Sparking much deliberation in the newsroom this week, to celebrate World Book Day 2024 Reporters at The Northern Echo reflect on their favourite books.

Including some of the best non-fiction literature on offer, this list of seven of the best (according to reporters) recommended books will be sure to get bookworms and non-readers delving into their pages or adding them to their reading lists at the very least.

The Northern Echo: To celebrate World Book Day 2024 Reporters at the Northern Echo reflect on their favourite books

1. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien

Kicking off the list, Digital Audience and Content Editor and Reporter, Gavin Engelbrecht chose Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien to rank as his number one favourite.

Gavin said: “The first major tome I tackled as a youngster - long before the film trilogy - it held me captivated throughout with its pace of action.”

“Tolkien’s descriptive powers are such that I was fully immersed in his Middle Earth and its denizens and could not put the book down in the week it took me to read.”

“The classic battle between good and evil is taken to new heights and my imagination ran riot in the breathtaking battle scenes - emulated with stunning effect in Peter Jackson’s celluloid version.

“Certainly, one of the greatest fantasy books of all times and a rite of passage for any serious reader.”

The Northern Echo: Kayleigh recommends My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

2. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

Recommending My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, East Durham Reporter Kayleigh Fraser struggled to narrow down a single novel with her background in English Literature.

Describing the novel, Kayleigh said: “Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend series is a truly indulgent and stunning series, chronicling the lives of youngsters Elena Greco and Lila Cerullo as they grow up to navigate the endlessly changing and developing climate of Italy from the early 1950s onwards.”

“Their lives, which seem to move in tandem and seem at times intrinsically linked are explored in such colour and depth that they immediately become part of your hearts.”

Kayleigh is also eager to catch the 4th and final season of the HBO TV adaptation this summer.

3. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Darlington Reporter Tom Burgess was thrilled to add The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss to this list.

Tom said: “It was my first dip back into fantasy as an adult after loving it as a child. The writing is absolutely brilliant, and it absolutely transports you into Kvothe’s life.”

“The way it portrays music is the best I’ve ever read. It’s close to perfection and the second book just builds on that.”

Tom awaits the third book of the trilogy. He said: “It has taken a while, but I am patiently waiting along with millions of others.”

4. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Adding a well-loved classic, Digital Audience and Content Editor and Reporter Patrick Gouldsbrough struggled to pinpoint his favourite book but after much deliberation, settled on Nineteen Eight-Four by George Orwell.

Patrick said: “I read it during university and was absolutely hooked - and have read it many times since and have loved it every single time.

“I like Orwell's writing and the way he transports you into the pages of his books.”

The Northern Echo: Phoebe recommends The Secret History by Donna Tartt

5. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Durham Reporter Phoebe Abruzzese went with Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. A dark and moody novel about a group of college friends The Secret History has been a fan favourite since its release in 1992.

Phoebe said: “It’s great storytelling, with loads of mystery and characters that are both loveable and loathable at the same time.”

“It’s the best of Donna Tartt’s (very very good) books.”

Recommended Reading: 

6. Mayflies by Andrew O'Hagan

Local Democracy Reporter Bill Edgar’s choice was Mayflies by Andrew O'Hagan.

Offering a beautiful description of his choice, Bill said: “From the heady euphoria of friendship, music and adolescence to fragility and tragedy; Andrew O’Hagan managed to cover such an emotive topic with compassion.

“Mayflies is a funny and endearing read with a poignant ending that has stuck in the memory ever since.”

Like any bookworm Bill also notes that despite the recent BBC depiction of the tale, audiences must certainly read the book first.

The Northern Echo: Darcie recommends The Catcher in the Rye By J.D Salinger

7. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger

I couldn’t help but include my own favourite, in this list. My experience of The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger was my first time delving into a modern classic outside of the classroom.

Without a flicker of a doubt the book never ceases to transport me back to being 14, no matter how many times I have read it I can still contemplate with Holden Caulfield about the ‘phoniness’ of adult life.

A genius novel by Salinger – I would recommend it to anyone and everyone.