I receive a great number of proof copies of soon-to-be published books ... asking for quotes [for] the dust jackets. I bin most of them, but two caught my fancy recently. One was The Accident Man, a first novel by Tom Cain. It is a cracking thriller woven around the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Another one that I liked was Tip and Run by Edward Paice, which is a history of the campaign of the German General Von Lettow-Vorbeck in East Africa during World War II. It is a scholarly work, but totally fascinating.
... Listening to
My wife gave me an iPod last Christmas. I was a little intimidated by it at first but I finally ... filled it with jazz bands such as Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, Gene Krupa, Benny Goodman. My absolute favorite pieces are "Rhapsody in Blue" and "Begin the Beguine." I play these when I am working.
I prefer to watch DVDs. However, a few times a month I actually make it as far as the cinema. Blood Diamond was truly gripping. [Leonardo] DiCaprio got it exactly right. He convinced me that he was a Rhodesian, and I was born there. The movie showed Africa as it really is. I wish I had written the book."
• Wilbur Smith's latest novel, "The Quest" (Macmillan), is out now.