17 Books Everyone Should Read In College

We asked the Mud Community which books helped them navigate their college years, and here's what they picked.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

"Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found." – Amazon Books


The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein

This “powerful and disturbing history” exposes how American governments deliberately imposed racial segregation on metropolitan areas nationwide (New York Times Book Review).


East of Eden by John Steinbeck

"The masterpiece of Steinbeck’s later years, East of Eden is a work in which Steinbeck created his most mesmerizing characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity, the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of love's absence." – Amazon Books


The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan

"The instant New York Times bestseller and publishing phenomenon: Marina Keegan’s posthumous collection of award-winning essays and stories “sparkles with talent, humanity, and youth.” (O, The Oprah Magazine).


Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals

"In this compelling autobiographical account by one of the Civil Rights Movement’s most powerful figures, Beals explores not only the power of racism, but also the ideas of justice and identity." – Amazon Books


The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

"The story of the mysteriously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s." – Amazon Books


Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations by Admiral William H. McRaven

"In this instant New York Times bestseller, the celebrated author of Make Your Bed shares amazing adventure stories from his career as a Navy SEAL and commander of America's Special Operations Forces." – Amazon Books


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

"In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be positive all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people." - Amazon Books


Make Your Bed by Admiral William H. McRaven

"Based on a Navy SEAL's inspiring graduation speech, this #1 New York Times bestseller of powerful life lessons "should be read by every leader in America." (Wall Street Journal).


Nervous Conditions by Tsi Tsi Dangarembga

"A modern classic in the African literary canon and voted in the Top Ten Africa’s 100 Best Books of the 20th Century, this novel brings to the politics of decolonization theory the energy of women’s rights." – Amazon Books


It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

"Like many ambitious New York City teenagers, Craig Gilner sees entry into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School as the ticket to his future. Determined to succeed at life—which means getting into the right high school to get into the right college to get the right job—Craig studies night and day to ace the entrance exam, and does.  That’s when things start to get crazy." – Amazon Books


A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

"A hymn to brotherly bonds and a masterful depiction of love in the twenty-first century, Hanya Yanagihara’s stunning novel is about the families we are born into, and those that we make for ourselves." – Amazon Books


Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

"Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” (The New York Observer)


When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

"This inspiring, exquisitely observed memoir finds hope and beauty in the face of insurmountable odds as an idealistic young neurosurgeon attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living?" – Amazon Books


The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told by Alex Haley by Malcolm X & Alex Haley

“Malcolm X’s autobiography seemed to offer something different. His repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me; the blunt poetry of his words, his unadorned insistence on respect, promised a new and uncompromising order, martial in its discipline, forged through sheer force of will.”—Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father


The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

"In The Four Agreements, bestselling author don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love." – Amazon Books


The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

"Nobel Prize winner Pearl S. Buck traces the whole cycle of life: its terrors, its passions, its ambitions and rewards. Her brilliant novel—beloved by millions of readers—is a universal tale of an ordinary family caught in the tide of history." – Amazon Books

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