Kate Goodbody is the brain behind the travel blog “More Native Than The Natives”, which explores the world from the points of view of herself and fellow bloggers who have been to the places in question. Several months ago I contributed by pointing out the best places in Brighton to quench your thirst. When not working on this, the 23-year-old travels a lot and is a former resident of Paris. She volunteers in an art gallery and also serves as a tutor for French, English and Maths.

When travelling, there is always time to get a bit of reading in, so Kate always has something on the go. She generously gave up her time to answer my questions about her favourite books.

What are you reading at the moment?

Dear Mr M by Herman Koch. I massively enjoyed The Dinner so thought I’d give this a go and so far it’s proving to be a good read. It uses different narrators to build the suspense and keeps you guessing throughout.

What were your favourite books growing up?

I grew up while the Harry Potter books were still being written and can remember sitting in the playground at school reading them. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was a big book for an eight-year-old to lug around! I even sat on the landing late at night so that I could just finish the chapter because my sister wouldn’t let me keep our bedroom light on!

Which author, dead or alive, would you most like to meet?

I have a confession here. I’m ever so slightly obsessed with James Bond (the novels, not necessarily the films), therefore I’d have to say Ian Fleming. I don’t think we would get on but I wouldn’t say no to a martini on the veranda of his house in Jamaica. I know people see him as a misogynist but the books have a special place in my heart.

Have you ever seen a film that was better than the book it was based on?

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy! I’m a big John le Carré fan but this book did drag on a little. The film perfectly captured the atmosphere and Gary Oldman makes a fabulous spymaster. The casting in general was top notch. It isn’t often they get the right actors for the right roles in adaptations but not one of their choices disappointed me.

What factors are important to you when choosing a book?

If the blurb doesn’t capture my attention then I won’t go near it even if someone has recommended it to me. I’d never read something that would be counted as a book you have to read before you die. You’ll never find War and Peace on my bookcase because life is too short to waste time on books that you don’t enjoy!

Have you read any books translated from a foreign language and how did you find them?

I studied French at university so have read a fair few as well as having to translate literature for assignments. I have such respect for anyone who can successfully translate anything from another language and still keep the personality of the text alive.

If you could spend a day inside a book, which would you choose?

Would it be cheating if I said The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde? Then, by the nature of the book, I’d be able to jump around all books. Joking aside, I do adore the universe he has come up with and I’m always finding different jokes I didn’t get the first time around. [Not cheating at all; that’s my answer too! – Michael]

Can you tell me some of the books currently on your “to-read” list?

Have you got a spare three hours? The stack next to my bed currently contains Louis Theroux’s Call of the Weird, and The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman. I did have a weird moment in Waterstones recently when nothing in the “Buy One Get One Half Price” section didn’t take my fancy. Does anyone know the cure for this affliction?

Which fictional character would you most like to go for dinner or drinks with?

Arthur Dent seems like he’d be a great guy to sink a few pints with, plus he’ll always have his towel ready to mop up any spillages.

The impossible question: what is your favourite book?

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming. It has it all: evil villain, fast cars, and a devilish plan to thwart the British government. I have the audiobook read by David Tennant and it’s just absolute perfection.


For more about Kate, visit her fantastic travel blog More Native Than The Natives, or seek her out on Instagram and Twitter.

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