The book I am currently reading
Julian Barnes’s The Sense of an Ending. It is wonderful. I can’t believe I deprived myself of it for so long.
My earliest reading memory
My earliest memories of reading are of breakfast, of my family sitting around a large square table, of porridge or pancakes being passed around while someone reads the Bible or The Book of Mormon aloud. As a child, I thought that was the reason people learned to read, to study the scriptures.
The book that changed my life
John Stuart Mill’s Three Essays on Religion. I read this in graduate school. It gave me a new awareness; I learned to perceive my beliefs.
The last book that made me cry
Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five. I do not remember specific instances of crying, but I do remember an overwhelming experience of emotion as I read that book.
The book I couldn’t finish
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt, which I’m told is a scandalous thing for a memoirist to admit. I enjoyed the relentless beauty of the language, and the careful tightness of the child perspective; but somewhere in the middle I found myself aching to grow up.
The last book that made me laugh
I find Joan Didion hilarious, even if the humour is a touch grey.
My comfort read
I’ve returned to Thomas Carlyle’s On Hero
Worship more times than I care to admit. There are some passages I know so well, reading them feels like reading the lyrics of a song I’ve memorised. Educated by Tara Westover is out now