I love reading, and read every single night before I go to sleep, so it was really hard to think of just one book to recommend. I also like to read all sorts of different books depending on how I am feeling, where I am, and the time of year which made it even more difficult. In the end I have picked two of my own children’s favourite books for children and have also chosen two adult books that are set in Coventry.
Elmer the Elephant by David McKee
For younger children I would definitely recommend Elmer the Elephant by David McKee. This colourful story tells how a patchwork elephant came to accept being different from the rest of the herd and was a firm favourite with my daughter when she was growing up. She is 25 now and still loves elephants so much that for Christmas this year we bought her an elephant experience at the zoo!
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkein
For older children The Hobbit is hard to beat. It is an exciting story all about Bilbo Baggins, a home-loving unadventurous hobbit who reluctantly goes on a journey with a group of dwarves in search of dragon-guarded gold. In the end Bilbo surprises even himself by his resourcefulness and skill as a burglar. My son loved this book because it has a great mix of humour, danger and high adventure with lots of really strong characters including some really bad baddies!
Middlemarch by George Eliot
I have always enjoyed books that are set in the past and Middlemarch was probably set in a smaller version of Coventry, where George Eliot lived with her father for 10 years. The heroine in the story is Dorothea, who is rich, beautiful but very idealistic. She chooses to marry the old, unattractive, but very intelligent vicar, Edward - with disastrous results. It is a long book but still very entertaining.
Working Wonders by Jenny Colgan
I love Jenny Colgan’s books which always make me laugh and are easy to read. This story tells us all about the eccentric Arthur, who works in Coventry as a town planner during the time that Coventry is applying to become the European city of culture.