THE LAST BOOK THAT MADE ME LAUGH
I always feel guilty that I don’t read every issue of Private Eye from cover to cover (my husband, Ian, is the editor), but I always catch up with the Private Eye Annual, which has the very best of the year’s jokes. And then I annoy him even more by reading bits aloud!
THE LAST BOOK THAT MADE ME CRY
I was washed away by myown tears when I finished My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout. The combination oft her protagonist’s memories and revelations was heart-rending and yet I never once felt I was being manipulated simply for the sake of sentimentality. The writing was brilliant and spare and I was completely caught up inside the woman’s life and, indeed, her mother’s.
THE BOOK THAT CHANGED THE WAY I THINK
The concept of how small pattern of our lives is a gripping one – and I loved the way The Midnight Library by Matt Haig treats the whole ‘sliding doors’ notion. It was deceptively simple, but the concept very profound.
THE BOOK THAT GOT ME THROUGH A DIFFICULT TIME
I read War And Peace by Leo Tolstoy during lockdown, along with my son. We had a book group for two! It needed long stretches of tranquil time and near solitude to read it, but it was sanity-saving to be so absorbed by a work of literature. Most importantly, it is the best book I have ever read. Flawless in every way and I with some of the most memorable characters in literature
THE BOOK I MOST OFTEN GIVE TO OTHERS
I often get asked for writing tips, and my answer is to give people On Writing by Stephen King. I have bought literally dozens of copies. For me, it is the writer’s bible and gives the best (and only) advice worth giving. It’s both funny and shocking sometimes – and