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Post up pics of your #ThisBook choice or post up a question to bestselling author Kate Mosse to win amazing prizes of books and Baileys! - CLOSED

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RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 02-Jul-14 17:57:06

To celebrate the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction #ThisBook campaign, which seeks to shine a spotlight on books written by women, we're asking you to share your #ThisBook choice - the book written by a woman that has had the most impact on you. Simply upload an image of the book jacket and tell us why you've chosen it.

We're also going to be running a Q&A with best-selling author Kate Mosse. Kate is the Co-Founder and Chair of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and the author of six novels. Her No 1 bestselling Languedoc Trilogy – Labyrinth, Sepulchre and Citadel – has sold millions of copies throughout the world and Labyrinth was named by Waterstones as one of the top 25 books of the past 25 years. We're inviting you to post questions to Kate about her novels, the #ThisBook campaign and what it’s like to have founded Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. She's also happy to offer budding authors tips on how to get started and how to write successful novels.

Post your #ThisBook choices and questions to Kate Mosse before midday on Monday 14th July and we'll post up her answers on Wednesday 23rd July.

Everyone who joins in this thread will be entered into a draw to win a signed copy from a #ThisBook ambassador along with a bottle of Baileys. Please note all entrants must be over 18 in order to enter.

We have the following books to give away:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - signed by Mary Beard
Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson - signed by Katherine Grainger
The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay - signed by Joanna Trollope
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons - signed by Sandi Toksvig
The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford - signed by Grace Dent
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver - signed by Susanna Reid
Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell -signed by Martha Lane Fox
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold - signed by Edith Bowman
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - signed by Kate Mosse

To find out more about #ThisBook visit and tell us about the book, written by a woman, that has had the most impact on you.
To take part simply tweet your own #ThisBook via Twitter, using #ThisBook.

Please note: Mumsnet Ts & Cs are here. Additionally Entrants must be over 18 in order to enter.

AtYourCervix Sat 05-Jul-14 16:21:15

Pride and Prejudice..

This copy was my granny's, given to her by her father in 1933.

AtYourCervix Sat 05-Jul-14 16:23:08

Why? It has everything. Strong independent woman. Humour. Beautiful language. Romance. Mr Darcey. What more do you need?

AtYourCervix Sat 05-Jul-14 16:23:47

Darcy blush

superbagpuss Sat 05-Jul-14 17:42:34

can't upload the jacket as on tablet but

color purple by Alice walker

I read it about age 15 and it opened up a whole new point of view and world for me, it made me stop and think

superbagpuss Sat 05-Jul-14 17:43:57

question for Kate Mosse, are you books hard to write as they switch between time steams or do you write on story first, then the other one and then slot them together?

LadyIsabellaWrotham Sat 05-Jul-14 18:05:36

It's a battered second hand paperback but I love every word of it. Its treatment of gender issues is great if slightly naive by today's standards, but I love it chiefly for its prose, and the heartbreaking ending.

From the first lines:

"I'll make my report as if I told a story, for I was taught as a child on my homeworld that Truth is a matter of the imagination..."

To the last:
"Will you tell us about the other worlds around the stars - the other kinds of men, the other lives?"

I love every word of it.

HazelDormouse Sat 05-Jul-14 20:57:45

Little Women and Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott

This was my mother's copy. Inside is her maiden name and address in her writing. She was very like Beth, as I remember her and died young for modern day standards. I admired the independent and strong willed Joe, but I am probably more like Amy. (Laurie was one of my first fiction crushes.)

charlietangoteakettlebarbeque Mon 07-Jul-14 09:49:57

#Thisbook -My choice is Flowers in The Attic by Cleo Virginia Ethel Andrews.

I read this when I was approaching my teen years. I head read other novels, (Are You There God, its Me Margaret by Judy Blume comes a close second) but this book blew me away and set me on the road for a lifetime love of reading. Also set me up for the type of books I love...dark, controversial, upsetting at times. Not a silly fairy tale, but dealt with love none the less...incestuous and wrong though it was.

