The 5th March 2020 marks World Book Day. A day dedicated to providing children with books and access to education, helping them to find the joy, beauty and adventure that lies within the pages and prose at their fingertips. Some of us will find that books and literature from our childhood ignited an inextinguishable passion, and some of us will find reading to be a sporadic hobby or pass-time that exists our lives just as quickly as it entered it. With libraries, audio books and even coffee shops with book sharing policies, the accessibility to books for adults of all abilities, financial and time constraints has never been better. However, this doesn’t remain the same for children, which is why events like world book day are so important.
In celebration of this important day and important collective, the VWA members have come together to share their favourite books and why.
Bethany Rose Huff Guelbert, Marketing Manager
Quote: “There are a lot of people who will give money or materials, but very few who will give time and affection.”
This is one of my all-time favourite books for many reasons, namely for being one of the few books that provoked me to shout at a book the same way my Dad shouts at the TV when the F1 is on. My partner introduced me to this book and it’s a read I’ll never forget. It’s a heart-wrenching book, short enough to be consumed over a weekend, but digested over a lifetime. It’s a book I would eagerly describe as crafted instead of written. Reading it, I was desperate to find a way to crawl into the book and change the order of the letters if only to alter the inevitably unjust ending for a protagonist that one can’t help but attach themselves to. Ironically, given the content of the book, the reader feels like an on-looker through a glass window. Comfortably and excitedly watching the development through some chapters, and banging your fists against the glass through which you’re watching unavoidable villainy ensue through others.
It’s a beautiful book, and one that every person should read over a rainy bank holiday weekend, with a loved one nearby toward the end.
Nicholas Coleridge-Watts, Associate Director
Quote: “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”
Rosa von Fürstenberg, Senior Consultant
A courageous woman’s story in the Arizona Territories in late 19th Century – moving, heartfelt frontier stuff.
Claire Ashley, Director
Partly autobiographical, this is first of the internationally acclaimed trilogy by Judith Kerr telling the unforgettable story of a Jewish family fleeing from Germany at the start of the Second World War Suppose your country began to change. Suppose that without your noticing, it became dangerous for some people to live in Germany any longer. Suppose you found, to your complete surprise, that your own father was one of those people. That is what happened to Anna in 1933. She was nine years old when it began, too busy with her schoolwork and toboganning to take much notice of political posters, but out of them glared the face of Adolf Hitler, the man who would soon change the whole of Europe -- starting with her own small life. Anna suddenly found things moving too fast for her to understand. One day, her father was unaccountably missing. Then she herself and her brother Max were being rushed by their mother, in alarming secrecy, away from everything they knew -- home and schoolmates and well-loved toys -- right out of Germany!
Felicity Ambler, Consultant
Book: When Breathe Becomes Air
I read it two years ago. Finished it on the tube crying my eyes out. It’s heart breaking and real and is about someone who doesn’t give up.
Amanda Brooks, Consultant
It’s the incredibly moving memoir of an NHS nurse. The focus on kindness and care I found truly inspirational.
Jonathon Brownfield, Trainee Consultant
I really enjoyed the concept of the Daemon! How the soul can be represented by an animal and has the ability to change during childhood. During year 6, on a world book fancy dress day, I dressed up as Urik Beranson, the polar bear who helps Lyra on her journey to discover how dust connected the universes. At the time I thought I looked like the best polar bear ever, when I fact I looked more like a sheep with fangs.
Jennifer Cooke, Office Manager
I love this book because it forces Bond to face up to his emotions and starts to widen the existing world to contain the other books – the book starts with Bond reminiscing on Vesper Lynd and Casino Royale, which shows that he’s not just episodic and untouched by everything, as much as he tries to be.
I also love the mind games and play that happens in the skiing segment, it takes it all back to traditional espionage and cliché spywork which is what everyone loves to be transported into. It’s an extremely fun read and I love how British it is in places, and how the start of the ‘training montage’ in the book finally gives Bond his key tagline (the world is not enough).
Manjinder Kang, Associate Director
Book: Anything by JK Rowling!
She is inspiring! I read all the books one after the other when I just started working in London and had a long commute. The books definitely became something to looking forward to on the train journey so great to read them consecutively and see the characters grow!