The library is at the heart of Storyhouse, and is an inspirational place for adults and children alike, to keep, make, and share great stories and ideas. Each issue, three people from the Storyhouse family tell us about a book that holds a special place in their heart.
Playwright of Little Women at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre
Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionesco
I’m a huge fan of Absurdist Theatre. Ionesco wrote this play after WW2 as a way to try and understand how the Nazi regime grew with such strength and speed, and how people; good people, suddenly found themselves believing in Hitler’s ideology and obeying his orders. Throughout Rhinoceros, characters go missing – turns out they’ve transformed into rhinos! We then see characters with horns on their heads, grey skin, with rough sounding voices. This clash of naturalism and the absurd is what makes the play both hilarious in parts, and frightening in others. With all that’s going on in the world, I advise everyone to read it.
You can find Rhinoceros in the Literature section of the library
Library Team Leader
Educated by Tara Westover
This is a book I’ve recommended time and time again to friends, family, colleagues, and library users. It’s the most extraordinary memoir by an American author who lived in Idaho with her challenging Mormon family, they did not believe in education, immunisation, doctors or formal health care, neither she nor her several siblings knew their date of birth. This is the story of her fight for education, although a hard read at times, it is the most fascinating and hopeful book and I think about it often.
You can find Educated in the Biography section of the library
The Rotter’s Club by Jonathan Coe
On the surface I love this book for two good reasons – it’s named after a song by my favourite prog rock band Hatfield and the North, and at its heart it’s a rite of passage book set in a boy’s Grammar School remarkably similar to mine. However, it gradually unveils much deeper threads– the insidious power of the far right, the tragic consequences of radical violence and the systemic decline of Britain – whilst at the same time, as with Coe’s ‘Thatcher’ novel, What a Carve Up!, having multiple laugh out loud moments.
You can find The Rotter’s Club in the General Fiction section of the library