Trans4mind Home Page
Home Article Library Study & Education

10 Insightful Books Every College Student
Should Read Before Graduating

By Selina Johnson

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”Dr. Seuss

There couldn’t have been more befitting words to describe the importance of reading, particularly for young minds who are in college and have just stepped into adulthood. Reading should never feel like compulsion as if you need to get through reading because that will help you with book report writing. Rather reading should be treated like a weapon that allows the college students to expand the horizons of their knowledge and also helps them figure their way through life’s challenges.

A good book can leave just as much of an impression on someone’s mind and life as any other human being. If the story is compelling enough, you will get to step into the shoes of different characters or subconsciously hold on to the values and lessons within each book.

Now presented below are some of the book recommendations that every college student should read at least once before graduating...

insightful books

1. Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

This book is amazing in terms of helping the average college student along the journey to self-discovery.

The story revolves around a woman’s journey to explore the world and, in turn, find herself. The questions raised through the story are particularly relevant to the young college students, who are still in the process of finding themselves.

Let’s face it; while some get into college with complete clarity on what they want to do with their lives, many don't or are still figuring it out as they go. Maybe you fall into the second category.

If that’s you, this is a great book to leaf through, particularly when you’re in college.

Price: $17.84 (hardcover) — You can buy it from here.

2. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho's masterpiece narrates a mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who longs for travelling in the quest of the worldly treasure. His journey allows him to explore the different treasures, which turns out far more satisfying than he could imagine.

Santiago's journey conveys the essential wisdom of following our hearts, identifying opportunity and learning to overcome the obstacles that hinder the path to self-discovery.

Without going into the specifics, his journey is fairly similar to the countless college students’. So there are some great lessons in the book conveyed through Santiago’s journey, and you can apply it to your individual journeys.

Price: $12.62 (hardcover) — You can buy it from here.

3. The Women's Room by Marilyn French

This book is a great read for both men and women, despite its specific title. It was written in the 70s and conveyed the story of a housewife who moves away from the suburb to become a mature student at Harvard. It's also the story of a woman treading the path to self-discovery.

Even though the book was written in a different era, the themes are still extremely relevant to today’s times. There are hints of misogyny and social constraints. The book is quite seminal for the feminist movement – something every student should understand.

Price: $12.80 (hardcover) — You can buy it from here.

insightful books

4. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

The book tells the story of a group of eccentric and clever misfits at an elite New England college. They discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries under the influence of their charismatic classics professor. But when they move beyond the boundaries of normal morality, their lives change profoundly, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill. This thriller is definitely worth reading because it shows that even though college students are becoming more mature, they are still impressionable.

Price: $13.39 (hardcover) — You can buy it from here.

5. The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama

One of the Dalai Lama's most popular books, The Art of Happiness serves as an ultimate guide for cultivating a happier and more joyous state of mind. If you ever feel that the pressure of college life getting the better of you, know that the suggestions etched in the pages of the book are probably unlike anything you’d expect.

The Art of Happiness is a brilliant resource for college students who need a little perspective to cope with the stress and anxiety that comes with college assignment, college life, etc.

Price: $18.52 (hardcover) — You can buy it from here.

6. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

A firm advocate for girls’ right to education, Malala Yousafzai was targeted by the Taliban. The group shot her when she dared to attend school, but she miraculously survived to tell her inspirational story.

“Her story allows students to understand the complicated relationship Pakistan has with the rest of the world, and the complicated emotions Pakistanis have for their country”, says Alice Devonport, an assignment expert from The author also emphasises the readers to value the privileges of receiving an education and of speaking one’s mind.

Price: $14:99 (hardcover) — You can buy it from here.

7. Shantaram by Gregory Roberts

You would probably see every young traveller on the streets reading this one, but they're reading it for a reason. It narrates the story of an absconding Australian convict who creates a life for himself in India, and it's based on real life.

The protagonist learns crucial life lessons you can only gain from travelling. For any student who doesn’t have the luxury to travel abroad; this is a must-read for them. The author’s depictions of slum life are powerful, honest and definitely worth reading. The fact that the characters are incredibly compelling just makes the books all the more interesting.

Price: $27.98 (hardcover) — You can buy it from here.

insightful books

8. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

The book delves into an extremely relevant issue, i.e. the need for body positivity. Many college students often struggle with body image issues and feel burdened to conform to society’s ideal standards of beauty. In the memoir, Roxane Gay a professional writer from describes how she takes care of herself and how often the world does not accept her body.

The honesty of Gay’s narrative gets you acquainted with some brutal confrontation. However, it will be relate for so many college students. In a world where you can find it exceedingly difficult to accept yourself, you can look for some interesting insights to help you cope with your situation.

Price: $10.79 (paperback) — You can buy it from here.

9. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Harper Lee’s bestselling novel is about racism and society in 1930s America. It’s a classic in its own right. This book is specifically relevant to Law students as the protagonist of the story, Atticus Finch, is a lawyer tasked with defending a man shunned by the people around him.

Finch stands up for the legal ideals of justice and equality, and the book is a great source of inspiration and teaches a great deal about why individual rights must be protected. Legal heroes like Atticus will remind you of your purpose of studying the law in the place.

Price: $10.99 (paperback) — You can buy it from here.

10. The Defining Decade by Meg Jay

This book is simple and straight-forward and isn’t like the regular novels - it purely delves into the self-help genre. But unlike most books in this genre, you don’t have to suffer from a real problem to gain something from it. If anything, the book describes more preventative measures for you to stop wasting your twenties away.

The book emphasis's how our work, relationships, personality, social networks, and the identity can change more during this decade than at any other point in adulthood-if you use the time wisely.

Price: $10.98 (paperback) — You can buy it from here.

Winding it up

We know that your college life is already quite hectic and you rarely get the time to sit down for long enough to read several chapters of a good book. But we’d suggest that you squeeze in some time to go over the books from this list and trust us, you won’t regret it. So, have you already read any of the books mentioned here? Share your thoughts with us.

About the Author:
Selina Johnson is a web developer for a distinguished IT firm in Australia. She has completed her B.Tech degree from Federation University. She is an avid reader and blogger. She is also a part of and offers assistance to students when they come with the query, “Who can do my homework?”
More Study & Education articles
You'll find good info on many topics using our site search: