Book Fortnight

Books have always been my companions. Even when I’m not reading them, just having them lying on my bedside table reassures me. Books remind me that there is more to truth than facts. That people can keep imagining a better world. That there is an escape hatch when I really need it.

I’ve been on leave for a week. Leave I have to take before my contract expires at the end of August. Tomorrow is the last day of leave and today I finally picked up a book after binge watching TV. TV watching is great but the story is built through a director’s eye. Reading is built on my imagination.

I picked up a book and only after a few chapters I began to want to write again. Write for the love of it, not just for the paycheck that will end in a fortnight. Reading is one of the most important things a writer needs to do. Reading in areas unrelated to the expertise of the writer is the most important thing. It releases the mind. Massages the thinking. Offers solutions unthought. Justifies bookshop visits.


So, for the final fortnight of my six-month gig as an academic writer, I am going to write five blogs. My daughter’s school runs Book Week (20-26th August) over two weeks. The festivus begins with a dress up on Monday and a disco on Friday fortnight. Over that time I am going to write a tribute to the five books that changed my life. The five books which mean books get pride of place in my home. The five books most dog-eared. The five books I will read and have begun to read to my young daughters because reading aloud as a family is the best gift that can be given.

What are your five books? Why? I would love to know.

Book 1: The book of my childhood

Book 2: Book of my freedom and rebellion

Book 3: Book of my politics

Book 4: Book of my messy methods

Book 5: Book of women in science



3 thoughts on “Book Fortnight

  1. Mine would have to be the following:

    The Book of Five Rings – Miyamoto Musashii
    Bad Science – Ben Goldacre
    The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins
    Paradox – Jim Al-Khalili
    Parasite Rex – Carl Zimmer

    All thought provoking, and have very much influenced not only my approach to my subjects of interest, but also how I think about life in general and where I want my future to be.


  2. This resonates with me, Naomi. Reading justifies bookshop visits, and so does having as-yet-unread books on the bedside table. Reading is such an important part of the thinking and writing process; it helps knit or knot thoughts together, or even unravel them. It helps us hear things in our minds and see things in our imaginations, that influence our inner worlds and our own written words.

    I’m looking forward to your five posts.


    Liked by 1 person

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