Nice Day For a War, co-written with Chris Slane.' />

Matt Elliott won this year's NZ Post Children's Book Award for Nice Day For a War, co-written with Chris Slane.

The book I love most is ... Spike Milligan's Puckoon. Milligan was an absolute comedy genius ... his great skill was in making the absurd seem quite normal.

The book I'm reading right now is ... Leslie Maitland's Crossing the Borders of Time. It's a compelling, epic, World War II story of love lost but not forgotten and the power of memories.

The book I want to read next is ... Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly's autobiography How To Make Gravy. He's a great observer of people and a big fan of test cricket.


My favourite bookshop is ... Piggery Books in Whangarei. They have a widespread - literally - selection of New Zealand books.

The book that changed me is ... the history of All Black test rugby, Men in Black. When it came out in 1978 I was a schoolboy obsessed with rugby. It began for me a fascination with our mix of sporting and popular culture.

The book I wish I'd never read is ... Grant Smithies' Soundtrack. Good music writers get you interested in genres you don't usually listen to. Thus, I have an imposing list of Kiwi music to work my way through. Thanks Grant.

* Matt Elliott's latest book is the biography Dave Gallaher: The Original All Black Captain (HarperCollins, $39.99)