Between the Covers: Giovanna Fletcher, Zoe Lyons, Don Warrington and Hugh Dennis reveal their favourite books
31 May 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 stories of acceptance, survival and faith alongside one of the most celebrated novels of the 20th century.
Jemima J by Jane Green
Chosen by Giovanna Fletcher
‘Jemima J’ follows the story of a columnist in London who, envying her slim friends and co-workers, tries to reinvent herself.
The central character is the first flawed adult that I got to grips with.Giovanna Fletcher
“I love it. The central character is the first flawed adult that I got to grips with. It’s this almost ugly-duckling-turned-swan story but you realise within the book that this [a conventional idea of beauty] is not going to bring you happiness.
As a 15-year-old to read that, it was huge!”
The Mandibles by Lionel Shriver
Chosen by Zoe Lyons
Set in 2029, the US dollar has collapsed and inflation is through the roof. The Mandibles follows one family who struggle to live through these unexpected events.
It is set in the future but it’s so resonant now.Zoe Lyons
“It is set in the future but it’s so resonant now because it becomes a story of survival.
It’s about expectation, it’s about perceived comfort, it’s about a perceived future that people think they’re going to have… It is fascinating!”
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Chosen by Don Warrington
The Fire Next Time is an essay about what it is to grow up in Harlem whilst being gay and wrestling with God.
He gave me solace.Don Warrington
“I came across it in Newcastle where I grew up and it matched perfectly with my age. I was 13 or 14 and there was nobody that looked like me apart from my immediate family and I needed something to identify with… He gave me solace.”
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
Chosen by Hugh Dennis
A multigenerational story about a family whose patriarch founded the fictitious town of Macondo, told in a magical realist style.
No book took me further from 1970s Edgware where I grew up.Hugh Dennis
“I love books which take you somewhere else and no book took me further from 1970s Edgware where I grew up than this novel which I read when I was seventeen.
It’s a fantastic book. I then read a whole load of South American novels immediately after!”