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Mullin returning champion in MPs' must-read list
22.12.11 | Charlotte Williams
The third volume of Chris Mullin's memoirs, A Walk-On Part (Profile Books), has been named the number one book MPs would like for Christmas, with Private Eye: The First 50 Years (Private Eye Productions) also making the non-fiction-dominated top 10.
In a survey by Waterstone's and ComRes, the former Labour minister's diaries were chosen by 4% of the 150 MPs who answered the question "Which books would you most like Santa to bring you for Christmas?"—but only Labour MPs selected the title.
It's a story of continuing popularity for Mullin, whose first two volumes of memoirs, Decline and Fall and A View from the Foothills, also published by Profile, were picked by 4% of MPs in 2010.
This year Conservative MPs' favourite book, and in at number two overall, was literary biography Charles Dickens: A Life by Claire Tomalin (Penguin).
Among Liberal Democrats, the most popular titles were Private Eye: The First 50 Years, the A-Z of the satirical magazine's first half century followed by poet Pam Ayres' autobiography, The Necessary Aptitude (Ebury).
Titles with a political flavour appear in third, fourth and fifth spot: Back From the Brink by former chancellor of the exchequer Alistair Darling (Atlantic Books); The Unfinished Revolution by the late former Labour peer Philip Gould (Abacus); and The Conservatives, a history of the Conservative party, by Robin Harris (Bantam Press).
"Newsnight" host Jeremy Paxman, famous for the grillings he gives politicians who appear on the programme, also appears on the list, with his title Empire (Viking) making number six.
Simon Sebag Montefiore's Jerusalem: The Biography (Orion) is at number seven on the list, followed by All Hell Let Loose by Max Hastings (HarperPress), a history of the Second World War, and Private Eye: The First 50 Years.
Thriller White Dog by Peter Temple (Quercus) is the only fiction title making the list, at number 10, though MPs did fill in alternative titles including How I Solved the Euro Crisis by German chancellor Angela Merkel, and Labour's Alternative Economic Plan by shadow chancellor Ed Balls and Labour leader Ed Miliband.