Science fiction author Joe Haldeman once said:
Bad books on writing tell you to “WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW”, a solemn and totally false adage that is the reason there exist so many mediocre novels about English professors contemplating adultery.
And yes, ageing white professors cheating on their wives is definitely a recurring theme on this list – but there is also some sexual experimentation, a murder or two, slapstick comedy, and plenty of cheap wine.
In Omnia Paratus!
Old Penguin book cover.
This book tells the story of a middle class white man in his early thirties working as a lecturer on medieval literature who thinks he deserves a better job and a prettier girlfriend, but spends most of his time complaining and drinking instead of actually working for either of these things. Most of the novel is spent making silly faces, lying, avoiding his responsibilities, and playing immature pranks on the people he loathes. In the end, he gets his rewards without making much of an effort and walks off into the sunset, having learned nothing at all.
Lucky Jim has not aged well.