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Cathy Kelly shares with us the books that make her laugh, cry and her ultimate comfort read

Cathy Kelly

From the books that make her laugh to the ones that make her cry, Michelle Dardis asks author and recent DWTS contestant Cathy Kelly for her recommended reads….

An Irish author you admire…
There are so many!! Maeve Binchy, the trailblazer. Patricia Scanlan, Sheila O’ Flanagan, Marian Keyes, Sinead Moriarty, Louise O’ Neill…

A quote from a book you will never forget…
My favourite quote is from an Irish author but it’s from a play – the incomparable Oscar Wilde and The Importance of Being Earnest: “To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as misfortune: to lose both looks like carelessness.”

A book that is your comfort read…
This changes but right now, I’m rereading The Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard which follows the fortunes of the Cazalet family in advance of, during and after WW2.

A book that makes you laugh…
Anything by Frank O Connor. Also, Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books – a trilogy in five parts. No, that’s not a mistake!

A book that should be on every shelf…
A Seamus Heaney collection.

Your favourite character from a book…
Impossible question! I love Janet Evanovich, and would love to be a superheroine, so perhaps Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter and all-round hilarious woman.

A book that makes you cry…
Dr Edith Eger’s book, The Choice, which is part-autobiography, part- psychoanalytical story, of this Hungarian-born ballet dancer and analyst who survived Auschwitz. It’s ultimately such an uplifting story as Dr Eger is such a phenomenal woman but like any book about the Holocaust, it’s shatteringly sad.

A book that left you thinking about it days later…
As a UNICEF Ireland ambassador, I visited Rwanda many years ago and read the autobiography of Immaculeé Ilibagiza on the plane journey. She and seven other women survived the country’s 1994 genocide by hiding in a tiny bathroom and now she speaks around the world about peace and reconciliation. It’s a book about the power of humanity in the face of war.

First book you fell in love with…
It was Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers when I was about thirteen. I was home sick from school and had this lovely old copy of the classic novel. I can recall the filmy thin pages and the thrilling storyline. I have several copies now, all old ones from charity shops.

A book you listened to on Audible and loved…
The Harry Potter series narrated by Stephen Fry. I love his voice and I love JK Rowling’s books.

A book that changed your life…
Undoubtedly my own first novel, Woman To Woman which came out in Ireland in 1997 and was number one for eight weeks. It changed my life because it transformed me from being someone who always wanted to write into a novelist. As a direct result of that book, I ended up writing full-time and have just finished my twenty-second novel!

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