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World Book Day 2024 – Spinnaker’s Recommendations

Dr. Seuss once said, ‘Reading can take you places you have never been before’ and he is quite right! Reading can be magical. Whether you’re reading fiction, non-fiction, fantasy, or biography, it can transform your world and open your mind.

This World Book Day, Spinnaker got together their top recommendations for their favourite books. All different genres, for all different ages, for all different people. Take a read and see if anything piques your interest!

Lucy McQuillan, HRC Manager

Reading is my escapism. It allows me to shut off whatever is occupying my mind and for a short time I’m in someone else’s world.

Anthony Taylor, who wrote Anatomy of Ghosts and the Marwood and Lovett book series says “Books are not luxuries, they are the meat and drink for the mind.” And I couldn’t agree more, especially when I’m justifying buying a new book.

Title: All The Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr
Synopsis: It’s a story of survival, family, and resistance. The book tells the story of two people during WWII, a blind French girl, who to escape the advancing German army moves from Paris to Saint-Malo. Another of a young boy who has an interest in engineering and living in Germany. The book gives you a fascinating insight into Germany and France before and during the war. Both individuals’ lives are entwined, but you’ll have to wait until the end to see how.

Title: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle OR in America ‘The Seven ½ deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle’
Author: Stuart Turton
Synopsis: The heiress Evelyn Hardcastle has been murdered at a party in her stately home. The protagonist must find the killer, but every morning he wakes as another guest at the party to relive the same day of the party. To add to the confusion, he only has 8 days to solve the murder without knowing which guest he will wake up as next. Don’t fall asleep too early.

Title: Venus & Aphrodite, History of a Goddess
Author: Bettany Hughes
Synopsis: When somebody asks you to picture Venus you may imagine the painting by Botticelli ‘The Birth of Venus’, but Venus didn’t always look like this. Delving into the 6,000-year history of the Goddess, you are taken on a journey about the changing character and image of Venus the Goddess of Love and War.

Bethanie-Taylor Grenfell, Marketing & HRC Administrator

There is something so simplistically beautiful about reading words on a page, from beginning to end and knowing by the end of the book, it can sometimes completely change your life. I know many a book has made me feel a complete sense of fullness and affected me in such a way that I look at the world differently. That is what a good book can do!

Title: Little Women
Author: Louisa May Alcott
Synopsis: This coming-of-age book tells the story of the four March sisters and their journey from childhood to womanhood. Looking at their story and how they grow up, find love, deal with loss, find their place in the world and learn from their mistakes while sticking with the central family unit at the centre of it all. This is probably the most beautiful book I have ever read.

Title: The Secret Garden
Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett
Synopsis: A sweet little story about an orphaned young girl who goes to live with her uncle leaving her feel completely alone. After exploring the estate and grounds to entertain herself she comes across a garden that was ruined and hidden. And with the help of one of the servant’s boys, they restore it to its former glory. The message of the story is beautiful in that there can be beauty in even the darkest of worlds, all you have to do is look the right way. Every time I see it up on my bookshelves, it just makes me smile.

Title: Alice in Wonderland
Author: Lewis Carroll
Synopsis: I think everyone is familiar with the story of Alice! It tells the story of a girl named Alice falling down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world and has many wonderous and bizarre adventures. This book remains to this day, my favourite book ever!

Clementine Matiwaza, Recruitment Resourcer

I read to further my vocabulary and to escape reality! I find that when I read my dreams get more creative.

Title: The Handmaid’s Tale
Author: Margaret Atwood
Synopsis: This book is based on a dystopian future, as readers we can envision the events happening as it involves events that have happened in the past. It highlights what life would be like if men were in charge and what roles women play in society.

Chloe Jones, Recruitment Researcher

I like to read as I find it quite relaxing, depending on the book. I really enjoy the escapism of getting lost in a good book! You also do just get more information and back story than TV or film especially as each person has their own idea of how that character looks and presents themselves it can be really engaging.

