Vin Arthey, author of the Dialogue Espionage Classic, The Kremlin's Geordie Spy , gets Brought to Book:

What is your favourite book and why?

Can I give you two? Bruno Bettelheim's The Uses of Enchantment, for the fairy stories themselves and for the exploration of their importance and their meanings. And George Orwell's Collected Essays, Letters and Journalism, for the honesty and the clarity of the writing and Orwell's understanding of England - its people and its language. If you're going to be brutal, it would be the Bettelheim, because I can get it into my pocket.

As a child, what was your favourite book and why?

Richmal Crompton's Just William. My father gave it to me, his copy, I still have it, when I was seven or eight. It was my first experience of laughing out loud when reading a book. Reading it gave me such joy. It still does. I read it aloud to my own children. I can remember all of us all rolling around with laughter. My children love books, and I hope that experience is part of the reason.

What book would you take on holiday this year?

Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall. It takes me years to get round to the Booker winners, but I'm catching up. It's been recommended to me by so many different people, from other writers to folk in my village pub. I'm preparing to savour it. With a bit of luck I’ll be able to get to Howard Jacobson’s The Finkler Question before next year’s winner is announced!

Do you have a favourite espionage book/biography?

Has to be Pavel Sudoplatov's Special Tasks. It's not always reliable, of course, but it spans the whole of Soviet history and the aftermath. It lifts curtains, pushes doors ajar, and when you peep in you see so much, and want to find out more.

Which book published in the last ten years do you think is the most significant?

I suppose you mean of those I've read. I'm sure the world will say that there have been more significant books, in the great scheme, but for me it's been Robert Dallek's two volume biography of Lyndon Baines Johnson, Lone Star Rising and Flawed Giant. It's not just a life story but an explanation of the United States and its world role in the last 100 years.

Which literary character would you most like to be and why?

P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves - because he's the problem solver's problem solver. And because of the opportunity to control the ruling class!

Get your copy of Vin's book The Kremlin's Geordie Spy for £9.99 here.