My Life in Books

So Simon is doing this series again and I thought I would join in briefly (because it’s easier to write answers to this than to write reviews of the pile of books on my desk!)

1.) Did you grow up in a book-loving household, and did your parents read to you? Pick a favourite book from your childhood, and tell me about it.

Yes. There’s a reason I refer to my father as the Book Accumulator. I’ve written before about how “more books” were always a totally acceptable request when I was a child.

Favourite book from childhood? Blinky Bill by Dorothy Wall – this is the first book I really remember reading by myself (and there is a funny story from when I was about 6 that I was left to read a few pages before turning out the light, and my parents went to watch a film in the other room. They were very surprised to find me still happily reading more than an hour and a half later!). A lovely story about a little koala who gets into all sorts of adventures and troubles. I’ve just read (on Wikipedia) that it’s never been out of print in Australia! Let’s keep it that way.

2.) What was one of the first ‘grown-up’ books that you really enjoyed? What was going on in your life at this point?

I remember reading John Grisham’s The Testament when I was about… 13? and racing through quite a few more of his books.

3.) Pick a favourite book that you read in your 20s or early 30s – especially if it’s one which helped set you off in a certain direction in life.

Well I haven’t hit my early 30s yet… I’m not sure I could say there is one book which has set me off in a certain direction in life as I started working as an accountant aged 20 having already met my now husband, and already addicted to cricket, tea and reading… A couple of books I have read in the last few years and loved are The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de ZoetBel CantoJane EyreThe End of Your Life Book Club.

4.) What’s one of your favourite books that you’ve found in the last year or two? How did you come to blogging and how has blogging changed your reading habits?

I didn’t expect to enjoy non-fiction, ever, but I have a real love for the “year of” memoir. Happier at HomeSleeping Naked is GreenThe New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance etc. I started reading book blogs in the spring/summer of 2009 (not entirely sure how that started!) and started blogging in late 2009 after talking to a friend and realising how few classics I had actually read. Blogging has made me a note-taker, a record-keeper, and has probably actually both reduced and increased my reading – reduced because I could be reading when I’m blogging or reading other people’s blogs, but increased because it causes me to read so much more.

5.) Finally – a guilty pleasure, or a favourite that might surprise people!

It’s no secret that I love a good police procedural/investigative mystery. I have to confess to enjoying reading Dan Brown’s oeuvre as a late teenager! And I’ve just purged 40-odd crime thrillers from my shelves because that’s probably not even 10% of the total of crime thrillers I have there!

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