What You Need to Read

10 Types Of Books That Need To Be On Your To-Do List This Fall, And That You'll Actually Enjoy

From the blockbuster to the classic, fit these into your fall reading.

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These are all your must-reads for this upcoming fall season...get to reading!

1. The blockbuster 

The blockbuster is the book you've definitely heard of by now if you keep on top of book news, and the one you've probably still heard of if you don't.

My recommendation: "Crazy Rich Asians" by Kevin Kwan. If you've seen the movie (and you absolutely should), there is no possible way you can be disappointed by the book. The story in both forms is hilarious, romantic, meaningful, and full of so much voice you will be thoroughly engaged for its entirety.

2. The modern classic 

The modern classic is a well-received book that you really should have read a decade or so ago, when it first came out. However, by waiting this long, you've been able to see that it stood the test of time, becoming in its own right, a book worth of being called a "classic."

My recommendation: "The Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver. I was not alive when this book was first published, but I discovered it this past year. It's one of those books that I am hesitant to give details of--I don't want any potential reader to be less swept off their feet than I was. I will only give the briefest of descriptions: It tells, from multiple perspectives, the story of a missionary family who move to the Belgian Congo, and Kingsolver is masterful with their tale.

3. The snack 

The snack is the book that, at first glance, seems like a light read. And in a way, it's true: The book is likely shorter than most, often one that's a graphic novel, or at least heavy on illustrations. But its content is by no means something you'll plow through and immediately forget.

My recommendation: "MAUS" and "MAUS II" by Art Spiegelman. I'm cheating a bit, because this is a duology, but each of these graphic novels took me no more than two hours to read. The two novels, originally serialized, depict Spiegelman's interviews with his father, a Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor. The art and text cleverly intermingle as the reader learns about the joy, horror, and tragedy of WWII, and the complicated relationship between father and son.

4. The remake 

The remake, or "cover novel" needs little explanation. Its plot and/or characters found their beginning in some other author's work. Shakespeare is a common springing-off point for remakes, including my recommendation.

My recommendation: "The Gap of Time" by Jeanette Winterson, a retelling of Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale." "The Winter's Tale" is one of Shakespeare's later plays, one that you are far less likely to have seen adapted for the movies or performed on stage. For that reason, "The Gap of Time" is recognizable but not boring, familiar only to a small degree. The story is told between London and an American city called New Bohemia, and breathes new life into the tale while still maintaining the universal themes of jealousy, love, and redemption.

5. The laugh-out-loud

Everyone deserves a book that forces them to make weird facial expressions on public transportation, and this is where the laugh-out-loud comes into play.

My recommendation: "The Shakespeare Requirement" by Julie Schumacher. The world of academia can always use a skewering, and Schumacher's wit is unmatched. This satire depicts Jason Fitger, the new chair of the English Department, taking "arms against a sea of troubles," which include miniature donkeys, Shakespeare (what else), and freshmen. I attended an author reading for this book, and, well, would it be uncouth to reveal that I almost peed my pants laughing?

6. The CLASSIC classic 

This is Mark Twain, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and the rest of them. While your entire reading list doesn't have to look like a 19th Century Literature major's, dipping your toe in can never hurt.

My recommendation: "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville. Listen, I know! This is possibly the worst book to suggest to make you trust my recommendations. And truthfully, half of the reason I read "Moby Dick" was so I could ridicule it in a more thorough fashion. But Melville has a genuine, earnest voice, and even when he's classifying different types of whales, you feel like he's telling you his life story. Plus, there's not as much whale blubber talk as you've heard--nowhere near the "Victor Hugo on the sewers of Paris" level.

7. The different perspective 

One of the most valuable things a book can accomplish is to show the reader people wholly separate from anything they've experienced, so that we can both relate to and learn from characters different from ourselves.

My recommendation: "What We Were Promised" by Lucy Tan. The main characters of Tan's debut novel are a newly wealthy family who were born in China but immigrated to America. It's been years, and the family decides to move back to Shanghai, a city nearly unrecognizable with change.

8. The adult version of childhood interests 

No matter how nostalgic you are, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" just isn't always going to hold its same magic. But as we grow up, many of our childhood interests stay the same--and if your interest happens to be hunger or caterpillars, you can find age-appropriate fiction for that.

My recommendation: "Circe" by Madeline Miller. I'm one of those kids who's always been interested in mythology, and for whom the Percy Jackson books were like manna (or should I say ambrosia?) from heaven. Circe is one of the most powerful witches in Greek mythology, and there's no better story for her than one written by Madeline Miller. Miller has an arguably unrivaled skill for taking a character already known to the audience, and somehow making you feel like Miller is the only source you should believe. Miller's writing is human and godly: she writes like a modern oracle.

9. The Throwback 

The throwback is, simply put, a favorite book from time gone by that you'll always love. It's safe. It's recognizable. It's the book version of comfort food.

My recommendation: "The Chronicles of Narnia" by C.S. Lewis. One of my favorite things about "Chronicles" is that if you're feeling nostalgic, all you need to do is read your favorite installment; you feel less pressure to set aside hours upon hours for your re-visitation (LOTR, what's up?). The stories are fantastical yet simple, and their themes carry a refreshing purity, one that's good to remind yourself of as life gets more complicated.

