de gaulle

France will always have a love-hate relationship with its heroes

May 21, 2020 10:52 am

Napoleon and de Gaulle: Heroes and History by Patrice Gueniffey reviewed


The sorrows of young Hillary

May 20, 2020 11:09 pm

Rodham: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld reviewed


Victorian novels to enjoy in lockdown

May 14, 2020 3:54 pm

Adam Roberts chooses some slow-burning masterpieces by Charlotte Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell and Walter Scott among others

george formby british

Did George Formby and Gracie Fields really help Britain out of the Depression?

May 14, 2020 3:13 pm

Cheer Up! British Musical Films, 1929-1945 by Adrian Wright reviewed


A passionate wartime love story is rescued from oblivion

May 14, 2020 2:51 pm

Love in the Blitz: The Long-Lost Letters of a Brilliant Young Woman to Her Beloved on the Front by Eileen Alexander reviewed

henry kissinger

Where are the Henry Kissingers when we need them?

May 14, 2020 2:42 pm

The Inevitability of Tragedy: Henry Kissinger and His World by Barry Gewen reviewed

walt whitman

Walt Whitman’s poetry can change your life

May 7, 2020 7:30 pm

What is the Grass: Walt Whitman in My Life by Mark Doty reviewed


The politics of bookshelves

May 7, 2020 4:40 pm

You can’t say that, you can’t read that, you can’t think that — a mantra which closes down discussion

onofrio panvinio

How Onofrio Panvinio made the popes history

May 4, 2020 3:02 pm

The forgotten story of a Renaissance pioneer

a song of ice and fire

A time for Ice and Fire

May 3, 2020 11:46 am

Why you should spend the lockdown reading George R.R. Martins epic fantasy series

wayfinding bond

Are women worse navigators than men?

May 2, 2020 3:14 pm

From Here to There: The Art and Science of Finding and Losing Our Way by Michael Bond reviewed


Mixed up math

May 2, 2020 3:10 pm

The Mathematics of the Gods and the Algorithms of Men: A Cultural History by Paolo Zellini reviewed

bilingual brain

Going both ways

May 2, 2020 2:52 pm

The Bilingual Brain: And What It Tells Us About the Language of Science by

short stories

Short stories to enjoy in lockdown

April 30, 2020 6:47 pm

Philip Hensher chooses some of his favorite authors, including Chekhov, V.S. Pritchett, Alice Munro and Italo Calvino


Sadness and scandal

April 30, 2020 6:29 pm

Hinton by Mark Blacklock reviewed

idi amin dictator

When Idi Amin threatened to shoot the cook

April 30, 2020 6:26 pm

How to Feed a Dictator: Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, Enver Hoxha, Fidel Castro and Pol Pot Through the Eyes of Their Cooks by Witold Szablowski reviewed


Would you kill for a cup of coffee?

April 30, 2020 6:07 pm

Coffeeland: One Man’s Dark Empire and the Making of Our Favorite Drug by Augustine Sedgewick reviewed

woody allen

Woody Allen, in his own words

April 30, 2020 5:40 pm

Apropos of Nothing by Woody Allen reviewed

dave rubin

Dave Rubin’s ode to the so-called ‘independent thinker‘

April 28, 2020 6:32 pm

Don’t Burn This Book: Thinking for Yourself in an Age of Unreason by Dave Rubin reviewed

read books

Why men don’t read books anymore

April 27, 2020 3:10 pm

Lockdown has been more illustrative of the gender gap in reading than any event I can remember

signatures david pryce-jones

Dedicated to literature

April 25, 2020 12:46 pm

After Fault Lines, his acclaimed family history, David Pryce-Jones has written another kind of autobiography: Signatures, the memoirs of a bibliophile


Making a killing

April 25, 2020 12:25 pm

The Celestial Hunter by Roberto Calasso reviewed

elif shafak

Gone for a song: A short story

April 24, 2020 4:11 pm

There was no apparent reason for him to spot a large brown leather bag and ask for it to be taken out. But he did

jack tar

For Jack Tar, going to sea was the ultimate adventure

April 24, 2020 3:41 pm

Sons of Waves: The Common Seaman in the Heroic Age of Sail by Stephen Taylor reviewed

salman rushdie

The wisdom of Salman

April 24, 2020 12:08 pm

Rushdie on fathers, fictions and fatwas