Megan Abbott's new novel Dare Me portrays the world of cheerleading as something much darker than you might expect. Here, she picks her favourite books, albums and films.


What is your favourite Picador book ever?

Dispatches by Michael Herr. I discovered on my parents' bookshelf as a teenager; I'd never read anything like it.

Who is your favourite tweeter?

@gabrielroth and @rgay, both writers and celebrants of pop culture. Gabriel Roth’s unabashed appreciation of Taylor Swift has enabled me to embrace my once-secret love of Ke$ha.

What was the best movie of 2012?

I’m still catching up, but Deep Blue Sea was sublime, and I loved Looper and Argo. But the one that has stuck with me, even though I found it vexing and frustrating in many ways, was The Master. I think Paul Thomas Anderson is the most exciting filmmaker of our day.

What was the best song/album?

Hard to pick, but among them are Best Coast, The Only Place, The Avett Brothers, “Once and Future Carpenter,” St. Vincent, “Cheerleader,” M.I.A., "Bad Girls" and Dirty Projectors, “Gun Has No Trigger.”

What was your favourite book as a child?

Wuthering Heights, though I’m sure I understood very little of it then. What I did understand was that it was promising a world that was weird, wild and beautiful.

What is the book you recommend most?

Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely

Do you read on paper or ebook?


One book that changed your life?

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. The first (and maybe only) time I ever finished a novel and then immediately turned back to the beginning and started all over again.