Books

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…

Roberto Calasso’s retelling of the Hebrew Bible is both exasperating and beguiling

18 December 2021 9:00 am

Robert Alter is both exasperated and beguiled by Roberto Calasso’s intellectual potpourri

Children’s books for all ages: the best of 2021

11 December 2021 9:00 am

She’s done it again: J.K. Rowling has written a captivating children’s book. The Christmas Pig(Little Brown, £20) is about a…

A book trade romp: Sour Grapes, by Dan Rhodes, reviewed

11 December 2021 9:00 am

Dan Rhodes’s career might be regarded as an object lesson in How Not to Get Ahead in Publishing. Our man…

Has nostalgia become the Greeks’ national disease?

11 December 2021 9:00 am

Imagine a new take on the Greek myth of Pygmalion. A love-shy artist makes a woman out of marble who…

The 17th-century Huron chief Kondiaronk can still teach us valuable lessons

11 December 2021 9:00 am

Ten years ago, David Graeber was a leading figure of the Occupy Wall Street movement. He and his fellow protesters…

Lost in the fog: The Fell, by Sarah Moss, reviewed

11 December 2021 9:00 am

Novelists are leery about letting the buzzwords of recent history into their books. The immediate past threatens to upstage the…

Richard Needham takes a businesslike attitude to the Troubles

11 December 2021 9:00 am

This memoir from Sir Richard Needham, 6th Earl of Kilmorey, businessman and former Northern Ireland minister, has a frank opening:…

Father Christmas battles through the Blitz

11 December 2021 9:00 am

When the shrill air raid sirens blared their familiar warning cries over the city at 6.01 p.m. on 29 December…

Culture clash: Things We Don’t Tell the People We Love, by Huma Qureshi, reviewed

11 December 2021 9:00 am

Apart from what the title tells us, these stories are about a fundamental difference in cultures. Huma Qureshi writes like…

Suspicious circumstances abound in the latest crime fiction

11 December 2021 9:00 am

The old adage that everyone has a novel in them has a new version: anyone can write a thriller. Celebrity…

Who’s to blame if Britney Spears has been ‘devoured’ by celebrity?

11 December 2021 9:00 am

All the questions around Britney Spears can be condensed into this one: who should we blame? For a long time,…

What I really said to Gordon Brown: Field Marshal Lord Guthrie sets the record straight

11 December 2021 9:00 am

A headline in the Mail on Sunday, taken up eagerly by the BBC’s Todayprogramme, claimed recently: ‘The SAS is getting…