More from Books

The magic and mystery of Georgia: Hard by a Great Forest, by Leo Vardiashvili, reviewed

3 February 2024 9:00 am

Homesick after 20 years in London, Irakli returns to his Caucasian roots and promptly disappears. Can Saba, his youngest son, track him down against the odds?

Three men in exile: My Friends, by Hisham Matar, reviewed

3 February 2024 9:00 am

Terror of discovery by the Libyan authorities haunts Khaled, Hosam and Mustafa after their protests against Gaddafi make their return home impossible

Escape into fantasy: My Heavenly Favourite, by Lucas Rijneveld, reviewed

27 January 2024 9:00 am

The 14-year-old daughter of a Dutch farmer is pursued by a paedophile vet and tries hard to combat the abuse by imagining she’s a bird

An insider’s account of the CCP’s stranglehold on China

27 January 2024 9:00 am

A high-ranking intelligence officer leaves a cache of letters revealing his increasing disenchantment with the party after being purged numerous times

A Guardsman’s life as not as glamorous as it might seem

27 January 2024 9:00 am

Besides taking part in dangerous operational tours abroad, units of the Household Division keep up a gruelling schedule of ceremonial duties at home

Secrets of the dorm: Come and Get It, by Kiley Reid, reviewed

27 January 2024 9:00 am

An academic who also writes a column for a teen magazine eavesdrops on the conversations of rich university students and reproduces them for readers to sneer at

Have we all become slaves to algorithms?

27 January 2024 9:00 am

Kyle Chayka sees their constant feeds as flattening our lives, but the spread of Americanisation, which began long before the internet, is the real steamroller

Conrad Black adheres firmly to the ‘great man’ view of history

27 January 2024 9:00 am

The movers and shakers of Volume I of his projected history of the world are Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Hannibal rather than any socio-economic forces

Mystery in everyday objects

27 January 2024 9:00 am

Household gadgets take on a sense of wonder or menace for Lara Pawson, who sees a porpoise’s dorsal fin in the dial of a toaster and a hand grenade in a pepper mill

The strangeness of Charles III

27 January 2024 9:00 am

‘He can cry at a sunset’, says one courtier of the King. A bullied child and an intellectual among George Formby fans, Charles dreams of gardening and plants mazes

How Liverpool soon outgrew the Beatles

20 January 2024 9:00 am

For the bands playing at Eric’s, the celebrated Merseyside punk club of the late 1970s, even to own a Beatles record was considered embarrassing

Life is a far richer, more complicated affair than we imagined

20 January 2024 9:00 am

Exploring the new biology, Philip Hall explains how genes do not in fact determine our fate, and how cells can be reprogrammed to perform all kinds of new tasks

Flirting in 15th-century Florence

20 January 2024 9:00 am

In his history of male-male sexual relations, Noel Malcolm describes how a man in Renaissance Italy would seduce a boy in the street by seizing his hat and holding it ransom

The summer I dwelt in marble halls

20 January 2024 9:00 am

Gill Johnson recalls the glorious months she once spent in the ‘gilded labyrinth’ of a Venetian palazzo, employed as an English tutor to an aristocratic Italian family

A redemptive fable: Night Watch, by Jayne Anne Phillips, reviewed

20 January 2024 9:00 am

Set in the Appalachian Mountains, the novel centres around a family struggling to survive domestic abuse and abandonment in the aftermath of the American civil war

Musings in lockdown: The Vulnerables, by Sigrid Nunez, reviewed

20 January 2024 9:00 am

Marooned in Manhattan with a stoned student and precocious parrot for company, our elderly narrator despairs of the novel’s future when life is so much stranger than fiction

Refugee lives: The Singularity, by Balsam Karam, reviewed

20 January 2024 9:00 am

The stories of two tragic mothers are interwoven in a haunting novel revolving around war, displacement, despair and the loss of children

How The Sopranos changed TV for ever

20 January 2024 9:00 am

Peter Biskind describes how a once despised medium became the definitive narrative art form of the early 21st century. But has it now passed its peak?

Dangerous secrets: Verdigris, by Michele Mari, reviewed

20 January 2024 9:00 am

A lonely teenager on holiday in Italy befriends his grandparents’ elderly gardener and slowly coaxes out his painful memories of betrayals and reprisals during the war

Ménage à trois: Day, by Michael Cunningham, reviewed

13 January 2024 9:00 am

When Dan, his wife Isabel and her brother Robbie decide to spend lockdown together, claustrophobic domesticity develops into a painful love triangle

The proposed cities of the future look anything but modern

13 January 2024 9:00 am

The vision for California Forever, an American utopian city still at planning stage, is pure picture-book nostalgia of bicycles, rowing boats and tree-lined streets

Hanif Kureishi – portrait of the artist as a young man

13 January 2024 9:00 am

Descriptions of the gifted author tearing up the literary landscape of the late 20th century are deeply poignant when set alongside Kureishi’s recent despatches from hospital

Downhill all the way: the decline of the British Empire after 1923

13 January 2024 9:00 am

Matthew Parker gives us snapshots of Britain’s sprawling dominions in September 1923, showing both governors and governed increasingly questioning the purpose of the empire

Why was the British army so ill-prepared to fight the second world war?

13 January 2024 9:00 am

After 1918, the general staff ceased to focus on who they might have to fight next and how, leading to the abysmal performance of the army in Norway and France in 1940

She’s leaving home: Breakdown, by Cathy Sweeney, reviewed

13 January 2024 9:00 am

One ordinary November day in Dublin, without forethought or planning, a woman walks out on her husband and two teenage children and never comes back