4 APR 2017

What we're reading now

There’s nothing better than curling up with a book on a long weekend... Four SSO musicians open up their bookshelves to share their Easter reading picks.

Marnie Sebire, Horn

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian  by Marina Lewycka

This is an extremely funny book about two sisters living in the UK, trying to prevent their widowed and delightfully eccentric father from marrying a glamorous Ukranian woman 50 years his junior, who waltzed into all their lives like “a fluffy pink grenade”!

Stark by Ben Elton

This book was published in 1989. I have decided to give it another airing as the subject matter is eerily apt for today's particularly mad world. Basically, a group of the world's richest and most influential men embark on a secret plan to move to another planet as they've completely destroyed the earth's ecosystem with their business practices... 


Mark Robinson, Assistant Principal/Tutti Percussion

Silence  by Shūsaku Endo

I’m about to finish this book that follows the story of a Jesuit missionary who sails for Japan in the 17th century to try to keep the dwindling flame of Christianity alight during a time of extreme oppression and persecution against Japanese Christians. He is also determined to find his mentor who is believed to have renounced his faith to the Japanese authorities, specifically a particularly feared official called Inoue, the Lord of Chikugo. It’s a very powerful read as this one man is placed in impossible situations during which his faith is tested in the extreme. He must choose whether to watch devoted Japanese Christians suffer horrific torture and execution, or capitulate to the official’s demands to renounce his faith in order to end the suffering. 


Claire Herrick, First Violin

The Collected Poems by Sylvia Plath

One of my favourite pieces of literature is the book of Collected Poems by Sylvia Plath. I love her style of poetry - it's so raw and confronting. She was a deeply troubled woman and suffered clinical depression most of her life. Her struggles are vividly reflected in her poems in a confessional nature and I really respect that about her work. Even though she eventually succumbed to her mental anguish in sad circumstances, she made it her life's ambition to express and share her experiences on paper. In turn, she advanced that specific genre of poetry and posthumously won a Pulitzer Prize!


Yosuke Matsui, Trumpet

Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain  by John J Ratey

This book is about the correlation between brain and exercise. I find it really interesting because I like to run in my free time and Spark looks at how this sort of activity can influence everything from the way we think to how we feel. I would definitely recommend it.