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Angie Thomas' "The Hate U Give" has been adapted for the big screen and is set to release in October. (Photo via @angiecthomas on Twitter)

Seven alternatives to textbooks to read on National Read A Book Day

Thursday is National Read Book Day, so that means you should grab a book and get to reading. Here are a seven books you would probably rather read than the textbooks required for your classes: 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This young-adult novel follows the chaotic life of a 16-year-old black girl named Starr Carter. In the middle of trying to balance her two worlds — living in a poor neighborhood and going to a prep school — tragedy strikes. Her best friend is shot and killed by a police officer while he is unarmed. After making national headlines, Starr is faced with a life-changing decision: Does she say what actually happened that night? Her community and her life depend on what she chooses to do. 

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

Manson’s take on a self-help book is a bit different than others. Instead of trying to be happy all the time, he advises readers to acknowledge the crappy stuff in life, because, well, that’s life. Mason uses academic research to show that people need to learn how to take in the bad stuff better rather than always trying to look at the bright side. He also advises readers to find what they really care about in this world because everything is just a big mess. 

The Gates by John Connolly 

A young boy named Samuel Johnson and his dog try to get ahead of the game by trick-or-treating a full three days early, but when they end up at 666 Crowley Road, something seems off. The family that lives there, the Abernathys, dabble in the underworld and end up calling Satan. By doing so, they create a gap in the universe, and the gates of hell are ready to be opened. It’s up to Sam to try to defeat the creatures that reside in hell.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Living alone, Anna Fox spends her days in her New York City apartment spying on her neighbors and drinking wine. A recluse, she never leaves her apartment. One night, after a new family that seems perfect moves in across from her, Anna sees something she shouldn’t have. Afterwards, her world starts to fall apart, and she can’t tell what is real and what isn’t. 

Luckiest Girl Alive: A Novel by Jessica Knoll 

Ani FaNelli has a glamorous job at a magazine, a blue blood fiancé and a killer wardrobe. She is almost living the perfect life after being humiliated in high school. With a dark past she is ready to face, Ani decides to make a choice that could change everything she has worked so, so hard for. She isn’t sure if setting her secret loose will destroy her new life or finally free her from the darkness. 

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell 

Simon Snow, or “the chosen one,” can barely use his own magic. Either no spell works, or he blows something up. His roommate, Baz, a possible vampire, thinks Simon is a complete idiot. When the magic in parts of the world is being eaten up by some dark monster, Simon takes it upon himself to put a stop to it. The worst thing is the creature looks exactly like Simon. Simon and his friends team up to try to take down his doppelganger while there is a political war happening between the Magicks of the world. 

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

This nonfiction novel teaches readers about how they came to be what they are and what it really means to be a human. Harari explains how history and biology have helped us define ourselves. The book goes back about 70,000 years to look at the first modern cognition and shows how the six different species of humans whittled down to one. Harari also advises readers to look ahead. Humans have begun to bend the laws of nature in a way, and he wants us to think about where this new science can take us. 


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