If you can bear to tear yourself away from Netflix for just a few hours, you might find something all the more interesting between the pages of a good book. University is the perfect time to read as many novels, factual books and autobiographies as humanly possible. Once you graduate, there will be more and more strains on your free time, which means that you will have less time in which to curl up and read. If you’re looking for a new book to delve into, look no further. Here are some books that everyone should read whilst studying.
1. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
If you took A Level English Lit and already knocked this one off your list, skip ahead. Brave New World is certainly a book that everyone should read at least once. The novel envisions a world where your entire destiny is already set out for you. This dystopian story is scarily relevant in the age of science, and so it’s a must read.
2. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
This somewhat autobiographical work of fiction is an interesting one. We follow the central character; a wannabe writer as she makes her way through the trials and tribulations of youth, virginity (or loss of) and depression. This is the ideal university read, since it tackles many of the issues young people have faced and will always face.
3. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
Set in a college in the US, this is a backwards crime story. From the offset, we know that the central group of characters (a clique of all-too-clever students) murder one of their closest friends. What we don’t know is why. As the weirdly wonderful story unravels, you will see that there is much more to this tale than first meets the eye.
4. 1984 – George Orwell
Where would we be without another dystopian novel, eh? This is perhaps the most famous of its genre and for good reason. If you’ve ever worried about the possibility of the government reading your emails and tests or watching you through cameras, you simply must read this. So much was predicted in this bizarre novel, which means that everyone has to read it once.
5. The Psychopath Test – Jon Ronson
And now, for a factual book instead. If you tire of reading fantastical made-up stores, here’s a bunch of fantastical true stories. Jon Ronson is one of the greatest journalists of our time and this book is one of his true gems. Within its pages, he explores what it technically (according to scientific research) means to be a psychopath. What’s more, he meets and interviews people who identify as having this mental disorder.
6. Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut
This novel is by no means as gruesome as the title would lead you to believe. If you’re expecting the literary version of the Saw movies, this is not the book for you. Much of the book is based on Vonnegut’s own experiences of fighting in World War II, although he has mixed in real events with satirical tales and sci-fi elements to boot. The story follows Billy Pilgrim, a man who can time-travel and was once abducted by aliens, although the two events are not connected. Like Vonnegut in real life, he fought in the army and became a prisoner of war soon enough. The non-linear style of the story means that you can dip in and out between lectures and never feel that you’ve missed a thing.