Get to know us through the books we read! This month we chat to Sabrina Thompson, a writing skills workshop presenter at the Writing Lab and junior lecturer in Advanced Family Law for the Department of Private Law at the Faculty of Law. Her areas of study and her passions are gender and children’s rights law. She completed her LLM cum laude last year and hopes to pursue a PhD in children’s rights law.
What is the title of your favourite book, or a book that had a great impact on you, or a book that is memorable for some reason?
My first love and port of call has to be the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling. My mom started to read them to me when I was about six years old. There are so many other books that I love: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald, Humble Pie by Gordon Ramsay, Sorted by Jackson Bird, The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antionio Iturbe … the list just goes on.
Why did this book make such an impression on you?
There are many lessons to be learned from the Harry Potter series. The greatest one I have taken to heart is to never give up something that you believe in and want to fight for. Harry Potter contains thoroughly adult themes that are conveyed in a gripping and clever way to children. I’m thinking of what Dumbledore says in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, as an example: “‘Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” In times of self-doubt I always go back to my Harry Potters.
Who is (are) your favourite author(s)? Also tell us why.
I have too many beloved authors to name them all! I love Lucinda Riley, Kirsten Hannah and Jojo Moyes for easy reading. All three of them provide for escapism and are generally an enjoyable read which does not require intensive thinking. I also love Jackson Bird, William Shakespeare, Jane Austin, Anastasia Thomson and so many others, including the classics as well as biographies … and let’s not forget the romance category!
Do you have a preference: reading physical books with paper pages or on a Kindle or other electronic platform? Why do you say so?
Without a doubt physical books. There is something about handling the pages of a book that makes it a special experience. I also think that feeling the physical weight in your hand acts like an anchor between the imaginary world you have entered and the real one. That physical object forms a lasting link.
What book have you re-read? Also tell us why.
Honestly … all of them. It happens rarely that I read a book only once. My bookshelf is a source of pride to me, and I rearrange it periodically. I like to call it my own mini library.
Who is your favourite literary character?
Harry Potter, without a doubt.
Have you perhaps learnt a life lesson from a book or character that you would like to share with us (if this hasn’t come up in one of your answers already)?
Again, the Harry Potter books have taught me that you must be who you are and not give up when things become difficult.
Something else that the series has brought home to me is that it’s okay to be imperfect and to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them.”
What book or books would you recommend to your students, friends or anyone else?
Well, in addition to the Harry Potter series, anything written by Lucinda Riley and Jojo Moyes, and the modern classics such as To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee and The Beautiful and the Damned by F Scott Fitzgerald. I would recommended that you pay attention to any book that captures your interest – likely, there is something you need to hear from its pages.