Build up your bookshelf and support families in need with ShelterBox

We are undoubtedly a nation of book lovers and throughout these difficult times, escaping into a good story has never been more comforting.

(Image credit: Getty)

With their Book Club, disaster relief charity ShelterBox brings together a unique community of over 2,000 booklovers. A donation of £10 a month allows members to vote for their next compelling title, receive their new book by post and even join an online Facebook discussion every 6 weeks with fellow readers.

Becoming a member also not only allows you to build up your bookshelf, but contribute to ShelterBox’s essential efforts to help families to recover after losing their homes to disaster or conflict.

With self-isolation and safety currently paramount, the tents, shelter kits and other essential items they provide create a home space for families as they begin to rebuild their lives.

As ShelterBox continues to respond during these difficult times, three much-loved writers have lent their support to their invaluable work and love of all things literary.

Here they share which book is getting them through...

Michael Palin, performer, writer and presenter

Michael Palin, book

Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. No book before or since has been able to awaken and enlighten that part of my mind, which deals with things mechanical.

It made me want to know how things worked and to understand for the first time the beauty of engineering. It’s woven around a bristly father and son relationship, so it’s about a lot more than motorbikes!

It’s a serious, quite difficult read, but in my opinion it’s perfect for long lockdown afternoons.

Marian Keyes, bestselling author of Rachel’s Holiday

Marian Keyes, book

I’m re-reading Barbara Trapido’s books, starting with Brother of The More Famous Jack. I loved them so much when I first read them about twenty years ago and I got a sudden craving for them again, last month.

Nina Stibbe, award-winning author of Reasons to be Cheerful

Nina Stibbe, book

I am currently rereading Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann so I can speak about it to my mum on the phone everyday. It’s keeping her going - our chats and the book.

It is almost entirely the stream-of-consciousness narrative of a nameless Ohio housewife who, while baking in her kitchen, asks metaphysical questions — “What does a chick think when it looks at an egg?” despairs about melting ice caps and animal extinction, and relates her own domestic crimes.

These include accidentally serving her kids extra-spicy noodles, forgetting the name of hydrangeas, and never giving the delivery man a cup of coffee.

The meandering narrative entwines huge historical events, issues of the day and tiny details of her life - ancient bloody massacres, Trump, climate change, racism, sexism, bewilderment at her daughter‘s hatred of her, and how to make good cinnamon buns.

ShelterBox Book

Now in its 20th year, since it was first founded in 2000, ShelterBox has supported more than 1.5 million people. Today it continues to operate with 15 affiliate organisations worldwide.

Show your support and broaden your bookshelf horizons by becoming a member of the ShelterBox book club today.


Happy reading!

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!