The Year in Books So Far

What NS reviewers have said along the way.

The Emperor of All Maladies: a Biography of Cancer
Siddhartha Mukherjee

“Mukherjee's book lifts cancer bodily from the self-help section of the bookshop, dissects it and then apportions it to several other genres." (Will Self, NS, 14 February)

Known and Unknown: a Memoir
Donald Rumsfeld

“Rumsfeld is guilty of the sin of retrospection [and] the relentless self-justification is distinctly wearing." (Jonathan Powell, NS, 7 March)

The Pale King: an Unfinished Novel
David Foster Wallace

“Few novelists have taken as seriously as Wallace the obligation to write truthfully about the way we live today." (Jonathan Derbyshire, NS, 18 April)

The Perfumier and the Stinkhorn
Richard Mabey

“The message in [this book] is salutary - health and sanity are not to be found in complete immersion in human affairs." (John Gray, NS, 25 April)

At Last
Edward St Aubyn
“[T]he clash between repulsively sophisticated socialites and New Age cranks leads to some delicious black comedy." (Amanda Craig, NS, 16 May)

The Professor and Other Writings
Terry Castle

“[T]his book . . . it is at once droll and deeply serious, a refuge from much of the folly that surrounds us, a reflection on the myriad ways in which . . . art can offer reservoirs of joy." (Sarah Churchwell, NS, 16 May)

The Social Animal: a Story of How Success Happens
David Brooks

“The most remarkable thing about this book is that people have found it remarkable." (Maurice Glasman, NS, 13 June)

The Stranger's Child
Alan Hollinghurst
“The Stranger's Child turns out to be a parody of a novel by Alan Hollinghurst." (Leo Robson, NS, 4 July)

This article first appeared in the 03 October 2011 issue of the New Statesman, Which Tories is it ok to love?