On this week’s episode of Bookshelfie, our host, Vick Hope is joined by iconic interior designer and Founder and Creative Director of Firmdale Hotels, Kit Kemp. In this exciting episode, Kit gives us insight into the way she works as an interior designer, how she finds inspiration in books and her love for literature.

Check out the full episode here.

Precious Bane

by Mary Webb

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“I love Prue because she was born with this cleft palate. And all she wants to do is to be accepted by everybody. But at every turn, she’s turned away really. So her life it’s quite difficult […] it’s so extraordinary the whole story. There’s so much pastoral simpleness, but superstition, and it’s at a time where people almost never moved out of the village or the valley that they lived in. And so the fact that a crow flies overhead might mean 40 days of bad luck.”

The Lady and the Unicorn

by Tracy Chevalier

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“Always if you look at [Tracy’s] books, there’s always somewhere, something about textiles and things made by hand. But the lady and the unicorn is a book, which I feel is her best. […] You’re learning about what it was like to live at that time, what it was like to be an artist, to be a craftsman to be a maker at that time. And you start on the first page and suddenly you’re on page 100 Before you even realise it, and that’s the sign to me of the best sort of book.”

Wayward: Just Another Life to Live

by Vashti Bunyan

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“I think lots of people actually sort of acquire their personality, they become somebody else for the sake of the book, and they miss out bits and put bits in so that they sound how they want to be, I just felt with Vashti she was the real person, you got to really know her and love her”


by Rose Tremain

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“I love restoration, but mainly because I love Rose Tremain. She’s a fearless and fiercely intelligent writer, there’s nothing that she can’t write about. And if you look at the different books that she’s written from Sacred Country through to The Colour, and then to Restoration, she is just extraordinary and the detail that she goes into, but I rebought Restoration more recently, and I was amazed that this story of Robert Merivel, you know, such a gorgeous name for such a sort of buffoon of a character full of human frailty.”

The Secret Lives of Colour

by Kassia St Clair

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“The secret Lives of Colour, every page is another story. It’s quite incredible. I wish I could remember them all. But this is a book that you have by your bed or on your desk and you dip into it. Now some people will dip into a recipe book because they love it. And for me, it’s this, it’s The Secret Lives of Colour, and I could pick it out 365 days of the year and find something in it. I mean, if she can become a dame of colour, I think that’s what she should be because I think she’s just fabulous.”

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