Not so long ago I asked the author about what she was reading. Butler's reply:
As a child I used to always have more than one book on the go and would pick and choose which to read depending on my mood. It’s a habit I lost after University, probably because I was so busy working and writing and studying that I didn’t have enough head space to hold all those storylines in my head at the same time. However, in the last year I’ve fallen back into the habit – and it feels good!Learn more about the book and author at Sarah Butler's website.
I’m currently half way through Love by Toni Morrison. It’s a signed copy that I bought ten years ago, whilst doing an MA in Creative Writing at UEA in Norwich, England, and it’s sat on my shelf waiting for me all this time! I often do that – buy a book but don’t read it for years. And then a time comes when I want to sit down with it. I picked up Love because I was reading another book that I didn’t like – I wanted to get to the end because I was interested in how the writer dealt with their subject matter, but the writing was pretty terrible. I knew Love would be brilliant and so I started it to satisfy my craving for seriously good writing. Morrison is just mind-blowingly brilliant. I’m savouring every sentence.
Another book that had a big effect on me recently was Jeannette Winterson’s memoir Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal? I don’t usually read memoir, but a friend of mine recommended it to me and I was hooked from the word go. It’s a brave, moving, and I think important, book. She really lays herself bare, but there’s no self-indulgence there. Her passion for life and love and literature, and for finding a way to be true in the world, is genuinely inspiring.
I’ve had a collection of Nancy Mitford’s novels sat on my bedside table for a few months now. The novels are pretty short, and I read them when I’m feeling a bit blue or tired. They are frivolous and fun, full of decadence and gossip. Plus the writing is great.
I’ve started reading more non-fiction than usual. Most recently I read Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class by Owen Jones. A very intelligent, well-written, searing book which examines how public perception and representation of the working class in Britain has changed for the worse, and the political consequences of such ‘demonisation’.