What was the first book to make Amber Rudd cry?
This article is from the December 2012 issue of Total Politics
What’s your favourite book?
I would love to say War and Peace, but my mind keeps on going back to Martina Cole. Anything by her is a fantastic read. They are always from the point of view of a woman and just good, frightening thrillers. One of her favourite phrases always makes me laugh: “He was as useless as a chocolate tea pot.”
Any of those self-help books, particularly the ones that advise on how to change your life... or, even worse, how to beat a serious illness by ‘positive thought’.
What’s your favourite political biography?
I enjoyed Ion Trewin’s book on Alan Clark, primarily because my mother knew Alan at Oxford, and there is a beautiful picture in the book of her with Alan in their student days.
Whom would you like to write a political biography about?
Andrea Leadsom, MP for South Northamptonshire, in about 20 years’ time.
What was your favourite children’s book?
Charlotte’s Web by EB White. It was the first book that made me cry.
What is the most inspiring book you have ever read?
John Steinbeck’s gritty The Grapes of Wrath. It’s often the first adult book that young people read, and it really hits you between the eyes.
What’s your favourite political novel?
Primary Colors by Anonymous. American politics is fascinating, and this revealing story about Bill Clinton and his strengths and, erm, weaknesses is a riveting read.
Name the most significant book of the last 10 years.
Freakonomics: the first book to look at the combination of markets, economics and human behaviour in particular activities, from drug dealing, to the flaws of rewarding teachers on pupils’ performance.
What would you like to write a book about?
There are many new groups of women working together to help break the inequalities in most aspects of professional life, and this type of collaboration is unusual in areas of fierce competition and ambition. I think it would be interesting to look at the ‘sisterhood’ successes, at how women have achieved more by supporting each other.
Which fictional character would you be?
Perhaps a cross between Mary Poppins and Katniss Everdeen? Both are formidable women who get things done, one with a little bit of magic and the other through courage and force.
Amber Rudd is MP for Hastings and Rye