Books

Unexplained connection

27 November 2021 9:00 am

Why would an Australian lawyer and historian write a book explaining how the English and American Revolutions produced the American…

Why has medicine been so slow to improve over the centuries?

27 November 2021 9:00 am

Medicine was founded by Hippocrates in the 5th century BC. Doctors continued to study the Hippocratic texts into the 19th…

Lockdown creations: the best of the year’s cookery books reviewed

27 November 2021 9:00 am

‘I may, one day, stop making notes and writing down recipes,’ Nigel Slater says in A Cook’s Book (Fourth Estate,…

The unfamiliar Orwell: the writer as passionate gardener

27 November 2021 9:00 am

This is a book about George Orwell’s recognition that desire and joy can be forces of opposition to the authoritarian…

Anthony Holden is nostalgic for journalism’s good old bad old days

27 November 2021 9:00 am

After a career spanning 50 years, 40 books and about a million parties, Anthony Holden has written a memoir. Based…

The life of René Magritte was even more surprising than his art

27 November 2021 9:00 am

René Magritte’s life, so outwardly respectable, was as full of surprises as his art, says Philip Hensher

A feast for geeks: The Making of Incarnation, by Tom McCarthy, reviewed

27 November 2021 9:00 am

Since the publication of his debut, Remainder, Tom McCarthy has established himself as the Christopher Nolan of literary fiction: his…

A macabre meditation on psoriasis

27 November 2021 9:00 am

Obsessed with purity and pain, the boundaries of blame and innocence, Skin is a fascinating meditation on psoriasis, the long-lasting…

With Elizabeth Stuart as monarch, might the English civil war have been avoided?

27 November 2021 9:00 am

Many girls dream about their favourite princesses. Elizabeth Stuart, a princess herself, took this fantasy a step further and modelled…

How Shane MacGowan became Ireland’s prodigal son

20 November 2021 9:00 am

I once stood on a Dublin street with Shane MacGowan and watched little old ladies who can’t ever have been…

How fears of popery led to a century of turmoil in ‘the land of fallen angels’

20 November 2021 9:00 am

Stuart England did not do its anti-Catholicism by halves. In the late 1670s and early 1680s, a popular feature of…

Were the Ottoman Turks as European as they thought themselves?

20 November 2021 9:00 am

This is the best of times to be writing history, since so much of what has been taken for granted,…

More penny dreadful than Dickensian: Lily, by Rose Tremain, reviewed

20 November 2021 9:00 am

Rose Tremain’s 15th novel begins with a favoured schmaltzy image of high Victoriana: it is a night (if not dark…

BOOKS OF THE YEAR II — a further selection of the books chosen by our regular reviewers

20 November 2021 9:00 am

A further selection of the books enjoyed by some of our regular reviewers in 2021

The true superhero is Douglas Wolk – who has read through 27,000 Marvel comics

20 November 2021 9:00 am

In March 1963, the Fantastic Four had a fractious encounter with Spider-Man and a dust-up with the Hulk — a…

Elephants walk on tiptoes — but can they dance? This year’s stocking-fillers explore such puzzles

20 November 2021 9:00 am

It’s almost a shock to admit it, but this year’s gift books aren’t bad at all. It’s even possible that,…

It’s a wonder any of our great country houses survived the 20th century

20 November 2021 9:00 am

One of Adrian Tinniswood’s recent books, The Long Weekend, is a portrait of country house life in the interwar years.…

Satire misfires: Our Country Friends, by Gary Shteyngart, reviewed

20 November 2021 9:00 am

It is, as you’ve possibly noticed, a tricky time for old-school American liberals, now caught between increasingly extreme versions of…

Rationality is like a muscle that needs constant flexing

13 November 2021 9:00 am

In the 1964 film My Fair Lady after Colonel Pickering has secured the help of an old friend to pull…

The slippery stuff of slime: should we loathe it so much?

13 November 2021 9:00 am

As humans, we are supposed to have an aversion to slime. It should repel us. Objects and organisms that might…

Books of the Year I — chosen by our regular reviewers

13 November 2021 9:00 am

Reviewers choose the books they have most enjoyed reading in 2021 — and a few that have disappointed them

Defying the tech giants: The Every, by Dave Eggers, reviewed

13 November 2021 9:00 am

Those for whom Dave Eggers’s name evokes only his much praised memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (2000) may…

The art of seizing the moment in photographic portraiture

13 November 2021 9:00 am

A Tatler photographer once told me that the secret to taking a good photo was the three Ts: tum, tits,…

Bernardine Evaristo sets a rousing example of ‘never giving up’

13 November 2021 9:00 am

Bernardine Evaristo’s Manifesto — part instructional guide for artists, part call to arms for equality, part literary memoir —shimmers with…

Earthly paradises: the best of the year’s gardening books

13 November 2021 9:00 am

Important historic gardens fall into two main categories: those made by one person, whose vision has been carefully preserved down…