We're celebrating World Book Day with our favourite reads!

Chatelaine editors and staff dish on their favourite books in honour of World Book and Copyright Day.

World Book Day

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Two literary giants, Shakespeare and Cervantes, died on this date in 1616. Which is why UNESCO chose April 23 for World Book and Copyright Day, a day to celebrate the authors and books that move us, delight us and shape us.

So we asked around the Chatelaine office for everyone’s all-time-favorite reads and here’s what they said:

Impossible Vacation by Spalding Gray

“[It] is one of my all-time favourite reads. I like that it breaks all the rules right from the beginning (the first sentence starts mid-thought and with an “And” no less!) and it just keeps going on and on in wonderful stream of consciousness prose.The story is tragic, beautiful and somehow inspiring.”

Laurie Jennings, Managing Editor 

The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Wall

“It’s a story of triumph and unconditional love. If Walls can have the tenacity to overcome her intensely dysfunctional childhood, we all can.”

Amanda Barnier, Kitchen Intern

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

“This was a heavy read for an Asian teen in the ‘70s. But Carson McCullers’ well-crafted first novel about the rejected, forgotten, mistreated and oppressed in the American South, indelibly impacted me in many ways, even to this day.”

Carolyn Lim Chua, Associate Food Editor

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

“I’m a bit of a health junkie so I devour books and educational material like this. But it was this book in particular that really opened my eyes to factory farming and the food and agricultural industries at large. I read the book when it came out a couple of years ago and have since adopted a vegan-ish diet and feel 1000% better about what I consume and the footprint I’m leaving. It’s a very personal and controversial matter, but the book was unquestionably enlightening and has changed my life for the better.”

Julia Black, Assistant Home Editor

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

“It’s been a while since I’ve read it but it still stands out in my mind as a favourite read. I think especially because it was a book that pulled me out of a reading rut. I hadn’t read a good book in so long and then a friend lent me this one and it made me fall in love with reading again.”

Astrid Henninger, Associate Marketing Manager

The Disappeared by Kim Echlin

“I had to take a moment after I finished this book to just breathe. Beautifully written but heart wrenching, Kim Echlin writes from the perspective of a woman writing journal entries to her lover. They become separated during the Cambodian Genocide, as he leaves to find what remains of his family. This book takes place at such an intense time in history, and you can’t help but turn the pages.”

Sandi Tower, Assistant Art Director

Classy by Derek Blasberg

“Derek Blasberg’s handbook on how to transform a train wreck into a lady is a witty commentary on the abundance of “hot messes” plaguing our society. With visual guides featuring Byrdie Bell, hilarious self-tests and juicy personal stories, Classy truly does offer ‘exceptional advice for the extremely modern lady.’”

Madelyn Chung, Online Intern

March by Geraldine Brooks

“A fierce but beautiful and compelling story. This is the fictionalized account of what happened to the father character in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. I love it because it dovetails with my favourite book from childhood, but in a very grown-up way.”

Claire Tansey, Food Editor

The Alchemist by Paolo Coehlo

“It was a toss up between this one and another one of his novels, Veronika Decides to Die, but I chose this one because I really enjoyed the message behind the book: to follow your heart’s desire and trust that the universe will guide you there. That probably sounds a bit new agey, but it’s chicken soup for the soul and a quick read if you’re looking to get inspired!”

Janet Ho, Web Editorial Coordinator

In a Ribbon of Rhythm by Lebogang Mashile

“The poems in this collection tell stories, undo tragedies and speak of love. I read Lebo Mashile for the first time as a teenager in South Africa after seeing her TVshow L’Atitude. She opened my eyes to a world where the expression “words are not enough” does not exist. She writes about everything – menstrual traditions, racial identity, sex, hope, rhythm.”

Ashlee Campbell, Online Intern

Share your favorite book with us too (if it’s possible to pick just one!) whether it’s a horror classic, a chick-lit indulgence or a modern masterpiece.