With finals right around the corner, the rush to try to finish up assignments can be extremely overwhelming! The quarter system can be brutal at times and it may have felt as if midterms literally just ended. Even though Thanksgiving Break was only a week ago, rest and recovery are difficult to prioritize when you know that you immediately have exams waiting for you when you get back. You can even feel the tension of finals and the prolonged effects of procrastination just by walking around campus. Please remember during this time that you got this and to take some moments in the day for yourself! So, if you are in dire need of a study break that doesn’t involve spending half of your day on TikTok, these 3 reading suggestions are absolutely perfect to decompress from the upcoming stressful days:
- The kiss quotient by Helen hoang
For anyone who gets invested in romance novels, this whirlwind of a love story provides a playful and witty perspective on modern dating. The protagonist, someone who the author implies is neurodivergent, is a brilliant businesswoman who has never thought to look for love in her life after being consumed by the pursuit of work. The heroine and her main love interest share a deep, self-actualizing journey and the novel overall has all the components that make up a great love story. For anyone who has been craving an adorable romance novel with cute STEM-related jokes, this novel will definitely be a great thing to reward yourself with after study sessions! The Kiss Quotient shows the importance of a work-life balance and the complicated process of becoming open to romance after a lifetime of being business goal-oriented.
- THe song of Achilles by madeline miller
I know this book has been all over social media but this truly is an incredible, tear-jerking novel! The novel centers around the nuanced and imperfect relationship between the legendary Achilles and his partner Patroclus from Homer’s poem, “The Iliad.” The Song of Achilles approaches the complicated dynamic between two lovers and the acceptance of identity through the pursuit of love. As someone who identifies as a member of the Queer community, I absolutely love how the relationship depicted between the two main characters was extremely multifaceted and that popular literature is depicting queer people as complex characters rather than caricatures. The overall novel pulls from Greek myths and origins and each sentence in the novel is beautifully constructed and definitely worth the read!
- Convenience store woman by sayakara murata
For anyone who is tired of romance and looking for a bit of satire and dark humor, consider checking out Convenience Store Woman. The author, Sayaka Murata, pulls from her experience as an unmarried, Japanese woman who worked part-time as a convenience store worker in addition to her writing endeavors. This novel, which eventually won the prestigious Akutagawa Prize, is largely a commentary on modern Japanese society and calls to question social roles that are inherently placed on women in a collectivist society. While this novel specifically comments on Japanese culture, the novel raises interesting points about social identity and the pursuit of an “acceptable” style of living. This short, but impactful novel will definitely give you plenty to think about and be a strangely compelling read after long study days!
I hope that these book suggestions help you find a bit of calm in the chaos that finals week brings! These book recommendations (while I hope that you read them for yourself and love them!) are more about taking the time to do something that you enjoy in the middle of a stressful period. There’s no better way to prevent burnout than by ensuring that your mental, physical and emotional health are being prioritized as a necessity rather than an optional aspect in your life. These books were a great source of inspiration and relaxation for me and I hope that they serve the same purpose for you too!