Tag: Reading for pleasure

The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories, edited by Tom Shippey. Science Fiction is a genre that I feel very strongly about, a genre that I believe  is unfairly over-looked or dismissed as trivial.  But it is, I think, the defining literary …

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Black Swan Green By David Mitchell I’m a huge fan of David Mitchell’s novel: he’s probably most famous for Cloud Atlas, which combined lots of different genres, from historical to sci-fi, and was turned into a film a couple of …

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The Day the Crayons Quit by Oliver Jeffers Poor Duncan just wants to colour in. But when he opens his box of crayons, he only finds letters, all saying the same thing: We quit! Beige is tired of playing second …

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Les Miserables Victor Hugo The story tells of a man Jean Valjean who struggles to transform himself from a thief into an honest man. Over the years he struggles to stay a step ahead of the zealous police officer Javert and …

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To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee I first read this book when I was at school, and I loved it… and I have loved teaching it ever since.  It’s one of those books which can change the way that you …

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Birdsong Sebastian Faulks This is a novel which presents a profound awareness of the experience of war which is integrated with a very personal story.  As a reader, I actually felt the claustrophobia of the miner beneath the battlefields. The …

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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Jonathan Safran Foer Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a heart-breaking yet life-affirming story about two very different conflicts, told from two different perspectives. It centres mainly around Oskar who is on a mission to …

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Johnathan Strange and Mr Norrell Suzanna Clarke An absorbing blend of history and fiction with a touch of magic realism seamlessly woven through.  At times absurd, other times touching, it’s a challenge not to find yourself ‘siding’ with one of …

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The Fault in Our Stars John Green The Fault in Our Stars is probably John Green’s most famous novel, and for good reason. It centres around two American teenagers, Hazel Grace and Gus, who meet during a cancer support group. …

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The Ruby in the Smoke Philip Pullman Pullman is a brilliant writer, maybe the best one out there writing for young adults.  This book is the first of a trilogy (with an additional fourth novel that ties up an unresolved …

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