Shelf Life: Graydon Carter

5 December 2012

5 December 2012

Editor of Vanity Fair, Graydon Carter, is this week’s Shelf Lifer. He reveals a predilection for Herman Wouk, an in depth knowledge of certain sections of the Eaton’s catalogue and a fondness for a particular character in P.G. Wodehouse.

What are you reading at the moment?

Don’t Stop the Carnival by Herman Wouk

As a child, what did you read under the covers?

I grew up in Canada, where the nights end early, and a child’s day does as well. So pretty much all my evening reading was done under the covers. A lot of Hardy Boy mysteries. And the Eaton’s catalogue. For the lingerie ads.

Has a book ever made you cry, and if so which one?

I do recall dabbing an eye while reading J.B. Priestley’s Angel Pavement.

You are about to be put into solitary confinement for a year and allowed to take three books. What would you choose?

Act One. Youngblood Hawk. To Kill a Mockingbird.

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Which literary character would you most like to sleep with?

Madeline Bassett.

If you could write a self-help book, what would you call it?

Everything You Need to Know About Life You Can Learn From Washing a Car

Michael Gove has asked you to rewrite the GCSE English Literature syllabus. Which book, which play, and which poem would you make compulsory reading?

The Code of the Woosters; The Winslow Boy; “The Shooting of Dan McGrew”

Which party from literature would you most like to have attended?

Something at Jay Gatsby’s place.

What would you title your memoirs?

“Do I Have to Dial 9 to Get Out of Here?”

Which literary character do you dream of playing?

Harry Flashman

What book would you give to a lover?

The Joy of Cooking

Spying Mein Kampf or Dan Brown on someone’s bookshelf can spell havoc for a friendship. What’s your literary dealbreaker?

Anything with Rush Limbaugh on the spine.

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  • Madame Sosotris

    Who cares? Dry and wrinkly like a dick in the Arctic. In Decembe.

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