It’s National Storytelling Week, an annual event to celebrate every type of story, from fairytales to newspaper articles, and the people who tell them.
To celebrate, we’ve been talking about the stories that have most impacted us and recomending the ones we think just need to be told!
What are you reading at the moment?
Sam M: I’ve started working my way through the Lord of the Rings trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien. I’m currently on The Fellowship of the Ring and loving it.
Rachael: The Dummies Guide to Oil-Free Air Compressor Technology – Volume 158… Only kidding, I leave that bad boy at my desk 😉 I’m reading In Extremis – The Life of War Correspondent by Marie Colvin.
Natalie: I started reading The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray last month (a Dry-Jan quit-lit fodder!)
James: I’m currently reading Spring by Ali Smith, the third in the writer’s seasonal quartet of novels, which examine the current state of Britain through the lives of everyday people. I’m enjoying it so far!
Jess: After reading the dystopian novel The Handmaids Tale, I’ve now started the 2019 sequal, The Testament by Margaret Attwood. I really enjoyed the first book so I can’t wait to read on and find out more!
What story or book would you recommend to others as a ‘must read’?
Lucy: I would have to recommend The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. It’s a true story about a young man in Auschwitz and is an incredibly moving, yet surprisingly funny and heart-warming story.
Natalie: I’d recommend Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things, it’s a moving social commentary story on prejudice, race, and justice.
James: There’s too many to choose from, but I finally read A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara last year and loved it. It begins with four graduates that move to New York to make their way and follows their lives. It centres particularly on the character of Jude, who is scarred by a troubled childhood. The novel charts the limits of human endurance. It stayed with me a long time after finishing it.
What genre of story or book is your go-to?
Jane: I love going back in time with a 1930s American novel.
Sam M: Absolutely anything as long as it has good character development, character development is key. 🔑
Lauryn: I get really stuck into a thriller, one to keep me up at night! Or a war-time domestic fiction story if I want a tear jerker.
Jess: I’m a sucker for a good romance story.
What is your favourite quote from a book or story?
Lauryn: “The consequence of this is that I’m always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both.” – The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is narrated from the perspective of ‘Death’. While reading the book, you start to think of this personified version of Death as your friend, and it can be quite conflicting to read his words on the human race.
April: Not strictly a quote, but in the story Bleach, the author leaves a note advising the reader to continue the next chapter when it’s raining outside. This was such a unique and personal touch, and it really enhanced the whole experience.
Jess: “So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard; we’re gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday” – from The Notebook by Nicolas Sparks.
James: “There was a star riding through clouds one night, and I said to the star, ‘Consume me!’” My dissertation was on identity in the works of Virginia Woolf, and this line has always been one of my favourites. I love the romanticism of it.
Why do you enjoy stories?
Rachael: So many reasons! For inspiration. For knowledge. To be a better writer.
April: I guess to escape the now, explore different galaxies, people, cultures and ways of thinking.
Lucy: The written story can delve into so much more detail than in films or TV shows. You get the full background and narrative of the story. It also allows you to create your own imagery in your head rather than seeing it on screen, meaning you to be a lot more creative and interpret the story your own way (what people look like, how they sound etc…)
Jane: I love reading because it’s escapism – it takes you away to a different place where you can imagine in your own mind what the characters and places look and sound like.
Natalie: To laugh… to cry… to escape!