30 Best Books Every College Student Should Read

Last Updated on November 15, 2022 by Akwaowo Akpan

College is indeed a time and a place where young adults embark on a self-discovery journey. In college, people try out different things just in a bid to discover their true selves. Some even have a to-do list of activities and places they want to visit. Reading books are included in some people’s lists.

In this post, we’ll be giving you a list of the 30 best books every College student should read during their college days. We’ll of cause add a little description to these books.

Read through carefully. This article is loaded with lots of amazing books just for you.

30 Best Books Every College Student Should Read

Here is a list of the 30 best books every college student should read:


You never know what you can get out of the wild unless you go into it (and hopefully return). Chris McCandless, a recent college graduate, destroyed all of his money, quit interacting with his family, changed his name, and set out for the western United States in search of a way out of his life in 1990. McCandless arrived in Alaska in 1992 and lived off the land for a little over 100 days before succumbing to toxic germs ingested from a plant. Journalist Jon Krakauer transformed McCandless’ experience into a book while trying to figure out why he vanished.


What’s not to love about the insightful and oddly brilliant Kurt Vonnegut? Aliens, war accounts, profound characters, scathing but hilarious satire—not what’s to love about the insightful and oddly brilliant Kurt Vonnegut? Billy Pilgrim, a mentally disturbed ophthalmologist, is kidnapped by aliens and sent to their planet, Tralfamadore, in Slaughterhouse-Five. Billy comes to accept his fate while trapped in the Tralfamadorians’ bizarre sense of time.


The story follows two pals, George and Lennie, as they journey around California in search of farm labor. Because it’s evident that Lennie has a mental handicap, George, who is frequently irritable, acts as Lennie’s defender. “John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men motivated me to work with special needs persons and their caregivers. “Lennie taught me that everyone has ambitions and all they want is to be understood,” said Penn State senior Annie McGuinness.

Steinbeck explores the harsh realities of human nature via his life and death experiences. “I wish to enable persons with disabilities to achieve all of their goals and help them reach their full potential,” McGuinness stated.


In this book, Lois Lowry says exactly what college students want to hear: “Let your freak flag fly.” Through the perspective of a young kid named Jonas, she depicts a utopian world to readers. When Jonas encounters the Giver, nicknamed the town’s “Receiver of Memory,” he discovers that this society is far from ideal. Jonas is shown the feelings and memories of the town’s residents by The Giver.

Jonas quickly sees that his neighbors have surrendered their uniqueness in order to live in this image of perfection and be manipulated by others. “I remember it making me feel like, even though you’re instructed what to do with your life, sometimes the utopia isn’t that perfect,” said Giorgy Molano, a junior at the University of Central Florida. “Doing what feels good to you is the true road to happiness.” Because it is your life, not anyone else’s, at the end of the day.”


When you’ve reached rock bottom, look to Bluets, a lyrical essay that will remind you that there’s only one way to go: up. With beautiful words and terribly real phrases, this essay addresses love and suffering. “I want you to know, if you ever read this, there was a time when I would have preferred to have you by my side than any one of these lines; I would have preferred to have you by my side than all the blue in the world,” Nelson writes. If you’re going through a college breakup or dealing with homesicknessfromthe future, read this book to feel less alone. “You have to feel guilty sometimes,” Georgia Chahoud, a sophomore at Macquarie University, said. “All you have to do now is do it.”


There’s a part of us all that wants to be the boss, but being a #girlboss is much better. Why not take a cue from the best? In her renowned book #Girlboss, Sophia Amoruso, the founder of the online apparel firm Nasty Gal and the lady boss empire, speaks of her modest beginnings as a college drop-out shoplifter who rises to the top of the fashion industry and becomes a real boss-ass b—h.

“The key message for me was that we are all on our own particular journeys, but the only way to grow is to work hard and trust your instincts,” said Jaclyn Daley, an FSU 2015 alumna. Amoruso’s candor and colorfully forthright counsel are hilarious to see.