Title: It Ends With Us
Author: Colleen Hoover
Why: I really loved the way it showed themes such as domestic violence and how that affected the main character, but it wasn’t solely about that she had a life outside of it.

Title: Eleanor Opheliant Is Completely Fine
Author: Gail Honeyman
Why: This is so wonderfully unusual and just brilliant, it touches on her past trauma growing up and how people see her as a bit weird, but she thinks the same about them, it really touches on loneliness too which I think we can all relate to!

Title: We Should All Be Feminists
Author: Chimamanda Adichie
Synopsis: This is an essay as a book so it’s not too long, but it is brilliant, she delves into gender stereotyping and the importance of gender equality.

David Tubb, Director of Recruitment

I enjoy reading to learn. I also enjoy reading to escape and be taken off to a different world/time in history. You can imagine living in aristocratic England or be present at the aftermath of a murder scene but don’t need to deal with the troubles of life or the aftermath.

Title: Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
Author: Steven Covey
Why: I love books about self-development, improvement, and self-awareness. Each time I read it, I learn something different, and always return to it when I need a form of grounding.

Title: The Face of Death
Author: Cody McFadden
Why: The first of a four part collection. A thriller/crime mystery novel not for the faint-hearted. It’s one of those ones you read from cover to cover in a short space of time.

Title: Pride and Prejudice
Author: Jane Austen
Why: I love the story. It’s one of my favourite classics. My wife introduced me to Jayne Austen adaptations which led me to read all her books and feel in love with her work. Jane Austen’s house is also where we got engaged.

Daryna Rozum, Reward Consultant

I read because it opens sides of me I’d otherwise had no idea about. It’s entertaining and mind-twisting, and it sparks my imagination so that I can create something of my own.

Title: The Secret History
Author: Donna Tartt
Synopsis: Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries.
Why: It evoked so many thoughts on everything raw and uncanny in us, everything so ugly you can’t avert your eyes from. This book follows its main idea – “Beauty is terror”. My favourite combination.
Highly recommend for a thoughtful, slow read with a lot of dark academia. Playlist to listen alongside: A (really) Dark Academia Playlist

Title: The Hunters and the Hunted
Author: Ivan Bahrianyi
Synopsis: A Ukrainian political prisoner sent to die in the Siberian labour camp is saved by ethnic Ukrainian family of tiger hunters. Instead of being exposed to the brain-washing and slow death at the hands of the NKVD, the hunted prisoner finds love and eventually freedom across the border.
Why: Almost autobiographical. Recommend to everyone who wants to know more about the history of Ukrainian struggle for freedom.

Title: Why Does E=mc2?: (And Why Should We Care?)
Authors: Brian Cox, Jeff Forshaw
Synopsis: Principles of physics through everyday life.
Why: The book that made me fall in love with astrophysics and put my perception of time and space upside-down. A somewhat challenging read for those who are curious about how our Universe works.

Georgina King, Reward Consultant

The reason I love reading is because it calms me and really helps me unwind when I’m stressed, it also grounds me when the world can seem so instant and demanding, when you sit with a book you have to slow down. When I was younger it was my favourite thing to do and then life felt too busy and I never got around to picking up another new book. I recently started again and I can tell the impact it’s having on me and I honestly just love it, I love how reading can make you feel and how it can transport you to an entirely new place.

Title: Song of Achilles
Author: Madeline Miller
Synopsis: It’s a coming-of-age story from the perspective of Patroclus and tells the blossoming relationship that develops with Achilles and the trials and tribulations that come along with it. There’s war, there’s friendship, there’s drama, there’s death and there’s love… there isn’t a lot this book doesn’t cover.
Why: It’s written so beautifully it’s like poetry, you forget at times you’re even reading at all because of how well everything is described. It’s such an emotional book that is able to keep you hooked. I loved every minute of it. My favourite quote from this would be “I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world”.

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