3 x 3: Paige Toon

3 x 3 is a semi-regular column where we ask bookish people to share what is on their bookshelf.

What are three of your all time favourite books?

The book that made me fall in love with the genre that I went on to write is Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding. When it came out it was unlike anything I had ever read before and I remember being on holiday in Key West and laughing out loud as I raced through the pages. Marian Keyes is one of my favourite authors – no one does hilarious and heartbreaking quite like her. Watermelon was the first of hers I read, but I love them all. The book that I devoured over and over as a child and will always have a special place in my heart is The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. It’s tender and terribly sad, but also uplifting. I couldn’t read it aloud to my own children without breaking down in tears.

And three books you’ve enjoyed recently?

Helen Hoang’s The Kiss Quotient was so much fun – a sort of Pretty Woman in reverse: a smart, but useless-at-relationships woman hires a male escort to teach her how to be a good girlfriend. I also loved Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare, which has a great premise: Tiffy and Leon share a flat, Tiffy and Leon share a bed, Tiffy and Leon have never met. These characters were so likeable and memorable. And I loved Josie Silver’s The Two Lives of Lydia Bird, although I almost didn’t get past the first few pages as it was so sad. But it went on to become one of the most unique stories I’ve ever read and it’s also beautifully uplifting.

What are you looking forward to reading?

I have a giant pile of books I’ve been sent, but the three I’m most looking forward to reading are ones I can’t quite believe I haven’t delved into yet: Marian Keyes’s latest, Grown Ups – I was slightly put off by the heavy hardback and thought I might – shock horror – download it onto my Kindle when it came out. It’s itching to be read. I’ve loved all of Mhairi McFarlane’s books so I’m certain I’ll adore If I Never Met You. And I’ve heard great things about Rebecca Serle’s In Five Years, so that’s one I’ll gravitate towards soon.

Paige Toon grew up between England, Australia and America and has been writing books set in sun-drenched locations around the world since 2007. She has released thirteen novels and a three-part spin off series for young adults.

In 2014, Paige set up a club, The Hidden Paige, in order to share free short stories and extra content with her readers. Sign up at paigetoon.com or visit her website to find out more about the author and her characters.

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