Reading isn’t just for English students or for cramming for that essay you need to write—reading is for everybody, no matter your own story. There’s something for everyone, so a collection of students from all over the university have suggested some books to get you started. Whether you’re looking to impress, make your coursework easier, or just some fun reading, there should be something here for you.
Mark Forsyth: The Elements of Eloquence
Looking to impress your peers and your lecturers with written technique that just won’t quit? Enjoying reading about in-depth grammar that is also a hilarious and culturally relevant? Look no further, this book will figuratively blow your mind and leave you with an enthusiasm for grammar and syntax that frankly confuses your parents. Number one book to trick people into believing you’re the smartest kid on the block.
Chosen by Roma Havers: Books Editor
David Mitchell: Slade House
A detective thriller with a fantasy twist; this short novel is good to read in between heavy university reading. Written by the same author who wrote Cloud Atlas, I found it to be a fantastic assault on the senses that explores our susceptibility to our own desires. I couldn’t put it down!
Chosen by Pip Franks: English and Drama student
Richard Coward: Short Stories in French: New Penguin Parallel Text
Short stories make it easier to do extra study, as they’re much less daunting than an epic novel! The parallel translation meant that I didn’t get confused about the plot, but I could still see the original French text. Penguin also has versions of this book in German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese and Japanese.
Chosen by Hope Abbott: Languages student
Khaled Hosseini: The Kite Runner
The Kite Runner is one of my favourite books of all time! It’s a story that explores guilt and redemption beautifully and shows the true extent of father-son love; all against a backdrop of an international political crisis. It’s amazingly written, with a story paralleled with real experiences in Afghanistan and it’s more important than ever in highlighting the complexities of the world and the movement of people.
Chosen by Muneera Lula: BME History and Politics student
Madeline Miller: Song of Achilles
How many books can you honestly say you’ve read in a day? It’s such a refreshing and lyrical read that I can’t help but feel a burst of pride in being queer whenever I read it. The voice of the narrator is so goofy and human in the looming, god-filled world that he inhabits that I can’t help but recommend it. Turning flaky half-interest in The Iliad into a new horizon of historical fiction reading was a big deal, especially because I’d define the main characters’ relationship as queer.
Chosen by Mitch Mainstone: LGBT English Literature student
This series will be continuing each week with a new recommendation in every issue, if you’d like to contribute then please contact us via the Facebook page: ‘Mancunion Books contributors 16/17’