reading

28th October 1914: British soldiers lined up in a narrow trench during World War I. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

My first world war obsession

27 October 2018 9:00 am

My reactionary first world war reading jag continues. The literature is vast, but so is my capacity and fascination. I…

Sally Bayley. Credit: Alice Sholto-Douglas

Dickens and Agatha Christie made my childhood bearable

23 June 2018 9:00 am

Girl with Dove is a memoir by Sally Bayley, a writer who teaches at Oxford University, of growing up in…

World Book Day is here again. God help us

3 March 2018 9:00 am

For parents of primary school children, the first Thursday in March has got to be the worst day of the…

The tyranny of the bedtime story

28 October 2017 9:00 am

All surveys carried out by retail businesses with a view to generating press coverage should be treated with extreme caution,…

Low life

16 September 2017 9:00 am

The army patrols at Nice airport go around three abreast, steely-eyed, fingers on the trigger. They walk slowly and scrutinise…

The poetic power of Patrick Hamilton's pubs

12 March 2016 9:00 am

Nice airport was more or less deserted. Two-and-a-half hours early for the easyJet flight to Gatwick, I had a leisurely…

‘Doorways to the unknown’: Clive James’s Latest Readings

22 August 2015 9:00 am

In the preface to his great collection of essays The Dyer’s Hand, W.H. Auden claimed: ‘I prefer a critic’s notebooks…

Warning: these books could seriously damage your health

3 January 2015 9:00 am

Welcome to 2015, the year that speaking and writing freely had to stop. Anything that might cause trauma to anyone…

Farewell, Speccie

19 July 2014 9:00 am

So we are all going to have to pay for fatties to have stomach bands and bypasses, are we? It…

Kindles will kill off the bookish loner (thank God)

14 June 2014 8:00 am

The Kindle has changed reading in so many ways. A library in your pocket rather than the hulk of a…

The girl who hadn't heard of the Berlin Wall

22 March 2014 9:00 am

‘Question 2. In which year did the Berlin Wall come down?’ shouted the quizmaster. And then he repeated this with…

Jeffrey Archer’s diary: My personal trainer only smiles when I’m in pain

15 March 2014 9:00 am

The week leading up to publication is a strange time for any author. You subject yourself to doing everything from…

Middlemarch: the novel that reads you

15 March 2014 9:00 am

The genesis of The Road to Middlemarch was a fine article in the New Yorker about  Rebecca Mead’s unsuccessful search…

How to get old without getting boring

19 October 2013 9:00 am

When one notices the first symptoms of senile dementia (forgetting names, trying to remember the purpose of moving from one…

Tell me a story! Anne Fine, Amanda Mitichison, Terence Blacker and Keith Crossley-Holland on the joy - and importance - of reading aloud

24 August 2013 9:00 am

A dark afternoon in December, aged about ten, I was in a class waiting for double geography. Mr Blake breezed…