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Create Your College Leisure Reading List: The 10 Best Books for College Students

best books for college students

College is just around the corner and you don’t want to be left behind. It’s time to seize the day as a whole new world opens up to you. Books are an inexhaustible wealth of knowledge that crystallizes the wisdom of our most brilliant peers. The best books for college students are an opportunity to better ourselves.

Even science says it, reading books is good for your brain. It can help you develop the ability to adopt different viewpoints, which increases your intelligence.

Not only that but having good reading skills is good for your career. Reading will make you better at spelling and grammar as well as expressing yourself.

Partying’s nice, but it won’t make you smarter. This article, however, will help you by giving you a reading list of the best books for college students.

Read on!

1. The Great Gatsby

It’s a classic for a reason.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece captures the Jazz Age of 1920s American society. Its pleasure-seeking mosaic of characters represents the feeling of existential despair and directionlessness that pervaded this era.

The book finds its roots in Fitzgerald’s own experiences. Several of the novel’s characters were inspired by people he knew, such as his ex-girlfriend.

It teaches us a melancholic lesson about letting go of the past. It also draws the complex picture of an American society that forgot its values as it gets carried away by its own prosperity.

2. Dune

Dune is considered by most to be the greatest science-fiction novel of all time.

Frank Herbert weaves an elaborate plot with timeless themes. Not to mention that the book’s display of environmental concerns was way ahead of its time.

This sci-fi classic will keep you hooked with its multiple layers of meaning, mythology, Machiavellian themes, philosophy, religion, imperialism, politics, and environmentalism.

Thrilling all the way, the book also benefits from incredible worldbuilding and mind-bending psychology.

3. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull

Richard Bach’s book tells a story of unique ambitions and exploration. It’s the ideal reading for those who are curious about life and why they are here on this planet.

Jonathan Livingstone Seagull is the tale of a seagull that goes by the name of, you guessed it, Jonathan. The thing is, he doesn’t identify with other seagulls and can’t satisfy himself with measly crumbs of leftover food.

Instead, he seeks to investigate the world by flying off to remote continents. By discovering new lands, he’s also on a soul-searching journey that leads him to himself.

4. Freedom

Jonathan Franzen’s book has been described as a “masterpiece of American fiction” by the New-York Times.

It’ll stun you with its gallery of true to life characters. Every character is fleshed out and multi-dimensional, giving many facets to the story. It’ll make you laugh, cry, think and keep you hooked.

The book is full of humor but doesn’t shy away from the tragedies of human life. What’s more, it features current events. Coupled with its realism, Freedom is an absolutely compelling read.

5. 1984

“Big Brother is watching you”.

Sadly, George Orwell’s dystopian novel is as relevant as ever in today’s world.

Released in 1949, the book presented a hellish vision of what society could become. A totalitarian world that sought to stifle individuality and control the minds of its citizens.

This novel is amazing in how it manages to still be pertinent in our contemporary culture. Screens are omnipresent and language is distorted.

1984 is an essential read for any college student.

6. One Hundred Years of Solitude

Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel is so ground-breaking that it invented an entire genre, known as “magical realism.”

This landmark book is the story of the Buendia family across generations. They are conflicted characters, torn between craving solitude and needing love.

Written with elaborate prose, it’s both compelling and mystical. This unique literary experience shows Garcia’s brilliant mind and complete mastery of his craft.

7. Lolita

Nabokov’s contentious masterpiece still causes eyebrows to frown today. For that alone, it’s worth a read.

This novel is an unforgettable classic that deals with fascination and infatuation. It manages to be heart-breaking while being hilarious. And it does it in style, as Nabokov’s masterful writing is on display.

Humbert Humbert, a scholar with a romantic inclination, has fallen head over heels in love with his landlady’s twelve-year-old daughter. He goes so far as agreeing to marry the landlady in question just so he can be close to Lolita.

The power of this book is that it’ll make even its controversial main character human.

8. Lord of the Flies

William Golding’s novel tells a great story that deals with the darkness that lurks in man’s soul and the end of innocence.

A group of young boys ends up on a deserted island following a plane crash. Naturally, they start by celebrating their new-found freedom.

But as they try to create their own society, the hidden facets of human nature emerge. Their initial hopes are crushed as terror begins its rule.

This tale can be interpreted in many ways. A parable or political commentary, a myth or a parody, the fun is in making up your own mind about it.

9. to Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee’s seminal book is universally acclaimed as a masterpiece of American literature.

What she considered to be a mere love story has touched the hearts of millions of people worldwide.

This essential work tells us about being a child in a Southern town. It’s the story of the moral crisis that shook this town.

Full of dramatic tension, this novel will also move you deeply. It will take you deep into the human psyche to take you through a wide range of emotions.

10. Crime and Punishment

Dostoyevsky’s novel is a classic of Russian literature that will appeal to anyone who loves reading.

It’s the story of Raskolnikov, who finds himself in a desperate situation. As he roams aimlessly in St Petersburg, he ends up killing a random person. However, he feels no remorse at all.

In fact, he thinks himself a great man. But as he pursues his journey, his conscience grows and comes back to bite him.

The most fascinating about this story is Dostoyevsky’s brilliant insights into human nature.

The Best Books for College Students Await You

It’s hard to pick only 10, but this list contains some of the best books for college students. These classics of literature have had a tremendous influence in shaping today’s culture.

They’re all available here at the best price. Our blog is also full of amazing tips for college students, so check it out!

About the Author

Christopher Manns

I was born in the UK, grew up in Canada and have lived in the USA since the 90s. I love my family, water sports, ice hockey, skiing and soccer. When I'm not helping people save money on textbooks, I'm travelling with my wonderful family and playing sports.