‘I love the nature writing of BB’

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‘I love the nature writing of BB (Denys Watkins-Pitchford), who grew up in a vicarage near mine in Northamptonshire, and snap up every copy of Brendon Chase I find in secondhand bookshops.’

From Reverend Richard Coles’s ‘Books that made me’, Guardian

The book I wish I’d written
To write one perfect novel and nothing more would be wonderful. So maybe The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, which I adore. A collapsing ancien régime is like Disneyland to me.

The book I think is most underrated
I cannot understand why the novels of the Scottish writer Robin Jenkins are not better known south of the border. I once resolved to make a studio opera out of The Cone-Gatherersbut the thought of the stage machinery necessary to make it work defeated me.

The book I couldn’t finish
I often flake in book three of a trilogy. Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast, for example, or Dante’s The Divine Comedy. Perhaps I want a greater sense of resolution, or a different resolution from the one that’s given.

The book I give as a gift
I love the nature writing of BB (Denys Watkins-Pitchford), who grew up in a vicarage near mine in Northamptonshire, and snap up every copy of Brendon Chase I find in secondhand bookshops.

My comfort read
Julian of Norwich, the 14th-century East Anglian anchoress. All shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

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