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February 21, 2020updated 24 Feb 2020 12:42pm

February reads: Four of the best books out now

By Spear's

Looking for something to read? Here are three recommended reads from Spear’s 

The Making of Murdoch
, by Tom Roberts (Bloomsbury, £20)

For all the legend and myth that surrounds his name, it’s remarkable how little we know about Rupert Murdoch the man. To unpeel the layers of ‘the man who owns the media’, it’s difficult to think of someone more qualified than Tom Roberts, whose award-winning biography of Keith Murdoch (Rupert’s father) traced the ‘Murdoch gene’ to its anti-establishment roots. Here, Roberts again applies his forensic approach and scholarly rigour to contextualise this most imperious of media magnates against his vast political influence, which at its peak spanned more than 800 companies in more than 50 countries. Arun Kakar

Our Times in Rhymes
by Sam Leith (Square Peg, £9.99)

Sam Leith, literary editor of The Spectator, has turned to verse to unpick the ‘insanity and inanity’ of the year that was 2019 so you can relive the madness and the hilarity month by month. Ever the optimist, Leith writes in his latest Spear’s column that his book ‘can confidently be expected to sell no copies at all’. We at Spear’s are happy to add our significant editorial heft to his own, excellently rendered sales spiel: ‘My pitch to casual readers isn’t soppy/It’s a hardback, and it costs a modest sum/So go on. Buy a copy/For your mum.’ You won’t be disappointed. Emelia Hamilton-Russell

The Man Who Solved the Market
By Gregory Zuckerman (Portfolio, £20)

Renaissance Technology founder Jim Simons is ‘the greatest money maker in modern financial history’. His hedge fund has made more than $100 billion in profits since it was founded in 1987, and its signature Medallion fund has recorded average annual returns of 66 per cent since 1988. In this engrossing account of mathematics and market mastery, Gregory Zuckerman tells the story of Simons’ revolutionary data-driven approach to investing. He also explores the impact of Simons beyond the world of finance, while also looking at executives such as Robert Mercer, who is viewed as ‘more responsible than anyone else’ for the Trump presidency. AK

The Cartiers By Francesca Cartier Brickell (Penguin Random House, £19.99)

This 656-page tome is an intimate sketch of the Cartiers as crafted by Francesca Cartier Brickell, who conducted a decade of research into four generations of her family, covering historical elements from revolutionary France to the 1960s. The author is the great-great-great-grandaughter of Jean-Jacques Cartier, who founded the jewellery business in 1847. But the story of what truly catapulted the boutique business to global fame in the 20th century is that of three eccentric but shrewd siblings. The real gems are the untold anecdotes of intrigues, romances and betrayals peppered throughout. It’s a page turner for those with an appetite for family drama and a brilliant business story. Rasika Sittamparam

Read more 

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