While the Scriba PR family might be best-known for crafting copy, we love nothing more than getting lost in the pages of a good book. As this Saturday marks ‘Tell a Story Day’, we thought we’d do a round-robin, here at HQ, to share the stories that shaped us.
Granted, what we classed as a page-turner when we used to hide under the covers with a torch, flagrantly ignoring our parents’ calls for ‘bedtime’, might be a little different to our recommended reads nowadays. So, with that in mind, we’re looking back at our top titles from childhood and adulthood – as well as those we’re yet to discover.
Favourite book while growing up
Katie Mallinson, captain of the Scriba ship, cites Roald Dahl’s much-loved novel, ‘Matilda’, as her fondest read from the days when she was ‘knee-high to a grasshopper’ – figurately speaking, of course.
The author also came out on top with Scriba’s newest recruit, Hayley Paterson. ‘The Twits’ would always make her childhood-self escape into a magical world of make-believe.
Pipping Roald to the post with three votes-to-two was Enid Blyton. Part-time account manager Jenny Gibson fondly recalled many hours lost in the world of ‘The Famous Five’, adding: “I read and re-read all 21 of them and desperately wanted to ride round Dorset on my bicycle with my child gang, finding stolen jewels, foiling smugglers and befriending circus folk – while downing lashings of lemonade, swimming in coves, camping and exploring mysterious caves and tunnels.”
Louise Jaggar was enthralled by the ‘Faraway Tree’ series, and it was a similar story – pardon the pun – for account manager Ruth Harrison-Davies, who counts ‘The Secret Seven’ series as the foundations beneath her love of the written word.
Always the individual, Paige Catton was a fan of ‘The Rainbow Fish’, by Marcus Pfister, before growing into Almondbury’s biggest Jaqueline Wilson fan. Although, the storyline behind her top pick, ‘Love Lessons’ is somewhat questionable.
Resident linguist – and self-confessed cat lover – Amy Lloyd enjoyed nothing more than an evening with ‘Meg and Mog’ by Helen Nicoll. While our youngest team member, Luci Ownsworth, looked to Stephenie Meyer’s ‘The Twilight Saga’ for her escapism.
Favourite book as an adult
Sticking with that theme, Paige enjoys jumping into bed with ‘Bel Ami’. Arguably, it was a love for the film adaption featuring heartthrob, Robert Pattinson, which first piqued her interest – rather than the book by Guy de Maupassant.
Similarly, Luci’s favourite book was also made into a film. ‘Me Before You’ by Jo Jo Moyes will have you reaching for the tissues – both from sadness and laughter – as would Louise’s top pick, ‘Echoes’ by Maeve Binchy.
On the fiction front, Hayley Paterson enjoyed tackling ‘Proud’ by rugby player Gareth Thomas. She said: “This was a knockout. I’m a huge fan of autobiographies – I love getting to know the real person behind the storyteller, and this one was a definite page-turner.”
Like many of us, Jenny loves to flick through the pages of the Ikea catalogue. But, when pressed, a favourite author is Magnus Mills, a former bus driver who writes strange, other-worldly tales usually involving a hapless protagonist, engaged in some sort of repetitive, Kafka-esque activity.
Anyone who knows Amy, won’t be surprised to hear her favourite book is the poignant, ‘Alone in Berlin’, by Hans Fallada, which focuses on an ordinary man’s determination to defy the tyranny of Nazi rule.
Not quite as harrowing – but equally as moralistic – Ruth still cites ‘Of Mice and Men’ as one of the best novels she’s ever read. Although, anything by Lee Child, John Grisham or Dan Brown is more up her street these days.
Katie’s top pick as a fully-fledged grown-up is something of a more tough decision. She explained: “Of all the books I’ve read, I’m nervous to give any the top spot. ‘The Rosie Project’ by Graeme Simsion is good for a giggle, but on a more serious – and educated note – Harper Lee’s, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ also sits proudly on my bookshelf, and my daughter’s middle name is Harper.”
The book you’d love to read next…
It seems we’re all pretty much on the same page – again, mind the pun – when it comes to what makes a great novel.
Both Luci and Paige, named ‘Still Me’, by Jo Jo Moyes as a must-have, while Louise is desperate to get her hands on ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ – we’re sure Katie will lend her a copy, mind you.
In case you haven’t twigged yet, Hayley loves all-things-sport, and really wants to read ‘Unspoken’ – the story of legendary footballer, Gary Speed. She explained: “I admired him so much as a player, but I can’t bring myself to open it yet because I know how heart-wrenching and tragic it will be.”
‘Becoming’ – the memoir of former United States First Lady Michelle Obama – is next in line for Scriba boss Katie, while Ruth wants to tackle The Bible, after successfully completing ‘The Bible From Scratch’ – essentially, Christianity for beginners.
‘Don Quixote’ by Miguel Cervantes is firmly on Amy’s list – obviously – while, ever-the-optimist, Jenny sets her sights high, and would like to read every book ever written. She added: “Whenever I see a list of the top 100 novels of all time, I feel downhearted to realise I’ve only ever read seven of them.”
We’re with you there, Jenny.