Books

Team Osborne party with John Maynard Keynes

11 June 2014 13:09

The Chancellor’s economic brain, Rupert Harrison, looked distinctly restless last night, sipping champagne in John Maynard Keynes’s drawing room. Osborne’s chief-of-staff,…

Why do so many of our MPs feel the need to write books?

10 June 2014 17:39

It sometimes feels like there is a never-ending flood of books written by politicians delivered to the Spectator offices. Almost…

Xiaolu Guo interview: ‘Westerners have to read more non-western materials’

3 June 2014 18:56

Born in a remote fishing village in south eastern China during the Cultural Revolution, Xiaolu Guo is now known as…

The age of Selfish Whining Monkeys

2 June 2014 20:13

I had a horrible dream last night that I’ve never had before. In the dream, I knew I had to…

Michael Gove hasn’t banned Steinbeck – but perhaps he should have.

27 May 2014 17:06

I’ve never quite understood why so many people hate Michael Gove. I mean, really hate him. To my mind his…

P.J. O’Rourke interview: ‘Telling jokes and lying about politicians – what’s the difference?’

23 May 2014 10:04

P.J. O’Rourke’s chickens are giving him trouble. ‘Two of them aren’t laying eggs right now,’ he explains. But he doesn’t…

David Cameron’s sacred cows exposed by Freakonomics

16 May 2014 13:30

There’s an interesting bit in the first chapter of Think Like a Freak, (Allen Lane, £12.99), from the Freakonomics duo,…

‘Great’ books best left unread: Anna Karenina, Moby Dick, Catch-22…

6 May 2014 14:37

Martin Amis compared Cervantes’ Don Quixote to ‘an indefinite visit from your most impossible senior relative, with all his pranks,…

Is Johann Hari ghost-writing Russell Brand’s ‘revolutionary manifesto’?

1 May 2014 18:21

Whispers reach Mr Steerpike that disgraced journalist Johann Hari has been tasked with ghost-writing Russell Brand’s next book, the much-dreaded revolutionary…

Martin Amis may be a pompous arse, but he’s our pompous arse

24 April 2014 13:11

Was it Tibor Fischer’s hatchet job on Yellow Dog? Was it the fallout from the  Islamophobia row? Was it getting…

I’ve finally found a point for St George’s Day

23 April 2014 16:52

We (the English that is) share our patron saint’s day with the Catalans. On Sant Jordi’s day Barcelona fills up with…

Half of a Yellow Sun: only Freddie Forsyth and the Bodenesque tribalwear rescue this snoozefest

14 April 2014 15:52

I’m not one of those who automatically think the book’s better than the film. Efficiency is a good thing and…

I hope and pray that bookshops will survive – somehow

10 April 2014 14:37

When writing a novel, there comes a time, in the process of gestation and planning, when other books are required. It…

Would prisoners kill for Carol Ann Duffy?

30 March 2014 11:34

It is of course shocking that the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling should ban prisoners from receiving books sent by their…

Russell Brand vows to write the revolution

14 March 2014 14:46

For a man who claims to be apathetic about politics, Russell Brand is rather noisy. Not content with guest editing…

New literary award launches. But is the Folio Prize just a pretentious version of the Booker?

11 March 2014 13:53

The British Library isn’t the first place I associate with contemporary fiction. For me, it’s about the Tudor manuscripts: the…

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…

The shelfie: the ultimate antidote to the selfie

22 February 2014 11:00

Shelfie [n.]: a bookshelf selfie Has the shelfie replaced the selfie as the most fashionable use of a camera phone?…

Elizabeth Jane Howard 1923 – 2014

3 January 2014 9:07

The novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard died yesterday at the age of 90. She is most famous for the series of…

Exodus by Paul Collier – my political book of the year

1 January 2014 12:40

Paul Collier is an Oxford economist specialising in the poorest African economies, and the striking thing about his important book on…