Bookmark with…Professor Luke O’Neill

From the books which made him laugh to the ones which made him cry, Professor Luke O’Neill tells Bianca Luykx about his recommended reads…

A book that made you cry?

I just finished a book called The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn. It’s a suspense/thriller involving a woman with agoraphobia who spends all day looking out her window at her neighbours. She’s estranged from her husband and daughter but talks to them a lot on the phone but then you learn they’re both dead and it’s all in her head.

First book you fell in love with…

I read all the Paddington books as a kid and loved them!

A book that left you thinking about it days later?

Tim Marshall’s latest book The Future of Geography is all about the space race. Because India just landed a spacecraft at the moon’s South Pole, and NASA’s Artemis space programme is gearing up to send humans back to the moon, it’s on my mind a lot.

A book that made you happy?

I’m a huge Beatles fan and I’ve read lots of books about them. Philip Norman wrote a book about Paul McCartney. He’d written a book about the Beatles called Shout in which he was really nasty about McCartney but in the follow up book he set the record straight and apologised. He said he was nasty in the previous book because he was hurting over the Beatles breaking up.

A quote from a book you will never forget…

‘Heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit’ – from Ulysses

Describe your writing process…

I’m a night owl so I often sit down to write at 11pm and sometimes finish at 2am and wonder where the time has gone.

A book that changed you?

Isaac Asimov’s Guide to Science which I read when I was 20. It inspired me to become a scientist.

How do you want your books to make people feel?

Positive about their lives because of science.

Next on your book list?

I have at least 10 books by my bed waiting to be read. The pressure! Top of the pile is Anne Enright’s The Wren, The Wren.

To Boldly Go Where No Book Has Gone Before; A joyous journey through all of science, by Professor Luke O’Neill is out now. Show Me the Science is out now.

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