Books That Made Me

By Robert Hutton

By Robert Hutton

Books that influenced my life, or simply that I loved. 

Scoop

Evelyn Waugh

£9.99 £9.29

There are surprisingly few good books about journalism, but there is also this, which is perfection. Reading this in my early teens probably started me on my career path, and definitely saw me fall in love with Waugh.

Selling Hitler: The Story of the Hitler Diaries

Robert Harris

£10.99 £10.22

I read this a couple of years after "Scoop", and it was eye-opening in a different way: I wanted to tell stories like this one.

The Book of Three

Lloyd Alexander

£6.99 £6.50

One of a couple of books that have stayed with me since childhood. I read them again to my own children, and I think they still stand up.

Eight Days of Luke

Diana Wynne Jones

£6.99 £6.50

Another childhood book that left a deep impression on me, for reasons I can't fully articulate.

The Path to Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson (Volume 1)

Robert A. Caro

£26.00 £24.18

I was inducted into the Cult of Caro by Tim Shipman, and I'm a fully paid-up member. My greatest achievement as chair of the Parliamentary Press Gallery was getting him in to speak to us.

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: Bloomsbury Modern Classics

Kate Summerscale

£8.99 £8.36

I'd always loved going down to the National Archives, but reading this opened up to me the idea that you could get books out of it. Brilliantly constructed.

Best by Miles

Miles Kington and Joanna Lumley

£12.99 £12.08

Miles Kington was a shared love with my mum throughout my teens. When he moved from The Times, which we got at home, to The Independent, I began buying the paper every day on my way to school, simply to read his column.

House of Fun: 20 Glorious Years in Parliament

Simon Hoggart

£10.99 £10.22

As a student journalist, I would read Simon Hoggart's sketches and try to imitate them. When I became a political reporter, I was knocked out to find I was sharing an office with him. It was one of the great privileges of my career.

Liar's Poker: From the author of the Big Short

Michael Lewis

£9.99 £9.29

I picked this up almost at random when I was preparing for a job interview at Bloomberg. It was the perfect preparation, but it was also a brilliant introduction to a new world. Lewis's later books are the kind of journalism I'd love to do.