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Why Desert Island Discs castaway Sue Biggs champions The Book of Joy

By: stagedoorscribbler - July 8, 2019

Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Photograph by Hattie Miles

As director general of the Royal Horticultural Society, Sue Biggs knows only too well that some of the simplest things can bring extraordinary beauty and pleasure. 

It’s a lesson she learned when her mum gave her a packet of seeds and trowel for her seventh birthday. It was a gift sowing a lifelong love of gardening.

Reflecting on this as she guested on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs at the weekend, Sue chose her eight discs with care, often to recall times of great significance in her life.

It therefore seemed entirely fitting that she selected The Book of Joy by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his good friend the Dalai Llama to accompany her to the imaginary desert island.

Already given The Bible and the Complete Works of Shakespeare, Sue was asked by host Lauren Laverne, what book of her own choice she would take to the island.

Without hesitation she singled out “a wonderful book I read last  year” - The Book of Joy. She described how throughout its pages Archbishop Tutu and the Dalai Llama told stories about fellow human beings andRaking the  how they have been uplifted throughout their lives. It contained, she said, “beautiful photos of them laughing.”

She added” “It’s an amazing  book. It really is the book of joy. It’d just make me smile all the time.”