National Book Lover’s Day – a fantastic celebration of books and authors intended to inspire young people to appreciate the art of storytelling and to develop a love of reading.
Of course, we believe that the celebration isn’t necessarily reserved for youngsters, but can be instrumental in encouraging people of any age to pick up a book and learn to get lost in its pages for a while.
As a live events & communications agency, we invest a lot in the importance of stimulating the imagination, creating the best conditions for new messages to be absorbed. We specialise in creating environments that encourage audiences to temporarily suspend their experience of the real world, and enter a new space. Very much like a book. So we want to share with you, some of the stories that have inspired us throughout our lives.
It may be that these books were put down long ago, but they live with us still; in our imaginations and in our hearts more often than not.
One of my favourite books is called Sick Puppy by Carl Hiaasen. This is laugh out loud funny – a note of warning if riding on public transport! Great comedic writing, this author is a real gem, if you’re not familiar, you should be!
My book is Spies by Michael Frayn. This was the first modern “adult” book I read (and enjoyed). The story, set in WW2, follows two boys who have convinced themselves that one of their mothers is a German spy. The book’s chapters are split into prologues and epilogues, giving the reader clues and meaning to the events that follow. This was the first book that forced, but also excited me to fill in the blank spaces and think about books in a whole new way.
I have a list as long as my arm of my favourites, but the one that most feels worth a mention is A Month In The Country by J.L Carr. This is a story about two men, one is renovating a wall mural in a small country side chapel and the other is an archeologist digging in the small chapel graveyard. The story is based on the and the relationship that develops between them over one month.
It’s so soft and beautifully written. Very captivating.
This is possibly the hardest question ever to answer, but I’m going with The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. It isn’t my favourite book and certainly isn’t the most complex read, but I read this at a time in my life when the messages resonated very deeply with me. About a shepherd boy who travels alone from Spain to Egypt in search of his treasure, this book taught me that sometimes, one’s treasure is often found where we least expect it. Also that there are things in life we cannot control, sometimes we just have to see how it plays out. ‘Maktub’ is a word from the book that lives with me now, as a phrase it means “it is written”. Sometimes, I believe it is.
One of my favourites is “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. It’s told from the point of view of a child, which I love, as it gives such an honest and simple account of events. The book follow the lives of a plucky child, not born into the easiest of environments, but who finds a way to thrive when conditions are not always helpful. Brilliantly written, captivating, at times laugh out loud funny, but most importantly it moved and inspired me.
The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth. Following an assassin as he prepares to assassinate Charles de Gaulle and then the manhunt by the police in Europe to track him down before he does! This was the first ‘grown up’ book I read as a kid of 10 or 11. I loved the meticulous detail of it all, like how he could get fake passports and multiple identities and that it was written following the “bad guy”. There was a level of detail, tension and excitement to reading this that I’d never had before from kids books.
The book that left a distinct impression in my memory is The Power of One by Bryce Courtney, set in South Africa during the rise of apartheid. You cheer, laugh and cry as you follow the life of Peekay and the people he meets along the way. The inspiring, beautiful descriptions of South Africa draw you in and make you feel as if you are right there with him!A book about believing in yourself, following your dreams and being authentic. A must read!