Check out book recommendations from author Dolly Alderton.
There’s no denying that Dolly Alderton knows good literature.
In addition to writing her own brilliant books (which you can learn more about below), Dolly has been a long-time book lover. Though her book recommendations are fewer now that she’s focused on promoting her own books – fair enough – we sifted through the internet archives to dig up a few of her favourites.
If you’ve already finished Good Material and are looking for more great reads to satisfy you while you wait to hear what her next project will be, where better to look than the author herself?
Scroll on to see the books that Dolly has recommended over the years. We hope you find a new favourite on this list!
Books recommended by Dolly Alderton
East Meera Sodha
In 2019, Dolly took to Instagram to give this book the best praise imaginable for a cookbook: ‘I have cooked from this beautiful and totally fool-proof recipe book four times this week,’ she wrote. ‘@meerasodha – what did I do before you and your silky coconutty tomato curry?’ With 120 easy Asian-inspired vegetarian and vegan recipes inside, this book is highly recommended for anyone hoping to venture into plant-based eating. (Psst . . . try a recipe here!)
I Feel Bad About My Neck Nora Ephron
Dolly recommended this book in a 2019 Instagram post, after writing the introduction for a new format of Nora Ephron’s collection of candid, hilarious essays on womanhood: I Feel Bad About My Neck. ‘I first read it in my early twenties and I have given every friend a copy for a birthday at some point. It’s warm, reassuring, hilarious - one of my most quoted books in my writing - and you’ll return to it time and time again.’
The Interestings Meg Wolitzer
Dolly included this novel by Meg Wolitzer in a 2019 Instagram roundup featuring several books discussed on her former podcast, The High Low, with fellow author Pandora Sykes. Following six friends from teenagerdom to adulthood, the book charts their transformation from talented adolescents to ‘interesting’ adults of varying degrees.
A Half Baked Idea Olivia Potts
Another one recommended by Dolly on The High Low was A Half Baked Idea by Oliva Potts. A moving memoir, the book tells Olivia’s true story of how she made a drastic life change for the better. When she was just twenty-five, the author’s mother died. Stricken with grief, Olivia gave up her high-flying legal career to study at Le Cordon Bleu. Interspersed with recipes, the life-affirming cookbook charts her course to a happier life – complete with more macaroons.
Lady Sings the Blues Billie Holiday
When a new edition of Billie Holiday’s Lady Sings the Blues was published in 2018, Dolly shared praise of her old favourite on Instagram. ‘I'm so, so happy to see this beautiful new edition of Billie Holiday's breathtaking 1956 autobiography,’ she wrote, noting that she first read the book at age twelve. ‘I still love reading the turned down pages now, and I still always cry at the last chapter. It's an extraordinary story of loss and longing and pain and passion; about pre-civil rights America as much as it is about the greatest blues singer of our time.’
Any Human Heart William Boyd
In a 2021 interview with Good Housekeeping, Dolly shared that Any Human Heart is her favourite book of all time. ‘The novel does a full exploration of one human; you watch him have all these relationships and experiences and you watch how this man is shaped and carved by different people that come in and out of his life,’ she said. ‘It’s an odyssey of a book and it has influenced me heavily as I felt so close to the protagonist. I read it in Italy and I felt like the lead character was there next to me.’
And if you haven't already read Dolly Alderton's books, you should also check out:
Good Material Dolly Alderton
Every relationship has one beginning.This one has two endings.
Andy loves Jen. Jen loved Andy. And he can't work out why she stopped.
Now he is. . .
1. Without a home
2. Waiting for his stand-up career to take off
3. Wondering why everyone else around him seems to have grown up while he wasn't looking
Dear Dolly Dolly Alderton
Since early 2020, Dolly Alderton has been sharing her wisdom, warmth and wit with the countless people who have written in to her Dear Dolly agony aunt column in The Sunday Times Style. Their questions range from the painfully – and sometimes hilariously – relatable to the occasionally bizarre. They include breakups and body issues, families, friendships, dating, divorce, the pleasures and pitfalls of social media, sex, loneliness, longing, love and everything in between.
Ghosts Dolly Alderton
Nina Dean has arrived at her early thirties as a successful food writer with loving friends and family, plus a new home and neighbourhood. When she meets Max, a beguiling romantic hero who tells her on date one that he's going to marry her, it feels like all is going to plan. A new relationship couldn't have come at a better time - her thirties have not been the liberating, uncomplicated experience she was sold.
Everything I Know About Love Dolly Alderton
When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming a grown up, journalist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir, she vividly recounts falling in love, wrestling with self-sabotage, finding a job, throwing a socially disastrous Rod-Stewart themed house party, getting drunk, getting dumped, realising that Ivan from the corner shop is the only man you've ever been able to rely on, and finding that that your mates are always there at the end of every messy night out. Glittering, with wit and insight, heart and humour, this is a book about the struggles of early adulthood in all its grubby, hopeful uncertainty.
A vibrant curry from the plant-based cookbook East.
A vegan interpretation of pad thai that brings something new in the form of purple sprouting broccoli.
A boldly flavoured, jammy, pudding-like cake from Meera Sodha's cookbook East.
An electric novel about power and influence, ego and loyalty, womanhood and ambition – perfect for your next book club meeting.
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