“The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest (people) of the past centuries.” – Descartes

As the summer break looms, our wonderful English department has offered some suggestions on good books for our students to delve into.

The evidence strongly shows that independent reading and vocabulary size is the single biggest indicator on how well students will do in their exams; so if you want to do better… read!

Vocabulary growth occurs slowly, is largely subconscious and can be supported by reading as part of a book group (maybe try a family book group). Regular and habitual book reading is good for us all.

“Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world.” – Napoléon Bonaparte

Reading develops a wide basis of knowledge, broadens horizons and gives a wider awareness of the world. Reading for pleasure reduces stress, develops creativity and imagination but most importantly, reading is fun!

The lists are suggestions for students to read for pleasure but not exhaustive. My personal favourite is ‘Cogheart ‘by Peter Bunzl which is a great Steampunk themed adventure that I have read to Henry. If you have any books you think Horsforth students (or staff!) would enjoy, please send through any suggestions to info@horsforthschool.org.  Some of the best books I have read, have been through recommendations.

Over the holidays, I aim to get into the most recent Jack Reacher (guilty pleasure) and the conclusion of Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther novels (detective noir with a German twist) but if you like eye opening non-fiction I would highly recommend ‘Factfulness: Ten Reasons Why We’re Wrong About the World and Why Things Are Better Than You Think’ by Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Hans Rosling, and Ola Rosling. The first few chapters are a compelling challenge to the media narrative of gloom and disaster, strongly backed by evidence. It’s a lot better than I am explaining and has changed how I view the world.

I hope you have a wonderful break and break into a book or two!

Dr Bell