In this gallery, you can dive into your favourite lions' intellectual universe. We have asked our community to write a short and simple review on our favourite books and why we chose to read them. Here at St. Paul's, reading has always been a healthy and natural habit since the beginning of our academic life and by sharing the fictional worlds created in our imagination by our favourite books, we can get to know eachother better, develop a more holistic approach towards literature and get in touch with many different reading styles and preferences, maybe even find your own if you haven't.... yet!
Hippie by Paulo Coelho Review by Miss Knowles
Being in lockdown gave me the chance (and time) toreadmyfirstever book in Portuguese! (Helped out greatlybyMsPountain.) The book isthestoryoftheauthor'sownjourneytravelling as a self-proclaimed hippie on a bus acrossEuropefrom Amsterdam to Nepal. Alongtheway Paulo tellsthe stories and background ofvariousplacestheypassthroughbutmostlytheotherpeopleonthe bus. Manyoftheelementsoftravellingreminded me ofmyownbackpackingtravelsmanyyearsago, though Paulo isseeking a more spiritual meaningtolifefromhistravelsthan I ever did. He comes across as a bit of a nutter, thoughhehas some interestingescapades, andtouchesontheprejudice hippies encounteredandobservationsaboutvariouscultureswhichisinteresting. I ultimatelyfoundhim a bit "out there" for mytastes. Some aspectsofhisstory do notsound like theycanbetrue, butmyPortuguesevocabularywasexpanded, I don'tthink I willbeseeking out more ofhis books toreadbut it certainlygivesyou a different perspective onlife.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman Review byMsPountain A Man called Ove is a book bySwedishauthor, Fredrik Backman. Ove is a verygrumpyyetloveableoldmanwhohasstaunchprinciples, follows a strictroutine, dislikeschangeandloseshistemperveryeasily. He lives in a smallcommunityandthinkseveryonearoundhimisan idiot. He hasgrown a bit tiredoflifeandfeelsmiserable. Oneday, a new familyarrivetolivenextdoortohim, whichis a hugeinconvenienceto Ove, butalso a blessing in disguise. Filledwith stories abouthispastwhich help youtorealisewhyhehasbecomethewayheis, youcan't help butsmileaboutmanyofhisobservationsandreally like hischaracter. Althoughthere are some sadparts, theauthorwrites in a comicalandentertainingway - I found it hard toputthe book down. I recommendthis book for anyonewho likes a heartwarmingstorywithlotsofdifferentandinterestingcharacters. The book hasalsobeenmadeinto a film (butreadthe book first!) The Art of Living byEpicteto Review by Ms Rebelo Epicteto (55 D.C. and 135 D.C. ) was stoic philosopher that was born as a slave Turkey. His owner gave permission to him to pursue liberal studies and later granted him with his freedom. He lived in Rome until being banished and sent to Greece. Marco Aurelio, of the Roman Empire was one of his many pupils. The cool thing about this book is that you can open on any page. You do not need to read in chronological order. Every page has a little text to make you reflect about life. This is just a quote to give you a taste: “ Naturehasgivenmenonetongueandtwoears, thatwemayheartwice as much as wespeak.” This book can be enjoyed by all pupils that have a reflective nature. IfCatsDisappearedfromthe World by Genki Kawamura Reviewby Miss Bancroft Whatwouldyou do ifyouhadone more dayonthisplanet? Whatwouldyoubewillingtogiveup? A postmanfinds out he does nothavelongtolive, untilthedevil, wearing a Hawaiinshirt, arrivesathisapartment. Ifhecan remove anobjectfromthe world, hecanhaveone more day. Smartphones disappear. Afterthat it isfilms. Clocks go. Thenhiscat, namedCabbage, starts totalktohim. TranslatedfromJapanese, this book is a fascinating look atlove, grief, andthewayswedealwiththeconceptof death. In addition, ifyou like cats, theconversationsbetweenthemanandCabbage are delightfulandhewrites in both a humorousandinsightfulway! Overall, thisis a short read, but still cleverlyasksthereadertothinkaboutwhatwevaluemost in the world. Swing time by Zadie Smith Review by Miss Hunter Over the holidays I read the book Swing Time; a story about two young girls who meet in tap class in 1980s London. The book shadows these girls on their journeys from London to New York to West Africa and follows them through all the trials and tribulations of life. I loved the theme of dance bringing people together and the references to the old musicals which are musicals I grew up watching. Whilst the book paints beautiful images in your mind of how it feels to dance and to experience creativity in different cultures, it also talks about growing up in a difficult neighborhood as young black girls and some of the social themes around this. I would recommend this to anyone who loves music and dance. I would recommend this to someone who is interested to know more about growing up in society as part of a minority group and also to anyone who would like an insight into what it was like being a young woman in the 1980s. I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai Review by Mrs