Our favourite books
World Book Day is a charity encouraging children to get involved with books and reading. March 5th, 2020 marks the 23rd World Book Day, which aims to inspire children to celebrate their favourite authors and illustrators.
To show our appreciation this World Book Day, we asked our team members to name their favourite book. Needless to say, the results were pretty interesting!
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
Bite size, informative, potted histories of how certain things came about. His ability to cut through the facts and statistics and make it relatable is a transferable lesson to the day job. The book is very funny in parts and above all never fails to wonder.
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
I used to listen this on tape (showing my age there) all the time as a kid. Wonderfully random but creative for a child’s mind.
Sam’s Sandwich by David Pelham
It was a fun book to read, it’s shaped like a piece of bread and may go some way to explaining the lack of salad in my diet. As a kid I must have tasted the pages at some point and not liked any of them!
Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong
I couldn’t pick a single favourite but I’m currently (re)reading Waking the Witch – 12th in the Otherworld series. They’re a fun read by Kelley Armstrong, who has done a nice job of world building in the vein of the Dresden Files, featuring werewolves, witches, warlocks, vampires and more into a modern setting across a series of supernatural thrillers.
The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson
As I read it I reassured myself I had no psychopathic tendencies but found myself mentally running through friends, family and colleagues, assessing them against a 20-point checklist used to identify potential psychopaths.
Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
The desperation he reaches is truly emotive and gripping. It was also one of the first things myself and my husband bonded over so will always have a special place for me.
The Lion Inside by Rachel Bright
I’m going for a family favourite. I have two young boys (Charlie, 7 and Benjamin, 6), and for years this has been on repeat read. Funny and beautifully illustrated by Jim Field, it tells the story of a brave little mouse who inspires us all to embrace our “Lion inside” to overcome our fears and believe that anything is possible if you really want it to happen – exactly what you want your kids believing growing up.
Papillon by Henri Charrière
The autobiographical story of Henri Charrière; wrongly accused of murder, he was sent to a penal colony in French Guiana back in the 1930’s and eventually escaped after 14 years of trying. It’s an amazing story about the resilience of human nature, bravery and the absolute refusal to give up on the dream of freedom.
The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse by Robert Rankin
It’s a great mix of your standard childhood toys who live a real life of work, families, scandals and drama, all while still running into issues of rusting. This all needs winding up before they serve in the pub, and all the booze running to your leg stuffing when you drink, so your legs get drunker than the rest of you. It’s a really good murder mystery who done it, with a difference.
The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
A classic fantasy story that feels equal parts Harry Potter and Game of Thrones without ever feeling cliched for a moment. Every character is beautifully crafted and has a stunning story arc. This book is held in high regard, generating enough nerd dandruff to fill a small anorak. But don’t let that put you off, read three pages and you will be hooked.
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
If you want to learn a little bit about everything from Dinosaurs and Asteroids all the way through to Isaac Newton and the Royal Mint, then this is the book for you. You don’t need a PhD in Quantum Physics or some deep understanding of Palaeontology to pick this book up. Everything is fun, accessible and written anecdotally. You’ll laugh, cry and wince discovering how large the universe is and how precarious and self-centred the human race really is.
Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales
Since I was a little-un I’ve always enjoyed a dark and twisted sense of humour!
The Little Grey Men by B.B
It’s the story of three gnomes called Dodder, Sneezewort and Baldmoney who travel up a river in Warwickshire to try to find their long lost brother, Cloudberry. Forget Gnomeo and Juliet style gnomes with red pointy hats though. These are tiny little old men with long beards, dressed in animal skins. The writer was a naturalist, so it’s full of brilliant descriptions of the seasons, animals, plants and trees, so I would say it’s the book that first inspired a love of the natural world in me.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Such a good story, the characters are all really believable and strong. I like the fact that death is telling the story and cares about Liesel. I couldn’t put the book down.
Biff, Chip and Kipper
Takes me back to a time when I had no responsibilities or worries. I was 29 at the time. Obviously a late starter to the classic nursery books!
The Stand by Stephen King
Whatever you think about Stephen King, he is a damn fine storyteller – and this in my opinion is his very best. I like the depth tension and horror of the story.
It reminds me of being 16, in the middle of the 1980’s 😉 still the best decade for music!
The Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman
It’s a short kids’ tale with equal helpings of nightmare and wonder. Dave McKean’s illustrations perfectly capture it all. I’ve got a tattoo of a wolf playing the dad’s second-best tuba on my arm. Honourable mentions go to all the HPs, Fiend, I’ll Sell You a Dog, The Overstory, Revenge of The Lawn, It, The Shipping News and Coin Locker Babies.
George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl
It’s a favourite from my childhood and every time I see it reminds me of being young! I first read it at primary school and it has stayed with me ever since, I love the randomness of it all. I’m looking forward to reading it to my son once he’s bored of The Very Hungry Caterpillar 😂.
Peppa Pig – Naughty Tortoise
Tiddles the tortoise gets stuck up a tree, and has too be rescued. My granddaughter Halle loves it !!
One Day by David Nicholls
It’s a powerful story of a relationship through time and the ending is an emotional rollercoaster. Me and my best mate read it at Uni and we both sat crying in the park reading the last two chapters. (What a state haha!)
As you can see, we’ve been hard at work getting into the spirit of World Book Day! If you’re feeling inspired, and would like to find out more about the charity, visit their website here.