Best books to read this summer from bestsellers to romance epics

Best books to read this summer from bestsellers to romance epics


Let’s get cultural.

best books to read
PIXELFORMULA/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock

The summer and sunshine has finally rolled around, which means that we’re a go for a whimsical lunch break spent reading a page turner in the park. With so many books to choose from and so little time however, sometimes it can be hard whittling down what the best books to read this summer are so we did some digging and found something to tickle all kinds of fancies.

Whether you’re looking for the ultimate chick lit read to shove in your beach bag on holiday or want a cathartic epic that’ll make you sob your heart out, I’ve put together a list below of all the books everybody’s been talking about (or soon will be).

By the way, if you haven’t already joined our Marie Claire book club, there’s no time like the present. Keep an eye out on our Instagram and for the hashtag #marieclairebookclub, as we’ll be regularly announcing a new novel and reviewing it with all of you lovely readers on the feed.

Books you need to read right now

Who better to ask for book recommendations than somebody who works with them all day? We chatted to the lovely Michael Perry, a bookseller based in South London, to see what he’s currently poring over when he’s not playing bookshelf Jenga with the arrivals sweeping through the shop door. Check out his recommended picks below…

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

books to read

Michael said, ‘There’s no one book leading the pack when it comes to this year’s essential titles, but Gabriel Tallent’s My Absolute Darling has just landed in paperback and I’m hoping that it capitalises on the buzz it received in hardback last year. It’s a compassionate, commanding and uncompromising dig into emotional and physical scars, and it deserves a wide readership to match its critical plaudits. It might not sound particularly summery on paper, but in the same way Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life did several years ago, it’s a book of such direct clout that it consumes its readers like little else.’

Priced at £6.99, available at Amazon

Buy now

Circe by Madeline Miller

books to read

‘Lately, I’ve also loved Circe, Madeline Miller’s second deep dive into ancient mythology, which is as dazzlingly escapist and achingly empathic as Song of Achilles,’ Michael continued.

Priced at £13.99, available at Waterstones

Buy now

The Beautiful Summer by Cesare Pavese

books to read

Michael said, ‘Penguin’s re-release of Cesare Pavese’s The Beautiful Summer (as choice a pick as its title implies) is simply gorgeous.’

Priced at £6.99, available at Amazon

Buy now

The Dig by Cynan Jones

books to read

‘Cynan Jones’ The Dig is possibly the best thing I’ve read in the past year,’ Michael said, ‘I read it twice during a four-hour train journey in spring, and it has haunted me ever since.’

Priced at £8.99, available at Waterstones

Buy now

Best selling books

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

books to read

Literally everybody has been buzzing about this book in the office, which follows the story of an offbeat socially awkward woman Eleanor. When she and her colleague Raymond wind up saving an old man Sammy on the street, all three of them wind up deeply affecting one another’s lives in different ways – drawing each other out of their little bubbles and their personal tragedies. Reese Witherspoon loved the book so much, she’s actually going to be producing the film and we trust her judgment.

Priced at £4.49, available at Amazon

Buy now

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

books to read

Celeste Ng is back with another page-turner you’ll quickly become obsessed with, set in a sleepy American suburb in Cleveland. When single mother Mia Warren and her daughter Pearl arrive fresh to the neighbourhood, their landlords – the Richardsons and particularly Elena Richardson – quickly become fast friends. However as a custody battle over an adopted child comes to light, it threatens to tear the new connection apart.

Priced at £5.99, available at Amazon

Buy now

Romance books

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

books to read

There’s a reason that this book has been on the bestsellers list for weeks on end. This odd yet charming little novel follows the story of Anthony Peardew, who obsessively collects lost things after losing a keepsake from his fiancee the day she passed away. After he too passes, his newly divorced assistant Laura is tasked with taking on his mission and quickly falls in love with the ghosts haunting the home – as well as the gardener Freddy next door.

Priced at £4.67, available at Amazon

Buy now

Chasing the Sun by Katy Collins

books to read

Sometimes, all you want is some easy chick lit. This fun book by Katy Collins is not only summer-appropriate, it’s a lighthearted tale that follows a girl called Georgia as she attends her best friend’s wedding out in Australia. As her pal melts down with the ceremony inching nearer, Georgia starts to reassess her own relationship…

Priced at £7.99, available at Amazon

Buy now

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

books to read

If you’ve seen this Oscar-nominated film before, you already know what you’re in for. This gentle coming-of-age LGBTQ story is a beautiful one, following precocious teenager Elio as he falls in love with the bumbling American exchange student who moves into his Italian home for the summer. Not all great love stories roar, sometimes they unfold slowly – just like this one.

Priced at £6.47, available at Amazon

Buy now

Self help books

Slay in Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene

books to read

In sore need of getting your shit together this year? This no-bullshit inspirational guide to life for black women is a must-read. Full of interviews with female visionaries, illustrations and career tips on creating the success you deserve, it’s a must-read for anybody who needs to turn their life around this summer.

Priced at £11.89, available at Amazon

Buy now

You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero

That summer vacation, wardrobe upgrade and time spent eating/drinking alfresco is going to add up and this book from Jen Sincero is our little budgeting saviour. Both empowering and practical, this self-help guide goes beyond the boring Excel sheets and helps you change your mindset to money for bigger bucks down the line.

Priced at £9.99, available at Amazon

Buy now

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight

This book has been out a little while, but the sentiment is an utterly timeless one. We spend a lot of effort worrying and stressing about every little thing, but sometimes there’s just crap you need to stop wasting your energy on – which is where this guide steps in. From the NotSorry Method to all the stuff to cut out of your life, you’ll come out of the experience feeling like a total blissed out bad ass.

Priced at £12.99, available at Oliver Bonas

Buy now

Book classics

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

books to read

With the next series of The Handmaid’s Tale soon upon us, this classic feminist tale by Margaret Atwood feels more relevant than ever. This dystopian tale set in fictional Gilead revolves around Offred, a woman whose only purpose is to breed in a world where fertility is a rare trait. However as the abuse mounts and things reach a boiling point, she finds herself hoping for a better future and taking dangerous strides towards it despite all odds.

