Have you ever wondered what a team of publishing recruitment specialists like to read in their down time? Curious about our favourite books growing up? Welcome to the Atwood Tate Book Club, where we reveal what books have a special place on our shelves! For this entry, we go back to school with our favourite reads from our educational careers.
Julie Irigaray, Trainee Recruitment Consultant
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
The first book I read after having passed the French equivalent of the GCSE (around the age of 15). I was moving to another school and to a higher level, so I suppose I needed to read a book about the changes taking place when one becomes a teenager. This novel deals with dark themes like suicide, sex and obsessional love in such a delicate way and with such a rich language that I couldn’t resist. The mystery surrounding both the main characters and the narrator makes it even more mesmerising.
Anna Slevin, Temps & Freelancers Administrator
Arcadia by Tom Stoppard.
I read the play for fun around the time I was sixteen and bored at school. The way time merges together and the interplay of language between characters really captures the imagination. I’m still wondering if it would be anywhere near as good on stage!
Claire Law, Managing Director
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
I did a course at Uni on Canadian Women’s literature and this and her other books had a great impact on my reading both for study and pleasure purposes from that point. I also decided to make a literary nod to her name when I set up Atwood Tate!
Helen Speedy, Associate Director
Der Kaukasische Kreidekreis (The Caucasian Chalk Circle) by Bertolt Brecht
I can’t remember whether Bertolt Brecht’s Der Kaukasische Kreidekreis (The Caucasion Chalk Circle) was one of my A-level set texts or an add on, but it remains one of the most influential plays that I have read. Our literature focus for German was Die Gerechtigkeit und das Gesetz, which translates as Justice and the Law. When I got into trouble at school it was usually a rebellion in the face of injustice, so Brecht, who explores the concept of justice and the tendency for corruption to manipulate the law and even favour the criminal over the innocent, was appealing to me. I recently re-read my other set text by Duerrenmatt, Der Richter und sein Henker (The Judge and his Hangman), and would recommend this as a quick and accessible read. It’s a thriller (verging on noir) which delves into this issue of justice and (or versus) the law and I hope you can find it in translation somewhere if you don’t read German.
Charlotte Tope, Trainee Recruitment Consultant
Noughts and Crosses series by Malorie Blackman
I couldn’t put these books down – they delivered a great message, in a thoughtful way, to a young audience. Such an effortless read!
Faye Jones, Trainee Recruitment Consultant
The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald
I studied The Great Gatsby for A Level English and become completely immersed in the characters and history behind 1920’s America. Even though the first chapter of the book is difficult to get through, I always recommend The Great Gatsby to anyone who’s looking for a short read and the film is great as well!
Cheryl O’garro, Administrator and Social Media Coordinator
The School for Scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan
This 18th century satire from Irish playwright Brinsley Sheridan was one of my AS level set texts and I have been in love with it ever since. The play follows Lady Sneerwell and her band of gossips and the hypocrisy of their behaviour. The two plots are amazing: Sir Peter Teazle and his new, much younger wife and their marital troubles (half of which stems from society rumours) and Sir Oliver Surface who, wanting to write his will, sets out in various character disguises to test if brothers Peter and Charles Surface are as respectively good and bad as society claims. I picked up a leather bound 1903 third edition copy from an antique book shop in Dublin (where he was born) and I was so happy I nearly hyperventilated!