Spring break reading recommendations

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Books for the beach

I think every student at the University of Dallas has felt the effects of burnout this past week as we have struggled towards midterms. But after just a few more days of perseverance, we will regain the chance to sleep 8+ hours, to eat at proper meal times and perhaps even engage in leisure activities — even if just for a short nine days.

As you take a physical break from your beloved school, perhaps take a partial break from your studies as well, and consider some of these reading recommendations to revive your energy. 

To begin your break, perhaps start with Agatha Christie’s famous murder mystery, “Death on the Nile.” Egypt and intrigue: a killer combo certain to draw you in. But if you are in a murder mindset with a busy week planned, then perhaps try “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell; this short story will have you looking over your shoulder. You can also follow up both of these suggestions with the movie adaptations — although the movie is never as good as the book — if you are in a vegetative state. 

If by Friday afternoon you have already regressed far into your vegetative state and are looking for some feel-good romance, try “Beach Read” by Emily Henry. 

There is nothing quite like a middle school read to engross your attention for a short time. If you are feeling some romance and fairytale retellings, try “Ella Enchanted” by Gail Carson Levine. This bildungsroman will leave a magical aftertaste that will get you through the second half of the semester. 

In the vein of middle school books, “The Mysterious Benedict Society” by Trenton Lee Stewart incorporates an eccentric cast of characters, spywork and friendship in an adventure every UD student believes their childhood selves to be fit for. 

“The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd is a coming of age story set in South Carolina. If you are feeling like reflecting on friendship, family and memory itself this break, then this book is for you. 

If you truly are at a beach for spring break, you ought to read “The Old Man and The Sea,” the American classic by Ernest Hemingway. With some melancholy and some contemplation, this story is about an individual’s struggle and determination. 

If you are in the mood for a quick comedy, I would recommend both the play and the movie adaptation of “The Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Wilde. This ridiculous story of identity and romance is sure to make you laugh. 

We are now halfway through the semester and it feels almost impossible to add one more thing to a busy schedule. Leisure has started to become an afterthought, as well as basic human needs at times. If you are experiencing burnout and exhaustion, and cannot bear to read a novel, play or even a short story over spring break, then perhaps just read one poem. 

“maggie and milly and molly and may” by E.E. Cummings touches the heart of the weary student. Revive yourself with this short, sweet and comforting poem. 

There are often two temptations over spring break: take every day to catch up on school or avoid your responsibilities like the plague. It will be important over this break to find a healthy balance of work and play, responsibility and rest, school reads and leisure reads. 

Forgetting your brain in your dorm room will not help you continue the semester from a strong point, nor will continuous burnout help you achieve your goals. Take the time this break to rest, keep your mind agile and return on March 20 with a renewed spirit!

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