As I struggle through volumes of John Donne and pages of the Medieval Welsh magical realism of The Mabinogion (?!), the light at the end of the tunnel is that glorious post-university beacon, when I know I will be able to read ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING I WANT. Now I say this as a student who could still feasibly read much more than her university-prescribed lists – my housemate reads an extra book of her choice a week – but realistically I don’t fancy forcing my poor straining eyes to read hours for pleasure when I could just ease them to sleep with the guilty pleasures of Modern Family and Once Upon a Time.
This is a list of books that I cannot wait to read after I finish my degree. Some of them I have been meaning to read for years; others I have recently heard of or been recommended. Either way, I’m looking forward to sinking my teeth into some much needed pleasure reading.
1) The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas
I’ve been watching and really enjoying the current BBC adaptation and have even started the first few pages of this, but have decided that the pre-revolutionary French escapades should be savoured when I have a bit more time. Vive la France!
2) Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
I cannot believe how long I have been promising myself I will read this book, but never quite get around to it. Excited probably shouldn’t be the word, but I am intrigued and looking forward to finally fulfilling the book that’s been at the top of my wish lists for years.
3) Divergent by Veronica Roth
I don’t know whether this will be any good, or if the film will be a good adaptation, but Divergent sounds like it will be completely up my street and who am I to refuse yet another YA dystopian book? Who knows, maybe I will work myself up into another Hunger Games sized frenzy. I have the tendency to do that.
4) The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
I’ve heard great things about this from both my housemate and my brother and I’d love to trust them and take a plunge into the world of modern fantasy literature. It’s a genre I mostly neglect and I think that The Name of the Wind would be a great place to start.
5) The Secret History by Donna Tartt
I was debating whether or not to put Tartt’s latest Goldfinch on this list but have decided to start where it all began, with the infamous The Secret History. I have to admit the shameful secret that I actually already own this book, having been passed down by my mother, but the rather uninspiring front cover has never tempted to take a peek inside. I have judged a book by its cover and I am suitably ashamed.
6) Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I really know very little about this apart from it is talked about with such glowing accolade that I feel like I’ve been missing out on something huge. I’m excited to read something I know absolutely nothing about.
7) The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
An American classic I’ve wanted to read for ages, after I finish university will be the perfect time to get stuck into The Scarlet Letter. And maybe use it as an opportunity to re-watch the ever endearing Easy A.
And there concludes my wish list of books I shall be reading after I hand in the dreaded dissertation. I honestly think a part of me will miss the endless reading of literary criticism that accompanies every text I read for university, and could probably imagine myself resorting to textually analysing every book I ever read again. Maybe that will be part of the fun. Or maybe I’ll just slip straight back into the routine of reading books and thinking of them purely in terms of pleasure. Who knows what the future of my literary world holds; I can’t wait to find out.