Katie Fforde: Books that changed my life

Katie Fforde is a hugely popular romantic novelist, who’s already had two number-one bestsellers this year. Her 24th novel, The Christmas Stocking And Other Stories, is out now, published by Century.

 

Friday’s Child

by Georgette Heyer

This is the first Georgette Heyer novel I read, and I soon became addicted to her Regency romances. I’d hole up in my room reading while pretending to my mother that I was busy revising schoolwork. I read her books over and over, returning to them in times of stress. I like to think my books also provide my readers with a place of safety where they know nothing truly bad is going to happen. 

 

Collins Albatross Book of Verse

edited by Louis Untermeyer

I won this as a school prize when I was 14 and it was a turning point in my appreciation of poetry. I learned how the rhythm of words can affect meaning and emotional impact. A few years ago I sat on stage while the inimitable Harriet Walter read out Patterns by Amy Lowell, one of the poems in this anthology. It’s such a beautiful, sad poem that I couldn’t stop the tears streaming down my face. 

 

The Cookery Book Set

by Elizabeth David 

When I was 19 and newly engaged, I did a cooking course with a very eccentric French woman who always gave her soon-to-be married students this boxed set. Perhaps she felt sorry for our future husbands because we were all rather hopeless at cooking. Elizabeth David’s recipes were quite complicated and required a lot of shopping, but I battled on and in particular mastered her boeuf bourguignon. My husband and I are about to celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary so he must have liked it well enough...