Priced at £5.99, available at Amazon

Buy now

1984 by George Orwell

best books to read

The story of 1984 has never felt more prescient than right now, with the chaos that seems to be spilling out all over the globe. Whether you read it for your GCSE or never got the chance to, this warning tale about the power of politics told eerily through farm animals will have you musing over world events. Not one for those looking to escape from reality though.

Priced at £6.99, available at Amazon

Buy now

The Trick is To Keep Breathing by Janice Galloway

best books to read

I will never stop screaming about this book, as long as I live. This devastating Scottish modern classic follows the story of a woman named Joy Stone, whose life has stagnated after the man she was having an affair with suddenly and violently passes away. It’s an unflinching look at the stigma surrounding mental health, the oppression of women and while incredibly dark, it’s full of glimmers of hope as Joy strives to discover ‘the trick’ to live on in a world that seems to have forgotten her. Better than The Bell Jar, in my opinion.

Priced at £8.46, available at Amazon

Buy now

Biography books

Blame It On Bianca Del Rio: The Expert on Nothing with an Opinion on Everything by Bianca Del Rio

We’re sure there’s a few RuPaul’s Drag Race fans in the house. Bianca Del Rio, one of the series’ most hilarious yet cutting queens with a heart of gold, has penned a collection of personal rants packed with advice you desperately need to hear. It’s not going to be one of your floaty mellow self-help books, instead this is a no-bullshit guide that’ll hit you where it hurts but keep you in stitches anyway.

Priced at £14.99, available at Amazon

Buy now

Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton

best books to read

All’s fair in dating, friendship and war, as Sunday Times dating columnist Dolly Alderton can attest to in her touching memoir. It’s the ultimate book for anybody who feels like they still haven’t got their shit together, as she recounts gently and wittily her own experiences of self-sabotage, falling in love, friendship and independence. And that one Rod-Stewart themed house party.

Priced at £7.99, available at Amazon

Buy now

This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay

books to read

Ever wondered what it’s like to work in the NHS? Well, comedian and former junior doctor Adam Kay has penned a fantastic tell-all about his time working with patients. Both darkly hilarious and heartbreaking, it’s an intimate look inside one of the most significant British institutions of our time and will make you want to hug your family doctor.

Priced at £3.75, available at Amazon

Buy now

Non-fiction Books

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

best books to read

Everybody was talking about this book when it first came out, even if there are some things Rennie Eddo-Lodge refuses to talk about. The bold title absolutely delivers with a deep dive into modern racial politics and the difficulty of encouraging people in privilege understand racial inequality, especially when things like structural racism come into play. An eye-opening read everybody should experience at least once.

Priced at £5.99, available at Amazon

Buy now

Selfie: How the West Became Self-Obsessed by Will Storr

Put the phone down and pick up this book, which delves into our current obsession with ourselves – and more importantly, the idea that there’s a ‘perfect version’ of ourselves.  Spoiler: it turns out that the selfie-generation isn’t to blame, as Storr charts the culture all the way back to Ancient Greece, through Middle Age Christianity and all the way to the Trumps and Kardashians of the present.

Priced at £6.99, available at Amazon

Buy now

The Little Book of Feminist Saints by Julia Pierpoint and Manjitt Thapp

best books to read

We’ve long been obsessed with illustrator Manjit Thapp’s illustrations and when we saw she had teamed up with Julia Pierpont for a feminist read, we had to get our hands on this. Starring queens such as Frida Kahlo, Michelle Obama, Maya Angelou and Amelia Earhart, each of the women is lovingly profiled by the duo in colourful language and artwork.

Priced at £4.39, available at Amazon

Buy now

Poetry

Soho by Richard Scott

best books to read

Richard Scott’s stunning debut collection Soho is a passionate and sometimes furious love letter to the LGBTQ+ community and its chequered history, revelling in the beautiful joy of sexual identity and mourning scars of past violence. The collection leaps vividly to life in the titular poetic sequence Soho, a wondering journey through London’s Soho – if you ever get the chance to see Richard Scott read live, jump on that opportunity ASAP.

Priced at £6.91, available at Amazon

Buy now

Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong

best books to read

This collection from American poet Ocean Vuong swept one of the poetry world’s highest accolades last year: the T.S. Eliot prize. With verses full of stunning heartbreak and devastation, Ocean explores his and his family’s experience as Vietnamese refugees fleeing to the United States during the war. A master of juxtaposition and the power of a line break, it’s an experience that’ll stay with you forever. As with Richard Scott, absolutely a poet you should see read live if you ever have the opportunity – head to YouTube and you’ll find he’s one of its spoken word darlings.

Priced at £9.19, available at Amazon

Buy now

The Day is Ready For You by Alison Malee

best books to read

‘I will tell you again and again: in some small way, everything matters.’ The first of Alison Malee’s two-part poetry collection, this breathtaking collection bridges the gap between poetry and prose – making it a great contender for those nervous to commit to full on verse. Detailing her journey to find pockets of light amidst the darkness, the collection leaves readers with a message you’ll want to get tattooed: ‘you do not have to unravel gracefully.’

Priced at £9.99, available at Urban Outfitters

Buy now

Well, there’s your summer reading sorted (and a brand new bookshelf as well TBH).

Happy reading, everyone! Don’t forget to slap on some suntan if you’re reading under the sun.

The post Best books to read this summer from bestsellers to romance epics appeared first on Marie Claire.



J.K. Rowling sent a present all the way to the Himalayas for a fan

J.K. Rowling sent a present all the way to the Himalayas for a fan


We’re not crying, you’re crying.

jk rowling present
Mark Von Holden/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

The tale of the Boy Who Lived is one that’s touched people all over the world, though one of Harry Potter’s biggest fans happens to be a little bit out of the way. Like, Himalayas far away. Kulsum Bano Batt, a twelve year old girl living in Northern India, was sent a very special package by J.K. Rowling herself and against all odds, it just arrived yesterday.

Kulsum had written an essay about the Potter author and about how she had inspired her, which her teacher Sabbah Haji shared on Twitter. It didn’t take long for avid Twitter user J.K. Rowling to respond, ‘Please can you send me Kulsum’s full name by DM? I’d love to send her something.’

