You might have spotted on our Facebook and Twitter feeds that we shared a ‘Staff Recommendations’ Book Pass video earlier today. While it may have seemed that we just like throwing our books around, we can assure you that no pages were harmed in the production of the video. Instead, we wanted to show off some of our favourite reads and what better time to do this than during Libraries Week.
Katie’s choice: ‘One Day’ by David Nicholls (physical copies)
This book was recommended to me by someone special to me, who knows me well enough to know how I would enjoy it. If I’m being honest, it’s not a book that I may have normally picked off the shelf. However, I loved it! It’s now my comfort read, my ‘go to’ book time and time again.
‘One Day’ is about two people – Emma and Dexter – and is set over a 20 year time period. Each chapter visits them at a different year and stage in their friendship. The bond and relationship between the two characters draws you in and leaves you guessing if there will be a ‘happy ending.’
Emma and Dexter, although opposite in personality, work so well together. Both the loving and testing sides of their friendship/relationship is at the forefront of the story but it also shows how relationships evolve over time.
As well as being a story of friendship and love, it is a ‘laugh to yourself’ page turner. To me, it is a memorable read that made me laugh and cry. It makes you realise you should never give up on that happily ever after.
Lisa’s choice: ‘Dear Edward’ by Ann Napolitano (physical copies, eBook, eAudio)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book that tells the story of Edward “Eddie” Adler who was the only survivor of a plane crash in which 191 lives were lost.
The story alternates between the lives of the passengers on the doomed plane and Edward’s life following the crash.
Sad and moving but not depressing as the power of love, healing and friendship underpins the story.
Kate’s choice: ‘Good Omens’ by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (physical copies, eBook, eAudio)
A demon and an angel team up to try to stop the apocalypse. What could possibly go wrong? I don’t often read fantasy novels but I have to say I was drawn to reading this one after watching the excellent TV adaption. I knew it would have even more to offer (which of course it did) and made me laugh out loud a lot. It is a little bit controversial, full of jokes, and has well-developed loveable characters who I was invested in all the way through.
The story of how this book came to exist is a fabulous story in its own right. Written by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, the collaboration spanned over 25 years as the co-writers shared floppy discs and phone calls to create this funny clever novel. I love the thought of these two authors having a jolly good time trying to outwit each other as they developed their creation. The product of their years of working together is a seamless, fun book which I look forward to reading again one day.
Mark’s choice: ‘Game of Thrones’ by George RR Martin (physical copies, eBook)
I chose ‘Game of Thrones’ as I first read it back in 1999 – way back when any Fantasy book apart from J R R Tolkien was still pretty much seen as cult. I used to love Fantasy as a genre but, at the time, had become a bit disillusioned with it as it had all become a bit safe and generic. ‘GOT’ was different – heroes died, and it had a world so vicious and detailed that it made most other Fantasy books look like Enid Blyton had written them in comparison.
Before the TV series began, I got to meet George RR Martin at a book signing event for ‘A Feast Of Crows’ (book 4 in the series). I’m not sure George remembers it as well as I do.
It has only been nine years since the last book, but hopefully all good things come to those who wait! (Hint, hint, George!)
Emily’s choice: ‘Watch Us Rise’ by Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan (physical copies)
I read this over the summer and it seemed to sum up a mood that was quite prevalent at the time. The book follows two young women, Jasmine and Chelsea, who decide to set up a Women’s Rights Club at their High School to tackle the mistreatment they and their fellow students face. Using social media and blogs, they challenge perceptions through poetry, performance and direct action. Though their path doesn’t always run smoothly, Jasmine and Chelsea are committed to getting their voices heard.
This is a really engaging Young Adult novel. Even though it is set in America, and society differs, the book has powerful characters that you end up rooting for and is honest about the obstacles that young people face in our world today. From online trolls to misinformation, from dealing with growing up to forging an identity as you mature, this is a book I would recommend to anyone looking for an inspiring read.
Katie, have you read David Nicholls latest, “Sweet Sorrow”? Absolutely brilliant. I’d recommend the audio version read by Rory Kinnear which has that great mix between Shakespeare and modern comedy from an actor who knows both so well.
And Kate you must read “Neverwhere” or “Stardust” by Neil Gaiman if you haven’t already. The world creation in both books is fantastic.