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Light Academia is a style of beiges and creams, of vests and collared shirts. But it's also the romanticization of literature and education. Unlike it's Dark Academia counterpart, it's central themes are lighter such as love, family, friendship, womanhood, happy endings, and such.
So here are five classic books I think give off that kind of energy. Enjoy!
*I might make a light academia list but for more modern books
Pride And Prejudice — Jane Austen
"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."
This is my favorite book to date. Jane Austen's wit is incomparable and she is the QUEEN of rom-com. She preceded Lara Jean from To all the boys I've loved before. I think it's safe to say that I am a simp for her.
Pride and prejudice is a reference to the main couple. Mr. Darcy, the main lead, embodies pride because of his superiority complex which in turn is judged almost immediately by Elizabeth who embodies prejudice. Elizabeth Bennet is always quick to perceive people in a different light despite not knowing much about that person.
This book also follows the story Elizabeth's family. The Bennet sisters fall in and out of love while their mother is obsessed with the idea of them being married off to rich, eligible bachelors with good social standings.
I definitely recommend this book! You'll appreciate the funny tumblr posts and tweets HAHA.
Atonement by Ian McEwan
"The cost of oblivious daydreaming was always this moment of return, the realignment with what had been before and now seemed a little worse."
You may or may not have seen the movie starring Saoirse Ronan, Kierra Nightley, and James McAvoy. The movie gave me hope and broke me. Not to mention, we get a cameo from Benedict Cumberbatch. However, the book is something you SHOULD DEFINITELY read.
It's told in the perspective of a 13 year-old who has witnessed a crime. She was always imaginative, what with her dreams of becoming a writer, but she was also overshadowed by her own emotions. That led to her giving a false statement that sent an innocent man to jail and hurt the two people she loved.
Atonement, as the name suggests, is the story of how the main character tries to make up for her mistake and longs for forgiveness. Meanwhile, the two people whose lives and love were uprooted, hope to be reunited with each other.
It's an amazing book and the beautiful cinematography and acting is just a bonus really.
Ulysses by James Joyce
"We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love, but always meeting ourselves.”
We follow different characters as they navigate life in Dublin in just a single day. I like this book because it's a physical representation of my mind. And that's how James Joyce writes his stories, it's as thought he dumps his train of thought into paper.
We follow Stephen Dedalus (a recurring character from Joyce's book A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man which is my favorite book of all time) and Mr Bloomsbury. We actually see the paternity that develops from these two characters. Which is one of the themes of light academia— family.
It's a big read, to be honest, and I recently just finished it. Trust me though that this book will make you want to read more because of the literary allusions and references that Joyce makes and that's what academia is about. It makes you thirst for more stories and knowledge.
It might not take you a short time to finish it, but I encourage you to start. Because you're gonna be re-reading it a lot just to understand what the writer's talking about.
Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott
"I’ll try and be what he loves to call me, “a little woman,” and not be rough and wild; but do my duty here instead of wanting to be somewhere else."
As an Asian daughter, the struggles of having to be a good and obedient child while having dreams of wanting to be an artist is REAL. The quote above was what drew me to read the book. (Maybe Winona Ryder as Jo March in the movie, too).
This is a light academia book for me because it highlights the sisterhood of the March sisters, but also their womanhood. Even after 150 years after the book was published, the message it tells remains relevant.
Do I pursue my dreams of becoming an artist or a writer? Should I just be a good daughter and marry a kind man who will provide for me? Is my dream of just wanting to be a housewife mediocre and non-feminist? Is it wrong that I'm putting my own dreams before my role as a woman and a daughter? These are questions I've asked myself after reading.
However, the real question remains to be, "Are you a Meg, a Jo, an Amy, or a Beth?" I'm an ENFP-A but I resonate with Marmee LOL.
A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
"A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction."
The central thesis of A Room of One's Own is in the quote. Not only in writing fiction, women have always struggled in different fields— STEM, politics, the arts— you name it. This is basically about how women have to have a room, both literally and metaphorically.
Women have been considered incompetent in certain fields, not because they are, but because women just aren't given the opportunity to participate in activities which are deemed "for men". And yet, women continue to fight for a seat at the table. Women continue to break barriers.
I'm here for women making room and maximizing that space!
Thoughts? Recommendations? Share them with me please, I would love to read what you recommend.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.