Tara Westover

The Guardian Weekly - - Culture -

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

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