Tuesday 18 April 2023

Ann Cleeves - My Life In Books @AnnCleeves London Book Fair @LondonBookFair @midascampaigns #MyLifeInBooks


Ann Cleeves is the Author of the Day on Wednesday at The London Book Fair (Olympia London, 18-20 April). 

The Rising Tide is out now in paperback from Pan Macmillan, £9.99

UK crime writer Ann Cleeves is the author of over thirty-five critically acclaimed novels, and winner of the CWA Diamond Dagger 2017. She's created detectives Vera Stanhope, Jimmy Perez and Matthew Venn, who can be found in ITV’s Vera, BBC1’s Shetland and ITV's The Long Call. Her latest book is The Rising Tide, her tenth Vera novel.

Ann Cleeves will take part in an ‘in conversation’ event on the Main Stage on the second day of the London Book Fair, Wednesday 19th April, as part of an engaging line-up of talks and panel sessions led by experts from across the publishing industry. 

The London Book Fair is the world’s largest spring book trade and publishing event, returning to its home at Olympia London.

I am delighted to welcome Ann to Random Things today, she's talking about the books that are special to her in My Life In Books. 

Ann Cleeves - My Life in Books

Any of the Lone Pine Books by Malcolm Saville.  I can’t remember individual tiles, and they were all borrowed from the library, so I don’t own any, but these were children’s thrillers set in Shropshire and the Welsh marches.  I’d read Enid Blyton’s mysteries before these, but immediately knew that this was a much better writer.  I wrote to him when I was eight or nine and got a beautifully hand-written letter back.

The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan.  A more adult version of my earlier passion for adventure stories, a race against time with a background of wild countryside.

The Tiger in the Smoke by Margery Allingham.  In my teens I moved on from adventure to classic mystery.  This Albert Campion detective novel is a wonderfully atmospheric story, pitting good against grotesque evil, but also exploring, in a more realistic way, lives fractured by the war.

The Lost Domaine by Alain-Fournier.  This book sums up my sixth form in North Devon.  We read it in French – as Le Grand Meaulnes - for A level and our group loved it.  It’s a rite of passage novel about love and betrayal.  The subjective nature of reading became clear when another class hated it - they called it The Big Moan.  I still regularly read it, though in translation now.

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.  I’m not sure why I love this so much, because I’m usually attracted by a strong plot.  I was seduced by the domestic details, and I absolutely understood this family, their disappointments and the tragedies.

Brighton Rock by Graham Greene.  I read this before I went to Sussex University just outside Brighton.  It’s a gangland thriller, but of course, it’s much more than that.  I dropped out of the university, but I kept my love of Greene.

Love in Amsterdam by Nicholas Freeling.  This book hit me as a completely fresh and wonderful detective novel.  I was already addicted to crime fiction, but the slender novel, written in the sixties, takes us out of the grand country house to explore ideas of power within personal relationships.

The Saint Fiacre Affair by Georges Simenon.  This is my favourite Maigret novel.  Translated crime fiction became my reading passion and for a while I chaired the judges for the CWA International Dagger. Simenon always sets a scene brilliantly, but this story, which takes him back to the village of his childhood is wonderful.


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