Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

Five books to get lost in

Five books to get lost in

Since I was 4-and-a-half years old, I have always been an avid reader. I used to read everything I could find in front of me: books, the label of the water when having lunch, things on the televideo (maybe the youngest don’t know what it is), comics and manga and so on… So I will suggest to you some of the books I liked.

Have you ever seen a similar screen?

I’ll start with a classic I read several times: Jonathan Livingston Seagull, by Richard Bach. I think it’s a book you should read at different stages of your life. When you’re a child, it will show you how what people think you should do is not always the best for you. When you’re a teenager and in the rebellion phase of your life, you’ll feel motivated to follow your passions, and when you’re an adult, you’ll understand that, even if your relatives sometimes didn’t give you the right advice for your future, they thought they were guiding you to be happy, and that sometimes we have to make unpopular choices to be happy.

“He was not bone and feather but a perfect idea of freedom and flight, limited by nothing at all.”

If there is a sci-fi book that has moved me, it’s Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. Probably the majority of you have already read it, but it’s worth suggesting it to those who haven’t. The suffering of the miserable monster made me think about all neglected people, what their feelings are, and what we could have done to make them feel better, even just a smile. More than everything, don’t judge by what you see. You don’t know anything about other people’s lives and why their reactions can be different from yours. Everyone is unique, and everyone has feelings.

“There is something at work in my soul, which I do not understand.”

My third choice is not a single book, but a trilogy: His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. HBO has made it a TV series, but I haven’t seen it. I saw the movie of the first book at the cinema, but it was not good, and the plot was highly simplified, so I don’t suggest seeing it, and it doesn’t continue with the second and third book. The books made me live in another universe (you’ll understand if you read it), and as it is mainly based in Oxford, I could feel the book’s atmosphere when I visited it. The protagonist is Lyra Belacqua, a girl that lives at Jordan College. She likes to climb roofs and explore, and she accidentally saves her own father from being poisoned. Plus, kids in Oxford are disappearing. What’s happening?

Oxford, outside the Botanical Garden

You can find another magical world in Stardust, by Neil Gaiman. A young guy, Tristran Thorn, falls in love with a girl from his town, and she tells him that she will marry him if he brings her a star. The guy takes it literally, and he will live adventures out of his little town, meeting magic creatures, witches, unicorns… It made me feel like a child listening to fairy tales! I suggest listening to the audiobook while having a walk at Warley Woods (you can find something to read about it in my previous post here).

“What do stars do? They shine.” (Neil Gaiman)

The Orange Girl is a bittersweet novel by Jostein Gaarder. Georg receives a huge letter written by his father who died when he was still a child. There, he finds the story of a girl that his father met, and he never saw again, a girl who was carrying a bag full of oranges. Who is this mysterious girl? Advice: prepare Kleenex!!!

“I’m not just some butterfly for you to catch.” (Jostein Gaarder)

As a bookworm, I’ll write about other lovely books (from different genres) to read from time to time in my future posts! I would really like to know if you liked the books I suggested, and I will try to read (time permitting) your suggestions of books you liked!

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