Crime writer Sophie Hannah shares the books that –earnd laugh, cry and think. She’ll be at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival* in July.
◆ THE POWER OF NOW by ECKHART TOLLE is the best book I’ve ever read about how to live happily. It taught me a crucial thing: happiness is more easily achieved by not taking one’s own mind and thoughts too seriously, and learning to observe and even mock and dismiss them. It really stayed with me.
◆ The last book that made me laugh was the first full-length poetry collection by one of my favourite living poets, NIC AUBURY, called CALLING HOME (out later this year). One, called Thx & Rgds, goes: ‘You may be important and terribly stressed, But no one’s too busy for vowels, I’d suggest.’
◆ The last book I cried at was ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE, the latest collection of poems by my other favourite living poet, WENDY COPE. Her poetry saved me when I was at university and supposed to be focusing on TS Em alk ii ong thai st nor dy Pound but not enjoying either. This new collection really makes you think about what matters.
◆ When I’m too stressed or distracted to focus on any other book or writer, AGATHA CHRISTIE always grips me, and cheers me up.
◆ The books I give to others are COMING FROM BEHIND by HOWARD JACOBSON because it’s the funniest, most clever novel I’ve ever read. THE BLACK PRINCE by IRIS MURDOCH is the best novel about people and relationships. And HOUSE RULES by RACHEL SONTAG, is the best memoir I’ve ever read.