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The top 3 books I’ve read (and re-read) this year and why you should read them, too:

One small silver lining that arose during my long COVID-19 quarantine was that I rediscovered my love for reading. Since the onset of COVID in March, 2020, I have read as many novels as possible, and I have amassed a long, assorted list of books. I am thrilled to share my top 3 recommendations with the HerCampus community!

  1. Beach Read by Emily Henry

Did I discover this book on TikTok? Yes. Is it an unequivocally beautifully written novel? Certainly. Henry’s combination of poignant dialogue and slow-burn romance makes this book impossible to put down. Not only will the reader fall in love with North Bear Shores, Michigan, but they will also latch on to the relatable characters, celebrating alongside their successes and crying during their heartbreaks. If you are a fan of beautifully written prose with a splash of fun romance, Beach Read is for you. 

  1. The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Moshin Hamid

I have read this novel no fewer than seven times, and Hamid’s powerful storytelling never ceases to amaze me. Though it is on the shorter side compared to other novels on this list, Hamid packs a mighty punch with his impressive implementation of the allegory. If you read this novel, I highly encourage you to find the hidden meanings behind each character (ask yourself, does this person’s name have a potentially different definition or alteration?). Once you realize the hidden messages behind the names, you will be just as impressed as I am by Hamid’s elegant storytelling. 

  1. Dessert Person by Claire Saffitz

I derive a majority of my daily joy from food. Recently, that food has come from the recipecs in Saffitz’s Dessert Person. I have very limited experience in the kitchen, yet Saffitz’s easy-to-follow recipes enabled a newbie like myself to bake truly delectable Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies; you will always find frozen, ready-to-bake cookie dough balls in my freezer! While I haven’t made everything in the cookbook, my next missions are to try her focaccia, cast iron pizza, and malted “forever” brownies. After being cooped up in the house for months with limited access to restaurants, Dessert Person helped me access my much-needed “daily joy” with ease, providing clear, concise, and, most importantly, delicious baking recipes!

During the unprecedented and unsettling past year, I turned to reading as a form of comfort and escapism. I highly recommend these books if you, too, want to take a moment to lose yourself in a great story or recipe.

Celia Adams

Williams '24

Freshman at Williams College planning on majoring in Political Science and Economics.
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