10 law-related books to read in isolation

Whatever it’s called in your country: “lockdown” (a military flavour), “confinement” (a prison flavour), or something else, many of us may find ourselves with more time to read than usual. So here’s a list of ideas – and do send in more so that we can make a Part 2 to this post!



Online Courts and the Future of Justice by Richard Susskind

Publisher’s synopsis: The world’s most-cited author on the future of legal services writes the first book on online courts which are destined to transform litigation. Is court a service or a place? Susskind argues that justice requires most disputes should be resolved by judges working online and not in courtrooms. Claims that the global access-to justice problem can and will be solved largely by technology.

In conversation with Bernard Marr here.

Fake Law: The Truth About Justice in an Age of Lies by the Secret Barrister

Publisher’s synopsis: Most of us think the law is only relevant to criminals, if we even think of it at all. But the law touches every area of our lives: from intimate family matters to the biggest issues in our society. Our unfamiliarity is dangerous because it makes us vulnerable to media spin, political lies and the kind of misinformation that frequently comes from loud-mouthed amateurs and those with vested interests. This ‘fake law’ allows the powerful and the ignorant to corrupt justice without our knowledge – worse, we risk letting them make us complicit.

All You Need to Know About the City by Christopher Stoakes

Publisher’s synopsis: The essential guide to the financial markets. It covers all of the major types of financial instrument including bonds, derivatives and securitisations. It explains who the principal market participants are – issuers, intermediaries and institutional investors. It details how interest rates move and their impact on markets. And it outlines the life cycle of a company – how businesses start, grow and die. Now in its 15th year of publication, ‘All You Need To Know About The City’ is established as the go-to, best-selling publication in its field. Chris Stoakes is a master of language. He has been by-lined in the quality national papers, his words have been quoted in Parliament and he has edited a wide variety of business, finance and legal publications. He is also an award-winning poet, and he trains professionals how to write.

Jeremy Hutchinson’s Case Histories: From Lady Chatterley’s Lover to Howard Marks by Thomas Grant

Publisher’s synopsis: Having been born into the fringes of the Bloomsbury Group and served under Louis Mountbatten in the Second World War, Jeremy Hutchinson went on to become the greatest criminal barrister of the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. The cases of that period changed society for ever and provide a fascinating look into Britain’s post-war social, political and cultural history. Hutchinson’s role in them was second to none. From the sex and spying scandals which contributed to Harold Macmillan’s resignation in 1963 to the fight against literary censorship through his defence of ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’, ‘Fanny Hill’ and ‘Last Tango in Paris’, Hutchinson was involved in many of the great trials of the period. He also defended George Blake, Christine Keeler, Great Train Robber Charlie Wilson, art faker Tom Keating and Howard Marks.

You may also enjoy this episode of Desert Island Discs in which Kirsty Young talks to the late Jeremy Hutchinson at 98 years old (still incredibly sharp!) about his life (from 2 minutes 06 seconds).

First: 100 Years of Women in Law by Lucinda Acland, Katie Broomfield, First 100 Years Project

Publisher’s synopsis: Marking the centenary of the 1919 Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act, FIRST tells the story of women in law in their first 100 years of practice. From early campaigners through to the first women solicitors, barristers, magistrates and judges, the book tells the often untold stories of the pioneers, reformers and influencers who paved the way, revealing the barriers they faced, their challenges and triumphs. It offers a unique insight into how women have made their way in a profession still dominated by men and looks ahead to the prospects for women in law in the next 100 years.

Find out more about the First 100 Years Project here. Also see this post.

My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams

Publisher’s blurb: The New York Times bestselling book from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — “a comprehensive look inside her brilliantly analytical, entertainingly wry mind, revealing the fascinating life of one of our generation’s most influential voices in both law and public opinion” (Harper’s Bazaar). Witty, engaging, serious, and playful, My Own Words is a fascinating glimpse into the life of one of America’s most influential women” (The Washington Post).

L’altro capo del filo by Andrea Camilleri

English publisher’s synopsis of ‘The Other End of the Line‘: A surge of migrants have been arriving in Inspector Montalbano’s coastal town of Vigàta, and everyone is on hand to help. The police are on the look out for the people smugglers responsible, and Inspector Montalbano and his officers are exhausted. Then, one night, the town’s dressmaker is found dead. As the inspector investigates, what will he find if he keeps tugging on this thread? 

By the way, please read the late Camilleri’s wonderful books in the original Italian if you can.

The characters in this book include lay interpreters. You might also be interested in this open access article by Gabriele Mack at the University of Bologna: Montalbano e la voce dell’interprete.

Le Service des manuscrits by Antoine Laurain

English publisher’s synopsis of ‘The Readers’ Room‘: When the manuscript of a debut crime novel arrives at a Parisian publishing house, everyone in the readers’ room is convinced it’s something special. And the committee for France’s highest literary honour, the Prix Goncourt, agrees. Antoine Laurain, bestselling author of The Red Notebook, combines intrigue and charm in this dazzling novel of mystery, love and the power of books.

The Inugami Curse by Seishi Yokomizo

English publisher’s synopsis: The Inugami Curse is a fiendish, intricately plotted classic mystery from a giant of Japanese crime writing, starring the legendary detective Kosuke Kindaichi. In 1940s Japan, the wealthy head of the Inugami clan dies, and his family eagerly await the reading of the will. But no sooner are its strange details revealed than a series of bizarre, gruesome murders begins…

The Law Book published by Dorling Kindersley

Publisher’s synopsis: Written in plain English, ‘The Law Book’ cuts through the legal jargon and is packed with pithy explanations of the most important milestones in legal history, with step-by-step diagrams and witty illustrations that untangle knotty concepts. From the earliest laws, such as the Code of Hammurabi, through groundbreaking legislation including Magna Carta and the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act, ‘The Law Book’ offers an engaging overview of legal history across the world all the way into the 21st century with copyright in the digital age, same-sex marriage, and the “right to be forgotten”.

You can view sample pages here.



2 thoughts on “10 law-related books to read in isolation

  1. Inspiring books, I will pick one or two as my next reads. I have not read it yet, but there is a book (in French) highlighting the work of a few female criminal lawyers by Julia Minkowski (title: L’avocat était une femme, le procès de leur vie), I will purchase it next time I happen to be in France.

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