By Tess Skelly, Third Year, Politics and International Relations
The Croft Magazine // Between keeping up with assignments, societies, and friends at university, it often feels like there’s not much time for students to have to themselves. But with reading week coming up, now is a great time to pick out a new book. Here are Tess Skelley's five fiction and non-fiction books to keep you entertained on your break.
Educated by Tara Westover – There’s a reason President Obama called Educated ‘remarkable’. Westover grew up in rural Idaho where she and her six siblings were homeschooled by their Christian fundamentalist parents. Educated is her memoir of growing up in and eventually leaving a household where education was sporadic and based on the Bible, and where physical, mental, and emotional abuse at the hands of her unstable dad and older brother were expected. Now, Westover holds a BA from Brigham Young University, a PhD from Cambridge, and was a visiting fellow at Harvard University. Educated explores Westover’s journey for an education, bringing her farther and farther away from her family and community, and whether it’s possible to reconcile that space.
Bad Blood by John Carreyrou – What happens when a technological giant and the star of Silicon Valley turns out to be based on a completely fake product? In 2004, Elizabeth Holmes created Theranos, a company she believed would one day create a machine that could run all blood tests from a drop of blood and be kept in people’s homes. By 2014, Forbes estimated Holmes’ net worth to be over four billion dollars. A year later, Carreyrou began publishing a series of articles in the Wall Street Journal questioning the legitimacy of the company; two years later, Holmes’ estimated net worth was zero, where she was charged with fraud and a potential 20 year prison sentence. Bad Blood is Carreyrou’s follow up where he explains how one of the biggest tech coverups was able to grow to such proportions without having a working product.
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn – Flynn’s second novel may not be as well known as Gone Girl or Sharp Objects, but it’s just as creepy, thrilling, and suspenseful. Libby Day’s family was murdered by her older brother, Ben, when Libby was a child. 25 years later and cash-strapped, she agrees to talk to a group of amateur investigators about the massacre for a fee, and from there starts investigating the murder herself.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro – Set in a dystopia, Kathy, Tommy, and Ruth meet as children while at boarding school. A teacher lets slip that they are actually clones of real people created to be organ donors, and once they have fulfilled their purpose, they will die. As they grow up and date of donation looms closer, a love triangle forms as they try to find out whether true love will be enough to save them. Beautiful yet subtle, Never Let Me Go is a brilliant exploration of humanity, hope, and the value society places on love and life.
Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer – Arguably Krakauer’s most famous book, Into the Wild is about Chris McCandless and what drives people to the wild, even when that drive results in pain and death. McCandless is controversial; people either see him as an idealistic romantic who should be admired for his unwavering love of nature, and or an idiot who should have brought a map into the backcountry. To defend McCandless, Krakauer adds in some autobiographical chapters describing his strained relationship with his dad and his own experiences in the wild to draw parallels.
Featured Image credit:Unsplash/Patrick Tomasso
Find The Croft Magazine inside every copy of Epigram!