I increasingly turn to biographies as frequently as fiction. I use them for research not just for background but to help me understand how the writers whose work I've loved most used their imaginations and lives in their own work. These are some of my favourites.
Daphne Du Maurier and Margaret Forster£10.99 £10.44
This is such a marvellous biography, the gold standard. As interesting on DDM's glamorous, quintessentially English outer life as it is on her much more complex inner life.
You can read these letters between the Mitford sisters a dozen times and every time find some new detail of their extraordinarily different lives to marvel at. They are addictive, those Mitfords, that's all there is to it.
Carrie Fisher£8.99 £8.54
You can't miss someone you didn't meet, right? But it's weird because I really miss Carrie Fisher being in the world. Every line of this stark, wry, hilarious autobiography is perfect.
The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983-1992: From the author of the Sunday Times bestseller THE PALACE PAPERS
Tina Brown£9.99 £9.49
By the end of these awesome diaries you really do feel you could answer a Mastermind round on the 80s. And you have such respect for the woman who lived this life on her terms.
Tina Fey£9.99 £9.49
You have to love US comedy to enjoy this but if you do then I guarantee you'll enjoy this sharp, warm, clear-eyed autobiography.