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What we're reading: Festival Director Vicky Dawson copy

By - 04 May 2020 - 16:47pm

While we all stay at home, we've been asking members of the DBF team which books they've been reading and, in some cases, re-reading. This week Festival Director, Vicky Dawson, tells us which books she has been getting stuck in to.

“I seem to have the same reading frustrations that I have at any other time. I have ‘work’ reading (which might sound joyless or a chore and is actually neither). These are current books from authors appearing at the two festivals for which I work. This year those festivals will be digital but I still need to read the books when I am going to converse with their writers.

I have new books which I’d like to read. Having been a bookseller of ‘new books’ as opposed to antiquarian books for many years, I can’t get out of the habit of reading reviews. I have taken delivery this week of Circles & Squares - The Lives & Art of the Hampstead Modernists by Caroline Maclean and The See-Through House by Shelley Klein. That should top-up my love of C20th art and architecture for a wee while.

I love to re-read and my colleague Sian and I talked about The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers the other day. I adored this first time around but I’d like to read it again now Sian is reading it too. Like any friends, we don’t always agree on books… however I am confident she will love this one.

And then there are the books that just pop out at you out of nowhere. I have been reading Laura Thompson’s book The Last Landlady (utterly captivating) and she made several references to the 1940s writer Patrick Hamilton. A rootle around my bookcase found a completely un-read copy of The Slaves of Solitude. It is a wonderful book and I have certainly carted it with the rest of my book collection from the South Coast of England to Scotland and now back down to Derbyshire.

Sometimes the joys of reading are in your own sitting room waiting to be discovered. Thank you Laura for reminding me about this lovely (but bleak) writer.”

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