Bookshelfie: Louise Hulland

On this week’s bookshelfie, we caught up with the brilliant Louise Hulland, an award-winning journalist, presenter and documentary maker who can be seen regularly reporting for Watchdog, London Live and Inside Out. Read on to find out why books are so important to Louise, and why reading provides the perfect escapism for a busy lifestyle.

I love reading. Love it. Books were a huge part of my childhood, losing myself in adventures, mysteries and faraway lands. I don’t read enough now, which is ridiculous, because there is nothing like getting swept up by an incredible tale – in fact, often it can be a sanctuary. So here are some of my most important books on my shelves, which have represented key parts of my life!

Enid Blyton and Berlie Doherty Collections
Ok, I know. I’m totally cheating but I can’t pick one of these two fabulous authors, nor just one of their stories. Enid Blyton’s books were a joy to me, especially Famous Five and Mallory Towers, and I was introduced to Berlie’s work when she came to do a talk at my Dad’s school. I interviewed her for a kid’s newspaper called The Early Times – the first time my name was in print. Her books were so varied, I never knew where I’d end up next on one of her adventures.

Sense and Sensibilty, Jane Austen
Despite having to read this countless times for my English Literature A Level, I’ve never fallen out of love with this wonderful story. I remember being in an all-girl class, with a fabulous female teacher, reading about this two sensational female characters, created by a ground breaking literary heroine, and being completely inspired by the power of women, and their words

To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

I’m mortified to write this, but I’ve never read it. I know. I will at once, I’m so sorry. I can’t quite believe how I’ve got to this stage in life and never read it, but it falls into the category in my bookshelves of Important Books I’m Too Scared To Read In Case They Go Over My Head. But I will, I swear.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
I adore this book. My mum bought it for me because she loved it, and when I read the title I thought she’d had a bang on the head. But it’s a truly wonderful, beautiful book. Not only did I read it, I read it three times back to back and was bereft every time I got to the end of the story. There are two female main characters in this novel, one of which we never meet. Told entirely through the exchange of letters, it’s a stunning tale of life on Guernsey during Nazi occupation.

The Krays: The Prison Years – Kate Beal Blyth & David Miekle
I’m stupidly excited about owning this book. In 2015 I produced a documentary about the Kray Twins (my background is crime journalism) and their life behind bars once they were convicted. We interviewed some of their key associates, some of the men who were sent down with them, and then fellow inmates. It was a fascinating experience to hear these first hand accounts, and my producer, Kate, is a TV mentor and someone I admire hugely. She has turned our doc into a book – and I even have a dedication! It’s a GREAT read.

Maeve Kerrigan Series – Jane Casey

It’s no surprise considering the work I do that my shelves are filled with not only books on real life crimes and criminology, but also countless crime novels. Karen Slaughter, Patricia Cornwell and Val McDermid are all up there – but my heart belongs to the work of Jane Casey. The Maeve Kerrigan series I stumbled upon by accident – one of those “I need a book for a train journey” impulse buys. And I’m so glad I did. Maeve is a sassy, smart female detective who is totally relatable. The plots are gripping and every time I get the end I’m desperate to see how Maeve’s life will pan out in the next one. I’ve now read all the Maeve books and now if I see any book with Jane’s name on, I now don’t even bother reading the sleeve – I know I’ll love it.

What do you think of Louise’s bookshelf? Share your thoughts by tweeting us @WomensPrize

The Women's Prize Podcast

Tune into host Vick Hope and a line-up of incredible guests on our weekly podcast full of unmissable book recommendations.