What are you reading right now?
I have read so much this year, during lockdown I set myself a goal of completing a book a week which I have scarily managed to maintain. I have two books on the go at the moment, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and Playing Nice by JP Delaney which I can not put down, the perfect domestic thriller.
Which book from childhood will always stay with you?
I grew up reading all the Harry Potter books with a terrifying dedication, shamelessly quoting it throughout the day. J.K Rowling created a new world through her genius writing and it will forever be my top childhood read.
When and where do you like read?
Before bed. While travelling. On the beach. In any moment I have spare while waiting for something to happen. In a very specific coffee shop called Kiss the Hippo. To sum up, you’ll normally find me reading.
Where do you buy books?
Second hand on amazon. My favourite bookshop is a little place called The Haunted Bookshop in Cambridge, it is packed with antiquarian books. I have spent far too much money in there.
Print or kindle?
PRINT! Every. Single. Time. I love the smell of a new book. Is that weird?
I always carry a book around in my bag. I get quite attached to them. I often underline things or turn over pages of paragraphs or quotes I want to go back to or remember.
I would much rather a friend borrowed an item of clothing and never returned it than one of my books.
How do you choose what to read?
I love getting recommendations from friends. I also check what my favourite writers have been reading which is usually a pretty good indicator that I will enjoy it too.
Do you have a go-to comfort read?
I absolutely love a memoir. Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham is a book I have re-read a few times. It is beautifully familiar and so much rings true about what it is to be a young woman.
My favourite by a long way is Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars. This is almost more fiction that memoir but it has totally redefined the transgender genre. On a sliiiiightly different note I absolutely loved Becoming by Michelle Obama.
Another great biography is Egg Shell Skull by Bri Lee. It is an incredibly powerful memoir about speaking out against sexual abuse. It is a truly inspirational account of an exceptionally brave and strong woman.
What was the last book that made you cry?
I cry at absolutely everything so this isn’t particularly difficult but I sobbed my way through Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams and Girl Woman Other by Bernardine Evaristo. Both must reads.
Any laugh out loud recommendations?
The girl with the lower back tattoo by Amy Schumer. Too good.
Adam Kay – This is going to hurt.
A book that has helped you through a difficult time?
Reasons to Stay Alive and Notes on a Nervous Planet, both by Matt Haig. I read them both just as I needed them in my life.
I hand them out to friends as readily as paracetamol as and when they need them.
Favourite literary character?
Hermione Granger, goes without saying.
If more girls grew up being influenced and inspired by heroines like Hermione, who are motivated by intelligence, ambition and bravery, the world would look quite different for women.
A book I will forever recommend for young women is a story that was recommended to me by a wonderful friend of mine in my early twenties. Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clara Pinkola Estes. The book is full of myths and stories of the wild woman, it changed the way I saw myself and wanted to live my life.
One book everyone should read in their lifetime?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. An adult fable on following your dreams.
Do you read poetry?
Yep. Rumi Kaur. Always. Wont say no to some E.E Cummings.
Are you working on a book?
I have a book on the go now. First rule of writing, don’t talk about writing.