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25 Essential Books That Every College Student Should Read

25 Essential Books That Every College Student Should Read

There is no college student who would like reading books, they say. Can you believe it? We hardly think so!

Yes, reading is fashionable. Again. And every college student is always in fashion as a rule. But a sufficient ammount of other reasons why books are worth reading for students can be found which are more essential than simple fashion following:

  • books widen your vocabulary;
  • books help students find new models for academic writing;
  • books improve your cognitive skills;
  • books expand your view of the world around;
  • books let students remember grammar and punctuation rules autmatically;
  • books help students learn a subject better;
  • books help you avoid a social exclusion (according to this study of the Basic Skills Agency).

Every college student has their own list of must-read, or at least must-check, books; but what if we tell you there are some writing masterpieces that are worth your attention and are essential for college students to read? Check the list below!

1. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

freedom

    “You may be poor, but the one thing nobody can take away from you is the freedom to fuck up your life whatever way you want to.”

    This is a story about a relationship, a love triangle which subjects first met in college. What will become more important to them: love or friendship? Is there any decision for this difficult situation, when you love but do not want to lose your best friend? Every college student should know the answer to these questions.

    2. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    this side of paradise

      “It is not life that’s complicated, it’s the struggle to guide and control life.”

      A privileged Princeton student becomes totally disillusioned after graduation. He finds out that life is completely different behind the walls of his college, and now he has to look for his self again. It sounds so familiar to many college students today, doesn’t it?

      3. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

      norwegian wood

        “Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Only assholes do that.”

        This is a story about true love and friendship, when one college student has to change his life principles and attitude to everything that happens around. It teaches us to appreciate friendship and people who love us, and be ready to accept the ugly truth of life.

        4. 1984 by George Orwell

        1984

          “Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.”

          A world divided between three totalitarian states. A total control, elimination of all human values, and attempts to survive in this world full of hatred. Will you be able to challenge the system? Are you strong enough to remain for ever one and not to lose your individuality?

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          5. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

          crime and punishment

            “Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart.”

            A well known novel about the student Raskolnikov and his attempts to find his place in this life and understand who he really is. After killing an old pawnbroker, this young man tries to justify his actions. Raskolnikov’s story can make every modern college student rethink their views to moral laws and their place in society.

            6. A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

            a brave new world

              “Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly — they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.”

              A novel that was called “a negative utopia” by its author. This is a story about our future world, where happiness plays an important role but individuality is not appreciated. Is it possible to stay happy, being like others? What is more important to young people: to accept things as they are, or try to resist the system?

              7. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

              one hundred years of solitude

                “Then he made one last effort to search in his heart for the place where his affection had rotted away, and he could not find it.”

                This is a myth-novel, an epic novel, a novel-paroemia about the evolution of humanity where each of us is doomed to loneliness, and where loneliness is the only thing that dominates the world where everything is tangled with the ties of fatal love. A perfect reading for college students to understand and estimate the importance of a family and close people who support them.

                8. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

                the great gatsby

                  “The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.”

                  This book should be read to feel the disillusionment many Americans felt during the Jazz Age. This is a good lesson to young people that teaches them to assess their capabilities and understand that our past can’t be returned; so, it is always better to let it go.

                  9. Lolita by Vladamir Nobokov

                  lolita

                    “I knew I had fallen in love with Lolita forever; but I also knew she would not be forever Lolita.”

                    Full of humor and intrigue, this novel about forbidden love between a man and a young nymphet remains controversial today but can teach us understanding, sacrifice, forgiveness and many other traits that are so important but forgotten by so many people today.

                    10. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

                    a farewell to arms

                      “But life isn’t hard to manage when you’ve nothing to lose.”

                      The first – and the best! – book of the English literature “Lost Generation” about World War I. This is a story about the war where young and naive boys became Poor Bloody Infantry, and either died or became embittered to the limit; about the war where love is just a brief moment of rest with no past and no future; about the war you want to forget but which can’t be forgotten.

                      11. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

                      the grapes of wrath

                        “If you’re in trouble, or hurt or need – go to the poor people. They’re the only ones that’ll help – the only ones.”

                        This is a story about one family that moves to California in attempts to find a better life during the great depression; the story about the importance of love, support, and close people near you; the story about resilience and courage of a man to roll with the punches.

                        12. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

                        the master and margarita

                          “Yes, man is mortal, but that would be only half the trouble. The worst of it is that he’s sometimes unexpectedly mortal -there’s the trick!”

                          The devil comes to Moscow. Merry mischief and melancholy sadness, romantic love and magical obsession, mystery and reckless game with the evil spirit – they all can be found in this novel. Perfect reading to find out how the evil can be more honest than a society and political regimes.

                          13. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

                          uncle tom's cabin

                            “Treat ’em like dogs, and you’ll have dogs’ works and dogs’ actions. Treat ’em like men, and you’ll have men’s works.”

