More Staff Picks - what we are reading

Staff and volunteers share some of their favourite reads from the scheme.

Article Image Annie - broaden my world view

Annie is one of our dispatch team, writes the book blurbs for BDS and convenes two book groups.

She says her favourite book is usually the one she is reading at the time, but (more helpfully) adds: "My reading choices are 'ideas-driven'. I read a wide range of fiction and non-fiction but really enjoy stories that make me think and so challenge and broaden my view of the world."

Annie's current best reads are:

1. Beartown

2. Guernica

3. The Hidden Life of Trees

4.  Hillbilly Elergy

Article Image Jane - busy mum's choices

Jane is one of our dispatch team. As a busy mum of three, a book needs to be an absorbing and enjoyable distraction! Her reading highlights include:

1. The Cleaner

"A page-turner."

2. Nutshell

"Very quirky. I've never read anything from an embryo's point of view before!"

3. Small Great Things


Article Image Cherie - eclectic and darker

Cherie repairs damaged books and is our administrator. She reads a range of genres but likes suspense "that is well done".

"I have eclectic taste but lean towards a darker book." 

Her favourite recent reads are:

1. Waking Lions

2. News of the World

3. Different Class 

"You couldn't get a collection of three more different books: I love Joanne Harris as an author, News was quirky, and the other is about the treatment of refugees and is a morality tale."


Article Image Kirsty - Unfamiliar time or place

Kirsty is our accounts person and she likes to find out about an unfamiliar time or place or event in history. Her top picks, although she says she hasn't hasn't read anything she hasn't liked, are:

1. Beauty of Humanity Movement

2. Cellist of Sarejevo

3. Caleb's Crossing

4. Someone Knows My Name


Article Image Aimee - a gripping story

Aimee works part-time in our distribution area, unpacking returned books and reshelving them. She convenes a book group of 8 women who often have extreme differences of opinion! 

Books from the scheme that she has recently enjoyed are:

1. The President's Hat

"For a fun, lighter read."

2. The Dry

"For a page-tunner and good mystery."

3. The Bell Jar

"For a classic. Loved her writing style."


Article Image Shelagh - convincing characters

Shelagh manages the production of our booknotes.

She enjoys novels that are credible and authentic - not necessarily "a happy read" but those with convincing characters "that leave you thinking about them long after the book is finished". Recent non-fiction reading tends to be biography with a literary or historical focus.

Shelagh's all-time top-ranking picks from the scheme include:

1. The Dry

2. Heloise

3. Case Histories

"I'm a bit late in coming to this series but ihe book is just as funny and clever as when it was first written"

Article Image Ginny - historical fiction

Ginny is a volunteer who helps cover new books and is part of the Review Network. She is a voracious reader and so finds it difficult to recall titles of books she read a while ago. She likes fiction and non-fiction, and finds historical novels to be an enjoyable and "painless" way to learn history.

Her absolute favourite books are Jewels and Colour, by Victoria Finlay. Historical and other novels she has recently enjoyed are:

1. LaRose

"[The title is] the unlikely name for a young native American Indian"

2. Room

3. Raised from the Ground

"It's set in Portugal. The review copy had the best first line I've ever read, but the translator modified it in the next edition".

4. The Inconvenient Indian

5. Cold Mountain / Thirteen Moons (by the same author)

Article Image Phyll - eclectic taste

Phyll volunteers weekly, covering books for our collection. She has an eclectic taste in books, which is evident in her pick of favourite reads. Her first love is murder mysteries but admits that books she may not be drawn to at first glance can be "a real surprise sometimes" and most enjoyable. 

1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

2. The Poisonwood Bible

"When I finally got into it, I found it really enjoyable"

3. The Kite Runner

4. A Fine Balance

"Not a happy story, but I couldn't put it down"

5. The Shadow of the Wind 

"I want to go to Barcelona"

Article Image Lesley - journeying to different places

Lesley is one of our distribution staff and has been with BDS for 5 years. She reads a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction but particularly enjoys books with interesting people or characters.

"I do like journeying, as an armchair traveller, to different places and learning about them. My favourite books are set in different countries: from Iceland to Hawaii to Rwanda. I enjoy the different settings," she says.

Lesley's top reads are:

1. Requiem

2. Three Souls 

3. Life in a Jar

Article Image Barbara - likes to learn

Barbara, our manager, enjoys character-driven books and the opportunity to learn something - about cultures, countries or history. Here is her current list of favourites from the scheme:

1. News of the World

    "Loved it" .

2.  Gentleman in Moscow

     "And it's going to be a TV series!"

3. The Radium Girls

     "Tissues are required but it was a real eye-opener"

4. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine 

Article Image Trisha - non-fiction

Trisha, an ex-staff member of BDS, comes in once a week to cover books as a volunteer. She prefers non-fiction but also enjoys thought-provoking 'easy to read' fiction.

"I like to think about different things," she says. Trisha's top reads include:

1. An Ordinary Man: The True Story Behind Hotel Rwanda

2. The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window 

3. Thousand Hills to Heaven

4. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

5. The Worst Hard Time

6. A Long Way Home [film version is 'The Lion']

"I also watched the '60 Minutes' story about this Indian boy whose mother never moved in case he came back."

Article Image Robyn - absorbing

Robyn volunteers a day a week and comes in to help cover new books. She enjoys reading "anything you can get absorbed in and forget everything else". Her top picks are:

1. Just Mercy

"Sad and inspiring"

2. Our Souls At Night

3. The Industry of Souls

She's also enjoyed:

4. The Birth House

5. St Agnes' Stand

6. Gweilo

7. Every Last One 

Article Image Pat - worthwhile fiction

Pat is a volunteer who regularly comes into the BDS office to help cover new books. She's an ex-librarian and admits to reading lots of autobiographies and non-fiction during her working life.

"I'm going through an African phase at the moment," she says. 

Pat has recently enjoyed:

1. The Last Rhinos

2. A Thousand Hills to Heaven

See Latest Staff Picks

Your Favourites (as voted by BDS groups)
Challenging But Rewarding (as voted by BDS groups)
The Book Discussion 
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BDS is a member of the Federation of Workers Educational Associations