Books to fall in love with
We asked some notable people around West Sussex to tell us about their favourite book of all time or a book they have recently enjoyed reading.
James Whitmore, High Sheriff of West Sussex
The book I have recently enjoyed reading is The Salt Path by Raynor Winn. The author narrates life after her husband is diagnosed with a degenerative disease and how they lost their family home and livelihood following an unsuccessful business deal with a friend. The couple were empowered to walk the 630 mile South West Coast Path and the journal is a heart-warming insight into homelessness, grit and a personal challenge between two people.
Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, Chief Fire Officer at West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service
My favourite book of all time is Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. I want to recommend it because it’s an inspiring story of hope and perseverance in the face of the brutality of life.
You can borrow Sabrina's book The Heat of the Moment.
Martin Duncan, Head Gardener at Arundel Castle
The book I have recently really enjoyed reading again is My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell. It had been a childhood favourite and finding it in my mother's house gave me the chance to pick it up and read it again. In fact I was able to entertain my mother by reading it out loud to her. It’s wonderful entertainment and led us onto the thought of travelling to Corfu, and conversations on how much of the world we had already travelled and where I have lived and worked - Zimbabwe, Jordan, Bermuda, UK!
Daniel Evans, Artistic Director of the Chichester Festival Theatre
The book I have recently enjoyed reading is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I enjoyed it because of the epic nature of the storytelling which follows the lives of two children, one in Germany, one in France during the Second World War. The way their lives cross over is dramatic, unexpected and very moving.
Tom Garriock, Ranger at South Downs National Park Authority
The book I have recently enjoyed reading is Burn by Ben Short. Burn is Ben’s candid account of his journey from the pressures and complexity of life in London to the bucolic existence of woodsman and charcoal burner, and the personal healing unlocked along the way. I enjoyed it because it resonated so strongly with my own experience of leaving city life for a more fulfilling existence working on the land. Authentically and beautifully written, Burn is a touching tale of personal discovery threaded with folklore, larger than life characters and traditional countryside craft. Entertaining and emotive, my only disappointment was when I came to the end. I hope to hear more from Ben and his dog and the wisdom they have gleaned from the woods in the future.
The Rt Rev’d Ruth Bushyager, Bishop of Horsham
My favourite book is ... the Bible! It's a collection of 66 books that were written over the course of thousands of years by all kinds of people from different countries and in different languages. Among and within those books there's every type of literature you can imagine - poetry, history, legend, comedy, song lyrics, propaganda, prophecy, apocalypse and letters. If you have never read the Bible before, the best place to start would be one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) as - unlike most books - the middle of the story makes sense of everything that happens at the beginning and end.
Simon Williams, Coxswain of Shoreham Lifeboat
The book I have recently enjoyed reading is RNLI Lifeboat Station Histories: Shoreham Harbour Lifeboat Station. I enjoyed it because as the full time coxswain of Shoreham Lifeboat Station, I like learning about the fascinating 158-year history of the station including the many lifeboat rescues and all the heroics and dedication of the many volunteers involved over the years. The book also includes some great photographs and stories.