What I'm reading: The book Gina Miller is reading, has just read, and the only two genres of book she doesn't read

Francesca Washtell
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Gina Miller is a British-Guyanese businesswoman (Source: Getty)

Co-founder of investment manager SCM Direct and philanthropist Gina Miller hit the headlines in 2016 when she launched a legal challenge to get parliament to vote on whether the UK can start the process of leaving the EU.

City A.M. spoke to Miller about the books she's reading, the book she always goes back to and whether any literature influenced the memoir she'll be releasing later this year.

What book are you currently reading?

I am dipping in and out of Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard. As a woman thrust onto the political stage and baffled by the anger and depth of negative feeling that I have been targeted with, Mary Beard’s Women & Power Manifesto brought me a sense of solidarity, understanding, power and determination.

The book is adapted from two lectures, one given at the British Museum in 2014, and the other earlier in 2017 that a girl friend had suggested I listen to, over the summer. As a renowned intellect Beard explores complex issues but is able to make them surprisingly understandable.

What was the last book you read?

I re-read 1421 – it is a book that has divided academics and historians. Gavin Menzies the author argues that a Chinese Armada reached Latin America, the Caribbean and Australia, circumnavigating the globe a century before Ferdinand Magellan, leaving wrecks and artefacts and establishing colonies. He believes Columbus, Magellan and James Cook all had maps before they set sail - based on a Chinese original. True or not, I love this book.

When do you tend to read?

On holidays and weekends mostly.

What was the best book (or books) you've read in the last five years?

I often revisit Letters of Note by Shaun Usher – it's full of inspiring letters from a wide range of extraordinary people. There’s Virginia Woolf's heart-breaking suicide letter, Maya Angelou’s letter to her younger self, Gandhi's appeal for calm to Hitler; and a letter from one of my pop idols - Iggy Pop's beautiful letter of advice to a troubled young fan, to Leonardo da Vinci's remarkable job application letter.

What genre of books do you tend to read most and why?

It’s easier to answer which genres I don’t read – romance and horror. I even love comic books.

What was the last business book you read?

12 Rules of Life – An Antidote to Chaos. It’s not strictly a business book, but I think business people, actually anyone who is in a position of leadership - would find it very insightful. The author Jordan Peterson is a profound writer – he messes together the disciplines of psychology, anthropology, science, and politics.

Did any literature serve as an inspiration for the book you are now writing [her memoir, Rise, due out in August]?

No – I wanted to write an honest book, in my voice and not try to emulate anyone else.

What book have you not read that you feel you should have?

Be Vigilant But Not Afraid: The Farewell Speeches of Barack Obama and Michelle Obama.

What's your favourite book (or books) of all time?

May sound a cliché but there are too many to mention.

Read more: Meet the woman who took Article 50 to court

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