The book I am currently reading
Still Dark by Alex Gray.
The book that changed my life
My novel Black and Blue – it was my first taste of success.
The book I wish I’d written
Bleak House by Charles Dickens. Such a complete and engaging world.
The book that had the greatest influence on my writing
Laidlaw by William McIlvanney. Rebus owes a lot to McIlvanney’s tough Glasgow detective.
The book I think is most under/overrated
Overrated: Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. Underrated: The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg.
The last book that made me cry/laugh
It’s a rare book that can do both. This Is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay is that book.
The book I couldn’t finish
Ancient Evenings by Norman Mailer. I managed the first 300 pages or so.
The book I’m most ashamed not to have read
James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. I did mostly like Ulysses.
The book I most often give as a gift
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark.
The book I’d most like to be remembered for
My next one. Writers always think their greatest work is just ahead of them …
Since you’re here …
… we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.
I benefit from the Guardian’s high-quality website every day and would like its investigative and trustworthy journalism to remain available to everyone freely.Alice S-L, Netherlands
If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it,