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The big idea: does true kindness have to be selfless?

The big idea: does true kindness have to be selfless?

“I really enjoy doing it: it makes me feel good about myself. It gives me a boost, mentally and physically.” If these were your reactions to an activity, you’d surely be inclined to do it as often as you could. After all, aren’t a lot of us looking for ways to find more meaning in […]

Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor review – India’s answer to The Godfather | Books

Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor review

The inciting incident of Age of Vice, a horrific collision between dissolute wealth and harsh poverty, marks out the central theme from the very start. It’s 2004 in New Delhi and a speeding Mercedes with a drunk driver at the wheel plows into a group of street sleepers, killing five. This symbolic yet seemingly senseless […]

Agatha Christie by Lucy Worsley; Marple: Twelve New Stories – review

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie was arguably the first modern literary celebrity, and it follows that her long writing life, from her first published novel in 1920 to her death in 1976 at the age of 85, has been thoroughly picked over, not only by journalists during her lifetime but by the author herself in her autobiography. Any […]

Author Orhan Pamuk: ‘I used to have three bodyguards, now I have one’

Orhan Pamuk

The Turkish Nobel prize‑winning novelist Orhan Pamuk never sleeps for more than four hours at a time. He likes to read and maybe write a bit when he wakes. So it was the middle of the night when he learned the news about the attack on Salman Rushdie in the US last month. Like Rushdie, […]

Exposed by Caroline Vout review – the real Greek and Roman body | History books

Greek and Roman body

Think of the Greek and Roman body, and what might come to mind is the chilly perfection of a marble sculpture. The Apollo Belvedere, for example, a Roman copy of a Hellenistic original, rediscovered in the Renaissance, installed in the Vatican by Julius II, and regarded as “the miracle of art” by 18th-century German art […]

The Young Accomplice by Benjamin Wood review

Benjamin Wood

“Was this how it was going to be forever?” wonders Joyce Savigear Benjamin Wood facing another afternoon of drudgery at EH Lacey’s department store in postwar Maidstone, Kent. Joyce is 16 and at a crossroads. Before she is mysterious, Mal Duggan looks invitingly up from a Daimler’s driving seat; behind her are endless hours of […]

Henry Kissinger review – lessons in diplomacy from a master of the dark

Henry Kissinger

Christopher Hitchens once called Henry Kissinger a “stupendous liar with a remarkable memory”. Leaving judgment aside on the first part of that description, at 99 Henry Kissinger seems set on proving Hitchens right on the second. While many people who make it to that age struggle to recall their own name, the grand old man […]

The Digital Republic by Jamie Susskind review – how to tame big tech

tame big tech

tame big tech, There was a moment when Facebook was a democracy. Blink and you would have missed it, but in December 2012, as part of an initiative announced three years earlier by Mark Zuckerberg, the company unveiled new terms and conditions that it wanted to impose on users. They were invited to vote on […]

The Social Distance Between Us by Darren McGarvey Book Review

Darren McGarvey Book

A hundred pages into The Social Distance Between Us, the Scottish writer, broadcaster and rapper Darren McGarvey Book describes the time he spent in Aberdeen while he was filming a series for the BBC. The city, he muses, may well be Scotland’s most beautiful metropolis, where “beams reflect off the granite, rendering even the most […]

Shakespeare First Folio copy estimated to fetch $2.5m in New York auction

Shakespeare First Folio

An original copy of William shakespeare first folio – often referred to as the most important book in English literature – will be auctioned next month in New York. The book, which was printed almost 400 years ago, is one of fewer than 20 copies left in private hands and is estimated to fetch up […]

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