Students recommend their favorite books to read

Julia Lucas, Staff Writer

Now that the second semester is officially underway, our stress levels may be starting to rise, thinking about homework and tests that we will have. Most of us will be required to read some sort of text in our classes, and for many this may be a burden. Reading is an important part of life and can expand our minds, but it is understandable to procrastinate reading when it is pushed by your teachers. As we start a new year, here is a list of six books that are must-reads, as recommended by SMU students.

  1. “Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives” by David Eagleman

This book was suggested by a Saint Martin’s student who wishes to remain anonymous. The student passionately believed that everyone should read the book before they die. The student described the book as, “a collection of short stories that provides different theories about what happens when you die.” So, if you are confused or scared about what happens after you take your last breath, pick this book up to try and find a theory that you may connect with.

  1. “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr

Senior Tess Dixon speaks highly of this novel saying, “it is beautifully written and incredibly moving.” This novel takes place during World War II and features a blind French girl and a German boy who find each other at the height of the war. They are both highly talented and deep characters so be prepared to analyze this book from cover to cover.

  1. “The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold

Junior Sabrina Hicks felt very strongly that this book belonged on any list of necessary reads. This book came out in 2002, with the movie premiering seven years later. Many of you may have already read the book or seen the movie. But if you have yet to read this book, Hicks states, “You have to read it. I promise you will not regret it. This book is extremely thought provoking, so you will not be able to put the book down.” The basis of the novel is that the main character was raped and murdered by a man, and is now watching her family from the afterlife. This book may give you the chills.

  1. “The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now” by Meg Jay, Ph.D.

This is another book suggested by Dixon. She said, “This is a really good book for people in their twenties in today’s world.” Since many SMU students are already in their twenties or will be turning twenty in the near future, make sure you read this book, so you can help yourself before life gets too tough. Many people struggle with who they are and what their life means throughout their lives, especially in their twenties. This book works to combat that negative thinking and push readers to live their best.

  1. “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander

This book is one of the most well written with the most background research I have ever read. This was a required text for Introduction to Criminal Justice taught by Teri Herold-Prayer, and most people in that class will agree when I say it is a necessary read. This book will open your eyes to how criminals today are treated in a similar manner as African Americans were treated during the Jim Crow era.

  1. “Before I Die” by Jenny Downham

Freshman Cori-Ann Morioka-Kam wanted everyone at SMU to at least hear about this book because she connected so well with it. Morioka-Kam provided me with a short summary of the book and wrote, “A teenage girl, named Tessa, has leukemia and she aims to complete her bucket list of things that range from learning to drive a car to falling in love within the three months she has to live.”

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