On my book­shelf

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My favourite child­hood read

was the Night­world se­ries by LJ Smith. I have her ini­tials tat­tooed on my wrist. It’s ba­si­cally a se­ries of su­per­nat­u­ral love sto­ries – she wrote The Vam­pire Di­aries as well. I loved them.

The book that changed my life:

Eric by Terry Pratch­ett. It was the first Pratch­ett novel I ever read and it made me feel like I was part of a se­cret geeky club. I was never with­out a book af­ter that.

My favourite fic­tional char­ac­ter is

Her­cule Poirot. I love the way he works things out. He’s so awk­ward and stub­bornly for­eign and un­pleas­ant, and I love that he owns that, and man­ages to fer­ret out the truth. I love Agatha Christie de­tec­tive nov­els – and So­phie Han­nah’s reimag­in­ings are great as well.

I wish I could write like…

Karen Rus­sell. She writes short sto­ries and ur­ban fan­tasy… she wrote a book called Swamp­lan­dia. She takes or­di­nary scenes and com­pletely trans­forms them.

The last great book I read was

The Wren Hunt by Mary Wat­son. She’s a South African writer who moved to Ire­land. She was quiet for a while, then boom, she gets a book deal with Blooms­bury and it’s this fan­tas­tic, wildly imag­i­na­tive young adult novel full of Ir­ish myths and le­gends. It’s so beau­ti­ful.

The book I push on every­one is The Girls,

by Emma Cline. It’s a reimag­in­ing of Charles Man­son’s fam­ily’s story, from the per­spec­tive of the women. It’s the most in­cred­i­bly vis­ual writ­ing. She does things with words I wish I could do.

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