The day has come around once again, celebrating our favourite reads from childhood to adult life. There have been some amazing books published over the years, with this past year being no exception. New fiction books with wacky universes and narratives which address political issues of both the historic or modern world; authors devising new characters to represent all the experiences and identities encompassed within humanity; non-fiction books enhancing our knowledge of the world around us or the in-depth lives of those we admire ‒ whatever style you enjoy, books and reading is something which we will always treasure throughout our lifetime.
To commemorate World Book Day, here are a few hidden treasures that I, as an avid reader, have had the pleasure of reading since March 2019.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
This book was recommended to me over the summer by a member of my book group. I fell in love with it from the first page. Along with some pretty hilarious (and in my case relatable) awkward situations in which Eleanor finds herself in, Honeyman also tackles the more serious topic of mental health. The book itself was full of surprises and in all, really refreshing to read, being both funny and heartfelt. Definitely a book I would recommend. (As would Costa, as it won their ‘First Novel’ book award in 2019!)
The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins
Another winner of the Costa awards, Collins Gothic tale looks at issues of slavery, freedom and forbidden love. Whilst this novel does include themes of love, it also looks at life on a Slavery plantation within Jamecia, contrasting this with the white upper-class life in London England. Addressing attitudes towards race, gender, and sexuality within the 19th century, it is a brilliant read for those who love historical fiction.
Adventures of a Young Naturalist by David Attenborough
Whilst I love a good fiction book, after watching the beautiful documentary Seven Worlds, One Planet I was inspired to read some of Attenborough’s work. This autobiography itself follows the amazing sights and experiences Attenborough has had the privilege to witness over the course of his lifetime. Through this simple acknowledgment of the beautiful nature which surrounds us, Attenborough reminds his reader of how our current lifestyle affects these creatures’ wellbeing, their survival now dependent on us changing the way we treat our planet.
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
Those who know me will know I am an avid fan of Margaret Atwood’s work. Her narrative is able to illustrate a painstakingly realistic portrayal of the true female experience every time. Atwood’s work derives from behaviours which she has witnessed through her own travels, making her work that much more relevant in the world of literature. The Testaments is a sequel to her renowned The Handmaid’s Tale and once again beautifully and heartbreakingly illustrates three narratives that emphasise not only the female experience but also the female struggle. Unsurprisingly, I fell completely in love with this book. Atwood once more addresses the problematic gender expectations and treatments within our own Western society, as it draws parallels with her dystopian society of Gilead.
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
I read this book last year whilst studying a postcolonial module. However, little did I know how relevant, unapologetic and realistic it would be. Demanding a brighter future for those of color, this book is crucial for Western society to even begin to understand political debates around race. Both eye-opening and uncompromising, this book has made a major break-through in regards to an understanding of the discussion on race as well as our own attitudes in society.
So there are my five book recommendations for World Book Day 2020! Reading is all about finding something you are passionate about, learning new things and finding something you enjoy. So, HAPPY WORLD BOOK DAY and more importantly HAPPY READING!