Let’s face it: a lot of college students suffer from body image issues and feel forced to conform to society’s ideal beauty standards. Roxane Gay addresses how she takes care of herself and her body in a world that doesn’t always embrace her in her memoir. The stark honesty of Gay’s writing may confront you, but it will appeal to a large number of college students. In a world where accepting yourself can be exceedingly tough, look to Gay for guidance on how to do so.

#8. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

This is a narrative about a love triangle in which the characters met for the first time in college. Love or friendship will become more essential to them. Is there a way to make a decision in this difficult scenario, when you love your closest buddy but don’t want to lose him? These are questions that every college student should be able to answer.

#9. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

This is a myth-novel, an epic novel, a novel-paroemia about humanity’s evolution, in which each of us is doomed to loneliness, and loneliness is the only thing that rules the world, in which everything is entangled in the ties of fatal love. A great book for college students who want to appreciate and value the importance of family and close friends.

#10. 1984 by George Orwell

Three totalitarian states exist in the globe. Total control, the abolition of all human values, and attempts to survive in a hate-filled environment. Will you be able to make a stand against the system? Are you brave enough to stay true to yourself for the rest of your life?

#11. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

The first – and best! – book in the “Lost Generation” of English literature about World War I. This is a novel about a war in which young, innocent guys became Poor Bloody Infantry and either perished or became embittered to the point of death; about a war in which love is merely a fleeting moment of peace with no past or future; about a war you want to forget but can’t.

#12. The Divine Comedy by Dante

Who hasn’t heard of Dante and his Inferno’s nine circles? This is our chance to learn them all and have a better understanding of how Christians viewed the afterlife in the Middle Ages. This book tells us not to forget that we shall all have to pay for our sins.

#13. Civilization and Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud

This book is a must-read for any college student since it describes Freud’s thoughts and concepts, which are still relevant in our culture and understanding of the world. This is an excellent opportunity to learn why we live in a society the way we do.

#14. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

A well-known novel about the student Raskolnikov and his struggles to understand himself and his place in the world. This teenage man tries to excuse his conduct after killing an elderly pawnbroker. Every modern college student should reconsider their opinions on moral laws and their place in society after hearing Raskolnikov’s story.

#15. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

This is a narrative about a family who goes to California during the Great Depression in search of a better life; it’s a story about the significance of love, support, and close friends; and it’s a story about a man’s tenacity and fortitude to roll with the punches.

#16. A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

The author of this novel referred to it as “a negative utopia.” This is a story about a future world in which happiness is valued above all else, but uniqueness is not. Is it possible to be happy while imitating others? Accepting things as they are or trying to change the system is more important to young people.

#17. The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama’s series of interviews can assist college students (and everyone else) learn and comprehend how to find fulfillment in their lives and start feeling happy.

#18. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

An uninhabited island, an endless ocean, and boys who are not supervised by grownups. This is a story about a divided society told through the eyes of a small group of children. There has been a revolution. Bloodshed. Death. It highlights the importance (and necessity) of being a good leader, having a clear mind, being a critical thinker, being able to reach a compromise, and remaining a human first and foremost.


This is a vicious satire of a modern authoritarian society that tends to transform a young generation into so-called “clockwork oranges” that are loyal to their bosses’ will. Alex, the leader of a street gang that views violence to be the highest form of art, runs into the iron jaws of a new state program for criminal rehabilitation, and he becomes a victim of violence himself.


Don’t worry, there are no nudes of David Sedaris in this book. This collection of short stories looks at life through the eyes of Sedaris, touching topics like families, marriages, and deaths with a light touch. Sedaris’ typical cynicism takes the sappy out of any sentimental situation and gives him a unique perspective on the world.


If you enjoy true crime, this is a must-read. It’s a chilling, true-life account of a family’s murder in Holcomb, Kansas. Capote delves into the lives of the family and the rural location in which they resided, as well as the psychology and dynamics of the two murderers, in this six-year project. The work, which was first published in 1966, is still considered one of the most recognized true crime novels of all time, as well as one of the first nonfiction, works to achieve such acclaim.


