BACK TO SCHOOL READS

25 Sep 2020 | Student Advice

Most of you should just about be readying yourself to dive into that huge stack of course books waiting on your desk. Whilst many evenings may soon be taken up with reading textbooks, this doesn’t mean that you need to abandon your passion for literature! Here are just a few book suggestions for some, outside of study, reading this semester. Some even contain University related themes, to prepare you for the coming term.

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

This book is very close to my heart as it was given to me as a present before I began my first year at University. The “Opposite of Loneliness” is a beautiful and affecting collection of essays and stories by a promising Yale graduate who was, tragically, killed in a car accident 5 days after her graduation. Every piece is crafted from beautiful prose and her writing is made all the more poignant by her untimely death. Her stories will make you weep, hope and question the world that we live in.

The Idiot by Elif Baufman

“The Idiot” is a sensitive yet hilarious book which I challenge you not to put down! Quirky and intelligent protagonist, Selin, is the daughter of Turkish immigrants, who arrives for her freshman year at Harvard unsure of everything that will follow. Throughout the novel, the reader watches Selin grow, both intellectually and emotionally, as she experience her first academic year and falls in love whilst travelling around Europe. This really is a beautiful novel that literature lovers will adore if they give it a chance.

 

Acupressure: How to Cure Common Ailments the Natural Way by Michael Reed Gach

Whether you’re holistic or not, many studies have shown that acupressure is one of the most effective methods of self-treatment for tension related ailments.  Acupressure is a healing art in which, by pressing key points on the surface of your skin, muscular tension can be released and blood circulation can be promoted. Michael Gach’s book is a simple and clear (with many helpful diagrams) and teaches you how to relieve anything from hangovers to insomnia and pre-menstrual cramps. You can buy this book new anywhere online or, if you’re a bargain hunter, you can often find second-hand copies on websites like AbeBooks.

The Book of Heroic Failure: The Official Handbook of the Not Terribly Good Club of Great Britain by Stephen Pile (with Cartoons by Bill Tidy)

I picked up this book on whim at a book swapping station in a museum but it truly has brought me endless amusement. It is full of hundreds of ‘heroic failures’ by everyone from milkmen to presidents and can definitely turn your frown upside down (especially when you’ve made a heroic failure of your own). For your amusement here are just a couple of teaser facts: “The Least Successful Animal Rescue” in which a group of firemen rescue a dear old lady’s cat from on a tree… only to accidentally run it over later that day. Also, “The Most Unsuccessful Prison Escape” in which 75 convicts dig a secret tunnel designed to reach the other side of the prison wall…only to emerge in a nearby courtroom.

As I’ve said before, keeping happy and healthy, is very possible if you maintain a good balance in your life. If you love to read don’t abandon your passion for literature for textbooks! If you love a party, don’t burn the candle at both ends! I hope these books make you think, feel and help keep yourself well.

By Ilona Cabral

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