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Blanket books

A cup of cocoa, a warm blanket and a good book … we asked the War Cry team to tell us their favourite ‘blanket books’.
a woman in a blanket reading a book by a fire
Posted September 3, 2013

Chasing the Dragon by Jackie Pullinger

I’d heard of the famous Christian missionary Jackie Pullinger, so I went to hear her speak when I was in London a few years ago. As Jackie began to speak, she carried such awe-inspiring authority that it was the first and only time I have ever thought, ‘I wonder if this was what it was like to hear Jesus speak.’

After that, I read her classic missionary tale Chasing the Dragon. It is an absolute page-turner: a fascinating story of the Holy Spirit’s healing work with drug addicts that is both deeply challenging and inspiring in equal measure.  Ingrid, staff writer.

The Complete Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

Between 1985 and 1995, Calvin and Hobbes became one of the most successful comic strips of all time, featured in over 2400 newspapers worldwide.

Calvin is a feverishly imaginative six-year-old with the vocabulary of an Oxford literature student, who shares his adventures with his best friend, Hobbes the tiger. To Calvin’s parents, Hobbes is a nondescript soft toy, but to Calvin and the reader he is a pouncing and amiable ‘real’ tiger—and Calvin’s slightly-more-sensible better half. Always funny, frequently thoughtful and occasionally provocative, Calvin and Hobbes became close friends that I hung out with over many years.  Martin, web manager.

Wool by Hugh Howey

I have to confess that this is the only book I’ve read in eight years! So, I figure that if this book could get me interested, it could get anyone turning the pages! Wool is at once an allegory, a love story and a sci-fi thriller. Set in a dystopian future, the few humans left on Earth have lived below its uninhabitable surface for long enough that nobody knows how they got there, or really anything about the outside world.

Right from the mysterious and dramatic first act, Howey’s brilliant writing unravels truths about their past, as the protagonists navigate the palpable confines of their underground world.  Josh, designer.

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield

I came back to this book several times as a tween and teen. Three girls in poor post-WWI London, all very different from each other, are adopted by ‘Aunt Garnie’ and ‘Nana’.

They grow up in a big old house full of people who believe in the girls’ potential, as they make a name for themselves. Based around experiences at the local ballet school, adventures, disappointments and teenage character development were themes that fired my tutu-clad heart when I was young.  Emily, communications writer.

On Writing Well by William Zinsser

On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser is the first book on writing I ever bought (almost 20 years ago). And even for relaxation, it’s one I still reach for. First published in 1976 (but revised and expanded), there isn’t a more instructive or inspiring book on the craft of writing.

Zinsser introduces the basic principles of writing, (simplicity, style, audience, clutter, words and usage), and gives a good overview of writing methods. There’s also a great chapter on interviewing for those keen on a journalistic career, and tips on writing a memoir. Zinsser is a lover of language and respecter of readers. Simply brilliant.  Christina, editor.