Books

Words of war: interviews with the children who survived Hitler’s invasion of Russia

20 July 2019 9:00 am

Charlotte Hobson is much moved by the harrowing testament of Russia’s last wartime survivors in Svetlana Alexievich’s extraordinary collection of interviews

Andreï Makine’s new novel is ‘masterful’

20 July 2019 9:00 am

The Siberian-born novelist Andreï Makine has, as we say in the book world, a shedload of French literary bling. He’s…

How to train your husband

20 July 2019 9:00 am

Around 25 years ago it became clear that there existed only two groups that could still be bullied by journalists…

It’s time we treated the moon with some respect

20 July 2019 9:00 am

At the very back of the eye is a cluster of cells called ipRGCs. They are cells that don’t depend…

All of nature in a village in Norfolk

20 July 2019 9:00 am

Walking home from work one day during the half-year I lived in London’s Maida Vale (almost three decades ago now),…

The problem of being, and writing

20 July 2019 9:00 am

The venerable Oxford philologist Max Müller held that ‘mythology, which was the bane of the ancient world, is in truth…

The novel Silicon Valley’s tech moguls won’t be amused to read

20 July 2019 9:00 am

Silicon Valley moguls might not find Zed a particularly amusing read. Joanna Kavenna’s latest mindbender features the CEO of a…

The tragic story of Witold Pilecki, whose reports from Auschwitz fell on deaf ears

13 July 2019 9:00 am

Witold Pilecki risked his life to bring news of Auschwitz to the Allies, but his detailed reports fell on deaf ears. Caroline Moorehead celebrates his extraordinary persistence and courage

Reshuffling ministers annually is no way to govern

13 July 2019 9:00 am

‘Annual reshuffles are crazy,’ remarked one of the prime minister’s most trusted advisers in July 1999 as I hovered outside…

Jerusalem’s libraries contain priceless treasures — but almost no one gets to see them

13 July 2019 9:00 am

The bearded figure clad in white robes and wandering barefoot through the streets of Jerusalem is not, in fact, the…

Washed up in Istanbul: 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World, by Elif Shafak, reviewed

13 July 2019 9:00 am

Elif Shafak once described Istanbul as a set of matryoshka dolls: a place where anything was possible. As with much…

Star-crossed lovers: Sweet Sorrow, by David Nicholls, reviewed

13 July 2019 9:00 am

The 16-year-old hero of David Nicholls’s fifth novel is ostensibly Everyboy. It is June 1997, the last day at dreary…

At long last love: Live a Little, by Howard Jacobson, reviewed

13 July 2019 9:00 am

Towards the end of Live a Little, one of its two main characters says: ‘I’m past the age of waiting…

The magnificence of Elizabethan portraiture

13 July 2019 9:00 am

Roy Strong first encountered the portraiture of Elizabeth I and her court while a schoolboy in post-war Edmonton. In the…

The glory and the misery of Louis XIV’s France

6 July 2019 9:00 am

Louis XIV raised the prestige of France above that of any other European nation – even if he did leave the country starving and bankrupt, says David Crane

The latest first novels are full of romantic misadventure

6 July 2019 9:00 am

Andrew Ridker’s The Altruists (Viking, £20) is a Jewish family saga of academic parents and grown-up offspring. From this rather…

Savagery in the Cape Colony: Red Dog, by Willem Anker, reviewed

6 July 2019 9:00 am

Red Dog is an ambitious hybrid of a book. It was published in South Africa to wide acclaim in 2014…

Feasts, flowers and plein-air painting at Benton End

6 July 2019 9:00 am

Cedric Morris is often referred to as an artist-plantsman, and while as a breeder of plants, most particularly of irises,…

The bias against digital music is more emotional than scientific

6 July 2019 9:00 am

It’s an increasingly common lament that computers have ruined everything, and a longing for the days before Google and Twitter,…

Haunting short stories of fear and frustration

6 July 2019 9:00 am

In Nicole Flattery’s Show Them a Good Time (Bloomsbury, £14.99), her female protagonists grapple with abusive relationships, degree courses, difficult…

Beauty on the beach: Isolde, by Irina Odoevtseva, reviewed

6 July 2019 9:00 am

France was to blame. Yes, France was most definitely to blame. He was never like this at home. So thinks…

From pets to pests: cats, rabbits and now raccoons

6 July 2019 9:00 am

I was shocked some years ago to discover, as I scratched bites on my ankles on holiday on Maui, that…

Harper Lee’s battle wasn’t with writer’s block but the whisky bottle

6 July 2019 9:00 am

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird remains one of the most beloved American novels of all time. Famously, Lee never…

A novel about depression that doesn’t depress: Starling Days, by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, reviewed

6 July 2019 9:00 am

Rowan Hisayo Buchanan has achieved that rare feat, in her second novel Starling Days, of writing a convincing novel about…

A snapshot of George holding his infant daughter on Chapel Sands provides a key to the family mystery.

Solving the mystery of my mother’s kidnapping

29 June 2019 9:00 am

Andy Miller on a haunting story of love, loss and lies in a small Lincolnshire village