Winter break reading guide

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Rachel Feder/Staff/Staff

Have you exhausted your Netflix queue? Are all of your friends on the quarter system back in school? Do you love reading, but have you already worked through your entire stack of books to read over break? Luckily for you, we at the Clog are in the same boat, so we put together a list of books to read next based on your literary interests.

If you like dystopian fiction such as “the Hunger Games” or “Divergent,” try “The 5th Wave” by Rick Yancey.

As a young adult novel, it might be a little below the UC Berkeley reading level, but the action-packed plot will more than make up for it. This science fiction novel focuses on 16-year-old Cassie Sullivan as she attempts to survive a world being laid to waste by an alien invasion and take care of her little brother at the same time. Hurry up and read it before school starts again so that you can go see the movie adaptation when it hits theaters in January.

If you like mythology and series such as the “Percy Jackson” series or the “Kane Chronicles,” try “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman.

This book, written by the author of “Coraline,” is an amazing read, albeit very hard to summarize. Essentially, the gods of each and every nation, village and religion were brought into America as the people who believed in them immigrated. But as belief faded in these gods, so did their strength. This is a story of the old gods’ final stand against the new gods of television, plastic, money, etc., as told through the eyes of Shadow, a mortal ex-convict. It deals with much more adult themes than Rick Riordan’s series and is incredibly intense. Kudos if you can figure out who even half of the gods are without Googling them.

If you like nonfiction biographies, political science or history, try “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow.

Yeah, yeah, you know who Hamilton is — he’s that dude from the 10-dollar bill who died in a duel, right? Didn’t someone just make some musical about him? Yes to both questions, but it turns out there’s actually a lot more to his story than that. It’s a huge book, sure, but it’s full of interesting facts about the Revolutionary War and the creation of the United States as we know it today, especially the American economy. Luckily for us readers, Hamilton led a much more interesting life than his stiff portrait on the 10-dollar bill might lead us to believe, and his biography is captivating. This is also the biography that inspired that new musical everyone interested in theater is talking about.

If you like books dealing with the darker sides of relationships such as “Gone Girl,” try “Fates and Furies” by Lauren Groff.

This book follows the lives of a married couple through their eyes. The narrative, split between the two, is vastly different depending on who is speaking. Despite the fact that they are in the same relationship and, for the most part, the same events are happening to them, the husband and wife have such a different worldview that it seems as if you’re reading two different books. Groff draws to attention the fact that everything in a relationship isn’t as it seems, even to the people living within the marriage. This book is being widely acclaimed, so it’s a must read.

If you’re science-minded and/or not a big reader, try “The Instant Physicist” by Richard Muller.

While you won’t find this book on a list of academic or prize-winning works, it’s a fun read that you can finish in an hour or so. Written by UC Berkeley’s very own Richard Muller, the author and former teacher of “Physics and Technology for Future Presidents” (aka Physics C10 in the course catalog), this book pulls out the fun facts of physics and pairs them with cartoons to help you remember. In reading this book, you learn some odd things about how the world works and get fun tidbits for random conversation. If you’re into science, you may already know most of the information, but the cartoons present it in a fairly new way.

If you must read the most recent prize-winning novel, try “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr.

This novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for 2015, as well as the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Basically, if you’re looking to read an award winner, look no further. This book is set during WWII in Europe, but it’s not your typical Holocaust-themed novel. It follows the lives of a blind French girl — one who eventually resists the Nazi’s takeover — and a German boy who’s noticed for his talent with radios by the Nazis and becomes a worker for the Reich. It’s being lauded as one of those books you simply can’t put down until you finish and is sure to be a good read.

Contact Taylor Follett at [email protected].