Culture House Daily

Spectator books of the year: Philip Hensher urges you to read We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves before someone tells you the twist

23 November 2014 18:00

The books I liked best this year were all richly detailed. Why read a book unless it’s going to go…

Spectator books of the year: Christopher Howse was sickened by Charles Saatchi’s collection of thoughts

23 November 2014 15:00

Wonderful year for Pevsner, or rather for us who use the guides as we potter about. Four new vols: Bedfordshire,…

Spectator books of the year: Melanie McDonagh embraces The Essence of the Brontës

23 November 2014 12:00

Muriel Spark wasn’t only one of the great British novelists but a cracking literary critic and a lovely essayist. Her…

Spectator books of the year: Lewis Jones on Ian McEwan and narrow boats

23 November 2014 9:00

Music Night at the Apollo: A Memoir of Drifting (Bloomsbury, £14.99) describes the year Lilian Pizzichini spent with her cats…

Spectator books of the year: Molly Guinness on the ‘oddly adorable’ New York dentist

22 November 2014 21:00

What You Want, or the Pursuit of Happiness by Constantine Phipps (Quercus, £20). This is a deeply eccentric book —…

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…

Spectator books of the year: Marcus Berkmann reveals the only book this year he didn’t want to finish

22 November 2014 15:00

As someone who spent several years writing TV reviews mainly for laughs, I kneel before the twin idols of Clive…

Spectator competition: ‘Jabberwocky’ for the digital age (plus: Christmas round robins from fictional characters)

22 November 2014 9:30

The call for scenes describing a well-known character from children’s literature past grappling with a 21st-century problem drew an entry…

Spectator books of the year: Jane Ridley on her favourite books about The Great War

22 November 2014 9:00

2014 has been the year of 1914. In the same way that Christmas puddings appear in supermarkets in October, many…

The Spectator’s original review of The Graduate, directed by Mike Nichols

20 November 2014 13:57

This review first appeared in The Spectator on 15 August 1968. In the United States The Graduate is already as…

English National Ballet’s star ballerina infuriates fans

19 November 2014 17:06

Which would you rather dance in: Milton Keynes or Moscow’s Bolshoi? It’s that age-old dilemma for a star ballerina like…

Spectator books of the year: Alan Johnson on why H is for Hawk is A for Amazing

19 November 2014 15:16

H is For Hawk (Cape, £14.99) is the most ‘A for Amazing’ book I’ve read in a long while. Helen Macdonald…

Spectator books of the year: Matthew Parris on his growing fear that Owen Jones might be right

19 November 2014 14:53

As the year unwinds I’m rebuked by hints all around me that a book I comprehensively panned in Literary Review is basically…

Why Paddington is anti-Ukip propaganda

19 November 2014 12:46

Well, I’ve just been to see the new Paddington film – the one Colin Firth bowed out of on account…

Like everyone else, I want to think Bob Geldof’s awful – but I can’t

19 November 2014 12:04

Band Aid 30 is officially the fastest selling single of 2014. Yet this attempt by successful musicians to heal Africa…

Kajaki review: never have I seen a more gruesome depiction of war

19 November 2014 11:07

On September 6th, 2006, a mortar unit from 3rd Battalion, 3 Para, defending the Kajaki dam over the Helmand River…

Yes, Bob Geldof, Africans know it’s Christmas. Do you know it’s time to pack Band Aid in?

19 November 2014 10:19

In this week’s Spectator, out tomorrow, our leading article looks at the Band Aid 30 single and why it’s time for Bob…

Spectator books of the year: Stephen Walsh on Leningrad

18 November 2014 11:52

I’ve reviewed only a handful of books in 2014, but have struck lucky twice. Brian Moynahan’s Leningrad: Siege and Symphony (Quercus, £25)…

Spectator books of the year: Ferdinand Mount on Colm Tóibín

18 November 2014 11:17

I have always loved Arnold Bennett’s The Old Wives’ Tale. I now have an equal fondness for Sathnam Sanghera’s Marriage Material (Heinemann, £14.99), which…

Spectator books of the year: Jeremy Clarke gives his apologies

18 November 2014 11:00

I haven’t read any books published this year —or last year, come to that. That disqualifies me — doesn’t it?…