5 Book Recommendations (for teachers!)

Reading is one of the best things we can do for our brains. It educates us, soothes us, shocks us, and plunges us into worlds of imagination. For teachers, reading can be more than just an after-lunch activity you do with your class. In this article, our Account Manager Cillian shares five book recommendations for teachers to enjoy in their well-earned breaks.

1. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (Fiction)

This wonderful, beautiful, heart-wrenching chronicling of a Korean family’s struggle in Japan in the 20th century is one of the most moving books I’ve ever read. The issues of race, class, riches, poverty, religious fervour, national and cultural identity and humanity are all explored with nuance and a delicacy and finesse that draws you in from page one, not letting you go for a long time after you’ve finished.

2. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (Fiction)

I cannot praise this book highly enough. It’s in the running for the greatest book written in the English language (a very contentious point there). If you want beauty, pathos, humour and truth, to be fully absorbed and invested in a story, then this is the book for you. If you don’t want any of those things, I don’t know what to suggest.

3. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (Fiction)

A remarkable story told through the perspective of each member of a family in turn. The father is a fervent Christian and moves the family to Africa, where he becomes a missionary and tries to convert the native people, leading them down a dangerous, ruinous path. The plot is one of the most absorbing I’ve ever read. It also offers, through one character in particular, a profound and compelling celebration of language and the power of the written and spoken word. If you’re a fan of palindromes (and definitely if you’re an English teacher) then you’re in for a treat…

4. Mother Ship by Francesca Segal (Memoir)

A mother of twins has very early complications when her children are born prematurely. This incredibly moving, uplifting and funny memoir chronicles her journey through hospital corridors and restless nights, her time spent with other mothers in the canteen and in the “milking shed” which becomes a refuge and safe space. This strange and wonderful community that she finds is just about the only thing that keeps her going during a very difficult time. Suitable for everyone and anyone, whether you’re a man, woman, teacher, carer, have babies or don’t.

5. Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel (Historical fiction)

Best for last? This novel has expanded the horizons of storytelling itself. It’s told from Thomas Cromwell’s point of view (sort of) and gives such an immersive, vivid, compelling and historically accurate account of one of the most brutal and lascivious and capricious kings of England. Perfect for any history buffs out there. As an extra endorsement, I’m Irish, and built into the very essence of my being is, naturally, an unconditional avoidance of anything to do with kings and queens and Tudors et al. So, when I tell you this is good, you know it’s something very, very special.

We hope you enjoyed the book recommendations and that one caught your eye. We love storytelling for adults as well as children, so feel free to immerse yourself in the audio adventures we offer for schools.

More great reads for teachers:

Two boys writing and working wearing Now Press Play pink headphones