Reading lists are out and you may be faced with a waterfall of new material to sink into. If, like me, you think it’s a tad too early to think about the official texts of your upcoming year or you’re able to balance reading for pleasure with reading for business, then I suggest you give one of these texts a try to stay feeling Summery, whilst beginning to gear your mind into a more autumnal, academic and reflecting mood…
1. HARUKI MURAKAMI
The absolute go-to author this Summer if you’re looking for a read that is easy yet steeped in a different culture. In focusing on contemporary Japanese issues, Murakami welcomes us into a world and culture that is entirely his own and yet one that is easily recognisable. From student sexual angst to adolescent pangs of love and betrayal, sisterly intuition to adventure, poverty to his recurring animal motifs, there’s something for everyone!
So, are you ready to amble down a Norwegian Wood? Or perhaps visit The Strange Library, venture on A Wild Sheep Chase, perhaps After Dark and end up encountering his Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World…
2. TONI MORRISON
This woman is an absolute craft of a writer and will have you hooked from the very first page. You may have encountered some of her work on your course, and if not, there is nothing stopping you from grabbing the nearest copy and sitting back with a cup of tea as you vicariously live through the tangible struggles of her protagonists. Embark on a visceral journey as her unrelenting descriptions literally jump out of the page and scream for attention. Have you got what it takes to live alongside her protagonists and share their struggle?
3. D.H. LAWRENCE
‘Instead of chopping yourself down to fit the world, chop the world down to fit yourself…’
Nice little bit of worldly wisdom from our regional author right there. The D.H Lawrence festival of culture is running now until the 19th September in Nottingham and so it is truly the perfect time to devour the scandalous Lady Chatterley’s Lover or even The Plumed Serpent. For someone who is renowned as Robin Hood in the Lit-Sphere it would be an absolute crime not to read him!
4. LAURA BARNETT
What if? What if you said yes? What if you had said yes at that particular moment? The word ‘yes’ has resounding ripples that influence the future. Just saying yes when Mum asks if you want freshly baked apple pie will result in a happy tummy after dinner. If you stayed silent then you may have gone to bed with a grumbling stomach instead. Okayyy, so perhaps apple pie is not the best example, but you can see what I’m getting at right? Understanding the resounding impact of the word yes to shape our life? Yes? Yep, I’m sure you got there in the end…
Now, I’m a sucker for a good cover when it comes to selecting my next read. It’s true. Despite having the age-old warning tolling in my mind, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover,’ sometimes, you simply do. We’ve all been guilty of it I’m sure! Now go do the same, take the road not taken and discover how one story can easily have three versions. I devoured Barnett’s The Versions of Us in a mere 3 days and believe me, it’s worth falling into right before September starts with all its life-changing-what-if-I-say-yes-decisions.
5. ROBERT FROST
And talking about taking the road not taken, let’s not forget about this absolute gem in the literary world! Everyone loves a good poet. Amongst all the hustle and bustle of everyday life it’s sometimes just the perfect thing to craft some coffee and flick through Frost’s collection of poems devoted to living, nature and maturing. Take a swing on Birches, step outside and discover a Black Cottage, and even immerse yourself in Desert Places, After Apple Picking… Trust me, if there is one poet you pick up as you watch summer dissolve into the warm hues of autumn then Frost is the one for you. And then leave a comment and tell me which one of his vast selection of poems particularly took your fancy, I would love to know!
I hope you find this guide helpful and you discover something rewarding to sink your teeth into before term kicks off! For now, I’m waiting for the kettle to boil for my fresh Jasmine Tea and some magical Murakami…
Image credit: Brian Hathcock via Flickr