Books & Reviews

Sunday, 27 November 2011

My name has become a brand

2011-11-27 IN THE mid-1980s John Grisham, then a small-town lawyer and disillusioned member of the Mississippi state legislature, would fill the time between meetings and court hearings writing a novel about an ambitious young lawyer embroiled in a life-or-...

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Walesa's wife unveils price of Solidarity glory

2011-11-20 LECH Walesa's wife says she paid a huge price for her husband's struggle against communism. In an autobiography coming out next week, Danuta Walesa talks publicly for the first time about her loneliness and fear for the family's unity as her...

George Orwell's 'Burmese Days' opens Off-Broadway

2011-11-20 TROPICAL weather can have a desultory effect on some people, though it doesn't slow down the native conniver at the heart of George Orwell's novel Burmese Days. The personal and political intrigue between the natives of Burma (now known as Myanmar...

Sunday, 13 November 2011

A foodie in the family? There's a book for that

2011-11-13 EVERYBODY knows at least one a pretentious foodie who insists on froo-froo ingredients, laborious techniques and over-the-top dishes. Well, this year they're out of luck. Because 2011 was a year when cookbooks even those by high-end and...

A riveting bio of Catherine the Great

2011-11-13 CATHERINE the Great: Portrait of a Woman (Random House), by Robert K. Massie: Pulitzer Prize laureate Massie has written a biography of Russia's great Empress Catherine that is well, great. Massie, awarded the Pulitzer for Peter the Great, knows...

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Amazon introduces lending library for Kindles

2011-11-06 AMAZON.com Inc said on Thursday that it is starting a lending library for Kindle owners, letting them borrow one electronic book per month. Borrowers have to subscribe to Amazon's Prime service, which provides free two-day shipping and streaming...

Steve Jobs biography tops bestsellers

2011-11-06 THERE may not have been overnight queues of fans like those for the release of a new iPhone or iPad, but Steve Jobs produced another hit with the final work to bear his name: the only authorised biography of the Apple co-founder soared to the top of...

Clinton has advice, some criticism, for President Obama in new book

2011-11-06 FORMER President Bill Clinton says in a new book that last summer's political fight over raising the US debt ceiling made the nation look "weak and confused" overseas and he doesn't know why President Barack Obama didn't seek a...

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Gates turns book reviewer

2011-10-30 BILL Gates: founder of Microsoft, philanthropist, computer whizz and now book reviewer. Last Wednesday, in a review on his website, the billionaire gave the thumbs-up to Vaclav Smil's Prime Movers of Globalization: The History and Impact of...

Ukraine's president accused of plagiarism

2011-10-30 IN HIS new book, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych shares his dreams about the future of his country. But are they his? Some parts of Opportunity Ukraine bear a striking resemblance to magazine articles, a lawmaker's speech and even a...

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Mallory and the conquest of Everest

2011-10-09 IN HIS wartime essay "England Your England", George Orwell characterised the English as a nation of hobbyists. It was the English tendency to form stamp collecting societies and angling clubs, Orwell claimed, which both cemented them as a...

Mixed response for Transtromer's Nobel prize

2011-10-09 OBSCURE Swedish poet or magnificent writer? You'd be forgiven, reading reactions to the naming of Tomas Transtromer as the Nobel laureate for literature, for getting a little confused.Commentary ranges from the delighted to the bemused to the...

Sunday, 25 September 2011

We were right to publish Assange book: Canongate

2011-09-25 THE Unauthorised Autobiography has been one of the most unusual, fascinating, frustrating but exciting journeys that Canongate has ever been on. By the time this piece appears, a lot of ink and airtime will have been given over to the drama behind...

The truth about avoidable disasters

2011-09-25 WITNESSING famine comes as a visceral shock — the slow and silent evisceration of society, family and the human body itself. The Russian sociologist Pitrim Sorokin, survivor of the famine of the early 1920s in his home country, wrote in Man and...

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Time extended for Google digital books talks

2011-09-18 GOOGLE Inc and authors and publishers groups have about nine more months to untangle their six-year-old legal dispute over plans to create the world's largest digital library, a federal judge said last Thursday.Manhattan federal court Judge Denny...

A decade of Hitchens' journalism

2011-09-18 THERE are, at a rough count, 36 references to George Orwell in this voluminous collection of Christopher Hitchens's journalism from the past decade. Hitchens has good claims to be Orwell's successor, and he would certainly agree with his hero's...

Sunday, 11 September 2011

A 'world without Islam' would still be a colonial target

2011-09-11 A TITLE for a book is frequently the set of few words that creates a significant first impression and attracts the purchasers'/readers' eye in to give more consideration to the work. Fuller's A World Without Islam is an intriguingly successful work...

Sunday, 21 August 2011

US writers struggle to out-imagine Sept 11

2011-08-21 TEN years later, and Americans' imaginations still are catching up to Sept 11, 2001. "I don't think art can 'compete' with something like 9/11," says Jess Walter, whose post 9/11 novel The Zero was a National Book Award finalist in 2006...

Obama's brother in Shanghai to promote bio-novel

2011-08-21 PRESIDENT Barack Obama's half brother attended this year's Shanghai book fair, where he signed autographs and promoted his semi-autobiographical novel Nairobi to Shenzhen organisers said on Thursday. Mark Ndesandjo works as a consultant in the...

Sunday, 14 August 2011

The Long Goodbye - A Memoir of Grief by Meghan O'Rourke

2011-08-14 THERE are people who insist that grief is ennobling. "You will come out of it a better person," they say, their hand softly upon your shoulder. But this is complete rot, of course. Maybe you will become a more compassionate person, in the...

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