Between the Covers: Robert Webb, Stacey Dooley, Caitlin Moran and Nish Kumar reveal their favourite books
7 June 2021
On BBC Two's book club Between the Covers, Sara Cox is joined by four guests to discuss their favourite books. The choices on this week's show include life-affirming poetry and an unusual autobiography by a female English mystic.
Waterland by Graham Swift
Chosen by Robert Webb
Mixing human and natural history, Waterland explores the tale of two families against the backdrop of the Fens.
Lovely and fascinating and beautiful.Robert Webb
“Lovely and fascinating and beautiful. It was just a really important book for me. It really changed the way I thought about the way history goes in circles.
I gave it to my last two girlfriends – including my wife – and David Mitchell, and they all liked it.”
Home Body by Rupi Kaur
Chosen by Stacey Dooley
A book of poetry that covers topics like grief, feminism, trauma, racism, culture and heritage.
Very ordinary in an extraordinary way.Stacey Dooley
“I am such a fan of her [Rupi Kaur]. I just find her very relatable and very accessible and very normal. Very ordinary in an extraordinary way. It could all feel quite earnest and highbrow, but I just think she’s got such a beautiful way with words. She takes these quite lofty topics and breaks them down and articulates them really clearly.”
How to be a Medieval Woman by Margery Kempe
Chosen by Caitlin Moran
A filleted version of The Book of Margery Kempe (1438), which was the first autobiography written in the English language. Margery was an English mystic who went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, to Rome and Santiago de Compostela. Her extraordinary life is recorded in The Book, which she dictated to scribes.
This is one that I give as a gift to everyone.Caitlin Moran
“This is one that I give as a gift to everyone. She [Margery Kempe] was leading this incredibly independent life when women couldn’t do anything at all … but she just never stops. And there’s just something so amazing about being able to open a hatch into the past and have a woman talk to you about her life.”
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Chosen by Nish Kumar
A story of four friends from a small Massachusetts college and the trajectory their lives take over the years.
I felt a kind of grief when I finished it.Nish Kumar
“It is the most immersive book I’ve ever read. I could not stop reading it. Every time you start reading it again, it feels like you’re putting your head under water. It feels like you’re sucked into a whole world. I felt a kind of grief when I finished it because I’d lost four friends.”