The Books That Made Me: Linda Rodin

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Linda Rodin
Linda RodinPhotography by Sean Donnola

One of fashion's most elegant women explains the books that she can get lost in, time after time...

Linda Rodin is one of the world's most powerfully elegant women: a model and fashion editor turned skincare genius whose impeccable style and magnetic presence is renowned throughout the industries of fashion and beauty. Her eponymous skincare line, Rodin, is a legitimate cult wonder (in the chic-est packaging imaginable) but was borne of sheer invention rather than marketing genius: "I just started mixing it in the bathroom in a coffee cup. I found bottles online and brought them to photo shoots. Everyone on set just loved it!" she once told us. In honour of our love for her multi-disciplinary aptitude, we've asked her to tell us the five books she adores...

"I cannot say that these books 'changed my life' in any visible way," she explains, "but what they all did was open me up to beautiful, lyrical and profound writing. I generally prefer fiction; I love magic and storytelling, and the lives of the characters I meet through books. I want to get lost in the words and descriptions of people and their surroundings – to be transported to places and times and lives I would never experience otherwise."

The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino
"This book is unique and beautiful. It shows how someone can be independent, stick fiercely to his principles and views of the world from a very strange perch. And that one can be isolated physically (living one's life in a tree) and be fully integrated with love and life at the same time."

My Ántonia by Willa Cather
"My Ántonia describes a time long past – the 1890s – in the midwest of America, Nebraska, with profound beauty, elegance and simple but lyrical language. It is the way Willa Cather writes, which is poetic and gorgeous, that makes me reread it often."

The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann
"It brought me into an unknown world of a fascinating cast of characters, whose common ground was illness. But it wasn't morose or even sad; it was romantic and strange and magical."

Poetry of Emily Dickinson
"All of her poems speak to me. Many years ago I said to a dear friend of mine, who is also a wonderful writer, "I wish I understood more about how to read poetry". And her reply completely changed my perspective. She said, 'Reading poetry is like spraying into the atmosphere a beautiful and new and exotic perfume. You spray it, and you gently glide through its mist of mystery and beauty.' Enough said."

Maigret Mystery Novels by Georges Simenon
"Georges Simenon was a prolific and brilliant writer, and I've been reading his Maigret mystery novels for many years. There are 75 of them in the series, and I'm only half way through them – thank God! The writing is gorgeous and evocative of the time in which he wrote them, and each one is unique and impossible to put down. Stories twist and turn and I read them from start to finish in one sitting if I can. I'm so happy I have almost 30 more awaiting me. I never want them to end."