"Books are a uniquely portable magic"
A really good book transports you from your surroundings, it blocks out all noise, and suspends reality; it absorbs you in the story and takes you on a journey with the characters, where you see and feel everything they do. Some authors are able to do this time and again.
We've been talking about our favourite authors here in the Kumon offices and we'd like to share some of our most loved and the journeys they have taken us on.
South London Area Manager, Sinead Dixon, said: "Currently my favourite author is a lady called Kate Morton. I've read four of her books and each one has really stayed with me afterwards, and I am able to remember plenty of detail from them which doesn't happen for me with most books. They are all half set in the past and in the present day which is a particular favourite trope of mine. I'm looking forward to reading her latest book, The Lake House, shortly."
Bristol Team Adminstrator, Bev Litten, said: "Tom Sharpe; you had to keep reading, then when you finished the book, you had to start the next one and so it went on. You were either reading or waiting for the new book to be released."
Business Support and Legal Services Project Manager, Paolo Romeo, said: "My favourite author is JRR Tolkien. My devotion started exactly 30 years ago, when I first read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and then all his books translated in Italian at that time. Subsequently I read all his books in English as well.
"Tolkien's writing has everything I like: besides great imagination and extremely beautiful prose, I find deep spiritual values and symbolism embedded, which is what pulled me to the author in the first place. Tolkien, although now very popular, has often been misunderstood. To anyone who would like to know this author better, I would recommend reading The Letters of JRR Tolkien, as he was a prolific letter writer. Tolkien wrote to publishers, family, close friends (such as C.S. Lewis) and even fans of his books. This collection of letters provide a fascinating and meticulous portrait of who he really was: a storyteller, a philologist at Oxford, a parent, a Roman Catholic, and a keen observer of the world around him. I was so taken by Tolkien's life that his writing inspired me to move and study in the UK when I was 19 and it still bears much influence on my life.
"I would like to end with my favourite quote of all time: "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." JRR Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, book 1, chapter 2."
Manchester Area Manager, Emma Anderson, said: "My favourite author is Emily Bronte. Despite being surpassed by her sisters in terms of numbers of published novels, Emily's defining work 'Wuthering Heights' certainly surpasses everything else in my opinion. Emily uses imagery and symbolism to its full potential in this novel and, every time I read it, I'm transported to those wild and stormy Yorkshire moors which, in the book, are a perfect reflection of life around them: the harsh and violent elements of the weather and surroundings echo beautifully the character of Heathcliff and the destructive nature of his relationship with Cathy."
Bristol Area Manager, Emma Parfey, said: "If I was choosing a 'favourite' author, by sheer quantity of recently read books, I'd have to say the late Sir Terry Pratchett.
I've found the Discworld Series increasingly fascinating as I have got older, having first read Terry's books when I was still at school. The more I read his books, the more I see that whilst the content is fantastical, the themes are very much about morality and equality in all its forms and the complexity and politics involved in making decisions. The plots are humorous, lively and incredibly human, even though the main protagonists aren't necessarily humans.
"I've also recently been reading Pratchett's collaborative works with the fantasy writer Stephen Baxter - the Long Earth series, which question the nature of the way we populate and treat our planet as well as highlight the element of chance in who and what we are as sentient beings."
This just goes to show, there really is a book out there for everyone, you just need to find the author who captures your imagination.