Monday, March 4, 2024
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When the readings just don’t cut it

Ah, books. When the semester kicks off, it starts to feel like we’re drowning in them. Science textbooks, collections of Shakespeare’s plays, course packs—the reading lists never end. There is always so much reading to be done, it makes it difficult for bookworms to find time to cram in another Dickens classic.

Book fans, don’t fear. I’m going to hook you up with a list of books that can help take your mind off your course load without making your brain hurt. Disclaimer: I refuse to endorse any “Sisterhood of The Traveling Gossip Girl” type of novel and that won’t be found here. Just because it’s not Plato’s Republic does not mean it has to be Fifty Shades of Grey.

Here are a few reads I’d advise for the school year:

  • Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

I recommend this book to pretty much everyone all the time, to the extent that people probably wish I would shut up about it. Sedaris will have you laughing so hard you’ll be in tears. His anecdotes are so painfully real and his honest, dry way of writing is perfectly suited to his zany stories. Each chapter is a short story so this book can carry over a long period of time and you don’t necessarily need to read it in order. If you need a midterm giggle, this is the book for you.

  • Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

An oldie but a goodie, and beyond simple to read. How simple? You could probably read it in a day. If you’re a fan of the movie, it’s always great to compare and contrast (and to be honest, this is the only Palahniuk novel I can say I really “got”).

  •  Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace

This one is a bit more ambitious but I’m throwing it in because it’s one of my all-time chart-topping favourites. I love David Foster Wallace and I think everyone should read this at some point. Attempt it over the semester and if you don’t get hooked, try again over winter break. You won’t regret it.

  •  The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Here are my reasons: 1. If you saw the movie this summer, you should know this story has nothing in common with Moulin Rouge. 2. Your heart will go on the journey with Jay Gatsby as he falls in love with beautiful but careless Daisy Buchanan. 3. After, you will forever hope to have a Gatsby of your own who will search nightly for the green light on the end of your dock.

  •  Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

This book is short. Like 98 pages short. Yet somehow, Steinbeck manages to cram so much scenery and beauty and sadness into a tight space. If you need a quick crying session and have enough dignity not to resort to The Notebook (hey, no judgement), consider this book.


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