5 Books Everyone Should Read Before Graduating College

Finding enjoyment in reading is a challenge for many college students. With the cost of textbooks and mandatory reading assignments, a lot of students overlook the benefits and joys that come with reading a book for pleasure rather than academics. Next time you think about picking up a book for your own enjoyment or to cure your boredom, consider one of these five titles all college students should read, broken down by genre.

Non-Fiction: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand*

Unbroken is the story of Louis Zamperini, a US Army Air Force Lieutenant during World War II. It tells the miraculous story of Zamperini, who started as a troubled kid from California, turned Olympic Athlete and lieutenant for the US military. Unbroken follows Zamperini as he crashes in the Pacific Ocean and must find a way to survive to make his way back home. It is an amazing story of perseverance and redemption that everyone could learn from.

Biography: The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, by Sylvia Plath, edited by Karen V. Kukil*

Sylvia Plath was an American novelist and poet from the mid-twentieth century. She is best known for writing The Bell Jar but also kept a collection of journals throughout her life. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath explore Plath’s inner thoughts from 1950-1962 as she begins college and comes of age into the world as she battles anxiety and depression.

Fiction: Circe, by Madeline Miller*

Set in the world of Greek Mythology, Circe follows Circe, daughter of the titan Helios and known as the first enchantress. In the novel, Circe faces exile due to her family’s fear of her powers and is sent to spend eternity alone on the island of Aiaia. During her lifetime, Circe comes in contact with many key figures of the Greek myths, including Daedalus, Hermes, and Odysseus. Circe is a story about becoming who you are meant to be and finding purpose even when all else is lost.

Romance: It Ends With Us, by Colleen Hoover*

Written by popular contemporary romance author, Colleen Hoover, It Ends With Us is a must read for anyone in their early adulthood. It follows Lily Bloom, a florist with a traumatic past who just moved to Boston. There, she meets Ryle Kincaid, a neurosurgeon and the “perfect man”. But just as things start to take off between the two of them, Lily comes face to face with someone from her past that she just can’t let go of. While being a romance novel, It Ends With Us also touches on heavy and traumatic subjects such as domestic violence and sexual assault, so please read with care. Good news for readers, the sequel is set to release this October!

Fantasy: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, by V.E. Schwab*

V.E. Schwab, also known as author Victoria Schwab, released The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue in October of 2020 and it has since gone on to be one of the most popular fantasy books of the last few years. Narrated by Addie LaRue, a girl born in eighteenth-century France who sold her soul to a god of darkness for immortality, it is told over the span of three-hundred years as she makes her way through many significant historical events and interacts with key historical figures. The price for Addie’s immortality, however, is that she will never be remembered by anyone, until one day, she is. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is an incredible story of love, selflessness, and making one’s mark on the world and in the lives of others.

*As with all books, please be sure to check any trigger warnings before reading.

Mia Martino – Staff Writer

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