My life in books

10th June 2011 at 01:00

Wavell Blades is a history teacher and head of Year 11 at Cranford Community College in Hounslow

What I'm reading

Life of Pi

By Yann Martel

I'm quite behind the times with my reading - this was the big book of three or four years ago. It was a book we were going to give to one of our students for good work, but we didn't get the chance to give it out, so I'm reading it. I find myself drawn in by the whole religious and philosophical element - I find religious debate a very interesting thing. This is the kind of book where you finish a chapter and then think, "Hmm".

The book I loved as a child

Famous Five series

By Enid Blyton

I was a massive Enid Blyton fan as a child. I used to go to the library each week, and get out a new Famous Five or Secret Seven book. Maybe it is my historical side coming out, but I could tell that these people were living a completely different life to me, and doing things I couldn't imagine. But it was very attractive, these kids going off on their own and having adventures.

Read this before you die

To Kill a Mockingbird

By Harper Lee

It is very cliched, but this book was eye-opening for me when we read it at school when I was 15 years old. It was when I realised that reading a novel was not necessarily just something you did out of enjoyment - you could learn a lot from it. You get a real study of people's social attitudes: not just attitudes to race, but also the way that society can work as a mob. I have read it a few times since, and it always feels relevant. It doesn't feel like it is stuck in the past.

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

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