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Introducing our Oxford World’s Classics library

Written by The Reader, 14th October 2016

To celebrate our new partnership with Oxford University Press we have a Reader Story from a group enjoying one of our new Oxford World's Classics.

Earlier this year we heard about the wonderful research emerging from the Chronic Pain group at Broadgreen Hospital. Kate, who delivers the Shared Reading group, also wanted to tell us about what the group are currently reading and it happens to be a book of our new Oxford World's Classic library.

Reader Story:

Feel Better With A Book, our Shared Reading group at Broadgreen Hospital in Liverpool for people living with Chronic Pain, has just finished reading The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy.

It’s been a fantastic book to share: gripping from the very first, wife-selling chapter and full of cliff hangers, twist and turns. People found Michael Henchard a hard man to understand and sympathise with, puzzled and outraged, at times, by his repeated impulsive acts and almost immediate contrition - though we did also recognise something of his species of ‘stuckness’ in people we know and even (occasionally!) in ourselves…

The group were particularly fascinated by how we can become stuck in the stories we tell ourselves about how the world works and how other people are – the patterns of thinking we fall into - and how that shapes our outlook and expectations. How can we break out of that – or does our character limit us? Several of the group have had Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to help manage their pain and improve quality of life, so using thinking to help is important.  There were cheers when Henchard had a ‘but what if I’m getting it wrong…’ moment near the end.

The book has hung around in people’s heads from week to week -  ‘I was thinking about that Henchard at midnight last night on my shift’, said one lady (who is an A&E nurse) when we were in the thick of it. ‘I feel bereft’, said another when we finished the last page.


Our Oxford World's Classics Library:

And what else can our Shared Reading group members look forward to reading from our new Oxford World's Classics library? There's a lot to choose from!

  • Aesop's Fables- Aesop
  • Fairy Tales- Hans Christian Andersen
  • Winesburg, Ohio- Sherwood Anderson
  • Pride and PrejudiceJane Austen
  • EmmaJane Austen
  • PersuasionJane Austen
  • Selected PoetryWilliam Blake
  • The Tenant ofWildfell Hall Anne Bronte
  • Jane EyreCharlotte Bronte
  • VilletteCharlotte Bronte
  • Wuthering HeightsEmily Bronte
  • The Major WorksRobert Browning


  • Aurora Leigh- Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  • The Pilgrim’s ProgressJohn Bunyan
  • The Major WorksLord Byron
  • My AntoniaWilla Cather
  • About Love and Other StoriesAnton Chekhov
  • Lyrical BalladsSamuel Taylor Coleridge
  • The Major WorksSamuel Taylor Coleridge
  • The Woman in WhiteWilkie Collins
  • The Heart Of DarknessJoseph Conrad
  • Lord JimJoseph Conrad
  • The Divine Comedy- Alighieri Dante
  • A Christmas CarolCharles Dickens
  • Bleak HouseCharles Dickens
  • David CopperfieldCharles Dickens
  • LittleDorrit – Charles Dickens
  • Dombey& Son – Charles Dickens
  • Great ExpectationsCharles Dickens
  • Hard TimesCharles Dickens
  • The Old Curiosity ShopCharles Dickens
  • Oliver TwistCharles Dickens
  • Our Mutual FriendCharles Dickens
  • The Pickwick PapersCharles Dickens
  • A Tale of Two CitiesCharles Dickens
  • The Major WorksJohn Donne
  • Adam BedeGeorge Eliot


  • Daniel DerondaGeorge Eliot
  • MiddlemarchGeorge Eliot
  • The Mill on the FlossGeorge Eliot
  • Scenes of Clerical LifeGeorge Eliot
  • Silas Marner George Eliot
  • The Great GatsbyF Scott Fitzgerald
  • CranfordElizabeth Gaskell
  • Cousin Phillis & Other StoriesElizabeth Gaskell
  • North and SouthElizabeth Gaskell
  • Wives and DaughtersElizabeth Gaskell
  • The Yellow Wallpaper- Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • Selected Tales- Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
  • Far From the Madding CrowdThomas Hardy
  • The Mayor of Casterbridge Thomas Hardy
  • The Return of the NativeThomas Hardy
  • Tess of thed'Urbevilles Thomas Hardy
  • The Woodlanders– Thomas Hardy
  • The Odyssey- Homer
  • The Scarlet LetterNathaniel Hawthorn
  • The Major WorksGerard Manley Hopkins
  • The Turn of the ScrewHenry James
  • The Varieties of Religious ExperienceWilliam James
  • DublinersJames Joyce
  • The Major WorksJohn Keats
  • The Jungle BookRudyard Kipling
  • KimRudyard Kipling
  • Sons and LoversDH Lawrence
  • The Call of the Wild, White FangJack London
  • Selected StoriesKatherine Mansfield
  • Doctor Faust & Other PlaysChristopher Marlowe
  • A Day in the Country & Other StoriesGuy de Maupassant
  • Paradise LostJohn Milton
  • Selected Poems- Rainer Maria Rilke
  • Poems and ProseChristina Rossetti


  • A Midsummers Night's DreamWilliam Shakespeare
  • All's Well that Ends WellWilliam Shakespeare
  • The Complete Sonnets & PoemsWilliam Shakespeare
  • HamletWilliam Shakespeare
  • King LearWilliam Shakespeare
  • Measure for MeasureWilliam Shakespeare
  • The Merchant of VeniceWilliam Shakespeare
  • OthelloWilliam Shakespeare
  • MacbethWilliam Shakespeare
  • Romeo and JulietWilliam Shakespeare
  • The TempestWilliam Shakespeare
  • Twelfth NightWilliam Shakespeare
  • FrankensteinMary Shelley
  • The Major WorksPhillip Sidney
  • Strange Case of Dr Jekyll – Robert Louis Stevenson
  • DraculaBram Stoker
  • The Major WorksAlfred Lord Tennyson
  • Anna KareninaLeo Tolstoy
  • The Death of IvanIlyich – Leo Tolstoy
  • War and PeaceLeo Tolstoy
  • Cousin HenryAnthony Trollope
  • He Knew He Was RightAnthony Trollope
  • Journey to the Centre of the EarthJules Verne
  • Ethan Frome – Edith Wharton
  • The House of MirthEdith Wharton
  • Leaves of GrassWalt Whitman
  • The Importance of Being Earnest & Other Plays – Oscar Wilde
  • Selected PoetryWilliam Wordsworth
  • The Major WorksWilliam Wordsworth

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