1. What is your favourite historical setting for a book?
If you did the stats on books I’ve read, it would probably come up with the 23rd century! That’s because over the years, some time ago, I read well over 100 Star Trek novels.
However these days, if a book is set in either Cold War Berlin or around 1950-60s in New York/New England I’m hooked.
I just bought Suzanne Rindell’s new book Three-Martini Lunch purely on spec because it was set in 1958 New York, and I recently read The Good Guy by Susan Beale which starts in Boston in 1964.
2. What writer/s would you like to travel back in time to meet?
I don’t read a large number of old books, so my first choice would be the relatively recently deceased Beryl Bainbridge of course. I would also love to get drunk with Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway however – to see if they were really like everyone says!
3. What book/s would you travel back in time and give to your younger self?
My younger self read so much science fiction and fantasy from teen years onwards, so I’d pick one of the very best YA novels to give to the teenaged me. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (reviewed here), would show that there’s real life out there in novels too.
I’d give the 20-something me Beryl Bainbridge and Muriel Spark to highlight the breadth of 20th century literature I was missing by sticking purely to SF&F.
4.What book/s would you travel forward in time and give to your older self?
There’s no need to be picky here – I have a house full of books, and I’d say that there are bound to be hidden gems there – take your pick.
5.What is your favourite futuristic setting from a book?
There are too many – I’ve already mentioned the 23rd Century Star Trek universe, but the post-pandemic North America of Emily St.John Mandel’s elegant Station Eleven and the dystopian Soviet satire OneState of Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We – the book that inspired 1984 and Brave New World are both fantastic.
6.What is your favourite book that is set in a different time period (can be historical or futuristic)?
Tender is the Night by F.Scott Fitzgerald set in the French riviera of the 1920s.
7.Spoiler Time: Do you ever skip ahead to the end of a book just to see what happens?
Never if I’m enjoying it. If I’m giving up on a book however, I will peek just to be doubly sure I’m not missing too much by giving up!
8.If you had a Time Turner, where would you go and what would you do?
I’d go to Madison Avenue c. 1960 and try to be the next Peggy from Mad Men at one of the advertising agencies. I told you I was obsessed by that era.
9.Favourite book (if you have one) that includes time travel or takes place in multiple time periods?
There are many, but one that I particularly enjoyed was My Dirty Little Book Of Stolen Time by Liz Jensen. It’s a steampunky time-travelling romance that combines a historical setting in 19thC fin de siècle Copenhagen with Wellsian time travel to London’s new millennium. It is hilarious and a cracking good read.
10. What book/series do you wish you could go back and read again for the first time?
C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia and J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. I’d like to experience that absolute total immersion and childlike awe I had the first time around, without having to think about what I was reading.
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I hope you enjoyed my bookish time-travelling. I should tag some other bloggers, but prefer to invite anyone else to have a go instead.