What we read can say a lot about us. Books instil a sense of identity and purpose, exposing us to unique situations and offering insight into areas we would never otherwise encounter. What we read during our time in school – be it for an assignment or pleasure – often determines the reading path we take in the future. For World Book Day 2016, the Collins team have decided to share their favourite books from school. Has yours made the list?
‘I think my favourite book at Secondary school was Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres. I loved that it contained many unconventional love stories: some that survived through war and time, and others that didn’t. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin touches upon civil war, death, music, love and natural disasters, making it a thoroughly enjoyable read for a teenager at school.’ – Rebecca
‘My favourite book to study at secondary school has to be Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. Unfortunately, I didn’t read this book in my school days as it wasn’t published until I reached A Level study. I only recently read Noughts and Crosses and discovered how special it is. The book was so ahead of its time – it is YA Dystopian novel that was published long before the YA Dystopian trend. It has a gripping story with likeable characters that you care about. It is also a story that you can relate to and is still relevant today. Malorie doesn’t pull any punches, especially in the ending. I won’t ruin it for those who haven’t read it but…the ending stays with you for a long time, which is always the sign of a very good book.’ – Alex
‘I did A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway at Secondary school, which I really enjoyed. Thinking back, I guess I liked it because it seemed far more grown-up and modern than anything else we’d read up to that point. Also, the way it was written was really stylish and precise – in a way that I’d not encountered before. I’d say it was the first book I studied at school that I enjoyed in its own right and certainly made me want to read more by Hemingway.” – Nick
‘My English teacher introduced The Great Gatsby to me as a wider reading suggestion for my coursework and it has since maintained its position as one of my favourite books. On first reading I loved Fitzgerald’s prose, use of symbolism and his ability to create characters that I both admired and abhorred at the same time. I really admired how Fitzgerald created double-edged characters and a complex protagonist who I never fully understood no matter how many times I read the book. What’s more, reading The Great Gatsby really helped me to see the use of characterisation, narration and symbolism in full force and understand writers’ use of literary devices.’ – Becky
‘I studied Oryx and Crake at A Level alongside As You Like It for my coursework on ‘dual settings’. It’s a post-apocalyptic Dystopian novel that explores what would happen if genetic engineering was taken to extremes. It begins with a world devastated by an unnamed disaster, and shows the events leading up to it through a series of flashbacks. It’s very unsettling and hopeless in places but so, so gripping! The kind of book you wish you could read again for the first time.’ – Ella
‘It’s really hard to pick a favourite, isn’t it? I loved Little Women while at school as I think the characters Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy are so warmly written and some of their adventures reminded me of what my sister and I got up to. I re-read it quite often now and it still gives me a cosy feeling.’ – Katie
‘I was very lucky in school because we read so many wonderful books, but one that always stands out for me is J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. It’s an extraordinary exploration of a mind in despair. It grapples with the multifarious issues that arise during adolescence, examining the very nature of what it means to “grow up”. At times hilarious, at times heart-breaking, The Catcher in the Rye is a classic piece of American literature and I would recommend it to anyone.’ – Laura
We hope that our selection inspires you to consider what your favourite books are this World Book Day. If any of your favourites have been mentioned, or if you have an amazing title we haven’t listed, we’d love to hear about it. Happy reading, everyone!