A ranked list of what UNCW students are reading

Lanie Padgett, Staff Writer

With the end of the semester on the horizon and a plethora of textbook material waiting to be read, The Seahawk sought to see exactly what UNCW students are reading–that is, outside of class. A variety of picks rated by popular opinion and students themselves are waiting to be discovered. From romance to nonfiction, UNCW students are reading it all.


10: “The Lake House” by Kate Morton

Genre: Mystery

Junior Lexi Lage’s pick “The Lake House” is a classic disappearance novel with all the hidden secrets to match. A fast-paced, double-dimensional novel, this story is split between the early 1900s and 2000s, following the lives of two women. Their lives become intertwined as now-elderly Alice Edevane is continuously haunted by the long-hidden circumstances that surround a family tragedy from her youth. As young investigator Sadie Sparrow works tirelessly to uncover these secrets, she rattles the safety of Edevane’s privacy. 

Lexi picked the book randomly as a fan of the genre and enjoys that the storyline keeps you second-guessing.

9: “Unlikely Animals” by Annie Hartnett

Genre: Psychological Fiction

The Seahawk’s book club pick for October, “Unlikely Animals,” is a swoon-worthy read that encompasses characters of every type, complete with a lovable yet ordinary protagonist. October’s book club selection follows Emma Starling as she returns home to care for her sick father, find her missing best friend and get back on her feet. Others’ expectations of her are her kryptonite as she hopes to once again harness her former magical healing power. 

Staff Writer Lanie Padgett was drawn to the book because of its intriguing and equally complicated storyline.

8: “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan

Genre: Nonfiction

Junior Hill Wilson’s pick “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” gives a fresh perspective on something we often take for granted: our next meal. In the wake of constantly evolving diets and food trends, Pollan examines the reality of the food industry and how this dictates the dietary choices we make.

Hill enjoys the emphasis placed on the depiction of the food industry from the inside.


7: “Dune” by Frank Herbert

Genre: Science Fiction

Sophomore June White’s pick, “Dune” is the first of the “Dune” series. Seven more additions to the classic storyline accompany the original since its release, written by Herbert’s sons in response to the series’ high demand. Following the acquisition of the only planet known to inhabit a drug commonly known as “Spice,” a boy named Paul must fend off seekers of the drug’s power, including space exploration and immorality.

June picked up the book after watching the movie adaptation and enjoys the political depth it presents.

6: “The Gift of Being Yourself” by David G. Benner

Genre: Religious, Self-Help

Junior Joshua Lee’s pick “The Gift of Being Yourself” addresses the age-old idea of the purpose of life. Through a Christian lens, Benner advocates that knowledge of individual purpose is the catalyst for a deep connection with God. He also criticizes a world in which we must hide who we really are at the expense of others’ judgment. Taking a prominent cultural idea, Benner provides encouragement to those seeking to be more like Christ.

Joshua enjoys the personal understanding and relationship with God that the book ignites in him.

5: “Matilda” by Roald Dahl

Genre: Children’s Literature

Freshman Sydney Bayne’s pick “Matilda” is a classic in both book and movie form that never fails to take the audience back to their roots. The perfect depiction of extraordinary, readers fall in love with Matilda as they relate to hard-to-love parents, the push for perfection and deep love for their favorite teachers. Necessary evil becomes Matilda’s expertise as she navigates the new-found world of kindergarten.

Sydney decided to read the book based on her love for the movie and finds inspiration in Miss Honey as an education major.

4: “The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller

Genre: Historical Fiction

Sophomore Samantha Summerlin’s pick “The Song of Achilles” tells a fictional love story with a tried-and-true plot many are drawn to again and again. Based closely on the mythological figure, conventionally attractive demigod Achilles falls in love with the less substantial Patroclus, a violent prince. After the kidnapping of Helen of Sparta, Achilles drags them both into trials that put them on the edge of fate.

Samantha recommends the book because of the use of imagery and chemistry between the characters.


3: “It Ends With Us” by Colleen Hoover

Genre: Romance

Sophomore Lauren Mehta’s pick “It Ends With Us” enthralls readers with a sexy heartbreak and redemption storyline, examining the effects of domestic abuse and the impression of first love in the depths of the heart. Following her move to Boston, Lily is conflicted with feelings of love and lust for deeply troubled Ryle while combating feelings for long-lost-love Atlas, all in the city they were supposed to start a life in many years ago.

Lauren read the book following a promising recommendation from her friends.

2: “The Fellowship of the Ring” by J.R.R. Tolkien

Genre: Fantasy

Senior Mike Olsen’s pick “The Fellowship of the Ring” is the prologue to Lord of the Rings, giving readers who loved or missed the Hobbit a run-down of the storyline continued in the next work. After being entrusted with the ring by aged Uncle Bilbo, Frodo Baggins determines to guard it closely despite Dark Lord Sauron’s threats to take it back. Frodo embarks on an arduous journey across Middle-Earth to defeat the dark lord and carry on the ring’s legacy.

Mike expressed his enjoyment of the way Tolkien creates Middle-Earth with layers of dimension, leaving behind an extremely engrossing setting.


1: “The Poet X” by Elizabeth Acevedo

Genre: Poetry

Senior Dylan Sessoms’ pick “The Poet X” is a collection of poems that speaks louder than traditional words ever could. Containing poems written exclusively by fictional main character Xiomara Bautista, this collection documents her coming of age as she experiences love, fitting in, and looking different, all for the first time. Facing religious burden at the hands of her family, she must express herself without their knowledge.

Dylan decided to give the book a try because of his interest in poetry.