Jojo Moyes: ‘I frequently don’t finish books’ | Daily News


Jojo Moyes: ‘I frequently don’t finish books’

The book I’m currently reading

Polly Samson’s A Theatre for Dreamers. It’s a coming of age story set among a group of artists and poets, including Leonard Cohen, on the Greek island of Hydra in 1960. She is so good at mentally indelible imagery.

The book that changed my life

The Faber Book of Reportage, edited by John Carey. It inspired my first career in journalism, and left me with a passion for telling stories, especially of those who are seemingly on the sidelines.

The book that had the greatest influence on me

Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson. I had written three unpublished novels by the time I read it, and it was the first book that helped me understand the importance of voice. (My next book was published.)

The book that changed my mind

Will Storr’s The Science of Storytelling, which showed me that while humans (me) think we are really good at understanding and second-guessing other people’s motivations, we (probably me again) are actually terrible at it.

The last book that made me cry

Not many lately. But Siri Hustvedt’s What I Loved made me sob so loudly in a hotel that they sent the concierge to see if I was OK.

The last book that made me laugh

Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny. I laughed so much on a flight while reading it that my family pretended I didn’t belong to them.

The book I couldn’t finish

I frequently don’t finish books. I used to feel obliged, but now I think life is too short. If they haven’t grabbed me by page 100 they are off the pile. I feel it’s mean to name them, though.

The book I wish I’d written

Most books that I bother to finish.

The book I’m ashamed not to have read

War and Peace. I think there is a huge Russian-literature-shaped hole in my education and I keep meaning (and failing) to fill it.

What is your comfort read?

National Velvet by Enid Bagnold. When I was a child it gave me hope that a weedy, horse-obsessed girl could achieve amazing things. As I’ve got older I’ve identified more with Mrs Brown. It is funnier and more sly than the film, and has at its heart a message that seems radical today: one woman who has achieved an amazing feat enabling her daughter to do something equally extreme and foolhardy.

My earliest reading memory

I was an obsessive reader as a child. My mother taught me to read at three. But when I started school, the teacher refused to believe me and put me on the really basic spellers with everyone else. I have harboured a hatred of Peter and Jane, and Pat the Dog, ever since. The book I give as a gift Three Women by Lisa Taddeo. An extraordinary journalistic deep dive into female desire. Not everybody loves it, or even agrees with it, but everyone is gripped by it. - The Guardian

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