Bookworm Friday: Five Books Recommendations from Ross Morris

In this series, we ask our William Hill colleagues to share their favourite book recommendations and tell us what specifically they learned from them. Today we present five recommendations from Ross Morris. Have a good read!

On daily basis, Ross is a Product Owner for the Sportsbook. He says: In my spare time you’ll likely find me playing computer games, watching movies, or diving into a Board Game. I have recently fallen in love with playing D&D with my wife and friends I have also recently developed an interest and skill in not killing plants.

For me reading is an escape, I want to be transported to another world and be entertained. I think I book choices below reflect this.


1. The Colour of Magic – Terry Pratchett

Set on the Discworld which sits upon the backs of 4 giant elephants, who in turn stand upon the shell of a huge space turtle, probably sets the scene quite nicely for how fun and crazy this book is.

Pratchett’s imagination and humor are on display for all to read here. We follow an incompetent and cynical wizard named Rincewind, and a naïve but well-meaning tourist called Twoflower. I absolutely loved following the zany adventure these two go on, along with the enchanted luggage that Pratchett manages to give a personality of its own.

Sometimes we are unwilling to put ourselves to the test, but when you put yourself out there and roll with the punches some incredible things can occur.


2. Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

Considering my love of gaming this choice seems fairly obvious.

Set in the future where lives are lived predominantly through VR, it could also be seen as a social commentary for how we currently live our lives through our phones and social media platforms.

But for me, this is a fun and exciting treasure hunt adventure where we see the characters in a race to the grand prize. I really enjoyed the puzzles and challenges they needed to overcome along the way and the real sense of urgency throughout. And although it set in the future, the constant shots of pop culture from my youth continued to bring upon waves of nostalgia.

A message that came through to me from reading this was also the importance to connect with who people are, not what they are. Sometimes what we put on the surface for all to see is not who we truly are.


3. The Martian – Andy Weir

The book is delivered through the eyes of Mark as he is abandoned on Mars when his crewmates think him dead. As the story progresses there are elements of urgency and excitement, and the book’s sense of humor struck a chord with me and caused me to have several (literal) laugh-out-loud moments.

For me there is a lesson that regardless of seemingly insurmountable odds, when we stop and think methodically, and not frantically panic, we can execute our goals.


4. The Night Watch – Sergei Lukyanenko

A world where a magical realm exists below the surface of all things we know. For me, Lukyanenko created a completely unique concept and re-invented core elements of fantasy. The twilight realm that only Others can enter and forces of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ are both kept in check with a treaty teetering on the edge of collapse.

We see our main character Anton have to navigate his moral compass whilst challenging the world’s politics and negotiating with those who hold different core beliefs to him.

As the plot unfurls, it is clear that Light vs Dark, Good vs. Evil isn’t so black and white, and there is always an alternative perspective to take into account.
One recommendation, however, do not watch the movie!   


5. Round Ireland with a Fridge, Tony Hawks

Have you ever made a silly bet with a mate? Well, this is a true story of a guy who made a drunken bet that he could hitchhike around Ireland with a fridge. It’s as bonkers as it sounds but well worth a read. The people he meets, and the adventure he embarks on is highly entertaining, and I think you get a very good feel for the Irish sense of humor.

Sometimes the things we don’t plan can turn into incredible experiences. And when the going gets tough but you persist you can come out the other end with a story to tell, and something to be proud of.