Best books… Nadiya Hussain
Winner Nadiya Hussain picks her top novels. She will talk about her life and book, at Stratford ArtsHouse on 30 Nov for the Stratford Literary Festival Autumn Series (www.stratlitfest.co.uk)
Great British Bake Off
by Alice Sebold, 2002 (Picador £8.99). I was about 16 when a Waterstones opened in our town, and this was the first book I picked up. I was so engrossed, I read it at work in a six-hour shift. It is told by the ghost of a young girl who was murdered and watches from heaven as her family fall apart. It’s a different take on a crime.
The Lovely Bones Underground to Canada
Nadiya’s Kitchen, by Barbara Smucker, 1977 (Penguin £6.99). We read this at school. It follows two young slave girls who run away from a cotton plantation to the safety of Canada. It was an insight into something I knew nothing about. The suspense nearly killed me, so I found it in the library and finished it before the next lesson.
The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes
by Anna McPartlin, 2014 (Black Swan £7.99). An insightful and touching novel about the last days in the life of a feisty single mother. For a book about terminal cancer, it’s surprisingly cheery. There’s nothing better than an Irish author who can drop the F-bomb in every paragraph.
by Carolyn Keene (out of print). Keene was a pseudonym for various male and female writers of this series, which surprised me when I found out because I thought a fierce young woman was writing For out-of-print books visit www.biblio.co.uk
The Best of Nancy Drew
them. I wanted to be just like Nancy, the teenage detective.
by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1937 (HarperCollins £7.99). I read this, in my final year of school, because my cousin was reading it. I love recommendations. The way the tale is told is so mysterious and you feel transported into a different dimension.
by David Walliams, 2011 (HarperCollins £6.99). I laughed out loud at this book. I love David Walliams’s humour, but he also looks at real-life issues. It’s about a grandma who feels out of touch with her grandson so convinces him she’s a jewel thief. Genius.