There's nothing better than being recommended a good book, so to celebrate World Book Night on Saturday 23rd April (and spread a little love for reading), our friends at Vintage books have recommended their favourite books for us...
Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter
"World Book Night for me, is about sharing a love for literature with others – reading as a communal act rather than a solitary one. With that in mind, anything that works when read aloud would be a great book for WBN, so I’d suggest Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter. She has a really bombastic, beautiful descriptive style which is perfect for reading aloud. It’s a book to share and read together, which spans continents and can offer something to readers from any corner of the globe."
Mia Quibell-Smith, Vintage Publicity
The Camomile Lawn by Mary Wesley.
"This is a waspishly funny novel that begins as five cousins arrive for their annual family holiday in Cornwall in a large house with a camomile-scented lawn. It sees them move through their lives in Cornwall and London, growing up and shedding innocence as the second world war engulfs them, as they discover sex and embrace the desperate humour of survival."
Rosanna Boscawen, Vintage Marketing
The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
"The Bloody Chamber for its fabulous, intense, stylistically jaw-dropping stories. As The Times put it, in these reimaginings of fairytales and legends, Angela Carter ‘can glide from ancient to modern, from darkness to luminosity, from depravity to comedy without any hint of strain and without losing the elusive power of the original tales’."
Charlotte Knight, Vintage Editorial
Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
"First and foremost – you can read it in a night. Secondly, I’ve always loved the idea of Paris in the twenties, and never really liked full blown love stories – so to see past their moneyed lives and look at the fractures just beneath I think is really interesting. Plus, Hemingway lived that life and loved the bull fights - it just comes through in his writing."
David Heath, Vintage Sales
An Equal Music by Vikram Seth
"Not just a brilliant, heart-breaking love story, but also an amazing exploration of the power of music. For me it demonstrates how books can be so much more than the sum of their parts, leading readers down paths they might not have taken before."
Susannah Otter, Vintage Editorial
Black Boy by Richard Wright
"Chosen by David Bowie as one of his 100 essential reads, this book is a devastating account of Wright’s childhood in the prohibition-era Deep South. It makes you realise what true poverty is; real hunger, dangerous prejudice and a daily struggle to even be seen as human. Not just a brilliant read but an important one."
Will Rycroft, Vintage Marketing
The Detour by Gerbrand Bakke
"An extraordinary novel from IMPAC prizewinner Gerbrand Bakker. I can’t think of a better way to describe Gerbrand’s brilliance than this quote from John Burnside’s Guardian review of the book: ‘One of Bakker's gifts is an ability to place us in a landscape so utterly that the damp begins to seep through the soles of our shoes’. Told in beautiful, understated prose, it’s a book about grief and the search for consolation, which gets to the heart of what makes us human."
Ellie Steel, Vintage Editorial