Reading is just as important to a writer as writing itself, and reading as a writer is learning to look at the house of fiction not by the initial admiration of it's look, but at the bricks and mortar with which it has been built. One of my favourite reads this year, so far, was the outstandingly constructed Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. The painstaking construction of the vastly differing narratives didn't reduce my ability to get engrossed in the stories, and how they interweaved was magical. In fact., reading Cloud Atlas forced me to question some of my narratological prejudices. I have always claimed not to like science fiction but I enjoyed this element in Cloud Atlas.

Another title that challenged my readerly prejudices was A Clockwork Orange. I had seen snippets of the Kubrick film and was in no way attracted and thought the book would have nothing to say to me. However, having to read it as part of my degree I couldn't have been more wrong. Within half a page I was hooked, and it had such an influence that it sowed the idea for A Clockwork Apple.

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