One of our New Year’s Resolutions here at Oxbridge International Summer School is to get reading, and we have formulated a recommended academic reading list. Not only do books give you access to the stories and lives of others, but they are great for improving your own writing – a key skill looked for by top universities such as Oxford and Cambridge.
So, welcome to Part 2 of our series on interesting and imaginative books – keep reading!
This week, Richard, Digital Development Manager, here at OISS will be sharing some of his favourites – academic and popular, fiction and non-fiction. Each week we’ll be sharing more of our picks, along with the courses you might be interested in if these sound up your street! We’re also using these to write our summer reading lists (it’s never too early…) and we’ll be sure to hit University Parks this summer with some seriously cool reading material.
Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
Described by Harper Lee as ‘the only war novel that makes sense’, this brilliant satire captures the absurdities of war and bureaucracy, as well as being really funny. The book is full of paradoxes, which the book’s title is now synonymous with. The writing style is quite original, and the story is told non-chronologically from the perspective of different characters, so it’s a worthwhile read whether you’re a budding literary critic, an aspiring writer, or a casual reader. If exploring literary works like this are your thing, check our our English Literature course.
Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel
Hilary Mantel is probably one of the best novelists around today, and Wolf Hall shows her at her best. I don’t read much historical fiction, but this bloody tale of power politics during the reign of Henry VIII is totally captivating, The story is largely told from the vantage point of Thomas Cromwell, an important yet often overlooked figure in history, Whether you’re into literature or history or both, it’s worth picking up a copy (just don’t be put off by how long it is…)
Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
This book is a fascinating and accessible introduction to behavioral economics, which seeks to understand the nuts and bolts behind human decision-making. It turns out that we aren’t quite as clever or rational as you might think, which is a bit annoying, not least for economists. If you’re a psychologist, an economist, or simply someone who doesn’t want to be manipulated by supermarkets into buying more food than you want, you’ll find plenty of interesting insights here
On Liberty – J. S Mill
I first read On Liberty as a student and was struck by how relevant it remains today, despite being first being published in 1859. Freedom of speech remains a lively topic, with issues such as safe spaces, no-platforming, and hate speech diving opinion, It’s popping with thought-provoking questions and isn’t very long, so if you’re interested in politics, law, or philosophy then it’s worth getting your hands on a copy.Tags: 2017, books, cambridge, economics, english literature, history, law, new year, OISS, oxbridge, oxford, philosophy, politics, psychology, reading, richard, summer