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I READ* by... Josie Long

Josie Long


1. Your favourite genre of reading matter: fiction, poetry, biography, comic, other?

I like short stories and comic books best, but I do like American fiction, too.

2. Books that you are most likely to ‘casually’ display when guests come round for dinner?

I have lots of terse twentieth-century American books that make me look romantic and melancholy and clever, I hope. And I have a book of logic puzzles in the loo.

3. Your favourite magazine?

I like Nude magazine, they have features on thrift and comics and stuff. I like Plan B, and I like Pick Me Up as it has Jeremy Kyle’s fun-time misogynist opinions. I like Mariella Frostrup in the Observer Magazine. She delivers unexpected smackdowns on people.

4.The book that has influenced you the most?

Kurt Vonnegut books are my favourite ones for taking advice and help from, I think. Fahrenheit 451 [by Ray Bradbury] was the first book I really connected with and loved when I was thirteen. The quote in the front: ‘They give you lined paper  – write the other way’ – that felt very encouraging!

5. The living writer whom you most admire?

I really like Dave Eggers for his energy and his style and the things he’s set up and perpetuates.

6. Favourite place to buy books?

Weird second-hand bookshops when I’m touring. York and Cornwall have the best ones.

7. Best book cover?

I have a copy of The Bell Jar I really like. It’s a Faber edition and it looks very 1960s. I love Chris Ware’s books, too, for the cover details and design.

8. Most well-thumbed?

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, cos it’s great and cos I dropped it in the bath.

9. Your favourite children’s book?

Small Pig by Arnold Stark Lobel. It’s about a pig that loves mud and it’s adorable.

10. Do you read on the toilet? If yes, what do you read?

Yeah! I read the Observer throughout the week, and bits of old copies of Time Out about things like running clothes.



* Josie Long is a stand-up comedian who lives in London. She has performed at comedy festivals around the world. She won the if.comedy best newcomer award in Edinburgh in 2006, and most recently has made a series for BBC Radio 4.