Today I’m joining The Broke and the Bookish to list the top
ten six books you should read if you’re pining to go back to school! Sorry only six – I am short on time!
I am pulling most of the text from this post from my reviews on LibraryThing.com!
The Secret History by Donna Tartt – I mentioned this one in a previous Top 10 Tuesday, but it fits into this category perfectly! Quoted from my earlier post:
“Cozy college town, classical educations, and murder are my favorite themes. This one has them all! I’ve always wished that I majored in English Literature and novels that are set on college campuses make that desire even more intense; I want to enroll in school, buy lots of pens and notebooks, and start anew. Oh, and it’s kind of creepy, which is a bonus!”
The Likeness by Tana French – “This was French’s follow up to In the Woods. It centers around Cassie Maddox, an investigator who is now working in the Domestic Violence unit in a police station in Ireland. One morning, she gets an hysterical call from her boyfriend who is asking her to come to a Murder crime scene. At the scene, she finds the body of a young woman who looks disturbingly like her and her ID says that she’s Lexie Maddison – a cover that belonged to Cassie when she worked undercover. Cassie is asked to step into “Lexie’s” life as an undercover agent to gain information about Lexie’s life and who could possibly be the killer.
Lexie is living with 4 other college students, all postgrads in English, in a large, crumbling house. Her housemates are all quite interesting and it was fascinating to watch their stories unfold. This was another great summer read.”
I’ll Take You There by Joyce Carol Oates – I’ve also written about this one in a previous Top 10 Tuesday. Here’s what I said about it on LibraryThing:
“I have been working on this JCO for about six months now. That is not to say that it wasn’t enjoyable, but it is more of a testament to how emotionally difficult I found this to be. This books centers around an unnamed narrator attending a state college in New York in the 1960s. She is an intellectual but gets talked into rushing a sorority by a friend that she has met in her dorm. This young woman cannot afford the sorority, but finds herself working more and more hours in the library to help pay for all of the fees and dues in the library. She has a massive breakdown and ends up leaving the sorority, but not without experiencing significant humiliation and emotional upheaval.
I love reading JCO, but I always finish books realizing that I was not a literature major and have definitely missed significant metaphors. However, they always leave me thinking about what she was trying to say and what her message means to me. I’m still trying to figure that out with this one!”
Emotionally Weird by Kate Atkinson – From LibraryThing:
“I think this is the best Atkinson I’ve read yet! Completely hilarious, with a bit of a mystery that slowly unravels and then spits out at the end. It’s set, of course, in Scotland and focuses on Effie, a young woman working on an English degree. She has some crazy friends (including Bob, the slacker boyfriend who really only sleeps and gets high, whom she’s constantly trying to figure out a way to get rid of) who are just hilarious and an eccentric bunch of literature professors who all have tendencies to have accidents and get hurt.
The way the novel is portrayed is in the form of a story – Effie is telling the story of what her life is like when she’s at University to her mother in hopes that her mother will share the story of her own life. Effie’s mother (Nora) lives on a secluded island off of the coast of Scotland and seems to be running from something.
All in all – if you like stormy nights on a secluded island, reading about literature students, and hilarious writing – then check this one out!!”
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark – From LibraryThing:
“I discovered this one from the Girlybooks community here at LT. It’s set in the 1930s at a girl’s school around a group of young girls described as “Brodie’s set.” Miss Jean Brodie is a teacher at the school who believes, obviously, that she is in her prime. She teaches the girls what she thinks is really important: how to take care of their faces, their hands, and about Miss Brodie’s love life.
This is a quick book, it can easily be read on a rainy Saturday (as today was) and is laugh out loud funny in places. I would definitely recommend.”
Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris – From LibraryThing:
“This story takes us into the hallowed halls of St. Oswalds – a private boys school that is everything that one thinks of when those words are said – stately, old, and steeped in tradition.
We have two main characters. The first is Roy Straitley, a Latin teacher who has been teaching at Oswalds for 33 years. He is the epitome of tradition – begrudges the technology changes and doesn’t do email; teaches a dying language that is mocked by other instructors and is constantly trying to be pushed aside and ended by the school; and fiercely loves his boys and what he teaches. The second is a new teacher with a vendetta. This new teacher was actually the child of a past Porter (groundskeeper, basically) and longed to be a student at St. Oswalds. A tragic incident in the past causes this new teacher to seek revenge.
And boy, is the revenge serious. It starts out simply: missing pens, tea mugs. And then it becomes more and more serious as the story evolves.
I really enjoyed this book – reading about St. Oswalds made me feel cozy and the mystery and suspense of the story really drew me in. I’d definitely suggest this book to anyone who is interested in the life of private schools and the traditions they entail or anyone who likes twisted-types of mysteries.”