There’s a tag going round on Facebook that challenges you to list 10 books that have proved formative for you as a person and the reasons why. The idea of making a Facebook status about the literature that has shaped me seems absolutely too awful for words, but from a purely personal (and procrastinatory) level I still wanted to try and single out 10 books that I can point to for being particularly life-changing or enhancing. So I’m doing it anyway. As someone who spent most of their childhood buried in a book it was no easy feat to choose just 10, but here we go; I’d be jolly interested to hear the same from you too, and I’m going to nominate Jazzy for a start. So here they all are, in order of discovery.


#NewMayDays Day 18: Say hello to Angela Lansbury

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I bought a typewriter for £15 off eBay. No guarantee it would work save good faith and a sturdy brand name (Erika, like a Scandinavian masseuse), but it arrived and it does. Dom and I set it up and typed various hilarious titbits, housemates came in and smushed the keys to listen to the symphony of satisfactory thwacks and dings. I can see myself sitting at my desk typing furiously with hands aflutter a la Daisy on Spaced, or pushing horn-rimmed spectacles up my nose as I churn out a promised biographical sitcom for my cousin (a 20-something cosmopolitan sort making it big in love and life in the political capital of Europe). I’m excited about what Erika and I will accomplish after a bit of oil and a replacement ribbon at a push – but then again, she’s equally likely to sit there untouched as a mere amusement for visitors.