Books to help you de-stress during exam and essay season

Some book recommendations to remedy the stress of exam season.

Some book recommendations to remedy the stress of exam season.
Pretty much everyone is currently in the throes of the end of the academic year - whether that be revising for exams, writing essays, or attempting to complete the dreaded dissertation. So, here are some literary recommendations to help your mind find some solace amidst the stress.

Fiction: Lanny by Max Porter

Lanny, published just over four years ago, is a short, nature-centric novel that was longlisted for the Booker Prize. Max Porter spins a taut, intriguing tale that explores the tensions and complications of family and community dynamics. It is a fast-paced tale infused with some of the darker strains of English folklore, and will transport you out of the Robbo and into the magical wilderness.

Poetry: Briggflatts by Basil Bunting

About this time last year, I chose to write about Briggflatts for one of my final undergraduate essays. It is a modernist epic poem by the Geordie poet Basil Bunting, which, not dissimilarly to Lanny, draws heavily on the beauty and drama of the natural world. Its resonant opening lines: "Brag, sweet tenor bull, / descant on Rawthey's madrigal" are even better when read by Bunting himself; if you don't fancy reading it, pop over to Youtube and spend just under an hour in pure poetry heaven.

Lanny is a fast-paced tale infused with some of the darker strains of English folklore that will transport you out of the Robbo and into the magical wilderness

Non-fiction: Letters written during a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark by Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft was many things: iconic proto-feminist, mother of Mary Shelley (yes, the woman who wrote Frankenstein! and maybe also had sex on her mother's grave, but let's gloss over that for now), and, as Letters demonstrates, a traveller. Wollstonecraft's letters give you an intimate insight into the time she spent in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, and are as witty as they are heartbreaking.

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