Sam Leith

Fraser And Pinter

Exploring Israel and Jewishness with Harold Pinter

17 January 2017 10:12

In this week’s Books Podcast, I talk to Lady Antonia Fraser about her new book. Our Israeli Diary, 1978 is…

Fraser And Pinter

Books podcast: Antonia Fraser’s Israeli diary

16 January 2017 12:36

In this week’s Books Podcast, I talk to Lady Antonia Fraser about her new book. Our Israeli Diary, 1978 is…


Is there a war on the old?

10 January 2017 16:00

What’s it like being old? Rotten, says Professor John Sutherland in his latest book The War On The Old —…

Vanity License Plate - Arkansas

Why do people hate poetry?

2 January 2017 11:52

Why do so many people think poetry is important, and so few of them read it? And why does what…


The great Roald Dahl debate

28 December 2016 22:26

In the year of Roald Dahl’s centenary, the Spectator Books Podcast decided to debate this sacred cow. Lucy Mangan, author of…


Books podcast: Michael Lewis and The Undoing Project

21 December 2016 11:14

The latest books podcast sees us sitting down with Michael Lewis – the author of Liar’s Poker, The Big Short,…

Hermitage hosts Jan Fabre: Knight of Despair / Warrior of Beauty exhibition

Books podcast: Treasure palaces

12 December 2016 10:58

In this week’s books podcast I talk about Treasure Palaces with its editor Maggie Fergusson. This is a remarkable collection…

Roald Dahl

Books podcast: The Dahl debate

5 December 2016 10:54

In the year of Roald Dahl’s centenary, this week’s Spectator Books Podcast considers a sacred cow. Lucy Mangan, author of…

A Plains zebra (Equus quagga, formerly Equus burchellii),

Books podcast: Can you solve Alex Bellos’s problems?

28 November 2016 10:54

This week in the books podcast, I talk to Alex Bellos, author of the superbly engrossing Can You Solve My…

Literature, Personalities, pic: January 1946, English crime writer Agatha Christie at her home Greenway House, Devon , looking over the grounds to the River Dart, Agatha Christie,(1890-1976), the world's best known mystery writer, famous for her Hercule P

Books podcast: The Detection Club

21 November 2016 11:58

Nothing like a spot of murder as the evenings draw in. In this week’s podcast I talk to the crime…

Dove Cottage, a small cottage on the outskirts of the town

Books podcast: The biographer’s tale

14 November 2016 11:12

In this week’s Spectator books podcast, it’s the Biographer’s Tale. I‘m joined by the doyen of romantic biographers Richard Holmes,…

Ben Lerner Portrait Session

Books podcast: Ben Lerner’s hatred of poetry

7 November 2016 10:38

Why do so many people think poetry is important, and so few of them read it? And why does what…

Social Innovation Summit May 2013 - Day Two

Books podcast: Andrew Solomon’s Far & Away

31 October 2016 10:19

In this week’s Spectator podcast I talk to Andrew Solomon. Though he’s best known for his work on depression (The…

Man Booker Prize For Fiction - Shortlist Press Conference

Books podcast: What’s the point of the Man Booker Prize?

24 October 2016 11:31

In this week’s Spectator Books podcast, we’re talking about tomorrow night’s big announcement: the 2016 Man Booker Prize. This year’s…

Edinburgh Hosts The Annual International Book Festival

Books podcast: Hisham Matar’s The Return

17 October 2016 12:10

In the latest Spectator Books podcast, I talk to Hisham Matar — newly shortlisted for the UK’s most prestigious non-fiction…

Previews - FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Jordan 2016

Books podcast: The Masculinity Problem

10 October 2016 13:36

We hear a lot about a “crisis of masculinity” these days, but nobody seems to be in agreement about what…

Bookstore, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

The Spectator launches new books podcast

29 September 2016 18:12

Today we’re proud to launch the Spectator’s Books Podcast, a literary younger sibling of our popular weekly podcast on politics…

Nobel Prize winner and 2016 Man Booker Prize nominee J.M. Coetzee

Instant commentary on the Man Booker longlist is unavoidably stupid

27 July 2016 14:39

So, the 2016 longlist – aka the Man Booker Dozen – is out. It invites a cavalcade of instant commentary,…

George Weidenfeld (Photo: Getty)

George Weidenfeld, 1919- 2016: the brilliant publisher who fought a duel with a Nazi

20 January 2016 13:41

My last contact with George Weidenfeld was when I asked him to review a book for The Spectator: a life of…

Photo: Ben Pruchnie (Getty)

While ‘Daesh’ prepare to fight, MPs debate how to hurt their feelings

2 December 2015 14:00

Today in the Commons the Tory backbencher Rehman Chishti asked: “Will the Prime Minister join me in urging the BBC…


Ted Hughes’s estate squares up to poet’s unauthorised biographer

14 October 2015 16:59

The row over Jonathan Bate’s unauthorised Life of Ted Hughes is hotting up. Professor Bate originally embarked on the book…

Jeremy Corbyn addresses the TUC Conference at The Brighton Centre on September 15, 2015 in Brighton, England.

Jeremy Corbyn, your rhetoric sucks — here are five ways to improve it

15 September 2015 18:16

Perhaps the most teachable moment in the BBC’s coverage of Jeremy Corbyn’s speech to the TUC came around the 38…

(Photo: Getty)

Facebook’s founder asked his 31 million followers to pick up a book. That can only be good news

6 January 2015 12:25

It’s the private messages Mark Zuckerberg will have sent early in the new year that I’d really like to see.…


Spectator books of the year: Sam Leith explains why The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters nearly lost him money

22 November 2014 18:00

I liked Adam Nicolson’s The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters (William Collins, £25) so much that — if I had…

Sam Leith’s books of the year

13 December 2011 20:13

Obviously Alan Hollinghurst’s The Stranger’s Child is a masterpiece. So is Ian Donaldson’s Ben Jonson. But having already said as…