Doug Sinclair
Doug Sinclair

The Good Books, Doug Sinclair: ‘The Life Changing Magic Of Not Giving A F***’ changed my life

Doug Sinclair on his favourite books of the year, his favourite place to read and the books of his childhood.


The first book I remember reading:

It was a children’s book about a boy who befriends a Romany girl when her family stops at his town. She lived in a charming old wooden caravan and all I remember is that they became close friends very quickly then were both heart-broken when her family moved on. That book broke me but taught me about the depth of love we can find in friends we haven’t even met yet and who might be radically ‘different’ to us, as long as we’re open to it.

A book I recommend to everyone:

The Life Changing Magic Of Not Giving A F*** by Sarah Knight. A real eye-opener and changed my life.

The best three books I have read in the last year:

The Hollow Mountain, Douglas Skelton. All his Rebecca Connolly books are superb. Gripping, with a heroine you root for but want to slap, too.

Absolution, Caro Ramsay. I first read this ten years ago. This book showed me how crime fiction can explore the damage that modern life does and the “evil” we can be driven to by circumstance.

Penitent, Mark Leggatt. The main character, Hector Lawless, is one of the most engaging and fascinating characters I’ve read, time. Not a cheery tale, but compelling.

A book I didn’t finish or enjoy:

I won’t name the book or the author, but it was a thriller by a huge name author, and I found myself unable to continue because I got the impression the author was more interested in showing off how much research they had done than in telling a good story about characters we could care about. 

An author who has inspired me:

Caro Ramsay. As I described above, her book Absolution set me off on my journey towards being a crime fiction writer.

My favourite place to read:

I only ever read on my kindle in bed at nights. I’m trying to get into audio books after the amazing experience of hearing my own words narrated in an audiobook.


Doug Sinclair has been shortlisted for the Bloody Scotland Debut Prize with his crime fiction novel, Blood Runs Deep (Storm Publishing). The winner will be revealed on the opening night of the Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival in Stirling on 13 September. Tickets and further information at


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