Sunday Times

Kristin Hannah picks the five novels that have most influenced her life



JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, because it is a beautiful, emotional, imaginativ­e exploratio­n of friendship, courage, and hope. Sam Gamgee and Frodo Baggins will always be two of my favourite characters.


The Prince of Tides, which is a lyrical, powerful look at a dysfunctio­nal family. Pat Conroy’s prose is impossible to forget. 3

Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind is the novel that inspired me to write an historical novel. I loved the magical combinatio­n of forbidden love and the Spanish setting. 4

The Stand by Stephen King. I could have picked any number of King’s novels, but I chose The Stand because it is an

American epic, broad in scope and intimate in characteri­sation. I love the grand battle waged between good and evil.


Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbir­d. Quite simply, this is my favourite American novel. Very few novels have stayed in my consciousn­ess as deeply as this one, and Scout and Boo and Atticus are enduringly memorable characters, as is the Southern setting. [To Kill a Mockingbir­d has become a classic of modern American literature, winning the Pulitzer prize in 1961.]

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