Hooked On Books With Kathleen Jowitt

Hi Everyone welcome to another instalment of Hooked on books. I'll still be featuring my hooked on books posts on a Wednesday however today  is a special feature as its in collaboration with Kathleen on her blog book tour. 

A Spoke in the Wheel

The first thing I saw was the wheelchair.
The first thing she saw was the doper.

Ben Goddard is an embarrassment – as a cyclist, as an athlete, as a human being. And he knows it.
Now that he’s been exposed by a positive drugs test, his race wins and his work with disabled children mean nothing. He quits professional cycling in a hurry, sticks a pin in a map, and sets out to build a new life in a town where nobody knows who he is or what he’s done.
But when the first person he meets turns out to be a cycling fan, he finds out that it’s not going to be quite as easy as that.
Besides, Polly’s not just a cycling fan, she’s a former medical student with a chronic illness and strong opinions. Particularly when it comes to Ben Goddard…

Kathleen Jowitt was born in Winchester, UK, and grew up deep in the Welsh Marches and, subsequently, on the Isle of Wight. After completing her undergraduate degree in English Literature at the University of Exeter she moved to Guildford and found herself working for a major trade union. She now lives in Cambridge, works in London, and writes on the train.
Her first novel, Speak Its Name, was the first self-published book ever to be shortlisted for the Betty Trask Prize.

What book(s) are you currently reading?
At the moment I'm re-reading Heavy Ice by Ankaret Wells. I picked it up for the IndieAthon challenge back in March, but it's 700 pages so I'm still going! I've also got The Right Thing by Judy Astley on the go.

What book is next on your “to be read” list?
I found Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy under the sofa this morning, and remembered how much I wanted to read it, so that's probably the one! But I've also got the new Ann Leckie book, Provenance, which I'm keen to read.

What is your favourite genre to read?
That's a tough one! I enjoy all sorts of things: anything from sci-fi to school stories to spy thrillers. If you were going to maroon me on a desert island with only one genre, it would have to be 20th century crime. I can remember whodunnit in almost every Agatha Christie, but I still like re-reading them.

Who are some of your favourite authors?
Daphne du Maurier, Dorothy L. Sayers, Alexandre Dumas, Ursula Le Guin, Ben Aaronovitch, Hilary McKay... I have lots!

What are your top 5 favourite books?
The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas) is definitely on the list – it's so long, and packed full of different plot lines and scenery, that I can pick it up when I'm feeling down or despairing and be certain that by the time I've got to the end of it things will have changed. Then there's The Prisoner of Zenda (Anthony Hope), which I have adored ever since my father read it to me when I was little.

Moving into the twentieth century, E. M. Delafield's Diary of a Provincial Lady and Stella Gibbons' Cold Comfort Farm are both hilariously funny.

And the last one I'm going to choose is The Summer House Loon by Anne Fine. It's only a little book, but I love it.

This list has probably changed since the last time I made it! Narrowing it down to five is really difficult.

Paperback vs digital books - which do you prefer and why?

I read both. It depends on where I happen to be and what the book is. If it's 500 pages or more, and I'm trying to read on the train, then I'll put it on the Kobo.

If I'm at home, reading in bed or in an armchair, and the book's light enough to hold up comfortably (or if I've forgotten to charge the e-reader!) then I'll probably read a paperback.

What was your favourite book or series of books as a child?
I loved the Swallows and Amazons series and many of Noel Streatfeild's books, particularly Ballet Shoes and Apple Bough.

Do you ever cheat and skip to the end of a book? Why do you do it?

I do sometimes. If I'm not really enjoying the book but am still curious as to how it ends, I might satisfy my curiosity and then give up. And I'm not great at dealing with suspense, so sometimes I spoil myself to relieve the suspense and then go back – this happened just the other day with Apple Tree Yard.

 Do you hang on to your books once you've read them? Or do you prefer to pass them on to a charity shop / a friend?

If I'm confident that I'll be able to pick them up again then I'm quite laid back about passing them on. Of course, with books that were given to me as presents I don't let them out of my hands so easily. Similarly, there are some that I'm collecting in a particular edition, and of course I hang on to those.

The books that I do get rid of go to friends, or the book swap shelf at work, or charity shops. I'm also a member of BookCrossing.com and have sent my fair share of books on by that route.

Do you read one book at a time or do you have multiples on the go?

I usually have three or four on the go at the time – one beside my bed, one in my handbag, one on the e-reader, one that I started reading and then forgot about... and so on! They tend to be quite different genres – I get mixed up otherwise.

Describe your ideal reading nook

Bookshelves! I never seem to have enough bookshelves, so I'd have them from floor to ceiling on all the walls. And I'd have a big window to let plenty of natural light in, with long curtains to keep it warm at night. Perhaps a wood-burning stove for the same reasons, with a comfortable sofa and an Anglepoise lamp. I've always wanted one.

You can find Kathleen over on: 

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