UT students share their favorite book recommendations for National Book Month

Sofia Treviño, Life and Arts Senior Reporter

Editor’s Note: This first appeared in the October 11 flipbook. 

Celebrated every October, National Book Month allows people to dive into stories and grow their passion for reading. To help those with empty To-Read lists, three students share books that got them back into reading after a slump.  

 “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

Having lost motivation to read after starting college, psychology sophomore Trisha Lobo said “Where the Crawdads Sing” launched her back into a reading routine. The novel follows Kya Clark, the prime suspect in a North Carolina murder. Lobo said she admired Kya’s resilience whe facing hateful comments from people in her town.

“As a psych major, I tend to flow through life thinking I can judge people quite well,” Lobo said. “This book really told me, ‘Now, don’t get too narcissistic, you cannot read people superficially.’ It opened my mind to broader personality traits.”

Growing up reading and diving back into her books after a slump, Lobo said she appreciates all that books do for her, such as learning from characters and themes.

“Reading exposes you to so many different perspectives and teaches you more about yourself,” Lobo  said. “The books we read live within us and shape how we interact with the world.” 

“A Court of Thorns and Roses”series by Sarah J. Maas

After too many predictable storylines turned her away from reading, corporate communications

junior Aysia Touchett found the “A Court of Thorns and Roses” series. A darker retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Sarah J. Maas’ series revolves around huntress Feyre Archeron after her imprisonment in the fairy kingdom, Prythian.

“I could not put them down,” Touchett said. “Going to college, I related to (Feyre) being transported to a completely different place (and) dealing with new people, surroundings and situations.”

As time passes in Prythian, Feyre finds unexpected friendships and romance in her fairy captors. 

“The series taught me that finding parts of people that they don’t show everyone is a lot easier than people think it is if you sit down and talk to (them),” Touchett said. “By learning how to communicate with each other, you can better understand the person.”

“The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde

English sophomore Jacqueline Brown called “The Picture of Dorian Gray” her all-time favorite book, and even though she’s read it five times so far, she never tires of the plot. Describing the book as “the epitome of loss of self,”  Brown said Oscar Wilde’s novel reveals Dorian’s negative consequences from not owning up to his malicious acts. Each sin misfigures his hidden painting, from a younger, beautiful version of himself to a misshapen and ugly figure, representative of his soul.

“If there was a visible way to see who we are on the inside, I’d want my painting to represent how I feel about myself,” Brown said. “(Dorian) taught me to be more aware of how I treat others, to romanticize parts of my life and not take things for granted.”

Brown said every book serves as an escape from reality and takes her on a journey. She said she loves recommending books to friends and views books as the healthiest form of self-care.

“The words that someone puts onto a page can have a huge effect on other people,” Brown said. “Some people fly through books and some people go slow, but there’s a book out there for everyone that can take them for a ride. Reading is for everyone if you give it a chance.”