Books

What our critics thought of the books on the Man Booker shortlist

13 September 2017 16:39

The Man Booker shortlist is out. My colleague Philip Hensher isn’t convinced. He today tweeted ‘Booker shortlist – McGregor, Z…

Our thoughts on the Man Booker’s longlist

27 July 2017 12:25

This year’s Man Booker longlist is a good one, I think. Lots of variety; big names and small ones; and…

The backlash against Waterstones’ ‘secret shops’ is absurd

27 February 2017 14:27

What calamity could possibly be worse than waking up to find that the small, rarefied town near your weekend cottage…

Why I’ve cancelled my signing at an anti-Trump bookshop

26 February 2017 10:00

To my mind, a bookshop is like a library — the only difference is that you buy the books, you…

Lin Cook, who died before Christmas, personified that odd breed: the celebrity widow

4 January 2017 15:52

Amid the flurry of famous deaths during 2016, one particular passing has been more or less forgotten. Peter Cook’s third…

Kenneth Clark was much better at opening people’s eyes to great art than Marxist John Berger

4 January 2017 12:35

It is one of those interesting quirks of postwar cultural history that John Berger, who has died at the age…

A novel investment: why it pays to pay attention to the Man Booker Prize

21 October 2016 13:00

OK, I’ll admit it. I don’t like Margaret Atwood’s writing. In some circles, this is akin to saying you’re a…

This history of the YBAs confirms their ahistoric arrogance and boundless incuriosity

22 September 2016 18:57

Artrage by Elizabeth Fullerton. Thames & Hudson. 288pp. £24.95 Thames & Hudson is no longer a publisher much associated with writing.…

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,…

The Spectator podcast: When the right goes wrong

30 April 2016 8:30

To subscribe to The Spectator’s weekly podcast, for free, visit the iTunes store or click here for our RSS feed.…

The Spectator podcast: When the right goes wrong

28 April 2016 8:10

To subscribe to The Spectator’s weekly podcast, for free, visit the iTunes store or click here for our RSS feed.…

Forget about Shakespeare. We should be celebrating Charlotte Brontë

21 April 2016 9:54

Major anniversary of her birth today, on 21 April. A ‘national treasure’, epitomising a certain kind of stoical, homely, female…

The Spectator podcast: Donald Trump’s angry America

3 March 2016 8:37

In this week’s issue, Freddy Gray discusses Donald Trump’s success on Super Tuesday. America has been the world’s most benevolent…

Save me from this hipster bookshop

29 February 2016 12:06

My father used to own a rambling provincial bookshop. He was once asked to direct a customer to some esoterica. Peering over…

Remembering Harper Lee, 1926-2016

19 February 2016 16:18

The sad news of Harper Lee’s death at the age of 89 leaves one of modern literature’s great questions unanswered.…

Books will survive the age of the Kindle

26 December 2015 12:30

The Kindle doesn’t seem to be doing too well. According to Waterstones, sales of the e-reader have virtually disappeared, while…

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…

Read our verdict on the Man Booker Prize winner: A Brief History of Seven Killings, by Marlon James

14 October 2015 8:19

A Brief History of Seven Killings Marlon James One World, pp.686, £18.99, ISBN: 9781780745879 There are many more than seven…

Jonathan Meades on god, football and brutophilia – and why his memoir was 17 years late

25 September 2015 0:04

This is a transcript of a talk, ‘Composing the Past’, given by Jonathan Meades at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh…

In the footsteps of Marco Polo: the journey that changed William Dalrymple’s life

24 June 2015 17:23

This is the introduction to the 25th anniversary edition of William Dalrymple’s first book, In Xanadu: A Quest At the end of the…

If Cameron is deleting all No. 10 emails, who will write his history?

17 June 2015 12:01

This is an extract from Charles Moore’s Notes in this week’s Spectator, out tomorrow. Subscribe from just £1. In a few weeks, I…

We had so many books we had to hire a structural engineer to prevent us being buried

5 June 2015 17:28

My father Anthony Hobson, whose books are to be sold at Christie’s in two sales next week, claimed that the…

The Falling reviewed: a film of beauty and magic

24 April 2015 12:37

Long live the glockenspiel, that typically dull percussion stalwart usually relegated to primary school memories, along with humdrum gym classes…

Like all the best spiritual leaders, this diet theologian will leave you trembling

16 April 2015 17:19

Eat. Nourish. Glow., the healthy eating book currently number one in at least three Amazon categories, came to my attention…