Check in to the W London hotel for great novels
Friday 10 June 2011
Hotels are not famed for their highbrow libraries; if you're lucky, you might just find the latest Jackie Collins blockbuster. But this is about to change at the new W London hotel in Leicester Square, where books have been recommended by famous authors, including Bret Easton Ellis.
The (W)riters' Library, which opens next week on the hotel's first floor, has invited 10 well-known writers to pick 10 books for the library. Inside each they have included a handwritten note explaining why they love the book.
Ellis has picked The Great Gatsby – "The best American novel of the 20th century" – his favourite novel, A Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert and his favourite contemporary novel, Play it as it Lays by Joan Didion.
David Nicholls has gone for Casino Royale by Ian Fleming – "A guilty pleasure and surely the only novel in which the hero orders half an avocado pear for dessert." He also adds Collected Stories by Philip Larkin and Essays by George Orwell to his recommendations. "Along with Dickens, Orwell was my first passion. The novels are wonderful, but the essays sum up everything great about him. Clear prose, moral fervour, curiosity."
Jake Arnott has chosen Diaries by Andy Warhol– "The post-pop bible – hilariously funny and surprisingly touching." Also on of his must-read list is Fun Home by Alison Bechdel – "The term 'graphic novel' simply doesn't do justice to this extraordinary book."
Naomi Alderman meanwhile has chosen The Whole Story by Ali Smith: "Look, this is how one of the stories starts: 'I fell in love with a tree. I couldn't not. It was in blossom.' See what I mean?"
Damian Barr, the curator of the library, says: "When you recommend a book, you say a lot about yourself, consciously or not... It's a first of its kind, giving visitors the chance to personally connect with their favourite writers and the titles that have inspired, challenged and touched them in their lives. This is about the stories behind the books."
The (W)riters Library, W London, Leicester Square, W1 from 14 June (www.wlondon.co.uk)
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits record low as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Germany sees 'visible rise' in support for far-right extremism in response to perceived 'Islamisation' of the West