As a writer, I love books.
As a reader, I love books.
As an advocate of the human race and its ability to create, inspire, assess, explore, explain, motivate, amaze and entertain through the written word, I love books.
Even as an environmentalist, endeavouring to use as little paper as possible and recycling everything all the way down to bus tickets, I still bloody love books.
Put simply, and to misquote Sir Mix-a-Lot, I like big books and I can not lie.
And that, ladies and gents, is why Paperback Book Day on Thursday 30th July is such an awesome celebration. Below are five books I’ve read in the last couple of months that I thought were excellent and heartily recommend you seek out. I’d also love to hear about any good ones you’ve read lately (you can comment below, but I’m much more likely to respond if you tweet me). If you haven’t read anything for a while or consider yourself “not much of a reader”, I suggest picking up something lighthearted and fun; you might be pleasantly surprised.
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THE BEES (2014) by Laline Paull
This novel follows the short yet frenetic life of Flora 717, a sanitation bee almost destroyed at birth due to physical abnormality, yet who goes on to accomplish things previously undreamt of by her lowly kin.
THE PIG THAT WANTS TO BE EATEN (2005) by Julian Baggini
A decade old yet as fresh and timeless as the ponderings of Plato, Confucius and yes, even Douglas Adams. This collection of 100 thought experiments will have you scratching your head, reassessing your conceptions, and looking at the world in an entirely new way.
THE ACCIDENTAL TIME MACHINE (2007) by Joe Haldeman
This is a great piece of sci-fi. As the title suggests, a time machine is accidentally created, which takes its owner to increasingly fascinating and frightening societies and landscapes with little hope of ever returning to his rightful place in space-time.
STATION ELEVEN (2014) by Emily St. John Mandell
Another piece of sci-fi, this time a post-apocalyptic tale brimming with relatable characters, believable scenarios and comforting acts of humanity. After a deadly strain of flu wipes out the majority of mankind, the reader discovers how victims and survivors were connected by one man who was already past his prime before the end arrived.
LOOK WHO’S BACK (2012) by Timur Vermes
This is the one I’m reading at the moment and it’s unputdownable (I love that word). Hitler wakes up in 2011 to find he’s somehow travelled 70 years into the future, where the Wehrmacht, the SS and his trusty Bormann are nowhere to be found, but in their place is a German population that finds this new impersonator hilarious and will gladly watch his TV show.