Everyone has a busy schedule in college, with classes, activities, sports and electives taking the vast majority of our time. Sometimes, though, you just need to take a break from all the hubbub and read something for fun. But what should you read?

We asked students from nine different majors what they would suggest, and here’s what they said.

An engineering major suggests:

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Genre: Adventure, Revenge

Before he can marry his fiancée, Frenchman Edmond Dantes is falsely accused of treason and imprisoned without trial. However, he escapes and returns to France as the powerful Count of Monte Cristo to exact revenge on those who tried to destroy him. While a little slow-paced at times, this book is very intense. It also presents some interesting perspectives into certain philosophical ideas that are very thought-provoking.


An exercise science major suggests:

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Genre: Historical Fiction

Salt to the Sea is a historical fiction book that’s set during World War II. It follows the perspectives of four characters as they make their way to the ill-fated Wilhelm Gustav, the sinking of which is one of the greatest tragedies in maritime history. It’s very interesting to see the perspectives of people from different regions of Europe during that time.


An elementary education major suggests:

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Genre: Fantasy

This is a gritty, twisted Robin Hood-esque novel about thieves living in a fantastical Venice. It follows the story of Locke Lamora, an orphan who becomes one of the city’s most skilled and infamous con men. It's a fun story that slowly turns into something quite crooked and dark, and makes you think about morality and who the “good guys” really are.


A psychology major suggests:

Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis

Genre: Science Fiction

A linguist accidentally goes to Mars, where he discovers multiple alien races who behave more purely than fallen man. This book is beautifully written and takes advantage of sci-fi’s ability to address philosophical topics. It’s also a quick read (around 160 pages), making it ideal for people with a busy schedule.



An illustration major suggests:

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

Genre: Fantasy

In a war-torn world where 10 armies fight separately against a single foe, Kaladin struggles to save his men and to understand the leaders who think them expendable. This book deals with topics such as justice, coming to terms with the broken past, and finding ways to change the present. The fantastic worldbuilding and great writing make the book fly by, even though it's over 1,000 pages long. The series also doesn't shy away from deeper themes, like God, death, morality and suffering.

An English major suggests:

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson

Genre: Fantasy

In the little town of Glipwood, situated on the cliffs next to the Dark Sea of Darkness, lives the Igiby Family. This book follows their adventures as they navigate life in the years following the Great War against Gnag the Nameless, evade the Fangs of Dang, and keep on the lookout for the fearsome Toothy Cows of Scree. This book takes the worldbuilding and plot development expertise of the Lord of the Rings, but makes it both comedic and heartfelt, and presents it in an easier, faster read. Andrew Peterson is incredibly creative and impossibly funny, and pours all of that magic into this book and the rest of the series.

A music major suggests

Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Genre: Historical Fiction, Modern Fairy Tale

Echo follows the stories of three separate children, living in different corners of the world during the Great Depression and WWII, and how each of their lives are affected by a single harmonica. This novel beautifully crafts family, hardship, historical events, and the magic of music into a single tale.



A biology major suggests:

Brain on Fire by Susannah Callahan

Genre: Memoir

Brain on Fire is Susannah Callahan’s recounting of her strange and scary downward spiral into psychosis (and eventually catatonia and seizures), and how no one can figure out what is wrong with her for a long time. This memoir grapples with the fine line between psychology and neurology and what would happen if that line was dissolved.


A cognitive neuroscience major suggests:

The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

Genre: Nonfiction

The Anthropocene Reviewed is a collection of 45 essays by John Green, each one focused on a different facet of life for contemporary humanity. These topics range from sunsets to the ancient Lascaux cave paintings to the board game Monopoly. John Green seamlessly blends humor, personal stories, and interesting facts to express both deep pain and radical hope for life as humans.


Share this post: