WHAT BOOK would author Anne Glenconner take to a desert island?  


WHAT BOOK would author Anne Glenconner take to a desert island?

…are you reading now?

I was fortunate enough to attend King Charles’s Coronation in May, and found myself sitting next to the U.S. politician and diplomat John Kerry.

I found him completely charming and we have since exchanged memoirs. I am now reading his fascinating life story, Every Day Is Extra.

If there is a gap between new books on my reading pile, I tend to rush back to Molly Keane and William Boyd, whose books I love to re-read.

…would you take to a desert island?

I would definitely be looking for a book that will tell me how to build a raft so that I can escape.

Having lived on Mustique — my late husband Colin Tennant’s island in the Grenadines — I would want to leave as soon as possible!

Anne said she 'would definitely be looking for a book that will tell me how to build a raft so that I can escape'

Anne said she ‘would definitely be looking for a book that will tell me how to build a raft so that I can escape’

…first gave you the reading bug?

I can’t remember a time I didn’t enjoy reading. There was no television when I was young, so reading was my escape.

My mother was a tomboy, so she read me all the Just William books by Richmal Crompton, as well as the Arthur Ransome books. I especially liked his We Didn’t Mean To Go To Sea.

I especially liked his We Didn¿t Mean To Go To Sea

I especially liked his We Didn’t Mean To Go To Sea

And then, when I could read myself, the most thrilling book was Knock Three Times!, by Marion St John Webb, which was about a pin cushion that turned into an evil pumpkin. Even today, it still makes me shiver with excitement.

I also read A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and a book I still read to my great-grandchildren is Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell.

It is the greatest possible pleasure to be able to read aloud.

…left you cold?

I was given a set of books called In Search Of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust. I read as far as volume two, then ground to a halt I’m afraid. Maybe I shall take them to the desert island after all. There would be no distraction and perhaps I would appreciate them.

Choosing what to read is a skill in itself and I’m very lucky that my daughter, May, devours books and then passes them on to me — the ones she thinks I would like, and often she is right.

  • WHATEVER NEXT?: Lessons From An Unexpected Life, by Anne Glenconner, is out in paperback now, published by Hodder.



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