We created a list of Top 50 Summer Reads and asked some of the authors featured on that list to pick their own favourites. Anne Barrows, bestselling co-author of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, answers our questions below:
What books are you looking forward to reading this summer?
My big treat for the summer is going to be The Thousand Autums of Jacob De Zoet. I've been looking forward to it for ages, because I loved Cloud Atlas, but I've been forcing myself to stick to Victorians for the last six months in preparation for a book I'm planning. I'm currently in the throes of studying Victorian lunatics, but as soon as I've finished with them—or they've finished with me—I'm going to reward myself with Jacob De Zoet.
Are there any titles on this list that you have read and loved?
Like everyone else in the world, I adored Eat Pray Love. Particularly the Eat part, which shows you where my heart lies. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay fills me with wondering admiration, both for the crafting of the story and for the research at its foundation.
What's been your most memorable summer read and why?
On July 16, 2005, I bought my eager daughter a hot-off-the-press copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince—and then stole it from her after she went to bed and read like a fiend through the night. Of course, I kept telling myself to cut it out and go to sleep, but I was too excited to sleep, and besides, I knew I couldn't bear to relinquish it to my daughter the next morning if I hadn't finished it. So I read through the night and finished it at 7 in the morning—and I was still too excited to sleep until later in the afternoon. I used to read like that—for hours at a stretch—when I was a kid, and the night of Harry Potter seems like time-travel to me when I remember it, a childhood night in the middle of adulthood, a vacation from being a grownup.