Three questions: Kate Mosse

Every night, in the luxurious surroundings of the Baileys Prize Book Bar, we’ll be asking three bookish questions of our notable guests. Last night, we caught up with Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction co-founder and bestselling novelist Kate Mosse. Read on to find out the book Kate can’t live without and why she believes reading is so important.

Which book by a woman do you recommend most?

For me, and I’m in my mid-fifties now, the book that I recommend to anybody has not really changed and it’s Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. The reason for this is that it is a book that can be read in any decade of your life and I’ve done that and it is a different book every time. It is a ghost story, it’s a book about society, it’s a book about the power of nature, it’s a book about obsession… It’s never the same book twice so it’s a bit like watching the seasons change on the moors that Emily Bronte wrote about… If you’re going to read one book, read that one.

Which is the one book you can’t live without?

Actually, as a novelist, the book I can’t live without is the book I’m writing because when you are writing it takes over. It’s not that they’re you’re imaginary friends, quite but I go to bed at night with a sense of those shadowy people standing just slightly behind me and the excitement of waking up every morning and thinking: today I’m just going to give you a bit more of your story. And when things go well they sail along and they’re by your side. And when they go badly, you feel like you’re letting them down. So for me, I am I writer and so the book that I’m working on is always what matters most to me both as a reader and a writer.

What does the pleasure of reading mean to you?

Every human emotion is in the pages of somebody’s book, somewhere. You sit down cross-legged in a library when you’re five and you learn that you can travel the world and time thorugh the pages of a book and for the time that you’re reading it – those few hours, those few weeks – you’re not yourself. You can be anybody. And that for me is what reading does, it sets us free.

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