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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 December 9, 2019

                                                    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                                                    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                                                    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

                                                    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

                                                    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

                                                    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

                                                    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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                                                    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

                                                    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

                                                    The result: no more mental stress.

                                                    2. Unplug

                                                    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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                                                    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

                                                    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

                                                    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

                                                    3. Easy on the Caffeine

                                                    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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                                                    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

                                                    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

                                                    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

                                                    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

                                                    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
                                                    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
                                                    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

                                                    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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                                                    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

                                                    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

                                                    The result: mental stress will be gone!

                                                    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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