Chef Rachel Allen shares three recent reads …
“When people ask me what kind of book I like and I tell them, I can see their faces changing and them thinking, “Really?” I like quite gruesome books – crime, suspense, international espionage. Even though I can’t bear bloody things in real life I seem to be able to read about them while sitting up in bed. I have read most of Jo Nesbo’s books and really enjoyed them.
At the moment I am reading I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes and my goodness, it’s amazing. Some sentences really resonated with me – the mother of a young man who is being radicalised, his father beheaded in the square. I love it, seeing how this young boy becomes radicalised, his disgust at his mother when she starts wearing more western clothes. I am finding it very brutal and all-consuming.
My mum has lent me The Promise by Damon Galgut, which she says is just incredible and I can’t wait to read it. It’s the story of a woman who wants to leave a house to her black maid but when her husband seems to forget her dying wish the family is cursed to fail.
I’ve also lined up Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty which sounds very entertaining with lots of rivalry and secrets.
For me, reading is a total escape but one that has to be rationed. I get up early in the morning, make myself a cup of tea and read, sometimes for just ten minutes. Then you have to carry on with the day. I used to read a lot of cookbooks, but I’ve stopped doing that because I don’t want to be influenced when writing my own books. I have a lovely group of girlfriends and we get together to talk about books but I am a bit of an odd one out in my choices. They are all sharing The Midnight Library by Matt Haig at the moment, but I seem to go for a different genre.”
Rachel Allen’s Soup, Broth, Bread, (Penguin, €24.99) is out now
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