I'm putting together a reading list for 2020. What was the one book that changed your life?


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  • Gates of Fire by Stephen Pressfield- it is the best depiction of the ancient world I have ever come across and is inspiring, tragic and magnificent.
  • Roald Dahl's autobiogrpahy of his childhood - "Boy":

    "Throughout the remaining six weeks of the term we went very hungry. But all through those six weeks, Arkle continued to feed his frog with slugs through the hole in the lid of histuck-box. Using an old teapot, he also poured water in through the hole every day to keep the creaturemoist and happy. I admired Arkle very much for looking after his frog so well. Although he himself was famished, he refused to let his frog go hungry. Ever since then I have tried to be kind to small animals."
  • The Human Stain, American Pastoral and The Plot Against America by Philip Roth which I spent reading during lockdown are brilliant indictments on society as a whole but in particularly America.
  • @Pip Jamieson I read a lot of books each year and like to focus on ones that have some kind of positive impact. If I can lead one reader to a book that changes them, impacts them and pushes positive change in the world, then I have done my job in life. :) I hope someone discovers something special to them.
  • I read an awful lot. I hope I have left something for everyone here. If any of you avid readers read one of these, I'd love to know!
  • I have more... I do not usually read Young Adult but I have some new releases that I think are worth mentioning. The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta was beautiful. LGBT representation, written by a Black author. It talks about self love and having the confidence to be who you are, even if in this case it was a drag artist. Yes, there are drag queens! It is written with poems and sections in verse. There were illustrations. It was such a lovely little read. I also recommend new release Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender which provides Black transgender representation. If you like magical realism, my favourite short story collection is The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell. I believe this also had disability representation. If you are someone who likes to pay attention to the writing, I would also say that this one is perfect. My favourite graphic novel is Through the Woods by Emily Carroll. (It is a horror.)
  • and more... My favourite memoir is The Salt Path which covers modern homelessness in the South of England. If you grew up there, this will probably resonate more with you. My favourite children's book is I, Coriander. It is a dark fairytale, written by an author with dyslexia. At the time it was published, it was quite original. My favourite distopian is Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Finally, I think everyone should read Animal Farm and Alice in Wonderland during their lifetime. Both are great classics that cover some very real, adult topics.
  • Editorial Assistant
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    Here are some of my favourites. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hoessini is an emotional representation of immigration, displacement and oppression. My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin is my favourite feminist classic about a woman who wants to be a successful writer in a world that tells her that she can be no more than a wife to a man. Shot Glass Confessional by Cyrus Parker is my favourite poetry collection, touching on mental health, abuse and love gone wrong. It was raw and very moving. My new favourite fantasy book is by Black non-binary author Rivers Solomon. It is about mermaids, theres a ff romance in there too and it beautifully blends fiction with Black history. I understand the writing style is not for everyone though. If you like true crime podcasts, then West Cork was great, but it is a shame it is only available on Audible. I hope the journalists write a book soon.
  • Tell To Win: Connect, Persuade and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story by Peter Guber.
  • Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness by Richard H Thaler, and Cass R Sunstein!!
  • Vagabonding
    and also a book from Gianluca Gotto (just italian at the moment) "Le coordinate della felicità"
    Andmany others, still...not possible to mention them all!

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