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The Christmas Books Guide
FICTION THE BURIED GIANT by Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber & Faber, £20; offer price, £16) In his first novel in 10 years, the award-winning writer surprises his readers again by turning his hand to the genre of fantasy set in Britain’s Dark Ages. As in much of...
Book reviews: 12 October
OUT NOW RENEGADE by Robyn Young (Hodder & Stoughton, £16.99) A gripping new historical novel from the author of Brethren – Renegade is the second novel in Robyn Young's Insurrection trilogy and tells the story of Robert Bruce. Carefully researched and...
Book reviews: 2 November
OUT NOW THE HOROLOGICON by Mark Forsyth (Icon Books, £12.99) Mark Forsyth wrote the bestselling Etymologicon, a collection of verbal curiosities. So, if you like the sound of that then you should rush out to buy this one – a day's jaunt through the...
Book reviews: 5 October
OUT NOW A POSSIBLE LIFE by Sebastian Faulks (Hutchinson, £18.99) According to the author, this is a book concerned with 'the limitations of human identity'. Neither a novel nor a collection of short stories, it's perhaps best described as five...
Book Reviews: 25 January
OUT NOW GOSSIP by Beth Gutcheon (Atlantic Books, £12.99) Gossip, as the couturier narrator of this novel observes, is a poisonous thing. Poisonous, but also delicious, especially when it concerns the kind of Manhattanite ladies-who-lunch that are...
Book Reviews: 7 June
OUT NOW CRUEL CROSSING: ESCAPING HITLER ACROSS THE PYRENEES by Edward Stourton (Doubleday, £20; offer price, £16) Each July an annual trek across the Chemin de la Liberté in the Pyrenees commemorates the brave souls who between 1939- 1945 used these...
Book Reviews: 23 September
OUT NOW LITERARY LONDON by Eloise Millar and Sam Jordison (Michael O’Mara, £12.99) The nice thing about this entertaining guide to the capital’s chroniclers is that it is organised not by region but by theme. Thus Samuel Johnson rubs shoulders with...
Book Reviews: 5 June
OUT NOW A History Of Money by Alan Pauls (Melville House, £17.99; offer price, £16.19) A young man looks back on his life growing up in 1970s and 1980s Argentina, starting with a defining event in his youth: a family friend died in a helicopter crash,...
Bumper harvests, the no-dig way
Charles Dowding’s Veg Journal is a superbly readable and comprehensive new guide by the UK’s leading expert on organic, no-dig vegetable cultivation. Drawing on 30 years of successful hands-on market gardening, the author has produced in compact...
Book reviews: 23 November
Whether it’s a charming picture book, an anthology, a comic annual, or a classic revisited, there’s something for everyone here. Celebrate the season with humour and nostalgia just by dipping into these page-turners for hours of family entertainment...
Book Reviews: 11 October
OUT NOW THE OUTCASTS by KATHLEEN KENT (Headline Review, £13.99; offer price, £11.99) This Western-cumpsychological thriller features an epileptic prostitute with a talent for maths, a horsetaming Texas Ranger with non-violent leanings, plenty of...
Book Reviews: 18 October
OUT NOW ELIZABETH OF THE GERMAN GARDEN: A BIOGRAPHY OF ELIZABETH VON ARNIM by Jennifer Walker (Book Guild, £20; offer price, £16) Elizabeth von Arnim, born Mary Beauchamp, is one of the forgotten fi gures of 20th-century women’s fiction, despite her...
Book Reviews: 2 October
OUT NOW THE FIRST THING YOU SEE by Grégoire Delacourt (W&N, £12.99; offer price, £11.69) How much do our looks define our lives and identity? Can there be desire without the body? Delacourt’s graceful novel asks these questions through an unusual love...
Woody Allen is the Marmite of the movies. You either love him or loathe him. For the most part – though not all the time – I fall into the former category. Allen at his best is still the wittiest, cleverest comedy film-maker around but of late, as he...
The Christmas Book Guide 2016
FICTION NUTSHELL by Ian McEwan (Jonathan Cape, £16.99) McEwan is on top form in this tale of adultery, greed and murder with references to Hamlet, narrated by a baby boy in utero. While his mother and paternal uncle hatch their evil plans, said foetus...
Book Reviews: 21 October
OUT NOW THE MAP AND THE CLOCK: A Laureate’s Choice Of The Poetry Of Britain And Ireland, edited by Carol Ann Duffy and Gillian Clarke (Faber & Faber, £20) In this new anthology, the Poet Laureate joins forces with the National Poet of Wales to showcase...
Whatever its style – restrained and monochromatic, vivid and exuberant, or eclectic and surprising – a successful interior is cohesive. It demands discipline, editing, and a clear and consistent point of view. A home is no more a conglomeration of...
Book reviews: 22 April
OUT NOW A CABINET OF PHILOSOPHICAL CURIOSITIES by Roy Sorensen (Profile Books, £14.99; offer price, £12.99) As the title suggests this is a dizzying, surprising and amusing compendium of fascinating and odd examples of logic that can be found outside...
My love affair with letter writing started as a young girl. I loved reading the letters my great-great-grandmother had sent from the UK to her daughter in Australia. It was my first taste of the mystery and nostalgia of different places and times. The...

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