What is your favourite book?A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell, a sequence of 12 novels that look at political, military and cultural life over a 50-year period in the 20th century through the eyes of the narrator, Nick Jenkins.

What is your favourite holiday book?One which ties me to the sun lounger for hours on end. It has to be challenging and interesting and it won't be an airport thriller. My holiday reading this year included Gillian Tett's excellent book about the fi nancial crisis Fools' Gold and the first volume of David Kynaston's history of the City of London covering 1815 to 1890.

What is your favourite political book/biography?Robert Caro's biography of Lyndon Johnson tracks his career in forensic detail - we are still waiting for the fourth and fi nal volume, which will cover his presidency. Caro paints a picture of a deeply unpleasant man determined to gain power by whatever means. Yet he was the architect of domestic programmes that sought to eradicate poverty and religious injustice.

What was your favourite book as a child?I remember The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien being read to us at junior school and I then read and re-read it myself. I could lose myself quite easily in the world he created.

Which book has had most significance in the last decade?The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling, not because of the intrinsic merits of the books, but because of the impact the series has had on children. I learnt my love of reading as a child and I hope JK Rowling's books will inspire a new generation of readers.

What is your least favourite book?The Readers Digest Book of DIY as I hate DIY, but I know I can't avoid it and this is the bible for the novice.

Which literary character would you most like to be?I would like to be a character in one of Anthony Trollope's novels. I do enjoy reading about Victorian history and politics, so to become part of Trollope's fictional account of either Victorian politics or religion would be perfect

What is the most inspiring book you have ever read?I read Finding Happiness by Abbot Christopher Jamison during Lent this year. In a society obsessed with finding happiness through celebrity and materialism, Christopher uses monastic teaching to establish a definition of true happiness and offers suggestions about how we might achieve it. It is a thought-provoking book, which challenges how we live our lives.

Mark Hoban is Conservative MP for Fareham and shadow financial secretary to the Treasury