What to Watch and What to Read During Spring Break

Musselman Library (Photo Allyson Frantz/The Gettysburgian)

Musselman Library (Photo Allyson Frantz/The Gettysburgian)

By Jane Fitzpatrick, Features Editor

Spring Break offers students a chance to catch up on TV shows and dive into a good book that wasn’t assigned for class. The library’s web resources, e-book collection, and streaming services remain available, and, of course, there’s always Netflix. For anyone who forgot to make a list of binge-worthy series and interesting pleasure-reads, here are some recommendations from other students:

Becky Montross ‘20: Comedy specials of Chris D’elia, Trevor Noah, Tiffany Haddish, and Trevor Noah, available for streaming on Netflix

“The point of stand up comedy is to spend an hour of time with the comic, get to know them, and let them make you laugh.  What I think is particularly healing about stand up is that it filters out the serious issues you may be facing through a good-humored lens.  It gives you a bit of a reality check, and helps you not take yourself so seriously.

Katie Madore ‘20: The Song of Achilles, a novel by Madeleine Miller

“It’s an incredible take on some of the Greek myths of Achilles, centered on the lives and relationship between him and Patroclus before and during the Trojan War”

Nina Rubenstein ‘21: Survivor, broadcast on CBS and available for streaming on Amazon

“I’m watching Survivor because it’s a show my family watches together”

CJ Jaramillo ‘21: The Boys, available for streaming on Amazon

“The Boys is a complete alternative but realistic view on how superheroes would be in the social media age”

Isabel Fritz ‘21: Anne With An E, available for streaming on Netflix

“Good representation, a deeper look at what the realities of the times would have been at the time of Anne of Green Gables would have been written, and beautiful, good music”

Nate Rell ‘22: The Razor’s Edge,  a novel by William Somerset Maugham

“It’s an existential kind of novel.  Not exactly a light, Sunday evening read”

Daniel Jones ‘22: The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World, a book by Tenzin Gyatso (the 14th Dalai Lama) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa

The Book of Joy is a book I’ve been reading because Chaplain Largen suggested it to me and because it is a discussion on what true joy is… It teaches the readers to understand two points of view of how to achieve true joy and what it means via each of their personal experiences.  It is a wonderful novel to read, especially in this time of hysteria, as it’s very comforting and maintains a very good message”

Lily Zhou ‘23: The Glass Castle, a memoir by Jeannette Walls, film adaptation (2017) available for streaming on Amazon

“ …[This book] shows the adversities Walls and her siblings had to overcome throughout their upbringing. In many ways she and her siblings were able to take the turbulent situations her family was in and turn it into a life that felt adventurous and at ease.  It keeps the reader engaged in both serious and comical moments.  Plus there’s a film adaptation to it if people feel like watching it instead”

Since the Gettysburg College Spring Break has been extended, students have more time for looking into these recommendations and discovering new books and shows along the way.

Zhou also recommended staying positive during this difficult time.

“I think people can take this extended break as an opportunity to do things they always plan on doing but never get to, like reading a book they’re actually interested in,” she said. “This is especially applicable if they spent the first week trying to catch up with people and need some time for themselves or if they need to stay inside to avoid catching the virus”

Montross was eager to encourage students to try watching stand up comedy over the break to help maintain an optimistic attitude.

“In the end, we’re all human, and we’re all going through “it;” whatever “it” may be.  To me, it’s been an emotionally productive distraction from anxiety and pain” said Montross.  “Plus: it’s been proven, laughing out loud is one of the best things you can do for your [mood] and your overall health!!”

Reading books and watching shows can be an entertaining and healthy activity for any Spring Breaker this year, and with a wide range of options to choose from, more time simply means an opportunity to further explore the world from the comfort of our own homes.

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Author: Jane Fitzpatrick

Jane Fitzpatrick '21 serves as Features Editor of The Gettysburgian. She is a Religious Studies major and Middle East & Islamic Studies minor.

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