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For me, a good novel isn’t one with a highfalutin title that adds to my ‘literary knowledge’ status, but rather one that lingers, one I’m still walking around in when I put it down. I have so many favourites but here are seven that have changed me, shaped me and fashioned my view of the world and my place in it.

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I go to a lot of writer’s talks. Mostly because they inspire me and secretly because I’m hoping talent is contagious. At these talks I’ve noticed the thing that has me sliding to the edge of my seat is when the writer opens up about exactly how they became a writer. Had they known since birth? Did they write their first novel, aged 6 on butcher’s paper in red crayon? Were they struck by lightning and taken over by an unexplainable neurosis which caused them to put pen to paper?