I love that feeling of having to read one more chapter. Characters (real or fictional) can stay with me for years. I’ve spent memorable hours weeping over the last pages in the beautiful, heart-wrenching memoirs of Paul Kalanthi’s When Breath Becomes Air and Cathy Rentzenbrink’s The Last Act of Love. It’s not limited to non-fiction though. Marian Keyes’s character, Amy, from The Break had me imagining my life had my (non-existent) husband of twenty years left me for a gap year. I read Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams recently and felt such empathy for Queenie, who is just trying to live her life as best she knows how. Aren’t we all?
I adore page turners such as An Anatomy of a Scandal and The Silence of the Girls. Clever, gripping and with complicated and flawed characters we haven’t met before. I’ve also loved older classics like the Cazalet Chronicles and most of Georgette Heyer’s Regency novels – comforting, funny and warm reads will always be my cup of tea.
I relish the occasional fantasy series – something clever with emotional heft like the Mistborn novels by Brandon Sanderson. Or sci-fi that doesn’t overexplain. Becky Chambers’ The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet was so imaginative and ultimately deeply hopeful. Plus, what’s not to like about a cast of misfits who found their family on a spaceship?!
I also read a lot about sustainability and the environment. If you have any ideas in that area, I’m always happy to talk.
But in the end, there is nothing I love more than escaping my day to day with a story I can’t put down. If you think your book fits with that, then please send it to me. I’d love to read it.