Moreira A brilliant book that challenged some of my pre-conceived ideas and led me on a mind-opening journey with this brave young girl. ‘I am Malala’ is the autobiography of Malala Yousafzai, a Nobel Prize winning Pakistani girl who fought bravely for the right to go to school and got shot by the Taliban regime when they took control of her hometown. The book contrasts the gorgeous landscapes of the remote Swat Valley in Pakistan with the ruthless reality of a fundamentalist regime that imposed strict rules, such as banning girls from going to school, and harsh punishments to those who disobeyed them. One of the things I loved the most about this book is that it made me think of how some things that I’ve always taken for granted, like the right to an education and to safety, are a privilege for people in some parts of the world. I was extremely inspired by this remarkable 15-year-old who refused to be silenced and became an international symbol of peaceful protest and perseverance. I recommend ‘I am Malala’ to absolutely everybody, boys and girls, teenagers and adults, as she is real-life hero who has inspired the entire world with her courage and drive. Best, Vicky A vida não é útil by Ailton Krenak Review byDr Ivanov O livro foi escrito e publicado durante a pandemia do covid-19, e li durante o nosso half-term. Ailton Krenak reflete sobre problemas sociais e ambientais do ponto de vista dos povos originários: nos faz pensar sobre o que chamamos de vida, o que chamamos de humanidade e o que estamos fazendo com nosso planeta (o único possível). O que achei incrível sobre o livro é que ele provoca, desafia e faz refletir em cada página: O livro é curto e li bem rápido, mas venho pensando sobre ele desde então. Recomendo porque, em meio a tempos tão difíceis, todos nós precisamos ser capazes de tirar o pé do acelerador e pensar em como cuidar da vida e do mundo.
The Wall by John Lanchester Review by Miss Davyson
I read this book last summer before Covid entered our lives. Whilst not related to a global pandemic, the dystopian future created by John Lanchester feels too close for comfort at points especially considering the events of this year. The novel takes place in a world where rising sea levels, referred to as the Change, mean beaches no longer exist. The United Kingdom coastline has been destroyed and replaced by the National Coastal Defence Structure, known to everyone as The Wall. We follow Kavanagh a young man who is starting his time of national service guarding the Wall, protecting the country from the ‘Others’ who are fleeing conflicts and natural disasters. The ‘Others’ who do make it to the Wall are either shot or thrown back into the sea. The book encompasses many of the conversations taking place in pre-Covid British society, including climate change, post-brexit reality, intergenerational conflict and lack of empathy for refugees. Post/during Covid, these conversations are just as, if not more, important. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Dystopian fiction. It is not a perfect read, some of the characters are less developed (especially the women) and lots of questions go unanswered, but it is a book that stays with you and makes you think. Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins Review by Anik
This summer I read Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games is an annual event in which one boy and one girl aged 12–18 from each of the twelve districts surrounding the Capitol are selected by lottery to compete in a televised battle royal to the death. I really loved this book because it is adventures, and it has various plot twist which I always like to find in the books I read. I would recommend this book to people who like adventure and action because this book is all about that.
The Lordofthe Flies by William Golding Review by Felipe The book'sstoryisabout a groupofyoung boys whofindthemselvesaloneon a deserted island. Theydeveloprulesand a system oforganizationtosurvive, butwithoutanyadultsandsupervision, thechildreneventuallybecomeviolentandbrutal.Ireallylikedthis book, because it is a book which includes a lotofaction. I like it becausethereisalwayssomething new, causingyoutoreadanotherchapter. The storyisuniqueandwellwritten.Iwouldrecommendthis book to teenagers. Thisisbecausetheywould relate a lottothestory, andalsobecausethestoryisabout teenagers. I wouldrecommend it tothe age groupbetween 12-14. Oneofusislying by Karen M. McManus Review by Alice Z Oneofusislyingis a great book I readduringquarantine. My friend recommendedandinsistedon me toread. The book isabout a groupof high schoolstudentswho are suspectsofSimon'smurder. Thisgroupofstudentswere in detentionwhen Simon isfounddeaddueto a possible "peanutallergy" However, his friends whowere in detentionwithhimbecomesuspects. It isaninterestingstory as it istoldeachchapter in oneofthestudents' points ofview, so it haslotsofdetailsandbecomesengagingtoread as youwanttoknowwhathappenedinsidethedetentionroom. I recommend for girls wholovereadingaboutGossip, Lies, secretsandmysteries.
