By Shannon Hofer-Pottala
An English Major’s Top 5 Favorite Books from College Classes
- The Bell Jar by Slyvia Plath. This is the funny and approachable story of a talented young woman struggling with mental illness as she reaches her breaking point.
Fun Home by Allison Bechdel. Fun Home is a graphic memoir illustrating Bechdel’s lifelong struggle to accept herself and her father, especially in the wake of his suicide. Bechdel does a great job of interspersing moments of humor in this piece, making it a gripping read.
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. This story follows three young Black girls learning about themselves and their family during the summer of 1968. The parallels to the summer of 2020 make this children’s book a fascinating read for all ages.
The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot is a classic for a reason. It’s an excellent piece of modernist writing describing American society very nihilistically. The Waste Land is especially interesting to compare to Paterson by William Carlos Williams.
Paterson by William Carlos Williams. In my opinion, Paterson was designed to be incomprehensible as a novel, mirroring the fragmentation Williams saw in American society. It’s a very challenging read and yet one of the most interesting books I have ever read.