World Book Day

It’s true, the biggest of all book-related days is on the horizon and there’s no better way to join in with the festivities than by discovering something new to read (or add to an ever-expanding list of ‘to-be-read’s if you’re anything like me!).

The theme for this year is ‘Reading is Power,’ which encourages everyone to celebrate the ways in which books promote growth, choice, power and knowledge. With that said, here’s an eclectic list of favourites put together by some of the Student Advisor team to give you some ideas of what to read next!

Student Advisor Lauren has chosen…
The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
the Picture of Dorian Gray Student Advisor Lauren
A brief description: A man named Dorian Gray prays on a portrait to stay young and beautiful forever. It works, but whilst he stays pretty the portrait gradually becomes grotesque because of the increasingly immoral things Dorian does.

Why is it your favourite?: The concept is really cool; the way the portrait measures out Dorian’s moral decline is interesting. Oscar Wilde’s writing always mixes pretty and witty tones, and that style works amazingly here. The characters are awesome; especially Dorian’s friend, Basil. This is the only book that I find myself flipping through to re-read specific passages or end up mentally reciting bits of.

Who would you recommend it to?: Anyone who likes morally ambiguous characters and pretty prose.

Book cover image source.

Student Advisor Arifa has chosen…
I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World, Malala Yousafzai
I am MalalaStudent Advisor Arifa
A brief description: A courageous memoir on a girl who survived a bullet shot by the Taliban (an extremist group) in the city of Mingora. A young education activist, her refusal of silence lead to World Leaders being inspired by her ambitions to fight for the rights of education for girls. The Taliban took control of the area and dictated how women should live their lives. Despite the struggle of commuting to school with her books hidden under her shawl, she strived to study and excel.

Why is it your favourite?: It was a fantastic read and so well illustrated. I enjoyed the book as it was a chronicle on purity and honesty based on the situation in her village in Pakistan.

Who would you recommend it to?: To anyone that is need of motivation and inspiration!

Book cover image source

Student Advisor Dylan has chosen…
Deaf Republic, Ilya Kaminsky
Deaf Republic Student Advisor Dylan
A brief description: In the fictional town of Vasenka, a protest starts after the tragic murder of a deaf child. The town protest in silence and create their own sign language

Why is it your favourite?: The narrative is told through a series of poems, and through several different characters. I find myself checking, and checking again, that Vasenka is fictional; its nature and issues ring too true with the real world. Kaminsky writes like no other poet I’ve read before.

Who would you recommend it to?: I’d recommend it to people who love poetry, people who love fiction, people who love film and those that love everything in between.

Book cover image source.

Student Advisor Anna has chosen…
Good Vibes, Good Life, Vex King
Student Advisor Anna
A brief description: This book is all about transforming negative emotions into positive ones to reach a high level of happiness. The book incorporates Vex’s own personal life experiences and explains how he has overcome the more challenging stages in his life. He discusses ways to practise self-care, positive lifestyle habits, taking opportunities, reaching life goals, overcoming possible fears and finding what you feel is your purpose in life.

Why is it your favourite?: I liked this book as it teaches you how to be a positive person and creates a feeling of happiness. His real-life experiences give context to advice that he is saying. I found this book a really good read whilst at university as life can become stressful at times, especially when I had quite a few deadlines to meet. It also gave me a good mindset when reading feedback on my work or talking to my tutors as I took the advice as constructive criticism rather than letting it dishearten me.

Who would you recommend it to?: Everyone! I feel as though it is a good book that can be useful to everyone, it helps you remain positive throughout life. This means it could be beneficial in your personal life, work life or throughout your studies.

Book cover image source.

Student Advisor Maisie has chosen…
To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
To Kill a MockingbirdStudent Advisor Maisie
A brief description: A first person narrative from perspective of Jean-Louise Finch that follows Jean-Louise, or Scout as she is more affectionately known, and her brother get to learn some crucial lessons about judging others, tolerance and justice throughout the story which is set in Depression era Alabama. 

Why is it your favourite?: An oldie but goldie- don’t let the fact it was published in 1960 put you off this is a timeless classic. The simple and child-like narrative helps to convey Scout’s raw emotions throughout the novel which helps readers realise the injustice of the actions that occur. Every time I (re)read it, I am always reminded not to judge a book by its cover and although this book may make you cry it will also fill you with joy!

Who would you recommend it to?: As it is quite an easy read I’d say anyone. Don’t let the memories of it being a school read put you off either.

Book cover image source.

Student Advisor Jen has chosen…
Tall Tales and Wee Stories: The Best of Billy Connolly
Tall TalesStudent Advisor Jen
A brief description: A collection of funny / interesting wee stories about life in Scotland, Billy’s childhood, life in Glasgow and his adventures travelling around the world.

Why is it your favourite?: I think my favourite book changes all the time. I finished this book a few days ago. It gave me comfort and reminded me of home at a time where I was feeling quite home sick. His happy wee stories about life in Scotland made me laugh out loud, which is rare when I read books.

Who would you recommend it to?: Everyone and anyone. I think the way he tells stories can bring us all joy and happiness. You can dip in and out of the chapters, you don’t have to read them in order or fully. Making it perfect to fit into our busy lives.

Book cover image source.

Whether you spend all your free-time reading or you haven’t picked up a book since high school, World Book Day is all about creating life-long readers! The charity does great work by providing children across the country with access to books, and we can all join in by sharing the stories we love! To find out how to get involved with the charity directly, click here!

There are as many reasons to love books as there are books themselves, so why not get involved in the World Book Day fun and try something new or re-discover an old favourite? Head over to the library catalogue to see what stories are waiting for you in the Catalyst!

Happy reading everyone!
Student Advisor Lauren
Lauren Gallagher – Student Advisor
MA English