‘We should book-bomb Donald Trump’
The book I am currently reading
Sincerity by Carol Ann Duffy. I read a poem every morning before I get up. I’m also reading Eve Was Shamed by Helena Kennedy – how the British justice system continues to fail women. Stimulating and scary. I’ve just finished Now You’re Talking by Trevor Cox – the story of human conversation from Neanderthals to AI. I’m about to start Work Like a Woman – the fab Mary Portas calls us to arms.
The book that changed my life
The Bible. I was brought up hearing it read aloud twice a day, and learning to read from the book of Deuteronomy – because it is full of animals (mostly unclean). The King James cadences formed my relationship with language. Bible stories framed my world. My secular life is the next layer up.
The book I wish I’d written
Finn Family Moomintroll. Just remember Tove Jansson had the Hemulen (male) in a dress. How ahead of the pack was she? In fact, I just wanted to be Snufkin. The book that influenced me
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. As a young writer in the 1980s I wanted an escape from the Anglo-American novel with its emphasis on narrative and character. I was looking for writing that was more elusive and driven by language. Calvino was my beginning. The book that changed my mind
There are so many! Reading is a life-long collision with minds not like your own. We should book-bomb Donald Trump.
The last book that made me cry
by Tara Westover. How to escape the Mormons by educating yourself free.
The last book that made me laugh
The Trouble with Women by Jackie Fleming. These cartoons are laugh-out-loud funny.
The book I couldn’t finish
Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James. Are straight women really having such terrible sex and terrible lives?
The book I’m most ashamed not to have read
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I just can’t get past page five. Everything by Thomas Pynchon.
My earliest reading memory
My first visit to the library in Accrington. I sat with one of Kathleen Hale’s Orlando the Marmalade Cat stories. I realised there were a lot more books than the Bible. My guilty pleasure
Strip cartoons when I should be working. But they are by Alison Bechdel, so maybe that doesn’t count.
The book I give as a gift
I often give books and it depends on the moment. Who needs what and when can’t be predicted.
The book I’d most like to be remembered for
I don’t care. If I can encourage someone, make them think, or see things differently, or take a risk, then that is what books have done for me. Pass it on, I say.
Jeanette Winterson’s Christmas Days is published in paperback by Vintage.