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  1. Wealth
September 25, 2020

Autumn reading: Four of the best books out now

By Spear's

Looking for something to read? Here are four books out now recommended by Spear’s 

Fake Law By the Secret Barrister (Picador, £20)

The Secret Barrister’s candour and ability to break down legalease into the size of a tweet has made them both an ambassador to their profession and a thoughtful critic of government policy. It’s a shtick that was applied with much success to an eponymous bestseller two years ago, which offered a first-hand account of the justice system in England and Wales. Now, in Fake Law, the stakes are raised and justice itself is placed in the crosshairs. If that sounds abstract, it’s not: the book reveals ‘the stupidity, malice and incompetence behind many of the biggest legal stories of recent years’. Revelations, perhaps, we could all learn from. Arun Kakar

The Psychology of Money By Morgan Housel (Harriman House, £14.55)

Is doing well with money about what you know or how you behave? According to The Psychology of Money, the answer is the latter. Collecting 19 short stories to explore the varying ways that people think about money, Wall Street Journal columnist Morgan Housel aims to inform the reader about how best to think about something that is ubiquitous in daily life. What he finds is that while money-based decisions are typically taught as a maths-based field, in reality these choices are made ‘where personal history, your own unique view of the world, ego, pride, marketing, and odd incentives are scrambled together’. Arun Kakar 

Enemy of the Raj By Alec Marsh (Headline Accent, £9.99)

The second of Alec Marsh’s Drabble and Harris thrillers sees the professor and pressman head to colonial India ten years before independence. Harris is due to interview a mysterious Maharaja with close ties to the Raj, and the pair also find themselves accompanied by an enigmatic local journalist. A rollicking historical escapade ensues in which Marsh, Spear’s editor-at-large, produces more twists and turns than a snake charmer. The duo encounter everything from assassinations to British colonial plots in a light-hearted and heavy-blooded romp, which will not disappoint fans of action-heavy historical fiction in the vein of Greene, Wodehouse et al. Arun Kakar

Marked Cards By Emmanuel Olympitis (Quartet, £16)

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The gossipy, name-dropping anecdotes in this memoir from Greco-British businessman and socialite Emmanuel ‘Manoli’ Olympitis span everywhere from Annabel’s to the Bahamas. One such story describes a technique for wooing dates when he was an impecunious young banker. Olympitis would suggest dinner and casually mention Mark Birley’s famous club as a possible venue. On the day of the engagement, however, he would create a spurious excuse to meet later in the evening – merely for drinks followed, eventually, by ‘an excellent full English breakfast’. It was, he writes, ‘Affordable, and just as effective. Edwin Smith

Image: Saint Joachim Reading a Book,  Michaelina Wautier, circa 1650

Read more

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Books: A ‘pithy’ guide to history’s most influential economists

Ian Rankin: The Spear’s interview

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