A fantastic book that I last read over 25 years ago, but still holds fresh in my memory and still brings back original feelings when I think back on it.

Must re-read!

melanieclare2002 Mon 07-Jul-14 20:35:47

My favourite book of all time is Wuthering Heights - I read it at school and fell in love with the wild, untamed Heathcliff and the passionate, feisty Cathy - at last a female heroine I could relate to! I've re-read this book countless times since and find something new in it each time, so much so that I actually have several different physical copies of it because I can't resist each new edition that comes out! It also helps that it is set in my home county of Yorkshire, of course! Pictured is my favourite copy, bought from the Bronte Parsonage gift shop.

FarelyKnuts Mon 07-Jul-14 22:01:21

#ThisBook - Tully by Paullina Simons. The main character is a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who has some really bad stuff happen to her and self harms and is just generally fucked up and yet she survives and lives and manages somehow.
And I read it as a teenager living a similar life and it gave me hope. That even though my life, like hers was fucked up and impossible and messy, I too might survive and manage somehow.
I still have my battered copy, re-read many times, moved from one side of the world to the other, through homelessness and house moves and relationships and other messy stuff. Originally stolen from a library (sorry!) because I was too poor to afford books and couldn't bear to give it back.

fuzzpig Mon 07-Jul-14 22:18:45

I have a question about Labyrinth if I may! I loved it, Carcassonne is one of my favourite places in the world and the book really brought it to life.

My question is why did you choose Carcassonne as the location? Did you have the plot in mind first and then find the perfect setting, or were you inspired by the place first?

Thanks! smile

RhubarbRhubarbRhubarb Tue 08-Jul-14 11:52:24

#ThisBook- Women who run with the wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

This is a recent non fiction read (nearly finished!) but has been wonderfully insightful and truly fascinating. It's a collection of traditional folklore from around the globe that is interwoven with Estes' psychological insight and analysis regarding women and women's culture.

It has had a profound effect on me and how i identify as a woman. I will no doubt be returning to this book again and again in the future.

Ruby6918 Tue 08-Jul-14 12:16:14

the first book that started my reading journey was the diary of anne frank and i visited her house a few years ago, her wonderful writing and total openess and honesty held me captivated and it still does, id like to a kate which century she would like to go back to to see what it was really like, and why

penelopicon Tue 08-Jul-14 12:38:01

Written on the Body, Jeanette Winterson.

It has so many truths about the frail, hypocritical, selfish, frenzied nature of love and lust. So many wonderful quotes. You never know the gender of the narrator either - I'm guilty of reading them as female, making this a novel of (mostly) lesbian love, but it can really be read in many different ways.

“Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. What then kills love? Only this: Neglect. Not to see you when you stand before me. Not to think of you in the little things. Not to make the road wide for you, the table spread for you. To choose you out of habit not desire, to pass the flower seller without a thought. To leave the dishes unwashed, the bed unmade, to ignore you in the mornings, make use of you at night. To crave another while pecking your cheek. To say your name without hearing it, to assume it is mine to call.”

BettyBolognese Wed 09-Jul-14 12:46:44

Vera Brittain - Testament of Youth
A fascinating autobiography of an incredible woman. I went through a period of being fascinated by world war 1 poetry, which moved on to biographies and memoirs. I ate up the war memoirs of Siegfried Sassoon, Robert Graves, Erich Maria Remarque etc... And then by chance I discovered Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain. This autobiography was the first female perspective of world war 1 that I had read. She fascinates me, I have to admit I don't think I actually would have like her at all but her autobiography has stuck with me for many years and I have retread any times.

BettyBolognese Wed 09-Jul-14 12:47:44

Excuse the typos blush

mipmop Thu 10-Jul-14 15:09:19

The handmaid's tale. Reading this as a teenager has stayed with me for life

mignonette Fri 11-Jul-14 13:44:29


Such wise and sensible words there, on keeping love and respect within love by Winterson.

