Monday, December 05, 2011
Booklover Alison Holst on special books
Herald on Sunday 4 December, 2011
Dame Alison Holst is celebrating the publication of her 100th book, a memoir called, A Home-grown Cook (Hyndman, $39.95)
The book I love most is....Something I first read when I was staying at an aunt’s house when I was about 14. I’d forgotten about it until relatively recently then re-read it twice through in a month. It’s called A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter and it’s a wonderfully rich story set in a swamp with all this oil bubbling out of the ground and enormous moths that the character catches and sells so she can pay her school fees.
The book I'm reading right now is...Another old favourite. One from the series of James Herriot books about being a vet in Yorkshire. The stories are really entertaining and they stand re-reading very well.
The book I'd like to read next is....Something wonderful in audio book format from my local library. Being read to in the car while the scenery is whizzing past the window is a really relaxing way to travel. I love being read to.
My favourite bookshop is.....I’ve got a few favourites – both here and in the States – but there are two from Dunedin that have meant a lot to me and are sadly no longer in business. The first one is Terry’s Bookshop. Mum got me a job there when I was 13. I worked in the children’s section at the back on Friday nights. The other store was Hyndman’s Bookshop. The owner, John Hyndman, was very innovative – he used to invite Max Cryer to play the piano in his shop window.
The book that changed me is....I’m going to have to say that this was one of my own. When my first book Here’s How was published in 1966 that changed quite a few things for me, and our whole family. In a good way!
The book I wish I'd never read is....Actually I’m not sure that I have one of these – there’s usually something interesting going on or I stop reading.