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Great Books for College Students to Read

While all students will do a good deal of reading in college just by completing their assignments, there are countless works that they should also explore outside of class. College is a time during which young people develop into mature adults. Reading helps you discover new ideas and perspectives, so get out there and read! From all of the different genres, there is bound to be something for everyone.

There are numerous websites with recommended reading lists that students can explore. CollegeBoard, Amazon, and the ALA all have extensive reading lists that have been constructed with college students in mind.

Here are some excellent books to get you started:

The Classics

These are books that you have probably heard of – they are on most schools’ reading lists. If you haven’t read all of them, you should. Now you will know what everyone is talking about!

  • Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice
  • Albert Camus – The Stranger
  • Fyodor Dostoyevsky – Crime and Punishment
  • Alexandre Dumas – The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Charles Dickens – A Tale of Two Cities
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby
  • Jack Kerouac – On the Road
  • J.D. Salinger – The Catcher in the Rye
  • William Thackeray – Vanity Fair
  • Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace
  • Voltaire – Candide

Life Lessons

These incredible books teach you invaluable life lessons that you can use for the rest of your life. They are filled with interesting thoughts and ideas that will give you plenty to talk about with your friends and future coworkers.

  • Norman Vincent Peale – The Power of Positive Thinking
  • Sun Tzu – The Art of War
  • Dale Carnegie – How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • Steven D. Levitt – Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
  • Stephen Covey – 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

For College Students

These books offer invaluable advice to help you overcome the academic and social blocks that every college student encounters by telling you what you need to know to make these the greatest four years of your life.

  • Doreen Banaszak – Excuse Me, College is Now
  • Sharon Hill – 24 Tips for Students to Succeed in College
  • How to Survive Your Freshman Year, by Hundreds of College Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors Who Did.
  • Harry Harrison Jr. – 1001 Things Every College Student Needs to Know
  • Guy Stevens – College 101: The Book Your College Does Not Want You to Read
  • Dr. Randall S. Hansen – The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Choosing a College Major

Just For Girls

These are also college survival guides, but they are tailored to address the needs of female students.

  • Traci Maynigo – A Girl’s Guide to College
  • Christie Garton – U Chick: The College Girl’s Guide to Everything
  • Christie Glascoe Crowder – Your Big Sister’s Guide to Surviving College
  • Cameron Tuttle – The Bad Girl’s Guide to the Open Road

Just for Guys

  • Chad Kultgen – The Average American Male: A Novel
  • Maddox – The Alphabet of Manliness
  • Nancy Mercado (ed) – Every Man for Himself: Ten Short Stories about Being a Guy
  • Guys Write for Guys Read

Just for Fun

  • Justin Halpern – Sh*t My Dad Says
  • J. K. Rowling – Harry Potter (series)
  • Stephenie Meyer – Twilight (series)
  • J.R.R. Tolkien – Lord of the Rings (trilogy)
  • Ben Applebaum – Turd Ferguson & the Sausage Party: An Uncensored Guide to College Slang

Additional topics

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