BEST BOOKS TO READ AT CAMPUS
- JWB Post
- January 28, 2014
When to read the most, if not during student life? Dip into a few choice books to give you an edge.
THE GREAT GATSBY
F Scott Fitzgerald
This novel conjures up all the glamour and decadence of the early Twenties Jazz Age. At heart a tale of thwarted love, it throws up questions of class, wealth and illusion — themes that may well resurface in a project or lecture hall.
A hero fights with oppression in Oceania, a place where the Party scrutinizes human actions with ever-watchful Big Brother. Defying a ban on individuality, Winston dares to express his thoughts in a diary and pursues a relationship with Julia. It brings Winston into the eye of the opposition, who then must reform the nonconformist. George Orwell’s 1984 introduced the watchwords for life without freedom: Big Brother is watching you.
Think and grow Rich
A compelling title might explain initial rushes to buy a book, but in the last 60 years, the world has bought over 15 million copies of Think and Grow Rich. Ever best book to read.
You can’t go to university without reading arguably the finest English novel. Corruption, goodness, the nature of love, integrity, making choices — everything you need to know is within. As you start you may quake at its length; when you’re halfway through you’ll dread it ending.
It’s hard to get through higher education without a passing reference to political theorist Machiavelli. His short treatise, written 500 years ago, famously argues that the pursuit of power can justify amoral means. Cynic or clear-headed realist? Appreciate the influence of the ultimate “prince of darkness”.
Outliers: the Story of Success
Why do some people achieve so much? From rock stars to software billionaires and athletes, Gladwell believes it’s about what we do as much as who we are. Aspirational reading for new beginnings — if this won’t get you out of bed, what will?
THE SECOND SEX
Simone de Beauvoir
Just knowing this post-war study of the treatment of women throughout history was banned by the Vatican adds a certain frisson. Existentialist Beauvoir explored female oppression before feminism was even a phrase. Essential name-dropping for any self-respecting student.