Must Read Books for the New Semester

By Holly Bailey

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By Holly Bailey | Staff Writer

January 24, 2014

As a new semester begins, you may have more time on your hands (looking at you, seniors) or more work than ever before (keep studying for those SATs, juniors). Nevertheless, reading a good book to pass the time – or as therapy between grueling homework assignments – is a great alternative to indulging on Netflix binges in your alone time. Perhaps these books will inspire the habit.

Heartwarming: The Five People You Meet in Heaven 

By: Mitch Albom

If you ever wanted to put life in perspective, this book will accomplish just that. An eighty-something year old man, Eddie, dies while saving someone else at an amusement park he had been working at most of his life. Eddie feels unaccomplished dying as a mere maintenance man, until he encounters five people in heaven whose lives he profoundly affected – some of whom he had never even met. Through these five people Eddie comes to realize just how important his place in life was. This post-earth tale will serve as a heartwarming read for anyone.

Also great: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Romantic: The Fault in our Stars

By: John Green

A combination of tragedy and romance, John Green presents a relationship between two young cancer patients, Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace, that is both built around and torn apart by their ailments. Although not the gooiest of love stories, the rather deep philosophical elements more than atone for this. Who wants to read another version of Twilight, anyway?

Action: The Odyssey

By: Homerthe odyssey

Do not scroll down from this suggestion just because it’s probably required reading for school. The Odyssey has it all – adventure, a hint of love, and a glimpse into the realm of Ancient Greek culture. Odysseus and his crew embark on the journey home following the end of the Trojan War, but are met with a slew of mythical creatures and places. As the crew dwindles and time passes by, these fantastical distractions threaten Odysseus’ desire to finally reach home. There’s a reason schools include this tale in their curriculum – read it if you haven’t yet!

Nonfiction: The Glass Castle

By: Jeannette Walls

Author Jeannette Walls transforms her rough childhood into a touching memoir for all to read. She recalls, with a unique and nonjudgemental voice, growing up in the sixties in a poor family headed by negligent parents and the instability she experienced while relocating around America. Despite her tumultuous upbringing, she manages to go to college and become a successful journalist. Her extremely well written memoir flows smoothly, providing a relaxing and easy read as you wind down a long, hard school day.

Psychological: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

By: Ken Kesey OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest

Have you ever tried to imagine life inside a mental institution? This 1960s novel chronicles the everyday lives of men in a mental hospital — that is, until one rowdy sane guy checks in and turns the place completely upside down. This man, Randle McMurphy, not only rustles the patients’ timid feathers, but tackles head on the cold and tyrannical head nurse through a comical fight for power in the mental ward. If you think the demands of school are driving you off the deep end, think again. Once you finish reading this book, you can reward yourself by watching the even more famous movie starring Jack Nicholson.

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