Many times we get so caught up with our studies and upcoming tests and the stressors of life that we often forget to give ourselves time to unwind.
For me, I unwind with a blanket, reclining chair and a good book. Reading not only keeps your mind active but also can take you to places you never knew existed.
Reading helps us keep in touch with our imagination and builds relationships with characters that will stand the test of time.
The books listed below are not the latest crazy (sorry, 50 Shades of Grey is not included!) in literature but can help college students connect to the period in life we are living and often take for granted.
I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) by Brenè Brown.
Yes, I’ll be the first to admit that you will most likely find this book in the self-help section at the bookstore, but her message goes beyond a typical “self-help” book. Brown attempts to help her readers understand their own value and therefore helps them become a more compassionate and authentic person.
Why do people react the way that they do? Why do some people seem to be on the offensive side? This book helps explain why.
I first heard Brenè speak during a Ted Talk and was instantly blown away. Brown ties connection and worthiness and the inability to achieve it through shame and vulnerability. Her message is one to listen to and connect with.
A Long Way Gone, Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
Ishmael Beah has been through more than I can ever imagine anyone ever surviving. His journey as a boy soldier breaks the reader’s heart and paints a picture that no one could easily imagine. His story brings attention to atrocities that happen every day but never seem to make the evening news. Ishmael Beah’s story is truly inspiring and makes me appreciate all that I never had to give up.
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Jack Kerouac’s On the Road is all about exploration. Based on real people from his life, Kerouac ignites a flame in my soul that wants me to be brave. Brave enough to try new things, brave enough to leave it all behind and brave enough to follow my dreams.
The Perks of Being a Wall Flower by Stephen Chbosky
This is a story about innocence. Charlie is a young man who goes through his freshman year of high school making friends, experimenting with life and uncovering dark secrets of his past. Although set in high school, this novel can tough the reader at their core – our soul. This is truly a book of our generation.
Letters to a Young Poet by Ranier Maria-Rilke
Written to a young poet named Franz Xaver Kappas, Rilke gives sound advice for anyone in a life of transition. College can be uncertain, finding a job after college can be even more uncertain. How can we know we will be good public relations practitioners? How can we ensure we will be able to pay off our student loans? Rilke gives the best advice and I will try to carry this with me all of my life.