Top 10 Great Reads According to Undergrad Business Students

With coursework and Instagram to keep college students occupied, no one has time to read books for fun, right? Not true!

At William & Mary's Raymond A. Mason School of Business, students read all the time, and not just business-related books. Though business students have busy schedules packed with classes, clubs and networking, most still find time during the semester to crack open a good book for fun. What are they reading? Here is a list of top 10 books to read, as suggested by Mason School students:

  1. "A Walk in the Woods," by Bill Bryson.

    "I read this books fairly recently and really enjoyed it," says Vail Prior, a senior Marketing major. It tells the story of an attempt by the author and his friend to walk the Appalachian Trail. Along the way, readers learn about the history of the trail and the ecology of the surrounding woods. "I really liked it because it is a book that teaches you how you can do anything you set your mind to," Prior says. She adds with a smile: "Now I know I can hike from Georgia to Maine...if I want."

  2. "Turtles All The Way Down," by John Green.

    "I just finished reading 'Turtles All The Way Down' and thought it was very interesting," says Grayce Angle, a junior Accounting major. "The story is about a teenager with OCD. It's an interesting read because it so accurately depicts a character with a fairly common mental disorder and is at the same time written by an author suffering from the same affliction. It was very enlightening and I think it is something that everyone should read to help spread a greater understanding of mental disorders and just how prevalent they are in our society."

  3. "The Godfather," by Mario Puzo.

    This is a favorite book of Katherine Kennedy, a senior Finance major. “The story is great, and what really amazes me about the book is the character development,” she says. “When most people think of ‘The Godfather,’ they think of the movie. But the movie really lacked the character development of the book, so I think it’s something everyone should take the time to read.”

  4. “The Great Gatsby,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

    “It’s a little basic, but I love ‘The Great Gatsby,’” says Alex Marto, a senior Finance major. “We all have to read it, but I think the characters in it are so deep—and I love the fact that there is a surprise ending. With most books you have an idea of how it is going to end. But with this one I really didn’t have any idea about what was going on, and I loved how it kept me on my toes.”

  5. “Save More Tomorrow,” by Shlomo Benartzi.

    “Not to be stereotypical to my major, but ‘Save More Tomorrow’ was a great book,” says Eliza McKenney, a junior Finance major. “It’s a book on behavioral economics and I really enjoyed it because it was a quick read and gave you a lot of useful information that was easy to digest and apply to every day life. I highly recommend it to anyone who is in college or just starting out in their first job.”

  6. “Principles of Life and Work,” by Ray Dalio.

    This book was written by an investor and entrepreneur who shares principles that anyone can use to achieve goals. “I really enjoyed reading this,” says Alex Ghenea, a senior Marketing major, “because it gives you an all-around look at someone’s life and how they have applied the lessons in the book to themselves, in a business sense.”

  7. “Big Little Lies,” by Liane Moriarty.

    “This year, so far, my favorite book was ‘Big Little Lies,’” says Paige Humphrey, a senior Finance major. “It was so engrossing and really kept you into the story until the last page. You also knew the whole time that there was going to be some big reveal at the end, but you didn’t know what. I had such a hard time putting it down that I could easily have read the whole book in one sitting.”

  8. “40 Chances,” by Howard G. Buffett.

    This book, written by the son of famed investor Warren Buffett, discusses world hunger and “has a really interesting perspective,” says Maire Shine, a senior Finance major. “It talks about sustainable philanthropy and gives the reader an interesting and more progressive way to view charity.”

  9. ”You Are A Badass,” by Jen Sincero.

    “I absolutely loved this book,” says Emmy Garber, a senior Marketing major. “I just loved the message behind it. It’s not so much a self-help book but a confidence booster. I highly recommend it!” The subtitle says it all: “How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life.”

  10. “My Not So Perfect Life,” by Sophie Kinsella.

    This book falls soundly into the genre of Chick Lit, but begs a wider appeal. It is about a young professional woman who seems to have a perfect life in London—but behind closed doors, is actually quite miserable. When her awful boss fires her, she ends up back at her father’s home helping him build a new business. It all comes to a head, but the take-away is that nobody is perfect and that what you see publicly doesn’t always square with reality. The book addresses this modern problem in a comical way that is relatable to this young generation, especially young women in their 20s.