5 Recommended Reads

Charlize Bennett

It might be time for you to crack open those dust collecting books from your shelf. Here are a few books that could be healthy for you, or let you open up to a new perspective. 

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

This book goes into depth about what it really means to be happy. It does not come within buying expensive things, having enough money, or even being well known within a community. It teaches the importance of finding the happiness that comes aside from luxuries. Sure, it is a great feeling when you can afford the newest shoe, or be able to invite multiple people to a party but that does not mean you are happy. It engages the fact proven statement that happiness leads to your success. “Being unhappy is quite possibly one of the most damaging (non physical) situations for your health.” Shawn gives a variety of proven daily habits and research that can help individuals discover their happiness. 

The book’s ratings are above 4 out of 5 in many popular sources: 4.2/5 from Goodreads, 4.1/5 from Barnes and Nobles, and 4.6/5 from Audible.com. “When it comes to the pursuit of success and happiness, most people assume the same formula: if you work hard, you will become successful, and once you become successful, then you’ll be happy. The only problem is that a decade of cutting-edge research in the field of positive psychology has proven that this formula is backwards”

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Often students will have to read this in their school days, but if you do not, it is a highly recommended novel. This book, published in 1960, won the Pulitzer Prize the first year it was out, selling thirty million copies. It goes into depth about racism and prejudice in American South in the eyes of a child. The setting is during the time period of the Great Depression, where the main character, Jean Louise, who grows up throughout the course of the book from ages six to nine. The title of the book itself comes from her fathers saying, “a sin to kill a mockingbird.” It brings together a mix of coming of age, and the ways communities used to operate when times were under discrimination. 

This book is very fascinating in its own ways, but is a good read because it goes further than the main character’s perspective. It secretly teaches the importance of innocence and patience when it comes to unjust conditions. Nowadays, especially, it is important to recognize the downfalls of the past that built a foundation for communities. Sure there are still many racist individuals, but as a society, we became much more accepting than before. This book explains the opposite of that, all through important characters that lead the book with strong passion. 

The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell

In this debut, Gladwell identifies three tipping points: “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.” It goes into perspective about how sociological changes impact everyday life. According to Malcom Gladwell, “The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts.” The content within his book identifies the impacts of social life throughout the sales world, the crime world, etc. It identifies what throughout the day remains with us, and what does not, along with what reason they would be. 

The Guardian ranked his book number ninety-four on the top hundred best books of the 21st century. This informational book is an intriguing read due to all the information and perspective it provides to its readers. 

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

This play, written in 1599, goes to tragedy about the Prince of Denmark, Hamlet. Hamlet mourns over his dead father that supposedly tells him he was killed by Uncle Claudius, who is now married to his mother. Hamlet adapts a melancholic and mad behavior towards the court and his Uncle ready to battle for his father. Understanding Hamlet’s action, it is clear to Claudius that he needs to get rid of Hamlet. 

This book is a fascinating read coming from imagination and experience. Shakespeare, per usual, creates a mischievous setting. For readers in our current generation, it is good for you to read something aside from our current state. Branching to an older play or novel channels different stories we can now analyze unlike books nowadays that talk about things we are already familiar with. 

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

A million copies are still being sold per year, this book published in 1951 deals with a sixteen year old in the face of identity, connection, loss, and depression. Holden Caulfield, the main character, is faced with the challenge that he is nowhere good enough for the phoniness of adulthood. He does not do good in school, nor in life for that matter. Oftentimes finding himself in grieve and depression, Holden continues his perspective and attitude throughout the whole book, leaving out maturity and coming of age. 

“Nash K. Burger called it “an unusually brilliant novel’,”. The Catcher in the Rye provides an understanding of the world through a different perspective, allowing its readers to comprehend and dissect their own lives. It does not meet the expectations of a great ending, allowing for readers to think critically about the book itself. This sparks imagination and consideration, which is very healthy for your brain.