take a leap of faith and write about something that matters - but she’ll have to keep it a secret. She looks into the treatment of “the help”, particularly maids Minnie and and Aibileen, even though they work for her friends. The story is filled with secrets that will remind you of the importance for taking a stand for what is right.

Quote: “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”


9. Stuff I've Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook

This collection of poems is organized as a mixtape. One side explores all aspects of human emotion -  life, death, love, moving on, evolving, growing up, hometowns, family dynamic, life after trauma, and make-ups and breakups. The other side contains the same poems. The twist is that they are in the form of blackout poetry, containing a hidden message in each one.

Quote: “Loving you has been both the life and the death of me. And either way, it has been a pleasure.”


10. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

​This book takes a look at what happens when your future keeps getting dragged down by your past. Lily feels a spark for a neurosurgeon Ryle, yet he’s completely against relationships (we’ve all met those guys). Slowly her mind starts to wander to Atlas, her first love. When her past meets her present, all the normalcy Lily has achieved is completely destroyed.

Quote: “Just because we didn’t end up on the same wave, doesn’t mean we aren’t still a part of the same ocean.”


11. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Imagine being allergic to everything. Well, the main character of this novel, Madeline, is. When she sees a boy moving in next door she has to decide if loving him is worth risking her life.

Quote: "Maybe growing up means disappointing the people we love.”


12. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

We all remember what it’s like to experience the fleeting feeling of being young and in love. Eleanor & Park captures what it’s like to feel as if your relationship is up against the world. It’s a depiction of the pure innocence of being in love for the first time.

Quote: “She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”


13. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling 

If you love reading Mindy Kaling’s tweets, you’ll love her book even more. She covers topics like growing up, weight issues, and being a female in a very male-dominated industry. Her relatable essays bring about the understanding that even when you’re famous you’re not invincible. She really is just like the rest of us, except maybe a little bit funnier.

Quote: “You should know I disagree with a lot of traditional advice. For instance, they say the best revenge is living well. I say it’s acid in the face—who will love them now?”


14. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks 

If you have yet to read this book, then you must because it’s truly a rite of passage for every woman. And no, watching the movie does not count. If you’re looking for a classic chick-flick full of clichés, love, and romance, look no further, because you’ll fall more in love with every page.

Quote: “She wanted something else, something different, something more. Passion and romance, perhaps, or maybe quiet conversations in candlelit rooms, or perhaps something as simple as not being second.”


15. Graduates in Wonderland: The International Misadventures of Two (Almost) Adults by Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale

Two friends, Jessica and Rachel, vowed to stay in touch after they graduated college. This memoir is their compilation of the weekly emails they sent back and forth as they tried to figure out the world and themselves. We’re all a little lost, but this book proves that having someone just as lost as you makes it a little easier.

Quote: “You won’t be able to do this ten years from now—just leave everything behind and go.”


16. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed

The author, Cheryl Strayed, worked for years as an anonymous advice columnist, “Dear Sugar.” This book is a compilation of all the best columns that she answered as “Dear Sugar” that cover all the good and bad in life, in the most insightful and heartfelt manner.

Quote: “I'll never know, and neither will you, of the life you don't choose. We'll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn't carry us. There's nothing to do but salute it from the shore.”


17. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay 

Roxane Gay dives into what it's really like to be a feminist, or in her words, a bad feminist. Being a feminist should not put you into a box, but rather try to tear down the idea of boxes all together. We don’t have to be perfect feminists because we’re all a little flawed. 

Quote: “I embrace the label of bad feminist because I am human. I am messy. I’m not trying to be an example. I am not trying to be perfect. I am not trying to say I have all the answers. I am not trying to say I’m right. I am just trying—trying to support what I believe in, trying to do some good in this."



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