In college, pleasure reading is a rare luxury. Due to massive amounts of homework, extracurricular activities and their social lives, many undergraduates just don’t have time for it. However, this week I was able to find a few students who did, and their selections were surprisingly diverse.
Gabriella George, an 8th semester history and anthropology double major just finished “The Bread Givers” by Anzia Yezierski, a 1925 novel about a young girl growing up in an immigrant Jewish household in the New York City’s Lower East Side.
“It’s the second time I’ve read it and it is my favorite book of all time. It’s the book that got me interested in feminism and women’s rights,” George said.
Second semester journalism major Camilla Vallejo recently finished “100 Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez; which details the lives of members of the Buendía family, whose patriarch, José Arcadio Buendía, founds the town of Macondo—symbolic of the country of Colombia.
According to Vallejo, “It was kind of strange but I liked it for the most part.”
Jessica Kirchner, a 4th semester political science and economics double major, read “Go Set a Watchman” by Harper Lee over spring break.
“I thought it was interesting to start—I loved ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and in the beginning, the style of the sequel is in the same beautiful writing,” Kirchner said. “One of the most disconcerting aspects of the book was the arguments Lee seems to make through her characters, particularly Alexandra and Atticus. It gets out of touch at the end but for the most part, it’s an interesting commentary on race, especially in light of current events.
Fourth semester urban and community studies major Kevin Fitzgerald also read for fun over spring break. He started rereading “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
“I always love it. It’s so detailed that little pieces stand out to me every time. It’s just one of those celebrated books that everyone loves, but is still so well-written that it’s unappreciated,” Fitzgerald said.
As for me, I finished “The Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan over spring break and just started “100 Years of the Best American Short Stories,” edited by Lorrie Moore and Heidi Pitlor, a collection of the best short stories from 1915-2015. This is the perfect book to read while at school because I can choose a quick new story to read whenever I find time in my schedule.
Many people don’t fully appreciate the joys of curling up with a good book until they no longer have the time to do so. With the end of the semester quickly approaching, hopefully we’ll all have time to read as much as we want over the summer.
Helen Stec is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.