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Waterstone’s Annual MPs’ Christmas Wish List

Annual Waterstone's MPs' Christmas Wish List

Date Published: 21 Dec 2011

Categories: Business | Consumer | Policy Makers | Politics | UK


Waterstone’s reveals the books MPs want for Christmas

The UK’s MPs have overwhelmingly selected biographies and other non-fiction for their Christmas lists in ComRes/Waterstone’s annual survey.

However, a few have taken the opportunity to make none-too-subtle digs at political opponents here and overseas.

Of 150 MPs that answered the question “Which books would you most like Santa to bring you for Christmas?” the top choice was Chris Mullin’s latest volume of diaries, ‘A Walk on Part’. This was chosen solely by Labour MPs, representing 4% of the total.

In second place, and favoured by Conservative MPs, was ‘Charles Dickens: A Life’ by Claire Tomalin.

The next three most chosen books were all political in nature; ‘Back from the Brink’ by Alistair Darling, ‘The Unfinished Revolution’ by Philip Gould, and ‘The Conservatives: A History’ by Robin Harris.

However, a sense of humour is evident in some selections. The top choice for Lib Dems was ‘Private Eye: The First 50 Years’, with their next most popular choice being the recent autobiography of the poet and national treasure, Pam Ayres. Two irascible Tory MPs plumped for ‘Labour’s Alternative Economic Plan’ by Ed Balls and Ed Miliband – a title they helpfully designated as ‘fiction’.

In a similar vein, shoppers shouldn’t spend too long looking on bookshelves for Angela Merkel’s ‘How I Solved the Euro Crisis’, chosen by another Tory MP. Waterstone’s spokesman Jon Howells said “Even if those titles existed, they’d be pretty dry reads at Christmas. MPs are better off with the real books they’ve selected!”

Other titles chosen include ‘All Hell Let Loose’, Max Hastings much lauded history of WWII, ‘The Prague Churchyard’ by Umberto Eco, and the ‘BDA Guide to Successful Brickwork’, chosen by one Labour MP perhaps planning on saving money on home improvements.

Top ten books requested by MPs for Christmas:

1. A Walk on Part by Chris Mullins

2. Charles Dickens: A Life by Claire Tomalin

3. Back From the Brink by Alistair Darling

4. The Unfinished Revolution by Philip Gould

5. The Conservatives by Robin Harris

6. Empire by Jeremy Paxman

7. Jerusalem by Simon Sebag Montefiore

8. All Hell Let Loose by Max Hastings

9. Private Eye: The First 50 Years

10. White Dog by Peter Temple


Methodology Note: ComRes conducted a survey of 150 MPs between 21st November and 14th December 2011. Results are weighted to be representative of the whole House. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

Notes for editors Waterstone’s is the UK’s leading bookseller with 296 stores across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as Ireland, Brussels, Amsterdam, the Isle of Man and Jersey. Its website,, began trading in 2006. The company is the sponsor of the Waterstone’s Children’s Laueate, currently Julia Donaldson. Waterstone’s was acquired by Alexander Mamut’s A&NN Group in June 2012.

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