There are a lot of books out there, many of which you likely would like to read. You should keep reading and studying books that you find interesting, but there are also a few essential books to take a look at, especially if you’re a college student. We can learn an endless amount from books and they help us see our world in a different light. Here are some of the top books you should read if you’re currently in college.

This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

It’s fairly likely that you’ve heard of this novel before, or at least recognize Fitzgerald’s name. While he has many other famous books you may have read (like The Great Gatsby), this novel is another masterpiece. It’s his debut novel and focuses on a recent college grad who becomes disillusioned with the world around him following graduation. This feeling can plague college grads who are often not in school for the first time in their lives, so it should be pretty relatable.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Marquez has written many masterpieces and is one of the best-known artists from Latin America. This novel focuses on the human life and the idea of loneliness and also how humans attempt to combat it. It’s an epic novel, but certainly worth the time it’ll take to read it.

The Defining Decade by Meg Jay

Jay’s novel focuses on your twenties and how they often define who you are as a person. It’s the time you fully transition into being an adult and learn how to live your life. This book is technically a self-help book, but it’s more motivational than helping solve a problem. Jay makes a point to motivate readers to get up and make something out of their twenties instead of wasting away the years of this incredible decade.

The Last Lecture by Jeffrey Zaslow

There’s a chance you’ve already read this book, because it’s a fairly easy read and people have been talking about it for years. Zaslow put together the book, but it’s actually based on Randy Pausch’s commencement speech that he gave in 2006, recently after he learned he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He died a couple of years later, but the lessons he offers in this speech are life-changing and help readers focus on the larger purpose of life.

The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler

Based on an interview between these two men, The Art of Happiness offers fresh insights from the Dalai Lama that can benefit college students who feel overwhelmed. It offers a deep look at how you can achieve happiness and how it depends less on your circumstances and more on what’s inside of you.

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela is a name many know, but few people have actually read his autobiography that he began while he spent 27 years in prison. It catalogues the life of this world leader and will teach you more than you ever expected to know about Mandela and the incredible work he did.