Between bites of stuffing, daytime naps and the warmth of family and friends, Thanksgiving is evidently a time to be thankful—but it’s also the time to take a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of the fall semester. Whether you’re bored on a plane ride home or find yourself sitting around on lazy days, here are some book recommendations from your fellow Boston College students to help occupy your mind and fill your down time this Thanksgiving.
FOR LAUGHS AND LIFE LESSONS: Yes Please by Amy Poehler
If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and pick up this book over break. A BC alum herself, Poehler is relatable and hilarious (as usual) as she talks about life, love, friendship and even her times at BC with her signature wit and tell-it-how-it-is charm.
FOR A FEEL-GOOD READ: Tattoos on the Heart by Fr. Gregory Boyle
Channel your BC Jesuit roots by diving into this compilation of inspiring, autobiographical essays, featuring author Father Boyle himself learning to find joy and faith amidst violent gangs in Los Angeles. These heartening, spiritual stories will definitely put you in the Thanksgiving spirit.
FOR A BOOK TO GET YOU THINKING: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Just because class is out doesn’t mean you have to shut off your brain—go snag a copy of Gladwell’s magnificent non-fiction account of what it means to be truly successful. He focuses on your everyday success stories and zooms out, showing that the bigger picture can reveal how and why "successful people" achieve their potential.
FOR A BLAST TO THE PAST: The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant
While you’re away at home over break, this powerful book will bring you right back to Boston—or at least the 20th century city as depicted through stories an 85-year-old woman passes down to her granddaughter. A manifesto of family, friendship and feminism, Diamant’s genius novel captures the life of a bright and curious young girl growing up to immigrant parents in Boston’s North End, and how the experiences of her childhood made her into the person she is. This book is a must-read for anyone; the Boston part is just an added bonus.
FOR A GRIPPING PAGE-TURNER: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Crack open a copy of this book and you won’t be able to put it down until you’re finished. A fast-paced, creepy, psychological thriller, this story follows a girl and the couple she always sees out the train window on her daily commute, whose perfect lives she’s created in her head. When this perfect image shatters, she gets swept up into a world of secrets—if you’re looking for your next Gone Girl experience, look no further.
FOR MORE THAN JUST A LOVE STORY: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
As a Pulitzer Prize winner, it’s no doubt that this novel has earned its place on the list—this story of life and love in light of WWII is wrapped up in hauntingly beautiful diction and unmatched intricacy. France, mid-Nazi-occupation, is the backdrop to this chilling tale, where two people’s philosophical journeys lead them to love, true human connection and the meaning of life through a lens of science and history.
FOR A REALITY CHECK (IN THE BEST WAY): Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
A touching and beautiful true story about a man coming back to visit his wise old professor, Morrie, who is dying of ALS, this book was meant to be read and reread with a mindset of thankfulness. Morrie uses his death as an opportunity to find life’s little joys and give insights to the people around him, staying strong and refusing to fall victim to self-pity and sadness. Pick up a copy this Thanksgiving break to be reminded of all there is to be thankful for.