Penny Vincenzi is a bestselling UK author whose new novel The Decision (Headline, $36.99) has just been released.

The book I love most is ... Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Haunting and beautiful, it's perfectly written and however many times I read it, it casts a new spell.

The book I'm reading right now is ... The Good Life by Jay McInerney, the most riveting story of families and love affairs, set against the backdrop of 9/11. Atmospheric, emotional, and also a picture of privileged New York society.

The book I'd like to read next is ... Northern Lights by Philip Pullman. I've never read any Pullman and am painfully aware this is a huge loss.


My favourite bookshop is ... Wimbledon Books and Music, an independent bookshop that specialises in children's books and biographies and also sells a fair number of classical CDs and books about music.

The book that changed me is ... Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I read it at the age of 14 and it took hold of my imagination and then my ambition in the most extraordinary way. That's what I want to do, I thought, write a book as spellbinding as that.

The book I wish I'd never read is ... The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson; yes, it was very exciting, but it was so sadistic, it gave me nightmares.