What’s on my Shelf, with Music and Culture Managing Editor Lorna Holland

A book lover’s bookshelf contains many wonderful, interesting, and intriguing books – some that you may not even have heard of yet! Our new books column, ‘What’s On My Shelf’, allows a glimpse into the bookshelves of our editors here at Kettle. This week, you can find out what lines Music & Culture Managing Editor Lorna Holland’s bookshelf. 

As an author, writer, book blogger, and book lover in general, books are a massive part of my life. I’ve loved reading ever since I can remember, and I’m certain that finding a new favourite book is one of the best things in life. With a tbr pile currently consisting of 951 unread books I own (yes, really!) it’s pretty safe to say that I have a rather large book collection – and, yes, I’m constantly adding to it!

Shelf overview

I’ve only recently upgraded to a full-size bookcase so I’m still playing around with which books I want to put where. The problem with having so many books is that there is no way I can display them all at once (though the dream is to one day have a proper library) so I have to try and create some sort of order. At the moment I have a shelf for the old children’s books I can’t quite bring myself to get rid of, one for my favourite YA series, one for non-fiction and old uni textbooks, and two for a very small selection of the books that are waiting to be read. The rest are currently living in a couple of giant towers of boxes stacked precariously in a corner of my room!

I also have probably far too many unread books on my Kindle and tablet. I keep most of the classics on my Kindle as the majority are free to download, which saves space and money. When I first got my Kindle I went through a phase of downloading pretty much every free book I came across, so I have a pretty odd and varied selection of genres waiting for me on there now. Much as I love the practicality of my Kindle though, nothing can beat a traditional book for me.

Indie authors

If I had to pick, my favourite genre would be YA. However, I like to keep an open mind and I always say I am happy to review books from any genre (though I’m not particularly keen on horror). I also support indie authors and a good chunk of the books I review on my blog are from self-published authors. There’s still this stigma attached to self-publishing, but I hope that one day people will respect indie authors as much as traditionally-published writers. They say you should never judge a book by its cover; I don’t think you should judge a book by its publisher either.

Favourite books

My favourite books of all time would have to be the Harry Potter series, without a doubt. There’s just something special about Rowling’s magical world that keeps making me come back to the books time and time again. I’m also of the unpopular opinion that the best Potter book is Order of the Phoenix. Even though everyone always complains about it, it’s always the one I remember connecting with most. #HufflepuffPride

Aside from Harry Potter, my favourite children’s books were Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series and Chris D’Lacey’s The Last Dragon Chronicles. I was such a fan that I got my very own writing dragon, Gadzooks, for my 11th birthday from the lovely Val, who was the inspiration behind Mrs Pennykettle in the books.

Image: Lorna Holland

Growing up, I fell in love with YA and haven’t looked back since. My favourite YA authors are Meg Cabot and Rachel Caine – I think I own enough books by the two of them to fill an entire bookshelf (stacked double deep) by themselves!

Moving in a completely different direction, my other favourite book is Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I saw the musical (twice), saw the film, fell in love with the story, and read the book. It might be a bit of a brick to get through, but it’s worth it.

Currently reading

I currently have 27 ARCs from authors, publishers, blog tours, and Netgalley awaiting my attention. It’s a good thing I read fast!

I’ve just finished reading debut novel Valentina by S.E. Lynes – an intense psychological thriller set in Aberdeen. Before that I read a collection of YA short stories, Summer Days and Summer Nights, edited by Stephanie Perkins, which I definitely recommend.

The next book I’m going to get started on is contemporary romance Red Lights, Black Hearts by Fabiola Francisco. I read Sweet On Wilde, another of her books, last year, so I’m looking forward to this one.

What’s on your shelf? Let us know in the comments below!