1. First book to leave a lasting impression?
There are too many to really credit as the first. Besides, all the books I like continue to leave an impression on me.
2. Which author would you most like to be?
I don’t really want to be any author; I’d rather get their autograph.
3. Name the book that has most made you want to visit a place.
Chocolat made me want to visit the French countryside and As the Romans Do made me want to live in Italy.
4. Which contemporary author will still be read in 100 years?
I’d like to think Roald Dahl’s works will still be appreciated then.
5. Which book would you recommend to a teenager reluctant to try ‘literature’?
I would start with a Roald Dahl book because I think his works relate to every kind of person. Though he may not be particularly literary, but I don’t think someone who’s reluctant to try literature would want to start off with something so heavy. But a real literature book I’d recommend would be The Good Earth or To Kill a Mockingbird.
6. Name your best recent literary discovery.
Nick Hornby. For some reason I was not keen to try his books, but when I found one of them in the library I tried it and I absolutely loved it.
7. Which author’s fictional world would you most like to live in?
I would love to live in Hogwarts, even if it means I have to live with the Dursleys.
8. Name your favourite poet.
I don’t have any particular favourite, but I quite like Christina Rossetti’s poetry.
9. What’s the best non-fiction title you’ve read this year?
As the Romans Do by Alan Epstein, about his life after he migrated to Rome, and It’s Not About the Bike by Lance Armstrong, a very inspiring biography.
10. Which author do you think is much better than his/her reputation?
J. K. Rowling. It’s easy to dismiss her works as shallow and unliterary, but to convert a world of children who don’t like to read to kids who cannot wait to read her books is a remarkable achievement in itself. There are better children fiction writers around but none have so successfully promoted the reading habit with their works as Rowling has.