Archive for the 'Books' Category
A week or so ago I heard the BBC’s political editor say that “We now have 27 leaders sat around a table…” This week I heard a BBC reporter say that “the two-year-old was sat watching television.” In John Lanchester’s novel Capital, I’ve just read the sentence “Shahid was stood at the sink with his [...]
I’ve just come back from browsing in Waterstone’s in Wimbledon, where copies of George Orwell’s essay Politics and the English Language were stacked beside the tills. It’s coming up to 110 years since Orwell was born as Eric Blair (June 25), and, because media organisations like round numbers, he and his works are being celebrated [...]
My book of 2012? It was one published in 2006, which I discovered at Delhi airport on my way back from a trip to the Himalayas in October: Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra (published in India by Penguin and in Britain by Faber). It’s a plump (950 pages) and populous novel set primarily in Mumbai, [...]
Artemis Cooper, author of the much-praised new biography of Patrick Leigh Fermor, will be among speakers at a celebration of the great man’s travel writing at King’s College London next Tuesday (November 20).
The FT’s Weekend Magazine had an interview with the American writer Richard Ford. He said he didn’t review books because he didn’t trust his own judgement. He went on: Giving a book a bad review is like driving along the road and seeing a hitchhiker and deciding that instead of not picking him up you’ll [...]
The judges of the Dolman Travel Book Award have had trouble reaching agreement on a shortlist, so they have listed six books rather than the usual five. They are: Harlem is Nowhere by Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts (Granta) Thin Paths; journeys in and around an Italian Village by Julia Blackburn (Jonathan Cape) To a Mountain in Tibet [...]
There’s a lovely line on life as a train journey in a new book about happiness by the Irish writer Michael Foley. According to a review in The Observer yesterday, that journey isn’t aboard “a gleaming Orient Express… into exotic glamour, adventure and excitement”. Instead, we travel on “a rusty old English branch line, puffing [...]
It’s still only February, early for predictions, but I’ll be surprised if I read a more enjoyable work of non-fiction this year than Robert Macfarlane’s The Old Ways. I’ve been sent an early copy, but I’m not obliged to keep quiet about it until it’s published (by Hamish Hamilton), early in June. Two thirds of [...]
Walter Salles’s film of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road is due out next year, and will doubtless be accompanied by repackaged versions in print of what’s already an over-exposed novel. A much less familiar contribution to American travel literature has just made its first appearance on this side of the pond: The Cruise of the [...]
“I am haunted by waters,” says the narrator in the last line of Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It. I think I must be, too. To help publicise my new anthology, Sunrise on the Southbound Sleeper (which Aurum will publish on Monday), I was asked by the managers of the Telegraph’s book shop to [...]
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Stieg (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) Larsson on the Trans-Siberian Railway in a piece from his book The Expo Files: http://t.co/lAeANSxTCq
"Congolese playing Mexican music to lure Uruguayan soldiers into spending American dollars": that's Goma, in the DRC http://t.co/hJDbykvP40
I just posted Leopards in India – on the streets of Mumbai. Read it here: http://t.co/si1sbgQ52q