Well, that package has arrived and Kulsum is over the moon about it. Her teacher Sabbah shared a series of photographs and revealed that Rowling had sent a ‘huge gift box’ which included a ‘handwritten note, inscribed book’ and no end of Potter merch (including a time turner and Hedwig toy).

The joy on Kulsum’s face is absolutely contagious and the rest of her class seemed equally as thrilled about the present. J.K. responded to the images, tweeting in relief, ‘I’m so happy it got there! I was getting worried! xxx’

Her teacher even said that J.K. Rowling’s initial tweet was ‘framed for ever in our school hallway’.

It’s amazing to see how the power of storytelling can really bring people together against all odds. When it comes to Harry Potter, you’ll be hard-pressed not to find a Potter fan tucked away in some corner of the world as the books have been translated into 68 languages with 400 million copies all over the world.

Although the main bulk of the Potter stories have come to an end, Potterheads can still get their fix over at the theatrical continuation of the series Harry Potter and the Cursed Child over in the West End or on Broadway. And for a look at how the American magical world shapes up to Hogwarts and co., Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is set to be released this November.

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Clinton, Moyes and more… Marie Claire hit the Hay Festival

Clinton, Moyes and more… Marie Claire hit the Hay Festival


Women were rewriting the book at this year’s Hay Festival. Our intrepid reporter Rosa (aged 7) caught up with headliners Chelsea Clinton and JoJo Moyes

Chelsea Clinton speaking at Hay Festival 2018

According to recent analysis, women were better represented in literature in Victorian times than they are now. Academics from the universities of Illinois and California at Berkeley used an algorithm to examine more than 100,000 works of fiction dating from 1780 to 2007. Their research shows that there has been a decline in the proportion of female novelists from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century.
It’s a sorry tale, but one that might come as a surprise to those attending this year’s Hay Festival, which took place from 23 May to 4 June in the bustling Herefordshire town of Hay-on-Wye.

Hay Festival

The world’s biggest literary event, which ended last weekend, was swarming with female power-houses from across the creative, academic and political spheres, and around the globe. Key events including Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood in conversation with journalist and literary director of the Booker Prize foundation, Gaby Wood, and the hopefully-entitled talk ‘Is 2018 the Year of Women?’ suggest a happier arc for women in books.

And it is not just adult fiction where strong, independent women are increasingly being placed centre-stage. A swathe of powerful, and extremely popular, new children’s books – from Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo’s Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls to Chelsea Clinton’s She Persisted Around the World – are bringing female characters into a fresh new light. With this in mind, I brought my seven-year-old daughter Rosa – book-worm and shunner of all things princess-related – to this year’s Hay Festival to meet key female voices at this year’s event.

Chelsea Clinton

Rosa and Chelsea at this year’s Hay Festival. Copyright: Charlotte Philby

Chelsea Clinton, 38, lives with her husband Marc, and their children, Charlotte, 3, and Aidan, 1, in New York City. She is vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, and a teacher at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She has written several children’s books, the latest of which She Persisted Around the World highlights the stories of 13 women who used their voices to stand up for something they believed in and changed the course of history in their communities. She spoke to Rosa, aged 7, about the representations of girls in literature.

Why are you at Hay?
I’m here for two reasons. I’m here to talk about a book I co-authored on global health governance, and I’m also here about two of my children’s books, She Persisted, and She Persisted Around the World, celebrating the accomplishments of girls and women, and amplifying the importance of persistence as a core value for us to become the people we want to be.

What were you like when you were 7?
When I was seven years old I loved to read a lot. I was just beginning to read chapter books and was reading a lot of Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys… I also spent a lot of time with my very best friend Eliza. Our mothers met before we were born. I loved school and trying lots of things and I’m very grateful that my parents always supported that. If I could describe myself in one word it would be ‘curious’.

What is the most important lesson your mother has taught you?
My mother has always encouraged me and given me important advice. But the most important piece of advice came from my mother’s mother, who lived with us as she got older. She had a mantra and that is ‘life is not what happens to you but what you do with what happens’.

Our interview with Chelsea will appear in full in our October issue

JoJo Moyes

Rosa interviewing JoJo at this year’s Hay Festival

JoJo Moyes is the bestselling author of Me Before You, which was adapted into a film starring Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke. A former newspaper journalist, she lives on a farm in Essex with her husband, journalist Charles Arthur, their three children, three horses named Brian, Fred and Bill, their cat, Eric, and dog, Alfie.

Why are you at Hay?
I’m here to talk about Still Me, which is the third in a series of books about a woman called Lou Clark, which has been more successful than I could ever have dreamed of.

Who are you excited to hear talk?
I am very disappointed to miss Jilly Cooper, who I love so much. I once went to her house and had to be prised out at the end of the night because I wanted to be adopted by her.

What was your favourite book when you were growing up?
It was a book called National Velvet, which is about a skinny little girl called Velvet Brown who was a bit sickly but falls in love with a horse and decides she wants to take part in the toughest horse race so she cuts off all her hair to look like a boy, and then she wins the race. It’s not that she wants the money from winning the race but rather that she wants the feeling of winning something. I was once a skinny little girl who liked horses and when I read that book it reminds me that if you want it enough, you can achieve anything.

Who is the most important female voice for women right now?
The feminist writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She has become a rock star across Africa, essentially. She is so wise and so profound and I could listen to anything she has to say. I love the fact that women across the world respond to her words.

The post Clinton, Moyes and more… Marie Claire hit the Hay Festival appeared first on Marie Claire.



A female author has called out the way women’s books are reviewed

A female author has called out the way women’s books are reviewed


‘It’s frustrating to work hard on a piece of art and felt it dismissed, compared only to other books by women, considered a “beach read” for some reason.’

memoirs by women
Mark Von Holden/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

We’ve all heard people wax lyrical about memoirs like Jack Kerouac’s On The Road, Che Guevara’s Motorcycle Diaries and Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast – all fantastic books, and all written by men. While these novels tend to be celebrated and even studied at universities, one female novelist has called out the double standard in the way that women’s memoirs are reviewed and the internet seems to agree.

Dana Schwartz, the author of Choose Your Own Disaster, said that she had seen a trend of people calling her book a ‘guilty pleasure’ and she wasn’t very happy about that.

