Friday, 16 December 2011

Bookshelf Snooping - Nik Perring

Your childhood favourite
I remember really loving Mossflower, by Brain Jacques.

Your current favourite
There really are so many, it’s impossible to pick one. I recently read Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ for the first time and I loved that so, for now, that’s what I’ll go with.

Your top five authors
Again, SUCH a difficult question to answer as there really are so many. But the first five who come to mind, I think, would be:

Aimee Bender
Etgar Keret
Kurt Vonnegut
Michael Kimball
and Kafka.

Book(s) you’re reading now
At the moment I’m reading a book ‘Naïve. Super’ by the Norwegian, Erland Loe. I’m finding that a lot of the books I enjoy the most are translated, and I’m not sure translators receive quite as much credit as they deserve. So: Nice one, translators, from this writer!

Book(s) you’ve pretended to read
I don’t think I’ve ever lied, saying I’ve read something I’ve not. Knowing me it’d be to the person who was an expert on whichever book I said and I’d get found out straight away. I wish I’d read more Dickens though, and more of the classics. But I haven’t, and there’s not much I can do about that as there’s so much other stuff I want to read first.

Book(s) you’ve bought for the cover
I think I actually only did this for the first time the other day, and that was for ‘Naïve, Super’. We all know we can’t judge a book by its cover, but a good one does help. (Link for the cover:

Book you’re a champion for
I’ve been banging on about Aimee Bender’s books for a few years now, and I can’t see me stopping just yet! They’re magical. They’re brilliant. I think, and this is only my opinion, that she’s the best writer out there at the moment. So I’d heartily recommend ANY of hers. And probably Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut, too, because that is a genuine masterpiece. As is Michael Kimball’s ‘Dear Everybody’.

I’m a champion of mine as well, of course.

Book that changed your life
‘Willful Creatures’ by Aimee Bender. It showed me that I could write the kind of things I wanted to write, and also the standards I’d have to aim for. And without my professional hat on, I think the stories in it are about as perfect as you’ll find.

Book you most want to read again for the first time
Probably ‘Willful Creatures’ again, for the magic. Or Frankenstein, maybe.

Book you turn to for comfort

I don’t tend to re-read books, so the ones I do, for whatever reason, I think makes them exceptional. Again, anything by Aimee Bender. Anything by Etgar Keret. There’s a passage in ‘Dear Everybody’ that’ll make me cry, nine times out of ten, whenever I go back to to read it. It’s on page 236 of the hardback, and it’s about dividing the memories of a relationship once it’s over between the two people who were in it. It’s stunning.

Favourite line from a book
So it goes.

Nik Perring is a writer, author, and editor from the UK. He writes, mostly, short stories. The stories he’s written have been widely published, in the UK and abroad, in print and on-line. They’ve been collected in the book ‘Not So Perfect’ ( Books, 2010), read at events, printed on fliers and used, with one of Dave Eggers’, as essential material on a creative writing course in the US.

‘Freaks!, ( an illustrated collection of short stories, co-written with Caroline Smailes, will be published by The Friday Project (HarperCollins) in April 2012.

His online home is here:


  1. Thank you Nik. I will definitely have to check out Aimee Bender.

  2. Lots of authors that are new to me here, thanks Nik. Translations... I've read more than one book in two languages (Italian and English) and sometimes the translation was good, but sometimes... *shivers* I've read things you humans wouldn't believe... ;)

  3. Ha! Talking about translations... I believe the original movie goes, "You people," while in Italian it says, "You humans". Confusing...

  4. One of my earliest MEGA BOOK ENCHANTMENT experience is from a translated book.

  5. Thanks all, and thanks to Dolly for having me here.

    Oh I can believe there are some big mistakes in translations - but when they get it right, it's awesome.

    Hope you like the new authors you check out!