Andy Jones is the bestselling author of The Two of Us. He tells about the books he’s currently reading, the books he's recommending to his friends, and the books inspiring his writing.
What’s currently on your bedside table?
I’m a big fan and admirer of David Mitchell, and I’m currently reading The Bone Clocks, having just extinguished Slade House.
I’ve always loved the way Mitchell plays with language, his style and his inventiveness—but, in addition to all that, this book demonstrates what he can do with character.
The plot hangs on a fantasy premise involving immortality, but for me, the strength of this book lies in its protagonists, their lives, wants, failings. And, as David Mitchell is wont to do, each new character hurls the story forward by between 10 and 20 years, which adds another dimension to the experience.
Which book/s would you recommend to your closest friend?
Well I just did. I gave him my copy of The Princess Bride by William Goldman.
I loved the book, and the particular copy is special to me as I read it on my honeymoon—and just looking at it on my shelf is very evocative for me. I also pick it up from time to time to reread a particular passage, or simply to open at random and jump in.
It was a big mistake, though. My friend loved the book so much, he passed it on to someone else. Of course I’ll buy another, but I’m a little heartbroken to have lost that particular copy. Lesson learned.
What are you planning to take on your next journey?
I read on my commute; on my lunch break—if I get one—and for about 14 minutes in the evening before I fall asleep. But I rarely get a good long stretch with a book.
I’m going to Austria later this summer, and, I swear to God, I’m already planning what book to take and immerse myself in for 12 days. So far I’ve narrowed it down to two very similar novels: Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie and Stephen King’s Mr Mercedes.
Well, they both begin with an M.
Which book made you want to write?
I don’t know that it was a single book, but rather an accumulated weight of pages.
Since I was a kid, with each book that left an impression on me—Dracula, The Catcher in the Rye, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Money—the desire has been growing.
I made plans, resolutions, notes and excuses. But eventually—inspired in particular by Chuck Palahniuk’s Lullaby—I made a start on a few short stories. Later, after I started dabbling with short stories, I picked up On Writing by Stephen King, and this gave me the inspiration and confidence to attempt a full-blown novel.
The Trouble with Henry and Zoe by Andy Jones is published by Simon & Schuster