Saturday 30 August 2014


The Books That Built Me with Liberty London Girl 13th September 2014
On Saturday 13th September at 7pm, Sasha Wilkins, founder of, and I will be at the Chiswick Book Festival for a special Books That Built Me salon to celebrate the forthcoming launch of her first book, Friends Food Family.

I first came across Sasha when I had just begun to write Mrs Trefusis Takes A Taxi and Sasha's legendary blog was the, then anonymous, account of the ex-pat life of a British magazine editor, working, living, dining and dating in New York. Liberty London Girl became a synonym for smart, single, stylish and savvy - insights into the arcane world of fashion mixed with amusing anecdotes about the New York dating scene alongside musings and meditations about food and friends. Above all, it was Sasha's warm, wise and generous personality that made her a star in the brave new blogging firmament.

A little over six years later, the online world has evolved: Sasha has left the traditional world of magazine publishing and anonymous blogging behind to build a successful dotcom business in, with a powerful social media voice and readers in 139 countries world-wide. What's more, her love of bringing people together over food and good conversation has resulted into what promises to be a best-selling cookery book: small wonder You magazine has pounced on the exclusive serialisation rights (I think this starts a week Sunday). Sasha is living proof that following one's passions is the secret to success.

In those early days, when blogging was quite new, and twitter a minority interest, Sasha and I bonded over our love of books - a mutual, raging passion for Georgette Heyer, obsessive re-reading of I Captured the Castle, and so on. Her online support for Mrs Trefusis, and her subsequent actual Real Life friendship, is something I value very highly. It's also fair to say The Books That Built Me wouldn't exist without Sasha - the idea has its seeds in a long conversation she and I had on a wet and windy day in 2012  about the way books bring women together, and how childhood favourites sustain one in adult life.

Anyway, having watched Sasha's extraordinary trajectory from fashion editor of The Wall Street Journal-AKA-anonymous-blogger to a bonefide dotcommer and author of a brilliantly useful book, I'm absolutely delighted she's going to share her thoughts about her journey with the help of the books that have inspired her and informed her along the way.

Sasha Wilkins, of, talks about the books that have built her on 13th September at the Chiswick Book Festival. Tickets are available here and include a copy of Harper's Bazaar and entry into a prize draw to win fabulous treats from Nyetimber, Ralph Lauren and Le Creuset.

Also at the Chiswick Book Festival is previous Books That Built Me guest, Andy Miller, author of The Year of Reading Dangerously, in his hugely entertaining one-man show, 'Read Y'self Fitter'.

Friends Food Family, by Sasha Wilkins is published on 25th September by Quadrille, priced £18.99

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