A little late in the day, I have gathered our collective thoughts together about which books inspired, delighted and comforted us here at Inkpots in 2015.
One of the delights of running Inkpots is that it is a gathering place for those of us who simply adore reading. Many of us grownups trace our love of reading to childhood, so it is always such a delight to talk to the children about which books they are particularly enjoying.
For this piece, I talked to Rebecca (age 9), Rebecca (age 10), Lilly also age 10 and Kyan (12 years) about their best books of 2015. Here (in no particular order) are some of the books they enjoyed:
- The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J K Rowling
- The Parent Agency by David Baddiel
- Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
- Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
- The First Term at L’Etoile by Holly and Kelly Willoughby
- The boy who sailed the ocean in an armchair by Lara Williamson
- Auggie and me by R J Palacio
We feel that special mention should go to I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. This is a book recommended by Lilly; the story of how 15-year-old Malala who campaigned for education for all in her home land of Pakistan was shot a point blank range by the Taliban. Few expected her to survive but instead her miraculous recovery has taken her and her family on an incredible journey.
At 16, she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. Lilly felt that this is a book we should all read.
Inkpots Writing Workshops have a lot of friends in our local area and one of them is Sharon who is also an avid reader. When I asked Sharon for her thoughts for 2015 books, she wrote:
“In April I read, The Mirror World of Melody Black by Gavin Extence. I heard about this via Radio 2’s Book Club hosted by Simon Mayo. When Gavin went in to discuss this book, I knew I just had to read it from the comments of Simon Mayo’s team and the listeners who are given the opportunity to read the book beforehand. I wasn’t disappointed; it was everything I expected and more. The story is about Abby who is a freelance writer, who discovers her dead neighbour’s body in the flat next door when she goes to borrow a tin of tomatoes. She has bi-polar disorder and this story takes you on her journey from discovering the body and how it affects her to her eventual spell in hospital to stabilise her mania. The story was well paced and exciting and the jaw-dropping twist in the middle could not have been foreseen. This was one of my favourite books of all time. It’s one of those books that will stay with me for ages and I will enjoy re-reading it over and again.”
For my part, my reading has been a bit patchy, but I was given a Kindle for Christmas 2015 so I have learnt about accessing books in another way. One of the books I downloaded was The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. This was a revisit for me as I had read the book some years ago. The first time I read it, as a much younger woman, I remember being irate at the treatment of women. Such is the depth of Atwood’s writing that the re-reading touched me just as profoundly but on a different level – one which arouses concerns about the kind of society we live in now, and how close the book draws some uncomfortable parallels.
So, at Inkpots, many of us are reading new books as we start this New Year and we hope to make this a regular feature of our Inkpots blogs.