Not so serenissima

25 April 2013 1:00 pm

Master your disappointment. The Politics of Washing: Real Life in Venice (Hale, £9.99) is as far from the fantasy-relocation genre…


Byronic intensity

18 April 2013 1:00 pm

A year before he died from emphysema in 1990, the composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein agreed to be interviewed by the music…


On the snail trail

4 April 2013 2:00 pm

Snails are supposed to hate eggshells. Not the ones in Ruth Brooks’s garden. They clamber over the barrier as though…


Evil under the sun

28 March 2013 2:00 pm

The plot of The Quickening (Arrow/ Hammer, £9.99) by Julie Myerson (pictured) revolves around pregnant, newlywed Rachel and her sinister…


Blue-sky dreaming

21 March 2013 2:00 pm

We don’t have an extreme climate, says Richard Mabey in Turned Out Nice Again (Profile, £8.99). We don’t have tsunamis,…


All is not lost

14 March 2013 2:00 pm

Phyllida Law has a delightfully natural style, a gift for anecdote and the knack of seeing the funny side of…


A hero of folk

7 February 2013 2:00 pm

‘This Machine Kills Fascists’ was the ambitious slogan that Woody Guthrie (1912-1967) painted on his guitars. By fascists he meant…


Down to a T

31 January 2013 2:00 pm

There are normally three problems with reviews of books which, like This is the Way by Gavin Corbett (Fourth Estate,…


Growing old disgracefully

17 January 2013 2:00 pm

Virginia Ironside’s novel, No! I Don’t Need Reading Glasses (Quercus £14.99) about a 65-year-old granny who belongs to a local…

Knowing your onions

11 January 2013 4:00 am

Having fried your leeks in butter, form them into a poultice and apply it to your backside. No, not Heston…