Books

The march of the larch: the Treeline is now encroaching on the arctic tundra

15 January 2022 9:00 am

Covering 20 per cent of the Earth’s surface, the boreal forest is the largest living system, or ‘biome’, on land.…

Beautiful enigma: Garbo’s mystery lives on

15 January 2022 9:00 am

‘We didn’t need dialogue’, glares Gloria Swanson’s crazed silent picture star midway through Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard. ‘We had faces!’…

The first fairy stories were never intended for children

15 January 2022 9:00 am

Philip Hensher explores the origins of fairy tales

Who’s in, who’s out?

8 January 2022 9:00 am

From Ladybird’s The Story of Music (a dinky 50 pages, generously illustrated) to Richard Taruskin’s five-volume epic The Oxford History…

Timely tales of pestilence

8 January 2022 9:00 am

Professor David Damrosch, the director of Harvard’s Institute for World Literature, fell in love with ‘a fictional realm that I’d…

Feathered friends

8 January 2022 9:00 am

Unusually for a book about nature, the species in question, in this lucid story of the relationship between birds and…

Shades of grey

8 January 2022 9:00 am

In the summer of 1940, after almost 20 years in Paris, Man Ray fled the Nazis for the country of…

A double thriller

8 January 2022 9:00 am

‘Whether I am a trembling creature or whether I have the right…’ The much quoted words of Rodion Raskolnikov, the…

Unlucky in love

8 January 2022 9:00 am

James Courage is one of those fine writers who, though he enjoyed considerable success in his lifetime, has now more…

Anything for a laugh

8 January 2022 9:00 am

‘I went into show business to make a noise, to pronounce myself,’ Mel Brooks told Kenneth Tynan in 1977, in…

The modern pantheon

8 January 2022 9:00 am

In January 1780 the news reached London that Captain Cook had been killed and eaten in Hawaii. The story of…

The translator’s art

8 January 2022 9:00 am

‘Read slowly, word by word, if you wish to understand what I am saying.’ Despite appearing in Essays Two, the…

The year of living dangerously

8 January 2022 9:00 am

Atrocities, assassinations and spectacular accidents were just some of the horrors that marked 1922, says Richard Davenport-Hines

Summer books

18 December 2021 9:00 am

2021: grit your teeth and read a good book

Were the Sixties really so liberated?

18 December 2021 9:00 am

Lolita, the Lady Chatterley trial, the pill, Christine Keeler, ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’, love-ins, Oh! Calcutta!, the Oz trial…

What the Russians thought of James Bond in the 1960s

18 December 2021 9:00 am

Last year I wrote a piece about James Bond for the ‘Freelance’ column of the Times Literary Supplement. All true…

Don’t be seduced by fake truffle oil this Christmas

18 December 2021 9:00 am

Truffles smell of sex. Even if we can’t quite say what we mean by ‘smell’ or ‘sex’ in this sentence,…

Why America’s attitude to mental illness is dangerously deluded

18 December 2021 9:00 am

A friend who works in social care speaks to me earnestly about a troubled young colleague: ‘Of course, she’s got…

Jan Morris’s last book is a vade mecum to treasure

18 December 2021 9:00 am

Jan Morris, in all her incarnations, was always able to evoke a place and a moment like no other. As…

Spot the book title 2021

18 December 2021 9:00 am

For answers, click here Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

All successful spies need to be good actors

18 December 2021 9:00 am

On 2 October last year, when he became chief of the UK Secret Intelligence Service (MI6, if you prefer), Richard…

Dancing on Terence Conran’s grave

18 December 2021 9:00 am

‘Who,’ asks Stephen Bayley, in one of the ‘S.B’ chapters of this irresistibly spiky co-written book, ‘could countenance working for…

How to tell your Roman emperors apart

18 December 2021 9:00 am

Rising professors do well to be controversial if they wish to be invited to contribute to mainstream media. But the…

A keepsake – and to-do list – of Europe’s greatest cathedrals

18 December 2021 9:00 am

In his new book on Europe’s cathedrals, Simon Jenkins begins with the claim that the greatest among them are our…

The real surprise contained in a Kinder Surprise Egg

18 December 2021 9:00 am

The Rosetta Stone has an awful lot in common with a Kinder Surprise Egg. Hear me out. The actual text…