Books to read this spring

A list of books you should give a read after classes end

Image by: Maia McCann
Put down your notes and crack a book.

The winter semester is almost over, which means it’s just about time to start stashing away your textbooks in favour of books to read for your own enjoyment. While I’d always recommend re-reading Harry Potter one more time, I’ve put together a list of some of my favourite books to get you through the summer.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman

No character captures loneliness quite like Eleanor Oliphant. The novel follows Eleanor Oliphant, who is struggling with alcoholism and the lasting impacts of childhood trauma, as she learns to open up to people in her life—particularly a special IT guy at work named Raymond.

One day, after work, Eleanor and Raymond save an elderly man named Sammy who has fallen. Through this fluke accident, Eleanor develops friendships with Raymond and Sammy, and their genuine care for each other helps Eleanor find healing and connection. While deeply heartbreaking, this book is simultaneously full of hope and resilience.

The Body Book, by Cameron Diaz

Forget all the dieting books and radical lifestyle changes that are supposed to revolutionize your health—The Body Book is a simple guide to healthy food, exercise, and accepting your body.

One of my best friends recommended this book to me when I was going through what, in hindsight, may have been an eating disorder, and it helped me change my health behaviours for the better. For me, I think disordered eating and excessive exercise came from a place of trying to be healthy and not knowing how. This book taught me how to take care of my body in a healthy way, and I will forever be grateful for it.

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, by Balli Kaur Jaswal

This book is provocative without being raunchy and progressive without being disrespectful.

The story follows a young woman, Nikki, who is trying to build her life in the Western world while maintaining ties with the Sikh community of her childhood. To make some extra money, Nikki gets a job teaching English literacy classes to Punjabi widows. The widows, however, quickly become bored of learning English letters and simple spelling and start telling erotic stories instead.

The classes give these elderly women, many of whom never had agency in their marriages, a place to build connection and a community where they can set aside cultural taboos and be unconditionally accepted. While heartwarming and empowering, Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows also addresses many issues that arise from traditions rooted in honour and patriarchal values, and the realities these women face having their culture embedded within Western society.

Educated, by Tara Westover

I have a newfound appreciation for my education after reading this book.

Educated is a memoir by Tara Westover, a woman who was raised Mormon by a family who was afraid of the government. This apprehension meant she and her siblings were not allowed to attend public school.

Despite having no childhood education, she is accepted into a university program where she slowly uncovers how the world works outside of her father’s world of paranoia and conspiracy. Her curiosity for figuring out life outside her upbringing motivates her to pursue education and earn a PhD. Westover uses her education as an opportunity to find herself and cultivate an unquenchable thirst for learning—I haven’t had the same outlook on school since reading it.

The Total Money Makeover, by Dave Ramsay

Not in commerce? Not a problem. Consider this the beginner’s guide on how to not be stupid with money.

The Total Money Makeover teaches the basics of budgeting, investing, mortgages, and how to buy a car without paying buckets of money in interest. The books contain great financial advice that’s practical for students and young adults.

One caveat about this book is that Dave Ramsay hates credit cards; I would suggest waiting a week after you finish the book and getting a second opinion before making any drastic credit card-related decisions.

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

Gillian Flynn is the master of psychological thriller books. Gone Girl is far-fetched and crazy, but just relatable enough that it will turn your blood to ice.

While following the disappearance of Amy Dunne, Gone Girl offers a thoughtful perspective on relationship dynamics, infidelity, and how unrealistic expectations can have devastating consequences on people’s livelihood. It’ll keep you on the edge of your seat and have you thinking critically at the same time.



books, Spring

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