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Required Reading: 8 Books for Winter Break

by December 29, 2016
filed under Entertainment
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After I got my degree this summer, I rediscovered something beautiful – the library: A free, all-you-can-read temple of knowledge, entertainment, and relaxation. Since then, I’ve remembered what it’s like to enjoy reading instead of doing it just to pass a class. If you have the time, I’d highly recommend getting a library card and diving into a new book.

Even though I’m an official college graduate, I remember all too well what it’s like to be too busy during the semester to pick up a book for fun. Here’s a list of books I’ve devoured quickly and adored during breaks from school, as well as a few more that’ll be coming out just in time for the holiday season. Whether you have lots of traveling to do or you don’t have any big plans, this list has something for everyone.

1. Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded – Hannah Hart
If you don’t love Hannah Hart, you probably don’t have a hart. Or you’re lying. The viral YouTuber and creator of the My Drunk Kitchen series has a new book coming out. But this isn’t Hart’s first shot at writing – her debut book, My Drunk Kitchen, was a New York Times bestseller. My Drunk Kitchen was full of recipes and comedic bits, but Buffering is a collection of essays where Hannah gets much more personal – delving into her old journals to tell stories about her life, her coming out process, her family, and more. Buffering was released on October 18, so you can order it online or pick it up at your local bookstore now.

2. Miss Peregrine’s School For Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs
If the cover alone has got you intrigued about this story, chances are you’ll enjoy it. The book centers on Jacob, a teen who tries to reckon with the death of his grandfather by traveling to a small island off the coast of Scotland where his grandfather grew up. As he starts to uncover the mystery behind his grandfather’s true identity, he meets a surprising cast of characters along the way. Old photographs, sorted through by Ransom himself, accompany the entire story.

A fair warning: Once you read this book, you’ll want to pick up its sequel. And the third one as well. You know what? Just get all of them. And then watch the Tim Burton film based on the book. In short, this is the best pick if you’ve got some travel time to kill.

3. Talking As Fast As I Can – Lauren Graham
Gilmore Girls fans who find themselves missing their favorite duo after completing Netflix’s revival of the show, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life on November 25 will want to scoop this book up fast on its November 29 release date.

The book is a collection of essays that describe Lauren’s time in Hollywood as she rose to fame with her roles in Gilmore Girls and Parenthood. The book includes excerpts from a journal she kept while on the set of the Netflix revival and lots of anecdotes of her time in Hollywood.
All in all, this will be the perfect cure to your Gilmore Girls binge-watching hangover.

4. Eleanor and Park – Rainbow Rowell
For fans of realistic love stories with realistic characters, Rainbow Rowell is your kind of author. This book has won several awards and comes highly recommended by celebrated teen writers like John Green.

Eleanor and Park is set in the 1980s and tells the story of an overweight teen girl who falls in love with a Korean guy – because who else is so over teen fiction with characters who aren’t all thin and white?! These outcasts trade mixtapes and comics on the school bus every day as they build a relationship. This is a quick and poignant read that is guaranteed to make you a permanent fan of Rainbow.

5. Packing For Mars – Mary Roach
Science? For fun? During winter break? Yes. I’m completely serious. One of my personal favorite authors, Mary Roach, takes a topic people have questions about, talks to experts and astronauts, and delves into the lesser-known science of space travel. This includes the mechanics of having sex in space and other subjects you won’t find in your everyday science book. A great read for fans of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, you’ll end this book knowing things you never thought you needed to know and quoting space facts to your friends and family.

6. Scrappy Little Nobody – Anna Kendrick
If you need a laugh during the holiday season, actress Anna Kendrick is here to help. If you follow the Pitch Perfect actress on Twitter, then you know she can be quite the comedian, and this talent for humor can evidently reach beyond 140 characters. Her book is full of humorous anecdotes about her experiences coming up in Hollywood. You can pick it up in bookstores starting November 15 or order it online.

7. You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have To Explain – Pheobe Robinson
A book that will make you laugh and make you think, You Can’t Touch My Hair intersects a discussion of race and feminism with a heavy dose of humor. Robinson is a writer on Comedy Central’s Broad City. You may also recognize her name from the podcast she co-hosts with Jessica Williams called 2 Dope Queens. She details her experiences navigating the world as a black woman, from being ‘the black friend’ to being questioned about her music preferences.
This book will make you think about today’s racial culture and laugh along the way.

8. Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor
If you need a book to get lost in during winter break, open this one and forget the world. The first book in a trilogy, where the story centers around Karou, an art student in Prague with blue hair and a supernatural background she can’t remember. Join her on her journey through time and worlds as she seeks to discover whether she’s human or something else entirely. This is a truly unique and imaginative story with themes of reincarnation, romance, and war.

Published in the Winter 2017 issue. Read the whole issue here.

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