Staff Picks - what we are reading

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

Article Image Marjorie - people and perceptive humour

Marjorie is our most 'mature' volunteer (she's 91). She brings smiles to the office and helps cover new books to the scheme.

She likes writers such as Alan Bennett and Bill Bryson.  Marjorie has recently enjoyed reading:

1. The Boys in the Boat

"So entirely informative. Amazing"

2. The Song Collector


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.  When Breath Becomes Air

"Sad but beautiful. Along with the author you contemplate the meaning of life." 

3. Malice  

"A why rather than a who-did it".

4. Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

5. So You've Been Publicly Shamed

"Food for thought! The moral of the story: count to 10 before responding online!"

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. The Big Thirst

2. Where the Rekohu Bone Sings

3. We Are Called To Rise

4. The Good Doctor

"...Read this book and ponder" 

 5. The Care and Handling of Roses With Thorns

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 Megan - thoughtful and inspiring

Megan is our promotions person. She enjoys books that are inspiring or in which people or characters grow and develop. Some of her popular winter time reading includes:

1. The President's Hat

"A quick, delightful, quirky read. A hint of magic with a punch of realism at the end".

2. Our Souls at Night

3. The Brighter Side of My Condition

4. The Moor's Account

"A gruesome incident at the beginning nearly put me off but them I became hooked. Great storyteller and intro to the Spanish conquest of Florida."

5. A History of Silence

"Probably the best (auto)biography I've read. Poetic and metaphorical; it's like a mind-map of Jones' life."

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 Luminaries

"It's a stand-out book for me in the way it's constructed and with the cast of characters."

2. Coming Rain

3. Summer Lies

Article Image Vicky -sci fi/dystopia

Until recently, Vicky was one of our dispatch team and convenes a BDS book group. She now volunteers with BDS. She likes to look at things from a different perspective and enjoys books with "a bit of depth".

"I love a good sci fi or dystopian novel," she says.  Her top-ranking picks from the scheme are:

1. Nutshell

2. Station Eleven

3. The Martian

More Staff Picks
Your Favourites (as voted by BDS groups)
Challenging But Rewarding (as voted by BDS groups)
The Book Discussion 
Scheme is a member of the Federation of Workers Educational Associations in Aotearoa New Zealand
BDS is a member of the Federation of Workers Educational Associations