After a year-long hiatus, everyone’s favorite Shopaholic is back! Sophie Kinsella, the author of the seven titles in the wildly popular Shopaholic series—as well as six other standalone adult novels—re-introduces fans to hilarious heroine Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) in her latest: Shopaholic to the Rescue. Here, we find Becky on a road trip, headed from Hollywood to Las Vegas, determined to locate her missing father. Along for the ride are beloved characters like her best friend Suze, daughter Minnie and husband Luke, her nemesis Alicia and of course, the notorious Derek Smeath. Gutsy as ever, Becky has found a new sense of maturity in her eighth adventure, though she still—of course—loves to shop. Here, author Sophie Kinsella interviews her main character Becky Bloomwood Brandon about the books she loves to buy. (Psst: Click on the book jacket to shop the Shopaholic’s picks.)
Sophie Kinsella: So, Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood), are you a book lover?
Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood): Oh I love books! I especially I love bookshops. We have a campaign where I live: ‘Support your local bookshop’, and honestly, I’ve been so supportive of that. The lovely thing about buying books is, you don’t feel guilty at all, however much you spend.
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And that’s what I always point out to Luke, when my pile of bedside ‘to read’ books crashes down on the floor. (Which it does quite often.) Before he can even suggest that I tidy them away or don’t buy so many, I just give him a calm, even stare, and I say, ‘Luke, these are books. OK? Books.’
Also, books are amazingly good value for money, in my opinion. Because they give you hours of enjoyment. Hours. I mean, if you compare them to DVDs or film tickets, or theatre tickets, or, practically anything, then they totally win.
(OK, maybe they don’t win against handbags. But they win against everything else.)
And here are some of my absolute favorite books:
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
What I love about this book is imagining I’m there. I wouldn’t be Daisy Buchanan, certainly not, but I’d be one of the people at Gatsby’s parties, looking fabulous and having an amazing time. I mean, it all gets a bit dark in the end. It’s like one of those dreams that starts off brilliantly and ends up a nightmare. But plunging into that world is intoxicating.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
How could I not choose this?! There’s a very special reason for me to pick this book, which I will not reveal in case anyone hasn’t read my latest adventure, Shopaholic To The Rescue. Anyway, it’s a brilliant book, also very dark and evocative, and with lots of simmering tension. It has lots of morals, like: 1. Don’t get intimidated by dead former wives, 2. If your husband has a spooky housekeeper, fire her, and 3. Basically, talk to your husband a bit more.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
This book also has a moral, which I approve of whole-heartedly: Don’t be a miserable old skinflint. It’s just the right length (quite short) which means you can read it whenever you’re wanting to feel a bit Christmassy. I honestly think Dickens is one of the most brilliant authors who ever lived. There are so many words and names he invented, that we now refer to in everyday life. Like, I’m always calling Luke a Scrooge when he won’t buy any more decorations for the Christmas tree.
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
I’m not usually one for animal books (that’s more my best friend Suze’s bag) but I read this when I was little and I just love Mr. Toad. He’s such a lovable rogue, and I totally sympathize with the way he tries to be good and then…isn’t.
Miss Happiness and Miss Flower by Rumer Godden
This is another children’s book, which is a real gem, and I’m going to read it to Minnie as soon as she can understand it. It’s about this lonely little girl who gets two Japanese dolls and makes them a house. Which I know, doesn’t sound that fascinating…but trust me. It’s lovely.
That was so much fun! Do you want to know my top five pairs of shoes now?
Oh, well maybe next time. Byeee!
If you want to keep up with Becky and her exploits, read all about her latest adventure in Shopaholic to the Rescue. (Get a head start with this excerpt here.) And thanks to Sophie Kinsella for her insight into Becky’s bookshelves!