Everything from Brecht to musicals. Especially anything Tennessee Williams ever wrote, Noel Coward’s Private Lives and John Osborne’s Look Back In Anger.
Lots of ’80s and ’90s Brit films (Close My Eyes, Beautiful Thing, anything involving Mike Leigh and Katrin Cartlidge) and lots of comedy/nerd films (Donnie Darko, Muriel’s Wedding). I once said I couldn’t love anyone who didn’t love the Tony Wilson/Factory Records biopic 24 Hour Party People. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. I also love Good Bye Lenin owing to East German heritage. And I’m a sworn cat-person who’s never owned a dog in my life but my favourite Disney film in the world is Lady and the Tramp.
Mad Men, Parks and Rec, Breaking Bad….oh bugger that, I like watching 90s soaps and sitcoms from my early teens on YouTube, squealing at the accents, dodgy frocks and landline phones. I also love The Thick of It, Nurse Jackie, Love Soup, Peep Show, Sugar Rush, Life On Mars/Ashes to Ashes, Drop The Dead Donkey, Veronica Mars, Scott and Bailey and anything Chris Morris or Maxine Peake do. I will probably get around to watching Orange Is The New Black in about 2020.
I read too much political/sociological non-fic and not enough fic. That’s humanities degrees for you.
First fiction book that politically engaged me: One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest (Ken Kesey).
Book that’s special in more ways than I can explain: Sputnik Sweetheart (Haruki Murakami).
Book I read on holiday at 18 which made me consider whether bleach and a revolver would be preferable to getting married and having children one day: How To Be Good (Nick Hornby). The jury’s still out on marriage and children…
Book about randy American women that’s much better than Sex and the City: The Group (Mary McCarthy).
Book that reminds of me a happy time of life: The Line of Beauty (Allan Hollinghurst – couldn’t bear his latest, mind…).
Favourite classic, mainly because of the Dorset setting: Far From The Madding Crowd (Thomas Hardy).
Books on my wishlist: Fallout (Sadie Jones), Friendship (Emily Gould), The Boy With The Top Knot (Sathham Sanghera) and loads more.
Memoirs I’ve really liked this year: Maggie and Me (Damian Barr) and Clothes Clothes Clothes. Music Music Music. Boys Boys Boys (Viv Albertine)
Lots of it, mainly new wave, punk, Britpop, house, soul, jazz, singer-songwriters and some classic rock/folk. Tori Amos and PJ Harvey can still have my soul. My cats are named Amy as in Winehouse and Polly as in Harvey. According to iTunes, artists I have been listening to a lot lately include Martha Wainwright, Ladyhawke, Cat Power, Thea Gilmore, Tanika Tikaram, The House of Love, The Wonder Stuff and Kirsty MacColl. I was exposed to a lot of classical music when I was younger but never knew the names of any composers or pieces so classical buffs make me feel a bit of a wally but I have a lot of respect for them.
Tea, most kinds of cheese, Italian food, German Christmas cakes, posh soaps and hand creams, discovering random nonsense on YouTube (late-night 90s post-pub programming, old gigs/raves, the last few minutes of East German state TV), web zines, Twitter, Radio 4.
People I’d Love To Interview
Tori Amos, PJ Harvey, Anna Chancellor, Saskia Reeves. It’s the 90s in my head…