University is not just about drinking, going to lectures and discovering that you can save on the washing up by putting your tin of beans directly on the stove (remember to remove the paper label first!); it is your chance, no, your responsibility to become a free thinker.
So cast-off the ill-fitting beliefs that served you through childhood and adolescence, you don’t need them any more. Start now, with this list of five books that will blow your mind.
Necessary Illusions – Noam Chomsky
Meticulously researched and impeccably argued, this book is about how political power functions in our society and the wider world. It shows how the government, media and PR industry pursue their own agenda at the expense of the common good.
Naked Lunch – William Burroughs
You can read this avant-garde novel in any order. It was written by hipster darling, William Burroughs – a writer not best known for his sanity, but then who ever said a writer needs to be sane? This is the novel that destroys preconceived notions of what a novel can and should be. A shocking and exhilarating read.
The Stranger – Albert Camus
Written before winning the nobel prize for literature, Camus’ first major work is the most perfect exposition of the most important philosophical movement of the last 100 years – existentialism. In this short book Camus’ examines the questions, “what does it mean to exist?” and “what does it mean to be human?”
On the Road – Jack Kerouac
This is one of the most well-written novels I’ve ever read – a page-turner without reverting to cheap thrills. It is a book of youth and adventure. It will make you want to get up love, live and loose. Read it and go out and live it.
Human, All Too Human – Fredriech Nietzsche
Nietzsche is one of the most influentual philosophers of modern times, famous fans include, Marilyn Manson, Alan Moore and Lady Gaga. Reading him, for me, was like reformatting my brain; his polemics against Christianity, conformity; his insistence on living “beyond good and evil” as a “free spirit” has informed my life ever since.