What should i do for the year?

    • Thread Starter

    I'm taking a gap year from uni, just because im poor and i need to make money and get work experience before i go.

    Anyway, quite frankly im really bored. mentally, i mean. at least in college i had books to stimulate me, yanno? i dont have any money to travel, so going to bangladesh and riding an elephant is out of the question.

    im thinking books on my subject, but im not sure where to look for them. they're either super expensive or just not anywhere in my area. (im doing sociology and study of religions as a joint course.)

    Any suggestions?

    Reading is a great way of stimulating yourself intellectually and definitely doesn't have to be expensive. Do you have access to a library? If you really can't get to a library buy secondhand online/ at charity shops and then if you want you can try and sell them on afterwards at a boot sale/ ebay etc.

    You don't have to just read the books related to your course, after all you'll be spending 3+ years studying these! I personally like to mix up a bit of fiction and non-fiction. I pick a book that looks interesting to me and then once I've finished read around on that subject a bit both online or look for other related books. So for example you could pick a particular religion or culture or period of history that interests you (or, often what is even better is when you come across ones you know nothing about) and then look for book recommendations around that (online/ ask librarian). It's best if you can find books from different perspectives etc.

    Some random but recommended suggestions to get started:

    Kristin Lavransdatter Trilogy by Sigrid Undset (Published 1920, set in 14th Century Norway. Author was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for her realistic portrayal of the Middle Ages)
    The Known World by Edward P Jones (Published 2003, set in America on a slave plantation 1855)
    Touba and the meaning of Night by Shahrnush Parsipur (Published 1989, set in Iran 1910-1980)
    All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque (Published 1930, German soldiers in WW1)
    Cloudstreet by Tim Winton (Published 1991, set in Australia 1943-1963)
    A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam (Published 2007, set in Bangladesh during the War of Independence 1971)
    Beneath the Lion's Gaze by Maaza Mengiste (Published 2011, set in Ethiopia, Civil War 1974)
    The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Published 2003, set in Afghanistan/ Pakistan/ America 1974-2000)
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman (Published 2001, fantasy with references to American culture, mythology etc.)

    Night by Elie Wiesel (Published 1960, a Jewish account of the concentration camps)
    The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman (Published 1997, a Hmong family and their experience of American healthcare)
    Nothing to Envy by Barbra Demick (Published 2010, insight into life in North Korea)
    Escape from Camp 14 by Shin Dong-hyuk (Published 2012, reputed to be the only escapee of a North Korean prison camp)
    Cairo: My City, Our Revolution by Ahdaf Soueif (Published 2012, account of the Egyptian Revolution 2011)
    We are Iran by Nasrin Alavi (Published 2006, collection of web blogs from 'real' Iranians)
    Chavs by Owen Jones (Published 2011, explores attitudes towards the British working class)

    I'd recommend starting a journal too if you don't already have one. This is honestly one of the best things I've ever done for myself. You don't need to have anything interesting to say to make it worthwhile, just carve out 15 mins of your day and write/ doodle/ plan or do whatever you feel like. You can also use it write down quotes that have particularly struck you/ what you learn from your reading/ questions/ reflections on the books. This makes sure you can form your own opinions on your reading and not just believe everything you're told! If you feel confident share a review on a site like goodreads and then read other reviews for different perspectives. Not everyone will like the books you love!

    Hope I've given you some ideas. If you want any particular suggestions I'll do my best to help
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