I mainly read political biography and diaries, but tend to alternate them with football autobiographies. I especially like books about more obscure footballers or managers. At the moment I’m in the middle of the autobiography of Alan Buckley, a prolific goalscorer for Walsall in the 1970s and then three times manager of Grimsby. I don’t read a lot of fiction but if I do it’s usually James Herbert, Amanda Prowse or something with a political plot to it. I love books about American politics, especially anything by Richard Nixon or presidential election campaigns. I haven’t yet started the Robert Caro series on LBJ, which will have to wait until my retirement.
I hate disposing of books but I now only keep political books. Celebrity books or sports books tend to go to the local charity shop once I have read them.
I present a weekly book show on LBC (Fridays at 7.30pm) which has meant that I have come to read a whole variety of books I wouldn’t normally look at. I have also has the chance to interview some huge celebrities like Joan Collins, Jennifer Saunders and Joan Rivers. I was rather dreading reading the latest volume of Katie Price’s autobiography, but much to my surprise I loved it. And she was a joy to interview. I’ll whisper this, but I then ordered the other three volumes from Amazon.
Books have always been a massive part of my life and always will be. I look forward to the time when I will have more time to devote to reading.
Iain Dale is best known for his British political blog and radio broadcaster for London’s LBC 97.3, he is also a publisher, author, political commentator and former Conservative Party politician.
My Top 10 Political Books
1. In the Arena by Richard Nixon
2. Breaking the Code by Gyles Brandreth
3. What I Saw at the Revolution by Peggy Noonan
4. Memoirs by Richard Nixon
5. Diaries by Tony Benn
6. One of Us by Hugo Young
7. Path to Power by Margaret Thatcher
8. Diaries by Alan Clark
9. Six Crises by Richard Nixon
10. Here Today Gone Tomorrow by John Nott
My Top Ten Political Novels
1. Second Term by Simon Walters
2. The Aachen Memorandum by Andrew Roberts
3. A Very British Coup by Chris Mullin
4. House of Cards by Michael Dobbs
5. Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst
6. Winston’s War by Michael Dobbs
7. 51st State by Peter Preston
8. The Black Book by Sarah Keays
9. A Parliamentary Affair by Edwina Currie
10. Palace of Enchantments by Douglas Hurd