This is a selection of books I am reading, some for myself, some to my two boys. I love being dunked in the hidden world of books, whether it’s walzing with Willy Wonky around his chocolate factory, soaking up the life lessons of someone’s autobiography or marvelling at the storytelling genius of Charles Dickens.

Kathryn Stockett, The Help

The Help Book CoverFinally, a chance to peek inside my domestic worker’s head and see what she’s really thinking about me, her strange white madam. Although hang on, it’s not South Africa we’re talking about – it’s America’s Deep South in the 1960s, when people were just waking up to the fact that smoking was bad for you and folk in Mississippi were getting all worked up about civil rights.

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Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities The Sea Rises an engraving by Phiz“You are really reading Dickens for fun?” Someone in my Bible study group asked me this question as if I were bonkers. “Yes, of course I am, it’s my therapy,” I responded, although I doubt if she understood just how important reading books is for me. In her mind, books equate studying, but to me the opposite is true. I read because I want to hit the “Escape” button and enter a different, parallel universe.

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Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryThis was one of the stories that enthralled me as a child, and now I have the privilege of sharing that joy with my two sons. Samuel, who is five, insisted that we read this book during his mid-year holidays and could happily have listened to it in one sitting.

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