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ASI Recommends: Books – Our Must Reads

Published: Tuesday, 9 February 2021

“Stillness is the Key” by Ryan Holiday: It is a very wholesome, comforting and holistic read. It makes you re-think how we go about our day-to-day, and question why we live such fast-paced lives. It promotes mental and emotional wellbeing through anecdotes of prominent figures in society. – Adriana Andrade (ASI Treasurer)

“Breakfast of Champions” by Kurt Vonnegut: Vonnegut's novel is a must-read for those looking at a fresh perspective with which to approach looking at American culture. Through a satirical voice, the author is successful in creating a world that blends fiction with reality in a way that pokes some much-needed fun at things that we hold dear, from the U.S. flag to the automobile. – Fabian Rubio (ASI Photographer)

“Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur: Milk and Honey is a poetry book that explores Rupi Kaur's journey of self-healing through the themes of trauma, pain, love, and sexuality. This book is short but is filled with so much light that it is perfect for personal reflection and healing. I find myself coming back to certain pages to help ground myself in whatever sticky situation I find myself in. – Bianca Austria (ASI Graphic Designer)

"When I Was You" by Amber Garza: A psychological thriller that follows two women as they fight for the right to the same name. This is a fictional story that will keep you on the edge of your chair the entire way through. It reminds me of the twists and turns of the show "YOU" on Netflix. When you pick up this book, be ready for a wild ride until the very end. – Victoria Munoz (SRWC Personal Training Lead)

“Essays on Ethics” by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: For those seeking ethical lessons in divided times, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’ collection of essays on the Tanakh (Jewish Bible) has exactly what you need. You might be wondering, what lessons could be drawn from ancient Hebrew literature? I highly recommend you get a copy of Sacks’ enlightening book and discover the answer for yourself. – David Rowe (ASI Communications Assistant)

“Tesoro” by Yesika Salgado: A transformational poetry collection in the perspective of a Salvadoran female poet. She writes about her maternal figures, generational trauma and womanhood and healing from a deep love that is in the past. The collection creates wonderfully realistic images of the Hispanic household and what it is like growing up inside the culture. – Shermae Gutierrez (ASI Beach Pride Events Program Assistant)

“How to Astronaut: An insider's Guide to Leaving Earth” by Terry Virts: I found his perspectives about space and life interesting, as he is an astronaut on the ISS. Although I do not plan to become an Astronaut, it was fun to understand the way that astronauts operate and get to explore their unique perspectives of life on Earth. – Stephen Lyons (ASI Web Developer)

“Greenlights” by Matthew McConaughey: It is an entertaining read with insightful stories from McConaughey’s life, but also a lot of underlying thoughts and ideas on how to live your best life. It is candid, thought-provoking, and delightful, you must read it to get the full experience. – Lucas Vilicich (ASI Photographer)

“Corazón” by Yesika Salgado: A collection of poems about finding and losing love. It chronicles the feeling of hunger for another person and impassions themes of resilience, bravery and independence. These poems command your attention from the first page, remind you of your own inner-strength, and will leave you deeply moved by the end. – Bethany Thompson (USU Administration Assistant)

“Animal Farm” by George Orwell: The metaphors in this novel are astounding and its allusions effectively reference the past, present, and future. By drawing comparisons to the nature of animals and men, Orwell thoughtfully evaluates organized society and its faults. Moreover, the novel’s themes are timely and relevant, especially with our evolving political landscape. – Alicia Casey (ASI Communications Assistant)

“The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg: Have you ever developed a bad habit and wanted to stop? This book helps readers understand why and how we form habits. Duhigg details the history of toothpaste and how one brand made it go from irrelevant to a necessity. Additionally, Duhigg shares the story of a dementia patient that could not form new memories but could form new habits. – Ian McDonnell (SRWC Membership Services Lead)

“If Beale Street Could Talk” by James Baldwin: An amazing novel about the love story of a Black couple in Harlem trying to navigate through life after events that put their life in a twist. It brings to light of what it is like to be a person of color and the stress that racism in America puts on a relationship. – Jackie Jimenez (ASI Social Media and Marketing Assistant)

“The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway: If you are feeling low during these tough times, you are not alone. This book is like a much-needed friend and it will remind you to get back up, time and time again. This story will help you keep working on your goals! – Hithesh Puttanna Vinayaka (ASI Web Developer)

“How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie: A terrific book to learn about how to talk your ways in and out of things. Dale Carnegie uses entertaining narratives to help support the teaching of his concepts. – Minh Ton (SRWC Beach Balance Assistant)

“Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement” by Angela Y. Davis: Angela Y. Davis is a well-known political activist, scholar, author, and speaker who is admired by the feminist movement. Her book focuses on the struggles against state violence and systems of oppression throughout history and the world. All the while, the novel provides viable solutions to continue fighting for freedom despite challenges. Davis constantly reminds readers that the personal is political, and that unity is essential for creating change. – Maythe Alderete Gonzalez (ASI Vice President)

Dig into a new read and see where the story takes you. Why not start reading with your friends? Our pro tip: Start a “virtual book club" with three simple steps: create a shared Google Doc, make a running booklist, and add your book-related thoughts. You can even set a time and date with your friends to meet via video call to discuss your favorite reads!