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World Book Day: What our students are reading

Reading for pleasure has been a proven strategy for improving wellbeing. World Book Day has given us the perfect opportunity to ask our students what books have captivated and inspired them.

By Cara Fielder. Published 1 March 2023.

Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter by 50 Cent – Chosen by Teagan Williams

Over lockdown, reading has become my main pastime. I try to read a range of genres, from true accounts of slavery and manifestation books to Michelle Obama’s Becoming. I write down one thing I’ve taken away from every book, whether it be a phrase, an idea or a point to research. That’s why it came as a surprise that 50 Cent’s Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter has been the book I have learnt from the most. It is shocking to realise how many similarities there were between myself and this world-renowned rapper, salesman and former street thug.

I chose to study law for many reasons; I am passionate about justice and ensuring it is available for all. I believe law is a vital part of society, and without it, the world would be in turmoil. Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter is based on the skills you need to survive in the business world. Whether you’re a lawyer, banker, footballer or business owner, there is something to be taken away from this book. 50 Cent delves into the qualities and strategies you must practice and understand to be successful, including knowing your value, power of perception and the entitlement trap - to name a few. Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter is a book that gives heartfelt advice no matter your walk of life.

My favourite quote from this book:

“Even if your circumstances are disadvantaged or you lack experience, so long as you project the confidence and energy of someone successful, it’s only a matter of time till true success comes and finds you.”

Under the Wig by William Clegg QC – Chosen by Keylee Ashman

A book that inspired me to choose a law degree was Under the Wig by William Clegg QC. In October 2020, I was fortunate enough to spend an evening with William Clegg QC, albeit online. He has tried more murder cases than any other English law barrister. I was excited to speak with him after learning we shared a fondness for his favourite book, Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. His specialist expertise in criminal law further sparked my curiosity. Following that evening, I enjoyed reading Under the Wig, written by William Clegg QC. Although Three Men in a Boat remains my favourite book, it was Under the Wig that confirmed pursuing a law degree was the right choice for me.

In an interview about Under the Wig, William Clegg QC was asked, “Reading your book, one thing that was most notable was how accessible it was – was that something you did intentionally?” Accessibility to the criminal bar as a first-generation, state-school educated, university student was a very daunting concept for me. In response to the question, William Clegg QC said, “The whole idea of the book was to try to de-mystify the law, and to try to explain to people who don’t really know anything about the law and very little about the profession, exactly how the profession works.”

Discovering that William Clegg QC obtained pupillage after spending an evening with Ronnie Trott in his Brentwood, Essex house also came as a welcome comfort. For the past eight years, I have lived in Brentwood, so it was encouraging to know that very successful advocates reside in the same area as myself.

William Clegg QC also told me to go where my passion lies, not where the money is, because you’ll be rich if you do a good job in anything.

Unfinished by Priyanka Chopra - Chosen by Rashagini Rajakumar

A book that inspired is Unfinished, written by Priyanka Chopra. I was excited to read it before it was even published. Priyanka Chopra is a truly inspirational independent woman and actress; there are many ways I can relate to her. Many Asian women, including young adults like myself, could relate to parts of her memoir, such as her childhood, family, relationships and more.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover Chosen by Temi Olorunleke

“There is no such thing as bad people. We are all just people who do bad things.”

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover is an easy read. Not too long or too ambiguous in writing.

From a small town, Lily moves to Boston after college and started her own business. When she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon, everything in her life suddenly seems unreal.

Kyle is assertive, stubborn, and arrogant, but with a soft spot for Lily. However, Kyle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. When Lily becomes the exception to Kyles’s "no dating” rule, she cannot help but wonder what happened to him.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas. Atlas was her first love, a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

Assembly by Natasha Brown – Chosen by Connie Brown

Natasha Brown’s debut novel Assembly is a striking and emotive portrayal of the everyday impact of the legacy of British colonialism on black British people, and, in particular, black British women.

Brown depicts the torrent of racist micro-aggressions her semi-autobiographical narrator experiences through an array of scenes, following aspects of her life such as her successful career in finance, her relationship with a wealthy, old-money privileged white man, and her diagnosis of metastatic cancer.

The novel, in under 100 pages and conveys the way in which her success is underscored with exhaustion and hollowness due to the pervasiveness of racism with incredible clarity. Assembly is an eye-opening and powerful debut work, and I would highly recommend it.

The Miracle Power of Your Mind by Dr Joseph Murphy – Chosen by Radostina Krasteva

I just finished a book called The Miracle Power of Your Mind by Dr Joseph Murphy, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

The book focuses on how we can use the power of our mind to create a better life for ourselves, and it's based on science.

Dr Joseph Murphy has distilled the teachings of metaphysics and psychology into a practical set of lessons to help anyone unlock their true potential. He brings together ancient wisdom with modern insights, showing how our minds can be used as tools to achieve whatever we want in life.

I learned so much from this book- it is helped me understand how my objective and subjective mind works in ways that have made me feel more empowered and confident about myself. I think it could do the same for you.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki – Chosen by Muhammad Nazakat

 One of my top book recommendations is Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, a personal finance classic that I highly recommend. The book explores Kiyosaki's upbringing with two different father figures: his biological father, the "poor dad," and his best friend's father, the "rich dad." Through his experiences with both fathers, Kiyosaki learned important lessons about money and investing that he shares in this book.

One of the key takeaways from Rich Dad, Poor Dad is the importance of financial education. Kiyosaki emphasizes the need to learn about personal finance and investing, rather than simply relying on a traditional education to secure your financial future. He also highlights the difference between assets and liabilities, and explains how you can use assets to generate passive income and build wealth.

The book is easy to read and understand, making it accessible to readers with little to no background in finance. It's also full of practical advice and real-life examples that help to drive home the key lessons. If you're looking better understanding personal finance and how to build wealth, Rich Dad, Poor Dad is an excellent place to start.