The only instructions my elder sister gave me when I started my college career was not to take my ever-growing book collection with me. You won’t have time to read, Liz assured me. You’re going to want to put all your energy your school work and you’ll get sick of books.
Boy was she wrong.
I am a book worm. I love to read, and moving into a dorm did little to diminish my literary appetite. Sure, I spent a lot more time watching Bravo with my friends and working on school assignments, but I still managed to find just a minute here and there to read a few pages.
So, here is my list of the best books for college students to read. Some of these will simply make you laugh and take your mind off classes and roommate drama. Others offer valuable information and will encourage you take a moment to really appreciate life. If you already read these in high school, don’t hesitate to crack them open again. As you grow your understanding changes and you may find something new in each story. So in no particular order…
- Things Fall Apart- Chinua Achebe – Depicts the rise and fall of a Nigerian tribesman, Okonkwo, in the 1890’s. The story creates a heart-breaking parallel between the destruction of one man and the destruction of Nigerian society as a whole through colonialism.
- A Doll’s House – Henrick Ibsen – Often heralded as the first feminist play, Ibsen’s tells the events that lead to the destruction of one couple’s marriage. The play shows how women, trapped within the restrictions of society, can become dependent playthings.
- Ender’s Game – Orson S. Card – An inspiring and mind-bending story, which depicts a future earth struggling to defeat an oppressive alien race known only as the Buggers. Card follows, Ender a young, brilliant child, who has been chosen to be Earth’s savior.
- Mansfield Park – Jane Austen – Fanny Price has never been accepted by the wealthier relatives who raised her, except for her cousin, Edmund, who shows her genuine kindness. However, the arrival of Henry and Mary Crawford shifts the dynamics of the relatives living in Mansfield Park and initiates a humorous train of events that can only lead to scandal.
- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life – Anne Lammott – Lammott blends personal experience with excellent advice and suggestions in this guide to writing. It’s an excellent resource for writers of all levels and interests.
- The Count of Monte Christo – Alexandre Dumas – The tragic tale of Edmond Dantès, who is unjustly banished to a distant prison, and ultimately escapes with one goal in mind, vengeance. You won’t be able to put this book down, and you will find yourself questioning the morality of justice as you follow Dantès’s journey.
- The Bone Dolls Twin (Tamir Trilogy) – Lynn Flewelling – Set in an alternate world where witches, kings, and war are an everyday thing, Flewelling tells the story of one queen’s troubled path to the throne. To protect her from her from the wicked vengeance of her uncle, the usurper king, Tamir is bound in a male body and raised as a young boy, unaware of her destiny.
- Love Story – Jennifer Echols – If you’re looking for something lighter, this young adult novel might do the trick. Erin Blackwell is struggling to find her place in her new college. She thinks she knows everything she wants, but life and her grandmother, have some other plans in mind.
- The Hunger Games (Trilogy)– Suzzane Collins – Set in a post-apocalyptic world, where an oppressive political system keeps everyone living in constant fear, the story follows Katniss a young girl desperate to protect her family. To save her sister, Katniss volunteers to participate in the hunger games, a trial of endurance and skill, where her life will be in constant danger.
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