For our last post of the term, I asked my great English teacher, Miss Anderson, a few questions on the books and stories she loves…
What was your favourite book when you were in high school? Why? My favourite book in high school was Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. I was really into the Victorian classics, and Tess was so unlike anything else – so tragic and so beautiful! As for something more ‘contemporary’, I was a lucky teenager because the Harry Potter series was being written as I was growing up. It was horrible having to wait so long for the next book, but I was thoroughly obsessed!
Is there any book that has influenced you and how you act/think? Haruki Murakami is a big influence of mine – both personally, and as a writer. His novels always contain two worlds, and I love the surreal idea that there is more to this life than meets the eye. His novels are full of talking cats, parallel worlds, hidden places, and secrets. The importance of the arts is everywhere in Murakami’s novels, and the importance of understanding ourselves, and loving others. That might sound all very bizarre, and in a way it is, but Murakami tells some wonderful stories in his novels.
What is your favourite book now? Why? My favourite book is still Tess – it’s hard to top! I’ve picked up a few other favourites though, like American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, and anything by Patrick Ness. I like books with gripping characters, with lots of disturbing or tragic events. My favourite book I read this year was probably a collection of short stories called Burnt Tongues, edited by Chuck Palahniuk. Needless to say, they were all quite gritty and gruesome, but great reads!
What book would you give to a friend for Christmas? Why? As a Christmas gift, I would give a beautiful book, like a pop up version of Alice in Wonderland, or a copy of Le Petit Prince. These books are full of gorgeous little illustrations, and packed with thoughtful messages, so I think they’d make a nice present. Books of any kind are alway a great gift!
Special thanks to Miss Anderson for sharing her thoughts, even if she was stuffed with the cold.