6 Books That Longhorns Fell in Love With
Over spring break, I traveled with a friend and noticed that we both began our mornings by reading our respective books in silence.* Those moments were so small yet so significant - maybe because moments like these are now so hard to come by. It’s easy to get swamped by the textbook pages assigned by your professors and research papers from PIs, but hey! Take some time off and switch gears. Read something that will make you feel refreshed and enthusiastic. Here are some suggestions from your fellow CNS and non-CNS Longhorns:
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Shaayaan Sayed, Computer Science ‘18, recommends Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now, described as a guide for achieving spiritual enlightenment. Tolle believes that the path to enlightenment lies in leaving behind “the mind’s false, created self” known as the Ego, and he uses a Q&A format in his book to help readers learn how to do so. Sayed had other books in mind to suggest but later stated, “if I had to pick one, [The Power of Now] would be it.”
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
A memoir written by an activist lawyer named Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy has claimed the top spot for Blair Nagel, Sustainability ‘20. The narrative focuses on a black man named Walter McMillian, who was falsely accused of murdering a young white woman and put on death row. Stevenson has fought for many cases of injustice like McMillian’s and has rallied much support from the nation over the years. Nagel says Just Mercy is “extremely well-written” and recommends it to her peers.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
This piece comes as a recommendation from Drew Sullivan, Biology ‘19. McCarthy’s novel follows the adventures of a father-son duo as they traverse through the foreign landscapes of our post-apocalyptic planet. With beautiful yet haunting illustrations of this new Earth, The Road reels in readers with ease; however, Sullivan most appreciated the story for its depiction of “humans’ need [for] companionship at any stage in life.”
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Another memoir recommendation comes our way from Priya Suri, Plan II & History ‘18. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion describes Didion’s year of grieving after her husband’s death and her daughter’s illness. However, the grief that Didion feels takes her by surprise, as she soon experiences the effects of what she calls “magical thinking” and “the vortex effect.” Suri loves how readers can “actively see… [Didion’s] thoughts develop” as she goes through a period of mourning and self-growth.
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Are you a Parks and Recreation fan? If so, then this is the book for you! Amy Poehler, best known as Leslie from NBC’s Parks and Recreation, seems to write just as well as she acts. Caroline Weaver, RTF ‘20, suggests fellow Longhorns to read Poehler’s book titled Yes Please, which contains anecdotes, humor, and life lessons that everyone needs to know about. Weaver appreciates how Poehler allows readers to take a glimpse inside her personal life, which “makes [Weaver] appreciate [Amy’s] work even more.”
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Barbara Sun, Plan II & Finance ‘19, suggests Charles Duhigg’s book,The Power of Habit. Duhigg, a famous New York Times reporter, dives into the details of our habit-forming tendencies and reveals the science behind them. Sun likes the fact that The Power of Habit “isn’t your typical self-help book,” as its claims and suggestions come backed up with facts, experiments, narratives and more. Who knows, maybe the first step to changing the world begins with making your bed every day!
Well, there you have it! Six great book recommendations (with two bonus ones below!) from six well-read Longhorns… see you at the library?
*Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss and Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl