Book Recommendations For Break From An English Major

5 Books Recommendations From An English Major To Read This Winter Break

Winter break is finally upon us, which means it's a great time to crack open a book.

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Winter break is finally upon us, which for me, means six weeks of absolutely nothing to do. At a certain point, even reruns of "Friends" get old, which means something is seriously wrong. If you're working, good for you. If you're studying abroad or doing some internship or whatever, that's amazing. However, if you're like me, you're probably looking for something to do over the next few weeks. As an English lit major, I can't say anything makes me feel quite so productive as reading a ton of books, and there's a few I'd recommend to anyone looking for a good read over the break.

1. Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee

This isn't just one of the best books I've read this year, it's one of the best I've read ever. It chronicles the lives of a Korean family during Japanese imperialism, creating a complex and captivating description of Japanese-Korean culture through the eyes of multiple generations. The book was a National Book Award finalist in 2017 and has received great critical acclaim for it's writing. The most enchanting aspect of Pachinko is just how much it speaks to the immigrant narrative and lines of division between cultures, specifically Korean, Japanese, and American. It's an incredible piece of literature that I know means a great deal to Asian-Americans everywhere.

Buy it here!

2. Life of Pi, by Yann Martel

Although this book was published in 2001, many have not had the time to become engulfed in Yann Martel's Life of Pi. The main character, Pi Patel, is a young boy growing up in India. He explores his spirituality and ends up believing in three separate dogmas at once: Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam. This, of course, is the less famous part of the novel. More well known is the image of Pi on a lifeboat with a bengal tiger, Richard Parker. Life of Pi is eyeopening in its religious undertones, and I'll admit, I do believe that I agree with its introduction. "This book will make you believe in God."

Buy it here!

3. The Lathe of Heaven, by Ursula K. LeGuin

I read this book for an English class, but it's actually pretty awesome. It's not particularly long, and since it was written in 1971, the style is pretty modern. Postmodern, actually. This one is mostly for the science fiction nerds. George Orr (play on Orwell perhaps?) has dreams that create alternate realities, but when he is sent to get medical help, the doctor discovers how to use George's powers for his own ends. In addition to the awesome plot, the book has strong themes of environmentalism and philosophical morality. It's a little trippy, but a great quick read.

Buy it here!

4. Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro

This book made me cry. My best friend got it for my birthday, and I swallowed it whole. Metaphorically. Kazuo Ishiguro won a Nobel Prize in Literature for a reason, this book is truly genius. Another science fiction dystopia, Never Let Me Go follows the life of Kathy H. and her friends, Ruth and Tommy, as they attend a mysterious school called Hailsham. Behind the nostalgic, wistful tone, the plot twists into something much more unsettling.

Buy it here!

5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larson

If you're into thrillers, this is the book for you. It's dark and exhilarating, starting off with the lesser known character of its two heroes—journalist Mikael Blomkvist. Mikael is employed by industrial tycoon Henrik Vagner to inquire into the disappearance of a relative. The legendary Lisbeth Salander joins him in his detective work, giving the book it's title—The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The book is the first in its series, but definitely worth it, even as a stand alone read.

Buy it here!

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Lil Dicky's 'Earth' Is The Most Influential Song Of 2019, Change My Mind

And the music video may be even better.

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Lil Dicky is a known musician know for his songs 'Pillow Talking' and 'Freaky Friday' featuring Chris Brown. The songs are fun silly and are very catchy. Last week, Lil Dicky released a new song titled 'Earth' featuring about 30 plus artists including Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Brendon Urie, Zac Brown Band, and many others. This song is just as enjoyable as his other songs; however, this one carries an extremely important message.

In this song, Dicky brings awareness to the condition of the Earth along with the idea of world unity. Through the inclusion of several animal species, he shows how the earth doesn't just belong to us as human, but to the animals as well. Oftentimes, the human race can be extremely selfish and forget that we do share the planet with other species who are just as important as us.

In one of his last verses, Dicky mentions the way we are harming the earth through pollution and fighting wars. This part of the song becomes more serious to emphasize the importance of this topic. In the music video, the colorful visuals turn dark and gray which can bring to attending the dying planet.

In his effort to save the earth, Dicky calls for unity among all countries and continents. Saying how all past issues are in the past and we all need to come together since we live on the same planet. With all the political issues happening on a global scale, the earth and its health are often pushed to the end of the priority list. By adding this part to the song, Dicky brings awareness of that topic back to the top.

'Earth' by Lil Dicky is the most important song of 2019. Through his creative artistry and inclusion of over 30 artists, people will notice the message of this song and hopefully begin to make changes that will impact the earth in positive ways. If you haven't watched the music video or listened to the song please do.

Earth is the only planet we have; thus, we need to show how much we love it by actually taking action to care for it.

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You Know You're From Trumbull, CT When...

The best memories are made in this boring, little, Connecticut town.

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1. The majority of places you will consider to eat at are in Fairfield or Westport... Colony, Shake Shack, Country Cow, Playa Bowls, BarTaco

2. But if you find yourself too lazy to get on 95 for food, Panchero's is the go-to... never Chipotle. If it is past midnight, the choice always comes down to the McDonalds in Monroe, where you are almost guaranteed to see a group of people you know, or Merritt Canteen.

3. Once you got your license, your Friday night plans consisted of picking up friends, driving up and down Main Street, and, somehow, always finding yourself at the THS parking lot seeing who's car is there because there is nothing better to do.

4. In the Fall, you couldn't wait for Friday so that after school you and half of your grade could walk to Plasko's Farm for ice cream and apple cider donuts... and hope you could get them before the owners would yell at you to leave. (This one only applies to Hillcrest Middle School kids, AKA the inferior middle school in town).

5. You couldn't wait to be a senior so you could officially lead the BLACK HOLE at football games... if you were even willing to go in the cold.

6. You looked forward to the annual Senior Scav, the last week of summer before your senior year where a list of tasks is passed down by the recently graduated class... the official kickoff to senior year.

7. You pass by Country Club Rd. and get flashbacks from the worst Cross Country practices ever. Driving up Daniels Farm Rd. in the Fall and Spring, you are conditioned to yell "hi" out the window to your friends at practice.

8. You knew someone who worked at Gene's gas station... and found yourself spending more time there on the weekends than you would like to admit.

9. You are convinced Melon-heads are real after frequenting Velvet St. to see the abandoned insane asylum with your friends, IF you didn't want to drive all the way up to Fairfield Hills in Newtown.

10. You have had/have been to at least one middle school birthday party at the Trumbull Marriott.

11. You know that the 25mph speed limit on Whitney Ave. is way too slow... and can't help but hit a little air going down the huge hill at the top.

12. The guy at Towne likely knows your name.

13. You never find yourself turning right out of THS... that side of town is irrelevant for those who do not live there.

14. You know to avoid the Merrit Parkway from 4:00-7:00pm at all costs.

15. You know more than you would like to about people you aren't even friends with... in a town so small, things get around very quick.

16. Going shopping really means going to Target, or any store in the mall, for the millionth time that week.

17. The marching band was the best in the state and you would see them practicing, literally, every time you drove by THS.

19. Depending on the side of town you lived, you spent a lot of time at Five Pennies Park or Indian Ledge Park.

20. You would say you couldn't wait to leave, but when you got to college, you find yourself excited to come back to your hometown so you can reminisce on old traditions and make new memories.

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