Wednesday 19 April 2017

My Life In Books ~ talking to author B A Paris @BAParisAuthor @HQStories #MyLifeInBooks

My Life in Books is an occasional feature on Random Things Through My Letterbox
I've asked authors and people in publishing to share with us a list of the books that are important to them and have made a lasting impression on their life.

I'm so pleased to welcome author B A Paris to Random Things today. She's the author of two my favourite books of the last few years. 

I've read and reviewed both of them here on the blog: Behind Closed Doors (February 2016), and The Breakdown (February 2017). Both are published in the UK in paperback by HQ Stories.

B A Paris is the internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors, her debut novel. She was brought up in England and moved to France where she spent some years working in Finance before re-training as a teacher and setting up a language school with her husband. They still live in France and have five daughters. Her second novel, The Breakdown is out February 9th, 2017.

Follow B A on Twitter @BAParisAuthor

My Life in Books ~ B A Paris

There are so many great books I could have included in this list but I’ve narrowed it down to those that not only I loved, but which also made a huge impression on me, for one reason or another. 

This was the first book I ever owned, and the first book I read by myself, apart from the Janet and John books I learnt to read with. I was six years old and in bed with German measles when my mum went down to the corner shop to buy me a bottle of Lucozade. She came back with The Mountain of Adventure and I remember how thrilled I was. I finished it in a few hours and my mum was so impressed she went straight back and bought me The Circus of Adventure. From that point on I didn’t stop reading – over the next year or so I probably read every book that Enid Blyton had ever written.

I remember sitting cross-legged on the floor of our travelling library reading this book and being transported to a different world. When my brother came to fetch me, because I hadn’t turned up for dinner, it took me a moment to adjust to being back in the real world. It was so magical I felt as if I’d had an out-of-body experience.

I read all of Leon Uris’ novels back to back when I about sixteen and I particularly loved Trinity. I was babysitting when I read the final chapter and when the parents came home, they found me crying my eyes out. They thought I’d had an argument with my boyfriend and when I explained the reason I was crying, they asked me to leave them the book for them to read. I still think Leon Uris is one of the best storytellers ever.

I studied this at school but didn’t fully appreciate it until I read it again a couple of years later. I then read all of her other novels but Pride and Prejudice remained my favourite. It wasn’t so much Elisabeth and Mr Darcy that fascinated me as Elisabeth and her sisters. I couldn’t stop thinking how wonderful it must be to have a huge family of girls and later, I became slightly obsessed with a family I knew, where there were five daughters – they seemed like the perfect family to me and I envied each and every one of them their four sisters. I couldn’t believe it when I ended up with five daughters of my own.

This book is one of those rare things, a chilling story exquisitely told. I love the way the quiet, measured tone is able nonetheless to create a huge sense of foreboding. It’s the only book I’ve read twice and I’ll probably read it several more times, just to remind myself of how beautiful the English language can sound.
I’m just going to sneak a last one in here, The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr because it has given me so much pleasure since it was first published nearly fifty years ago, first from reading it to my younger brothers and sisters, and then later, to my daughters. It’s one of those classics that will still be around in another fifty years – and there’s not many books you can say that about!     

B A Paris ~ April 2017 

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