Today is the 19th annual World Book Day. Children across the country are arriving at school today dressed as their favourite characters from books, from Alice in Wonderland to The Cat in the Hat.
From the authors that write them, to the illustrators that bring our favourite characters to life, World Book Day is a celebration of all things book. Unesco have designated it as a worldwide celebration with over 100 countries taking part.
The main aim of World Book Day is to encourage children to explore the wonders of books and the joys of reading. Schools across the country will have received tokens courtesy of National Book Tokens Ltd which they can take into a local bookseller and choose one of ten free books!
Naturally talk has turned to favourite books in the office today, here are some of our favourite reads and what World Book Day has inspired us to add to our reading lists:
‘I might start The Castle by Franz Kafka... or maybe re-read To Kill a Mockingbird and follow it up with Go Set a Watchman. I really should read the updated Getting Things Done by David Allen. I use the principles of the original one all the time. Moby Dick, Ulysses and Don Quixote have been on my reading list for years but somehow the next volume of Game of Thrones is always more appealing!’
— Paul, NEC’s resident IT expert
‘I'm reading Andy Griffith’s The 52-Storey Treehouse. It's quite fun as it has a lot of cartoons in it, villains and mucking about. Following the plot might be difficult because I alternate bedtimes with mum, but it’s not essential really.’
— Dan, Course Adviser at NEC and father to Lois, aged 7
‘I am planning to read Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. It is one of my daughter's favourite books. I first heard about it properly when she read it in the summer before starting her A Levels. She didn't like it at all. Then once she started studying it, she saw the value in the pages! Now she is studying her degree in English and plans to write her thesis on Virginia Woolf next year. We are going to the play together in April, so I have started with the audio book, and will then read the book itself, starting this weekend hopefully. I have to see what has grabbed my daughter's attention. So far I am thoroughly enjoying the audio version. I can see why it would be a difficult text to read. I am fascinated to see how it will transfer to the stage.’
— Stephanie, NEC’s expert in CACHE accredited qualifications
‘I want to recommend this book: The Photographer. I can read it over and over again... it is a non-fiction graphic novel/comic. The Photographer tells the true story of Didier Lefèvre, a French photojournalist, who accompanied a Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) mission during the height of the Soviet war in Afghanistan in 1986. The book interweaves Lefèvre's black-and-white photographs and Guibert's illustrations – combined with captions and word balloons – to create the narrative.’
— Margarita, NEC’s co-ordinator for General Education
‘I am currently reading a book on King John. I won't pretend that it is not a challenge getting to grips with the misunderstood monarch's obsession with administration and his love of moving around England to pass justice on all manner of criminal cases. One day his treasure will turn up, under the mud of the Wash where his infamous baggage train was swamped by the incoming tide... Also on the go at the moment is yet another book on the Wars of the Roses, the original template for Game of Thrones. If there's a book about that period in Medieval history, you can be pretty sure that it is in my bookcase. My husband felt compelled to ask if another of my bedside books – The Later Middle Ages – was about us as a couple or really about the social structure of the 14th and 15th centuries. Also on my bedside table is Winter is Coming, a book about all the various medieval references that have gone into Game of Thrones; a book about the hidden treasures of parish churches; a massive book on stained glass through history; numerous books about the great cathedrals of England and some pretty hefty tomes on Henry II, King Stephen, and Edward III. What else do I want to learn about? Mary Queen of Scots is coming up the list, and the lives of the last Romanovs. And for a little light relief... a novel about my heroine Eleanor of Aquitaine.’
— Alison, expert in the Wars of the Roses period and NEC’s Education Manager