Seasalt Words: Laura Watson’s Top 5 Reads

In the first of our book club series, Seasalt's Chief Creative Officer shares some of her favourite stories to escape into

I’ve always loved reading. There’s nothing better than having a good book on the go, that you can look forward to escaping into. It’s like having a best friend. It’s my favourite way of winding down in bed after a busy day and I’ll read as many pages as my eyes can stay open for.

I tend to read quite fast, so I really like a thick book that will take me a while to get through. I also love discovering authors who have a back catalogue.

1. All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr

It’s so tricky to choose an all-time favourite but I have recently re-read this one. I love it. Doerr cleverly weaves together two separate stories of a young blind girl called Marie-Laure, living in Paris with her father who is a talented locksmith and carpenter; and a German orphan with electronic radio skills who ends up, reluctantly in the Hitler youth movement. Their stories combine during WW2 in St Malo, and whilst not Cornwall, there is something in the descriptions that make me think of St Michael’s Mount. I love all his books, and I think that he’s a natural storyteller, both in terms of plot, characters and descriptions. His pace just really appeals to me and I was utterly absorbed from beginning to end.

Here’s a short excerpt:

‘In a corner of the city, inside a tall, narrow house at No 4 rue Vauborel, on the sixth and highest floor, a sightless sixteen-year-old named Marie-Laure LeBlanc kneels over a low table covered entirely with a model. The model is a miniature of the city she kneels within, and contains scale replicas of the hundreds of houses and shops and hotels within its walls. There’s the cathedral with its perforated spire, and the bulky old Chateau de St Malo, and row after row of seaside mansions studded with chimneys. A slender wooden jetty arcs out from a beach called Plage du Mole; a delicate, reticulated atrium vaults over the seafood market; minute benches, the smallest no larger than apple seeds, dot the tiny public squares.

My other favourites

2. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, Kim Edwards

3. The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt

4. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks

5. A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Blackman

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