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  • Hoi! Today I’m here with Livs, she used to be a bookseller.

  • Yes, for seven years I worked at Tales on Moon Lane which is

  • a beautiful children’s independent in South London.

  • Basically what happens to me in the office quite a lot is that someone will

  • mention an author or a title

  • and I'll just goeugh?!’ I was raised in the Netherlands and read mostly Dutch

  • children's literature and I

  • missed out on quite a lot, and Livs knows all about these books so today we're gonna run

  • through

  • some of the kind of children's literature that’s still appropriate for YA readers

  • that she thinks that I should read. British people don't hate me if you think that these

  • are really obvious, or that theyre not

  • classic enough or something like that, because I wanted to give books that

  • I adore, I think are really good examples of British children's books and YA books

  • that Sanne and her viewers would be interested in reading.

  • So here we go! [dun dun dun]. She hasn’t seen any of these. No, I don’t know what this is.

  • "A Little Love Song" by Michelle Magorian. See this is one I’ve never heard of before.

  • Okay have you ever heard of "Goodnight Mister Tom"? No.

  • [Gasp] "Goodnight Mister Tom" it's a book that probably every British

  • kid has read at primary school or the beginning of secondary school. Okay. And it was

  • made into a really heartbreakingly brilliant

  • ITV drama with John Thaw. Michelle Magorian who wrote "Goodnight Mister Tom", it’s her most famous one,

  • this is another that

  • she wrote. It’s called "A Little Love Song". Me and my twin sister probably read it when we're about

  • 12 or 13 and in fact in this edition there’s my sister’s really bad handwriting.

  • It follows two sisters, Rose and Diana. Diana is the beautiful, confident older sister, Rose who is

  • the main character in this story

  • is sort of in her shadow and quite happy there but beginning to get a bit uncomfortable.

  • I think it’s 1943.

  • And theyre sent away to a tiny coastal village

  • to be out of harm's way whilst their parents are doing very important things for the war.

  • So they live in this cottage

  • in this tiny, tiny village and it's basically one summer where they

  • really find out who they are. I’m one of three sisters so I love any

  • books about sisters, you will notice this actually in all of these books.

  • And it's just really beautifully written, very British feeling.

  • I kept seeing this from the corner of my eye thinking it was cheese. It’s oranges, they play -

  • yeah, orange bizarrely play a part. The other thing I should say, there’s a kind of, Rose discovers

  • a kind of sub

  • storyline that echoes back the past and stuff. "Fly by Night" by Frances Hardinge.

  • It’s about a girl called Mosca in a world where reading is banned

  • and people are terrified of the printing press. It's got a

  • homicidal goose, a man called Eponymous Clent who is a wordsmith by nature,

  • and floating coffeehouse barges. Frances Hardinge’s writing

  • is unbelievably brilliant. She creates metaphors that

  • you - will never have entered your brain before and yet somehow

  • theyre the most perfect things youve ever thought of. It’s quite clankity and sort of

  • rhythmic and brilliant and Mosca is full of gumption and a really sharp tongue

  • at its so entertaining, but purely just for some

  • absolutely fantastic unique writing. If you like Neil Gaiman, you will like Frances Hardinge.

  • A lot of you are gonna be likeugh, how obvious’,

  • with this one, but she's never read it. "I Capture the Castle"

  • by Dodie Smith. That’s a really nice edition! This, thank you, this was

  • the Vintage Classics edition before they did the one with that girl with the, holding

  • the blue bells And now youve got the Vintage Children’s Classic which is the blue with the silhouette castle.

  • So this was given to me by my Godmother when I was fifteen. I'd already read

  • an edition of it

  • when I was 11, hadn’t really enjoyed it that much, and then at fifteen found this book and found, I think

  • the meaning of life.

  • So it follows the Mortman family, who live in a ramshackle Castle. It’s narrated by Cassandra. And it’s diary.

  • And then there’s her beautiful, frustrating big sister Rose. They have no money, they live in the middle of nowhere,

  • nothing's going on. Their mad that ex-artist's model

  • stepmother Topaz, who goes out communing with nature

  • wearing nothing but a pair of wellies. And their ex-famous writer father,

  • who basically wrote the seminal novel kinda two decades before, or something like that, a decade

  • before, and now is all dried up due to writer’s block,

  • and has become a grumpy hermit. I cannot say enough good things about this book.

  • Everyone I know who’s read this book, which is a lot of people,

  • everyone has a different favourite moment, everyone has that different bit

  • that has just totally connected with them. I think this is actually the perfect novel,

  • great love story as well. It’s full of references to other books. One of the things is

  • that they sort of

  • have learned how to be women from Jane Austen as opposed to 1930s,

  • 1940s films that they grew up with, So Rose when the two heirs come into it is sort of all

  • batting her

  • eyelashes and she’s sort ofaah, and Cassandra is mortified for her and it’s all very, very funny.

  • There’s a Joanna Trollope quote on the back of this that says “I know few novels except Pride

  • and Prejudice that inspire as much fierce, lifelong affection in their readers

  • and it's so true. I feel like if there's one book you would make me read it would be that one.

  • That one. Totally.  And here is the last one. Now this technically isn’t a YA book. This is one

  • that me and my sisters read when we were about 14. So the Mitford sisters were six sisters -

  • Wait you told me about this! I’ve told you about this! And if you don't know there were six sisters

  • who, Nancy the eldest I think was born in 1904, I think Deborah was born in like 1924 or something,

  • And they kind of basically met everyone and did everything he could have done in

  • the thirties, forties, fifties, sixties.

  • They met everyone from Hitler to  JFK, and I've just been fascinated with them since I was about

  • thirteen because they were women that just did whatever the hell they liked

  • And really defined some eras, and just,

  • they are just fascinating. Mary S. Lovell wrote a great biography about them just

  • so you know. Anyway, this is actually an

  • anthology of some of Nancy’s books. Nancy was the eldest

  • and she was the most famous writer. The first two - her most famous two -

  • are "The Pursuit of Love" and "Love in a Cold Climate". Again set during the twenties/thirties - there’s another theme.

  • Tells the story of a girl called Fanny and her cousins, who are just mad.

  • There’s hundreds of them and they were all very much based on Nancy and her

  • family.

  • It's about Fanny and her favorite cousin Linda and finding

  • love. It incorporates the Spanish civil war,

  • and coming out balls at Buckingham Palace, and -

  • Oh my god - And Nancy is most famous for her really, really

  • biting, witty tongue. I mean it could cut you. But they're really enjoyable, the characters are

  • larger than

  • life. And what's amazing about it is that so many of them are actually, you know, based on

  • real people.

  • Theyre adult books, but theyre the perfect kinda introduction to adult books for anyone, and

  • if you are an adult watching this

  • and you haven’t read them - you fools! There are a couple of books to add to myto readpile.

  • Seriously have to read them. And youll make me read them. Yeah I will.

  • So in the comments you can let me know which one of these books youve read and like

  • which ones you would add to the list. Yes totally, what have I missed out?! Thank you so

  • much for being

  • in the video with me and educating me. It’s my pleasure, thank you so much for having me,

  • it's been super fun. If you wanna chat with Livs you can do so on Twitter -

  • Absolutely - I will put her Twitter in the description as well. Goodbye.

  • Doei!

Hoi! Today I’m here with Livs, she used to be a bookseller.

Subtitles and keywords

B1 INT UK read nancy rose edition book dun

British YA Classics with Livs.

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    Eating   posted on 2014/11/27
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