Every once in a while, a book you were required to pick up can be hard to put back down.

Whether you’re looking for something new to read or courses to add to your schedule, Bwog is here to tell you all about some of the best books we’ve been forced to read for our classes.

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare – Shakespeare I with Professor Peter Platt

Daily Editor Elizabeth called this book “the original enemies to lovers,” and said that the chemistry between the romantic leads is “so real!”

Waste by Catherine Coleman Flowers – Applied Ecology & Evolution with Professor Hillary Callahan

This semi-autobiographical book “exposes the endemic waste removal problem in rural America and how it’s affecting generations of people,” opening Alma Bwogger Eva’s eyes to an issue she had taken for granted.

Sakhalin Island by Anton Chekhov – Justice and Punishment with Professor Liza Knapp

Staff Writer Linus called this book “one of the best written things I’ve ever read.” An ethnography of different prisons on the remote Russian island of Sakhalin off the coast of Siberia, this book truly captures how desolate and destructive the island is for the prisoners, as well as the natural beauty that still exists on the island despite that.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson – Civil Rights and Civil Liberties with Professor Paula Franzese

Staff Writer Rachel recommends this book to “anyone interested in learning more about the effects of race, class, and caste on American culture, politics, and society.” This book creates a narrative that weaves through American history and into the modern day, revealing an “unspoken caste system” that shapes so much of American life.

About A Mountain by John D’Agata – Ecocriticism for the Endtimes with Professor Marilyn Ivy

Senior Staff Writer Charlotte Slovin said that even though the subject matter is heavy—this book investigates Yucca Mountain, the nuclear waste repository site outside of Las Vegas, and discusses the legacy of humanity—this quickly become one of her favorite books. “It does a great job grappling with some wildly complex ideas,” she said.

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino- Beginning Fiction Workshop with Professor Errol McDonald

Each vignette in this short book, structured as an imagined dialogue between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan, uses a story about Polo’s travels to fantastic cities to “reveal a fundamental truth about the human condition.” Staff Writer Marino described this book as an “arresting and deeply human read.”

Honorable Mentions:

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh – Time Moves Both Ways with Professor Hilary Leichter

The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall – US Lesbian & Gay History with Professor George Chauncey

House of Day, House of Night by Olga Tokarczuk – Culture at the Margins: Literature and Film in the German Borderlands with Professor Alexander Holt

Anil’s Ghost by Michael Ondaatje – Narrative and Human Rights with Professor Joseph R. Slaughter

The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells – Victorian Science and Science Fiction with Professor Jayne Hildebrand

A Fire in Their Hearts by Tony Michels – Immigrant New York with Professor Rebecca Kobrin 

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