Thursday, June 08, 2017

Ten top books about Westminster politics

Terry Stiastny’s debut novel, Acts of Omission, won the Paddy Power Political Fiction Book of the Year award 2015. It was also longlisted for the Authors’ Club Best First Novel prize. Her new novel is Conflicts of Interest. Before becoming an author, Stiastny was a BBC journalist. She worked in Berlin and Brussels, covered politics in Westminster and spent many years reporting for Radio 4 news programmes. Born in Canada, she grew up in Surrey and was educated at Oxford University.

One of her top ten books about Westminster politics, as shared at the Guardian:
Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

This is Tudor Whitehall rather than its modern-day equivalent, but it’s hard to find any author who writes about power – in any era – as well as Mantel. Thomas Cromwell is the archetypal fixer, sorting out the king’s problems as they arise and trying to pre-empt them, but always subject to the ruler’s caprice. Some problems are of his time – the public blaming the king’s marriage for a decade of bad weather; the threat of plague – but others, such as trying to cut deals with rivalrous European powers, are familiar. We see that everyone will fall out of favour, one way or another – the penalty here not just disgrace but the executioner’s block.
Read about another entry on the list.

Bring Up the Bodies is among Fiona Barton's ten favorite books centering on marriages that hold dark secrets. The position of Queen, in Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies, is among Rachel Cantor's ten worst jobs in books.

--Marshal Zeringue