Monday, July 30, 2018

Libby Page

Libby Page graduated from The London College of Fashion with a BA in fashion journalism before going on to work as a journalist at The Guardian. After writing, her second passion is outdoor swimming. Page lives in London, where she enjoys finding new swimming spots and pockets of community within the city.

The Lido is her first novel.

Recently I asked Page about what she was reading. Her reply:
I think most writers start as readers, and I am no exception! I read constantly. I like to read a real mix of fiction and non-fiction and I have recently started dipping back in to children’s books too. Children’s books were how I fell in love with reading, so it is a joy to go back to them and remind myself of how that passion first started. As an author I do feel a certain pressure to read the ‘right’ kind of books but I am trying to resist this and maintain reading as something I do simply for enjoyment.

The most recent book I finished was Northern Lights by Philip Pullman, borrowed from my local library. I never read the Northern Lights trilogy as a child but they were some of the favourite books of both my sister and boyfriend, so I decided to give them a go. I found it a little slow to start with but before I knew it was racing through, desperate to find out what happened. I love the concept of daemons and when I finished the book my boyfriend and I spent a long time discussing what our daemons would be! I shall be checking the next book in the series out of the library!

Another book that I’ve been recommended many times over the years is My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell, so on a recent holiday I finally read it. I’m so pleased I did as I found it completely charming. I loved the description of all the creatures (human and otherwise) and it was the perfect read for a holiday. I’m now desperate to read all his other books.

A more recently-published novel that I have enjoyed was The Librarian by Salley Vickers. It is about a children’s librarian in a small town and is a gentle but compelling story that captures a moment in time (it is set in the 50s) so well. I loved the messages in it about the importance of books and libraries, particularly for children.

I’ve also read a few non-fiction books over the past few months that I have loved. One was Impossible Things Before Breakfast by author and actor Rebecca Front. It is a book of essays or ‘sketches’ of remembered significant moments in her life. I absolutely loved it – everything is so poignantly observed and captured. I love people-watching (it’s one of the main reasons I wanted to be a writer!) so I really identify with the way Rebecca sees the world and her desire to capture moments and stories on paper.

Two others I loved are The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell. Both are about the art and science of happiness, a subject that I am fascinated by. I am a naturally optimistic person but also work hard to be this way. In both books the authors combine research and personal experience in order to explore ways to live happier lives. I’m a little obsessed with books in this area at this moment as I find them incredibly uplifting and inspiring, and these are two of my favourites. The Happiness Project in particular left me with a million ideas of new things I’d like to do, and I have since recommended it to lots of friends.
Visit Libby Page's website.

--Marshal Zeringue