Having read 'Thomas Penman', and being a devotee of 'Withnail and I', I couldn't resist the new book 'Smoking in Bed - Conversations with Bruce Robinson' - and it is excellent. Buy yourself an early Christmas present everyone!
It's full of useful thoughts for writers - particularly the section on 'Fat Man and Little Boy'.
Another truly great book for writers is 'Adventures in THe Screentrade' by William Goldman.
Both of the above are about screen writing, but, trust me, they are useful to all writers of fiction!