Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Fiction books for busy college students

Maya Kiselstein

Research suggests that reading books can reduce feelings of stress, keep the brain sharper and improve the quality of sleep when done right before bed, but many college students find it hard to work reading into a busy schedule that already includes many readings for classes. Students may face challenges working long, dense novels into a daily routine, so The Daily Texan compiled a list of absorbing and entertaining reads for those looking to fit recreational reading into a busy schedule.   


“The Office of Historical Corrections” by Danielle Evans

A collection of several short stories and a novella, “The Office of Historical Corrections” proves easy to fit into a busy day. The book examines race in America, seamlessly pulling history into the present through intensely compelling characters and relationships. Each perfect story will seem just not long enough, leaving readers wanting more.


“Carrie Soto is Back” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This most recent book from “Daisy Jones & the Six” author Taylor Jenkins Reid follows a retired tennis player determined to come back for just one season and take back her record for most Grand Slam titles won by any player. A blend of breezy beach read and unforgettable drama, “Carrie Soto” stands as a fun and rewarding read.


“Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty

“Big Little Lies” pulls the reader into its twisted narrative immediately, demanding time out of one’s day to figure out which character committed a scandalous murder and which character ended up the victim. Equal parts hilarious and devastating, “Big Little Lies” proves far more than a simple murder mystery.


“Anxious People” by Fredrik Backman

Funny and heartfelt, “Anxious People” begins in the aftermath of a failed bank robber turned hostage situation where not a single character seems able to recount to the police exactly what happened. Backman’s cast of eccentric characters, drawn together by chance at an apartment viewing, creates a laugh-out-loud story that keeps readers guessing.


“Red at the Bone” by Jacqueline Woodson

“Red at the Bone,” a short but powerful read, starts with 16-year-old Melody’s coming-of-age ceremony before moving forward and backward in time to unpack the history of her family. As the novel goes on, the characters explore the ambitions, relationships, successes and losses that shaped each of their lives. In around 200 pages, “Red at the Bone” forges a strong connection between the reader and the multitude of complex characters that make up this insightful story.


“Disorientation” by Elaine Hsieh Chou

This outrageous satire follows Ph.D. student Ingrid Yang, who, in the process of desperately working on her dissertation, stumbles into an explosive discovery that will upend everything she knows in her life. Every turn takes the reader by surprise, creating a story of privilege and power both outlandish and all too recognizable.

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