Five Books Newsletter 17

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Dear Five Books reader,

Below this week's interview and our book recommendations selected from our huge database ( of interviews.

We hope you'll find something to enjoy!

Have a good week,

Sophie (

This week's interview


Most British prime ministers would probably have made the same decision as Tony Blair and followed George W. Bush into war in Iraq in 2003, says the FT's chief foreign affairs commentator.

Books of the Week"If you've never read Ted Hughes then you’ve got to read Hawk in the Rain. It was his first collection, and it’s wonderful."

Gillian Clarke on Poetry ("Thrill of the Grill is what really ignited my interest in grilling. It’s full of fabulous techniques, great recipes and kitchen wisdom."

Steven Raichlen on Barbecue and Grill ("Taxi is a delightful book. It’s 58 short passages, each of which is a taxi ride during which the author gets into conversation with the driver."

Humphrey Davies on Egyptian Writing ("So much of the anti-government rhetoric that we have is simply that, rhetoric."

Sam Tanenhaus on Conservatism and Culture ("Dawkins explains why he disagrees with people who reconcile science and religion. I agree with him on this. I actually do think they are irreconcilable."

Susan Jacoby on Atheism ("You can read this book from page one to the end, not only as an academic book but also as a thriller."

Nikolaos van Dam on Syria ("He travelled around the British coast, taking trains to seaside towns. He brought his American view to the most British part of Britain – the seaside resort."

Matthew Engel on Britishness (

Quote of the Week

"I don’t have anxieties about writer’s block – I don’t even believe in the concept."
Ian McEwan on Books That Have Helped Shape His Novels (

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