Reading lists

The best books about the climate crisis – and how to fight it

Temperatures, sea levels and anxiety about the future of the planet are all on the rise. But how do you separate fact from fiction, and what can you really do to make a difference? Here are the books you need to read about tackling climate change. There are few issues facing humanity more pressing than climate change. With temperatures and sea levels rising, it’s never been more important to identify – and to solve – the problems of emissions and carbon footprints in order to create a more sust

Horror stories to listen to with the lights on

As the dark nights draw in, nothing beats a good old-fashioned horror story. From terrifying Japanese folklore to monster-sized classics, here’s five of our favourite audiobooks sure to haunt your waking hours. Narrated by The Walking Dead star Eleanor Matsuura (she plays Yumiko), this collection of supernatural stories draws on traditional Japanese folklore where the dead wreak havoc on the living, faceless spirits haunt lonely neighbourhoods and priests devour human flesh – all infused with m

Must-reads of 2019: the best new books of the year

Voyage into the planet's past and future with Robert Macfarlane, return to Gilead in Margaret Atwood's explosive follow-up to The Handmaid's Tale and celebrate the 70th anniversary of the dystopian classic Nineteen Eighty-Four . These are the books and literary moments to look out for in 2019. All the Rage by Cara Hunter (26 Dec). Hunter’s DI Adam Fawley crime series has received widespread acclaim for allowing a unique insight into police investigations. In her latest instalment, a teenage gir

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Books that define the ‘Windrush’ experience

The generation of Caribbean migrants who helped rebuild post-war Britain between 1948 and 1971 have been in the news repeatedly since a 2018 scandal which saw many of them wrongly deported. Here Sara Collins , the award-winning author of The Confessions of Frannie Langton , offers a reading list of books that help define their experience. ‘Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board.’ Though it has nothing at all to do with West Indian immigration to England, the opening line of Zora Ne

How Andy Warhol subverted gender to radicalise modern art

As the Tate unveils a new retrospective of the icon’s work, Blake Gopnik, art critic and author of a new biography on Warhol , looks beyond the celebrated works to a lesser-known side of the pioneering artist. When Andy Warhol made the 25 paintings of trans women and cross-dressed men that are starring in this spring’s Warhol exhibition at Tate Modern, the project didn’t begin as his idea. In April of 1974, an Italian dealer offered him a lavish million dollars to create 100 paintings on ‘the

Auschwitz remembered: Jack Fairweather’s essential reading on the Holocaust

The author of 2019's Costa Book of the Year Award reflects on the literature that helped him understand one of history's darkest periods. On the 75th anniversary of Auschwitz’s liberation, it’s hard to imagine a time when the Holocaust did not dominate our thinking about World War II. Yet after the immediate horror that greeted the liberation of the camp, and the other Nazi camps in 1945, the mass murder of Europe’s Jews scarcely lodged in the public’s consciousness. It wasn’t until the early 1

100 years after The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act, there’s still progress to be made

December 23rd quietly marks a centenary since one of the most significant pieces of legislation in modern Britain passed, allowing women access to professions that previously had closed doors. 100 years on, social historian Jane Robinson looks at the achievements of the pioneering women who fought for gender parity. In the history of women’s rights, there are certain books that stand out like landmarks. Ray Strachey’s The Cause (1928), about the fight for the vote and equal opportunities for wo

What I'm reading: Cash Carraway

I’m currently in the middle of reading The Ruins and it’s consuming me in much the same way Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk engrossed me as a teen. It’s giving me so much joy; bus journeys have become shorter and spending time in doctor’s waiting rooms feels like a hobby with this book in my hands. As a dedicated Suede fan for the past 25 years (Osman is the bass player), some would consider me biased but I think this book stands apart from my long term admiration and just is a remarkable debut. Th

My cultural life: Marlon James

The Booker Prize-winning author on the TV, film and art that has inspired him, including a surreal dance performance and a Toni Morrison-endorsed novel. Marlon James' 2015 novel A Brief History of Seven Killings won the Man Booker Prize, and became a New York Times bestseller. His return last year, Black Leopard, Red Wolf, brought him a fresh wave of admirers by uniting the fantasy and literary worlds. Drawing on his love of mythology, the novel was partially borne out his frustration at the d

What I’m Reading: John Lewis-Stempel

The author of The Private Life of an English Field looks for ‘restorative reads’ after long, chilly days working his land. From a period Parisian thriller to nature-led poetry, here’s what's been on his bedside table in 2019. John Lewis-Stempel is born and bred Herefordshire. After years working as an academic, he returned to farming, working the land his family have lived on for over 700 years near the England-Wales border. He won the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing in 2015 for his book T

What I'm reading: Gaia Vince

The science writer and broadcaster reads 'to escape the confines of her own lived experience'. From a Booker longlisted novel to an exposé on eugenics, here's what's been on her bedside table recently. Environmental journalist Gaia Vince wanted to experience the impact of globalisation and a rapidly-increasing population on the environment first hand, so she bought a ticket to Kathmandu in Nepal. A trip that was meant to last six months turned into two-and-a-half-years travelling through over

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