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Top 10 Super Long Book Titles from My University Essays: Being a Short and Incomplete Historie of the Ridiculously Verbose and Unnecessarily Long Titles of the Tomes Brought Forth for Studye During My Younger and More Academic Years, Written in the Yeare 2020

I’ve been out of academia for a while now, but if there’s one thing that I remember about being at uni, it’s the fact that there is a lot of reading. And I mean a lot.

Sometimes that reading is fascinating, sometimes it’s decidedly not (I’m looking at you, Jacques Lacan, you bastard). I’ve already written a list of top 10 books I think every lit major should read, and this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic was a great chance to revisit my university days once more. As soon as I saw the topic was extremely long book titles, the reading I did at uni immediately sprang to mind. Because if there’s one thing academics love, it’s a nice, long, and juicy title.

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Challenging the City Slicker: Tracks (1980), by Robyn Davidson

tracks davidsonRobyn Davidson’s book is one of those things that challenges you because it describes something that is so utterly alien. And there’s more than a few reasons why, on the surface, I thought there would be little to relate to when I began reading her account of a trek across nearly two thousand miles of Australian desert. For instance:

  1. Despite the fact that I have lived my entire life in Australia, I have never seen more than a few patches of desert through a car window.
  2. My tolerance for hot weather peaks at about twenty degrees Celsius.
  3. I have a deathly fear of anything that clicks or slithers.
  4. I have never, nor do I ever intend to, sleep in a ‘tent’.
  5. Cleanliness is an issue with me; so much so that I am prone to anxiety attacks if I don’t shower at least once a day.
  6. Since the fourth grade, when we learnt about the dangers of melanoma, I react to sunlight in the same way that your average teenage vampire does: by slapping on three layers of skin-concealing shirts and scurrying into the welcoming shade of the nearest building/tree/bus shelter, arms held above my head like it’s raining locusts.