Worth Reading: 5 Required Books that Changed Casperians' Lives

Many universities often require mandatory readings for students, which is most of the time seen as annoying and tedious, just because it is obligatory. Thinking of it, Her Campus talked to five girls, journalism students, who show how obligatory work can turn into a pleasant and life-changing reading.

1 – "O Direito à Literatura" – Antonio Candido

Mariana Agati: “I always liked literature, but when I read this text, I understood the practical importance of it and the impact on society. It was the text that gave a pragmatic sense to something that I already loved, and that from there it gained an even greater meaning for me. And it made me meditate both on what are human rights and on what it means to have literary sensibility, what are the relations between artistic enjoyment and social class.”

2 – "Grande Sertão: Veredas" – João Guimarães Rosa

Julia Benini: “Before beginning to read "Grande Sertão: Veredas", I felt intimidated by it. At the same time that I thought I couldn’t read and understand the book, I knew I needed to, at least, try to do that. After I started, I was very curious. It was not a curiosity for the plot itself, but a desire to know how a person had been able to use the Portuguese language that way. As I read, I wanted to know how he would describe the scenarios, the people and the emotions they felt. I had the impression that the book was not written in the language I was speaking, because I had never used those words in that way and I know I would never have been able to do it. I came to think that I should never dare to write again, because I would not do something as beautiful as what I read on every page. But, as soon as I finished the book, I realized that wanting to do something like that didn’t make sense, ‘cause that was not my universe. As much as I thought the construction of each element of the narrative was incredible, those words were not my way of looking at things and people. If I wrote like him, it would be him, not me. The language we learn as if it were the same for everyone, but each one develops a way of using it that translates a totally particular universe. Sometimes the result is as beautiful in the eyes of the reader as in the eyes of the writer. And then we feel good about sharing who we are with each other.”

3 – "Fim de Partida" – Samuel Beckett

Marília Oliveira: “It was the last book I read for the subject of portuguese, taught by Welington, who is one of my favorite teachers at Casper. It has a whole end-of-the-world theme, a game that never ends. Also, it meant a lot to be a teatral story, in the last bimester. Because I was waiting for the end of a cycle, but, reading the book, I discovered that never ends.”

4 – "A Sangue Frio" – Truman Capote

 Ana Rivas: “From the first chapter I felt this book would be special, you know? The story is already thrilling by itself - the murder of four members of a family that, apparently, was dear to everyone in the small town where they lived - and the way Capote writes only amplifies it. Since I entered college, the concept of new journalism attracted me, but it was by reading that book that it really hit me. I read and thought: "Okay, that's just what I want to do with my life." Since then, I try to do all my texts in this Capote style, and besides, I try to see all situations with more humanity, but always with coherence. Briefly, the book inspired me to be a better, more curious and more human journalist!”

5 – "As Armas Secretas" – Julio Cortázar

Larissa Moreira: “It was there, reading the book, that I realized that I was much more caring for purely literary books than for book reports. And that the right thing for me was to do a Faculty of Letters and to follow in that area (whether a teacher, a translator, a publisher) than in journalism”.