The 40 books that shaped Sebastian Faulks' writings

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London, May 1 : Aspiring writers have a once in a lifetime opportunity to take a sneak-peek into the list of 40 books that Sebastian Faulks says have shaped his writings.

Author Faulks has compiled a list of books that shaped his writing and ones he recommends.

As the first curator of bookseller Waterstone's The Writer's Table, Faulks had free rein in choosing each of the 40 titles. Personal favourites range from Charles Dickens to Iris Murdoch; Philip Larkin and James Bond writer Ian Fleming.

"The selection offers an incredible insight into the influences that have helped make Faulks one of the best-selling and critically-acclaimed writers working today," the Telegraph quoted Toby Bourne, the head of fiction at Waterstone's, as saying. "The list is full of surprises and delights; the books he has chosen range from children's favourites to modern bestsellers, poetry to true tales of derring-do, and anyone who has read and loved one of Faulks's books cannot help but find something new to read here," he said.

Faulks described The First Day On The Somme by the little-known writer Martin Middlebrook as a book that had an enormous effect on him.

"A reconstruction of the events of July 1, 1916, perhaps the blackest day in British history, by a poultry farmer-turned-historian. Calm, detailed and horrifying, it was written at a time (1970) when no one seemed to care," he said.

The table, which was launched in selected Waterstone's stores on April 30 and at , will run throughout the month, with Faulks's hand-written thoughts on each chosen title.

The list of 40 books that inspired Sebastian Faulks are:

1. Jake's Thing by Kingsley Amis

2. Success by Martin Amis

3. Tim All Alone by Edward Ardizzone

4. The Garden Of The Finzi-Continis by Giorgio Bassani

5. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

6. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

7. The Waste Land by TS Eliot

8. The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald

9. Moonraker by Ian Fleming

10. The Magus by John Fowles

11. Quartered Safe Out Here by George MacDonald Fraser

12. Towards The End Of The Morning by Michael Frayn

13. Loving. Living. Party Going by Henry Green

14. The Last Enemy by Richard Hillary

15. The Line Of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

16. The Price Of Glory by Alistair Horne

17. An Evil Cradling by Brian Keenan

18. The Lake by Yasunari Kawabata

19. The Unbearable Lightness Of Being by Milan Kundera

20. The Whitsun Weddings by Philip Larkin

21. The Rainbow by DH Lawrence

22. The Adventures Of Dr Dolittle by Hugh Lofting

23. The Scent Of Dried Roses by Tim Lott

24. The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann

25. The House Of Elrig by Gavin Maxwell

26. The First Day On The Somme by Martin Middlebrook

27. Birds Of America by Lorrie Moore

28. The Black Prince by Iris Murdoch

29. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

30. The World Is Not Enough by Zoe Oldenbourg

31. Sabbath's Theater by Philip Roth

32. The Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger

33. One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

34. The Red And The Black by Stendhal

35. A Cruel Madness by Colin Thubron

36. War And Peace by Leo Tolstoy

37. A Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler

38. A Fringe Of Leaves by Patrick White

39. Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge

40. Germinal by Emile Zola

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