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Books are cool again. Kaia Gerber said so.

As the summer closes out, it’s time to prepare for autumn. Midterms are around the corner, new clothing trends are popping up, and the weather is about to get cooler. It’s time to put on Gilmore Girls, dress like our favorite nepotism babies, and cuddle up at home with a good book. 

If you need some new ideas for your Goodreads list, I got you covered 

  1. Emma by Jane Austen 

This is one of the few books on this list that I didn’t just read but that I also own a copy of. It is one of my favorite books of all time and I regularly revisit it. I would go into detail about the plot, but I’m sure many of you have watched the cult classic film Clueless, which is very loosely based on the 1815 novel (and although there are some key differences in terms of storyline, you’ll just have to read to see how they both relate and differ). 

  1. My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh 

This book was one of my early quarantine reads, and besides being one of the strangest books I’ve ever read, it felt timely in a lot of ways. The novel follows a beautiful girl in her 20’s living in New York City. She has every reason to be happy, but she isn’t. Oh, and she also tries to use a cocktail of prescription sleeping pills to try and sleep through an entire year in hopes that her faux-hibernation will heal her trauma. 

  1. Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino 

This collection of essays written by the New Yorker writer speaks to growing up in the age of technology, the internet, and fourth-wave feminism. She speaks on a wide array of subjects, from the mess of the infamous Fyre Festival to her own brief experience in Y2k reality TV. 

  1. The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin 

This is one of the more fun-to-read novels on this list. It focuses on the lives of 4 siblings separated by time and place throughout their lifetime, after a life-changing visit to a traveling psychic in their childhood impacts the following decades of their lives. This is one book I wish I could read again for the first time. 

  1. Play It as It Lays by Joan Didion 

I don’t think there can be a ‘cool-girl book list’ without the resident literary cool girl herself, Joan Didion. You can’t go wrong with any of her books but Play It as It Lays is one of her best and most well-known. This book was hard to read and heart-wrenching at times but it’s beautiful and worth the emotional unpacking that you may have to do after finishing it (this can also be said for most of Didion’s books, especially The Year of Magical Thinking). 

  1. On the Road by Jack Kerouac

This was the book I read in high school that made me love books. Although you may see a pretentious skater boy walking around with a copy of the 1957 novel, trust me when I say that it genuinely is a great book. It defined the Beat generation, and it will stay with you long after you read the last pages. 

  1. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri 

This book is filled with so much beauty and honesty. I feel so close to this novel, and when you read it you will too. Just read this one, trust me.

Honorable mentions:

Just Kids by Patti Smith, The Idiot by Elif Batuman, and truly anything that Eve Babitz has written. 



edited by Atti Shepard

Hi! I'm a senior Public Communication major with a concentration in Community Media and Journalism at the University of Vermont. I have a passion for art, culture, and writing.
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