As part of our Placeholder series, we're asking some of our favourite artists an incredibly simple question: 'what are you reading?'. Next up is Gary Moore of The Mirror Trap.

This is now the third time I've read through this collection of Albert Camus short stories. I find myself going back to it again and again like a kind of bible for the godless, always there to lift the mist from a foggy head. Every time I start to feel a little dazed and confused by life I find there is no better solution than picking up Exile and The Kingdom and dedicating a few hours to it.

The stories in Exile and The Kingdom are so relatable, and so simplistic that it's quite easy to pick them up at any point, even though each of them deals with some pretty heavy themes. It is this ability to make life's biggest questions into readable and understandable stories that makes Camus the great love of my life. Reading these stories set in hot and unforgiving landscapes I start to feel sticky and uncomfortable. During the bus journey in 'The Adulterous Wife' I can't help squirming, but then much like the wife in question I begin to find myself drawn towards the oppressive and mysterious atmosphere.

'The Mute' is the only piece of writing I've ever encountered that has made me weep uncontrollably while trying to retain some masculinity and pretend there's just something in my eye. This story of a failed strike at a barrel makers in Algeria is so unremarkable in terms of what actually takes place but so touching and chest-achingly human in content that it's impossible not to be moved by it. The silent resignation of the workers as they return to the yard feels especially beautiful now, in a time where there is so much noise, so many loose words, manufactured indignation and empty phrases.

The themes of exile, solitude and belonging run through all of these stories, and as much as they are perhaps based mostly around Camus's life a French-Algerian during war of independence it is hard for anyone that feels confused and isolated by their place in the world not to be drawn to them.