10. The easily digestible non-fiction  

We can't be caught up in fantasy, romance, Greek mythology, and nostalgia all the time. Every now and then, the reader should learn measurable, concrete facts and ideas about reality. But doesn't education deserve to be interesting too?

My recommendation: "Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue" by John McWhorter. As you may have guessed, "Tongue" talks about the history of English, how it came to be how it is, the languages it borrowed from, the cultures that shaped it, and why it is so different from every other language on earth. McWhorter is everything you can ask for in a non-fiction writer. He is conversational, anecdotal, thorough, curious, and he never crosses over the too-scholarly line. "Tongue" will never make you feel lost, and it will make you feel oh-so-much-smarter by the time you reach the back cover.

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Summer In College Is For More Than Just Working

No, you're never to hold to have fun in the summer.

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There should never be an age where you stop having fun in the summer. The weather is nice, there are always things to do, and everyone is just naturally happier. So, regardless of whether you're 7 or 21, I'm talking to you.

During the year it can be hard to find a routine unless you are a very put together person. Sadly, I am not. Even when I tell myself I'm going to eat healthily, work out, and stop procrastinating, I usually don't follow through with that. At school, I find myself in somewhat of a constant catch-up mode. When I feel like I'm ahead on my homework or studying, that usually means I'm behind on being healthy in other aspects of my life. That is why I love summer. It's a chance to reset the clock for a second and catch your breath.

I get that having an internship or working is important for your post-graduation life, but having fun is important for your college years too. When you get a job in the real world, summer is going to look a lot different for you. That is why it's best to take advantage of the time now. This doesn't mean turning down that work experience, it means doing things other than just working.

First things first is finding a hobby you enjoy that you don't do at school. Pick it up for a little over the summer. Why not? For me, this is yoga. For whatever reason, I find myself too nervous to attend yoga classes at school. I have absolutely no reason to be anxious about doing something I like, but I am so I take the time to attend a few classes a week in the summer.

Secondly, try reading. Before you make that look of disgust on your face, think about the last time you read a book of your choosing. If it was recently, then kudos to you for managing your time well enough to do that. If you are not that person, then hello! I am talking to you. I am not a fan of reading because I usually associate it with homework. However, I find that when I have the time to browse the book section of a store for a few seconds, I find multiple books that jump out at me. During the summer I take the opportunity to read a little here and there. The nice part of leisure reading over school reading is that there's no deadline. You can read what you want when you want to.

Finally, learn something new. Again I usually associate learning with things that I am required to learn for my major. Learning something new that interests you is a different kind of rush. When I'm bored in class, I make bucket lists of little things I want to learn about. They can be big or small. One time I wanted to learn how to knit. Don't ask me why my 19-year-old self thought it would be sweet to sit on my porch in the summer knitting, but I did, and I'm kind of sad I didn't pursue that interest. When might I ever have time to learn how to knit again?

These might sound like quirky things to do, but you're young. Make a bucket list and try to cross one thing off each weekend. If you're like me, then you're a little scared of growing up. Scared you won't be able to accomplish all the things you want to. But, the fact of the matter is no one is going to make you accomplish them but you. So, take some initiative and do them. Summer is for more than just working; it's time to live a little and reset the clock.

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Maybe It's Time To Pick Up A Book And Learn To Enjoy Reading

Have you read 'The Hate U Give' by Angie Thomas?

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A book. A book can tell you a lot of things. A book can really change the way you think or leave you thinking about life. Or maybe it is just something you need to think about because a class requires to do so. Well, maybe it's just time to dig in and start reading. However, this reading can be of choice.

It doesn't have to be a book required for class or a book you just heard about. This book can be one that you wanted to read for quite some time. Or a book you might want to read over. Let's face the reality though for a second. How many books have you actually read after high school? Or maybe even In college?

If the number is 0 or less than five maybe its time to find a favorite author. Take some time to just absorb new perspectives. Reading for fun is not always a bad thing. It is a good way just to clear your mind, to de-stress, to learn. While reading always have a journal and pen. Because if you're an avid reader you might want to jot down some notes or favorite quotes from pages.

Whether you are reading classic books or new fiction books, it doesn't matter. A great way to just leave reality for a couple of minutes or hours. Often times people prefer to just listen to audio books because they don't have the time of day to read a book. That's okay! As long as you did some sort of fun reading than you should be good.

I myself am an avid reader and there really isn't another way I would go about it. Reading has always been a passion for me and it all starts by putting in the time. Reading different genres is always key to. Don't always get stuck on one genre. Keep yourself open to new ideas, new perspectives, diversity of content.

Reading is also a great way to come up with ideas. Just the very fact of reading for fun and getting ideas about assignments of life, in general, should be a goal. Knowing the meaning that the author is conveying or simply the message should be the goal. Not every book has a great ending to it but every book has content worth the read!

Next time you go to the library to study, do homework, or just to relax start looking for books. Because with the learning, or the new ideas generated comes an easy and fun way to pass time!

Some books that I would suggest reading that have powerful messages and impacting content are the following: The Hate U Give- Angie Thomas, Tuesdays With Morrie- Mitch Albom, To Kill A Mocking Bird- Harper Lee, and The Kite Runner- Khaled Hosseini.

All these books are written by great authors. Authors that put in the time, effort and work to inspire others. So continue to open yourself to new content. Continue to raise awareness for issues that need to be addressed, but most of all continue to seek knowledge and apply that knowledge to life.

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