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8 Books You Won’t Be Able To Put Down This Winter Break

Now that school is over, reading is probably the last thing on your mind. However, reading for fun is much more exciting and engaging than academic reading. It’s good to do at least one activity to keep your brain energized and active during winter break, and reading is a really good one! Here are eight super quick and easy books to read over winter break:

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini – Fiction

Even if you don’t get to all the books on this list, this book is definitely a must-read. This novel depicts a fictional, yet realistic experience for women in Afghanistan from the early 1960s to the early 2000s. This time period includes the reign of the Taliban and post-Taliban, and the novel explores the story of two generations of families and their struggles to fight for survival, and the novel also tackles themes of violence, fear, loneliness, sacrifice, and loyalty. Hosseini truly makes you understand the intricacies of each character and never fails to make you cry and feel so distraught over the events occurring in the characters’ lives. Emotionally prepare yourself before reading!

Tuesday’s with Morrie by Mitch Albom – Memoir

You know those older people in your life that seem like they just know everything and deserve everything? Morrie seemed like one of those people as I read this book. He felt like everyone’s well-known and well-loved grandpa. Morrie was a college professor who unfortunately passed due to ALS. But before then, Mitch Albom, his past student, sat with Morrie every single Tuesday to learn more from him and to record these lessons as if he were back in college. Some of the lessons seem so simple, yet it’s actually so hard to practically integrate them into your life or to even remember them because we take so many things for granted. This book serves as a nice reminder that life is short, but it can be beautiful with a change in perspective.

One of my favorites quotes is, “So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”

This Modern Love by Will Darbyshire – Humor

If there is one book that’ll make you believe in true love, it’s this one. This was such a lovely, short read that follows all the fluttery, happy feelings in the beginning to the sad goodbyes at the end of a typical relationship. Essentially, this book is a compilation of real human relationships and experiences that will sometimes make you feel either extremely single or less alone in knowing that other people are experiencing the same things as you.

Becoming by Michelle Obama – Autobiography

Who doesn’t love the Obama’s? I seriously loved every minute I spent reading this book because Michelle Obama is such an iconic and accomplished individual that exudes genuineness and power. Reading about her upbringing and the experiences she underwent that eventually led to her becoming the First Lady really put things into perspective and made her seem more human. Sometimes with famous people, they almost seem untouchable and unreal. But, this memoir gave me a very close and personal glimpse into the seemingly amazing, but realistically unglamorous look into the life of a First Lady, and it really made me appreciate her even more than I already did.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne – Historical Fiction

I’m pretty sure that most people have already seen this movie and most likely cried while watching it. But, reading about it and knowing specific details really hit it home for me. It is so incredibly sad to read about the events of the Holocaust through a young child’s eyes. This book shows that very rarely are there people born with evil intentions – mostly only people in bad environments and circumstances.

Dear Girls by Ali Wong – Autobiography

Not going to lie, this book is pretty explicit. You have been warned! But, it is insanely funny. If you liked her stand-up specials on Netflix, you’ll definitely like this book. This is a book on my list to come back to when I am ready to have kids! Some of the methods leading to her advice are definitely somewhat questionable, but overall, the general takeaways make a lot of sense. She essentially writes very intimate, yet hilarious letters to her young daughters and talks about her life and what it’s like to be a working mom in comedy.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – Fiction

Did anyone else go down a “Little Women” rabbit hole after watching the film last year? I know I definitely did! Reading this book made me appreciate the film a lot more because it provided a lot of backstory on every character- not just Jo. In this classic novel, Louisa May Alcott brings you a story of the four March sisters, Jo, Beth, Meg and Amy, and their small, yet significant adventures in New England. Through these stories, we see themes of love, death, war, family and gender. This is a timeless classic that anyone can read!

If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha – Literary Fiction

This book goes into the individual experiences of four Korean girls and how they grapple with nearly impossible societal standards in South Korea. Although it is fictional, the experiences described in this book are reality for more people than we’d like to admit. This book is really interesting if you would like to get a deeper look into some of the societal issues in Korea, such as plastic surgery, room salons, social hierarchies and crazy K-pop fandoms.

Given that libraries are closed and books can be expensive, a good alternative is reading books online! There is a free app called Libby, which you can access as long as you sign up for a library card. With Libby, you can access thousands of books from different genres and mediums. Make it a goal this winter break to read at least one book if you can!

Lauren is a fourth-year Psychology major with a minor in Asian Languages at UCLA from Studio City, California. In addition to writing as a feature writer for Her Campus at UCLA, she loves reading for leisure, playing with her dogs, and watching The Office.
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