Books

Spectator books of the year: Charlotte Moore enjoyed Barry’s novel on Irish drunkenness

23 November 2014 21:00

Common People by Alison Light (Fig Tree, £20) is a shot in the arm for family historians like me. Her wise,…

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: 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 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…

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…

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?…

Spectator books of the year: Jonathan Mirsky on dogs

17 November 2014 11:52

The Great Grisby: Two Thousand Years of Exceptional Dogs by Mikita Brottman (William Collins, £16.99). I have read thousands of books…

Spectator books of the year: Roger Lewis on hating Sheridan Morley

17 November 2014 11:47

Sheridan Morley was an old enemy of mine, so I was thrilled to see him brilliantly denounced and called to…

Spectator books of the year: Julie Burchill on Julie Burchill

16 November 2014 12:44

I couldn’t work out whether Caitlin Moran’s How to Build a Girl (Ebury, £14.99) was aimed at mature adolescents or immature adults,…

Spectator books of the year: Susan Hill on David Walliams

16 November 2014 12:41

Behind the Mask: The Life of Vita Sackville-West by Matthew Dennison (Collins, £25). Brave man to take on the biography of Vita, and…

Spectator books of the year: Thomas W. Hodgkinson on Morrissey

15 November 2014 12:36

Inside the Dream Palace by Sherill Tippins (Simon & Schuster, £20). We’ve had biographies of great artists and writers, their spouses…

Spectator books of the year: A.N. Wilson on the British Pushkin

15 November 2014 12:31

Tristram Hunt’s Ten Cities that Made an Empire (Allen Lane, £25) is a stylish history of the British empire, told through its…

Spectator books of the year: Mark Amory on the joy of short books and Colm Tóibín

14 November 2014 16:09

Being a slow reader, I first try the shortest, or anyway shorter, works of famous novelists unknown to me. This…

Ever wondered what Joan of Arc’s breasts were like? Wonder no more

12 November 2014 12:56

Just as she arrived a bit late to the Hundred Years War – about three quarters of the way through –…

This new Sherlock Holmes exhibition will have Cumberbitches salivating

23 October 2014 17:57

Have you ever experienced the joys of Jawohl, meine Herr’n? If not I strongly advise an appointment with YouTube. The…

Champagne Tories, and a ring of truth from Bell

17 October 2014 12:56

It was Eighties night at Mark’s Club on Thursday evening for the launch of Tory PR guru Lord Bell’s memoirs.…