                            This book is a part of many colleges history though it was both praised and criticized. A difficult and quite controversial period of American history many famous writers and essayists described is represented here, and it helps young people understand the principles and values of their nation to see how they have been changed since then.

                            14. The Stranger by Albert Camus

                            the stranger

                              “If something is going to happen to me, I want to be there.” 

                              After reading this novel, young people will understand how important their personal choice is and how indifferent the universe sometimes is. The story of a person who killed a man and did not feel guilty lets us see how absurd the world around us may be.

                              15. The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama

                              the art of happiness

                                “Happiness is determined more by one’s state of mind than by external events.” 

                                The series of interviews with the Dalai Lama can help college students (and all other people actually) learn and understand how to attain fulfillment in their life and start feeling happy.

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                                16. Faust by Johann von Goethe

                                faust

                                  “As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” 

                                  A bet between God and Mephistopheles for the soul of Faust turns into his supernatural journey and struggle for his will and freedom. This play teaches us to understand the difference between good and evil, learn some myths of ancient history, and master the art of dispute.

                                  17. Paradise Lost by John Milton

                                  paradise lost

                                    “Solitude sometimes is best society.” 

                                    We all know the Biblical story about Adam and Eve’s temptation into sin by Lucifer, the arrogant angel that fell from grace. But we know practically nothing about Lucifer himself. Paradise Lost helps us see the different side of good and bad, allowing to make our own impression about who is right.

                                    18. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

                                    loed of the flies

                                      “The greatest ideas are the simplest.” 

                                      An uninhabited island; a boundless ocean; and boys with no adults supervision. This is a story about a divided society by the example of a small kids’ community. A revolution. Bloodshed. Death. It demonstrates us how important (and necessary) it is to be a good leader, to have a clear mind, to be a critical thinker, to be able to find a compromise, and to stay a human first of all.

                                      19. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

                                      to kill a mockingbird

                                        “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” 

                                        This is a book about a young girl’s growing up, which passes through adventures, fun, and relationships with peers. She has many things to learn about, including life’s unfairness to kids, weak people, or people with a different skin color. As a result, we can see that kindness, sympathy and mutual support do not depend on your color of skin, your social status, or public opinion. It all depends on a man’s soul.

                                        20. The Running Man by Stephen King

                                        the running man

                                          “Say your name over two hundred times and discover you are no one.” 

                                          In a typical small town, an ordinary man lives. Slowly but surely he sinks into the abyss of black hatred to himself and everyone who surrounds him. And when an occasion happens, it is impossible to stop him. America becomes a hell; people die of hunger, and the only way to get some money is to take part in the most monstrous game generated by a warped mind of a sadist. What are people ready to do and how far are they ready to go to get what they want?

                                          21. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

                                          a clockwork orange

                                            “When a man cannot chose, he ceases to be a man.” 

                                            This is a wicked satire to a modern totalitarian society that tends to turn a young generation into so-called “clockwork oranges”, obedient to the will of their leaders. A clever, cruel, charismatic antagonist Alex, a leader of a street gang that considers violence the high art of life, runs into the iron jaws of a new state program for the criminals rehabilitation, and he becomes a victim of violence himself.

                                            22. Civilization and Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud

                                            civilization and its discontents

                                              “Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” 

                                              This book is a must-read for every college student just because it describes Freud’s views and ideas that are still a major part of our culture and world’s understanding. This is a good chance to understand why we live in society the way we do.

                                              23. A River Out of Eden by Richard Dawkins

                                              a river out of eden

                                                “The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”

                                                This book is a perfect reading for college students who want to learn the process of evolution in simple and interesting way. The author gives a truly beautiful explanation of our world’s birth and development, and no one will have heart to call this story boring.

                                                24. Hamlet by William Shakespeare

                                                hamlet

                                                  “We know what we are, but not what we may be.” 

                                                  One of the most well known plays of William Shakespeare, Hamlet helps us find the answer to the eternal question we heard many times: “To be or not to be?”. This is a story that can teach us to accept the responsibility for all our decisions and deeds.

                                                  25. The Divine Comedy by Dante

                                                  the divine comedy

                                                    “In the middle of the journey of our life I found myself within a dark woods where the straight way was lost.”

                                                    Who did not hear about Dante and his nine circles of Inferno? This is our chance to learn them all and understand the view of afterlife Christians had in Middle Ages. We all will have to pay for our sins, and this book teaches us not to forget about that.

                                                    How many books from this list have you read already? Do you have anything to add or change here?

                                                    Featured photo credit: We read to know we are not alone/Debbie Friley via flickr.com

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                                                    Last Updated on October 15, 2019

                                                    How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

                                                    How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

                                                    What is success to you? How to be successful in life?

