3 x 3: Kate Forsyth

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?

Always so hard to choose! I have so many authors that I love. But today I choose The Alice Network by Kate Quinn, The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, and The Night Watch by Sarah Waters. They are all bold and unconventional in their structure, with Kate Quinn weaving together two different historical periods (1915 & 1947), Mary Ann Shaffer telling her story through an exchange of letters, and Sarah Waters telling her tale of the Blitz backwards, and yet all three books are compulsively readable, making me stay up reading far too late at night because I must find out what happens. 


And three books you’ve enjoyed recently?

I am a voracious reader, and never confine myself to just one genre, reading crime, fantasy, historical fiction, contemporary fiction and creative non-fiction as hungrily as each other. In the past few weeks I’ve read so many good books, but these three stood-out from the crowd for me. The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes tells the story of horse-riding librarians who take books out to the poor and under-privileged through the wild mountains of Kentucky in the 1930s . Circe by Madeline Miller retells the story of the witch who turned men into pigs in The Odyssey. Phosphorescence by Julia Baird is a collection of essays which draws together science, history, poetry, and personal memoir to examine how to live a life filled with light. All three are beautifully written.


What are you looking forward to reading?

Crimson Lake by Candice Fox – I read Gone By Midnight earlier this year and loved it, so I’m going to read the whole series through, beginning with the first in the series. A Universe of Sufficient Size by Miriam Sved has been highly recommended to me by a friend and so I’m hoping I’m going to love it as much as she did. The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker, which retells part of the story of the Trojan war from the point of view of one of the women caught up in it. I’ve been reading a lot of books which retell Ancient Greek myths lately, as I’m writing a book set in Greece, and just loving them.


Kate Forsyth wrote her first novel at the age of seven, and has since sold more than a million copies around the world. Her books include Bitter Greens, a retelling of Rapunzel which won the 2015 American Library Association Award for Best Historical Fiction; The Wild Girl, the story of the forbidden romance behind the Grimm Brothers’ famous fairy tales, which was named the Most Memorable Love Story of 2013; and The Beast’s Garden, a retelling of ‘The Singing, Springing Lark’ set in the underground resistance to Hitler in Nazi Germany.

Recently voted one of Australia’s Favourite 15 Novelists, Kate Forsyth has been called ‘one of the finest writers of this generation’. She has a BA in literature, a MA in creative writing and a doctorate in fairy tale studies, and is also an accredited master storyteller with the Australian Guild of Storytellers.

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