Lisa Jewell är en brittisk författare med flera lättsamma, bra böcker bakom sig. Hon är även (eller framförallt just nu) en bok-rekommenderare av rang! På sin sida har hon flera tips, och jag har genom åren läst alla. Superbra vartenda ett, kan verkligen rekommendera. Det var faktiskt dessa tips som fick mig att tänka på henne när jag skulle välja min författare till den här temaveckan, är så nyfiken på hennes egen läsning.
Om man vill läsa böcker av Lisa så heter den senaste ”Våga flyga”, jag läste den på engelska; ”31 Dream street”. Den var tyvärr bara knappt sådär, för ovanlighetens skull. Annars är hon alltid trevlig, bra underhållning, med stark London-känsla. Jag skulle satsa på den näst senaste, ”Vince & Joy”, istället. Mysig, en typiskt bra Lisa Jewell-bok!
What are you reading at the moment?
At the moment I am reading a book called ”Manhattan: When I Was Young” by Mary Cantwell. It is the first book I have read since 16th May 2007, the day my second daughter was born! I bought it after seeing it in my friend’s handbag. It looked really intriguing and cool and I liked the idea of reading something about a woman like me, with a career in publishing and two small daughters, but living in a different city and at a different time. I’m close to the end now and have really enjoyed it. Now that I’m back into reading, I have a tower of unread books by my bed just waiting to be devoured!
How’s a ”good book” for you?
A good book has to either have plot or characters. I can overlook poor characterisation if the plot is gripping enough and I can overlook a slow story if the characters are really strong and believable. If a book has plot and characters, then it is perfect! In order to enjoy a book I just have to care about it. If I don’t care about the people or the resolution then I tend to stop reading after the couple of chapters. There are too many great books out there waiting to be read for me to use my precious reading time on something that I don’t care about.
I’ve read all your book recommendations on your webpage, and they are so good. Where and how do you find new titles to read?
I always like a recommendation from a friend, but occasionally that can backfire. A few of my friends had been raving about ”Restless” by William Boyd, but I just couldn’t get to the end of it. I wasn’t gripped by the plot or the characters. I also like to make notes of intriguing-sounding books that are reviewed in the weekend papers, and sometimes I’ll just pick something off the shelf because I like the look of it. I rarely go for the ‘book of the moment’, I like to head off-piste!
Do you feel that your reading habits have changed over the years? More, less, different genres, etc?
My reading habits have gone full-circle since early adulthood. I started off reading quite eclectically, then as I became more involved in publishing, I started to read much more commercial fiction as that is what I write. But over the last couple of years I’ve headed back to the less commercial areas. I read much more non-fiction than before (though not celebrity memoirs!) and I don’t buy faithfully from a particular author. I still go by reviews, so if Nick Hornby’s latest novel gets slated, even though I have loved three of his novels, I won’t buy it. I’d rather read something by someone I’ve never heard of that’s been well-reviewed.
Do you have any special book that’s meant a lot to you? Why that book?
When I was twenty seven I left my first husband and started dating my second husband. My first marriage had been claustrophobic, like a prison and I felt so free and unfettered in my new life. I was living with my mum for those first few months and found an old paperback belonging to my sister in her bedroom. It was called ”The Colour of Memory” (by Geoff Dyer) and I read it every day on the train to work. It was summer and I was in love and experiencing a kind of reincarnation both of myself and my relationship with London. This beautifully written book about Londoners on the dole in the late 80’s really intensified the experience for me.
Do you feel that books you like tend to be similar to your own style of writing?
No, quite the opposite. When I read a book that is written in a similar style to my own, I can see the machinations, feel the effort that went into it and I get too critical. I like to read something that doesn’t feel like reading, that feels like being. If it’s written in too close a style to my own, I don’t have that innocence and impartiality of a reader who doesn’t write. I like writers who use language in a poetic way, like Rachel Cusk and Geoff Dyer, because that is something I can’t do and I am in awe of their skill. But then I also love a really well-written comedy, because again, that is not my strong point!