What does 'normal' mean in abnormal times?

From Donald Trump to Syrian bombs – in modern political times, ‘normal’ carries an extra moral nuanceBritain joined in the bombing of Syria last weekend, explained Theresa May, because chemical weapons must not be “normalised”. But in these abno


Trick by Domenico Starnone review – a compelling tale of calamity

One of Italy’s most accomplished novelists spins a wonderful story about an elderly illustrator and his four-year-old grandsonDomenico Starnone is one of those novelists who from page one invite us to expect catastrophe. The main character is vulnerable


Municipal Dreams by John Boughton review - the rise and fall of council housing

An important and timely book, in the wake of Grenfell Tower, which emphasises how public investment enriches livesIn June last year, three days after the fire at Grenfell Tower, John Boughton wrote a restrained yet furious post on his blog, Municipal Drea


Harry-Meghan nuptials: 'We're all looking for the kiss,' says author Andrew Morton

In a Facebook Live chat as part of #BookmarkThis, author Andrew Morton says bride-to-be Meghan Markle will bring change to the royal family – gently.        


A Clockwork Orange review – a chilling, ultraviolent cabaret

Everyman, LiverpoolPeppered with the novelist’s own songs, this musical makeover of Anthony Burgess’s classic finds plenty of contemporary resonancesA Clockwork Orange was the story Anthony Burgess couldn’t stay away from. Although reportedly writte


Kanye West returns to Twitter, writing a philosophy book 'in real time'

The rapper made an unexpected return to the platform, sharing a book involving time and photography and advice for creativesDuring Kanye West’s 11-month absence from the site, Twitter could hardly have been described as boring. Even without the 40-year-


11 essential books for people who want to reinvent themselves

WAYHOME studio/Shutterstock Reading a book that deals with the subject of reinvention can help make transforming your life a little easier. Change can be a positive thing, and it is helpful to learn from others who have followed a similar path. For exa


Circe, Madeline Miller, review: Feminist re-write of The Odyssey turns tale of subjugation into one of empowerment

Following her bestselling, prize-winning re-imagining of The Illiad, Miller turns to Homer for inspiration once more


Action Comics #1000: the 10 most important issues from 80 years of Superman

From Superman’s first flight to the issue where he lost his job (and that time he made Santa buff), a look back at eight decades of Action ComicsEighty years ago today, the first issue of Action Comics was released, with the now iconic cover showing Sup


The Book List: Brian Eno's essential reading for the apocalypse

Every Wednesday, Alex Johnson delves into a unique collection of titles


Murmur by Will Eaves review – inside the mind of Alan Turing

First love and the nature of consciousness are examined in this extraordinary journey into the cryptanalyst’s dreamworldThe premise is startlingly ambitious: what if we could think our way into Alan Turing’s dreams? It’s the sort of thing Turing him


25 books by billionaires that will teach you how to run the world

Whether you want to launch an empire or become the best in your field, who better to consult than those who have achieved the peak of professional and financial success? That's why we've rounded up 25 books by self-made billionaires. From the business ins


A Higher Loyalty by James Comey review – Hillary’s emails, the election and a loathing for Trump

The FBI director sacked by Trump a year ago attempts to justify his pre-election decisions and paints a portrait of the president that could not be uglierIn the copious literature of the US capital, there is a sub-genre we might call “the saint in the s


Calling all BAME writers: entries open for the 2018 short story prize

The Guardian and 4th Estate BAME short story prize, tapping into the talents of black, Asian and minority ethnic writers, is now open for entriesThe third Guardian and 4th Estate BAME short story prize opens for entries today, offering writers a chance to


Broadway producers of To Kill a Mockingbird countersue Harper Lee's estate

New suit claims Aaron Sorkin adaptation may have to be scrapped over alleged differences between the play and novel, as producers offer to stage disputed work at federal courtIn a courtroom drama worthy of the novel itself, producers of the first Broadway


Wade in the Water review – lost voices of the American underground

A long overdue collection from US poet laureate Tracy K Smith weaves a spiritual hymn to the nation’s forgotten peopleTracy K Smith is the poet laureate of the United States and a winner of the Pulitzer prize. Wade in the Water is, inexplicably, the fir


Our Place review – damning indictment of Britons’ ecological complacency

Mark Cocker delivers a blistering attack on the country’s collective failure to protect its landscape and wildlifeAt the outset of Our Place, Mark Cocker sets out his vision of the kind of book he’s trying to write. Springing out of his attempts to st


Jo Nesbø's modern update of 'Macbeth' is a bloody crime

The Norwegian author of the Harry Hole mysteries tries a modern crime update of Shakespeare's 'Macbeth.' A 2-star book review.        


In 'West Winging It,' a fond look back at the Obama White House by a young insider

Pat Cunnane was a young staffer for President Obama. He looks back nostalgically in his new memoir, 'West Winging It.' A 3-star book review.        


Do you have a first edition book including The Hobbit, Harry Potter and Game of Thrones that could be worth up to £5,000?

THE Hobbit and Harry Potter are some of the nation’s favourite books – but some readers have even more reasons to hold on to the titles. First-editions books from J.K Rowling, J.R.R Tolkien or Ian Fleming are all highly collectable with some


Poem of the week: Behind the Scenes: Empire by Arthur Symons

A shivering chorus line prepares behind the curtain in a London theatre in this poem by Symons, a symbolist poet and dance fanBehind the Scenes: EmpireThe little painted angels flit,See, down the narrow staircase, whereThe pink legs flicker over it! Conti

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