Where’s your bookcase located and what does it look like?
I have a tiny flat, but there’s always plenty of room for bookcases. Where there’s a wall there’s a way. The bookcase in the picture is in the hallway. It’s original to the flat, which was designed in the 1960s. I like the fact that the architect thought that what people needed, directly to the right of their front door, was a big, built-in bookcase.
This particular bookcase is guarded by three Game of Thrones figurines, a photograph of Morrissey and a Kate Bush concert ticket.
I once saw my mum staring very intently at this bookshelf, reading one of the spines with a puzzled frown on her face. I later realised she was looking at Douglas Coupland’s All Families Are Psychotic.
All my research books are in a shelving unit in my bedroom, in case you’re wondering where all the Georgians are.
What kind of books will definitely not be found in your bookcase?
Anything to do with crafting. I know everyone is knitting and arranging flowers and baking elaborate cakes these days but I just don’t have the flair or the inclination. I’m very happy to eat the elaborate cakes, though. That is the joy of a well-functioning community – there can be a role for everyone.
What author have you discovered and loved recently?
I’m a huge fan of Anne Leckie, who won just about every SF award going with her debut, Ancillary Justice. It’s exciting to read an author who is so ridiculously good so early in her career.
Where is your favourite place to read?
On holiday. There’s something special about luxuriating in those long, endless days, utterly absorbed in another world. Plus – margaritas.
Can books change lives? If so, which one changed yours?
Absolutely. Reading is about discovery, imagination, connection. Every book has an effect, even if we don’t perceive it.
What are you reading now?
I’ve just started Solomon Creed by Simon Toyne, which I’m really enjoying. Pure reading pleasure. And also Andrew Miller’s forthcoming book The Crossing. I think he’s a wonderful writer, though oddly I haven’t read Pure yet, despite it being on my shelf (see photo). I was writing my second novel when it came out and it has a Georgian setting, which felt a bit too close. Not that I’m comparing myself with him. And I also have M.J. Carter’s The Infidel Stain ready and waiting, but I might save that for my holiday and those long, endless days of reading.