Five books which inspire me: Guest blog by our information governance manager, Lucy Roper

Posted on: 2020-12-16

Having published our tutor, Janet Hontoir’s list to kick off our inspirational book series, today it’s the turn of our information governance manager, Lucy Roper, to select the five books which inspire her. Take a look at Lucy’s choices and reasons below.


1. Limitless: The Autobiography by Tim Peake (2020)

An astronaut who inspired a generation.

Five years ago, Major Tim Peake became the first Britain to serve a mission on the International Space Station. This book charts his road to becoming an astronaut, from a shy boy to a young British Army officer, Apache helicopter pilot, flight instructor and test pilot.

Tim Peake is only a few months younger than me but shares his incredible and admirable journey to space with us all and has had a lasting impression on so many people. This book is a great read and has some extremely funny stories along the way.

2. Becoming by Michele Obama (2018)

Michelle Obama, the first African American to serve as First Lady of the USA, has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. She helped create inclusivity within White House history, whilst establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls around the world. Standing with her husband as he led America, she also dramatically changed the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives. A truly inspirational woman.

3. Proud by Gareth Thomas (2014)

You might have guessed by now that I like reading autobiographies but this one is the best that I have ever read – and I have read a lot. Gareth Thomas is a sporting legend (as rugby captain for Wales and the British Lions), inspirational and a national hero. Gareth came out as gay in December 2009 and the following year was voted as the most influential gay person in the UK in The Independent on Sunday and received Stonewall’s Hero of the Year award. This book is extremely moving and very sad at times, but his honesty throughout is what makes it. He doesn’t shy away from difficult circumstances and situations that include dealing with prejudices, cultural identity, stigma-busting and it is this honesty which keeps you captivated.

4. Quiet by Susan Cain (2013)

This book was given to me from a line manager some years back now and has been a great support and comfort to me throughout my working life. On the back cover it states: ‘For far too long, those who are naturally quiet, serious or sensitive have been overlooked. The loudest have taken over – even if they have nothing to say. It’s time for everyone to listen. It’s time to harness the power of introverts. It’s time for Quiet’.

It’s the kind of book that you read and find yourself nodding along to, and then thinking about throughout the day, realising at work where examples and situations fit. For me, this book was such an eye-opener into understanding, not just introverts, but extroverts as well.

5. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy (2019)

Quite simply the most beautifully written book with lovely illustrations throughout.

From the back cover: ‘Enter the world of Charlie’s four unlikely friends, discover their story and their most important life lessons’. The conversations of the boy, the mole, the fox and the horse have been shared thousands of times online, recreated in school art classes, hung on hospital walls and turned into tattoos.
My hope for this book is to see a copy placed in every school and read, many times, to every pupil. If you have seen or read it, please do so … you won’t regret it.

Five great choices. Thanks for sharing, Lucy! Keep an eye out on our social media channels the rest of this week as a couple more members of staff share their inspirational book choices.