Here are some of my favourite blog posts of the moment:

  • Giovanna’s World:
    “I recently reviewed this [My Last Duchess] for heat magazine, but it’s so good that I want those of you not in the UK to hear about it too”

These are some of my favourite reads of the moment:

The Good SoldierThe Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford

One of the most brilliantly put together books I have ever read. Full of twists and turns. Every time I read it I notice something else.

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Couch FictionCouch Fiction by Philippa Perry

This is a graphic novel about therapy, which sounds weird but actually works really well. Compulsory reading for anyone who has ever considered therapy. A clear, funny look at what therapists do.

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The Janissary Tree

The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin

This is the first in a series of detective stories set in nineteenth century Istanbul featuring the eunuch detective Yashim. Beautifully written and deftly plotted. I would say this even if he wasn’t my brother.

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A Glass of BlessingsA Glass of Blessings by Barbara Pym

I love Barbara Pym and this is her absolute best. I think she is one of the few novelists to rival Jane Austen for comic timing and razor-sharp social comedy.

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Consuelo and AlvaConsuelo and Alva by Amanda Mackenzie Stuart

A fascinating biography of Consuelo Vanderbilt and her domineering mother Alva. Money really can’t buy you love.

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The Age of InnocenceThe Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

This is one of my favourite novels ever. Tart and romantic, it is a wonderfully subte depiction of a man who only wants what he can’t have.

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I Think I Love YouI Think I Love You by Allison Pearson

A fabulous blast of Clearasil-scented 70s nostalgia. I wasn’t a David Cassidy fan like the heroine, but I wore the ponchos and the platforms.

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The LacunaThe Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

I was chair of the Orange Prize in 2010 and this was the book we chose to win. It is a gloriously layered book about identity, belonging and courage and has cameo performances by Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Leon Trotsky. I can’t wait to read it again.

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The Franchise AffairThe Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey

If you haven’t read Tey then I envy you as she has written some of the cleverest detective stories around. Every bit as good as Christie and Sayers, this book about a schoolgirl who claims to have been kidnapped by an elderly woman and her daughter is quite gripping.

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The World's WifeThe World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy

I love all Duffy’s poetry but this volume which imagines the thoughts of the wives behind famous men such as Shakespeare and Icarus is quite glorious.

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