Sarah Graham, author of Rebel Bodies: A guide to the gender health gap revolution recommends a great group of books! Before jumping into the interview, please check out Sarah's book:
Q. Do you have a favourite smart thinking book (and why that book)?
I have lots, but the first one that comes to mind is Quiet by Susan Cain. I first read it as a student and it was a really life-changing and affirming read in terms of how I feel about being an introvert. I'd always previously considered it a character flaw, but Quiet helped me to understand how central it is to who I am and how I work, and that actually it's a real strength in so many ways.
Q. What's the most recent smart thinking book you've read (and how would you rate it)?
I'm currently reading Milk: An intimate history of breastfeeding by Joanna Wolfarth. It blends the author's personal experiences of struggling with breastfeeding with her background as an art historian, looking at the way infant feeding, and women's lactating bodies, have been portrayed throughout history. Having become a mother myself last year, and now almost 13 months into my own constantly-evolving breastfeeding journey, I'm finding it a really beautiful and thought provoking read.
Q. Do you have a favourite childhood book?
Again I have so many that I'm struggling to pick just one. I was a huge reader of Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl and Jacqueline Wilson as a child, and the Harry Potter series. I also absolutely adored Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian, and Frances Hodgson Burnett's Secret Garden and A Little Princess. But probably the one with most emotional significance is The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein, which my dad read to me. It was such a memorable and special part of our evening routine (we later went on to read The Lord of the Rings) and really helped to capture my imagination and love of the written word.
Q. Do you prefer reading on paper, Kindle or listening to an audiobook?
Paper, absolutely - you can't beat the beauty and feel of a physical book. Although I was briefly converted to audiobooks after the birth of my son, when I was often awake and had my hands full at odd times of the day and night!
Q. Do you have a favourite bookshop (and why that shop)?
I'm going to cheat and pick two again. Shakespeare & Co, which is just one of the most magical places on earth and was a real sanctuary when I was a lonely student living in Paris. And my current local independent bookshop, David's Books in Letchworth, because it has such warmth and character, as well as an excellent cafe.
Many thanks to Sarah for recommending a great group of books! Please don't forget to check out Rebel Bodies: A guide to the gender health gap revolution.
Image Copyrights: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (Rebel Bodies), Penguin Books Ltd (Quiet), Orion Publishing Co (Milk), HarperCollins Publishers (The Hobbit).