I had read a lot of books as a young girl with so many of them making an impact - 'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn' (when Francie ponders ageing and death after seeing the elderly man on the bench) and the 'The Watershed' by Erin Pizzey with its hilarious description of bad marital oral sex- 'Like a thoroughly enthusiastic hoover' were two very much loved books BUT for me it has to be either of these -

The Women's Room by Marilyn French. I have read and re-read this so many times and it has still to give up half of its secrets and insights, both those that are spot on and those that are less so. My copy was initially lent to me by the mother of my best female friend (who later took me to Greenham and to the protests outside South Africa House to the horror of my parents) and I loved it so much she let me keep it and bought another copy for herself. The book travelled in my hand luggage around the world on several occasions as we accompanied my father on his work travels and I witnessed the impact this had upon my mother as she had to recreate a life for herself in different countries. The book helped me interpret this for myself although my parents soon tired of back of the aircraft lectures on Feminism 101 through a fug of smoke- they might have been traditional in some ways but allowing me to smoke my way around the world was their one bizarre streak of liberalism (or benign neglect?). Anyway, I ramble. I love this book.

Absinthe for Elevenses by Wendy Perriam and its everyday account of suburban marriage versus messy, visceral, dirty and self indulgent affairs was another powerful influence. It actually made me really scared of vivid men and my own unstable and ever changing home life made Ginny Barnes's domestic set up seem more appealing to me than it did to her. However I was very interested in the sex and how a prawn could turn into such an erotically charged object- maybe this is why I now love Nigel Slaters food writing and write copy for foodie journals myself smile

RufusTheReindeer Fri 11-Jul-14 17:05:34

I couldn't pick a favourite book if I had a year in which to choose

But going by which book has had the most impact it would have to be

Homing instinct by Diana Appleyard

When I was on maternity leave with DS1 my husband and I couldn't decide if I should go back to work or stay at home. DH was wandering through a book shop when he spotted this and bought it for me in the hope that it might help me decide

It's been 15 years since it helped me decide so it has quite literally affected all of our lives since wasn't a bad read either grin

LackaDAISYcal Fri 11-Jul-14 23:15:59

The Color Purple by Alice Walker. I first read this age 18 and it had a huge impact on me. It was my first experience of black issues, domestic violence and rape and left an enduring sense of what's wrong and right in a relationship.

500internalerror Sat 12-Jul-14 23:42:18

The l shaped room was one of 'the' books of my early teens (I think I was 12 the first time I read it). The style of writing was incredible, the content opened a whole new dimension to me. And anyone that had read it had an elevated ranking in the social pecking order of girls!

NecesitoDormir Mon 14-Jul-14 11:43:16

#thisbook not only talked about the ennui of being a housewife and reinforced my drive for feminism but also introduced me to the publisher Persephone books. They are dedicated to reprinting stories that have fallen out of fashion from great women authors.

Since signing up for a monthly delivery I have discover many fab new women writers.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 17-Jul-14 11:32:23

Great to see so many brilliant books up here (love the battered copy of L-Shape Room - I remember reading that exact same edition as a young teen and thinking it was the most sophisticated thing in the world smile).

We're extending this comp until next WEDS 23rd JULY so do keep sending your pics in and also any questions you want to put to Bailey's Co-Founder and best-selling author Kate Mosse. There's brilliant, unique prizes for this comp (see opening post for more details)

teddygirlonce Sat 19-Jul-14 11:32:51

The Group by Mary McCarthy - I read this when I'd just gone up to Uni and I loved it. I was a bit naive then and these feisty, liberated (for the 1930s) young women, just out of an Ivy League US Uni (with all the trials and tribulations of relationships, work and being real grown-ups) caught my imagination. They seemed so much more grown-up than I was even when I'd graduated!

This is one of those books that I've reread at different stages of my life and I've found that I've identified with different characters with the passage of time.

Have read many of the other books mentioned up-thread and would agree wholeheartedly with all that's been said.

Flowers in the Attic is essentially 'trash' fiction but I would challenge you to find many women of a certain age who won't have devoured the series of books and thoroughly enjoyed them as teens!

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