Friday, 16 July 2010

What we're reading

You’re not the only ones reading up on the authors captivating Book Festival audiences this August. The team here is founded on literary enthusiasm, and many of us are taking the run-up to the festival as an opportunity to dive into the shelves upon shelves of great books that sit conveniently right here in our offices.

What follows are some of our favourite books being discussed at the Book Festival this year, a list compiled among ums and ers and “can I only pick one?”s –

Matterhorn by Vietnam veteran Karl Marlantes is a personal and powerful war epic, recommended very (very) vocally by Press Manager Frances.

The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna is Marketing & PR Manager Amanda’s favourite. It’s a love story set in Africa, a startlingly beautiful read.

My Friend Jesus Christ by Lars Husum ticks Press Officer Charlotte’s boxes – she describes it as a brilliantly funny tale that provokes faith in friendship.

Red April by Santiago Roncagliolo is a consistent and worthy favourite of Programme Manager Roland’s.

The Bird Room by Chris Killen, recommended by Programme Administration Assistant Esmé, is an irresistibly dark comedy by an irresistibly talented young author.

Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man by Bill Clegg comes recommended by IT & Systems Administrator Steve. It’s a brutally moving and honest memoir described by Irvine Welsh as a remarkable achievement.

Exposure by Mal Peet is an award-winning young adult novel, recommended by Programme Assistant Hilary, about having it all – and then losing it all.

Begat: The King James Bible and the English is a fascinating and intelligent look at the Bible’s influence on the English language, written by David Crystal and recommended by Box Office Supervisor Miriam.

From the Dead by Mark Billingham is a gripping and inspired crime novel recommended by Box Office Supervisor Thomas.

Learning to Lose by David Trueba comes suggested by Sponsorship Assistant Simone. Worthy of its awards, it is an engaging tale of a talented young Argentinian football star who arrives in Madrid.

How Not to F*** Them Up! by Oliver James is recommended by Administrative Director Andrew, who, fittingly enough, is a father-to-be!

Oranges are Not the Only Fruit Anniversary by Jeanette Winterson is being enjoyed, among many others, by Festival Administrator Alice. A celebration of the renowned classic.

Room by Emma Donoghue, recommended by Development Officer Eli, is a novel, both uplifting and devastating, about a single locked room.

The Book of Human Skin by Michelle Lovric has been highlighted by Sponsorship & Development Manager Loïs. It’s a daring and stunning work of tremendous power.

A motley selection, I’m sure you agree. But I wonder if you agree with our choices…