This was my first year as a World Book Night giver. I can certainly recommend the experience. Of the twenty titles available I chose Victoria Hislop's The Island. A young woman discovers the secret history of her great-grandmother Eleni, and her connection to the tiny, deserted island of Spinalonga, Greece's former leper colony. It's a book I enjoyed several years ago, partly for the moving story and also for its sense of place. I gave my copies away in the playground of my son's primary school, some to people I knew and others to complete strangers. It was wonderful to be able to give away something that has given me pleasure and also to enjoy the bookish conversations it provoked. I hope the recipients will enjoy the book as much as I did and pass it on to friends and family.
Whilst I was sitting in Nero's doing battle with an essay on Plutarch and Antony and Cleopatra, a stranger came up to me and offered me a book too. Philippa Gregory's The White Queen tells the story of Elizabeth Woodville, mother of the Princes in the Tower. I've been told it's very good.
When a third of households in the UK don't have books in them and 16% of adults struggle with literacy, World Book Night is a wonderful idea.
You can find this year's list of books here. Which book would you have chosen?