8 books to read over winter holiday

2023-01-13 Global Communications

[Editor’s Note: Do you what to curl up with a good book as the winter holiday begins? Are you looking for new insight for the new year? It’s a moment to take a breath and consider the past, present and future after the exam week. Here are recommendations from Class of 2022.]

Cognitive Awakening by ZHOU Ling

It can answer many of my doubts during my freshman and sophomore years. High school lives and college lives are very different.At college, we need to manage our time more actively compared with our high school lives. At the same time, there are also doubts like “why am I anxious”, “what should I do when I am confused”, “how to study efficiently”, and “why do ‘I understand it, but just can’t do it”, and other issues.”

                                                              — YAN Shiyu

Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo

The book discusses thoroughly the nature of poverty, the “poverty trap”, and examples of analysis on how to help people in poor areas. Every ZJUer will go for social practice programs in college. I believe that after reading this book, combined with the impressive social practice, they can have a deeper understanding that they should go to places where they are needed most and contribute their share of power there.

                                                             — ZHANG Huayan

Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

It is the very book to recommend to myself if I were a freshman again. This book makes me think deeply about contemporary entertainment and culture. Every time I read it, I'm more aware of the excessive demands of entertainment in society and the importance of earnestness. Entertainment is the spice in life, but we should be more discerning about it. Choose entertainment of higher quality that can reach people's hearts, so that our lives are truly enriched.

— WANG Yiping

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

Heidi has a heart as bright as gold, LUO commented, Her kindness and sincerity has changed everyone around he. She lights up the life of her unsociable grandfather, and she helps Clara, whose legs are paralyzed by mental illness, to stand up again. We all experience hardships and temptations throughout our lives. It would be wiser to find inner peace, maintain an open soul, and be kind just like Heidi in the midst of turmoils and pains.

— LUO Lidong

Refinement by Caitong

It was in 2018 when I was a freshman that I first read the book. I felt so upset when the excitement in college life faded away and I couldn't meet my own expectations as a liberal arts major. I lost confidence and began to feel sorry for myself. A senior introduced the book to me. The author discussed personal growth from the perspectives of 'time view', 'decision making', 'action', 'learning', 'thinking', 'talent' and 'success', which gave me a lot of emotional support on the gloomy nights of the freshman year.

—DING Jiachen

A Memoir of School by HE Zhaowu

I was lucky to read it when I was a freshman. Their experiences resonate with me, ZHANG said. Youths of different eras share the same passion for their dreams and go though similar confusion and struggles. There are also differences. Today, college students have different perceptions and expectations of themselves.

—ZHANG Changkun

The Analects of Confucius

It‘s a thin book, but when read it, you learn from one of the greatest masters. You will know more of learning: 'To learn without thinking is reckless, to think without learning is dangerous'. You will understand what a talent means: 'A wise man will not make himself into a mere machine fit only to do one kind of work'. It also teaches you how to be a worthy friend: 'A man of virtue can never be isolated. He is sure to have like-minded companions’.

—JIA Sining

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

I found their stories so touching and inspiring. I learnt It's alright to feel miserable or abnormal sometimes – everyone suffers in his or her own way. Yet it’s courageous of us to face our sorrows, which leads to a deeper understanding of all the nuances and complexities in life. JIANG concludes, It's impossible to feel happy or upset all the time. After all, happiness comes from capriciousness and inconstancy.

—JIANG Jiayi