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Staff's Favourite Books

Staff's Favourite Books

As part of the World Book Day celebrations our museum staff have shared their favourite books, stories and authors.

We're sure you'll be familiar with many of these books and hope that you may be inspired to read some of the others.

The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit.

Rachel's Book Image

The Railway Children has always been one of my favourites.

A book which, although written over 100 years ago, is as engaging, touching and relevant as ever.

A story of kindness, compassion, love and bravery which brings a lump to my throat just thinking about it.

Just wonderful.

Rachel Fannen - Museums Collections Officer

The Mr Men Series by Roger Hargreaves.

Amanda's Book ImageAmanda's Little Miss Sunshine Mug

When I was growing up in the 1970s my favourite stories were always the Mr Men and the series was narrated by Arthur Lowe. My grandma knitted me a Mr Strong jumper one Christmas and my younger brother had a Mr Bump jumper, and my parents bought me and my younger brother Mr Men lunch boxes. I had Mr Strong and he had Mr Bump but sometimes we would swap! I was very clumsy and loved climbing trees and playing in the mud so I always had Mr Bump plasters on my knees that my mum bought for me. My parents still have the paintings we made them at primary school of Mr Greedy and Mr Strong.

When Little Miss characters were written my niece loved the stories and I enjoyed buying them and reading them to her.

I still love the Mr Men stories and I collect Mr Men and little Miss gifts. My favourite way to start the day every morning is a cup of tea in my Little Miss Sunshine mug which my school friend bought me for my 40th birthday.

Amanda Brassington - Museum Assistant

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Charlotte Mitchell - Museum Assistant 

Margaret Atwood (favourite author)

Jess's Books

As it is coming up to World Book Day I have been thinking of my all time favourite books. It's very hard to choose just one favourite, though I can say one of my favourite authors is Margaret Atwood. 

‘Speculative fiction’ is a self proclaimed label she attached to some of her books - as she includes nothing that does not have a historical truth to it, despite how dystopian it may seem! Margaret Atwood’s writing is truly beautiful and the characters stay with you for a long time after you have put the book down. 

Margaret Atwood is perhaps best known for writing The Handmaid’s Tale (which is excellent!) and she has a wealth of characters and stories of all different kinds to dip into. She is remarkably prolific and has written over 60 books in her career. I absolutely love curling up with a good book and falling into another world! Have you ever read any Atwood? 

Jessica Woodhouse – Museum Assistant

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Maria's Book

As you can see from its worn appearance, this has been read over and over. This was one of my favourite books as a child. It was introduced to me by a Canadian teacher at primary school and as soon as I met Anne (with an ‘e’), I was hooked.

I loved Anne’s imagination and the way that the writing took me into a world in the past. Most of all, I loved the way that the heroine was always getting into mishaps and scrapes. I’m a naturally clumsy person (not the best attribute of a museum curator) and I could really relate to that.

One day I would love to visit the Anne of Green Gables house on Prince Edward Island in Canada. One day…

Maria Barnes - Collection Officer

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Chocolate Pic

As a child I loved Roald Dahl’s books. My absolute favourite was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which he wrote in 1964.

I loved the idea of searching for a ‘Golden Ticket’, visiting the secret factory, meeting all the amazing characters like Charlie Bucket, the eccentric Willy Wonka and even the wretched Veruca Salt. I loved the fantasy element to this story and used to imagine all the fabulous rooms full of delicious chocolate, sweets, lollipops and even a chocolate river – surely every child’s dream!

Karen Walker - Promotions and Events Officer

Bookano Stories by Giraud, S Louis

Veda Book CroppedVeda New Book Pop up 3 (1)

From 1929 to 1949, Giraud produced sixteen annuals using the name Bookano Stories. His books were referred to as "living models" because each scene unfolded in a double-page spread, which was designed to be viewed from multiple angles, much like many modern pop-up 

This book which I had as a child, is number 16 in the series, and as you can see from the condition of the book – I loved it.  The stories were a bit bland, but the pop-ups were wonderful to me as a child in the era before mass technology.  The Tower Bridge model seemed quite exotic as the bridge moved up and down and did the Swan Lake one seemed so magical with the ballerina looking through the window.  Nowadays, pop-up books are everywhere – but not so in the 1950s and I made up all sorts of stories in my imagination based on the models in this book.

Veda Kay - Museum Assistant

We hope that you've enjoyed learning about our staff's favourite books and we would love to hear what your favourite book is and why?

Last updated on 28 November 2022