She said on Twitter, ‘I can’t remember the last time I saw a book written by a man called “a guilty pleasure”. It’s frustrating to work hard on a piece of art and felt it dismissed, compared only to other books by women, considered a “beach read” for some reason.’

Dana continued, ‘I mean, by all means, please read my book on the beach. But it’s about eating disorders & BDSM & sexual assault and the impossible standards for women. It’s only a beach read in the sense that the cover is hot pink aka the color my skin turns if I spend 6 minutes on the beach’.

Her memoir, which she described on Twitter as ‘if a personality quiz and a memoir had a baby that grew up to suffer from anxiety and depression’, doesn’t seem to be akin to the light hearted chick lit that usually falls into the same category.

She said, ‘Men who write memoirs are introspective and funny and deep. Women’s stories are all lumped together as self-deprecating and adorkable chick-lit.’

‘Again, this isn’t new or news. But it’s very weird seeing it applied to my book about depression and bad sex and jealousy and violence and recovery. My book with a pink cover,’ she finished.

It’s no secret that women have been fighting for equal footing and respect in a male-dominated literary world, especially as they’ve had to battle sexist remarks, reviewers and difficult barriers to entry for a while now. Male author V.S. Naipaul for example told The Guardian in 2011 that he felt female writers were ‘unequal’ to him due to the fact that their work was ‘sentimental’ and ‘feminine tosh’.

More recently, J.K. Rowling stepped in to defend debut female author Laura Kalbag after a Twitter user took it upon himself to mansplain that she hadn’t written a book – she had written a ‘text’ which other people transformed into a book.

She told her at the time, ‘Congratulations on writing your first book, Laura. Other people edited, copyedited, proofread, printed and bound it. You wrote. Be proud x’

It’s not like J.K. Rowling hasn’t faced her own share of sexism in the industry, as apparently her publishers told her to use her initials rather than her real name to hide the fact that she was a woman – thinking that Harry Potter would sell better if people thought she was a man.

P.S. If you’re looking for some incredible memoirs by women, read Bossypants by Tina Fey, Wild Swans by Jung Chang, Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen, I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran.  Happy reading!

The post A female author has called out the way women’s books are reviewed appeared first on Marie Claire.



‘Life is not what happens to you but what you do with what happens’ Chelsea Clinton speaks to Marie Claire at Hay Festival

‘Life is not what happens to you but what you do with what happens’ Chelsea Clinton speaks to Marie Claire at Hay Festival


Women were rewriting the book at this year’s international literature festival. We sent our intrepid reporter Rosa, aged 7 (and her mum), to catch up with headliners Chelsea Clinton and Jojo Moyes

Chelsea Clinton speaking at Hay Festival 2018

According to recent analysis, women were better represented in literature in Victorian times than they are now. Academics from the universities of Illinois and California at Berkeley used an algorithm to examine more than 100,000 works of fiction dating from 1780 to 2007. Their research shows that there has been a decline in the proportion of female novelists from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century.
It’s a sorry tale, but one that might come as a surprise to those attending this year’s Hay Festival, which took place from 23 May to 4 June in the bustling Herefordshire town of Hay-on-Wye. The world’s biggest literary event, which ends today, was swarming with female power-houses from across the creative, academic and political spheres, and around the globe. Key events including Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood in conversation with journalist and literary director of the Booker Prize foundation, Gaby Wood, and the hopefully-entitled talk ‘Is 2018 the Year of Women?’ suggest a happier arc for women in books.
And it is not just adult fiction where strong, independent women are increasingly being placed centre-stage. A swathe of powerful, and extremely popular, new children’s books – from Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo’s Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls to Chelsea Clinton’s She Persisted Around the World – are bringing female characters into a fresh new light. With this in mind, I brought my seven-year-old daughter Rosa – book-worm and shunner of all things princess-related – to this year’s Hay Festival to meet key female voices at this year’s event.

Chelsea Clinton

Rosa and Chelsea at this year’s Hay. Copyright: Charlotte Philby

Chelsea Clinton, 38, lives with her husband Marc, and their children, Charlotte, 3, and Aidan, 1, in New York City. She is vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, and a teacher at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She has written several children’s books, the latest of which She Persisted Around the World highlights the stories of 13 women who used their voices to stand up for something they believed in and changed the course of history in their communities. She spoke to Rosa, aged 7, about the representations of girls in literature.

Why are you at Hay?
I’m here for two reasons. I’m here to talk about a book I co-authored on global health governance, and I’m also here about two of my children’s books, She Persisted, and She Persisted Around the World, celebrating the accomplishments of girls and women, and amplifying the importance of persistence as a core value for us to become the people we want to be.

What were you like when you were 7?
When I was seven years old I loved to read a lot. I was just beginning to read chapter books and was reading a lot of Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys… I also spent a lot of time with my very best friend Eliza. Our mothers met before we were born. I loved school and trying lots of things and I’m very grateful that my parents always supported that. If I could describe myself in one word it would be ‘curious’.

What is the most important lesson your mother has taught you?
My mother has always encouraged me and given me important advice. But the most important piece of advice came from my mother’s mother, who lived with us as she got older. She had a mantra and that is ‘life is not what happens to you but what you do with what happens’.
Our interview with Chelsea will appear in full in our October issue

Jojo Moyes

Rosa interviewing JoJo at this year’s Hay festival

Jodi Moyes is the bestselling author of Me Before You, which was adapted into a film starring Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke. A former newspaper journalist, she lives on a farm in Essex with her husband, journalist Charles Arthur, their three children, three horses named Brian, Fred and Bill, their cat, Eric, and dog, Alfie.

Why are you at Hay?
I’m here to talk about Still Me, which is the third in a series of books about a woman called Lou Clark, which has been more successful than I could ever have dreamed of.

Who are you excited to hear talk?
I am very disappointed to miss Jilly Cooper, who I love so much. I once went to her house and had to be prised out at the end of the night because I wanted to be adopted by her.

