Posts tagged with "World Book Day"

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World Book Day: a few of Refresh’s favourite reads

At Refresh reading is something we do every day. From reading the specialist trade media looking for opportunities for our clients through to reading whitepapers, reports and keeping abreast of breaking news, it forms a major part of our job roles.

It turns out it isn’t just something we do for work though, it’s something we’re passionate about and love doing. So, with it being world book day we asked the team for their favourite reads, and, it’s safe to say there’s a lot of variety in the literature we all consume.


For me it’s Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon. If you think you’re a little bit crazy and don’t know why, this book will do two things: 1. Confirm it. You are a little bit crazy. 2. Convince you that is absolutely okay because EVERYONE is.

This first hand account of English journalist Bryony’s battle with OCD (not repeatedly cleaning cupboards and flicking light switches, but the more extreme levels of OCD) manages to be heart breaking and hilarious in equal measures. Anyone who struggles with mental health will have almost certainly faced similar challenges to Bryony, but she makes that association a really welcoming, safe space where you’re invited to feel more at one with whatever you’re going through.

It’s beautifully written, candid and frank and really resonates with you afterwards.


My favourite book is Trainspotting (and pretty much everything else Irvine Welsh writes). My signed copy is my most prized possession!

I love that it’s written in the Scottish dialect, the brilliant character development throughout, and how it gives a really raw portrayal of addiction in the late 1980’s in Scotland. I laughed, I cried, I came close to vomiting multiple times during this book. It’s kept me coming back for more over the years and I’ve read it at least three times.

You can’t go wrong with any of Welsh’s books – once you can get your head around reading the dialogue, they’re all great.

I love how Welsh isn’t afraid to speak up politically and socially, either.  


My favourite book is The Handmaid’s Tale. I was first introduced to the novel in my English Literature A-Level class and fell in love right away. Set in a dystopian future, the book looks at some key themes that are cropping up in society at the moment such as social apartheid, gender roles and rebellion. The way Atwood wrote The Handmaid’s Tale really submerges you in the story and I became incredibly invested when reading it. Fairly sinister, but The Handmaid’s Tale sparked a love for dystopian literature so when choosing my favourite book, it was a close call between this and Children of Men!


Picking one favourite book for me is a hard task; there have been so many great ones that I have read over the years. However, as I’m being forced to pick just one, I’d have to say To Kill a Mockingbird. To take the complex issues of racism and discrimination in the deep south and tell a story about it through the eyes of a child is incredibly powerful. I first read this as a teenager and still love it to this today. As I look at how my children see the world I often think that we could all do with thinking a bit more like children from time to time – and To Kill a Mockingbird perfectly encapsulates why.


My favourite book is Alan Partridge: Nomad. Even just looking at the front cover makes me laugh out loud – a tanned Alan posing pensively in a big white scarf. The book itself is really funny too and since reading it for the first time a few years ago, it’s been my go-to whenever I need a bit of a laugh.

I’ve always loved the I’m Alan Partridge TV series so when the book came out, I knew it was going to be a classic read. The ‘journey journal’ documents Alan’s personal journey as he follows in the footsteps of his father by walking from Norwich to nuclear reactor in Dungeness where Partridge senior once failed to attend a job interview.

Needless to say, Alan always has the last laugh throughout the book and it never fails to make me smile no matter how many times I read it – his hatred of Noel Edmonds (who he refuses to dignify with his full name) gets me every time.  


Harry Potter is a huge part of my childhood and is one of the reasons that I’m glad I was born in the 90’s. I’ve read all of them time and time again and still enjoy them as much as I did as a child. To this day, watching Harry Potter films or visiting places like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter makes me sad that there are no more books to come. As you can see from my photo, my Harry Potter books have been well loved by me and both my siblings. I think JK Rowling is brilliant and admire her for creating an entire world that swept people from all ages, all countries and all backgrounds off their feet. I’ll definitely be reading the books to my children one day!


My favourite book is Simple, by Yotam Ottolenghi. This is slightly rogue I know, but I thought I’d share a cookbook for my favourite book. The simple reason for this being that few things on this planet give me more pleasure than cooking for people.

To me, food represents encompassing and wholesome experiences. It’s sharing and socialising with others - from loved ones to complete strangers, it’s triggering the fondest of memories, it’s the foundations of culture, it’s putting a smile people’s faces, it’s an outlet of creative expression and it’s quite often the highlight of my day.

