MY SIX BEST BOOKS

Daily Express - - WEEKEND BOOKS - CARO­LINE REES

ED­WARD STOURTON, 60, has been a BBC cor­re­spon­dent, news­reader and To­day pre­sen­ter. He cur­rently presents Sun­day on Ra­dio 4. His lat­est book, Aun­tie’s War (Black Swan, £9.99), is out now in pa­per­back SCOOP

by Eve­lyn Waugh

Pen­guin, £9.99 One of the few writ­ers who make me laugh out loud. It’s about a case of mis­taken iden­tity when some­one who writes na­ture notes is sent out to cover a war.

He’s out of his depth, as most of us are when we cover dan­ger­ous places. THE SLEEPWALKERS

by Christo­pher Clark

Pen­guin, £10.99 This is about how Europe went to war in 1914 and An­gela Merkel has told all her Cabi­net to read it.

It is a de­scrip­tion of how ev­ery­one can wind up in a place they didn’t want to be by ac­ci­dent, by grad­u­ally ac­cept­ing a sit­u­a­tion. There are echoes of the Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions. PRAGUE SPRING

by Si­mon Mawer

Lit­tle Brown, £18.99 Mawer is good at telling vivid sto­ries about the mid-20th cen­tury in Europe. This is about the sum­mer of 1968 when the Czechs tried to break free from the Soviet em­brace.

I’m fas­ci­nated by the Cold War. I re­mem­ber when the Ber­lin Wall came down, think­ing hap­pily that my chil­dren wouldn’t grow up un­der the threat of nu­clear Ar­maged­don. ANNA KARENINA

by Leo Tol­stoy

Pen­guin, £8.99 When I was a stu­dent I thought this was the best book ever writ­ten. It’s not just Anna’s story; it’s the story of peo­ple. It’s gos­sipy, deeply felt and bet­ter con­structed than War And Peace. CATHAY

by Ezra Pound

New Di­rec­tions, £11.99 I stud­ied this trans­la­tion at univer­sity. It is a mov­ing ren­di­tion of early Chi­nese po­etry that makes it rel­e­vant to the mod­ern age.

I sent one of the po­ems to a friend for his 60th birth­day be­cause it was a won­der­ful evo­ca­tion of an in­dul­gent party, writ­ten 2,000-odd years ago. COL­LECTED PO­EMS 1909-1962

by T.S. Eliot

Faber, £15.99 The po­ems I keep com­ing back to are the Four Quar­tets and The Waste Land. It’s be­cause of his abil­ity to use lan­guage to ex­press some­thing that is in­ex­press­ible. I’ll pick it up if I’ve been work­ing hard and want to re­fresh my mind with a glass of wine. ED­WARD STOURTON

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