WorldFest Book Recommendations

As chosen by Kent students and staff

A selection of books for illustrative purposes

As part of our WorldFest celebrations, we asked Kent staff and students to share with us their recommended reads, either from their favourite international author, or a book which teaches us something about other cultures.

Our student Global Officers and members of the International Student Advisory Board put forward quite a few of the nominations and I’ve done my best to give you a short summary of some of them, which might help you choose which one to read first.

You may like to consider the one chosen by the university’s staff book club, What you are looking for is in the library by Michiko Aoyama. This was recommended by Global Officer, Robert. The book has been described as, ‘…an inspirational tale of the love, comfort and growth you can find in the pages of a good book’, and is about an intuitive librarian who can provide book recommendations based on what one of the five characters in the story is seeking.

The staff book club meet on Tuesday 19th March, 13:00-14:00. Email Natalia Crisanti if you would like to join.

Also by a Japanese author and on a similar theme (set in a bookshop!), Days at the Morisaki Bookshop by Satoshi Yagisawa, tells the story of Takako, who moves into a room above her Uncle’s bookstore, after her then boyfriend tells her he is marrying someone else. Although Takako is reluctant to move, it seems the bookstore has ‘something to teach them both about life, love, and the healing power of books’. This book was described by the nominee as both ‘…heartwarming and moving.’

Some of our other titles include books about growing up in Nigeria (Black Sunday), one is set in Poland (Drive your Plow over the bones of the dead) about an eccentric woman in her sixties, recounting the events surrounding the disappearance of her two dogs. Some might be considered controversial (Lolita). Holy Cow is about an Australian author spending time in India discovering religion, and Iron Widow is a retelling/spin on Chinese mythology and history.

What I love about books is the way they can reach each one of us in different ways. They can help us relax, while we immerse ourselves in other worlds and the lives of the characters. They can open our eyes to the challenges faced by others, and keep us in suspense and desperately wanting to get to the end of the next chapter.

Some of them are classics, and others (like me) you may never have heard of, but I hope you’ll give some of them a read.

Here is the full list of nominations:

  1. Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie
  2. Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham
  3. Days at the Morisaki Bookshop by Satoshi Yagisawa
  4. Drive your Plow over the bones of the dead by Olga Tokarczuk
  5. Fear and trembling by Amélie Nothomb
  6. Holy Cow by Sarah Macdonald
  7. In order to live by Yeonmi Park
  8. Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao
  9. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  10. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
  11. Oscar and the lady in pink by Eric-Emmanuel Schmit
  12. Solitude of prime numbers by Paolo Giordano
  13. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  14. What you are looking for is in the library by Michiko Aoyama
  15. What would animals say if we asked the right questions? By Vinciane Despret
  16. Wild Swans by Jung Chang

I hope you like our selection. Which one will you choose as your next read? Why not tag us in a post telling us about your favourite book?

Do take a look at our other events happening throughout WorldFest.