                                                    To some, when they think of success, they imagine wealth; others want power; some just want to make a positive impact on the world.

                                                    All of these are perfectly valid, indeed success is a concept that means different things to different people. Though no matter what success is to you, it almost certainly isn’t something will come easily.

                                                    There are countless guides and books to being successful, however, as success is personal and unique to each individual. The advice contained in these books can often not be relevant. Therefore following the advice of a single individual can often be unhelpful.

                                                    With this in mind, considering the advice of a great many people, people whose ideas of success were different both to each other, and quite possibly, to you can be a good alternative.

                                                    What follows is a list of thirteen of the best pieces of advice from some of the most successful people who have ever lived. If you want to learn how to be successful, these 13 tips are essential:

                                                    1. Think Big

                                                      From Michelangelo Buonarroti, Great Renaissance Artist:

                                                      “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

                                                      There are few artists as influential as Michaelangelo. Today centuries after his death, his work still inspires and connects to people. His work is world famous, just think of his statue of David, or the Mural in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

                                                      Imagine then, if he decided not to work as an artist.

                                                      Being a successful artist has always been extremely difficult, imagine if he decided to give up this ambition in favour of something easier?

                                                      Oftentimes, people often decided to put their dreams aside for something more “realistic”. To give up their dream for something easier. This quote teaches us the danger of such a point of view.
                                                      Instead be ambitious.

                                                      2. Find What You Love to Do and Do It

                                                        From Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul:

                                                        “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”

                                                        This is a good quote to remember and think about when you’re at work.

                                                        Imagine being as successful as possible in your current job. Ultimately you’ll probably find yourself working extremely hard and this it will take up much of your time.

                                                        If it’s a job you hate, then being successful at it might only mean filling your life with something you hate to do. What’s the sense in this?

                                                        Instead, why not focus on doing something you love? When you’ve found what you’re passionate about, you get the motivation to keep you moving. Success at this means the fulfilment of your dreams.

                                                        Not sure what your passion is yet? You should learn about this Motivation Engine first.

                                                        Even if you’re not successful, you still filled your time with something you love to do. Many successful musicians spent years of their lives doing unpaid performances, the only reason they kept playing was because they loved to perform.

                                                        3. Learn How to Balance Life

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                                                          From Phil Knight, CEO of Nike Inc.:

                                                          “There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”

                                                          All too often, people think that to be successful, they need to make the object of their success their life.

                                                          If a person thinks their job will lead them to success, then they may spend countless hours per day, and well into the evening working hard.

                                                          However this comes at the cost of rest, your health and having an enjoyable life. Ultimately they may burn out and cease to be successful at their job anyway.

                                                          If success comes from having a strong social life and a good group of friends, their job may suffer; meaning that they may lose their job, and then be unable to afford going out with friends.

                                                          In these ways, success, as Phil Knight says above, is helped by balance. Think of it as a balance between rest and work, or work and play.

                                                          To achieve that balance, this Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life can help you.

                                                          4. Do Not Be Afraid of Failure

                                                            From Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors:

                                                            “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

                                                            There is a story, it’s unconfirmed whether it actually happened, yet the message within is none the less true:

                                                            Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb was the result of several hundred failed attempts. In an interview, he was asked “How do you feel after all of your failed attempts?”

                                                            His response was great, “I didn’t fail, I learned hundreds of ways not to invent the lightbulb”

                                                            He saw each “failure” as a lesson. From that lesson he learned what won’t work, and also might work instead.

                                                            Each failed attempt, each rejection, were key steps on his path to success. It is easy to feel like you should give up after a failure. But perhaps in that failure is a lesson.

                                                            Pay attention to your failures, study them. Perhaps then you’ll learn how to succeed.

                                                            If you find it difficult to fight your fear of failure, here’s a guide for you: Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step)

                                                            5. Have an Unwavering Resolution to Succeed

                                                              From Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC:

                                                              “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”

                                                              This, in many ways relates to the above quote about learning from your failures.

                                                              It’s the easiest thing in the world to give up from a failure. The only way to push on is if you have the true burning desire to succeed, to not be moved or dissuaded from your goals.

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                                                              If you are not truly dedicated towards success, then each failure will hurt more, each set back will slow you down.

                                                              Success is hard; without the unwavering desire to succeed, this difficulty may seem insurmountable. With the desire, it is merely an obstacle to go through.

                                                              6. Be a Person of Action

                                                                From Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Genius:

                                                                “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

                                                                Though it was said hundreds of years ago, it works just as much today as it ever had. It applies to literally any successful person.

                                                                Think about it, picture someone like William Shakespeare:

                                                                When we think of the time he lived in, we think of the time in a way shaped by him. When we think of Renaissance era Italy, we think of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Or think about the present day, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Our current way of life would simply be incomparably different if they didn’t accomplish what they did.

