The book I love most is .

.. It's a dead heat between


by Jane Austen,


Titus Groan

by Mervyn Peake, and

Three Men In A Boat

by Jerome K. Jerome. If I had to pick, it would be


for the one line that makes me shiver every time - Captain Wentworth, "You pierce my soul."

The book I'm reading right now is ... I'm actually working my way through Lee Child's Jack Reacher books. I love Jack, especially when he's alone in the night, doing it the hard way. I also have The Kitchen by Monica Ali and Lionel Asbo by Martin Amis.

The book I want to read next is ... The new Donna Tartt, The Goldfinch. Waiting for a new book by her is like waiting for pandas to mate - this is only her third in 21 years.

My favourite bookshop is ... The Children's Bookshop in Kilbirnie, Wellington, owned by John and Ruth McIntyre. I was initially sceptical about Harry Potter until John put me straight. Then he had to put up with me coming in every day to see if he had the second one in yet.

The book that changed me is ... Unreliable Memoirs by Clive James. It made me want to be smarter, funnier and better read. Still working on that.

The book I wish I'd never read is ... Auto-da-Fe by Elias Canetti. He won the Nobel Prize for literature, so the man had some chops, but for me it was a reading experience equivalent to watching someone pull wings off flies.