Last night Ella put renowned novelist Patrick Gale #UndertheCovers, to discover more about his reading life from teens to adulthood. We discussed his most recent novel, Take Nothing With You, just out in paperback, and touched upon which books he would give his characters to read. He said that one book that was certainly missing from Eustace's shelf was Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake, which touched a nerve with some members of the audience who read and loved it in their teens. Ella prescribed Patrick Death of A Beekeeper by Lars Gustafsson for his early onset arthritus; this is a novel that helps readers think about ways of coping with pain. Patrick loves any book with a good nun story, so she also gave him In the Skin of Lion by Michael Ondaatje, the best novel ever with a nun falling from a bridge and being caught by her habit. Patrick had no emotional ailments to cure - he is far too well balanced as he writes his novels instead of going to psychotherapy.
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