Carol's background is literature and librarianship. She became a chartered librarian, working in FE colleges in London, then school libraries in Nottinghamshire.
Being a school librarian does mean knowing your books, so I spent much of my spare time reading children's and Young Adult books, which are absolutely amazing. A major part of the job is getting kids (and teachers!) to read, so detailed book knowledge is essential. I have two sons, now grown up and independent; recently retired, my husband and I are calling our new stage of life our Carpe Diem days, doing all the exciting things we never had time for when working.
I have to admit to being a compulsive reader, getting twitchy and anxious if I don't have a book on the go! I like “real” books, although I love my e-reader when travelling; it avoids those arguments about how many books I can squeeze in the suitcase.
My reading tastes have changed over the years. As a teenager I was a real fantasy fan, but the last time I tried to re-read my favourite, Lord of the Rings, I really struggled with it. My taste now is for contemporary fiction, though I find it difficult to choose favourite authors. Some I have been reading recently include Margaret Atwood, Zadie Smith, Jon McGregor, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ... but if you ask me next month it could well be a different list. And I still read young adult titles, which in my book include some of the best, most relevant writing around: try Alex Wheatle and Patrick Ness, just two amongst many.
My Book Group makes sure I don't just read within my comfort zone. Our current book is A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.
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