5th March will see the 23rd World Book Day. We love to read ourselves here at The Listing and we’ve each picked a book we’ve read recently that we enjoyed. All can be requested at WH Smiths and Royston Library, as well as online at various book outlets.
Tom: The Spy and The Traitor by Ben Macintyre
This book delves into the life and story of Britain’s most successful foreign spy; the KGB London rezident Oleg Gordievsky. In only 300 pages, Macintyre captures the grim reality of the communist Soviet Union, the mechanics of the KGB, the stain of Stalinism on the Soviet psyche, and censorship which ultimately pushed Gordievsky away from Marxism-Leninism and towards democracy; not just of politics but of art, literature and music.
After being discovered as a double agent, Gordievsky and the KGB spent weeks trying to work out what the other party knew. Operation Pimlico, the daring exfiltration of Gordievsky out of the Soviet Union, was so unprecedented that the KGB refused to believe it for many weeks and instead believed that Gordievsky must have killed himself. Few intelligence officers have ever played a more vital role in securing world peace than this man and his intelligence was so revealing that he was was debriefed personally by both Thatcher and Reagan.
Molly: ‘The Last Tudor’ by Philippa Gregory
This book offers a female perspective on the Tudors surrounding the reign of Elizabeth I.
Philippa Gregory delves into the personal lives of three young Tudor women, each with a compelling story to tell in their desperate struggle to keep their heads under the reign of a fearful queen. The chronological novel aligns the story of the nine-day queen, Lady Jane Grey with her young sisters Katherine and Mary. Their family’s claim to the throne shows the impact of having royal blood in your veins in the 16th century. This thought-provoking book highlights the struggle for women in a past that allowed them little or no choices. A gripping, historical novel full of twists that you may not have encountered in this familiar period of English history.
Sharon: ‘After The End’ by Claire Mackintosh
It’s not often I fall in to a book from the start, but this book is a page-turner! I felt captivated in the characters in such a heart-breaking ordeal. It is really hard to say too much about the book without giving too much away.
A married couple have to make a harrowing decision about their critically ill young son with a brain tumour. When they are asked to make a tough choice regarding his future and his treatment, they both want what’s best for their son but unfortunately, they have completely opposite views as to what that should be.
Claire had me gripped from the start and having not known the story line it must have been excruciating to write – a must read for World Book Day!
Cath: ‘A Long Way From Home’ by Peter Carey
It’s set in the 1950s during the Redex Trial, a 1000+ miles plus car rally across rural Australia, dirt tracks and dust. Irene Bobs leads her husband throughout the race, set deeply within the country’s Aboriginal heart, and it follows the heartaches, loves, losses and sacrifices of following your dreams in the male orientated world of 1950s Australia. Reading it whilst I was in Australia made in even better!
If you’re struggling to find a story to read this month, we’d reccommend heading to Royston Library to explore their diverse range of books. Other services available at Royston Library include a free online e-book and audiobook service availble to members, internet safety sessions, tablet & PC one-to-one sessions and one-off author events. Furthermore, they host a range of weekly events including Toddler Tales in which they are inviting children to come to the library dressed as a character from a book on Friday 6th March at 2pm.