The team at Erstwilder loves a good read and to celebrate World Book Day we all wanted to share our favourite books with you.
Marc's Pick: The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
“Presently Peter sneezed "Kertyschoo!"
I’ll be honest, this ones more for my darling daughter Indiana, though I do have a handful of vague but warm memories of diving into the world of Peter Rabbit and Friends when I was very young. I’ve chosen The Tale of Peter Rabbit because it’s the perfect introduction to Beatrix Potter’s whimsical world of curious creatures. Not to mention it’s a genuinely enjoyable adventure for children of all ages.
Missy's Pick: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
“If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again.”
This novel tells the story of an unnamed woman marrying a wealthy widower, Mr de Winter, whose home is haunted by the memory of his first wife. He would love nothing more to forget but the second Mrs de Winter clings to every moment as if scared she will never experience it again. Narrated from the perspective of the second wife, this gothic romance left me desperate to keep reading and has since become a favourite of mine. The way du Maurier weaves descriptions of the narrator, you feel as if you are right there in her shoes and experiencing every moment of this unsettling story.
Kelly’s Pick: The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens. “Before sitting down to it, he opens his corner- cupboard door; takes his bit of chalk from its shelf; adds one thick line to the score, extending from the top of the cupboard door to the bottom; and then falls to with an appetite.”
As Dickens last book, it was left unfinished at his death which is both intriguing and frustrating. There have been a few attempts to complete the novel but I’m sure these would fall short compared to what Dickens would have written or wanted. I have always enjoyed reading classic novels and Dickens' are some of the best!
Tess' pick: The Woman in Black, by Susan Hill.
“My head reeled at the sheer and startling beauty, the wide, bare openness of it. The sense of space, the vastness of the sky above and on either side made my heart race, I would have travelled a thousand miles to see this. I had never imagined such a place.”
With intimate and warm characters, juxtaposed so expertly by such a cold and desolate setting Susan Hill’s Woman in Black is the perfect ghost story. Tense and emotional, captivating and mysterious.
Sally’s pick: Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter “Most generally there is something about everything that you can be glad about, if you keep hunting long enough to find it”
My wonderful Nan gifted me this sweet classic about the girl with the sunniest outlook. No matter what may come her way Pollyanna manages to find the silver lining of every cloud. Do you know how to play the glad game?
Adam's pick: THE BODY – By Bill Bryson
“You could travel through every inch of outer space and nowhere would you find anything as marvellous, complete and high functioning as the three pounds of spongy mass between your ears”
Incredibly interesting, inspirational and at times unbelievable! I love the way Bill Bryson writes and can make intensely complex thoughts and ideas easy to understand.
James’ Pick: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”
An enthralling journey into the depths of unchecked hedonism. The one and only novel by inarguably the 19 th
century’s leading purveyor of witticisms, Oscar Wilde’s opus is picture-perfect satire (pardon the pun) that seems to grow more relevant by the year. An exploration into the darker recesses of the human mind and soul, the story and the titular character captured my attention from the opening pages, a credit to the wonderful wordplay and storytelling savvy of a literary icon.
Those are a few of our favourite books! Which one's have you read? What's your favourite?