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My book crushes

Since I was a child, I have had book crushes – when I discover a book by a particular author that I really like, I will consume everything that the person has written at a gallop. It all started with Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books, which inevitably led on to the Secret Seven series and, of course, Malory Towers.
At secondary school, studying Great Expectations for ‘O’level set me off again and I devoured Dickens, finally hitting at crescendo with Bleak House at ‘A’ level.
This has set a certain pattern; I don’t read like this all the time and there’s no particular link between the authors I fall for or their books. But here are a few of my book crushes over the years. (There are some I wouldn’t care to admit to – guilty secrets that are squirrelled away!)
• While I was still at school, for some reason I can’t recall, I read all the Sherlock Holmes books at almost one sitting. Ah! The days when I could just sit and read all day! My younger son – who travels extensively for his work – got into these as well recently with the new television series, which led to many an interesting discussion about Benedict Cumberbatch’s interpretation ;
• I came across Susan Hill’s books when I was pregnant with my first son. In fact, I remember reading as many as I could helped rescue my baby brain! I love her precise, sparse style and the pared back stories are often deliciously spooky too. h
• I heard Elizabeth Jane Howard being interviewed on Radio 4 just after I had moved to Sussex 25 years ago. I started off with the first of her Cazalet Chronicles (also set partly in Sussex) – and I was off! I remember being distinctly bereft when I had finished all her books.
Jeanette Winterson and I grew up in the same part of the Lancashire and there is something about her books that just sing to me. I read Sexing the Cherry when I returned to studying a few years ago and I hadn’t had had a book crush for some time so it was good to get into another collection of great – sometimes fantastical – books.
• I’m not a massive fan of detective fiction but I have really got into the Frieda Klein books by Nicci French. The series started with Blue Monday – and I am waiting patiently for the next one to be published. We’re up to Friday now and the books are as nail biting as ever!
• My latest book crush is Lisa Genova who wrote Still Alice. I discovered her through her Left Neglected which is about traumatic brain injury. Lisa Genova doesn’t pull punches and has a keen eye for the messiness of family life
Do you have book crushes? Or not? Am I the only one? Do let me know!


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