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Bookcase Showcase: Author Harriet Whitehorn

There are several bookshelves dotted all over the house and they are all a similar mess of authors and genres - I always intend to sort them out but, like tidying my sock drawer, it never happens. Looking through bookshelves is like looking through an old address book; you remember your old friends.

John Fowles was a big teenage crush of mine, and then back before that Monica Dickens, who is nestling up to Mazo de La Roche. When I was twelve I devoured her Jalna saga which is rather like Downton Abbey but set in Canada. Sitting alongside are some of the books I’ve loved recently; Susanna Clarke’s amazing Johnathan Strange and Mr Norrell had me engrossed for months and then there’s Rose Tremain, Annie Proulx and Jhumpa Lahiri - all fantastic authors Moving along, there is a section of bookshelf which has the literary survivals of my childhood, and some of my mother

 As you can see from the I come from a long line of firm believers in sellotape. My favourite picture book when I was young was Robert the Rose Horse by Joan Heilbroner. I couldn’t quite tell you now why I did love it so much, but I remember getting my parents to read it to me over and over again. Over on the far left, squashed next to Alice in Wonderland is Down with Skool! by Geoffrey Williams and Ronald Searle which was the first funny book I read and still makes me chortle. Then a couple of the What Katy Did books by Susan Coolidge. These were a present from my godmother and I think I was as much taken by the red embossed leather covers as their content. And then there’s my childhood copy of the Return of the King- the Fellowship of the Ring and the Two Towers must have disintegrated beyond sellotaping.