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Introducing the new Spectator Book Club

Peter Hoskin celebrates The Spectator’s rich literary tradition and welcomes bibliophiles across the world to a new online home The Spectator offices at 22 Old Queen Street are a bibliophile’s paradise. Books are, quite simply, everywhere: in bookcases; on top of filing cabinets; on the floor; and in the recesses where fireplaces should be. The

Not for the faint-hearted

‘You might be wondering how I end- ed up in the lace business . . . ’, so the hero of The Kindly Ones, a doctor of law and former SS officer, introduces himself to readers of his fictional memoirs. Dr Max Aue, an ingenious Nazi of Franco-German descent, has survived the war and assumed

The invisible man

Bleak, bleak, bleak. Anita Brookner’s new novel, Stran- gers, is unlikely to inspire resolutions to self-improvement or even cathartic tears. But its main character, a retired bank manager called Paul Sturgis, is a brilliant and affecting creation by a writer whose empathy runs deep, and whose pitch is perfect. Sturgis, 72 years old, is in

Red Star Over Russia

Winston Churchill’s cousin, the sculptor Clare Sheridan, gazes up at her bust of Trotsky, made during a trip to Moscow in 1920. Her subjects were leading Bolsheviks including Felix Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the KGB, Lenin and Trotsky. While she worked, she asked Lenin, via a translator, if Churchill was the most hated man in

Heroes and villains

This book falls into two distinct parts. The first is the author’s account of his own life until he left Oxford in disgrace. John Joll- iffe, the son of Lord Hylton, passed his childhood and youth at Mells, in Somerset, the home of the Asquith family, and at neighbouring Ammerdown, the seat of the Hyltons.

Architect of his own misfortune

Tom Coraghessan Boyle, in some 20 books, has energetically demon- strated his enthusiasm for turning the bio- graphies of figures from early 20th-century American life into quasi-historical fiction. After writing the story of the sex-obsessed researcher Dr Alfred Kinsey and the rare tale of the inventor of the cornflake, Will Keith Kellogg and his health