FAREWELL MY LOVELY by Raymond Chandler Penguin, £8.99 I read all Chandler’s books when I was about 17. I used to wear a hat like Humphrey Bogart and see all those wonderful films.
I loved the language and it made me write a certain way.
UP THE JUNCTION by Nell Dunn Virago, £8.99 I like this for its simplicity and its language. I’d seen the play on TV when I was growing up.
It’s set in the Sixties about living on a council estate where the girls are all wanting to get married and the boys are very masculine.
I read it after the Squeeze song was written, oddly enough.
RUNYON ON BROADWAY by Damon Runyon Out of print A collection of short stories. He was a journalist in New York in the Thirties and wrote fantastic stories about villains. There’s a great amount of humour. In my late teens I was fascinated by America so going to New York and feeling the electricity of the place was amazing.
THE DEATH OF AYRTON SENNA by Richard Williams Penguin, £8.99 A brilliant poetic writer who makes you feel you really know the person. Senna’s one ambition was to be a racing driver. I love stories about people who have ambitions that they follow. He died doing what he wanted to do.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS BIG BOOK Hazelden, £26 The original self-help book full of stories of people’s alcohol abuse that you’re given when you first go to an AA meeting. I’ve got 26 years of sobriety by leaning on it.
DAVID BOWIE: A LIFE by Dylan Jones Windmill, £9.99 I’m a massive fan and I used to be a roadie with him. His lyricism is what got me off the ground as a writer. His passion and femininity were inspiring.
This is put together in an imaginative way. You can go to any page and read something really interesting.
It’s the only book about another artist that I’ve really enjoyed.