Culture, Interview

BOOKS & ME

Founder and CEO of Skinny Champagne and Skinny Prosecco, Amanda Thomson shares her favourite reads with us…

We love to have a good old nosy at other people’s bookshelves. And who wouldn’t be intrigued by the favourite books of accomplished arts presented-turned-entrepreneur, Amanda Thomson? The founder and CEO of Thomson & Scott Skinny Champagne and Skinny Prosecco has certainly had an interesting career – from BBC broadcaster to businesswoman. From page-turning holiday novels to business must-reads, get ready to update your #TBR.

When and where do you read?

On planes. When I’m flying alone I use the time to kick back and relax without the distractions of work. This is getting harder now that so many planes provide internet.

Your favourite writers?

There’s a lot of non-fiction on my current list, and I am finding Ashlee Vance’s biography of Elon Musk impossible to put down. Musk is arguably the world’s most important entrepreneur and he is changing the world’s technology forever. I’ll always make time for Margaret Atwood because I find her dystopian tales eerily accurate and scarily apocalyptic.

Top holiday read?

Whatever I grab from airport shelves! But you can’t go wrong with Evelyn Waugh. He’s so witty and delightfully bitchy, poking underneath’s society’s glittering surfaces to reveal humanity in all its murky glory.

Last book you were recommended by someone?

I recently took an unprecedented three weeks off with my family to holiday with friends who live in Kenya. We safaried, partied in Nairobi and blissed out on the beach on the island of Lamu. Having never been to this part of the world before I’m now obsessed, and the friend I stayed with has been recommending all kinds of books. May I have two? I Dreamed of Africa is a memoir by Italian conservationist Kuki Gallmann who dreamed as a child of living in Africa, and she moved to a remote ranch in Kenya when she was only 25. I’m loving James Fox’s White Mischief, a tale of aristocracy, alcohol and adultery based on true events among the expat set in the 1940s.

Favourite books as a child?

As a child I always had my nose in a book. I adored Winnie the Pooh, and as I got older enjoyed reading The Tao of Pooh, which explains the basic principles of Taoism through Winnie and friends’ belief system. I was also a huge fan of Judy Blume, especially Are You There God? It’s me Margaret.

Best trashy book?

I take great pleasure in a thriller, anything like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. Next on my list is Sally Hepworth’s The Family Next Door. It’s gone down a storm in the author’s native Australia, and it’s all about women keeping secrets in the suburbs.

Favourite poet?

You’ve got me there. I don’t read poetry.

Your me-time rituals?

I’m not someone who wallows in baths or goes on long solo walks. I’d rather see friends because I hardly ever get to hang out because of work. My dream me-time day would be getting up and enjoying a leisurely coffee, having a spin class somewhere like Psycle, and meeting a friend in a new bar that everyone has been raving about.

I’d use the time on the train there to read business books and biographies. I recommend Ben Horowitz’s The Hard Thing about Hard Things; Chaos Monkeys by Antonio Garcia Martinez and Disrupted by Dan Lyons. Nicholas Lander’s The Art of the Restaurateur is compelling, and The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes makes me even more passionate about my campaign to reduce sugar wherever I can.

For more information on Thomson & Scott’s Skinny Champagne and Skinny Prosecco, head to their website.

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