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Stories to give you a break from your textbooks

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Nettie Gastelum | The Daily Wildcat

A stack of books of different volumes with an open copy of "Romeo and Juliet" sitting at the front.

Whether it is your first or fourth year at the University of Arizona, sifting through lecture slides, class notes and textbooks can be a tedious and taxing task. Studying can be a lot of reading, highlighting and note-taking, but that is not all the semester has to be.

For any booklover or person interested in reading something other than a textbook, finding the right book can be time-consuming in between homework or exams, so the Daily Wildcat did some of the work for you. Here is a list of a variety of different genres of books for a well-deserved break from academics.

“Book Lovers” by Emily Henry

Love Hallmark movies? Hate them? Either way, this is the romance novel for you. From the workplace-rivals-to-lovers trope to raunchy small-town store names, this book will make you cry from laughter and straight up cry within a single chapter. The romance is dreamy, yet realistic and deals with the struggles of family obligations, wanting what you can’t have and finally putting yourself first. 

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“Boyfriend Material” by Alexis Hall

The bad boy and the barrister come together in a last-ditch attempt to save said bad boy’s reputation. After one too many drunken nights that end up on the news, Luc needs to do some damage control. Enter the damage control: perfect vegetarian barrister fake boyfriend Oliver. Despite their differences and Luc’s tendency to self-sabotage, they try and make it work. It’s funny, charming and has some of the most jarring British slang any non-British person could ever read.

“Lote” by Shola Von Reinhold

“Lote” depicts two queer narratives, one past and present. As Mathilda attends an art residency, she learns more about this woman, Hermia, and her story that has been erased from history. This book works to unpack the whitewashing, as well as the suppression of queerness, throughout history as Mathilda discovers more about Hermia and the residency’s role in her erasure. Written by a queer person for queer people, this book deals with the subject matter in an intersectional and refreshing way.

“Revenge of the Sith” by Matthew Stover

As a novelization of the Star Wars movie “Revenge of the Sith,” Matthew Stover works to flush out and add further context to the fall of Anakin Skywalker and the rise of Darth Vader. Rather than a direct retelling, Stover elaborates on the in-between, weaving in Anakin’s slow deteriorating mental state and the paranoia of the Jedi Council. If you enjoyed the latest Star Wars series “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” this book takes the Master/Padawan relationship between Obi-Wan and Anakin to the next, heartbreaking level.

“Batman: The Black Mirror” by Scott Snyder

For fans of the movie “The Batman,” this graphic novel provides the same detective noir, but with former sidekick Robin, Dick Grayson, in the bat suit. This graphic novel combines Grayson’s ego struggle between who he is inside and outside of the cowl with his case to track down a killer who hits a little too close to home. This story is dark and gritty and filled with plenty of twists and turns.

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“Through the Woods” by Emily Carroll 

This graphic novel illustrates a handful of uncanny folktales reminiscent of “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.” This is the perfect spooky book to read intermittently throughout the semester, as it is broken up into multiple short stories, or all in one go. There’s no gore, but this book’s stories and illustrations are sure to leave you more than a little unsettled. 

“She Gets the Girl” by Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick 

“She Gets the Girl” follows two incoming college freshmen as they leave their hometowns for the first time in hope of a fresh start and something bigger. Alex is hellbent on proving to her sort-of-girlfriend that she’s capable of commitment and sees Molly’s crush on their classmate as an opportunity to do just that. In the midst of Alex’s five-step plan to get the girl, she and Molly start to realize that something more than just friendship is growing between them. This book is perfect for first-year students feeling homesick and who need a little bit of validation.

“A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet” by Becky Chambers

This romp of a space opera is full of diverse and witty characters as they explore the universe. There’s found family, lots of shenanigans and a rich world of planets and people to meet along the way. If you want a book that feels like an old episode of “Star Trek” and leaves the complex politics and conflicts behind for a more light-hearted story, this is the one for you.

“The Complete Poems of Hart Crane” by Hart Crane

Hart Crane was a modernist poet from the early 1900s. Some of his most notable works, such as “The Bridge'' and “Voyages,” can be found in this edition, alongside some of his unfinished works. Crane’s poetry is extremely stylized and encompasses many aspects of his life, such as his queer relationships and his battle with mental illness. Equal parts beautiful and devastating, this collection of his works has a little something for everyone.

Where to buy 

Now that you’ve found your next read, you’ve got to know where to buy it. Luckily, there are many bookstores in Tucson that offer books both used and new. With multiple Barnes and Nobles and Bookmans locations that are always accessible, Tucson is also home to many small and local bookstores to choose from. 

Fourth Avenue has two to offer, with Antigone Books, where you can find all of the latest reads and even order books through their website, as well as The Book Stop, where you can shop through numerous used books. Leaving Fourth Avenue, there is Littlest Bookshop located at  5011 E. Fifth St. which sells new books and Mostly Books at 6208 E. Speedway Blvd. which has new and used books.


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