Reading Material: Winter Break Books

The end of the semester is nearly here – and so are the days of relaxation and relief that we are all looking forward to. But with only two weeks off, it’s a good idea to keep your brain stimulated, so why not trade in your textbooks for some leisurely reading?

Admit it – nothing says winter break quite like curling up next to a warm fire (or radiator) with a good book. If you can’t decide what to read, we have a few suggestions. Either pick one up for yourself to read or gift one to a friend who might be interested.

Nowhere but Up by Pattie Mallette (with A.J. Gregory)

You don’t have to be a fan of this woman’s son, teen sensation Justin Bieber, to be interested in and appreciate reading this book. Through all parts of her healing process, Mallette opens up about her past as an abuse victim, her broken childhood and her struggles as a single teenage mother. The honesty is heartbreaking to read, but also empowering. It is a story of hope – proving that even when life has knocked you down, there is always a way to get up again.

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

This book has been rated high on the bestseller lists all year – and deservingly so. The complicated relationship that unfolds between Abby Abernathy, a college freshman looking to hide from her past, and Travis Maddox, the campus player/bad boy, makes for an irresistible read. The two of them form an unlikely friendship that transforms into something beautiful, but flawed. Both characters competitive by nature, they make a bet that brings them closer together and makes them realize they may have overestimated each other – and met their matches.

Matched by Ally Condie

Fans of “The Hunger Games” will surely appreciate this book. Having reached her seventeenth birthday, Cassia Reyes is finally eligible to receive her  match – the person society chooses for you to be with. The plot gets its first twist when her results show her two faces – Xander, her best friend and Ky, the mysterious boy who lives nearby. She is faced with figuring out what this mistake means in terms of the perfect Society she lives in, and determining who her match is really supposed to be. Do yourself a favor and have the sequels, “Crossed” and “Reached” nearby. You won’t want to stop reading!

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

What could possibly fit that image of reading quietly by the fireplace more than a Nicholas Sparks romance? “Safe Haven” is a story about Katie, a young woman looking to erase her past by settling down in the small town of Southport, North Carolina. She meets Alex, a widower with two young kids, and falls for him in spite of her reservations about getting close to anyone. If you haven’t read it yet, you should. Fans of Sparks should read it again in anticipation of the movie adaptation, to be released in theaters this coming February.

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (1862)

Set in France in the early to mid 1800s, this tale tells the story of ex-convict Jean Valijean as he traipses through post-revolutionary France in a search for redemption. The much-looked-forward-to film adaptation will premiere in theaters on Christmas Day, making this timeless classic perfect reading material for the holidays. Literature and play enthusiasts can look forward to dusting off their copies; those with interest sparked after seeing the film can read it for the first time.

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