READING CAMPAIGN: Sheffield celebrities and community leaders talk about their favourite books

Richard Wright, chief executive of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Richard Wright, chief executive of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Sheffield's celebrities, business and community leaders are today waxing lyrical about their favourite books - all part of The Star's campaign to encourage reading in the city.

Through our 'Getting Sheffield Reading More' scheme we are publishing a series of features, stories and competitions aimed at increasing people’s love of literature.

Guy Merchant, professor of literacy in education at Sheffield Hallam University.

Guy Merchant, professor of literacy in education at Sheffield Hallam University.

As part of the campaign, we asked Sheffielders to tell us about their favourite book and why.

Read more:- Deadline extended for youngsters to enter our fun poetry competition

BBC presenter and Sheffield resident Dan Walker

As a Christian, I do love The Bible, but the first books I read cover to cover were 'The Hobbit' and 'Lord of the Rings'. I remember being transported to a magical world in my imagination and was drawn in to the story through the adventures of the characters.

Maria de Souza, Off The Shelf festival organiser.

Maria de Souza, Off The Shelf festival organiser.

Robert Hastie, artistic director of Sheffield Theatres

My favourite novel is probably George Eliot’s Middlemarch. By the end I felt like I’d lived alongside these people all my life, and knew them inside out.

Professor Wyn Morgan, vice-president for education at the University of Sheffield

Any Human Heart by William Boyd. He is a wonderful story teller and I love the way he weaves historical characters and events into the life of the central character Logan Mountstuart and how they shape a colourful and full career.

Charlie Russell, a member of staff at theRhyme & Reasonbook store on Ecclesall Road.

Charlie Russell, a member of staff at theRhyme & Reasonbook store on Ecclesall Road.

Russell Thomas, events manager at Waterstones Sheffield Orchard Square

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. It is set in Congo and is so atmospheric. It is my favourite because it is just so brilliantly written, the prose is incredible.

Paul Stockley, headteacher at Bradway Primary School

Germinal by Emile Zola because of its brilliant descriptions of life in 19th century France. It is exciting to read, brings history to life and helps me to understand what it might be like to live a life totally different to my own.

Robert Hastie, artistic director of Sheffield Theatres.

Robert Hastie, artistic director of Sheffield Theatres.

Charlie Russell, a member of staff at the Rhyme & Reason book store on Ecclesall Road

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. It’s one of the best examples of language being used by the author in an unorthodox way but the reader still understanding and even feeling exactly what they mean.

Guy Merchant, professor of literacy in education at Sheffield Hallam University

Angela Carter: 'The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman. It's a book of baroque flourishes that engages the reader from the start. Re-reading it you become aware of many literary references as well as traces of the late 1960s when it was written. But more than all of that there are important themes about what's real and what's artifice which speak to our current concerns in times of 'post-truth', populism, actual and virtual realities.

Maria de Souza, Off The Shelf festival organiser

The Handmaid’s Tale. Margaret Atwood’s book is a ground breaking work of literature – hard to believe it was written 32 years ago. Her vision of a dystopian future is upsetting and terrifying but eminently readable.

BCC presenter Dan Walker.

BCC presenter Dan Walker.

Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks. A brilliant book that examines man’s resilience under great adversity. My second favourite book is The Works of Oscar Wilde.

Richard Fidler, account director at HR Media and a member of the firm's reading group

All Out War by Tim Shipman which tells the full story around the Brexit referendum. As someone who works in and enjoys the media, politics and public relations this book brings it all together around the biggest issue of our day.

*What is your favourite book? Send us your pick, along with a brief description why and a picture of you holding up a copy. Email them to lee.peace@jpress.co.uk

Russell Thomas, events manager atWaterstones Sheffield Orchard Square.

Russell Thomas, events manager atWaterstones Sheffield Orchard Square.

Richard Fidler, account director at HR Media and a member of the firm's reading group.

Richard Fidler, account director at HR Media and a member of the firm's reading group.