Everyone should read these 5 books at university
To celebrate World Book Day (today!), we’re sharing five brilliant books that are totally relatable to student life. So grab yourself a cuppa and get into the reading spirit as we count down our top five uni must-reads.
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
This magical masterpiece of a series is the very definition of a must-read. J.K. Rowling’s expertly crafted writing recounts the lives of Harry, Ron and Hermione, along with their fellow Hogwarts students and teachers. The phenomenal Harry Potter series reportedly led to an increase in the numbers of students applying to boarding school, although any school in the Muggle world is unlikely to be as magical as Hogwarts, unfortunately. We’re still waiting on our Hogwarts letters…
Porterhouse Blue by Tom Sharpe
First published in 1974, this satirical novel detailing the struggle between tradition and reform in Porterhouse, a fictional Cambridge college, was adapted into a Channel 4 TV series in 1987. It takes its title from the college master’s cause of death: overindulging on Porterhouse’s legendary cuisine. Porterhouse Blue offers an entertaining read, and contains many characters that are likely to be found on campuses up and down the country. Think your typical pompous old-fashioned academic – we’ve all met one.
This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
This semi-autobiographical novel, published in 1920, offers an interesting insight into Fitzgerald’s own time at university, which was over 100 years ago. The protagonist – a handsome, confident and idealistic Princeton University student named Amory Blaine – is often seen as being based on Fitzgerald himself. Both romantic and witty, this novel explores the theme of love becoming warped by greed. Slightly more melancholic than the others, this is not a novel to be read on an emotional day. Maybe avoid reading it when you’re stressed with coursework (we all know how testing it can be). Save this one for after the deadline!
On Beauty by Zadie Smith
Shortlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2005, Zadie Smith’s powerful novel On Beauty addresses important issues in contemporary society, such as cultural differences between the USA and UK, the clash between liberal and conservative academic values, and the nature of beauty. The story follows the lives of a mixed-race British/American family living in the fictional university town of Wellington in the United States. A thought-provoking read.
Malory Towers by Enid Blyton
These children’s classics follow the heroine Darrell Rivers through her time at the boarding school Malory Towers in Cornwall, which was based on the girls’ boarding school that Blyton’s daughter attended in Kent. The rebellious Alicia Johns draws Darrell into the world of mischief-making at Malory Towers, and the fun ensues! Just like that one mischievous friend who is a bit of a bad influence, but makes your time at uni so much more fun.