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Author's Choice

We’ve asked some of our popular authors to tell us what they have on their bookshelves. Authors have chosen their Favourites, and some of our experts have shared their Essentials. Find out what helped shape the careers of these writers, and get some tips on what to read next. From Dame Jacqueline Wilson on The Bell Jar to Jackie Collins on Bonfire of the Vanities, this is a chance to find out what makes your favourite authors tick.

New in Author's Choice

Adele Parks
Adele Parks

See her choices

Harriet Evans
Harriet Evans

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Jessie Keane
Jessie Keane

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Kathy Reichs
Kathy Reichs

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Ben Elton
Ben Elton

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Louise Bagshawe
Louise Bagshawe

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Terry Pratchett
Terry Pratchett

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Russell Ash
Russell Ash

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Douglas Coupland
Douglas Coupland

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Will Self's Favourites

Will Self

Will Self is the author of eighteen books, including seven novels, three novellas, four collections of short stories and four collections of journalism. He is also a prolific journalist and a regular broadcaster on television and radio. He lives in south London with his wife, the journalist Deborah Orr, and their four children.


See Will Self's full list of favourites.

Malcolm Gladwell's Choice

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer with The New Yorker magazine since 1996. His 1999 profile of Ron Popeil won a National Magazine Award, and in 2005 he was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People. He is the author of The Tipping Point and Blink, both of which were number one New York Times bestsellers.


See Malcolm Gladwell's full list of favourites.

Author's Choice Picks

Anne Berry
Anne Berry

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Cecelia Ahern
Cecelia Ahern

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Jackie Collins
Jackie Collins

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John O'Farrell
John O'Farrell

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Penny Vincenzi
Penny Vincenzi

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Joseph Delaney
Joseph Delaney

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Geraldine McCaughrean's Choice

Geraldine McCaughrean

Geraldine McCaughrean has written over 140 books and plays, winning the Carnegie, Whitbread, Printz, Smarties, Guardian and Blue Peter Awards. She won the honour of writing a sequel to J M Barrie’s Peter Pan for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Here she chooses her ten favourites for children.


See Geraldine McCaughrean's full list of favourites.

Jill Mansell's Favourites

Mansell_Jill

The author of many bestselling novels, most recently Rumour Has It, Jill Mansell is a full-time writer. She lives in Bristol with her family.


See a full list of Jill Mansell's favourites

Author's Choice Picks

Matt Dunn
Matt Dunn

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Jane Howarth-Wilson
Jane Howarth-Wilson

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Tim Moore
Tim Moore

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Allan Shepherd
Allan Shepherd

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Wayne Gould
Wayne Gould

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Mark Thomas
Mark Thomas

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Stuart MacBride's Choice

Stuart MacBride

Stuart MacBride has gone from asking people if they 'want fries with that' to project-managing vast IT projects for the oil industry. Somewhere in the middle he managed to make money out of dressing up as a woman.

His first book, Cold Granite, was shortlisted for the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award and the International Thriller Writers' best debut novel and won the Barry Award for best first novel. The follow-ups, Dying Light and Broken Skin were both top-ten bestsellers.

Stuart won the 2007 CWA Dagger in the Library, awarded for a body of work. He lives in north-east Scotland with his wife Fiona, cat Grendel, and a vegetable plot full of weeds.


See Stuart MacBride's full list of favourites.

Sir Richard Branson's Favourites

Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson was born in 1950 and educated at Stowe School. He is a hugely successful international entrepreneur, icon, and chairman of the Virgin Group. He is the author of the worldwide bestsellers Screw It, Let's Do It, Losing My Virginity and most recently Business Stripped Bare.

From world leaders to extreme sporting heroes and with a sprinkling of environmentalism, his list of favourites is a fantastic collection of non-fiction.


See the full list of Sir Richard's favourite books.

More from Author's Choice

Ian Gilbert
Ian Gilbert

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Sadie Jones
Sadie Jones

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Michael Dobbs
Michael Dobbs

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David Loyn
David Loyn

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Sophie McKenzie
Sophie McKenzie

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Danny Wallace
Danny Wallace

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Books to Screen Books to Screen

Essential Books for Children
from Darren Shan


Darren Shan

Darren Shan is the author of the internationally best-selling vampire adventures The Saga of Darren Shan and the apocalyptic The Demonata. He lives in seclusion in the depths of Ireland. And he never drinks blood. Or so he claims.

See his list of Great books for Children.

Experts' Essentials

Tamryn Kirby

Tamryn Kirby
Essential Wedding

Stuart Wyatt

Stuart Wyatt
Essential Management

Rachel Allen

Rachel Allen
Essential Cookery

Martin Evening

Martin Evening
Essential Digital Photography

Michael Heppell

Michael Heppell
Essential Self-help

Charlie Higson

Charlie Higson
Essential Bond

Susie Dent

Susie Dent
Essential Language

John Mullan

John Mullan
Essential English Literature

Essential Teaching books
from Sue Cowley


Sue Cowley
Sue Cowley is one of the country’s most popular educational authors and a nationally renowned INSET trainer. Her bestselling book Getting the Buggers to Behave is a practical, realistic and honest guide to behaviour management. So when it comes to a list of recommended books for teachers, Sue is the lady in the know! Check our her list of Essential Books for Teachers.

Essential Sports from Lawrence Dallaglio

Dallaglio_Lawrence

Lawrence Dallaglio has won everything the game of rugby has to offer, including the World Cup in 2003, a hat-trick of Premiership titles and two Heineken Cups with Wasps. He captained his country and is regarded as one of the world’s greatest-ever back-row forwards. He won eighty-five caps for England and three Lions caps.

See a list of Lawrence Dallaglio's Essential Sports books and be inspired.

Essential Wine from Jancis Robinson

Jancis Robinson

Master of Wine and OBE, Jancis Robinson is one of a handful of wine writers with a truly international reputation, partly thanks to her regular updates of the two standard reference works on wine, The Oxford Companion to Wine and (with Hugh Johnson) The World Atlas of Wine. She writes daily for her own website and weekly for The Financial Times.

See Jancis' list of Essential Wine Books to become an armchair connoisseur.

Essential Literature
from Duncan Wu


Duncan Wu
Duncan Wu is Professor of English at Georgetown University, Washington, DC, and the author or editor of over thirty books about Romanticism and Contemporary British Drama. Most notably, he is the author of Romanticism: An Anthology, first published in 1994 and now in its third edition, and of Hazlitt: The First Modern Man, published by Oxford University Press in October 2008. Take a look at his list of Essential Literature, old and new.

Essential Economics
from Paul Collier


Paul Collier
Paul Collier is Professor of Economics and Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University. He was formerly director of Development Research at the World Bank and Advisor to the British government’s Commission on Africa. His book, The Bottom Billion, won the 2008 Lionel Gelber Prize for best book on international affairs. So, he's perfectly placed to provide a list of Essential Books about Economics (plus, off topic, a couple of his personal favourites too).