Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 19 September 2019

My favourite reads: Connor Stansfield

Here are five books I enjoy so much, I won't be lending out my copies

Christine by Stephen King. Courtesy Hodder & Stoughton
Christine by Stephen King. Courtesy Hodder & Stoughton

Books are like pens, in that they’re borrowed but are rarely returned, having their own magical way of travelling to new owners. I’m grateful these books found their way into my collection and I hope they won’t go anywhere soon – so if you want to read one, I won’t be lending you my copy!

This is London by Ben Judah (2016) I read this in London and in doing so caught a glimpse of the city’s underground sub-cultures. The book is Judah’s perspective of London, which unfolds as he does everything from sleeping rough with homeless Romanians and squatting with Polish workers, to doing rounds with south London gangsters, all to paint a picture of a mad city that most of us never see from the surface.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (1988) This story, which follows an Andalusian shepherd boy as he travels to Egypt, made me laugh recently and it is simple enough to read to your kids. It expresses ideas and inspirations that provoke conceptions about life, fate and spirituality that are delightful meditations to readers of any age and from all religious backgrounds.

The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa (1982) This is possibly one of my most prized possessions. This book unleashes the brilliant but tortured mind of Portuguese poet Pessoa. Inside, you’ll find depression, paranoia and oceans of repressed potential. But don’t give up after the first few chapters, as gradually you will unearth the touching reflections on the simple but tragic life of a poet too afraid to share his work.

Christine by Stephen King (1983) As a diehard fan of horror and classic cars, I couldn’t resist including this novel by King. I first read it in high school, around the age everyone starts to get into cars, and it appealed to everything you can romanticise about all things four-wheeled. And yet it is chilling enough that you do not want to read it after dark.

Guy Martin: My Autobiography by Guy Martin (2014) I consider this book an offering to the god of speed. It tells the story of the extraordinary life of the lorry-mechanic-turned-superbike legend. If you know the Isle of Man TT, then you know his name and this book explains his lifelong love of engines and describes what it means to take part in the most dangerous race in the world.

Connor Stansfield is a developer at The National

Updated: February 28, 2019 07:39 PM

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