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My Top Ten Favourite



Films

  • The Godfather 1, 2 and 3 (and probably 4 if it is ever made)
  • Shrek 2 – just has the edge on 1
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • Mildred Pierce – Joan Crawford at her very best, great lipstick
  • Some Like It Hot
  • La Vita e Bella (Life is Beautiful)
  • Jules et Jim
  • Jean de Florette
  • The Incredible Journey – the bull terrier just making it over the last hill!
  • Dawn Patrol – surely no-one has ever made a more dashing airman than Errol Flynn


Books

  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins – Marion is the best heroine ever and Count Fosco is definitely the best villain
  • The Mating Season by P.G. Wodehouse – my Desert Island book
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Nice Work by David Lodge – clever, sexy and full of characters you would actually like to know
  • Brother of the More Famous Jack by Barbara Trapido – for anyone who has ever fallen in love with a whole family
  • Imaginary Friends by Alison Lurie – I love all her books but this strange little story is my favourite
  • The Secret History by Donna Tartt – one of the best books about university ever written (all this and murder too)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – defies criticism
  • Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh – more university and doomed Catholicism
  • Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons -  “Worst fears realised darling. Seth and Reuben too. Send Gumboots.”


Places in Italy

  • Siena – for me, the most beautiful city in Italy
  • The Amalfi Coast – the coastline of your dreams, blue sea, white houses, death-defying roads
  • The Mountains of the Moon – the hidden Tuscany, wild mountainous country full of secrets
  • Rome – especially by night
  • Nola – where my grandfather was born, a bustling Neapolitan town where bell-ringing was invented
  • Florence – where my grandmother was born, gorgeous and knows it
  • Sansepolcro – a hidden gem: weekly markets, great restaurants and Piero della Francesca too
  • Citta di Castello – the perfect Umbrian town
  • Venice – everything they say is true, it is also curiously spooky with those shiny black and gilt gondolas (oddly like floating hearses) moving silently around
  • Abruzzo – another forgotten region but it has everything – mountains, sea, castles, great shopping, wonderful (spicy!) food and wine.
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