for writers and readers….

MY BOOKS from Rebecca to an Alice Walker short story…First lines, first books, first literary loves….and more

books drawingBY Laura Wilkinson. Laura is a feminist and lover of ginger hair. A resident of an unfashionable quarter of Brighton, she likes to write stories which entertain and provide food for thought.
Find her here: Twitter @ScorpioScribble Facebook: Laura Wilkinson Author Instagram: laura_wilkinsonwriter


Photo credit:  Cain Suleyman

What’s the first book you remember reading (or being read to you)?

Enid Blyton’s The Land of Far-Beyond, a reworking of John Bunyan’s allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress. It seems incredible to me now. We were possibly the most irreligious family I knew – my sister and I were not christened. While that’s nothing nowadays, it was unusual in small Welsh town in the early 70s!

What’s the first book that a made a big impact on you?

The Secret Garden – I absolutely adored the story and the book I was given. It was my mother’s and has the most beautiful colour plates throughout. Mary Lennox is a sour, ill-tempered heroine, but I felt such empathy for her – all alone in the world and no one cared. And I longed for a walled garden – and a big house – living a boxy semi on an estate at the edge of a very ordinary town. I still long for a walled garden.

What book are you reading right now?

All My Puny Sorrows by Canadian author Miriam Toews. It’s semi-autobiographical and stunning.
First line: Our house was taken away on the back of a truck one afternoon late in the summer of 1979.

And the one you read before that?

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. I loved it.

We all know burning books is wrong on every level. What contemporary novel (by contemporary I mean one published in the last 30 years or so) would you put your hand in the fire to save.

Phew, I’m not sure. Maybe Atonement by Ian McEwan. Or The Ballroom by Anna Hope.

Same question but this time what classic would you save from the bonfire? (And you can work out your own definition of classic.)

RebeccaEasy – Rebecca. One of my favourite books, ever.

Favourite non fiction book?

An Intimate History of Humanity by Theodore Zeldin.

Favourite poetry book?

I don’t read anywhere near as much poetry as I should. I adore John Donne’s poetry.

And a short story that has lived with you ever since you first read it?

The Flowers by Alice Walker – a story about the loss of innocence in the deep south of America. Short. Perfect. Devastating.

What do you prefer: a real book with pages that move, an ebook, an audio device?

Book, book. Beautiful cover to stroke. Paper, pages to sniff (oh, the smell of ink!) and turn and flip. A book to sit on a bookshelf.

Additional question — A book outside of your usual genre?

Slaughterhouse 5 – I’m not much of a sci-fi reader but this little book (it’s barely over 100 pages) packs a punch you rarely find in 400 pages or more. A stunning exploration of the shattering effects of war – and what aliens might do with humans!

4 comments on “MY BOOKS from Rebecca to an Alice Walker short story…First lines, first books, first literary loves….and more

  1. philipparees
    July 4, 2018

    Interesting replies to interesting questions. I’d like to suggest a single addition. What book would you be happy to add to a fire?

    I have my answer already prepared!

    • bridget whelan
      July 5, 2018

      Take part! I’ve just sent you the questions by email, Love to hear your book choices and the book(s) you’d burn.

      • philipparees
        July 5, 2018

        Have not yet arrived but happy to participate. Thank you

  2. bridget whelan
    July 5, 2018

    Great! Let me know if it doesn’t appear

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