In the last edition of our Newsletter (July 2018), we made several suggestions about improving your English during summer, the last being “read a book”. Several VO staff members did. Here’s a brief account of what they read, and what they thought of the book.

Rachel WHYTE – Office Manager

“I started re-reading Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything. Led on by his natural curiosity, Bryson explores everything that’s happened since the Big Bang. It’s absolutely fascinating, in a very readable, light-hearted style. It’s also an account of one man’s understanding of the scientific world. Get ready to giggle!”

Isabelle ROBIN – French Trainer

“I read a small book this summer that was quite enjoyable, although I wouldn’t say it was great literature. Mémé dans les Orties by Aurélie

Valognes. It’s funny and light, but most of all, it picks up one’s spirits!”

Jennifer KEICHER – English Trainer

“I recently read Small Things Great, by Jodi Picoult, a book about prejudice and power. It’s the story of Ruth, an African-American nurse who works on a predominantly white maternity ward. I enjoy how the author deals with controversial subjects while telling a story full of warmth. A real eye-opener!”

Bunmi OYENEYIN – English Trainer (and French trainee!)

“Petit Pays, by Gael Faye, is about a Rwandan-French child’s experience before and during the onset of the genocide in Rwanda. He describes his family, friends, enemies, and neighbours with a deft mix of humour and melancholy. Faye is a clever writer who leads you through his world. I felt I was walking alongside him.”

Kim BARRETT – VO Co-Founder and Translator

“I really enjoyed reading Flood, by Stephen Baxter, whose novels I find very entertaining. But I must admit it left me rather paranoid — his vision of the future is a little too close to reality for comfort.”

Kirsty VOISIN – VO Co-Founder and Trainer

“The Miniaturist, by Jessie Burton, is an excellent first novel because it really transports you to another time and place (The Netherlands, 16th Century). It’s not a light read, but perfect for immersing yourself in another world, and the characters are really well drawn.”