What was your favourite book when you were growing up?
It was a book called National Velvet, which is about a skinny little girl called Velvet Brown who was a bit sickly but falls in love with a horse and decides she wants to take part in the toughest horse race so she cuts off all her hair to look like a boy, and then she wins the race. It’s not that she wants the money from winning the race but rather that she wants the feeling of winning something. I was once a skinny little girl who liked horses and when I read that book it reminds me that if you want it enough, you can achieve anything.

Who is the most important female voice for women right now?
The feminist writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She has become a rock star across Africa, essentially. She is so wise and so profound and I could listen to anything she has to say. I love the fact that women across the world respond to her words.

The post ‘Life is not what happens to you but what you do with what happens’ Chelsea Clinton speaks to Marie Claire at Hay Festival appeared first on Marie Claire.

Lauren Child: ‘I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been asked when I was going to settle down and have a child.’

Lauren Child: ‘I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been asked when I was going to settle down and have a child.’


We sent our roving reporter Rosa, aged 7, to interview the Charlie and Lola author who was at Hay Festival to discuss her role as Children’s Laureate

Rosa interviewing Lauren Child over lunch at Hay Festival

Author and illustrator Lauren Child, 52, is the brain behind the hugely successful Charlie and Lola, Clarice Bean, and Ruby Redfort series. Taking over from Quentin Blake as Children’s Laureate, she lives in North London with her eight-year-old adopted daughter, and her partner, Adrian Darbishire. On a sunny Saturday at Hay literary festival, where Child is one of this year’s headliners, the writer met our intrepid report, 7-year-old Rosa, to discuss feminism, creativity, and why she refuses to discuss her relationship status, over lunch in the artist’s restaurant…

Why are you at Hay?

‘I get cross at the idea of putting everybody in boxes, of always wanting to categorise, because it shuts things down. I don’t love the idea that you have to be particularly talented or good at something in order to do it. As Children’s Laureate I’ve been asked to talk at Hay about things that are important to me. One of those things is creativity and the way it crosses over through seemingly different disciplines like art, maths, and science. True creativity comes when ideas collides.

My other talk is with mathematician Marcus du Sautoy who co-created my Ruby Redfort series [about a precocious 13-year-old spy]. In the books, I wanted to make the problems Ruby is solving really difficult, so I teamed up with Marcus, who created all the problems for the reader to solve. With Ruby Redfort, I wanted to write about a girl, because girls are not often allowed to headline books in the same way as boys. There is this idea that boys won’t read books with a girl in the title. I wanted to prove that you can have a lead who just happens to be a girl. It’s not about “girl issues”, it’s very much a thriller, but also Ruby is very clever. I didn’t want her to be clever and an outsider, I wanted her to be clever and popular so people would want to be her. I want to take away the idea that if you’re good at science and maths that you’re a geek. It’s actually a kind of superpower to be good at those things.

I also really wanted to write about a girl who was good at all those things I would have loved to have been, like maths; and who dares to say what she thinks without worrying what people will think of her. A girl who does what she thinks is right. We live in a very judgey world at the moment. Technology should be about the communicating of ideas; we have all these great devices which can be a power for good but I think they have become about limiting other people’s ideas and shutting down discussions.’

What are your hopes for girls like me for the future?

‘Well, I think as women we have a terrible habit of turning on each other. There’s a lovely bonding and friendship but I do think sometimes things can turn inwards and that can be our downfall. I have stopped reading those magazines that point out people’s flaws. Sometimes women do this more than men, and it’s very easy to do that. Now I try very hard not to. Beyond that, I’m always now counting how many women there are in leading roles, how many books by women there are that are not just seen as ‘for women’. The whole chick-lit label is so patronising. I greatly admire [Thelma and Louise actress] Gina Davies. Her movement in Hollywood is very quiet. She is arguing for 50/50 women on film-sets, and it’s one of those things we can actually achieve in order to make things more equal.

Also, until I had my daughter, I’ve lost count of how many times I was asked when I was going to settle down and have a child. It’s very painful when you’re trying for one. I’m also often asked about my relationship status and my age. I refuse to talk about my age, as if that has some bearing on my status, as if it somehow defines my work and where I am in my life. Also – and this might be controversial – but I would like the word ‘mrs’ to go, altogether. Why do we always have to state where we are with our relationships and men never do? My daughter has my surname and I feel very strongly that that is the way it should be.’

Who is the most important female voice right now?

‘One of the women I’ve admired so much in recent times is Michelle Obama, because she is so much a person in her own right, even when having to stand with someone like Obama – and she definitely stood with him rather than behind him – she was still so much her own personality with her own voice and opinions. She has had a lot flung at her, some really hateful stuff, but she is always rising above it and bearing it with so much grace, without ever sinking. I think how heartening that is, and it reminds me of the importance of doing that if you can. When someone writes something personal about you, you think “why bother to say that?” If someone doesn’t like my books, I can absolutely accept that. That’s fine. But when it’s personal you wonder why.’

What was your favourite children’s book when you were a child?

‘The Shrinking of Treehorn is a trilogy written by the American author Florence Parry Heide, and it’s the perfect match of illustrating and writing. It’s so beloved in America that they have a day dedicated to Florence. It was one of the first books I ever read as a child, it’s beautifully funny. It is also talking about something very important, because adults don’t always listen to children. My publisher in the US told Florence I loved her books and we started writing to each other. My one regret is that I never got to meet her in person before she died.

The second is The 18th Emergency by Betsy Byars. It’s about a boy who is terrified he is going to be beaten up at school. It’s about children talking but adults not really hearing what they’re saying. For a child things aren’t as simple as we as adults think it is, and because of that you often have to go through these things alone when you’re a child. For an adult, however much we want to, we can’t live our lives for our children. It’s a very profound message.’

The post Lauren Child: ‘I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been asked when I was going to settle down and have a child.’ appeared first on Marie Claire.

Lauren Child: ‘I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been asked when I was going to settle down and have a child.’

Lauren Child: ‘I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been asked when I was going to settle down and have a child.’


