Our Head Account Manager, Cillian, kept himself sane during Lockdown1 by reading as much as possible. Here he gives 5 book recommendations, from his favourite reads, for teachers to enjoy while isolating at home or as a well earned break.
He hopes they will offer a window for reflection and escapism and fun and enjoyment!
This wonderful, beautiful, heart wrenching chronicling of a Korean family’s struggle in Japan in the 20th century was one of the best books I read last year, and probably of all time. The issues of race, class, riches, poverty, religious fervor, 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.
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 and pathos and 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.
A remarkable story told through the perspective of each family member 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. He leads them down a dangerous, ruinous path, and 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 an English teacher?) then you’re in for a treat…
A mother of twins has very early complications when her children are born premature. 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 about the only thing that keeps her going during a very difficult time. Ideally suitable for everyone and anyone, be you man, woman, teacher, carer, have babies or don’t.
5. Wolf Hall – 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 and vivid and 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 even as an adult feel free to immerse yourself in the audio adventures we have on offer.