Book Matters

The book that …
with Paige Toon

1. The book that got you hooked on reading
The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. It was so magical. My brother and I were addicted to the entire series and I think I went on to read everything Enid Blyton ever wrote after that. Loved The Famous Five, too, and also that series about the boy who joins the circus, but I can’t remember what it’s called.

2. The book that makes you laugh
No one does heartbreak and hilarity as well as Marian Keyes, but I’m mentioning her later so for this I’ll choose The Little White Car by Danuta De Rhodes. The author’s real name is Dan Rhodes but he was taking the mickey a bit by choosing a female pseudonym. I don’t want to spoil it for you by giving anything away, because it has a brilliant twist.


3. The book that makes you cry
The last book to make me sob like a baby was First Last Kiss by Ali Harris. It’s about a girl who is no longer with the love of her life, but you don’t know why until later in the book. There’s a chapter towards the end which makes me want to cry now, just thinking about it. Beautiful.

4. The book that surprised you
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. I was living in America at the time and saw it reviewed in a magazine so I decided to check it out. It ended up becoming one of my favourite books, although I was absolutely gutted when it turned out not to be the true story that I had believed it was. Gullible!

5. The book that you would take with you to a desert island
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. How I love this series! And I think a little Edward/Jacob action could cheer me up in any situation.

6. The book that you would put in a time capsule for future generations
The Age Of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. Whoa, this book took my breath away. It’s told from the perspective of a young woman recounting events from when she was eleven years old and the world started to slow down. The knock-on effect on humanity is pretty jaw-dropping. I think it’s a good reminder to everyone not to take our beautiful planet – and everything on it – for granted.

7. The book that you wish you’d written
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I love a bit of YA sci-fi and this series is absolutely incredible. My husband and I saw the movie, then I went on to read the first book and he the second, Catching Fire. Only I’m a faster reader than him and I was chomping at the bit to such an extent that he tore the book in half and gave me the first half! It felt so wrong but oh so right.

8. The book that is your guilty pleasure
It’s got to be Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James. Am I right, or what? Yes, you can pick holes in it, and there are some disturbing things about it, but I don’t think I have ever been so glued to the pages of a book before.

9. The book that you want to read next
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Like I said, I like a bit of YA sci-fi! I tried to catch the movie, but missed it when it came out at the cinema.

10. The book to look out for in 2013
It’s already been out in America for a while and it’s just come out in the UK, but I absolutely loved Slammed by Colleen Hoover. It’s such a beautiful love story and it made me cry my eyes out. Her second, Point of Retreat, the sequel, is also out.

11. The book that got you hooked on chick lit
Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding. What can I say? Absolutely genius. Loved it!

12. The book that all chick lit fans should read
Watermelon by Marian Keyes. In fact, anything by Marian Keyes. She’s the queen of chick-lit in my opinion. The Other Side of The Story was possibly my favourite until The Brightest Star in the Sky. Always funny, always touching, I think she’s the best in the genre.


13. The book you’ve written that is the most special to you
It would probably have to be Lucy in the Sky because it is my first and I will never forget how happy I was to know that my childhood dreams of being an author were finally going to be realised. My fourth, Pictures of Lily, is also very close to my heart because it was set in the Adelaide Hills in Australia, where I grew up.

14. The book that you’re writing next
I’m writing two books this year, but my first deadline is for my new Young Adult series – a spin-off from my second and fifth books, Johnny Be Good and Baby Be Mine. In those two books, a girl called Meg becomes a PA to a bad boy rock star and ends up falling head over heels and making huge mistakes – like falling pregnant and not knowing who the father is… The baby turns out to be rock star Johnny’s, and Meg worries he might have more illegitimate children out there. It turns out that her fears are not unfounded, and my YA series is about the 15-year-old daughter he never knew he had. I can’t wait to be back in Meg and Johnny’s world again. After that, I’ll be writing my next chick-lit book, about a wedding photographer who falls in love with a groom…

15. The book that defines your life
I think to some extent all of my books define my life. Lucy in the Sky is about a girl caught between two countries (and two men – this bit’s fantasy!) and I grew up between Australia and England. Johnny Be Good is about a bad boy rock star and partly inspired by the celebs I used to write about when I worked for heat magazine, Chasing Daisy is about a girl who works for a Formula One team – my dad is a racing driver… You get the picture!

Paige Toon was born in 1975 and grew up between England, Australia and America. A philosophy graduate, she worked at teen, film and women’s magazines, before ending up at Heat magazine as Reviews Editor. Paige is married, has two small children and lives in Cambridge. The Longest Holiday is her seventh book.

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