We sent our roving reporter Rosa, aged 7, to interview the Charlie and Lola author who was at Hay Festival to discuss her role as Children’s Laureate

Rosa interviewing Lauren Child over lunch at Hay Festival

Author and illustrator Lauren Child, 52, is the brain behind the hugely successful Charlie and Lola, Clarice Bean, and Ruby Redfort series. Taking over from Quentin Blake as Children’s Laureate, she lives in North London with her eight-year-old adopted daughter, and her partner, Adrian Darbishire. On a sunny Saturday at Hay literary festival, where Child is one of this year’s headliners, the writer met our intrepid report, 7-year-old Rosa, to discuss feminism, creativity, and why she refuses to discuss her relationship status, over lunch in the artist’s restaurant…

Why are you at Hay?
‘I get cross at the idea of putting everybody in boxes, of always wanting to categorise, because it shuts things down. I don’t love the idea that you have to be particularly talented or good at something in order to do it. As Children’s Laureate I’ve been asked to talk at Hay about things that are important to me. One of those things is creativity and the way it crosses over through seemingly different disciplines like art, maths, and science. True creativity comes when ideas collides.
My other talk is with mathematician Marcus du Sautoy who co-created my Ruby Redfort series [about a precocious 13-year-old spy]. In the books, I wanted to make the problems Ruby is solving really difficult, so I teamed up with Marcus, who created all the problems for the reader to solve. With Ruby Redfort, I wanted to write about a girl, because girls are not often allowed to headline books in the same way as boys. There is this idea that boys won’t read books with a girl in the title. I wanted to prove that you can have a lead who just happens to be a girl. It’s not about “girl issues”, it’s very much a thriller, but also Ruby is very clever. I didn’t want her to be clever and an outsider, I wanted her to be clever and popular so people would want to be her. I want to take away the idea that if you’re good at science and maths that you’re a geek. It’s actually a kind of superpower to be good at those things.
I also really wanted to write about a girl who was good at all those things I would have loved to have been, like maths; and who dares to say what she thinks without worrying what people will think of her. A girl who does what she thinks is right. We live in a very judgey world at the moment. Technology should be about the communicating of ideas; we have all these great devices which can be a power for good but I think they have become about limiting other people’s ideas and shutting down discussions.’

What are your hopes for girls like me for the future?
‘Well, I think as women we have a terrible habit of turning on each other. There’s a lovely bonding and friendship but I do think sometimes things can turn inwards and that can be our downfall. I have stopped reading those magazines that point out people’s flaws. Sometimes women do this more than men, and it’s very easy to do that. Now I try very hard not to. Beyond that, I’m always now counting how many women there are in leading roles, how many books by women there are that are not just seen as ‘for women’. The whole chick-lit label is so patronising. I greatly admire [Thelma and Louise actress] Gina Davies. Her movement in Hollywood is very quiet. She is arguing for 50/50 women on film-sets, and it’s one of those things we can actually achieve in order to make things more equal.
Also, until I had my daughter, I’ve lost count of how many times I was asked when I was going to settle down and have a child. It’s very painful when you’re trying for one. I’m also often asked about my relationship status and my age. I refuse to talk about my age, as if that has some bearing on my status, as if it somehow defines my work and where I am in my life. Also – and this might be controversial – but I would like the word ‘mrs’ to go, altogether. Why do we always have to state where we are with our relationships and men never do? My daughter has my surname and I feel very strongly that that is the way it should be.’

Who is the most important female voice right now?
‘One of the women I’ve admired so much in recent times is Michelle Obama, because she is so much a person in her own right, even when having to stand with someone like Obama – and she definitely stood with him rather than behind him – she was still so much her own personality with her own voice and opinions. She has had a lot flung at her, some really hateful stuff, but she is always rising above it and bearing it with so much grace, without ever sinking. I think how heartening that is, and it reminds me of the importance of doing that if you can. When someone writes something personal about you, you think “why bother to say that?” If someone doesn’t like my books, I can absolutely accept that. That’s fine. But when it’s personal you wonder why.’

What was your favourite children’s book when you were a child?
‘The Shrinking of Treehorn is a trilogy written by the American author Florence Parry Heide, and it’s the perfect match of illustrating and writing. It’s so beloved in America that they have a day dedicated to Florence. It was one of the first books I ever read as a child, it’s beautifully funny. It is also talking about something very important, because adults don’t always listen to children. My publisher in the US told Florence I loved her books and we started writing to each other. My one regret is that I never got to meet her in person before she died.
The second is The 18th Emergency by Betsy Byars. It’s about a boy who is terrified he is going to be beaten up at school. It’s about children talking but adults not really hearing what they’re saying. For a child things aren’t as simple as we as adults think it is, and because of that you often have to go through these things alone when you’re a child. For an adult, however much we want to, we can’t live our lives for our children. It’s a very profound message.’

The post Lauren Child: ‘I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been asked when I was going to settle down and have a child.’ appeared first on Marie Claire.

‘Life is not what happens to you but what you do with what happens’ Chelsea Clinton speaks to Marie Claire at Hay Festival

‘Life is not what happens to you but what you do with what happens’ Chelsea Clinton speaks to Marie Claire at Hay Festival


Women were rewriting the book at this year’s international literature festival. We sent our intrepid reporter Rosa, aged 7 (and her mum), to catch up with headliners Chelsea Clinton and Jojo Moyes

Chelsea Clinton speaking at Hay Festival 2018

According to recent analysis, women were better represented in literature in Victorian times than they are now. Academics from the universities of Illinois and California at Berkeley used an algorithm to examine more than 100,000 works of fiction dating from 1780 to 2007. Their research shows that there has been a decline in the proportion of female novelists from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century.
It’s a sorry tale, but one that might come as a surprise to those attending this year’s Hay Festival, which took place from 23 May to 4 June in the bustling Herefordshire town of Hay-on-Wye. The world’s biggest literary event, which ends today, was swarming with female power-houses from across the creative, academic and political spheres, and around the globe. Key events including Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood in conversation with journalist and literary director of the Booker Prize foundation, Gaby Wood, and the hopefully-entitled talk ‘Is 2018 the Year of Women?’ suggest a happier arc for women in books.
And it is not just adult fiction where strong, independent women are increasingly being placed centre-stage. A swathe of powerful, and extremely popular, new children’s books – from Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo’s Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls to Chelsea Clinton’s She Persisted Around the World – are bringing female characters into a fresh new light. With this in mind, I brought my seven-year-old daughter Rosa – book-worm and shunner of all things princess-related – to this year’s Hay Festival to meet key female voices at this year’s event.

