Books to Binge-Read During Winter Break

Disconnect and unwind from a stressful semester.

By Natalie Wallace, Contributor

This semester was difficult for everyone. Every single person I talked to, at LBSU or not, was able to relate to my stressful ranting about having so much to do in so little time. If you’re like me, you already have a list of what you want to do to recoup from the stressful semester. Why not add a couple of books to that list? Here are some great books to dive into during this much needed break!

1. Love and Other Train Wrecks by Leah Konen

Love and Other Train Wrecks cover
via Katherine Tegen Books

Two college students are trying to get home for winter break. Sounds a bit familiar, right? This young adult novel follows Ammy and Noah, strangers who are thrown together when their trip to New York is interrupted by a snowstorm. The two form an unlikely friendship when they band together to find alternative paths to their destinations. Love & Other Train Wrecks will definitely keep your eyes open on the way home for break!

2. The Shining by Stephen King

The Shining cover
via Hodder & Stoughton

People familiar with the Stanley Kubrick movie may think this is more appropriate for Halloween, but The Shining is a great winter read. The story follows Jack Torrance, a writer who becomes an off-season caretaker for the Overlook Hotel. He spends the brutal winter working on his writing and looking after the empty, secluded hotel with his wife and son. You can’t go wrong with reading this classic!

3. You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

You Are A Badass cover
via Running Press Adult

Self-help books can seem like a waste of time and money because they’re filled with things like “be positive” and “live, laugh, love,” cliches we already know. However, sometimes we need to see it on paper for it to have an effect. As students, it’s easy for us to feel lost in the college experience. We often ask ourselves, who am I? What am I doing? You Are a Badass is filled with Sincero’s personal quotes, advice and funny anecdotes that make you realize you aren’t the only one going through these difficulties.  It serves as a reminder that readers have the power to change circumstances to make life what they want and need it to be.

4. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Between Shades of Grey cover
via Philomel Books

This young adult historical fiction novel takes place in 1941, when Stalin invaded Lithuania and forced many of its people into prison and war camps. It follows the experience of 15-year-old Lina, who uses her artistic abilities to communicate with others and instill hope throughout the camps. The heartbreaking, candid narrative in Between Shades of Gray reveals a chapter of history that is almost unheard of in the U.S. It opens our minds and hearts to those who lived through it and those who did not.

5. Snow Falling on Cedar by David Guterson

Snow Falling on Cedars cover
via Vintage

Although Snow Falling on Cedars doesn’t take place during winter, the eeriness of the suspenseful storyline will make you want to bundle up and stay inside. A murder mystery mixed with a bit of historical fiction, the book follows the murder trial of Japanese American Kabuo Miyamoto, which stirs up the town’s disturbing history. The desperate search for answers and the startling facts that arise during the trial keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.

In between Netflix movie marathons and going out with friends and family, take some time to read! Whether you’re looking for some alone time or not, these books will transport you to another place. For a couple of hours, the busy buzz of the real world will only be background noise.