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Research Guides

Good Reads at Odegaard Undergraduate Library

At OUGL, we maintain a collection of fiction and nonfiction books that appeal to students looking for something entertaining in their downtime. These books have all been published within the last five years, so if your friend has mentioned their favorite new book or if you stumbled upon a new book review while doom-scrolling, you can look for the title here!

". . . it doesn't matter what books [or magazines] you read, even if your choice is "trashy" Gothic novels.  It is what you make of them, how you behave in consequence, that counts" (230). —Worsley, Lucy. Jane Austen at home: a biography. Hodder, 2017.

Where can you find the Good Reads?

  • The Good Reads section is a browsing collection of fiction and nonfiction books located behind our Information Desk on the second floor.

  • Our student assistants are happy to help you browse the catalog if the book you wanted isn’t on the shelf!

Have you read for fun lately?

You may not realize it, but reading for fun can actually help with your busy student life! One of the biggest benefits of leisure reading is reduced academic stress.  When you choose to read books you enjoy, you’ll probably be more motivated to take regular breaks from your academic work.  This will help you focus on your studies and avoid burnout while engaging with a great new hobby.

How do you find the right book for you?

This guide has several different tools that will help you navigate our Good Reads collection.

  • Online Resources — Find websites with book reviews and recommendations, among other tools to help guide your search.
  • UW Picks! — Read recommendations from staff and students at UW. If you have a recommendation of your own, be sure to let us know.
  • Good Reads — Top picks from Odegaard library's Good Reads collection by genre. 
  • International Good Reads — Popular books translated from English and selected by our language professors!


What do you do if the books we recommend don’t look interesting to you?

Don’t worry! Every reader has their own taste, and you won’t like every book even if someone else does. Try searching the catalog for the right book.

The UW Libraries Search does not allow search by genre. Instead, using the advanced search tool, you can change the first drop-down menu to "Identifier, Subject" and include terms such as:

  • Science fiction
  • Fantasy fiction
  • Romance fiction
  • Western fiction
  • Mystery fiction
  • Suspense fiction
  • Graphic novels
  • Historical fiction

What kind of books do you like to read?

Let us know what you're looking for!
Essays: 22 votes (8.59%)
Science fiction: 37 votes (14.45%)
Fantasy fiction: 45 votes (17.58%)
Short stories: 13 votes (5.08%)
Historical fiction: 21 votes (8.2%)
Biographies: 15 votes (5.86%)
Romance fiction: 51 votes (19.92%)
True crime: 8 votes (3.13%)
Mystery fiction: 41 votes (16.02%)
Travel writing: 3 votes (1.17%)
Total Votes: 256

Good Reads

NPR Book Reviews