Chelsea Clinton

Rosa and Chelsea at this year’s Hay. Copyright: Charlotte Philby

Chelsea Clinton, 38, lives with her husband Marc, and their children, Charlotte, 3, and Aidan, 1, in New York City. She is vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, and a teacher at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She has written several children’s books, the latest of which She Persisted Around the World highlights the stories of 13 women who used their voices to stand up for something they believed in and changed the course of history in their communities. She spoke to Rosa, aged 7, about the representations of girls in literature.

Why are you at Hay?
I’m here for two reasons. I’m here to talk about a book I co-authored on global health governance, and I’m also here about two of my children’s books, She Persisted, and She Persisted Around the World, celebrating the accomplishments of girls and women, and amplifying the importance of persistence as a core value for us to become the people we want to be.

What were you like when you were 7?
When I was seven years old I loved to read a lot. I was just beginning to read chapter books and was reading a lot of Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys… I also spent a lot of time with my very best friend Eliza. Our mothers met before we were born. I loved school and trying lots of things and I’m very grateful that my parents always supported that. If I could describe myself in one word it would be ‘curious’.

What is the most important lesson your mother has taught you?
My mother has always encouraged me and given me important advice. But the most important piece of advice came from my mother’s mother, who lived with us as she got older. She had a mantra and that is ‘life is not what happens to you but what you do with what happens’.
Our interview with Chelsea will appear in full in our October issue

Jojo Moyes

Rosa interviewing JoJo at this year’s Hay festival

Jodi Moyes is the bestselling author of Me Before You, which was adapted into a film starring Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke. A former newspaper journalist, she lives on a farm in Essex with her husband, journalist Charles Arthur, their three children, three horses named Brian, Fred and Bill, their cat, Eric, and dog, Alfie.

Why are you at Hay?
I’m here to talk about Still Me, which is the third in a series of books about a woman called Lou Clark, which has been more successful than I could ever have dreamed of.

Who are you excited to hear talk?
I am very disappointed to miss Jilly Cooper, who I love so much. I once went to her house and had to be prised out at the end of the night because I wanted to be adopted by her.

What was your favourite book when you were growing up?
It was a book called National Velvet, which is about a skinny little girl called Velvet Brown who was a bit sickly but falls in love with a horse and decides she wants to take part in the toughest horse race so she cuts off all her hair to look like a boy, and then she wins the race. It’s not that she wants the money from winning the race but rather that she wants the feeling of winning something. I was once a skinny little girl who liked horses and when I read that book it reminds me that if you want it enough, you can achieve anything.

Who is the most important female voice for women right now?
The feminist writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She has become a rock star across Africa, essentially. She is so wise and so profound and I could listen to anything she has to say. I love the fact that women across the world respond to her words.

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Here’s what Love Island can teach us about sex

Here’s what Love Island can teach us about sex


Whatever your opinion of Love Island, a new book proves that it tells us a lot 
about real-life attraction. So, what does the latest research say about relationships, and does it stand up? Two writers talk to Charlotte Philby about the findings

With Love Island returning to our screens soon, the nation’s collective consciousness once again turns to the battle – and, ultimately, the hooking up – of the sexes.

If you thought TV’s hottest dating show was little more than low-brow titillation, think again. According to Tom Whipple, author of X And Why: The Naked Truth Behind Gender In The Modern World, the show offers a fascinating sociological window into key evolutionary paradigms.

In his book (which is being tipped as the Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus for the Tinder generation), Whipple presents the latest research on all things reproductive. He highlights the differences in gendered behaviour – including how men and women cheat.

Males tend to have affairs with females less attractive than their own partners, while with women it’s the reverse. Then there’s the debunking of myths – as Whipple points out, the law of mathematics means men cannot be more promiscuous than women. It’s most likely that women simply lie more about their sexual proclivities.

love island

‘The truth is, we’re all apes in suits,’ says Whipple. ‘Throw together a bunch of aroused twentysomethings who are contractually obligated to be romantic with each other, as on Love Island, and this fact that we work hard to avoid in every day life is made very plain.’

When, last year, Zara Holland and Alex Bowen had sex on screen, Zara later emerged self-loathing and apologetic (and was unceremoniously stripped of her Miss GB title). Alex, in contrast, remained unbothered, unapologetic and largely absent during the fallout, as if he’d paid little part in the act at all.

‘Ultimately, for women, the stakes are a lot higher as they can get pregnant,’ explains Whipple. ‘For men, the transaction can’t go catastrophically wrong, so they have far less to lose.’

So, what can the latest findings about the sexes teach us about our own relationships? We asked two writers – one male and one female – to reflect on the book’s main themes.

Love Island reminds us that attraction comes down to individual personalities not a scientific formula’ says Daisy Buchanan

‘My first one-night stand was with a man, who I think was called Matt. It’s not a memory I revisit often because it makes my cheeks flame. Not due to any lingering sense of shame about the fact I slept with someone I never saw again, but because I behaved like such an idiot. I didn’t fancy him particularly. I didn’t not fancy him, but I slept with him because I thought it would make me seem like a wild woman of the world – the sort of woman who seduced men.

We had sex for hours! Terrible, boring, endless hours, which I punctuated by crying, “Yeah, baby, that feels so good”, because I was too young and stupid to say, “I’m sleepy, can you go home now?” Whipple’s point that men tend to regret the sex they haven’t had, while women regret a lot of the sex they had really hit home.

Although, as mooted in the book, there’s an argument that our differing attitudes stem from our polarised biological imperatives – the male needs to knock up someone, anyone, versus the fussier female, who looks for one good guy who will stick around for nine months, hopefully 18 years – I think the respective behaviour of both sexes is still defined by old-fashioned social values.

Whipple says that while some researchers believe female orgasms are an anomaly, which serve no scientific purpose, he adds that many believe they’re an important part of connecting with our partners. However, I don’t think we do women or men any favours by focusing on the differences between male and female orgasm. I’ve been in situations with men who haven’t been able to climax, and for them, it’s shameful and embarrassing.

