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Top 5 Books I've Been Reading

posted by Jacqueline Senecal

I have a lot of free time on my hands these days. And I bet you’re in the same boat!

With that in mind, here are my top five reads that educate and inspire me during this time:

  1. 1. I am Malala
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Reading this book is really an emotional roller coaster. While Malala Yousufzai is a Nobel Peace Prize winner, global role model, and all around wonderful person, she reminds us in her book to be a person just like everyone else. Being able to understand the world around her and why she was forced and chose to take the actions that she did leading up to the faithful day she was shot, it’s imperative to understand the history with her actions. While this book is clearly a letter of love; it’s also a history lesson that many people need.

  1. 2. Over the Top: A Road to Self-Discovery
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I haven’t cried because of a book in a very long time, but this one came close! Johnathan Van Ness writes his personal memoir with comedy, truth, and a lot of desperation. He explores his different attitudes in life, how being gay throughout life has affected him, and how he was able to love himself no matter what he looked like. I suggest this read because it’s hilarious, sad, happy, and hopeful for the future all in one book!


  1. 3. Naturally Tan
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Tan France, another member of Queer Eye, also wrote his own book about his life leading up to his breakout appearance on the hit Netflix series. He is also my mom’s favorite member of Queer Eye, so I figured I would give this a read, and it did not disappoint. Poignant, funny, and eye-opening to his life as a LGBT person of color in the U.K., life for Tan was not easy, but he made the best of it through each happy memory that he has in life. This is a wonderful read that I could not put down.


  1. 4. Becoming
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Michelle Obama has always been an icon even before her husband’s election as president in 2008. I wanted to read this one slowly since I wouldn’t be able to go to the library, but this was another book I could not put down. While this is a hefty book at 400 pages, it’s such an easy and effortless read that it really only took me a few days to read it. I love Michelle Obama and being able to see how being a lawyer gave her hope in the world is really amazing.


  1. 4. The Truth will Set You Free, but First It Will Piss You Off:
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While this isn’t a traditional book and more of a quote to live by, Gloria Steinem has been someone that my parents admired and wanted me to be raised with the same values. This could be used as more of a daily affirmations book than anything else but has the hopeful messages that we could really all use during this harsh time stuck at home. While you’re on your daily walk, doing something that makes you happy, or lamenting about the world we’re currently in, this book will give you hope for the future of women and people everywhere!

Topics: books, reading, student life