5 books to dispel the blues

Whether it's a torrential downpour, the stress of a heavy course load, or the fact that winter is ending, sometimes you just need a book. The stories books hold can offer you an escape from whatever has caused the gloom. Even the simple act of flipping a page or flicking the screen on your e-reader can help keep you sane.

Here are a few books that I think pair well with "one of those days".

Something rich and reflective: "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" by Milan Kundera

It's a book about love and what life teaches you. Milan Kundera tackles the idea of human existence with this story that revolves around a relationship between a surgeon and the woman he loves.

Already read it? Try "The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath.

Something classic and grim: "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley

When it rains in Arizona drizzles, make it pour with something scary and heart-wrenching. "Frankenstein" is a classic that I always come back to, with Shelley's knack for wordplay and the dark philosophical discussions that it inspires.

Already read it? Try "Dracula" by Bram Stoker.

Something methodical: "The Universe in a Nutshell" by Stephen Hawking

If you recently stepped out of the movie theater enthralled by Hawking's story, or you just really love science, take this book for a spin. As a theoretical physicist, he discusses space-time and our existence on the earth. It's a long one, but if you're in a long funk, this might be the book for you.

Need an alternative? Try Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "A Study in Scarlet" or "The Hound of Baskervilles".

Something "playful": "As You Like It" by William Shakespeare

Spend some time with one of Shakespeare's comedies to take a break from the gloom of the day. It has been adapted to many movies and television shows, so you could watch some of those on Youtube once you're done.

Feeling a bit more modern? Check out Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's original "Into the Woods". You can listen to the playlist while you read it, and watch the movie when you've finished.

Something about someone: "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Learn about one of the greatest presidents of this country, in my humble opinion. This book is definitely a tome, but it discusses the type of leader Lincoln was and his great accomplishments. It's definitely a fresh look at his life.

Perhaps you'd like a more interactive biography? Read up on recipes and life with Julie Powell's "Julie & Julia".

I hope that these reads brighten up any dark skies you encounter. Or, maybe, I hope these books save you from the horror that would've been this day in Arizona weather:

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What books make you feel better on a rainy day? Reach the writer at arabusa@asu.edu or on Twitter @marie_eo.

Political Science senior Marie Rabusa strives to live by the great lessons she finds in books every day. She hopes to eventually travel, analyze, and write about the world. When she isn’t grappling with the ethical implications of international events, she’s daydreaming, exploring the city with her playful pup, and fulfilling the demands of a bookworm’s day-to-day lifestyle.


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