Founder of pop-up book shop the Little English Bookworm, Ophelia Gartside shares her top three desert island reads for the summer.
I love the summer holidays for a multitude of reasons that I am sure we all share, but one of the main reasons is for the additional reading time you get. Going on holiday allows you the time to indulge in guilt-free reading. You don’t think; "oh I must go and finish the ironing, clean the car, wash the dog", you can just sit and read with a clear conscience. Even better, when you have finished your book you can just sit there contemplating what you have just read and savour the contents without falling sleep .
Consequently, here are my top reads, my desert island books, my absolute musts...
By Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle, published by Corgi
"The Secret Race", a book that pulls back the curtain and takes us into the secret world of professional cycling like never before. A world populated by unbelievably driven – and some flawed – characters. A world where the competition used every means to get an edge, and the options were stark. A world where it often felt like there was no choice.
Told by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle, this book is a fascinating read. Not only in terms of understanding the world of cycling and doping but in understanding human behaviour. I did start the book with a pre-conceived idea of the Tour de France and professional cyclists and expected to continue to sneer cynically but towards the end I was absolutely in awe and had to question what I would have done in those circumstances.
In this revelatory book, Ha-Joon Chang destroys the biggest myths of our times and shows us an alternative view of the world, including: There's no such thing as a 'free' market, globalisation isn't making the world richer, we don't live in a digital world--the washing machine has changed lives more than the internet, poor countries are more entrepreneurial than rich ones, higher paid managers don't produce better results. This book shows us we don't have to accept things as they are any longer. Ha-Joon Chang is here to show us there's a better way.
This book left me sometimes speechless but then incredibly animated. Two years after reading it, it now sits next to me at my desk. I hadn’t particularly been looking for a book that would make me challenge my views and beliefs, I just fancied trying something new, and now this book is almost sacred to me. The rationale and the evidence, coupled with a very easy to read and uncondescending style of writing, results in a book that will leaving you thinking and referring to it for a long time.
It's early 1945 and a group of people trek across Germany, bound together by their desperation to reach a ship that can take them away from the war-ravaged land. Four young people, each haunted by their own dark secret, narrate their unforgettable stories. Fans of "The Book Thief" or Helen Dunmore's "The Siege" will be totally absorbed.
This inspirational novel is based on a true story from the Second World War. When German ship the Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk in port in early 1945 it had over 9,000 civilian refugees, including children, on board. Nearly all were drowned. Ruta Sepetys, acclaimed author of "Between Shades of Grey", brilliantly imagines their story.
This is allegedly a Young Adult book but it really is for all adults (including young at heart). My 12-year-old daughter bought this as a present for me and it was a brilliant choice. A captivating read and very engaging. I loved the style of telling the story from the eyes of different characters and was taken aback by this fascinating event in history which I did not know about.
Ophelia Gartside is Chief Bookworm at Little English Bookworm, a pop-up book shop that organises events in Luxembourg and throughout Europe. Ophelia loves books and loves sharing great finds. You can follow her on Facebook and find out where she will visit next.