There is a common idea amongst returning students and freshers that the first few weeks at university are far more relaxed than the middle and end of the year. Nonetheless, year in and year out, people are still failing to realise how fast lecture slides and lecturers can go from your welcome week slides, to your up and coming essay deadlines. The jump between the slides can cause increased levels of tension and panic and the hard-hitting fact that you came to university to leave with a degree, suddenly sinks in. The days of endless lazing around quickly catch up to us all, and we realise that we have only explored the insides of Venue since coming back to Kent.
Here at InQuire, we have listed a few inspirational books that we think can help you get on track right away. It is to help you squash those ‘I can’t’ moments, push through the endless procrastination that we have all fallen victim to every now and again, or to simply give you that motivational boost that you need when stepping out on your own for the first time.
Fight Club: Everyone has heard of it, most have watched it, but we all need to read it. It is a classic hit and one which has put Chuck PalahniukIt’s name on the wall. A novel that heavily revolves round the political relationships between middle-class disaffected males. The underground secret society and the theme of fighting stands as a metaphor for the male characters constantly trying to reassert their male identities and make a name for themselves within their dehumanising jobs. Unlike the other recommended books, it has made it to this list because of its iconic artistic images and underlying philosophical sadness, that so cleverly runs throughout the novel.
Getting to Yes with yourself and other worthy opponents: William Ury’s novel is one which is self-explanatory in the title. It is based off of the idea that ‘as soon as we are able to come to an agreement within ourselves, we will sooner be able to reach agreements with other people’. He encourages his readers with the idea of ‘self-love’ and not being afraid of exploring your own personalities. Thus, as university students are going through their first big, life changes, they are completely exposed to meeting newly wonderful and weird people.
Life of Pi: Another novel that has been turned into a massive blockbuster, Yann Martel’s novel focuses on the strength and determination of one man’s mind. The beautiful descriptions and picturesque settings of the novel should not stray its reader from the fact that the protagonist is someone who people from all different backgrounds can relate to. Somehow the idea of stripping someone down to their most vulnerable selves, allows them to express their rawest emotions and the extreme depths of their mind. It is psychologically inspiring and a novel which shows people that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. The relationship between Pi and the large Bengal tiger, Richard Parker, takes its readers on a journey, where they explore the depths of their love, friendship and trust for one another.
Americanah: Out of all four novel recommendations, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book teaches its readers to learn from their surroundings, the mistakes people make around them and how they can use their social settings to their own personal advantages. Although it is written in a different context, it is extremely thought provoking, because it forces people to explore themes of structural inequality, gender roles and norms, oppression and discrimination against people from specific backgrounds.