National Book Lovers Day – our 14 favourite reads

NB Team

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Today, August 9th is National Book Lovers Day. Yes, we’re aware that’s not a real thing, but we love books so we’re on board.

It gives us the perfect opportunity to share some of our favourite reads and find lots of new recommendations to dive into, especially as it’s a top trending topic on Twitter – we’re particularly loving the special Book Lovers Emoji #BookLoversDay!

The modern debate is old school tech vs new school – print or eBook. It seems we’re not the only ones who love a good read – physical book sale revenues are starting to climb again, with people preferring to get their hands on a physical book rather than downloading an eBook.

Here are some of the top books currently capturing the imaginations of NB:

1984, by George Orwell 

Rufus: “Beautifully written book with a chillingly accurate vision of the future.”

The Penguin Lessons, by Tom Mitchell

Michele: “It’s a true story about a guy from the UK who was briefly living in Argentina teaching English, and comes across an injured penguin. He ends up taking him back to the school and keeping him. It’s a light-hearted and sweet story, really uncomplicated and such a nice escape from reality!”

The Year of Living Danishly, by Helen Russell

Shelby:  “A ‘how-to guide’ on living the Scandi dream, following the ex-editor of as she moves to rural Jutland with her husband as he takes up a job with Lego. The book proves that despite Denmark being dark for a majority of the year, and paying the most taxes of any nation, they are also the happiest nation in the world. It’s an easy read but puts things into perspective – especially if you’re reading it on a busy tube commute!”

 I know why the caged bird sings, by Maya Angelou

Morag: “Maya is a compelling writer. This book is an early year’s autobiography which is super sad in parts, but it’s one of those books that keeps you reading into the night.”

Career of Evil, by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K.Rowling)

Melissa: This is the third book in the Cormoran Strike series. This was probably my favourite of the series so far as it includes a shift in perspective to a very different character compared to the first two.  If you love a good detective mystery then I would urge you to read the series before it hits your telly as a BBC crime drama later this month!

A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman

Brad: “If you’re a fan of The Rosie Project, then you’ll love A Man Called Ove. This is a truly heartwarming book about a cranky old codger with a hell of a story and a heart of gold (not that he’d admit that). When a young family moves onto his otherwise peaceful street, Ove’s life – as far as he’s concerned – is ruined. Flashbacks into Ove’s past help unravel his gloomy character as chaos unfolds in the present day. This is an easy read, perfect for a plane ride or pool-side.”

 Birds Without Wings, by Louis de Bernieres

Elcin: “This is still my favourite book of all time. It’s absolute perfection. And I have a signed copy at home because I met Louis de Bernieres and cried on his shoulder.”

Failure is not an option, by Gene Kranz

Sohaib: “You’ve heard his name even if you don’t realise. Gene Kranz was the flight director for Apollo 13. I love space and that alone was enough of a reason to pick up his book. However, it turns out Apollo 13 is one of the least interesting parts of his incredible career. Kranz joined NASA in the early days when putting humans into space was a ridiculous dream. He’s seen every era of NASA’s incredible evolution, from creating the maths and machines to get into space, through to the development of the space station. For space fans, it’s an essential read.”

Delivering Happiness, by Tony Hsieh

Hyacinth: “Taken a slightly different angle I’m recommending a marketing book. Delivering Happiness is a really interesting look at Zappos’ growth and their ethos as a brand (and some good culture ideas for companies/agencies in it too)!”

 Sapiens & Homo Deus, both by Yuval Noah Harari

Will: “Sapiens & Homo Deus – both absolute MUST READS. In Sapiens, Harari has written the most interesting and thought-provoking book I think I’ve ever read, looking back through our history as a species to understand who we are and why we’re like we are.  He does all that in a pretty unprecedented, big picture way. Homo Deus follows that up by looking at the ‘history of the future.’”

The Girl from Hockley, by Kathleen Dayus

Tori: “This is the first time I’ve read a social memoir, and it was fascinating to learn how much Birmingham (the area my family comes from) has changed in just over a century through the eyes of a working-class woman who witnessed it all, first-hand, and often in exceptionally tough circumstances. It’s also cool that Kathleen Dayus’ work resonated so much with her generation in the area that she became a well-known and highly-regarded figure. She travelled around homes, sharing her experiences. This book is an amalgamation of five previously-published books.”

Modern Romance – An Investigation, by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg

George: “A humorous look into how technology has changed dating and why we can often still feel lonely despite this *sob*.”

The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

Sam: “A gripping book about a bizarre alternate time when women’s’ rights have been removed. Women are treated as the property of the state. This has come about due to environmental disasters creating plummeting birth rates. A fascinating look at a life you hope never materialises and a book you just can’t put down. The TV adaptation is also a must-watch, which gives even more insight into the other characters not focused on in the book.”

I Am Pilgrim, by Terry Hayes

Joe: “Action-packed page-turner from start to finish, which cleverly links to tragic events of the past.”