books

A room of one’s own: the reclusive habits of famous authors

From boathouses to writing sheds, many a great novel has been born out of locking oneself away from the world

25 Mar 2019

Authors’ pseudonyms: from Agatha Christie to JK Rowling

pseudonyms give authors the freedom to become as malleable as their characters

4 Feb 2019

The real Les Misérables: Explore Victor Hugo’s Belgium

Exiled in Belgium, Victor Hugo published his famous novel in Brussels – here’s a guide to the streets and sights that inspired him

1 Feb 2019

Fragrance and fiction: a heaven scent combination

Alice Dunn sniffs out the perfumes inspired by great literature

27 Mar 2018

The most delicious moments in literature

Laura Freeman, author of The Reading Cure, picks out her favourite examples of mouth-watering writing

16 Feb 2018

The best books of 2017

Paul Auster, Philip Pullman and Jennifer Egan produced the landmark literature of the last 12 months

21 Dec 2017

The best crime novels of 2017

The finest blood-spattered fiction of the last 12 months

15 Dec 2017

Childhood treats from the page to the plate

Where to find the fondly-remembered food from classic children’s books

19 Oct 2017

Philip K Dick: Five of his best books

The author who inspired Blade Runner wrote with an extraordinary prescience about the future

22 Sep 2017

The Man Booker Prize’s biggest turkeys (and other stories)

Not all the winners of the prestigious literature award have stood the test of time

13 Sep 2017
a type writer and screwed up paper

The British short story needs saving

This grand literary tradition is being killed off by vapid competitions

5 Apr 2017

Why Enid Blyton is still the queen of children’s books

75 years on from the first Famous Five story, the appeal of these old fashioned adventures shows no sign of abating

28 Feb 2017

Be warned, your webcam is watching you

Cyber criminals are turning our computers and mobile phones against us in increasingly sinister ways

22 Feb 2017

Valentine’s Day presents that actually convey true love

Buy these presents for your beloved and your dignity will remain fully intact

9 Feb 2017

Books to get you through winter

A literary selection that will banish the winter blues

17 Jan 2017

The Spectator’s mischievous history

Marcus Berkmann went behind the scenes at Old Queen Street to piece together The Spectator Book of Wit, Humour and Mischief

29 Dec 2016

Five of the best sports books of all time

A selection of five of the best ever sporting tomes

23 Nov 2016

Does the National Trust need to preserve Agatha Christie’s home for the nation?

Britain would benefit far more if Greenway, and a number of other buildings, was given a blue plaque and sold off

21 Nov 2016

Crime fiction is finally getting the critical respect it deserves

Could a crime novel triumph for the second year in a row at the Man Booker Prize?

24 Oct 2016

Five reasons why the Jack Reacher novels are brilliant

Stav Sherez explains why Lee Child’s creation is worthy of critical respect and picks out five must-read Reacher novels

19 Oct 2016