Summer Reading Choices: Daisy Hay

Daisy HayDaisy Hay studied at Cambridge and currently holds the Alistair Horne Fellowship at St Antony’s College, Oxford.

I interviewed Daisy recently about her first book, Young Romantics: The Shelleys, Byron and Other Tangled Lives, which has recently won the Rose Mary Crawshay Prize. You can hear the interview by clicking here.

Here are Daisy’s summer reading suggestions:

My summer holiday usually takes me to the same spot each year: the house in the South of France which has been in my family since before I was born. Each year I take with me a new novel, something meaty and absorbing, which is much more satisfying to read in long shady sessions on the terrace than in the snatched minutes available in the working week.

Jacob de Zoet coverLast year I packed A.S. Byatt’s The Children’s Book, and spent several glorious afternoons utterly engrossed in it. This year I took David Mitchell’s The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet, which I’ve brought home to finish. I’d be further through it were it not for the fact that one of the great delights of the house is its bookshelves, which are in every room and which sag under the weight of thirty years of accumulated family reading and the childhood collections of my younger aunts.

Keane Time after Time coverThe shelves contain a veritable feast of children’s books, crime, classic and contemporary fiction and a good smattering of biography and history. So this year, as in previous years, I switched my brain off by re-reading L.M. Montgomery and Louisa May Alcott, and I also found a Molly Keane novel I’d never come across before, the brilliant Time After Time. I’ve come back determined to root out a copy of her Good Behaviour so that I can carry the delights of holiday reading forward into the rest of the summer.

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