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10 Books Every Student Should Read: Fiction and Nonfiction

Never underestimate the power of reading. A good book can improve your vocabulary, enhance cognitive skills, and even change your worldview. Reading has a transformative power that helps you grow as a person and become more successful as a student.

Most of us have reading lists of our own, but there are certain books that are universally beneficial for students. The list below contains ten fascinating works of fiction and nonfiction that can teach you valuable lessons and make your college years more fulfilling.


Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks

During your college years, you need to write countless essays and research papers. This makes writing skills crucial for your success as a student. Storyworthy can teach everything about the power of storytelling.

The author suggests the Homework for Life exercise can immensely improve your writing skills. It’s a daily practice that entails writing about the most storyworthy moment of your day. You can also learn to write better with essay writing help online. When you get a professionally crafted draft from the writing service, you can submit it to get good grades and use it as a sample for your future papers. This way, you kill two birds with one stone.

Atomic Habits by James Clear

The way students manage their tasks and perform academically largely depends on their habits. Our routines and daily practices determine our behavior and responses to various situations, contributing to our progress or, on the contrary, inhibiting it.

James Clear’s book explains how we form habits and how they influence our life. Consider reading it if you want to build healthy habits that will support you on your way to achieving goals.

How to Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens

The book gives tips on how to remember more of what you read. The Zettelkasten (Slip Box) method makes note-taking more efficient. Its main goal is to inspire you to develop and reflect on ideas instead of simply restating them.

This book is a go-to resource for students who want to enhance their learning and writing strategies. Essay writing service authors point out that taking comprehensive notes is critical for quality writing. When you can catch the main idea of a book, lecture, or article and summarise it in your own words, it becomes easier to process information and show your competence when writing a paper.

How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen, James Allworth, & Karen Dillon

How Will You Measure Your Life is a must-read book for anyone who is trying to find their purpose in life. It offers a fresh perspective on our understanding of professional and personal success.

The authors challenge you to reevaluate your goals and life choices. They draw examples from the business world that apply to personal matters. The book makes you appreciate your relationships with friends and family as a major source of inspiration. You also learn how to set meaningful goals and determine priorities in life.

Happy by Derren Brown

Every person wants to be happy, but we often forget to define what happiness actually means for us. A famous illusionist and magician, Derren Brown, takes on a new role and shares his insights on the notion of happiness.

The author challenges the common understanding of happiness and urges people to remind themselves that “more or less everything is absolutely fine.” Trying to explain the hardly tangible concept of happiness, he touches upon the topics of goal setting, commitment, control, love, attachment, and friendship.


The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Skeeter, a recent college graduate and aspiring writer, is dismayed by racist initiatives and wants to show what it’s like to be a black woman working in a white household. The story takes place in Jackson, Mississippi, in the 1960s. The Help is a novel about fighting against social injustices and doing what you believe in, even if it involves breaking long-standing opinions.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Published in 1932, the novel Brave New World doesn’t lose its relevance today. It depicts a dystopian society devoid of love, genuine emotions, and human relationships. People are subject to psychological manipulation so that they can no longer ask questions or challenge the state of things in a World State.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Alice Walker was the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1983. Her epistolary novel The Color Purple is often listed as one of the most influential works of literature of all time. It revolves around the life of Celie and her spiritual journey. She is forced to endure many hardships on her way to experiencing true love and accepting herself.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

This is a feel-good story about the March family. It follows the dreams, experiences, and moral development of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. The novel explores family relations, genuine love, and marriage. What is uncommon for 19-century literature, Alcott gives a central place to the themes of independence and women’s rights. She creates strong and well-educated female characters who are seeking constant self-improvement.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Lord of the Flies is a debut novel of Nobel Prize Winner William Golding. The events take place during the unspecified period of war when British schoolboys find themselves on a deserted island after the air crash. They try to develop their own social norms and rules to survive, which is an allegory about human nature and political systems. This way, Lord of the Flies explores the major conflicts: civilization vs. savagery, individualism vs. community, and man vs. nature.

The Bottom Line

These ten books by no means make an exhaustive reading list for students. But each of them is a source of information and experiences that expands your way of thinking and inspires your growth. Happy reading, everybody!

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