Best Books to Read Before University

Best Books to Read Before University

by Laura Sciarpelletti
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Here is a little heads up about university: you will have to read A LOT. More than that, you will have to write a lot. There will be essays expected in nearly every subject and some previous literary knowledge can really come in handy. It not only helps make you sound more experienced and knowledgeable in your essay writing, but will help with in-class discussions and group work. There are plenty of different books to not only take advantage of but truly enjoy. Here are a few to start you off on the path to being the smartest and most well read freshman in the room:

A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf

Ms. Woolf really knew how to say the things that lie deep in one’s mind. A Room of One’s Own is an insightful and eloquently written long essay that explores feminist themes on literal and figural space for women writers within a largely male dominated arena. It is based on a series of university lectures Woolf gave, and is perfect for getting the mind thinking about feminist issues and autonomy. Especially consider tackling this one if you are heading into Women’s Studies, English, Philosophy, Psychology or Political Science.

The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

Plath’s brain is a fascinating place and she has penned some truly great work. The Bell Jar is arguably Plath at the height of her brilliance. A look at mental illness, anxiety and depression, its attributes for students lie in the complex themes often mulled over by Plath and truly many people every day. It is very dark, yes, but professors in university will be impressed at your knowledge and its many psychological themes and strong English will make its way into your paper writing when school begins.

The Armies of the Night – Norman Mailer

You want to talk about great thinkers and writers? Look up Norman Mailer. The amazing (although at times not the most politically correct and socially acceptable) writer was at the forefront of the New Journalism movement and knew how to combine non-fictional reporting with creative-form writing. The Armies of the Night is a work of art about the 1967 March on the Pentagon. Perfect for those interested in either politics, 1960s culture or historical figures, this book is for both the creative and the scientific. Chock full of deep thoughts and great one-liners, Mailer is a quotable entity if there ever was one and not a single professor is unaware of his credentials. Read this one.

Just Kids – Patti Smith

There are many different kinds of brilliance, and artistic brilliance is a heavy-hitter. For inspiration and a truly stunning example of impeccable poetry read rocker Patti Smith’s Just Kids. A memoir about her and former lover and life-long friend photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, Just Kids is not only a love letter to a soul mate but a love letter to muses, different art forms and the process and hard times of the artist. It’s not enough to want to learn in order to achieve a career, you should also want to have passion for that learning. Smith is all about passion and it’s infectious.

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