Books I’m Bringing to College

Obviously, the five-hour drive between my home and my college forced me to leave many beloved books.  I could only afford to pack a few essentials.  Here’s what I chose and why.

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1) The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Yes, I still need to finish the last portion of this gift that I received over a year ago.  And as a loaded book of biology, race, health care, and biography, I knew that its multifaceted approach would be an excellent example for my ideal college education.

2) The Things They Carried

This is the next book on my hit-list of Vietnam War literature.  And in this collection, it’s the only one with short stories, the genre I’m striving for as a writer.  It’s also a reminder for me to continue to pursue my odd fascination, because the Vietnam War will never stop being confusing and interesting.

3) Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

In conversations with fellow freshmen this week, I’ve already raved about this play, like, three times.  I then retracted my recommendation with: “Oh, but it’s also super weird and makes no sense.”  Despite its obscurity, I’ll always cherish this play for its dark messages about fate and for its perfect articulation about fearing death.

4) Their Eyes were Watching God

Haven’t read a page.  I brought it simply because a friend recommended it to me.  🙂

5) Robert Frost poems

Frost is pretty nice.  This thin volume will remind me to not dismiss poetry as I pursue creative writing.  Though I have no intentions to become a poet, I think every writer should study poetry to understand imagery and rhythm.

6) The Great Gatsby

One of my favorite reads from high school. Gatsby is a model for a book I’d love to write: with an interesting but detached narrator, complex relationships, and anguished thesis.


It’s almost like the “what book would you bring on a stranded island?” question.  Except the context is much less dire.  So what would you pack? 🙂

-M.L.

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