MY BOOKS: by the Swiss-living Scottish novelist who still loves Little House on the Prairie
Novelist Linda Huber grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, but went to work in Switzerland for a year aged 22 and has lived there ever since. Her day jobs have included working as a physiotherapist in hospitals and schools for handicapped children, and teaching English in a medieval castle. Her writing career began in the nineties, when she had over fifty romantic short stories published in women’s magazines. Several years later, she turned to psychological suspense fiction and has now had seven novels published. Linda’s latest project is theLakeside Hotel series – feel-good novellas written under a pen name (Melinda Huber) and set on the banks of beautiful Lake Constance, just minutes from her home. She really appreciates having the views enjoyed by her characters righton her own doorstep! Website: http://lindahuber.net/ Amazon author page: viewAuthor.at/LindaHuber
What’s the first bookyou remember reading? The first ‘proper’ book I remember vividly was Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. First line: Roger, aged seven, and no longer the youngest in the family, ran inwide zigzags, to and fro, across the steep field that sloped up from the lake to Holly Howe, the farm where they were staying for part of the summer holiday.
I’d watched the TV series quite recently and loved it, so when my aunt sent me the book for my seventh? eighth? birthday shortly afterwards, I was literally speechless with joy. I treasured that paperback for decades, only replacing it when it fell into several hundred pieces…
Can you name a book from your childhood that made a big impact on you? That would be Alan Gardner’s Elidor.It was the first book that introduced me to the subject of ‘other worlds’, of things we see and accept around us not being quite as we’d thought. I had already started writing my own little stories by this time, and Elidor taught me to think, what if??? in another dimension. I was scared stiff reading it, too!
What book are youreading right now? I’ve just finished Keep You by my Side by Callie Langridge. It’s the story of three generations of a family, stretching from Gertie in the Second World War through Rose in the 60s to Abi in the 80s, each with their own secrets… It was a fascinating read as the story flowed from one character to the next to the third and back to the first again.
And the one you read before that? The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain. All day long, people stopped along the path that ran through the woods by the Potomac river. It was the first of her books I’ve read and I absolutely loved it. And as she’s written so many more, I’m in for a lovely binge-read – someday! A
Burning books is wrong. What contemporary book (written in the last 30 years) would you save from a bonfire? One of those by Ruth Rendell writing as Barbara Vine. Clever, dark books with brilliant characters and storylines that chill. I think my favourite is The Blood Doctor – it’s totally absorbing. Blood is going to be its theme.
Same question: what classic would you save? Pride and Prejudice – I just love Jane Austin’s humour. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man possessed of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
Favourite poetry book? Or poem? The Listeners, Walter de la Mare’s wonderful poem. It sends a chill down my spine every time I read it. ‘Is there anybody there?’ said theTraveller, knocking on the moonlit door.
What book (if any) have you found yourself re-reading over the years? My comfort books – Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House… books; Thel Chalet School books by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer; anything by RuthRendell/Barbara Vine. And so many others. How I wish I had more reading time!
If you were giving a book as a present what book would you choose? Probably something light and humorous, as it’s very difficult to buy books for other people, especially adults. A book I love to distraction could leave a friend cold, which wouldn’t be great for either of us.
Finally, what do you prefer: a real book with pages that move, an ebook, an audio device? Five years ago I’d have said a real book, but my appreciation of my kindle has mushroomed since then. The important thing is the feeling you get inside when you read a book – and ebooks are just easier. Except in the bath…