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Review - Books - My life in books

Claire Dubarbier is on the PGCE primary course at London South Bank University

What I'm reading

Long Lankin

By Lindsey Barraclough

This is Lindsey Barraclough's debut novel, and I have struggled to put it down. It is a spooky, gothic tale inspired by a chilling old English folk song. Well written and well paced, with more than a sprinkling of hair-raising moments, I enjoy Barraclough's skilful use of three narrators, two of whom are teenagers. Having worked with young adults, their voices are accurate and offer a lot of humour, as well as a much-needed reality check to grown-ups around them. I hope everyone discovers Lindsey Barraclough because her writing is great escapism.

The book I loved as a child

The St Clare's Series

By Enid Blyton

I know she is not very fashionable now, but growing up I loved Enid Blyton's series about an English boarding school. As an impressionable 10-year-old, I loved the idea that school could involve midnight feasts, ginger beer and lacrosse matches. There is a character called Claudine who pops up later in the series and I adored her exploits at the expense of French teacher Mademoiselle Abominable.

Read this before you die

King Lear

By William Shakespeare

Shakespeare and I have had a difficult relationship. Even when I started studying his plays for my degree, I found his work old-fashioned and hard to read. But then I read King Lear in my final year and everything clicked. Now I understand that his plays are the best in our history. I was lucky enough to see Derek Jacobi play King Lear in London and he was incredible, particularly when he spoke the immortal line: "I am a man more sinned against than sinning."

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