The Crossover’s Must-Read Books for Winter Break (2022)


Haley Seymour, Editor in Chief – Over the summer, I read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. This story follows Monique Grant, a reporter for Vivant magazine, who is contacted by Evelyn Hugo, a former movie star, to write her biography. Evelyn hints at the fact that she chose Monique to write her life story for a specific reason, but she does not say why. Throughout the story, we reveal more about Evelyn’s life, including explanations and tales behind her seven husbands, and learn of things that happened behind closed doors. This book took an unexpected turn and ended as one of my favorite books that I read this year.

Brigid Barry, Staff Writer – I recently finished Normal People by Sally Rooney, which follows two individuals, Connell and Marianne, through the ups and downs of their friendship. From the beginning, they house this particular relationship that never stays in one place. We watch as the characters grow into young adults and find their own places in the world, while going through their own personal traumas. There’s so many odd spins that are completely out-of-pocket that make the book interesting and practically impossible to put down. 

Amanda Woods, Staff Writer – For a while now, I’ve been wanting to reread Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. The play takes place in New York City during the 1950s, following the life of the Loman family as the mental health of the patriarch of the family, Willy Loman, declines as the play progresses. As a result, Willy becomes increasingly more isolated from his family, especially his elder son Biff. When I initially read the novel, I loved how the play took a critical look at the idealized version of the “American Dream” and how this concept influenced the lives of the characters. Now though, after finishing my first semester of college, I feel that Death of a Salesman is definitely worth a reread in order to remind myself of the potential dangers of becoming overly focused on dreams, which can cause people to lose touch of reality and cause them to isolate themselves from loved ones. This play is also a reminder to spend time on my mental health over break because Willy’s downfall in the play is directly related to his decline in mental health.

Adrian Randall, Staff Writer – College is a hard time, for every level of student. Few books seem to replicate this feeling, however. In my time here, I’ve only read one that perfectly seems to encapsulate the twilight zone feeling one has on a college campus: The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis. As Ellis’ second novel, the story is a drastic shift from his first which looked at the disillusionment felt by Los Angeles’ rich youth. Set in the fictitious Camden College in New Hampshire, it follows the lives of Lauren Hynde, Sean Bateman, and Paul Denton. The three are the perfect triangle of personalities one experiences on a college campus: Lauren is the studious rebel who paints her emotions away; Paul is the harsh exterior, soft interior LGBTQIA+ representation which is handled extremely well for 1986; and Sean is the burnt out rich kid who seems to only be going to college for the parties and sex. Throughout the year, we are introduced to their friends and roommates, and we see drama of all sorts unfold. It’s all handled from first-person accounts that feel like an eye-level conversation with the reader, and we’re even introduced to characters who will go on to appear in their own novels, creating an interconnected universe in Ellis’ novels. The novel feels as cold as winter snow, and yet also seems to be the most realistic portrayal of college life in all forms that one can read.

Tanya Lee Stone, Advisor – For Historical Fiction fans: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn; For fans of Greek mythology and/or LGBTQ+ themes: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller; For fans of music biographies: Break Shot: My First 21 Years, by James Taylor; For Fans of Young Adult Lit: The Poet X, by Elizabeth Acevedo; for Foodie fans: Our Harlem, by Marcus Samuelsson.  If I was only supposed to pick one, sorry, not possible—have a wonderful break!