26 November 2012 1:45 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

What made film-maker Judd Apatow want to be be funny? Or inspired novelist Stephenie Meyer to create a world of vampires? In My Ideal Bookshelf, more than 100 writers and other cultural figures were asked to share the literary journeys that helped them realise their ambitions and find success. Here are four

• What would your 'ideal bookshelf' be, and why?

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, novelist: 'All my characters drank ginger beer'

I grew up in a university town in Nigeria. I was an early reader and, what I read as a young child, were mostly British and American books. I was also an early writer. And when I began to write, at about the age of seven – stories in pencil with crayon illustrations, which my poor mother was obligated to read – I wrote exactly the kinds of stories I was reading.

All my characters were white and drank ginger beer, because the »

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