With this collection of fiction, poetry, and journalism, prepare to read one of the most emotionally gripping stories on the American mind of racism. Since its first release in 2014, this work has been republished multiple times, adding to the growing list of black men and women who have been victims of police brutality. Rankine’s voice is both powerful and longing, expressing a desire for a better change in America.


This narrative blends science-fiction notions with lovely prose and fantastic storytelling. Kathy’s point of view shows a lovely private school with a sinister secret. This narrative combines a terrifying dystopia with the exquisite reminiscence of childhood and will shift your perspective on some ethical concerns (I can’t go into detail here due to spoilers). I guarantee you’ll reach a point in the book where you’ll either gasp in surprise or chuck the book out the window in fear.

#24. A River Out of Eden by Richard Dawkins

This book is ideal for college students who want to learn about evolution in a straightforward and engaging manner. No one will have the courage to label this novel dull because the author presents a very lovely explanation of our world’s creation and evolution.

#25. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This is a story about a little girl’s maturation as she goes through adventures, fun, and peer interactions. She has a lot to learn, including life’s inequity against children, the weak, and individuals of a different skin hue. As a result, we can see that acts of kindness, sympathy and mutual support are unaffected by skin color, social rank, or public opinion. Everything boils down to a man’s soul.

#26. Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Hamlet is one of William Shakespeare’s most well-known plays, and it helps us find the answer to the age-old question, “To be or not to be?” This is a story that can educate us to take ownership of our actions and decisions.

#27. Paradise Lost by John Milton

We’re all familiar with the Biblical account of Lucifer, the arrogant angel who fell from grace, tempting Adam and Eve into sin. However, we know little nothing about Lucifer himself. Paradise Lost allows us to view both the good and the negative sides of things, allowing us to form our own opinions about who is right.

#28. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

The devil has arrived in Moscow. This tale has it all: merry mischief and somber despair, romantic love and magical obsession, intrigue, and a dangerous game with an evil spirit. Perfect reading for anyone interested in learning how evil can be more honest than a civilization or political authority.


While the characters’ identities have been changed, this story parallels and explains Plath’s mental condition in the same way that the protagonist does. During the protagonist’s internship in New York, she grows less interested in and dazzled by the things she expected to fall in love within the big metropolis. As she comes home, she struggles with what she is intended to accomplish as well as what she actually wants to do, and the madness and spiral she feels intensify. Despite reality’s sad ending, the story finishes on a high note of promise (assuming that isn’t too much of a spoiler).


Jump into this satirical fable of fencing, battling, monsters, torture, retribution, escapes, true love, and miracles if you ever feel like life is weighing you down. The novel that inspired the cult film is full of caustic and funny language, but it also has a lot of heart. As you root for Buttercup and Westley and learn more about Fezzik and Inigo, disappear into the pages. That would be unthinkable if you didn’t.


We have taken our time to list some of the most amazing and insightful books for you to read as a college student. Please pick at least 10 to 15 of these books and read them during your stay in college and get ready to have your mind blown away.

We hope you found this article loaded as promised.


What are the goals of fiction books?

Fiction can be written, told, or acted out on stage, in a film, on TV, or on the radio. The goal of fiction is usually to entertain. The dividing line, however, is not always so clear. Because it is based on historical events or persons, historical fiction is defined as fiction that contains real people or events.

What does the term “fiction novels” imply?

The term “fiction” refers to literature that is based on the author’s imagination. Fiction categories include mysteries, science fiction, romance, fantasy, chick-lit, and crime thrillers.

What is the significance of reading?

Reading is beneficial since it helps to improve the mind. Understanding the written word is one of the ways the mind develops. Teaching young children to read aids their language development. It also aids their learning of how to listen.

How frequently should I read?

You should read for 30 to 60 minutes per day, five days a week. It is beneficial for you to devote as much time and as many books to read as possible. If you read books in a shorter time, the greatest benefits of reading books may be negligible for you.


  • Akwaowo Akpan

    Hi there, welcome to Online Studying Services. As a fan of authentic information and a student, I devise this means to offer reliable information to international students wishing to either study abroad or online. Thanks for stopping by!

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