I'm sure many of you have enjoyed reading a good motivational book or ebook at some point in recent months. I've had quite a few to choose from and this got me thinking, are all books really created equal? If you had to choose, would it be an ebook or a printed one?
It's every mother's greatest fear that she will have to leave her children. My daughter Kate Gross lived with that fear for more than two years, before she died of colon cancer a few weeks ago. I wish she was here now so I could tell her that the boys are getting on just fine. Oscar and Isaac were three when Kate was first diagnosed. Twins, but very different little beings. Oscar dark-haired, violet-eyed, solid - and with an astonishing ability (in Kate's words) to 'focus on things, to know them utterly'. Isaac, blond and agile and restless. 'Each of them,' she says, 'carved out his own space in my heart, a space which fits him exactly.'
"An absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull," said one of the twenty publishers to knock back Lord of the Flies, which later sold more than 150 million copies.
Emma Healey has had a roller coaster six months: her debut novel Elizabeth Is Missing, which sold for a six-figure advance, was published last summer to critical acclaim. And last week the twenty-nine year old writer won the Costa First Novel award and is now up against the likes of Ali Smith and Kate Saunders for the Costa Book of the Year Prize.
There is nothing more special than children's literature. Even now, I remember almost by heart the books my parents used to read to me as a young child, and the books I first started reading by myself.