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Allie Recommends

4 books tied with a piece of string with a pink carnation tucked in the package

All writers are—or should be—readers. I’ve been an avid reader myself from a young age, when I read my way through the entirety of the children’s section of our local library.

Nowadays I read widely, and also enjoy listening to audiobooks.

My favourites will always be the classics—Austen and Anthony Trollope in particular—but I have discovered some excellent authors, both traditionally and self-published, whose books I recommend.

Lona Manning writes and blogs about various aspects of literature but especially Jane Austen. Her Mansfield Park trilogy is a treat, faithful to the original style and tone of Austen; you forget you’re not reading the real thing!

Sallianne Hines also writes excellent and authentic Austenesque fiction. I recommend her sequels, Her Summer at Pemberley, which follows the story of Kitty Bennet, and The Pleasure of Her Company, which explores life for Mrs Dashwood after her two older girls are married. Her contemporary but Austen-inspired later-in-life romance Love and Stones is also a wonderful read. Sallianne is my editor, and we worked together on our non-fiction books, About Self-publishing and About Editing.

Linda Gillard writes both contemporary and historical novels, usually set in a spooky mansion, with strong female protagonists and sharply incisive prose. I haven’t read one I didn’t enjoy but her family story, A Lifetime Burning, is extraordinary.

Other go-to authors are Emma Donoghue, Olivia Hawker, Laurel Savile, Kristin Hannah, Sarah Winman and Rachel Joyce.

My favourite books this year have been Sarah Winman’s Still Life and Bonnie Garmus’ Lessons in Chemistry.

You can read my reviews of these books here:

Still Life - Sarah Winman

Lessons in Chemistry - Bonnie Garmus


And on the subject of reviews, please do always review all the books you read, including mine. Reviews are a writer’s lifeblood. Nothing matters more than to know that our books are being enjoyed.

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