Warm Up with Winter Reads and Student Caffé’s Book Club

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Winter is coming, as they say in Game of Thrones. Actually, depending on where you live, winter is already here. At Student Caffé, we’ve been a little bit on the chilly side for weeks now, and I’m talking fuzzy socks and oversized jackets chilly. Now that winter break is officially here, we thought we’d offer up our favorite winter reads so you have some suggestions with which to fill all your free time (besides college applications, family obligations, and jobs, that is). Time to grab a hot chocolate, snuggle up with the family pet, and pick a book!

  • So Sad Today by Melissa Broder: This book of personal essays confronts anxiety, addiction, and depression head first. In fact, you might recognize the book’s title from the popular Twitter account by @sosadtoday, which the author also runs. Her work is at times hilarious and at times heartbreaking, which means that it’s relatable. -- Gwen
  • A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr: This nonfiction book reveals a lot about the court system in America as it examines a case of water contamination in Woburn, Massachusetts. Evidence showed that the contamination of the water by several companies in the area caused a rise in the incidence of leukemia, particularly in children. The contamination, then, was caused when the companies dumped various carcinogenic substances that then made their way into the local water supply. I originally read this book for a hydromorphology class when I was in college, but I’d recommend it to anyone interested learning more about water resources, environmental law, and litigation as a whole. -- Megan C.
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson: If you’re looking for something a little bit fluffy and a little bit fun, with a few historical references thrown in, this is the book for you. It tells the story of Allan, who (surprise!) is the 100-year-old man. He decides that he doesn’t want to end his life in a nursing home and (surprise again) climbs out of the window and disappears. From there, the story only gets more interesting. -- Megan C.
  • Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson: Rosemary Kennedy was the oldest daughter born to Rose and Joseph Kennedy, but compared to her famous siblings, little was know about her life. After a thorough study of diary entries, letters, and private interviews, Kate Clifford Larson wrote this book to unveil her story: a heartbreaking narrative of a beautiful, curious girl hidden from the public eye due to her intellectual disabilities. If you want to understand the multifaceted motivations of the Kennedy family and the tragedies they left in their wake, this is the book for you. - Megan R.
  • Eileen by Otessa Moshfegh: When this award-winning novel opens, Eileen is a 24-year-old secretary at a juvenile detention center. She lacks self-confidence, staying home at night with her alcoholic father. Things change, however, when the detention center hires a new counselor, the beautiful and intelligent Rebecca. The two form a bond, but soon Rebecca drags Eileen into a situation she can’t ignore. The prose is lyrical; the characters are textured; and the ending is truly shocking. -- Gwen
  • Blankets by Craig Thompson: This beautifully illustrated graphic novel tells the author’s personal story of coming of age during a snowy Wisconsin winter. At times painfully honest, Blankets reveals the deep contemplations Thompson experienced while falling in love for the first time. The book explores issues of religion, family dynamics, and trauma through the eyes of a teenager. Be prepared for self-reflection; Blankets is sure to remind you of your first love and the struggles you experienced while developing your adult identity. - Megan R.

If you ever need an excuse to stay inside, warm, cozy, and full of hot chocolate, “I’ve got a new book,” is a great one. These reading suggestions should keep you busy for a while.

A girl browses through reading suggestions on her tablet while relaxing on the couch with her dog.

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