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Spring break will bring some much needed vacation time for students. There is no better time to pick up a great book and just relax. Whether you’re on the beach or at home on the couch, here are a few books to consider checking out during your down time.

Courtesy of Algonquin Books

Courtesy of Algonquin Books

1. Water for Elephants: Published in 2007, Water for Elephants is a fantastic story by Sara Gruen. This is the story of Jacob Jankowski, and his memory of being in the circus. He befriends Marlena, the wife of the circus master, and Rosie, the circus elephant. This book tells the story of their unique friendship and unfolds into a story you won’t be able to put down.

Courtesy of Little, Brown and Company

Courtesy of Little, Brown and Company

2. Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls: This is a newer novel by David Sedaris, released in summer of 2013. The story is told by Sedaris himself as he reflects on memories throughout his life. The book is filled with humor, as it tells Sedaris’ experiences, from dental appointments to traveling. Critics have given the book great reviews and very few are disappointed. Sedaris visited ISU earlier this year and has been a major hit with students.

Courtesy of Knopf Books

Courtesy of Weidenfeld and Nicolson

3. Gone Girl: This book by the New York Times Best-Selling author Gillian Flynn has received raving reviews since it came out in 2012. The story takes place in Missouri, where Nick and Amy are celebrating their fifth anniversary. On the day of their anniversary, Amy goes missing. The story unfolds and everyone is questioning if the picture perfect husband that Nick seems to be is Amy’s murderer. Nick is trying to prove his innocence while his neighbors are rethinking what goes on behind closed doors. This novel is known for its suspense and has readers instantly addicted to its twisting plot.

Courtesy of Dutton Books

Courtesy of Dutton Books

4. The Fault in Our Stars:  The Fault in Our Stars has received a lot of attention in the last few months because it is coming to theaters this year. Released in 2012, the love story looks at the relationship of Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters, two teenagers who meet in a cancer patient support group. John Green captures the tragedy beautifully and manages to leave readers at a happy moment and at rest.

Courtesy of Knopf Books

Courtesy of Knopf Books

5. The Book Thief: “The Book Thief” is also coming to theaters this year. Published in 2007, Markus Zusak’s novel has received great reviews and is a New York Times Best-Seller. The book is set in 1939 during WWΙΙ in Nazi Germany. The main character, Liesel Meminger, is a foster child who lives outside of Munich, and steals books from the flames of the Nazis whenever she gets the chance. After her foster father teachers her to read, Liesel decides she is going to read to her neighbors to cheer them up during this terrible time. This is a page-turner with a moving historical touch.

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