                                                                You’re probably reading this article on a device by a company that they either founded or companies influenced by them.

                                                                All these figures were proactive, they saw ways to do things differently and did them. If they let the world shape them, then they’d simply fit into the background. Instead they shaped the world.

                                                                Applying this to you?

                                                                Don’t be afraid of going outside the norm. If you can think of a better way to do something, do it that way. If you fail, try again.

                                                                7. Cultivate Positive Relationships

                                                                  From Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of America: “

                                                                  The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

                                                                  The best leaders and some of the most influential people (and Theodore Roosevelt is one of the best leaders and one of the most influential people to have lived) were not those who caused commotions, who fought with people or disregarded people; but were people who were friendly to those around them.

                                                                  People liked them. They wanted them to do well.

                                                                  This is key to good leadership.

                                                                  It’s logical. If someone likes you, they want to help you; if you give them a suggestion, they’ll gladly follow through with it.

                                                                  But if someone doesn’t like you, they may either refuse to help or actively get in your way.

                                                                  What’s more, it’s always a good idea to cultivate good relationships. You can never tell who will prove to become someone who’ll be able to help you in a big way, or even be a good and supportive friend.

                                                                  As such, help people and they may help you; and be good to people, and they my be good to you.

                                                                  8. Don’t Be Afraid of Introducing New Ideas

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                                                                    From Mark Twain, Famed Author:

                                                                    “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

                                                                    It is an unfortunate truth that those with the boldest ideas are often disregarded.

                                                                    Most of us are taught from an early age to think and do things similarly to everyone else. This can be great to fill an existing role. But to truly do things differently (and all successful people did things differently), you need to think differently.

                                                                    If you have a new idea, don’t throw it away because it’s new and different; instead, celebrate it. Your strange new idea might one day be the one that leads you to success.

                                                                    9. Believe in Your Capacity to Succeed

                                                                      From Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company:

                                                                      “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

                                                                      Success has to be something you can imagine yourself achieving.

                                                                      It is possible that you will come across those who doubt you and your ability to succeed. You must not become one of these people because the moment you cease believing and dreaming is the moment these dreams fall away.

                                                                      Keep dreaming!

                                                                      10. Always Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude

                                                                        From Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of America:

                                                                        “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

                                                                        Like the above quote says, you need to trust in your ability to succeed. This is the only way to cultivate the right mindset.

                                                                        Replace negative thoughts with the positive ones. You need to approach problems, not as obstacles stopping you, but merely tasks that need to be completed for you to keep going.

                                                                        If you stay positive and think like this, setbacks won’t affect you so much, people’s doubts won’t impact you and even the biggest obstacles will seem like minor problems.

                                                                        However with the wrong mindset of doubt, you’ll be much easier to stop.

                                                                        11. Don’t Let Discouragement Stop You from Pressing On

                                                                          From Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of America:

                                                                          “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”

                                                                          It is an unfortunate fact of human nature — all of us in some way, doubt ourselves. This can be made far worse if others doubt us too.

                                                                          When surrounded by doubts, giving up can actually seem like a good idea.

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                                                                          Don’t pay attention to the doubts. If you are discouraged, ignore it.

                                                                          If this discouragement moves into your mind and you begin to doubt yourself. It is important to ignore this too.

                                                                          This is How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It

                                                                          12. Be Willing to Work Hard

                                                                            From JC Penny, Founder of JC Penney Inc.:

                                                                            “Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.”

                                                                            You might have heard the quote that “success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” or you may have heard about the 10,000 hours idea.

                                                                            Whichever way you frame it, they say one thing:

                                                                            True success comes from work.

                                                                            You’ll never become successful if you don’t work towards your goal in life and keep working towards it.

                                                                            Check out this article and you’ll understand Why Hard Work Beats Talent.

                                                                            13. Be Brave Enough to Follow Your Intuition

                                                                              From Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.:

                                                                              “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

                                                                              In ancient Greece, there was a group of Oracles who lived in Delphi. Everyone who needed advice or to know their future visited them, from the poorest of society to kings. Above the doorway of the temple were the words “know thyself”.

                                                                              If you strongly believe and desire something, chances are that you already have an idea how to get there. If not, you may naturally know what things will help you and what things will slow you down.

                                                                              It’s like how your body can detect danger even when things seem safe.

                                                                              Ultimately then, you need to trust your own instincts.

                                                                              Final Thoughts

                                                                              What you might have noticed is that many of the above lessons are similar — most are about developing the right state of mind. This clearly suggests that the key to achieving success, in whatever you wish, comes down to the way you approach it mentally.

                                                                              Moreover, no matter what stage of life you’re at now, you can still make a difference and pursue success. You can make resetting your life possible when you do this: How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                                                              More to Help You Succeed in Life

                                                                              Featured photo credit: Ryan Wong via unsplash.com

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