Winter is officially upon us; for those not living in halls, the heating has begrudgingly been turned on, the second round of fresher’s flu has hit and when the snow begins to fall there will be nothing more appealing than staying indoors tucked up with a hot water bottle and a good book! Impact Arts has offered up a suggested reading list to pass away those cold evenings!

The Help: Kathryn Stockett

This has recently come to us on the big screen, but was first and foremost a novel and is a cracking read! A New York Bestseller, it narrates Miss Skeeters uncovering of the unfair discrimination against the ‘coloured help’ in 1960’s Jackson, Mississippi homes. Although it focuses on a relatively serious issue, it provides plenty of good humour and fun; it is a brilliant ‘in-between-lecture’ read.

The Great Gatsby: F. Scott Fitzgerald

The newest film incarnation of this novel has been taken on by Baz Lurhmann and, although it is not out until late 2012, it will undoubtedly be an obligatory watch. Therefore being the academics that we are, reading the novel beforehand is also a must! Set in the roaring ’20s on the East Coast, this is a Fitzgerald Classic, featuring literary greats such as Gatsby himself and the infamous Daisy Buchanan.

Starter For Ten: David Nicholls

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you will have heard of the hype surrounding Nicholls’ ‘One Day’. His equally successful and earlier novel, ‘Starter for Ten’ (also a film) is equally top-notch! It neatly sums up university life — the cliques, the halls and the humiliations. Although we’re probably not all gagging to get onto University Challenge, there’s definitely a little bit of Brian Jackson in all of us.

The Other Hand: Chris Cleave

A dual narrative story about a reunion in England between a Nigerian asylum-seeker and a British magazine editor after a chance meeting during the oil conflict in the Niger Delta; this book is incredible. Although it covers political violence, British colonization and the treatment of refugees, it is still a moving and enjoyable read.

Lisa Neiss

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