1. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein


My initial reaction to this novel was “Ew…sci-fi” and the cover illustration reminded me of the movie Avatar. Whatever my reaction to this novel was didn’t matter because I had to read if for a counterculture seminar class in college. I was dreading reading this book because: 1. It is a science fiction novel which is not my favorite genre and 2. It is over 500 pages long. Turns out I couldn’t put this book down. Stanger in a Strange Land is about a human born during a mission to Mars and being the only survivor of the mission he was raised by Martians. He eventually comes back to live on Earth where he faces every obstacle a Martian raised human would face. The reason Heinlien’s novel is so amazing is because it touches on nearly every aspect of life – love, friendship, power, politics, religion, sex, innocence, and faith in humanity. If you enjoy science fiction novels, read it. If you think you don’t like sci-fi novels…READ IT!

2. The Magic by Rhonda Byrne


If you have heard of The Secret then you may be familiar with The Magic. This book is a 28 day guide to help change your life and it truly does work. Byrne explains the concept of gratitude and how if we all showed gratitude for the things in our lives, our lives would magically become better. The book focuses on your life in general and specifics in life such as health, relationships, work, and money. The Magic is great for recent grads because it makes you sit down and think about what you want in your life right now, in this very moment. Whether you are a recent graduate or a little bit later in your twenties, this book will help put certain parts of your life into perspective. Reading The Magic will have nothing but a positive impact on your life and make being grateful for even the smallest things a natural habit.

3. How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran


This is one of those books you read and automatically relate to. Moran shares details of the most awkward, unfortunate, and somewhat comical phases of her life growing up and into her twenties and thirties as she is trying to figure her life out. My favorite part of this book is that even though How To Be a Woman is about Moran’s life, she talks about issues. Real female issues. She discusses feminism, sexism, abortion, empowerment, and female rights. And then she talks about the other issues. Those issues being bras, waxing, dating, and babies. This book is the perfect balance between serious and not so serious.

4. A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage


Standage goes through the history of beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and soda. Not a history buff? No problem. I read this book because I love history but if you don’t, I’ll give you one reason to read it  – it’s a perfect conversation starter at the bar or coffee shop. I know what you’re thinking…and no, not every guy is going to think its nerdy to know historical facts about beverages. Some of them are going to find it sexy to have an intellectual conversation with a girl at a bar instead of barely being able to communicate with them due to drunkenness and loud music. Just try it.

5. Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger


If you feel like challenging your mind, Nine Stories is for you. Each one of these short stories is literally very short in length but completely mind boggling despite how short they are. Salinger’s stories will leave you thinking how and why?? Some stories will end without an ending and you will simply feel mind f*cked. You don’t read Nine Stories, put it down, and walk away. Oh no, you walk away and think about it for the rest of the day. You might even have trouble falling asleep because you’re trying to figure what the hell just happened. Then you wake up in the morning and think “JEEZ. Salinger is GOOD.”


Kristen Malm is a twenty-something year old Monmouth University graduate with a B.A. in English. After living on the Jersey Shore for 4 years, she is back home in CT looking for what to do next. She is obsessed with coffee, Gossip Girl, and brunch. She is also a seasonal (spring & summer) sushi and fro-yo addict. Kristen has joined in on the crossfit trend and may or may not become addicted…we will see (she probably will). Kristen enjoys history (it was her minor in college), traveling (she went to Ireland with high school classmates and England with college classmates), and watching MMA (there is just something about the anticipation of a person possibly getting knocked out…). She cares for her cat like its her child and loves listening to Spanish music even though 99% of the time she doesn't know what they are saying. Follow her on Instagram @kristenamalm !

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