In my humble onion, Yotam Ottolenghi is the king of the culinary world, and ‘Simple’ is his latest masterpiece. It’s packed with explosive and subtle flavor combinations that are all undeniably-Ottoleghi, encouraging big spreads made for sharing. From the delicious food through to the stunning photography and minimal design, Simple is truly a work of art. Give me a shout if you want any of the recipes!




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Refreshing Your Library for World Book Day

Refreshing Your Library for World Book Day


Here at Refresh we love reading, everything from national newspapers and glossy magazines to trade titles and blogs aplenty. But as today is World Book Day, we have asked our team what their favourite read is and why – check out our recommendations below.


Laura Mashiter, MD





Released in 1996, the year I finished my A levels, The Beach by Alex Garland, was the book that everyone was reading. In summary, it’s the story of a young backpacker who travels to Thailand and goes in search of a perfect beach untouched by the modern world.


What I most love about the book was that it inspired me to travel. After Uni I took a year out, working on a kiddies camp before doing a ski season in France. During the ski season the film adaption of the book was released; the seasonnaires in Courchevel rushed to the cinema for a one-night-only screening – people sat on the cinema’s floor and in the aisles so they didn’t miss it.


I re-read the book, and as a result I spent that summer backpacking around Australia, followed by several trips to Thailand and Vietnam. I like to think the book gave me the inspiration for some of my happiest memories.


Maya Powell, account executive




My favourite book is 1000 Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. It’s a tale of two women growing up in Afghanistan in the early 1960s and the complex society they live in. It not only tells the story of the main characters, but also gives you a bit of a history lesson.


The story focuses on Mariam who is the daughter of a poverty stricken woman, and when her mother dies and her rich father denies her, she gets married off at a young age to a much older man. To contrast this, her neighbour Laila an educated, ambitious and beautiful young woman has a great life ahead of her, but tragedy strikes and she becomes the second wife to Mariam’s husband.


It made me laugh, cry and get (really) angry, but I would highly recommend it to anyone, especially any feminists out there!



 Sarah Mashiter, HR director




Upon a friend's recommendation, I was introduced to The Island by Victoria Hislop and instantly became a fan. However, it was her next book, The Return that really struck a chord. 


The novel intertwines a story of love and passion for dancing, as well bringing to life a harrowing account of the suffering endured during the Spanish Civil War.


But for me personally, it unearths some of the most enchanting qualities, as well as recounting the past atrocities of one of the most beguiling places I have been fortunate enough to live in.  A place where you cannot help but feel its vivid and visceral connection to its past - Granada, Spain. 


Caroline Gibson, account director




The Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom, may be a relatively short read, but it definitely packs a punch.


Following one man’s journey into heaven it explores the idea that you are greeted by five people who will explain the course of your life to you. Some of those who welcome Eddie, the central character, aren’t who’d you expect and that is what makes this book so powerful.  


A life affirming read, this book doesn’t touch on religion or beliefs – it simply reminds us that how we behave and the choices we make are important, and your actions are bigger than you’ll ever realise in this lifetime.


Erin Heywood, account director 




Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is probably one of the UK’s favourite books but it's more than a book for me!


Yes the story is completely captivating, and the twists and turns and ongoing uncertainty of who to trust is what keeps the reader gripped. However, what makes it a firm favourite for me is Hawkins’ ability to make the read a complete sensory experience.


I could almost smell the hangover on Rachel at each turn of the page, when finding out more of her spiralling state. I could feel that gut wrench in her stomach each time she reminisces on Tom’s betrayal.


I could imagine those beautiful London homes and their never ending gardens and – having read this book on my honeymoon – was also able to associate with being at home. Were the story not as compelling as it is, Girl on the Train wouldn’t have received the international acclaim it has, but if you’re looking for more than just a tale this could be the one for you.


Christy Milmine, account manager





I was recommended Until You’re Mine by Samantha Hayes by a friend years ago and have since recommended it to many more. I have always loved a mystery and this had me hooked from the first page! It follows the lives of three completely different women and you instantly form an opinion on each. To me the three characters represented people we have all met at some point in life, and exploring their motives and lifestyles was the key to the huge twist at the end.


I have yet to read a book that has gripped me like this, so I would highly recommend!  



What is your favourite book? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @RefreshPR





Tagged with: Lifestyle, World Book Day