Millennial author Lucy Vine talks us through her must-read list

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  • In honour of Book Lovers Day, author Lucy Vine recommends her top favourite reads for every life moment...

    To celebrate National Book Lovers Day, we caught up with trending author Lucy Vine to get some personal recommendations for the books we should be reading.

    Described as Bridget Jones for the tinder generation, Lucy’s new book Hot Mess has got everyone talking, going on to become what of the summer’s hottest reads.

    If like her protagonist Ellie Knight, you’re living in a mould infested flatshare, stuck in your job and your friends are coupling up and settling down, Hot Mess could be the book for you, with fans of Fleabag and Girls and anyone who feels that they ‘don’t have their shit together’ turning to the book for comfort, reassurance and a good laugh.

    Here she gives us her top favourite reads for every life moment: the reads that have shaped her and the books to read before you die

    Lucy Vine

    Author of Hot Mess, Lucy Vine

    Book to read post-break up…
    ‘I’ve only been able to survive heartbreak by laughing a lot (and y’know, sex with other people), and the book that made me laugh most recently was Shrill by Lindy West. Her writing is brutal and full of so much heart – and volume. Am I also allowed to recommend my own book for this one?!’

    Book to bring to your book club…
    Together by Julie Cohen is unforgettable and features an ending that will get you calling an emergency meeting. Also, Our Summer Together by Fanny Blake is lovely.’

    Book to travel with…
    ‘I read Sara Pascoe’s Animal on my last holiday and ended up befriending people around the pool just so I could shout lines to them. It’s full of wonderful stories and important information about the female body, but I think it’s Sara’s voice that makes this so ridiculously brilliant. She is so honest and so warm, and she’s also fucking funny.’

    Book to share with your child…
    ‘I was brought up on the wisdom of Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne, and couldn’t imagine a warmer, kinder book to share with a child. Even with grown up children. Father Christmas still buys me a Winnie the Pooh diary every year and the weekly quotes on the pages genuinely make my life better.’

    Lucy Vine

    Hot Mess by Lucy Vine

    Book to share with your partner…
    How To Stop Time by Matt Haig – or, indeed, Reasons To Stay Alive. Matt writes in such an authentic and vulnerable way, and I truly believe he’s helping redefine the unhelpful and reductive ideas we have about masculinity. Male or female, we could all do with a little more of Matt in our lives.’

    Book to share with your mother…
    ‘The last books I told my mum to read were Room by Emma Donoghue and Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews – just because of the familial theme and because I knew they would creep her out. But I don’t really want her to read either. A book I am glad we shared was I Feel Bad About My Neck by the incredible Nora Ephron. It speaks to the female condition so powerfully, and I think we all need more inter-generational conversations about feminism.’

    Book to keep you up at night…
    ‘Sometimes I just stand in front of my book shelf and stare at the top shelf, where I keep my favourite books. Every time I do, I shiver, looking at the spine of We Need to Talk About Kevin. It felt like such a huge shift in literature when it came out and I often find myself re-reading it and finding new questions. More recently I’ve been obsessed with Angela Clarke’s Social Media Murder series. Her latest – Trust Me – is devastating.’

    Book that will change your life…
    ‘Oh, that’s what all books should do, shouldn’t they? My life changes direction every time I read something that reaches deep in me. As Alan Bennett said, “The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.” So here are several books that have taken my hand, and changed me in a hundred small and big ways: Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Woman, A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, Anybody Out There by Marian Keyes, World War Z by Max Brooks, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella, Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay, Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, all the other books I’ve mentioned above – and a thousand more.’

    Hot Mess by Lucy Vine is published by Orion and is out now in paperback

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