Vulpes Libris

A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.



You’ve caught me at an awkward moment – I’m just about to move house and the books have already been packed away, so I’m sitting here staring at empty shelves wondering what was on them yesterday. Tell you about my reading tastes without visual aids? Impossible. (I tell a lie, the shelves are almost empty – on one there are 11 assorted screwdrivers, only one of which was the right one for getting the telly off the wall, and on another a half-empty barrel of digestive biscuits. Mm.)

So I’ve decided to play that bit of The Generation Game where contestants have to remember what’s just passed them by on the conveyor belt – food mixer, magnum of champagne, cuddly toy, etc… You should know, however, that I have a shocking memory owing to long-term sleep deprivation, owing to nocturnal children, owing to me being a softie, owing to . . . dunno, forgot what I was saying. Let’s get on with the game.

My Conveyor Belt 

Ian McEwan

It seems quite popular to slag him off these days (well, as well as give him lots of prizes and put him on bestsellers lists…) and I have not read the books that have turned former McEwan fans to stone, but I really enjoyed First Love, Last Rites (short stories), Enduring Love, The Child In Time and Atonement.

Ali Smith

I find her work very challenging and love how brave she is with words. I really enjoyed Hotel World and The Accidental.

Jaclyn Moriarty

I currently write YA fiction, inspired largely by this author’s first work, Feeling Sorry for Celia.

Fay Weldon

I have four Weldon novels that were due back at the library in 1992 (long story – if anyone from Camden Libraries is reading this, I am sorry). I loved these books when I was 17, and they made me think a lot about the kind of books I wanted to write one day.

Sorry, I realise we could be here all day if I stop to ponder every title, so I’ll just reel a load off and then you can go . . . oh, you’ve already gone? OK, just for me then:

Peter Carey, Meg Rosoff, Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison, Mark Haddon, Roald Dahl, Rosina Lippi, Khaled Hosseini, E.B. White, Roger Morris, Barbara Kingsolver, Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, Sebastian Faulks, John Irving, Jacqueline Wilson.

Cuddly Toy.

I used to be a children’s book editor, so about 10% of all the words I’ve ever read have been from the slushpile. Admittedly, I skimmed a lot of those. Now I’m on the other side of the fence and editors skim my words instead. It’s only fair.

(Emily has a [hilarious! Ed.] blog of her own at

One comment on “Emily

  1. jkhsquonk
    October 17, 2007

    Oh no, competition for Peter Carey! Stay away from Oscar, he’s mine!!!! Mine!!
    (poor Leena, having to deal with this again already)

Comments are closed.



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