Celebrated singer Katherine Jenkins shares five favourite reads, from a story about nuclear war to a classic Welsh play
Children of the dust
This book blew my mind when I read it as part of the GCSE English syllabus and it has stayed with me ever since. It is set in Wales just as a nuclear bomb has gone off and tells the story from the viewpoint of three characters over several decades as they struggle to survive and leave behind life as they know it. Highlighting the best and worst of humanity, it presents a terrifying potential future, encourages us to challenge our prejudices and ultimately gives us hope. This is such a great, timely story, my husband and I have been developing a film based on this.
The other Boleyn girl
This book is probably responsible for my obsession with the Tudor period. You almost feel you could be there, among the gowns and the tapestries and maybe it’s why I chose to get married at Hampton Court Palace.Being a fan of stories of strong women, this book ignited an intrigue in Anne Boleyn that has never gone away.
In 2013, when I knew I would be marrying my then boyfriend and wanting to better understand his Jewish faith, his Rabbi recommended I read Night by Elie Wiesel. It is a personal, intimate and harrowing account of Elie’s experience struggling to survive in two Nazi concentration camps, losing his family, his dignity and his faith. Even though at times I found the darkness of human nature almost too overwhelming, it is a beautiful testament to the enduring power of hope and a lesson in forgiveness.
The joy of music
Having been a fan of Bernstein since I first saw the documentary of him conducting Dame Kiri and José Carreras in West Side Story, I was thrilled to discover this book by him with such a joyful title. A must have for music lovers, I found this to be an enthusiastic and clever way to discuss ideas and concepts through imaginary conversations. It is almost a guide for how to really hear classical music and tips on how to discuss it.
Under milk wood
Under Milk Wood is a story about the goodness of people, the warmth of friendship and family and that strong sense of community that reminds me of home. Poignant in places, funny at times,it is uplifting, honest and makes me miss Wales.