My life in books

3rd December 2010 at 00:00
Helen Wright is head of St Mary's Calne, Wiltshire, and president-elect of the Girls' Schools Association

What I'm reading

Full Circle

By Ellen MacArthur

This book tells the story of Ellen MacArthur's physical and emotional journey, both on and off the ocean. Her commitment to being the best at what she does and her intense desire to find a way to help us save the planet are inspirational. I believe that it is important to read about other people's lives - we gain an insight into ourselves when we connect with others, and we learn powerful lessons about what human beings can achieve.

The book I loved as a child


By Jane Austen

I discovered Jane Austen when I was about 13, and I remember reading Emma from cover to cover in a few days. It transported me to another world and gave me a strong sense of the power of literature to expand our vistas. I was never quite sure about Emma - was she clever or self-deluded, or both? But I did admire Jane Austen and regard her as probably a forerunner of the feminists. She certainly made her mark in history, and influenced me in my belief that gender should not place a limit on achievement.

Read this before you die

Aesop's Fables

We are perpetually seeking the answer to how we should live our lives. Philosophers give us clues, religious texts give us a road map, but there is little to beat learning from other people and drawing our own conclusions. Aesop's Fables are uncompromising and pithy. Sometimes uncomfortable to read, their moral messages pack a punch far beyond their apparent weight.

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