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Initially, becoming a writer was never a thought for Hollie McNish - her desire was to have a profession that included roller-skating.

Initially, becoming a writer was never a thought for Hollie McNish – her desire was to have a profession that included roller-skating.

The earliest memory I have of reading.

Reworded: Going to the nearby library to make a selection, having the chance to look through numerous books, and feeling a rush of thrill as your selections are stamped and brought home.

My preferred book from my childhood.

The poem “Please Mrs Butler” from the poetry collection authored by Allan Ahlberg, with the same title, is one that I have memorized. I keep a copy of it to this day, and often revisit it for enjoyment. This piece gave me a glimpse into the adult world and the dynamics of a classroom from a teacher’s point of view. Above all, it brought joy and laughter.

The book that changed me as a teenager

CS Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I often reflect on the climactic moment that left me in awe (no spoilers). It felt as though an entire universe of concepts and dimensions unraveled before my eyes.

The writer who changed my mind
I had a change of heart about war after reading Wilfred Owen’s Dulce et Decorum Est. Irvine Welsh’s Glue altered my views on politics, poverty, class, and masculinity. Salena Godden’s Mrs Death Misses Death had an impact on my perspective of life. Every book or poem I have ever read has influenced my thoughts on something.

The book that inspired me to pursue writing

The desire to become a writer was not sparked by a book, I believe. At no point in my life did I aspire to be a writer. The thought never crossed my mind. My passion was learning languages. I delved into French, German, and economics, all while enjoying them. Strangely, I have been writing my journal entries in the form of poems since I was a child. The things I saw, learned, and loved all inspired me to write. While I adored reading and writing, “being a writer” never occurred to me. So maybe Please Mrs Butler once again played a role in igniting my love for crafting poems. My main desire was to have a profession that involved roller-skating.

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I learned about certain books in school that had a lasting impact on me. One of these books was The Color Purple by Alice Walker, which I recently revisited and found to be incredible. I also had a similar experience with poetry, particularly the works of Seamus Heaney, which I now appreciate but back then, I was uninterested and puzzled by the subject matter. It wasn’t until later that I learned about the historical context behind it.

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The book that I read again every evening is a

I frequently revisit Laurie Bolger’s collection, Makeover, as well as works by Jackie Kay and Michael Pedersen, such as The Cat Prince and the poetry anthology Everything Is Going to Be All Right edited by Cecilia Knapp. Every December, I also revisit A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens to embrace the holiday spirit and remember to always avoid greed and selfishness.

The book that I am unable to read again.

Except for my own books, one of my top preferences is “Glue.” However, I believe it has already touched my heart in every way possible and I am uncertain if I can revisit it again. The same sentiments apply to Toni Morrison’s novel “The Bluest Eye.” I read it during a time when my daughter was young and struggling with the predominantly white representation in children’s toys, books, and cards. It evoked strong emotions within me, as it should.


I came across the book when I was older.

This indicates a traditional approach, but there are plenty of exceptional writers around the globe nowadays, with even more translations available. I believe we have a slight fixation on strictly sticking to the established literary works. As a parent, I don’t pressure my daughter to read the same books I did as a child. They often lack diversity and contain negative themes such as racism and sexism.

is  “The Great Gatsby”.

“The Great Gatsby” is the book I am currently reading.

I have completed an exceptional new book of poems titled “Mothersong” by Amy Acre and am currently immersed in “The Night Alphabet” by Joelle Taylor, a truly remarkable read.

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My comfort read

Recipe books. Whether I actually use the recipes or not.

Source: theguardian.com