Below are 10 highly recommended books that are bound to let your mind drift off.
J.D. Salinger’s classic contains all of the essential literary elements like irony and symbolism. Known for its appeal to teachers as a classroom assignment, this story has values that hold true in and out of the classroom. “I found it refreshing to read a story where it’s okay to not know what you’re doing with your life and to question everything because a lot of us think we’re alone in that feeling when in reality we aren’t,” George Washington University junior Josephine Teat said. If you somehow managed to get through high school without cracking this book, if not now, when?
Jane Austen’s essential classic allows readers to fall into the English countryside in the 1800s. This novel’s plot follows a dramatic and emotional love story between a shy young woman and a Byronic hero. Throughout the course of the novel, both characters step out of their comfort zones to overcome fears that divide them. This story can teach readers more about love than anything else can.
This novel follows two teenagers who badly want to escape their small town. Both hold emotional burdens from their past but come together to highlight some essential mental health themes that many young people would benefit from reading. “All the Bright Places is a really well-written book and is a really good representation of mental health issues,” George Washington University sophomore Sally Fried said. “I would recommend it because it is enjoyable to read the love story but also touches on really important topics.” This book will undoubtedly open readers’ eyes to the perspectives of others, which is especially important during a time when the entire world is experiencing something new and scary like the coronavirus.
Andre Aciman’s 2019 sequel to the bestselling novel Call My By Your Name takes place in the future. Aciman breaks his sequel into four parts: “Tempo,” “Cadenza,” “Capriccio and Da Capo,” each intertwined with the rest and chronicling the lives of characters from his previous novel. Aciman vividly paints the culture and language in his story to leave the reader wishing he or she could jet off to Europe to find love.
While not a story rich with culture or possessing a dramatic storyline, this book serves as a day-to-day guide that stresses the importance of living in the moment, as described in several spiritual traditions. “It’s a wellness book that teaches you how to train your mind. We could all use a little more of that right now,” George Washington University junior Kaitlin Azevedo said. For those readers looking to better their spiritual side during their quarantine, look no further.
Rainbow Rowell’s novel will elicit tears, but also allows readers to follow a young love story. “In my opinion, Eleanor & Park is the most realistic depiction of teenage romance I’ve ever read,” Arizona State University sophomore Olivia Munson said. “There’s no fluff about it. It captures the raw emotions of first love and does so in such a tragically beautiful way. I’ve read the book multiple times and no matter what, I always cry.” Whether you want to relive your first love or forget about life within four walls, this book serves both purposes.
Winner of several literary prizes like the 2005 Booker Prize, this dystopian science fiction novel. “It seems like a group of kids are living an idyllic life at a boarding school until the horrific truth comes out about why they are in there to begin with,” Villanova University sophomore Meaghan Imossi said. This complex and disturbing story is a page-turner; it is both a mix teen literature and dystopian fiction.
Tamara Ireland Stone’s adaptation of a true story chronicling (and slightly dramatizing) the experiences of a teenage girl with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder depicts the condition in a relatable way. The story contains elements such as friendship circles, competitiveness, first love and fitting in, all while giving the reader an intimate peak into the mind of the protagonist.
Again, if not now, when? When better to dive into a fantasy series than when you are stuck at home? These five books require a hefty block of time to finish. Luckily, all we have now is time. “It sucks you away into a whole world that you can spend years exploring,” George Washington University sophomore Ben Freedman said. This storyline allows readers to escape their everyday lives like no other series, allowing readers to fall into a world of royalty, fantasy and love. Bonus: Once you finish the books, you can binge the TV show.
For those readers craving a good laugh during these dark times, this novel may be the perfect fit. “I usually don’t like humorous books because it takes a lot to make me laugh, but this one was an exception,” Imossi said. “It was witty and funny, and I could relate to the main character. It also has romantic elements which was charming.” Self-deprecating, charming and slightly sexy, this storyline of two coworkers trapped in an office together has an element for everyone.