National Writing Day – Our recommendations

by Wardour staff – Jun 21, 2017

Today is National Writing Day, a celebration of creative writing. From books to songs to poems to scripts, it serves as wonderful reminder of the power of the written word. Content is at the heart of everything we do here at Wardour, so we thought we’d share some of the pieces of writing that inspire us.

The Whitsun Weddings by Philip Larkin

Martin MacConnol, Chief Executive says: “Definitely one of the best collections of poetry of the 20st century. Existential angst, love, lust, thwarted ambition, family relationships – Larkin offers us all this and more. Perhaps best of all, he observes everything with a wry eye that makes you continually wonder whether he is being serious, or sending up the neuroses of a generation.”

For fans of: Anything by Alan Bennett

The Rosie Project by Graham Simsion

Richard Payn, Finance Director, says: “The novel centres on genetics professor Don Tillman, who struggles to have a serious relationship with women. With a friend’s help, he devises a questionnaire to assess the suitability of female partners. His plans are set off course when he meets Rosie, who does not fit many of Tillman’s criteria, but becomes a big part of his life. I don’t read very often, but when I got this book I couldn’t put it down and finished it in a weekend. I found it laugh out loud funny and recommend it to anyone.”

For fans of: The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith, The Adrian Mole series by Sue Townsend

Music and Silence by Rose Tremain

Tom Hagues, Assistant Editor says: “Set in Copenhagen, 1629, this story follows an English lutenist employed by King Christian IV of Denmark to play at his court. A very specific plot, I know, but Tremain makes it completely accessible through a gripping narrative supported by exceedingly thorough research. It’s a historical novel by technicality – Music and Silence seems more like a gritty, grown-up fairy tale of a land and time the reader will never experience first hand.”

For fans of: Bring up the Bodies and Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel and The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

Consider Phlebas by Iain M Banks

Tim Mustoe, Art Director says: “Part of the Culture series, this is a huge, sprawling, magnificent space opera set in an interstellar anarchist utopian society, which revolves around the Idiran-Culture War. The detail that Banks injects make it seem ever more plausible, and there are some lovely moments of irreverence, notably in the naming of the starships (‘Prosthetic Conscience’, ‘Profit Margin’, ‘Trade Surplus’).”

For fans of: Star Wars

Ironic by Alanis Morissette

Teodora Rousseva, Marketing Manager says: “Come on, admit it. You are humming it! The song is funny, the lyrics - catchy, and I guess the moral of the story is not to take yourself too seriously. Life is short. Give this old school tune a listen, hum along and put your rose–tinted shades on. Parting thought… next time, take that good advice!”

For Fans of: Sarah Knight’s books and The Proclaimers – 500 miles

Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris

Sally Abbotts, Copywriter says: “A collection of humourous narrative essays, mostly based around his own life and the misadventures of his family. He’s been described as ‘an American Oscar Wilde’ – and his witty, hilarious tone makes him my favourite writer. If you like funny, non-fiction, all of his books are well worth a read.”

For fans of: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K. Jerome

Tim Turner, Content Director says: “Many people know and love Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat, a classic of Victorian humour that tells the story of a boating holiday on the Thames. But for my money, this follow-up is even funnier. This time, Jerome, George and Harris embark on a cycling tour of Germany, with (as they say) hilarious consequences. ‘Bummel’, by the way, is an adaptation of a German word for a leisurely journey. For some reason, it never caught on in English…”

For fans of: Three Men in a Boat

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Lucy Buck, Senior Account Manager says: “Sue Monk Kidd strikes the perfect balance between heart-warming and heart-breaking in this ‘coming of age’ novel, which follows 14-year-old Lily on a journey to Tiburon, South Carolina, in a desperate search to connect with her deceased mother. In Tiburon, Lily stays with the Boatwright sisters – May, June and August – who make the ‘Black Madonna’ honey sold in the local general store. Bee-keeping is cleverly used as an extended metaphor throughout the book to represent resilience and the power of community, in the face of deep racial injustice. As a reader, you experience Lily’s loss of innocence alongside her, as she’s exposed to social inequality and the truth about her mother…”

For fans of: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

“Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears” – a quote from John Lennon

Matt Williams, Art Director says: “John Lennon, besides song writing, coined some fabulous phrases including “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans,” and, “Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted”. But my favourite has to be “Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears”. Lennon seemed to have a lot of time references in his songs and words and whilst we cannot do anything about getting older, for me if helps to bring a bit of meaning.”

Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth

Jane Douglas, Editor says: “In his acclaimed play Jerusalem, Jez Butterworth wove ancient folklore with a tale of modern life in all its wild, gritty, disturbing and hedonistic contradictions. Inspired by William Blake’s poetry, Butterworth’s play tapped into a fundamental need to belong, for a connection to place.”

For fans of: William Blake and This Is England

The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington

Gareth Francis, Editor: “This book follows the failing fortunes of a wealthy family during the industrialisation of America. Possibly the most infuriating group of characters I have come across in any novel, you just want to grab them by the shoulders and give them a shake! However, the writing style is effortless and completely immersive. When I finished it the first time I was ready to start it again straight away.”

For fans of: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane

Published Jun 21, 2017

Read more

Covid-19: the threat to social purpose

What is going to happen to social purpose and sustainability now corporates globally are struggling? Martin MacConnol reflects on the fallout of coronavirus?

A link in a good chain

Continuing our celebration of pastimes. Production director Angela Derbyshire explains why she finds volunteering for The Food Chain charity so rewarding