World Book Night 2012: Which Books To Grab and Why…

23rd Apr 2012


World Book Night is here again! A million copies of 25 titles will be given out across the UK, America and beyond today. The list features all sorts of classics and bestselling authors, from Charles Dickens to Roald Dahl via Jane Austen, Dodie Smith and Sophie Kinsella.

So which ones should you be keeping an eye out for today? Here’s the For Books’ Sake team favourites from the 2012 list…

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Who doesn’t love this book? Ever since I first read it, I’ve been dreaming of finding my own Mr Darcy and that’s the beauty of Austen. Centuries after developing her characters, she can still inspire young girls’ romantic hearts more than any Disney movie ever could. (Boomskilpaadjie)

Anyone who has skipped over this classic needs to hunt down a copy in Monday’s haul. Living your life without an informed Mr.Darcy reference is a life half lived! (Rachelle)

I love this book! And Austen’s “collaboration” with Seth Grahame-Smith (her co-writer on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) only increases my enjoyment of it. (Beulah)

Classic family drama. The character of Mrs. Bennet, who is constantly on the lookout for eligible bachelors for her five daughters, is hilarious. A lot of women swear by Darcy, but I was never big on him. Women chase after men, get ignored, and then men chase after women. It seems like the work of a woman that’s frustrated more than anything else, a masala plot. (Udita)

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

A young shepherd boy, Santiago, has changed the thinking and actions of millions of people worldwide. The transformation of this village lad into an Alchemist, with complete control over all elements and destinies, is a must read. A beautiful tale of a long journey through deserts and across seas takes the reader on an insightful voyage. The story was shocking and revelatory; it is obvious and mysterious at the same time. (Udita)

This book is one that I use a a baseline for life, a gentle reminder of what is important to me, and how I define myself. (Rachelle)

Room by Emma Donoghue

Simplistically written and yet it will leave you emotionally wrecked. It’s an absolutely brilliant book for both the avid reader and the casual consumer, making difficult subjects and themes approachable for all. (Gina)

Room moved me immediately. Succinctly written it draws on your imagination from the first page, I’d recommend it as a reminder that there are always authors challenging story, character and genre. (Rachelle)

When I was first given this book I though reluctantly, “why would I want to read about such a difficult subject from the perspective of a 4 year old?” A few pages in and I realised how wrong I was. Donaghue’s choice of narrator is a particularly brilliant way of making the subject matter more accessible, while at the same time making it even more shocking. It’s a unique book that I would recommend to anyone. (Boomskilpaadjie)

One of the only writers who could have focused upon Josef Fritzl’s crimes and not slipped into ghoulish curtain-twitching. Brace yourself and read it! (Beulah)

I’m bumping Room up my to-read list because the website for the novel is so cool, it’s totally got my attention.  (Cariad)

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

I’ve been a fan of ghost stories since I was little and this one is my all time favourite. The most memorable opening line of any book I’ve ever read, Rebecca is possibly the most well-thumbed book on my bookshelf and gets picked up at least once a year. (Boomskilpaadjie)

I would recommend this book as one to a the reader’s threshold for fearful literature. For myself, the nameless herione was haunting, her experience harrowing, as I spent every page wondering what lurked around the next corner. (Rachelle)

A contender for one of the most memorable opening lines ever penned and a must read. Mrs Danvers still haunts my dreams. (Beulah)

Rebecca is a haunting book. It plays around with the reader’s head and this is primarily achieved by the way the characters have been built. Mrs Danvers is one of the most famous (rather, infamous) female villains of all time. Her dark, gothic portrayal, her obsession with her dead mistress Rebecca, these lend the novel an evil and sinister air. Mr DeWinters and his second wife , who is inexperienced and childlike, are completely taken over by Rebecca’s presence. Their residence, the beautiful Manderley, is pure black magic, enticing and annihilating. I recommend this book for its steady cadence of plot and beautiful writing. (Udita)

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

One of the most romantic stories I have ever read in my life, tapping into the deep passion that twin souls feel, without the gloss of so many books that struggle to find that core of love’s truth. (Rachelle)

When I first read this book, it tugged at my heartstrings like few others I’ve ever come across. I struggled to read it through the tears streaming down my face but am determined to give it another try one day. (Boomskilpaadjie)

The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak.

This is probably one of the most fascinating books I have ever had the pleasure to read. Completely original, compelling and emotional, it’s a tale that has stuck with me for years and one I will never get bored with re-reading. (Gina)

This World War II novel is one of those unique pieces that you feel the world would be poorer without. The way emphasises the human element of the war without making it too sappy is something that struck me when I first read it and has made it a bookshelf staple in my house. (Boomskilpaadjie)

Amazing and so happy to see this on the list. It wasn’t until I was halfway through it I realised I’d never before read any fiction about WW2 from the perspective of a German civilian. Or with Death as the narrator. (Beulah)

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

Such a fantastic YA title and a must-read for all fans of The Hunger Games (unless you hated the ending). (Beulah)

A post-apocalyptic teen adventure set in war-torn 21st century England, this is a memorable read for YA and adults alike. Fifteen-year-old Daisy travels to rural England from New York for the summer, not knowing that her life is about to irrevocably change when she falls in love with her cousin, Edmund. But they are soon to be separated by war. Engrossing and evocative, this is a coming-of-age story you’ll remember long after reading. (Jane)

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

I can’t recommend this enough. The later parts between Cassandra and Simon are electric. The entire thing is gorgeously human from start to finish, as well as dreamy, engaging, witty and sweet. Much more fun than Pride and Prejudice or Vanity Fair. (Hannah)

Know what, I’m just going to re-read this and have a proper swoon later. Hearts. So many hearts. (Jess)

Dodie Smith’s beautifully bohemian tale of the eccentric Mortmain family has become a cult classic, and deservedly so. Narrator Cassie Mortmain is charming, funny and sweet, making I Capture the Castle a gorgeous read guaranteed to make you wish you too grew up in a crumbling English castle. (Jane)

 For the full list of World Book Night titles you might be able to get your mitts on today, check out the website. Or we’ll be at Cafe 164 in Leeds from 2pm today, so come and say hello.

Which World Book Night title most takes your fancy? Which ones would you have loved to see make the list?