A number of members of L.A.T.E have started a teachers as writers group this year. We got together recently at the British Library (where better place to start) to do some writing, have some tea and cake and have a chat. We based our writing on the British Library’s Victorian Entertainment exhibition. During the sharing of our writing we began sharing our favourite books that were, in one way or another, related to the exhibition or the things it has prompted us to write about. Below is a list of the recommendations we gave one another- preparation for some Easter Holiday Reading!
Two non-fiction and 3 novels, hopefully a little something for everyone but all recommended by teachers to teachers!
Geek Love – Katherine Dunne
This book was discovered as part of a course on literature and bodies at Birmingham university by one of our writers. It tells the story of a woman who imbibes all manner of things in order to breed the perfect carnival act.
The Reason I Jump- Naoki Higashida
13 year old Higashida has a form of autism which means he cannot speak, but in this book he shows how learning to type allows him to express himself articulately and imaginatively. The book takes a Q & A form and he explains the way he behaves to those who might not understand. The book was translated into English when David Mitchell’s wife came across it in the original Japanese and it helped them understand their own child. The book ends with a story written by Naomi.
Nights at the Circus- Angela Carter
Set at the turn of the century, the magical realist novel follows a circus tour as it moves through Europe (London, Siberia, St Petersburg). The novel is typical of Carter’s style exploring sexuality, gender and is both dark and funny.
Middlesex- Jeffrey Euginides
A modern take on the grand American narrative following a second generation Greek immigrant, hermaphrodite protagonist through life and love. Its a fantastic read but a longer one that the others on the list.
Sapiens – Dr. Yuval Noah Harari
This books uses the fields of biology, anthropology, palaeontology and economics to understand how we have become what ever it that we are as a species today. It takes huge questions such as why we believe in Gods and charts the impact of language acquisition, agricultural innovation and much more.