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Marina Lewycka: 'The most underrated book? Collins Complete DIY Manual'

The author on crying over Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, being impressed by Salman Rushdie’s swearing and falling asleep to Elena Ferrante

The book I am currently reading

Olga Tokarczuk’s Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead. I’d had this book for a while, and in an uncharacteristic fit of tidiness I gave it away to Oxfam because I thought I wouldn’t have time to read it. When I heard it had won the Nobel, I went to buy it back – alas it was gone, but a kind friend lent me his. It’s wonderfully original, thrilling and chilling, with a protagonist definitely in need of cleaning tips. Tokarczuk’s Flights is also very enjoyable. A new voice for us to listen out for.

The book I didn’t finish
I gave up on Finnegans Wake by James Joyce. I thought it would be a doddle, because I did finish Ulysses and loved it. But Finnegans Wake was too much hard work, a bit self-indulgent, and besides, I don’t know Dublin well enough.

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