Seeing children of all ages come together this World Book Day to celebrate their favourite books, I’m reminded of how the joy of reading for pleasure extends through generations and time.
Immersing oneself in a great book can be the perfect form of escapism, even as an adult, often experiencing new cultures and learning more about the world around us. The tricky part can sometimes be finding the right book or recommendation, so why not let me handpick one for you?
At the international disaster relief charity ShelterBox, we have a rather unique book club that helps provide emergency shelter to people after disaster. The proceeds support people affected by conflict, like in Ukraine, Yemen, Burkina Faso, and Mozambique. As well as to people whose homes have been damaged or destroyed by extreme weather events – like the ongoing drought in East Africa, monsoon flooding in Pakistan, and tropical storms in the Philippines.
As head bookworm at the ShelterBox Book Club, I scour the literary world for fantastic stories that can make armchair adventurers of us all. From the best autobiographies, such as ‘A Woman of Firsts’ which tells the remarkable story of Edna Adan Ismail – the first medically trained midwife in Somalia, to beautiful novels like ‘Sweet Bean Paste’ by Durian Sukegawa – a story of multigenerational friendship in Japan, or even our current read ‘My Pen is the Wing of a Bird’ – new writing by Afghan women, every book we read transports us.
What I love most about the ShelterBox Book Club is that our wonderful community of book lovers are having a positive impact on people around the world that they’ll never meet. I think that’s pretty special.
To find out more, visit www.shelterbox.org/book-club.