Lucy is a writer and ex-broadcast journalist. In ten years at the BBC she interviewed everyone from Paul McCartney to Adele to Stevie Wonder and pretty much anyone making critically acclaimed music in the UK from 2000 to 2010 (her Mastermind subject, if needed). Since becoming a mum to two little ones she's shifted her focus from late nights reviewing gigs to wonderful books mostly enjoyed during the 2 minutes it takes to brush her teeth. Hence the Stolen Moments!
Here she describes her three favourite books:
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. This is simply the most magical book I’ve ever read. It is complicated and delicate and soulful. The main storyline features the simple quest of a teenage girl to distract her grieving mum, but there is also the charmingly muddled perspective of Leo; an elderly survivor of both the Holocaust and heartbreak, and, finally, excerpts from a book written by Leo which are passages of pure lyrical and romantic beauty. I loved this book so much I named my daughter after the main character.
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. I know this book divides people, but I was swept away by it. I love its indulgence and its seemingly unedited flights of inspiration. It’s not only completely exhilarating to read, but it changed my views on what makes a family, what makes life valuable and how to reimagine the world to suit you better. I think the famous Mary Oliver quote sums up the heart of it: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” (One note: In today’s political climate Eggers’ What Is The What is a more timely read and just as good in completely different ways!)
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. This was described to me as the “perfect book,” and it didn’t let me down. In the plot, matriarch Enid tries to gather her adult children together for one last family Christmas, which in Franzen’s hands somehow becomes a page-turner. And within this structure the whole of their disparate lives are contained. It is so insightful and perceptive, so funny and brutal, and so full of love for the messed up characters that people our world.
One of Jacqueline’s favourite things in the world is reading, but she says unless you make it a priority it doesn’t happen. So, as a tick-box type of person, she decided to set herself a challenge of reading a book every week. For the first two years she didn’t quite manage it, but isn’t one to give up easily, so last year she completed the task, and this year she’s sharing her reads with Those Precious Stolen Moments.
She has no target for type of books; non-fiction, novels, favourite authors, she doesn’t care, but they tend to be shorter — four kids between 3 and 12, and reading the equivalent of War & Peace every week, are not exactly compatible. For non-fiction, however, she’s fairly obsessed with health related topics, and works as an NHS Community Mental Health Support Worker. But she also targets subjects she knows absolutely nothing about just to inform herself. For fiction, her favourite authors are David Nicholls, A. M. Holmes, Nick Hornby and Anne Tyler.
Jacqueline mostly reads in Stolen Moments on the bus, and writes our Book A Week reviews, which you can find here.
Thank you so much for your interest in this blog. We would love for you to get in touch to discuss books, however it's unlikely we'll be able to review any additional books as we're already over-committed. Also, the aim of the blog, at present, is to focus on just the biggest releases –– please see My ★ Ratings Explained for details.