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

My favorite way to spend a winter day is with a cup of coffee and my latest read. Here is a list of five books that are currently on my to-be-read list.

  1. I Didn’t Know I Needed This by Eli Rallo

Written by one of my favorite creators — Eli Rallo — I Didn’t Know I Needed This is one of my most highly anticipated reads this winter. Famous for her “rules lists” on TikTok and Instagram, Eli Rallo organizes her book into chapters that range from “Rules for Being Single” to “Rules for Honoring Your Life.” I am so excited to dive into this book that has something for everyone to relate to, especially after I went to Eli Rallo’s live show in D.C. this past weekend. Taking a picture together and having my book signed was certainly a highlight of my year so far.

  1. My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

I am currently in the middle of My Dark Vanessa, which is an alternating timeline story told from the point-of-view of the main character, Vanessa. The storyline alternates between Vanessa’s experience at a boarding school where she finds herself in an abusive relationship with her English teacher and the 2017 #MeToo era in which other classmates are accusing the same teacher of abuse. It is an incredibly painful story, but it is written so well and nearly impossible to put down.

  1. Yellowface by R.F. Kuang

I have not started Yellowface yet, but it is sitting on my bookshelf eagerly waiting for me to read it. It was the July pick of Reese’s Book Club, which always grabs my attention while walking through a bookstore. This novel explores the intricacies of the publishing industry and cultural appropriation as the main character, June Hayward, steals the unfinished manuscript of a Chinese-American author and publishes it as her own. Given the reviews I have encountered online, this novel seems to be a hit for a reason.

  1. Cleopatra and Frankenstein by Coco Mellors

Admittedly, I did not know much about this novel when I picked it up this summer in Paris. I was mainly struck by the cover art, which I still find to be gorgeous. The novel follows the lives of Cleo — a young painter — and Frank — a man twenty years older — who meet in New York and quickly decide to marry. I have seen so many positive reviews for this novel online, so I cannot wait to finally jump into the book myself.

  1. Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

Crying in H Mart is another book on my list that has been sitting there for a while. A memoir written by musician Michelle Zauner, this book dives into the realities of growing up as an Asian-American and the complexities of having an identity that stretches beyond a single country. I am taking an Introduction to Asian American Studies course this semester, so I am especially excited to look for intersections between Zauner’s memoir and the content I am learning and reading about in my class.

Elizabeth Parsons is a staff writer at the University of Virginia’s HerCampus chapter. She joined the team during the 2022-2023 academic year. Elizabeth is from Virginia Beach, VA, where she has lived for her whole life. As a third-year student with a passion for reading and writing, she is studying both English and French. She is also the Senior Associate of The Cavalier Daily’s Life Desk, which focuses on content specific to student life at UVA — including features of student events and organizations, food-related articles, student columns, and top 10 lists. Beyond HerCampus, Elizabeth loves sipping oat milk lattes, strolling through bookstores, reading the latest issue of The New Yorker, playing Wordle, swimming, going to the beach, and watching reality TV— especially Below Deck Down Under. She is always looking for book recommendations, and she loves talking about her latest reads. After spending last summer in London, she is eager to return — and plans to move to London eventually. She is looking forward to another year with HerCampus and to sharing a mix of all her passions with readers. From the best lip gloss to her tips for studying abroad, Elizabeth is excited to share about all the things that matter to her.