Robin Robertson on Books that Influenced Him

“That’s what writing is: a struggle with oneself.” Scottish poet Robin Robertson—author of the verse novel The Long Take, shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize—lists the five works that have most influenced his writing, from Ulysses to Heaney.

Daisy Johnson on Books That Influenced Her

Daisy Johnson—short story writer, novelist, and the youngest author to be shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize—chooses the five books that most inspired her novel Everything Under and shares some of her writing rituals and philosophy.

Enrique Vila-Matas on Books that Shaped Him

‘I like to show some restraint when it comes to making things up…’ The Spanish novelist Enrique Vila-Matas discusses the role of risk in writing, the ‘crisis of the novel’, and five books that have shaped his own work. (You can also read this interview in the original Spanish.)

Ian McEwan on the Books That Shaped His Novels

Novelist Ian McEwan talks about five of the books that have helped shape his own, from the biography of a scientific genius to a treatise on the end of time, and discusses the importance of finding “mental freedom”

Max Porter on the Books That Shaped Him

Max Porter, author of Grief is the Thing with Feathers, on the books that have taken him from childhood to adulthood, the deepening shadow of nuclear war, and why he’ll always be on his knees in front of Emily Dickinson

Stephen Breyer on his Intellectual Influences

US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer talks about the books that have influenced his thinking and explains why reading widely, including literature, is essential for judges and lawyers.

Niall Ferguson on His Intellectual Influences

Harvard historian Niall Ferguson tells us about the diverse influences on his work, from Keynes and Tolstoy to an Austrian satirist. He explains how he prefers a philosophy of history that emphasises the contingent and the chaotic, rather than the neatly predictable.

Santigold on her Favourite Music Books

The critically acclaimed singer-songwriter took an unusual route to becoming a performer. She tells us how she got started, how to get what you want in the music business and how an extraordinary range of influences continue to inspire her