In other words, we need to stop presuming sex has a specific purpose. We’re no longer doing it just to reproduce, or to consummate marriage. When it comes to sex, every single person has a slightly different agenda, but I don’t think that it’s as gendered as it once was.

Instead of defining sex for everyone by having an expected outcome, we need to make sure we’re having the sex we want by discussing it with the person we’re having it with. It’s useful to understand how our gender can impact our anxieties around sex, but I think focusing on those feelings can only hold us back.

This is why I adore Love Island, and why I’ll be tuning in this series. The contestants remind us that attraction comes down to individual personalities, not a scientific formula. Their various interactions remind us that sexual chemistry is complex. Our biology might control the way our bodies work, but when it comes to desire, what’s in our minds is what matters.’

‘In the age of #MeToo, men are beginning to think twice before crowing about their sexual conquests’ says Rob Crossan

‘When a female Scandinavian psychology undergrad approached a string of men on the streets of Copenhagen and asked if they fancied no-strings-attached sex, the response was largely unequivocal. The majority of respondents accepted with variations of “hell, yeah” or “yippee”. Those who declined largely did so reluctantly and on the basis that they already had partners.

To the surprise of no one ever, when male psychology students were deployed to ask the same question to women, according to Whipple’s book, not 
a single woman said “yes”. There really was no need for any of this effort. All the undergrad had to do was ask the average male. I’d have told them what we all know – that even in 2018, we still seem to be a lot hornier than women.

There’s something tragic about the idea of a bachelor watching Love Island on his own. Rather than viewing people on the TV dating, as I approach 40 I’m at the stage where I need to go out and do it.

As a single man, I often think I’d like to learn more about why we are like we are and why we do what we do. Yet, as soon as I start the psychological delving, I realise it’s an unpleasant task.

One big shift I’ve noticed since my teens is that back in my Britpop youth, when lad and ladette culture was rife, everyone, including myself, boasted and lied about their sexual conquests. But in the age of #MeToo, we’re now living in a society where men are beginning to think twice before crowing about them.

Single, promiscuous men are finally getting a taste of the conflicted notions of joy and shame that women have 
long-endured when it comes to dating apps and casual sex. Post-Weinstein, we seem to be on the cusp of a new era, where it’s no longer acceptable for me to brag about my sexual conquests, however exaggerated they might be.

Whether Whipple meant it to or not, X And Why does provide positive reinforcement for men like me, who continue to meander along the precarious dating nature trail. As he points out, the traditional end game (ie. marriage) isn’t quite the corpse of a concept that it’s often dismissed as. Despite Tinder and our diminishing attention spans, almost 300,000 of the half-million Brits who get married are still going the distance.

This book also provides evidence against the notion that the natural order for men is to be 
free-wheeling polygamists. And I agree, as I certainly aspire to a time in the not-too-distant future where I can cosy up on the sofa with my partner in front of Love Island and reminisce over our own courting. In the meantime, I’d be better off getting out there and actually meeting people IRL.’

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How to throw a Missoni dinner party

How to throw a Missoni dinner party


Francesco Maccapani Missoni’s new book unwraps the Italian fashion dynasty’s rich history of food and entertaining

Missoni

Francesco Maccapani Missoni, pictured above right with his family, is the son of Missoni’s creative director, Angela Missoni and collector of the family recipes. Here, he shares how to throw a dinner party in true Missoni style.

Spend more on less

‘Italian food is simple, because the ingredients are so good. For tomato sauce you just need olive oil, fresh tomatoes, garlic and a little salt, but you have to spend money on good quality ingredients. Living in the US, I found food in the supermarket looked nice on the shelf, but everything tasted like cucumber, and good olive oil was like liquid gold.’

Make it colourful

‘My mother and grandmother treat the table like a composition, with lots of patterned cloths, candles, flowers and glassware – it doesn’t matter if things don’t match. My mother is a compulsive collector of dishes that she finds at antique markets in Paris, Rome and Mexico. When we go away to a new place, she’s like a kid in a candy store.’

Keep welcome drinks simple

‘When guests arrive, I’ll serve them a glass of Spumante [Italian sparkling wine] or a Campari spritz – it’s not as sweet as an Aperol spritz, so it’s more refreshing before dinner.’

missoni

Always make extra

‘If I’m cooking for ten people, I’ll buy enough food for 15 – you never want to run out. We’ve always been a family who invites people home, instead of going out to a restaurant. Now, I cook for a group of friends every Friday or Saturday night at my house in Milan. It’s never formal – we put a big bowl of pasta on the table and everyone helps themselves. The first dish I learned to make was gnocchi with creamy gorgonzola. I still make it now, as it’s so fast to do.’

Use signature recipes

‘There’s a cake that was always made for my mum’s birthday by her best friend – the recipe [below] was secret until after she died and her daughter gave it to us. It’s a part of our family history now, so it’s very special.’

Finish dinner with…

‘Grappa – it helps you digest.’

The Missoni Family Cookbook by Francesco Maccapani Missoni (£35.84, Assouline) is out now

Missoni

Traditional Missoni recipe: Torta Segreta del Compleanno di Angela

(Aka, the secret chocolate tart recipe for Angela Missoni’s birthday)

Serves 6 – 8
5 large eggs, separated
8¾ oz sugar
Pinch of salt
8¾ oz of 70 per cent dark chocolate, plus more for garnish
5 ¼ oz of unsalted butter at room temperature

1. Preheat the oven to 180°c. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until the sugar dissolves and the mixture becomes silky with a pale yellow colour.
2. Using a handheld mixer, beat the egg whites and salt together until they become stiff peaks.
3. Roughly chop the dark chocolate. Bring a small amount of water to simmer in a pan over a medium heat. In a glass bowl on top of the pan, melt the chocolate and butter, and stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 2-3 minutes.
4. Gradually transfer the melted chocolate into the egg yolk and sugar mixture. Using a low speed, mix the batter until well combined, then delicately fold in the egg whites with a spatula. Divide the batter into two equal portions. Refrigerate the first half and pour the second half into a ten-inch tart pan with a detachable base. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
5. Spread the refrigerated batter on top of the cooled tart base. Sprinkle on some dark chocolate shavings to finish. Serve chilled.

 

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