Books for the Beach: Reading Suggestions for Spring Break

By Jordan Scrimger, photos from Google Books

No matter if you’re looking to learn something new, lose yourself in a fantastic world or laugh a little, here are (in no particular order) nine diverse books that are perfect for you to sink your teeth into over spring break:

“Chronicle of a Death Foretold” (1981) by Gabriel García Márquez

“Chronicle of a Death Foretold” is a mysterious tale of murder in Colombia that asks the questions: what exactly happened to Santiago Nasar and why did nobody stop it? Shorter than some of his better-known works, this novella still showcases Gabriel García Márquez’s signature use of magic realism, and it will keep you wondering until the end.

“If You Come Softly” (1998) by Jacqueline Woodson

“If You Come Softly” is a tender love story between two high schoolers, Jeremiah and Ellie. Woodson weaves a romance complicated from the very beginning. While their love burns bright, it burns fast. As racism and familial strife threaten to destroy everything, themes resonate outside of merely fiction.

“Homegoing” (2016) by Yaa Gyasi

“Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi spans the course of several decades, introducing us to Maame and her two daughters whose descendants’ lives diverge and intertwine in many unpredictable ways all the way from what is present-day Ghana to Harlem at its prime. The legacy of this one family shows how the course of history irrevocably shaped the two continents they call home and how we must know the past in order to understand the present.

“The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***” (2016) by Mark Manson

“The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***” is a lighthearted and unconventional book for the genre of self-help. Through his blunt and authentic voice, Mark Manson provides a meaningful lens from which to see life’s struggles and challenges, providing advice all college students should hear.

“More Than This” (2013) by Patrick Ness

“More Than This” is a novel that grapples with lots of big ideas. While many books conclude with the death of a main character, that is where this one begins. Seth has to discover what happens when he finally goes… beyond, after waking up in a dystopian and scientifically-advanced world. This book will make you think about everything from the meaning of life to simple friendship.

“Six of Crows” (2015) by Leigh Bardugo

“Six of Crows” is the perfect book for anyone who loved the Harry Potter books. This is the first book in a spin-off duo-logy by Leigh Bardugo, known for the Grisha trilogy, but it is not necessary to read any of the other books to enjoy this one. It is a fun, fast-paced adventure story with fantastically interesting characters.

“Born a Crime” (2016) by Trevor Noah

“Born a Crime” is the incredibly funny and thought-provoking memoir written by loveable comedian and “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah. Throughout this book Noah details his childhood in South Africa under apartheid where his existence, son to a white father and Black mother, has to be kept a secret. Even if you have never heard of Noah, this book is a testament to the power of comedy and its ability to explore deep, social issues.

“Persepolis” (2000) by Marjane Satrapi

“Persepolis” is a refreshing departure from the typical autobiography style. Set in Iran during the Islamic Revolution, Marjane Satrapi reveals herself as a precocious young girl trying to sort through the various changes in her personal life and the socio-political climate around her. Not only will this book teach you something, it will also entertain through her use of black-and-white comic strips rather than blocks of text.

Whether you are heading to a tropical destination or just staying home this break, make sure to pick up one of these books from your local library and transport yourself to a novel  destination.