We should mourn the passing of Nuts magazine. Yes, seriously

1 April 2014 12:41

If I had a fourteen-year-old son, I’d be pretty disturbed by the news that Nuts magazine might fold. Fortunately, I don’t, and in all likelihood, I won’t have a fourteen-old-son… Continue reading


Who is David Cameron? Read all about it

28 February 2014 14:45

Whatever happens to David Cameron, he will have some reading material post 2015. Dr Anthony Seldon has announced that he will be writing about the Cameron years, just as he… Continue reading

A Sterling pound note is pictured in Lon

The Mumsnet racketeers

23 December 2013 14:59

The other day Mumsnet asked whether I would talk to its audience about my Spectator pieces (here and here) on the universities’ plans to authorise the segregation of men and women on… Continue reading

The late Leo Cooper pictured with his wife Jilly in April 2009.

RIP Leo Cooper

3 December 2013 14:25

The publisher Leo Cooper has died aged 79. Cooper, who was the husband of novelist Jilly Cooper, had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for many years. His widow told me… Continue reading


Who is Natalie Rowe’s ‘Joe’?

21 October 2013 11:44

The only question on lips this morning: Who is Joe? This mysterious character lurks on the pages of a new book by Natalie Rowe, a former prostitute and dominatrix who… Continue reading

Britain's United Kingdom Independence Pa

Take 2 for Godfrey Bloom’s book

3 October 2013 17:04

Godfrey Bloom has finally rescheduled his postponed book launch. The Ukip MEP, who resigned after his unguarded comments at the party’s recent conference, was due to launch his book A… Continue reading

Bridget and Daniel must tie the knot.

Go on Bridget, now that Mark Darcy’s dead — marry Daniel Cleaver! #taxbreak

30 September 2013 17:49

Our world has been rocked by revelations that Bridget Jones — described as ‘the world’s most famous literary singleton‘ — is now a widow. Her ex-husband Mark Darcy has left… Continue reading

1 Comment
William Boyd, author of 'Solo', says that James Bond would have changed with the times. (LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Bond, progressive Bond

27 September 2013 16:38

Film fans look away now. Last night the latest author to add to the Bond legacy said that he did not think his version could work on the silver screen.… Continue reading

Godfrey Bloom MEP in full flow in the European Parliament. (FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Godfrey Bloom’s feminine touch

17 September 2013 18:35

Mr Steerpike has obtained an exclusive extract of everyone’s favourite Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom’s new book A Guinea A Minute, which comes out later this week. His response to accusations of misogyny is worth reproducing in… Continue reading


Has anything in the recent past had a bigger effect on writers and writing than Twitter?

12 September 2013 9:30

I’ve been trying to think of something – anything – in recent years that has had a bigger effect on the working day of the average writer than Twitter. And… Continue reading


My holiday from reading books is to read them as Caxton intended

29 August 2013 10:30

On hearing that Easy Jet had changed its hand luggage allowance, two questions struck me. First, was the airline in league with the luggage makers’ guild? Second, which paperbacks would… Continue reading

1 Comment
57th Annual Writers Guild Awards - Inside

How long until novels are published with video inserts?

27 August 2013 10:30

In Charlie Kauffman’s Bafta lecture (a startlingly honest reflection on film writing, and well worth a listen), the screenwriter, producer and director stresses that it is of the utmost importance,… Continue reading

Cumbrian Rural Bus Services Faces Cutbacks

The slow slide into senility

18 July 2013 10:16

Senility is a cunning mistress. She’s always finding new ways to twist your melon, man. The latest trick she’s playing on me is Western House Syndrome. I should point out… Continue reading

1 Comment
JK Rowling: she's worth it

J.K. Rowling’s “Robert Galbraith” trick reveals nothing of how publishers really treat unknown novelists

16 July 2013 17:30

Is it okay for struggling authors to talk about promotion and marketing and how they are dealt with by publishers? Apparently so.  The aspiring novelist Robert Galbraith knew rejection. His… Continue reading

In It Together-fixed

In It Together: the new inside story of the coalition

12 July 2013 17:19

Twelve years ago, Andrew Rawnsley put a bomb under Westminster with his book on the Blair first term Servants of the People: the Inside Story of New Labour. Impeccably-informed and… Continue reading

‘Well, gentlemen, I think we all fought a good fight’(The Spectator, 16 October 1959)

The week in books

14 June 2013 9:00

This week’s magazine is full to the brim with cracking book reviews. Here is a selection of quotes to whet your appetite. Sam Leith on Modernity Britain, David Kynaston’s rampaging… Continue reading

Sir Allen Lane, founder of Penguin, posing with a copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover in 1960.

The Special power of the printed word

13 June 2013 10:28

A few weeks ago, three colossal boxes of new books from Penguin arrived in the bookshop. I made myself a strong cup of tea and then began the lengthy task… Continue reading

Visitors At The Hay Festival 2011

A dream come true

6 June 2013 10:03

It only took me twelve years as a published writer to get round to seeing one of my own books being printed. But when it came the experience set off… Continue reading


Islamophilia – a very metropolitan malady

3 June 2013 13:34

Readers might like to know that I have a new book out today. It is called ‘Islamophilia: a very metropolitan malady’ and is available on kindle, e-readers and all that… Continue reading

A picture of despair. Nick Compton walks back to the pavilion following his dismissal during the recent test match against New Zealand. (LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)

Amateur fantasies and professional realities

30 May 2013 10:05

As was to be expected, it rained. Drizzle was in the air at times yesterday when the Authors XI turned out to mark 150 years of The Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack… Continue reading

The Fun Stuff by James Wood is published by Jonathan Cape.

Interview with James Wood

12 April 2013 8:15

James Wood is arguably the most celebrated, possibly the most impugned, and definitely the most envied, literary journalist living. By his mid twenties he was the chief book reviewer for… Continue reading

The British Library has been given the right to archive the digital world from today. An estimated billion pages a year will be available for researchers to access through the new archive.

The British Library goes digital

11 April 2013 9:09

If you go down to the British Library today, you’re sure of a big surprise. Because as of last weekend, it’s archiving not just every book published in the UK… Continue reading

Barnes and Noble’s digital revenue (from its Nook device) has been falling even faster than its revenue from conventional sales. (Image: Getty)

The curious incident of the books on the Kindle

14 March 2013 10:20

If you had a pile of 300 books in your house waiting to be read, what would you do? Would you go out and buy any more books? I doubt… Continue reading

Ioana Timoce sits at a cafe terrace with her new book. Image: LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images

Doing it the French way

21 February 2013 10:49

‘Where have all the great French writers gone?’ the people cry. Or at least they would if anyone was interested in French books. Translated literature claims just 3 per cent… Continue reading

The new poison pen. Image: Getty

The Leather Case

16 February 2013 15:44

Last year I wrote an unpatriotic column for the Observer. I said that while American literary and journalistic frauds tended to be simple men, who lied and plagiarised to boast… Continue reading