William Boyd's Book Club

In the autumn of 2017 we paid a visit to novelist and screenwriter William Boyd, who took os on a tour of his extensive book shelves and shared some of the books which mattered to him. With 'over 10,000' books occupying the shelves of his London home there was plenty to choose from. Here's just some of the works he picked out for us, from the miniscule Victorian Thumb Dictionary, to the more contemporary novels of David Szalay and Evie Wyld.

William Boyd's BOOK CLUB

Born in Accra, Ghana to Scottish parents, Boyd was working as a lecturer in English at Oxford’s St Hilda’s College, and TV critic for The New Statesman when his debut novel A Good Man in Africa was published in 1981. The work won both the Whitbread Book Award and the Somerset Maughan Award.

Boyd has gone on to write 13 further novels, including the Booker Prize shortlisted An Ice-Cream War (1982), the Booker Prize longlisted Any Human Heart (2002) and the Costa Book Awards Novel of the Year, Restless (20006). Boyd has also penned multiple screenplays, theatre pieces and non-fiction works.

I think there must be over 10,000 books here. You can’t just chuck books out if you don’t want them, so they sort of pile up
William Boyd

Bibliography (in order of appearance)

  • Larkin, Philip (1951) XX Poems
  • Hefford Cocking, Frances M. (ed.) (1900) The Composer's Vade-Mecum: English-Italian Dictionary of Terms
  • Bryce, David (ed.) (1893) The Thumb Dictionary
  • Wilson, Edmund (1975) The Twenties: from notebooks and diaries of the period
  • Waugh, Evelyn (1945) Brideshead Revisited
  • Wyld, Evie (2013) All The Birds Singing
  • Szalay, David (2016) All That Man Is


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