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Books on my Bedside Table by Hilary Boyd

Go Set A Watchman, Harper Lee, Heinemann, 2015, hardback

This has been sitting on the table for weeks, since my sister lent it to me. But I can’t bring myself to read it. I loved To Kill A Mocking Bird so much and I’m not sure I can face the sequel. But maybe I should be more robust!

Revelation, C.J. Sansom, Pan, 2015, paperback

I’m Matthew Shardlake’s Number 1 fan, me. This is the fourth book and I can’t get enough of the hunchback Tudor lawyer/detective. Historical fiction with great non-fiction detail. Seriously gruesome in places, but life was hard under Henry VIII – blink and you risked torture, burning, head loss, the lot.

The Examined Life, Stephen Grosz, Vintage, 2014, paperback

This is a gripping collection of case studies from an experienced psychoanalyst. It’s clearly written, a really compelling insight into the human mind. You have to take your hat off to people like Grosz who make it their life’s work to treat those afflicted in this way.

All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr, Narrator, Julie Teal, Harper Collins, 2014, audiobook

Sometimes I’m too tired, after writing all day, to focus on the page. So I listen instead. Just started this one, set in occupied France in World War II, which won the Pulitzer Prize 2015. I fell asleep with it on last night — no reflection on the book because it’s beautifully written, and the narrator is good too… some can be very irritating.

A Spool of Blue Thread, Anne Tyler, Vintage, 2015, paperback

Yippee, another Anne Tyler! I’ve read most of her books and can’t wait to start this one. Dinner At The Homesick Restaurant is a favourite from the eighties. Her characters are true, situations real. She writes impeccably, with so much humour and intelligence.

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Quick-fire Q & A with Penny Vincenzi