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Sweet and sour: Barcelona Dreaming, by Rupert Thomson, reviewed

I’ve never been to Barcelona, but Rupert Thomson makes it feel like an old friend. The hot, airless nights and the car engines, ‘exhaust fumes mingled with frangipani’ and beneath the smell of jasmine ‘the stale, slightly medieval smell of drains’. Cafés con leche and jugs of caipirinha with wedges of lime and crushed ice.

The strangest landscapes are close to home

This pleasant volume, the author announces in the introduction, is ‘not a nature book, or even a travel book, so much as a book of fantasy: four small pilgrimages into imagination’. In its pages Nick Hunt unfurls his sleeping bag under a pink moon, breakfasts on a raw white onion and meditates both on what

A lesson in understanding serial killers and child molesters

True crime is having a moment: every day there’s a new documentary, book, podcast, or blockbuster film announced, detailing the grisliest, most depraved actions imaginable. Once only the domain of fanatics, true crime is now mainstream. At its best, it’s fascinating, shining a light on human behaviour, but at its worst, it can be voyeuristic