My life in books

25th March 2011 at 00:00

Dame Naila Zaffar is head of Copthorne Primary in Bradford. She was made a Dame in the Queen's birthday honours of 2010.

What I'm reading

Not Without My Daughter

By Betty Mahmoody

This is the story of an American mother's escape from Iran, where her husband's family lives. The suspense is fantastic. You go through one chapter and you want to keep going on to the next one, even though you're tired.

My husband's family lives in Pakistan, so I've seen the hills and mountains there. His family is in Peshawar, and parts of the book are set in Peshawar and Afghanistan. So I can imagine the region where it's set; feel I'm part of it, going through that journey with the author.

The book I loved as a child

Wuthering Heights

By Emily Bronte

As a child I would listen to the traditional fairytales of Cinderella and Snow White. They endured horrible things, but then they found happiness. Then, at the age of 13 or 14, I felt the same way about Wuthering Heights. I wanted to live in its world. It was the way it is written - you get so engrossed in it. And I did have a bit of a crush on Heathcliff.

Read this before you die

PS, I Love You

By Cecelia Ahern

This is a book about letters. A man is dying and leaves letters for his family and his partner. It's actually a very positive book: he knows he is going, and he thinks of the happy times rather than the sad times. It made me feel that I should focus on my life and the good things that happen in it - recapture the happy times. I always forget to write a diary. I struggle even to find time to read a book these days. But if I did, it would be filled with positive memories. Enjoy the day that you're alive.

If you would like to share your life in books with other teachers, email

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