Suggested Reading List
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Author: Lewis Carroll
Description: Famous Victorian children's story featuring the rabbit hole, Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter's Tea Party and Chess game.
Author: Javier Marias (trans. Margaret Jull Costa)
‘Crackles with deliciously sly observations about Oxford mores’
Independent on Sunday
‘An intelligent and well-executed book with exceptionally funny set pieces’
Author: Evelyn Waugh
Description: The New York Times
"Waugh's most deeply felt novel . . . Brideshead Revisited tells an absorbing story in imaginative terms . . . Mr. Waugh is very definitely an artist, with something like a genius for precision and clarity not surpassed by any novelist writing in English in his time."
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Author: Roald Dahl
Gaudy Nights: A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery
Author: Dorothy L. Sayers
Description: Or any in the Peter Wimsey series set in Oxford. ‘I admire her novels . . . she has great fertility of invention, ingenuity and a wonderful eye for detail’ (Ruth Rendell ). ‘She brought to the detective novel originality, intelligence, energy and wit.’ (P. D. James ).
Description: All novels in the Harry Potter series.
His Dark Materials Trilogy: Northern Lights, Subtle Knife, Amber Spyglass.
Author: Philip Pullman
Description: Acclaimed series from Oxford author Philip Pullman. See also The Golden Compass DVD. The storyis primarily that of 12-year old Lyra, who is in search of her friend who has been kidnapped. Naturally, this proves to be quite a challenging adventure, not least because it’s through Pullman’s vividly imagined world, crossing dimensions as Lyra travels. The film, while toning down some elements of the source material, stays quite close to the book, and it proves to be a good, if not Lord Of The Rings-standard, adaptation.
James and the Giant Peach
Author: Roald Dahl
Author: Richard Crompton
Description: Any books in the English schoolboy series.
Oxford Book of Oxford
Author: Jan Morris
Description: 'Few cities,' Jan Morris observes, 'have been much more loved, loathed, and celebrated.' This book has become a classic account of the character, history, mores, buildings, climate, and people of one of Britain's most fascinating cities. 'A book of outstanding excellence, with a sweep of knowledge and a distinction of style such as I have never before encountered in a work of this sort ... Brilliant alike in observation and imagination ... brings the very stones of Oxford to life' Sunday Telegraph
Oxford Insight Compact Guide
Description: This Insight Compact Guide is the ideal companion for your trip to the famous university city of Oxford. The top 10 sights are highlighted to help you plan your visit and include Christ Church College, the Botanic Garden and the Sheldonian Theatre. Clear, colour-coded sections cover everything from history and culture, to entertainment, food and drink in an easy-to-read format. Sights are cross-referenced on detailed full-colour maps throughout, providing instant orientation and allowing you to tailor your chosen routes exactly to the places you most want to visit. Full-colour photographs throughout the guide provide a visual introduction to this architecturally attractive city and enable you to recognise sights, such as the famous colleges, whilst out and about.
Oxford – An Architectural Guide
Author: Geoffrey Tyack
Description: Few cities have a greater concentration of significant architecture than Oxford. Within a city of only 130,000 inhabitants there are important buildings, many of them of great beauty, from every period from the 11th century down to the present. Geoffrey Tyack chronicles the architectural development of Oxford - both University and City - from its origins to the late-20th century, explaining the idiosyncracies of Oxford's architectural history, and placing the buildings within their historical context. His approach is chronological, and his emphasis on what can actually be seen
Author: Roald Dahl
The Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Volume 1: Charmed Life/The Lives of Christopher Chant
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Description: Winner of the Guardian Award for Children's Books, Charmed Life has been a favourite escape to parallel fantastical worlds since 1977, and remains refreshingly captivating and reassuringly addictive in its latest paperback edition with a wonderful new jacket illustration.
The adventure begins in a strange and not-quite contemporary England that is still peppered with paddle steamers, horse-drawn carriages and girls wearing petticoats. Orphans Eric Chant (nicknamed Cat) and his sister Gwendolen, a gifted witch, are whisked away to live in a castle with Chrestromanci, a much-revered man of magic, wealth and mysterious ways. Their new life is full of the surreal and unexpected, and there are several crazy new rules to master--not least by Gwendolen who must learn to channel her astonishing powers for good instead of mischief as she forever seems determined to do! Chrestomanci is a truly original creation, and Charmed Life introduces this dandy nine-lived enchanter--the king of the regal dressing gown--and his associated colourful characters in a story of pace and substance, twists and turns, treachery and bravado. There's also humour amid the author's very immediate writing, and enough puzzles and mystery to keep an inquisitive mind captivated until the very end.
The Dead of Jericho
Author: Colin Dexter
Description: Or any Inspector Morse novel or TV series.
The Narnia Chronicles
Description: Boxed set. If reading only one-The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
The Railway Children
Author: E. Nesbit
Description: When Father goes away with two strangers one evening, the lives of Roberta, Peter and Phyllis are shattered. They and their mother have to move from their comfortable London home to go and live in a simple country cottage, where Mother writes books to make ends meet. However, they soon come to love the railway that runs near their cottage, and they make a habit of waving to the Old Gentleman who rides on it. They befriend the porter, Perks, and through him learn railway lore and much else. They have many adventures, and when they save a train from disaster, they are helped by the Old Gentleman to solve the mystery of their father's disappearance. Also DVD 2006 with Jenny Agutter-a classic.
The Wind in the Willows
Author: Kenneth Grahame
Description: The tales of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad. When Mole goes boating with the Water Rat instead of spring-cleaning, he discovers a new world. As well as the river and the Wild Wood, there is Toad's craze for fast travel which leads him and his friends on a whirl of trains, barges, gipsy caravans and motor cars and even into battle. See also DVDs.
The Worst Witch series
Author: Jill Murphy
Description: Mildred Hubble is the worst witch at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches - she's always getting her spells wrong. But she manages to get by until she turns Ethel, the teacher's pet, into her deadly enemy . . .
Jill Murphy started putting books together (literally with a stapler), when she was six. The Worst Witch was first published in 1974 and this much-loved classic has been enjoyed by readers for more than 30 years. Jill Murphy also written and illustrated several award-winning picture books for younger children.