Books & Reviews

Sunday, 6 November 2011

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...

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...

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

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...

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...

Sunday, 25 September 2011

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...

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...

Sunday, 18 September 2011

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...

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...

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...

Ex-spy writes about his old profession

2011-08-14 DUNN, who was a field officer in the British Secret Intelligence Service, often known as M16, has created a plot with plenty of action and lots of twists and turns in Spycatcher. Unfortunately, he has to step aside and explain things in the manner...

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Achdiat Mihardja - author of Atheis

2011-08-07 ATHEIS (The Atheist) is a masterpiece of the Indonesian literary history. The novel was published in 1949 and written by Achdiat Karta Mihardja, an Indonesian author of the 45 generation, a generation that was creative around and after the...

Sunday, 31 July 2011

George RR Martin's fantasy is not far from reality of modern world

2011-07-31 A WEALTHY dynasty brought to its knees by popular revolt, the highest in the land caught in a web of corruption, and at the heart of it all a powerful woman with remarkable hair. If you see the Murdoch clan, Chipping Norton set and Rebekah Brooks in...

Can fantasy ever tell the truth?

2011-07-31 THERE is nothing wrong with escaping reality now and again. A finely crafted escapist fantasy can be a thing of joy and beauty. However, an unfiltered diet of escapist fantasy blockbusters can be unhealthy. As master anti-fantasist M John Harrison...

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Extracts from Idylls of the Sea

2011-07-24 FRANK T Bullen is in the crow's nest, that observation platform high above the mainsail, at dawn. "At such a time, specially if the heavens be one stainless concave of blue, the advent of a new day is so overwhelming in its glory that the soul is...

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