College is the time when we break the shackles of adolescence and truly become adults. We start learning new things, about responsibility and about life itself. And sometimes we are expected to make judgement calls. When the time falls upon us to take a mature decision, we often face difficulties in making the right choice. So, we have brought you a list of 6 influential books that will give you a sense of direction and help you do the right thing even when you are in a tight spot.
To Kill A Mockingbird
Harper Lee’s classic is a simple yet powerful tale of human nature. It talks about love, hate, prejudice, cruelty, kindness and pathos. Based in the Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama, the story is narrated as seen from the eyes of a young girl whose father is defending a coloured man for a crime he did not commit. A gripping novel, it teaches us the importance of taking a stand against racial discrimination.
This Side of Paradise
The theme of ‘This Side of Paradise’ is disillusionment and realization. Scott Fitzgerald penned the story when he was 23 and courting the eccentric, Zelda Sayre. The book explores the life and morality of a post – World War 1 youth named Amory Blaine, who is a self proclaimed romantic egotist. It speaks about the various dilemma faced by most young men including a loss of purpose in life and a mixed view on love. The story is a semi-autobiography as it takes inspiration from certain events of Fitzgerald’s life. It shows that humans are flawed and mistakes are a part of life.
Brave New World
A masterpiece from Aldous Huxley, ‘Brave New World’ revolves around the theme of oppression. Set in a futuristic world where totalitarianism is enforced through eugenics and recreational drugs, Huxley takes you to a world without personal responsibility but also without any real freedom. What could be perceived by many as utopian, Huxley shows in a darker light through his protagonist Bernard – an alpha male who is supposed to be flawless but is not. Fierce and compelling, the book tends to leave a deep impression on its readers.
Of all the books on this list, 1984 has to be the most influential work of literature. Set in a futuristic world where people are more or less machines and everything goes on like clockwork, the book explores the themes of mass media control, government surveillance, totalitarianism, manipulation and control of history. Sound familiar? 1984 may have come and gone, but Orwell’s nightmarish vision in 1949 is looming ever so close.
168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think
Ever reached class late? Ever yearned for more sleep? Ever wondered how other people in college seem so sorted? The answer is simple – time management. All it takes is some organization and prioritization. 168 is a brilliant book by Laura Vanderkam which helps you organize the 168 hours a week in such a way that you don’t miss out on anything important while still getting quality sleep.
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ gives a practical view of a writer’s craft. Well written and brilliantly structured (as always), King explains the basic tools of trade every writer should possess. With King’s life as an example, the book is part memoir and part masterclass. Why is it important for everyone? Whether it’s your thesis paper or a simple email to your client, knowing the subtle nuances of writing will always come in handy.