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Authors fill their Books Are My Bag totes with their favourite books

This year’s limited edition Books Are My Bag tote, designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith has been designed for bookshop day taking place on Saturday 8th October. We gave our authors the opportunity to fill their bags with their favourite reads

Coralie Bickford-Smith, author of Fox and the Star chose...

Here I Am
by Johnathan Safran Foer

I was first drawn to the work of Jonathan Safran Foer by the incredible covers of designer Jon Gray. My first encounter was Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, a powerful, moving and beautiful tale that has stuck with me in the years since reading it. He has a wonderful gift for bringing characters to life in my imagination.


What a Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe

This hilarious satire zig-zags through several important moments from my own life, making it a strangely personal read for me. I followed the fragile bumbling protagonist’s journey with a curious sense of familiarity, as he navigates his way through a world of bitter self-interest.


Dracula by Bram Stoker

Few books draw you in so much as Dracula in its opening pages, which are thick with suspense and horror as the events unfold. I’m a sucker for gothic horror, so would be remiss not to include this in my selection. When I designed the cover for Penguin I wreathed the book in garlic flowers to contain the evil within.


The Moomin Series by Tove Jansson

As a child I had no grasp on the depth of these stories and just wanted to absorb the beautiful line drawings. Now the words are the perfect antidote to a busy day, reflecting on the different personalities and dynamics of the people I have encountered. Her words are full of wisdom and descriptions that remind me of simple things in life that make my heart sing with joy.


We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen

The final instalment Klassen’s Hat Trilogy. I have been eagerly anticipating this book since it was announced in the summer. With his dry humour and expressive animal characters, Jon Klassen is a firm favourite of mine. This will be a real treat and it will be in my bag as soon as it is published.


Sophie Kinsella, author of Finding Audrey chose...

I love the feel of books and seeing them displayed beautifully in bookshops. I get great pleasure seeing a pile of interesting titles and browsing through them - I always end up coming away from a bookshop with a huge pile of novels, cookbooks, health tomes - and very good intentions to read them all. Sadly, I don’t get round to all of them, but they look great!

It’s quite tough to only choose five books to fill my BAMB 2016 bag! I’m going for a good mix of books I’ve read recently that I loved, some non-fiction that are (sometimes literally) life-changing, and a classic, because you always ought to have a film favourite to hand.


The Girls by Lisa Jewell

This is set in a London communal garden and is incredibly suspenseful.


To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

A classic tale which moves and charms and inspires new thoughts every time you read it. I can’t say much more than that!


The Circle by Dave Eggers

I’ve recommended this novel to everyone since it came out. It’s a dystopian story of a girl working for a powerful tech company which explores the ’sharing’ social media culture and questions the direction we are heading. It’s chilling.

How to be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis

A bit of non-fiction with a great premise: the author revisits all her favourite literary heroines, from the Little Mermaid to Lizzy Bennet, Jane Eyre and beyond. It's fascinating to read her take on them all.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo

I am naturally very disorganized, but since I read this book I’ve been trying my hardest to change my life! It is a beautifully written paean to tidying, with careful instructions on how to maintain a neat home that can transform your life, not just your space.


Estée Lalonde, author of Bloom chose...

If I ever have some time to myself one of the first things I like to do is go to a beautiful bookshop. It's a place filled with ideas and new adventures-the best place to have some me-time! 


How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran 

I love the way Caitlin Moran breaks down feminism in a digestible and exciting way. If you're a feminist who also wants a good laugh then you would love this book!

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

His story encourages us to confront our mortality head on and leads us to question what it is that is important to us

The Girls
by Emma Cline

A beautifully written unique coming-of-age-story.

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In is an amazing book for both men and women to read, if you are person who has a job, you want to check this book out it’s really inspiring and has influenced my ideas about women and leadership


The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo 

I consider being a relatively organised person, but after reading this book I understood a lot more about why being tidy and organised is important. Marie Kondo talks a lot about the psychological side of being organised and helps give you a  eason to start cleaning! 


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