Books stacked to add to your reading list

On Campus, Lifestyle

5th November 2021

Book Inspo For Your University Bookshelf

Looking for fresh book inspo for your university bookshelf this autumn? These recommendations are easily packed into moving boxes to guide you through a new stage of life or just help refresh your reading list.

1. People You Follow: A Memoir by Hayley Gene Penner

A rollercoaster of a memoir! The reader discovers Penner along with Penner herself, who identifies the patterns within her life. She packs her book full of flawed epiphanies and self-incrimination. It’s a gentle unraveling of relationships and the music industry that demands empathy and attention because it is written with so much bravery.

2. Set Me On Fire: A Poem For Every Feeling by Ella Risbridger

This collection is sentimental and emotional – perhaps teetering towards the twee or cliché in its worst moments. It covers broad themes and a wide range of voices. This results in an abundance of fresh poets that I think are unlikely to have neighboured each other before. The most impressive element of this book may well be its organisation as its chapters are guided by feelings making it easily navigable.

3. Anecdotal Evidence by Wendy Cope

This poetry collection feels alive and practical. It notices the small things in dainty poems that are sometimes self-deprecating, sometimes self-referential. and always full of Cope’s humour, enthusiasm, and passion. As the collection’s title suggests, it feels like a friend telling an anecdote over coffee. Cope hesitates to reflect on moments until she is the right age to fully understand their importance. ‘An Afternoon’ (usually located on page 17) is a highlight for me!

4. Whites: On Race and Other Falsehoods by Otegha Uwagba

A short and concise reflection on the Black Lives Matter Movement’s return to national (and international) headlines in 2020. It is a much-needed perspective and definitely an essay to reread – especially when needing a reminder of what real action is. I find it exciting whenever Uwagba writes as her topics are consistently interesting, difficult, and always executed perfectly.

5. Quicksand and Passing by Nella Larsen.

To me, these stories are about the changes and decisions that make up a life. Quicksand depicts places through the people the protagonist, Helga, meets. This creates a cast of personalities whose conversations you are eager to eavesdrop on. Helga herself is confusing in the best way. As Larsen died in relative anonymity, it’s a pleasure to read these buried treasures. The Sydney Jones library has many copies of this text for you to check out!

6. Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney.

Many have a love-hate relationship with this novel, much like the characters in the story. It has a meandering yet seductive plot that pulls you in and lets you swim around in its world. Plus, the classic Rooney cover art style is perfect for adding some colour to your uni bookshelf! Despite some troublesome tropes, Conversations with Friends has developed somewhat of a cult following from those invested.

For more bookshelf inspo, check out these books to help to get your life together!

Featured Image Credit: The Author