Books

The weird and wonderful world of hotel carpets

11 July 2020 9:00 am

Sophie Haigney on the weird and wonderful world of hotel carpets

Why is Robert Burton’s masterpiece Anatomy of Melancholy being sold as self-help?

27 June 2020 9:00 am

The BBC has been having a good pandemic. Stuck at home, a generation raised on podcasts and YouTube has discovered…

The art of the incel

13 June 2020 9:00 am

The roots of incel subculture – and its magnificent memes – stretch back to Goethe’s Werther and beyond, says Nina Power

There’s no point in bishops – Covid has shown us so

6 June 2020 9:00 am

It is a relief to parents that young children are allowed out a bit now as the length of the…

Why is it that age limits never apply to men?

6 June 2020 9:00 am

I’d never have thought I’d be good at doing nothing. Or rather walking the dogs, loafing in the sun, trying…

The Literary Disco podcast made me want to throw my laptop at the wall

30 May 2020 9:00 am

One of the stranger things that happened in the period just before lockdown was the sudden disappearance of audiences from…

The lost world of lockdown

23 May 2020 9:00 am

It started when, the day after the announcement of some lockdown easing, I drove five miles along the coast road.…

Adapting Wodehouse for the radio is a challenge – but the BBC has succeeded brilliantly

23 May 2020 9:00 am

Everyone knows a Lord Emsworth. Mine lives south of the river and wears caterpillars in his hair and wine on…

The author who made a living measuring the legs of lice

16 May 2020 9:00 am

Wilhelm Nero Pilate Barbellion, real name Bruce Frederick Cummings, earned his living measuring the legs of lice in the Natural…

How to go clubbing without leaving your living room

16 May 2020 9:00 am

To my surprise, what I miss most about life before the lockdown are parties. As others pine for restaurants and…

Europe's eye-popping first glimpse of the Americas

16 May 2020 9:00 am

The earliest depictions of the Americas were eye-popping, and shaped European art, says Laura Gascoigne

In the Covid era, age isn’t just a number

9 May 2020 9:00 am

When I told my seven-year-old granddaughter, over Zoom, how much I missed being with her, I added: ‘Maybe it won’t…

William Boyd on the miraculous snaps of boy genius Jacques Henri Lartigue

9 May 2020 9:00 am

William Boyd on the miraculous snaps of boy genius Jacques Henri Lartigue

How many books are in the average home?

9 May 2020 9:00 am

Admitting defeat 8 May is celebrated as VE Day, but it is also a date which marks a significant English…

The ridiculousness of the bookshelf police

5 May 2020 12:15 am

‘People want to know why Michael Gove owns “racist” and “anti-Semitic” books’, reports the Independent’s website. By ‘people’ it actually…

Do we really want to go back to normal?

2 May 2020 9:00 am

On the day our A-level exams began some wit wrote on the blackboard: ‘I wasted time, and now doth time…

Letters: The joy of balconies

25 April 2020 9:00 am

The closing of churches Sir: Stephen Hazell-Smith is quite right in writing that churches should re-open (Letters, 18 April), however…

From Middlemarch to Mickey Mouse: a short history of The Spectator’s books and arts pages

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

The Spectator arts and books pages have spent 10,000 issues identifying the dominant cultural phenomena of the day and being difficult about them, says Richard Bratby

Now is the time for comfort reads

24 April 2020 11:00 pm

It all started on the day after the Brexit referendum. People who do not get the result they voted for…

The secret excitement that lurks beneath our distress

21 March 2020 9:00 am

Something about the word ‘bomb’ has always thrilled me, and I know why. No school today. In the 1950s we…

‘Irish writers don’t talk to each other unless they’re shouting abuse’: Sebastian Barry interviewed

14 March 2020 9:00 am

Sebastian Barry talks to Robert Jackman about family folklore, the joy of writing playsand why he is not an ‘Irish’ novelist

If you want children to love reading, don’t tell them what to read

7 March 2020 9:00 am

If you want children to love reading, don’t tell them what to read

An Al-Qaeda double agent explains what’s really going on in Middle East

29 February 2020 9:00 am

When will the definitive history of the modern Middle East be written? For 20 years and more, a continent has…

Some of the best Austen adaptations are the most unfaithful

15 February 2020 9:00 am

You won’t find much Jane Austen in the myriad adaptations of her novels, says Claire Harman

Radio 4's new H.P. Lovecraft adaptation will give you the chills

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

Of all the many things I’ve learned from the radio so far this decade, the most deranging is that the…