Library staff recommend diverse reads for Empathy Day

With Empathy Day on the 9 June and the end of term on the horizon, the Library’s Diversity & Inclusion group have been dipping into some of the good reads purchased from our Diversity and Wellbeing funds to see what life feels like in someone else’s shoes.

The right sort of girl, by Anita Rani

Chosen by Sharon Hill, Collections Services

Sharon says: You may know Anita Rani, presenter of Countryfile and Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour among other things. But how well do you really know her? What was it like growing up in a Sikh household in Yorkshire but being the only Punjabi girl at school? How did she navigate being too ‘gori’ (white) at home but too ‘brown’ at school? This book is full of good advice, immense humour and conveys the warmth and love of a Punjabi community as well as the hopes, expectation and dreams placed upon the shoulders of this second generation British Indian. It took me back to my school days and helped me understand the path trodden by my Sikh best friend.



That’s the way I think, by Dr David Grant

Chosen by Tim Chapman, Academic Liaison Librarian

Tim says: This book is written with great empathy. As a non-dyslexic reader, it really helped me to understand a range of difficulties that people with dyslexia, dyspraxia, and ADHD diagnoses encounter – beyond just reading. It takes a holistic approach across these conditions and I feel it makes a pretty good stab at attempting to encourage people with neurodiverse conditions to embrace, and understand themselves – treating these conditions not as learning difficulties but as the very things that make them unique, and who they are.  It’s written in a non-academic way with lots of personal experience and anecdotes. Fascinating stuff.




Small Island, by Andrea Levy

Chosen by Sharon Hill, Collections Services

Sharon says: Returning to Britain after fighting with the RAF in the Second World War, Gilbert Joseph doesn’t find himself feted as a hero by his beloved Mother country – quite the reverse!  Turned down for jobs and accommodation he finds post-war Britain a shabby, decrepit and prejudiced country.  If you want some idea of the experience of the Windrush generation, you can do no better than read this compassionate account of post-war immigration.




Want to recommend a title to diversify our collections? Find the link under the Books tab of any of our Diversity LibGuides or contact your Academic Liaison Librarian.

Library Diversity & Inclusion Group