RED ALERT RED ALERT I AM NO LONGER IN MY HOUSE.
I am in Pain Quotidien, which is practically my house, though. It's like a tiny outpost of Belgium in the middle of London, with less gratuitous daytime beer (why am I in Pain Quotidien? Who knows. I am always in Pain Quotidien and I was in the middle of a psychotic break in Cos trying on worse and worse shapeless garments so I thought I needed to break the cycle, I had already acquired a pair of trousers of very dubious merit in some kind of modern 'stretch' fabric. Brrrrr).
I am no longer in Pain Quotidien, having paid £4.73 for a green juice which made my mouth smell of sprouts. I am at my father's after going to Mrs Trefusis's magnificent literary salon with India Knight, poor picture follows:
... which was exceptionally cheery, with champagne and brilliant book chat and good advice for The Withering (this was India's provisional title for the book which became In Your Prime). The premise of the salon, which is called The Books That Built Me is six books that have influenced the invitee and shaped their writing life: India's were Dante's Inferno, Nancy Mitford's Pursuit of Love, Simenon L'Homme Qui Regardait Passer les Trains, Albert Cohen's Belle de Seigneur, Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, and Barbara Pym (just all Barbara Pym, basically). Of course you can't help but try and think of your own, it's like a literary Desert Island Discs, but thankfully with a different remit and no sandy, desert island hardship. Ugh, how I hate sand. This is my thinking tonight, but it would be different tomorrow:
The Compleet Molesworth
Some representative PG Wodehouse, ideally involving a small but serviceable rubber bludgeon and/or Roderick Spode.
The Pursuit of Love
Daniel Deronda, purely for Gwendolen who, with her snake-like neck, is one of my favourite (anti?) heroines (I too have a snake-like neck and an iffy moral compass). Incidentally the author of this fantastic looking book on literary heroines was also there tonight (she nearly proposed to me, long story) and I am downloading it the instant I get home.
A Fred Vargas, I don't know which, they're all so good, maybe Pars Vite et Reviens Tard.
David Sedaris Me Talk Pretty One Day
So hard. I've already changed seven things and I want to put H is for Hawk in.
I have to finish this now as it is nearly midnight and it would be a shame to fail at this totally arbitrary and wrongly calculated forty days thing now. What six books have shaped and influenced you? Can you even bear to limit yourself to six, mutiply caveated?
23:59! MUST POST.