Coelho wrote his philosophical adventure saga in just two weeks, claiming the story was already written in his soul. The story follows a young shepherd named Santiago, who embarks on a journey to find the treasure he has been vividly dreaming of. His adventure takes him from his small farming town in Andalusia all the way to the pyramids in North Africa.
An epic adventure saga brimming with important life lessons, the central theme revolves around chasing your dreams. A must-read for anyone hungry to seize all the world has to offer.
Throughout his journey, Santiago faces many challenges and hardships. He must follow his heart and not give up on his dreams, despite pressures from society to do so. Overcoming obstacles and influences from peer pressure is something most students can relate to.
READY PLAYER ONE,
Don’t be put off by Spielberg’s questionable adaption of this book; Cline’s story has much more heart and will likely be a cult classic in years to come. This book is a must-read for any Stranger Things fan in need of an 80s nostalgia fix.
The story is set in a dystopian future where humanity, plagued with issues such as climate change and overpopulation, spend all of their time in the OASIS, a VR world limited only by the user’s imagination. When the creator of the OASIS, Jim Halliday, dies, it is revealed he has hidden an ‘easter egg’ inside his virtual haven, and the first to find it will inherit his fortune. A reality-defying hunt ensues, with clues to the whereabouts of the egg all relating to 1980s pop culture, the era in which Halliday grew up.
This fun wee tale is a story of friendship, adventure and the plight of the underdog. The ‘nerdy’ protagonists of Ready Player One are far from typical heroes, but they remain highly relatable.
The book also raises important questions about the dangers of technology and our human need for escapism.
UNDER THE SKIN,
This bizarre yet brilliant sci-fi /political satire novel is set in the North of Scotland, making it a must-read for any Scottish student looking for something a bit different.
The story follows an alien disguised as a human female, who kidnaps male hitchhikers to be transported to her home planet for sinister purposes.
This darkly satirical novel touches on themes such as animal cruelty, factory farming, sexism and treatment of immigrants.
The book was adapted into a movie starring Scarlett Johansson in 2013. While a loose adaptation, it is still worth a watch.
THIS SIDE OF PARADISE,
F SCOTT FITZGERALD
This Side Of Paradise was the first novel by F Scott Fitzgerald and follows the life of a young man named Amory Blaine, from a young boy of about 12, through to his twenties. His turbulent journey into adulthood, and struggle to find his own identity and make his life more fulfilling, is relatable for any student.
The book also offers an interesting insight into what life was like for young people living in America during and post World War I. It goes without saying that the book is written in the fantastically poetic prose Fitzgerald is famous for.
Fans of this book should also check out John O’Hara’s Butterfield 8.
THE PRINCESS BRIDE,
This book is the perfect dose of escapism when you are up to your eyeballs in course work. Combining genres like comedy, adventure, romance, fantasy and fairytale, the book follows the adventures of a farmhand named Westley, on his mission to rescue his true love, Princess Buttercup, from the evil Prince Humperdinck.
The book was inspired partly by bedtime stories Goldman would tell his children, but is an immensely enjoyable read for people of all ages, and will make you feel young at heart!
The movie adaption is also a great watch and features an epic duel scene that has inspired many memes.
THE ART OF HAPPINESS,
DALAI LAMA AND HOWARD CUTLER
In this book, psychiatrist Howard Cutler talks with the Dalai Lama, the world’s greatest spiritual leader, about overcoming problems and achieving happiness and inner peace. There is no denying that university is a stressful time. This book is ideal for students looking to overcome stress and master the art of mindfulness.