Ever wondered how Devon library staff spend their spare time? Not surprisingly, many of us relax with a good book!
This is the first in a series of books read, loved and reviewed by staff. Do you agree with them, or do you have a personal favourite and would like to see included here?
It would be great to hear from you.
An Oldy, but a goody – from Dawlish library
Ogre Ogre by Piers Anthony from the Xanth series still makes me smile. I re-read it recently when I was ill and couldn’t settle, and it is still a feel good read. It is part of the fantasy genre, and I love the idea of an IQ vine that can sink into your head to make you smart. I only wish I had really had access to one while I was studying. If you like puns, adventure and romance it has it all, plus giant spiders, giants & heroes. I liked it so much I bought a copy, and it still resides in my bookshelf – very yellow but still fun.
Is there a catch – Darryl, Tavistock Library
My favourite book is Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. I first read it when I was at school; I loved its beautifully-written prose, delightfully disruptive non-linear structure, and its thought-provoking anti-establishment themes. It’s the only book I know to use the word “infundibuliform”, which is sadly underused in my opinion. And it features aeroplanes. What more could a boy want?
Can’t Sleep? – Lee , St Thomas Library
I read Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman in a log cabin in Finland mostly through a few days of big thunderstorms and heavy rain. Looking over the lakes watching the ripples rock gently the small rowing boats. The heavy pungent smell of Juniper and Birchwood mixed with the fresh rain is something I will never forget. I savoured every sentence of this small book. It is a tiny book with more ideas in it than any book I have ever read. Not difficult to read but huge concepts broken into small scenarios and stories really makes your brain work. It fictionalises Albert Einstein who as a young scientist is troubled by dreams whilst he works on his theory of relativity. The stories are heart breaking, uplifting clever and intellectually stimulating.
I can ‘see’ every sentence. The vignettes in this book are a mixture of exaggerated true phenomena and the unbelievable. Nearly 30 fantastic tiny stories that will make you think forever afterwards.
Something to pass on – Sharon, Barnstaple Library
One of my favourite books, which is a children’s book is ‘ King of the Copper Mountain, by Paul Biegel. It was first read to me at primary school by my teacher in a story time slot. The book is about the 1000 year old King who is dying and the only thing that will save him is a plant called ‘speedwell’. The Wonder Doctor goes off in search of the plant and tells the king’s aide – the hare – that the king needs a story told to him every night until the doctor can return with the cure. Each chapter of the book tells a different story, which are provided by visitors who meet the Wonder Doctor on his travels and are directed to the castle to tell their story.
Having had it read to me at school, I bought the book and read it again and again when I was younger. I have since read it to both of my children when they were younger as a bedtime story – one chapter a night.
Oh heck, I’ve got several – Wendy, Head Office
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen is a book I read when I was in my early teens and I’ve loved it ever since and re-read it several times. It’s got wit and humour, a love story with a happy ending – lovely. It was also the first book I read that was written centuries ago and the fact that I could cope with the language and writing style and want more made me feel great about myself as a reader.
Then there’s 1984 by George Orwell – not a comfort read for sure, but it made me think differently about the world. Again I read it in my early teens. It opened my eyes to politics and made me realise what a destructive thing power often is.
One of my all-time favourites is The Bone People by Keri Hulme. It won the Booker Prize in 1984. It’s an amazing book which stripped my emotions to the bone and totally engulfed me in the story. Haven’t read it since then, but it really sticks in my mind and just telling you about it makes me want to read it again. In fact I’ve just stopped mid-sentence and logged onto the catalogue and requested it!
I just love the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams! It is, of course a trilogy in 5 parts, so there’s plenty to read. I lived on a boat for about 13 years back in the 70s and 80s. We didn’t have a TV so I listened to a lot of radio and it was the radio adaptation that first captivated me. Really laugh-out-loud funny stuff! Quotes from it now form part of the fabric of my life. Whenever I’m, asked a question that I don’t know the answer to, I’ll often answer – 42! In addition to the humour and Adams’ writing style, it has lots of observations on human nature. Great stuff!
You can find out more about the books on our We Love… Pinterest board.
There are lots of staff who want to share their favourite reads with you, so watch out for part 2 in this series soon.