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Books on my bedside table by Jill Mansell

Humans of New York, by Brandon Stanton I adore this book and the mega-successful blog that inspired it (www.humansofnewyork.com). Brandon photographs people in the street and asks them questions about themselves. He shows us that everyone has their own incredible story, and that appearances can be wildly deceptive. I’m so nosey, I’d love to be able to approach complete strangers, interrogate them and find out all about them – but the trouble is, they’d just think I was weird and would run as fast as they could away from me. So reading this book is definitely the next best thing…

Rivals, by Jilly Cooper It goes without saying that I adore all of Jilly’s books – she was the one whose work inspired me to write in the first place – but, of all of them, Rivals has to be my number one favourite. I just wish I could delete it from my brain so that I could read it again for the first time and experience that falling-in-love-with-a-book sensation that seized me in its grasp all those years ago. I’m so happy she’s now written a new novel (Mount!) and I am waiting – extremely impatiently – for it to be published.

Giffords Circus: The First Ten Years by Nell Gifford This is a fascinating book, written by the amazing and inspirational Nell Gifford who decided (along with her husband) to create an old-style travelling circus. And she did it! Every year we go to see their show when it tours (mainly around the Cotswolds) and it is just adorable and wonderful. The atmosphere is unrivalled, it’s so much fun and everyone who experiences the show falls in love with it. The book details all the hard work that went into turning Nell’s dream into a reality and is an unalloyed joy.

Resistance is Futile by Jenny T. Colgan OK, this is my shocking admission: I absolutely can’t stand anything sci-fi and have never watched any of the Star Wars films, or anything to do with Star Trek or Doctor Who. If this novel hadn’t been written by my lovely friend Jenny Colgan I can guarantee I wouldn’t have gone within a mile of it. But it was written by her, so I was intrigued enough by the fact that it was both sci-fi and a love story to give it a tentative try. I fully expected to hate it. But, guess what? I ADORED it. It’s funny and charming and written in Jenny’s inimitable style. If you hate sci-fi too, I highly recommend it.

I See You by Clare Mackintosh And finally, I do so love an unputdownable murdery crime thriller. This isn’t by my bedside yet but it will be, the very moment I’m able to get my hands on a copy. Clare wrote the mega-selling I Let You Go and shot to literary stardom as a result. I just know I’ll be equally gripped by her new novel. (Fun fact: I actually sent her a fan email years ago, long before she’d ever written a book, because I’d read her column in Cotswold Life magazine and desperately needed to tell her how funny and brilliant her writing was. I am basically her groupie…)

Jill Mansell’s latest book is You and Me always, available in paperback and eBook editions.

You and me, always by Jill Mansell



If you liked this, why not caught up on…

… the books on Sarah Vaughan’s bedside table

… and the one’s that Louise Brown keeps close by