Fiona Abbs

1st March 2018

Today is the 1st March and that must mean one thing. It is World Book Day!
The Corner Shop is proud to be working with World Book Day 2018. To mark the occasion, and #ShareAStory some of the team picked their favourites.

Do you have a favourite? Tweet us at @tcspr using #ShareAStory.

My absolute favourite book is Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. I buy it for every single person that even slightly hints that they might be interested in reading it. It’s a philosophical take on how we, as humans, interpret the world from just one perspective, as told by a giant gorilla. Take from that what you will, and read it!

I’ve always loved slightly dark stories and, much like Grimms’ Fairy Tales, the one that has always intrigued me was Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.  The tale ends with her dissolving into the sea foam and I always found this truly disturbing.  These original fairy tales are perfect for sharing with children and adults alike.

I hold Rebecca by Daphne De Maurier really close to my heart, though I know it has its flaws, not least that it is a poor man’s Jane Eyre. But there’s something so passionate about it that I feel was missing from Jane Eyre. Lord of the Rings obviously has very little competition and the Harry Potters get a circuit every other year just for the sheer joy of the stories.

I must have read Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are to my son Frank a million times when he was little. I’d do the same voices every time. And when he grew up and took his copy with him, I bought one for myself. It’s totally timeless. I was quite anxious when Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers adapted it as a movie. It was different, but it was still awesome. One day I’ll go see Ollie Knussen’s opera version. Sign of a great story to share? Finding different ways to share it. And age not being an issue.

Last year I read Jeff Vandermeer’s Southern Reach trilogy. The first book, Annihilation, was offered to me because it had a nice book cover (it can sometimes be acceptable to judge a book by its cover!) and I ended up buying the second and third one, Authority and Acceptance, soon after because I just had to know how it ended. It’s an amazing and weird science-fiction story that I couldn’t put down. I loved talking about it with friends to understand what they got out of it, what they thought the ending meant, who their favourite character was, and also to make more sense of the book. I highly recommend reading it before the film adaptation by Alex Garland comes out in March.

There are just too many to choose from! If it were a children’s book, my favourite story as a child was about a group of animals that were building a house they could all live, very imaginatively called Little Animals and their Little House, it was full of funny mess ups and they had to learn to pick the best of their character to see what each could provide for the house. Two stories I regularly go back to is The Catcher in the Rye by Salinger and Metamorphosis by Kafka, I think these stories resonate differently as you grow older and that’s always been my favourite kind of books.

The Old Man and the Sea
by Ernest Hemingway. It seems simple which is a craft in itself and Hemingway conjures such depth, emotion and beauty in his writing yet it’s so sparse, nothing is wasted, except maybe the reader – I am always a questioning mess after reading this.

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