The new school year is finally underway, and everyone knows what that means: time for reading, essays, presentations, and exams. Many of us just spent our leisurely summer time getting lost in great books, but often once the stress of class work begins to pile up, reading for enjoyment takes a backseat to other responsibilities. Don’t forget that cracking open a book you actually want to read can be a great way to take a break from your many class assignments. I asked a small group of College Lifestyles interns and other classy co-eds some questions about what they read over the summer, and their answers could serve as a guide of what books to read for fun this semester (or even what books to avoid).
1. What is your favorite book that you’ve read this summer?
“One of my favorite books that I read this summer was “The Hunger Games” (for the second time). The reason I love this book so much is because it is the only book that I wanted to read twice, and would read again. Even though I have read all the books and have watched the movie version of the story, the book captures my attention so much I think about the characters even after I stop reading!” -Rachel Kolod, 20, SUNY Cortland
“I read “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett and loved it! I love the history lessons it serves; it’s got the perfect bit of humor and sadness. I think it should be required reading. I also read the 50 Shades series (by E. L. James) and I loved it too, because it gave me a huge escape from every day life and summer classes.” –Serena O’Neill, 22, University of Oregon
“I read “Perks of Being a Wallflower” this summer and it has quickly become my favorite book of all time. The main character has an extremely intricate personality and really showcases someone who is unique. Even though it is a simple read, I absolutely loved it!” –Rachel Crocetti, 19, Hofstra University
“I read the infamous “50 Shades of Grey” series this summer and was unfortunately unimpressed. Not by the writing, because that spoke for itself, but because of the hype and how much people said it did things it really didn’t do.” –Natalie Weiner, Loyola University Maryland
“My favorite book that I read this summer was “The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection”. I really enjoyed the BBC show so I decided to read the stories, and seeing how creatively the show adapted the stories was incredible.” – Jessica Randall, 21, Northern Virginia Community College
“My favorite book that I read this summer was “The Girl Who Played With Fire” by Stieg Larsson because I couldn’t put it down! I read “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and enjoyed it, but the second book in the trilogy was even better. I liked reading about main character and ass-kicker Lisbeth Salandar’s background, and the mystery element hooked me from the start. This trilogy was also very different from what I normally read.” –Katrina Ballard, 23, graduated from Boston University 2011
2. Did you read a book this summer that you didn’t like?
“I read the first book of “The Hunger Games” series in the spring and I just wasn’t a huge fan (yes, I know, I’m the only person on the planet who doesn’t like “The Hunger Games”). I just thought that it was a really awkward story, trying to find it’s place, but not succeeding. I did like the movie though. I thought that Katniss was a bit more tolerable on film.” –Debra Schreiber, 22, Duquesne University graduated 2012
“I didn’t like “1984″ by George Orwell as much as I had hoped I would. The story seemed to drag and instead of having a great story be a vehicle for his political opinions, Orwell tells an okay story with paragraphs of prose about his beliefs.” – Jessica Randall
“I attempted to read “Lord of the Flies” for the sake of being cultured and just got way too bored.” – Katrina Ballard
3. What is the most challenging book that you’ve ever read that was NOT for school? Was it worth the challenge?
“I read “The Silmarillion” because I am a huge fan of The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings. It was a really tough read, though. I read it for fun. It was worth it.” –Debra Schreiber
“I read ”Xenocide” by Orson Scott Card in 8th grade and after reading it again when I was older, I realized I had missed a lot of the more mature themes and overarching concepts portrayed in the story.” – Jessica Randall
4. If you had to pick ONE favorite book of all time, what would it be and why?
“My favorite book of all time is probably “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. It combines self-discovery and travel, two things that are important especially during your college years.” – Serena O’Neill
“A Child Called ‘It’”, because it was written so well and so emotion-provoking. I read it in a couple of hours, and I am NOT a fast reader.” –Tatiana Flowers-Robinson, 20, Penn State
“My all time favorite book is “Perks of Being a Wallflower”. It’s a perfect book to read at any age. I first read it my sophomore year of high school and I can’t stop re-reading it. It is one of those books that relates to you at any age at any point in your life. I highly recommend it.” –Teresa Conde, 20, Duquesne University
There you have it, classy co-eds: whether you want to return to a book that’s already an old favorite, or finally dive into that series that everyone else has been talking about, don’t forget to take a break from all the textbooks to do some enjoyable and relaxing reading.
What was your favorite piece of summer reading? Tweet it @collegelifestyl