Celebrating World Book Day
“Celebrate stories. Love reading.” That’s what it’s all about on World Book Day. It doesn’t matter whether you’re seeking adventure, inspiration, beauty or nostalgia – picking up a book and getting lost in its pages is one of the greatest of human experiences.
There are millions of books to choose from (more than 130 million according to Google’s advanced algorithms), with over 2 million more being published each year, so there’s sure to be a book out there for everyone. This year, rather than listing the best books according to Amazon, we’re listing the best books according to us! Here are the insideKENT team’s favourites.
Donna, Creative & Editorial Director
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the ‘cemetery of lost books’, a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son, Daniel, one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out La Sombra del Viento by Julian Carax. But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. Then, one night, as he is wandering the old streets once more, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from La Sombra del Viento, a character who turns out to be the devil. This man is tracking down every last copy of Carax’s work in order to burn them. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax and to save those he left behind. A page-turning exploration of obsession in literature and love, and the places that obsession can lead.
Why Donna loves this book:
“This book is on constant rotation on my Kindle – I read it every few years, and every time I find myself up ‘til 3 in the morning, unable to put it down! It sucks you in as soon as Daniel finds himself exploring the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and is allowed to choose just one. Zafon’s writing is simply beautiful, and when it’s over, you feel you deeply know the characters and want to continue living in the story.”
Jerry, Account Manager
The One series by Kiera Cass
The Selection changed America Singer’s life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she entered the competition to become the next princess of Illéa, America has struggled with her feelings for her first love, Aspen – and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she’s made her choice…and she’s prepared to fight for the future she wants.
Why Jerry loves this book:
“I love this series of dystopian books, with dramatic events and romantic moments, you immerse yourself in its world and invest in all of the characters. It’s a combination of the Hunger Games meets The Bachelor, so makes for a great read!”
Adam, Sales & Publishing Director
Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson
In Losing my Virginity, you’ll discover how Sir Richard is committed to building a better world through responsible, holistic business practices and ventures such as the Virgin Health Bank, which is contributing to regenerative medicine, Virgin Fuels, which has pledged £200 million to renewable energy projects, and his company’s charitable arm, Virgin Unite. You’ll also learn about how Sir Richard and his company are reaching for the stars in a new era of commercial space travel with Virgin Galactic.
Why Adam loves this book:
“A book that stuck with me is Losing My Virginity by iconic entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson. From selling vinyl from his bedroom to the heights of chartering his first commercial flight and now launching Virgin Galactic, it’s a motivational business guide and inspiring story for me.”
Greg, Senior Account Manager
The BFG by Roald Dahl
On a dark, silvery moonlit night, Sophie is snatched from her bed by a giant. Luckily it is the Big Friendly Giant, the BFG, who only eats snozzcumbers and glugs frobscottle. But there are other giants in Giant Country. Fifty-foot brutes who gallop far and wide every night to find human beans to eat. Can Sophie and her friend the BFG stop them? Let’s hope so – otherwise the next child a gruesome giant guzzles could be you.
Why Greg loves this book:
“Maybe it’s because I’ve always been compared to the main character, but it’s a great book that reminds me of my childhood; a timeless classic.”
Sam, Operations Manager
One Day by David Nicholls
Twenty years, two people, ONE DAY. The multi-million copy bestseller that captures the experiences of a generation. “I can imagine you at forty,” she said, a hint of malice in her voice. “I can picture it right now.” He smiled without opening his eyes. “Go on then.” 15th July 1988. Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways. So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that? And every year that follows?
Why Sam loves this book:
“I love a book that draws you into the main characters’ lives. With One Day you laugh, you cry and you get frustrated by the complicated relationship of the main characters, Emma and Dexter. Checking in with them for ‘one day’ of their lives every year for 20 years makes for a clever and engaging read!”
Polly, Deputy Editor
Any Human Heart by William Boyd
Every life is both ordinary and extraordinary, and Logan Mountstuart’s – stretching across the twentieth century – is a rich tapestry of both. As a writer who finds inspiration with Hemingway in Paris and Virginia Woolf in London, as a spy recruited by Ian Fleming and betrayed in the war, and as an art dealer in ’60’s New York, Logan mixes with the men and women who shape his times. But as a son, friend, lover and husband, he makes the same mistakes we all do in our search for happiness. Here, then, is the story of a life lived to the full – and a journey deep into a very human heart.
Why Polly loves this book:
“Every time I reread this book, I notice more astounding parallels to today’s society in which people can hide their very human flaws behind the filtered facade of social media. The main character – Logan Mountstuart – an aspiring writer who outwardly mixes with the eminent movers and shakers of his time, continues to make the same mistakes and battle the same internal battles that we all do in our search for happiness, which makes the story astonishing, heartbreaking, very funny and entirely relatable. I’ve learned a lot from this book, not just historically (more than I ever picked up at school, anyway…), but about the importance of living life to the full and picking yourself up if and when you inevitably fall down.”
Lisamarie, Features & Online Editor
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Matilda is the world’s most famous bookworm, no thanks to her ghastly parents. Her father thinks she’s a little scab. Her mother spends all afternoon playing bingo. And her headmistress, Miss Trunchbull? She’s the worst of all. She’s a big bully, who thinks all her pupils are rotten and locks them in the dreaded Chokey. Despite these beastly grownups trying to push her down, Matilda is an extraordinary girl with a magical mind. And she’s had enough. So all the terrible adults had better watch out, because she’s going to teach them a lesson they’ll never forget!
Why Lisamarie loves this book:
“I have to go with Matilda by Roald Dahl. Although it’s a children’s book, it’s one that you can happily read as an adult and get a lot out of. Plus, it makes me nostalgic for the days when my mum would read it to me, and I’d even listen to it in the car on a cassette on the way to school every day. I never got tired of it.”
Molly, Fashion Editor
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
This is the story of a little girl named Fern who loved a little pig named Wilbur and of Wilbur’s dear friend, Charlotte A. Cavatica, a beautiful large grey spider. With the unlikely help of Templeton the rat, and a wonderfully clever plan of her own, Charlotte saves the life of Wilbur, who by this time has grown up to be quite a pig. A time-honoured classic favourite.
Why Molly loves this book:
“My favourite book is Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White because it’s a story about love, the joy of finding friendship and brilliance in unexpected places, and the fleeting nature and absolute gift of life. When I was a kid, I read this book over and over while reading other books, picking it up to visit my old friends Charlotte and Wilbur again and again.”
Laurence, Graphic Designer
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
In “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, Carnegie offers practical advice and techniques, in his exuberant and conversational style, for how to get out of a mental rut and make life more rewarding. His advice has stood the test of time and will teach you how to: make friends quickly and easily; increase your popularity; win people to your way of thinking; enable you to win new clients and customers; become a better speaker and a more entertaining conversationalist; and, arouse enthusiasm among your colleagues. This book will turn around your relationships and improve your dealings with all the people in your life.
Why Laurence loves this book:
“Over the past year, this book has helped me immeasurably. This no-nonsense, conversational style self-help guide has taught me how to be better in business, relationships and in life. It is hands down one of the best reads out there. Everyone should take the time to read this regardless of their goals.”