Recent Blog Posts

Saturday February 27, 2021 at 3:25pm
"A few notes: Because the “contemporary” list surveyed novels published since 1970 (inclusive), this list will define “classic” as being originally published before 1970." Click here to view whole artilce and listAdolfo Bioy Casares, tr. Ruth L.C. Simms, The Invention of Morel (1940) : 103 pagesBoth Jorge Luis Borges and Octavio Paz described this novel as perfect, and I admit I can’t find much fault with it either. It is technically about a fugitive whose....
Wednesday February 10, 2021 at 12:48am
'Utterly original' Monique Roffey wins Costa book of the yearThe Mermaid of Black Conch takes £30,000 award for 2020’s most enjoyable book, acclaimed by judges as a classic in the making‘I really wanted this book to be seen and read’ … Monique Roffey. Photograph: David Levene/The GuardianMonique Roffey has won the £30,000 Costa book of the year award for her sixth novel, The Mermaid of Black Conch, which opens as a fisherman on a Caribbean island sees a &ldqu....
Wednesday January 6, 2021 at 12:43am
Marvel removes antisemitic trope from Immortal Hulk comicPanel showing character visiting ‘Jewery’ shop was an ‘honest but terrible mistake’, says artist Joe Bennett but the publisher has withdrawn the illustrationMarvel has removed antisemitic imagery from print and digital editions of the new issue of its Immortal Hulk comic after widespread condemnation.The comic, published last week, was criticised after readers noticed that one panel featured the character Joe Fixit,....
Monday January 4, 2021 at 9:30pm
She published her first book in her 40s and became the biggest selling author of the past decade in any genre – The Gruffalo alone has sold 13m copies. How did this former busker make it so big?The room where the children’s author Julia Donaldson writes – the heart of her vast picture book empire – is down a winding staircase, in the cellar of her grand white house in Steyning, West Sussex. Her desk looks out on the street at knee height. “I’m thinking of writ....
Tuesday December 29, 2020 at 9:27pm
Details of historic decision-making amid growing racist resentment feature in this elegant, if restrained, account of life inside the White Hous.To read Barack Obama’s autobiography in the last, snarling days of Donald Trump is to stare into an abyss between two opposite ends of humanity, and wonder once again at how the same country came to choose two such disparate men.Somewhere at the top of a long list of contrasts is their grasp of language and facts. On the eve of the book’s pu....
Tuesday December 15, 2020 at 9:33pm
The novelist’s hit debut, a witty spin on race, feminism and sex based on her time as a nanny in New York, has even won fans among her former employers…This time last year, Kiley Reid was a tantalising rumour, the truth of which was known only to her publishers and to the film company that had optioned her debut novel two years before it was ready to see the light of day. When Such a Fun Age was published – on New Year’s Eve in the US and a week later in the UK – t....
Thursday December 10, 2020 at 12:01am
Tara June Winch has become the first Indigenous Australian to win both of Australia’s major writing prizes in a year, taking out the $80,000 fiction category for the 2020 Prime Minister’s Literary award on Thursday after winning the $60,000 Miles Franklin in July.This year’s awards, announced on Thursday, included a record showing for Indigenous writers and writers of colour, with the Gay’wu Group of Women winning the non-fiction category for Songspirals; the Darug duo of....
Friday December 4, 2020 at 12:03am
Roald Dahl's family apologises for his antisemitismStatement on author’s official website says his views caused ‘lasting and understandable hurt’The family of Roald Dahl has apologised for his antisemitism in a statement buried deep in the author’s official website.Dahl, who died 30 years ago, is described on the site as “the world’s No 1 storyteller”, whose books – including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and The BFG – have entra....
Thursday November 12, 2020 at 5:48pm
Bookshop.org, which launched in the US earlier this year, has accelerated UK plans and goes online this week in partnership with more than 130 shopsIt is being described as a “revolutionary moment in the history of bookselling”: a socially conscious alternative to Amazon that allows readers to buy books online while supporting their local independent bookseller. And after a hugely successful launch in the US, it is open in the UK from today.View More
Thursday October 22, 2020 at 9:35pm
After two years of careful consideration, Robert McCrum has reached a verdict on his selection of the 100 greatest novels written in English. Take a look at his list1. The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (1678)A story of a man in search of truth told with the simple clarity and beauty of Bunyan’s prose make this the ultimate English classic.2. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (1719)By the end of the 19th century, no book in English literary history had enjoyed more editions, spin-of....