Variant by Robinson Wells Review by Matias Goncalves Benson Fisher is a 17-year-old boy who receives a scholarship to Maxfield academy and thinks that this could be a way to make his future brighter. Once he arrives at Maxfield academy he believes his old boring life is behind him. As he looks around the campus, he realizes that the academy is surrounded by barbed wire and full of cameras. He is desperate to get out but knows that breaking any rules would lead to death. This book always makes the reader desperate to find out what will happen next and thinking of different scenarios for every event This book is recommended to anyone who likes suspense and mystery stories. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green Review by Alexa Cordeiro This novel is about a sixteen-year-old girl named Aza Holmes and her high school experiences. However, Aza is not such a normal teenager. She fights the many demons living in her brain whilst solving the mystery of a missing man. During the book she makes new friends who help her solver the mystery. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would surely recommend it.
Paper Towns by John Green Review by Lucia A book I readrecentlyisPaperTownsby John Green – it isabout a girl, called Margo, who runs awayleavingcluesbehind for herneighbour, andchildhood friend, Quentin, whohasspenthiswholelifelovingherfromafar. The closer Quentin getstofinding Margo, the more herealisesthatsheisn'tthe girl hethoughtshewas. I lovedthe book as therewerealwaysplot twists, and new cluestobefound, making youwanttonot close the book. In addition, as it waswritten in thefirstperson, wecanseehow Quentin feelsandwhathefinds out in detailthroughouttheadventure. Eventhough I must admitthattheendingwasn’t quite what I wantedorexpected, the book wasincredible.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas Review by Raffaella Duringquarantine, I beganreading The Hate U Give, byAngie Thomas. This book gives insight ontheequalitymovement, Black LivesMatter; The book portrayssystematicracism in thesociety in which a youngwomanof color hastolive in. “The Hate U Give Little Infants****Everybody – T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E” – 2pac. He isreferringtotheword “thug” whichisconstantlyusedto generalize blackpeopleand make a wholeracesounddangerous. Thisisimportant in the book. The Hate U Giveisabout a young, blackwomanwhowitnessesher friend beingmurderedby a policeofficer, however, his death isconstantlysweptundertherugduetothefactthathewas a ‘drugdealer’. Starr, theprotagonist, hastodealwith a racist, manipulating friend whoconstantlyinvalidatesStarr’sexperiencewithwitnessingmurder. The book wasveryinterestingtoread, andreminded me thatalthoughoursocietyhasimproved, andis a more equalplace, it mightnotbe a safe place for everyone, andthatcertaingroupsofpeopleshould use theirprivilegeto help minoritieswho are in need. I wouldrecommendthis book topeoplewho are interested in educatingthemselvesonsystematicracismandhow it ispresent in our world, peoplewhocareaboutequality for all, etc. The Hate U Giveisthebest book I haveeverread. Lordofthe Fliesby William Golding Review by Andre In the book lordoftheflies, themaincharacters are on a plane when it getsshotdownand crash on a desertedislandwhich forces allthe boys toworktogethertotryandsurvive. Later on in thestorythe boys clashaboutwhethertoprioritizeescapingtheislandorsurvivingonthe island. The groupthen splits betweenJack’sbelief (jack’sbeliefisthatsurvivalis more importantthanescaping) andRalph’sbelief (Ralph’sbeliefisthatescapingis more importantthansurvival), the book endswhenJack’sgroupchase Ralph acrosstheislandandduringtheprocessthey set theislandonfirewhichcallstheattentionof a shipandthe boys getsaved. 1984 by George Orwell Review by Eduardo I reallylikedthe book andIamcurrentlyrereading it. It’s a 10/10 book andI wouldrecommendtoeveryone. The story takes place in London in 1984. The world isdividedintothreegreatgeopolitical eras atwar: Eurasia, Eastasiaand Oceania, alltotalitarian, ledbycommunistpartieswhichinitiallydreamedofbeingagentsoftheliberationoftheproletariat. The maincharacter, Winston Smith, worksattheMinistryofTruth, wherehe revises thestoryto make it fitthePartyversion. Smith is, therefore, a lucidcharacteronthemanipulationsoperatedbytheParty, butheconcealshisopinions.