You guys! Busy Philipps has written a book! If you’re one of 1.3 million people who follow Philipps on Instagram, you’ll feel like you know her already, but in This Will Only Hurt a Little she’s even more candid and even more loveable than in her famous Instagram Stories. “My therapist, Bethany Rosenblum, says that everyone has one defining story. The story that basically sums up who they are and why they are the way they are,” Philipps writes.
A new novel published this week sees Bram Stoker’s Dracula rise from the grave once more. Dracul, written by the Victorian author’s great-grandnephew Dacre Stoker and JD Barker, imagines the novelist’s youth in Dublin and the sinister early encounters with the supernatural that would provide the inspiration for his famous vampire count. “I am quite convinced that there is no doubt whatever that the events here described really took place, however unbelievable and incomprehensible they might appear at first sight,” Bram Stoker wrote in that introductory note, discovered by his 21st-century relative in a vintage Icelandic edition of the book.
It falls into that cult category – as in, if Burns were to dress in ceremonial robes and beckon me into the woods, I’d be right behind her, brandishing a signed direct debit form. Milkman is set in Seventies Northern Ireland in the middle of the Troubles, although our nameless 18-year-old narrator is not especially interested in political turmoil. The narrator’s vulnerability is apparent, yet she’s isolated and abandoned.
There’s something blissfully boring about this year’s Booker shortlist. There’s nothing dull about the books themselves, but after a longlist that was eclectic as it was divisive, the final six picks are consistently excellent, and assured.
We all have cherished memories of the books we read and shared as children. Big friendly giants, honey-loving bears, hungry caterpillars, iron men: these figures populate the vivid imaginary landscapes of our childhoods. Everybody will remember the book that made them laugh and cry, the one that they turn to again and again. Like totems, we pass them on to our own children, each book a spell in itself.
Bill Cunningham was the unassuming New York Times fashion photographer who, despite his documentation of the expected haute couture events, was most famous for his weekly “On the Street” column, the material for which he gleaned while cycling the streets of Manhattan. Immediately identifiable, riding his bicycle, always dressed in the same blue French worker’s jacket, Cunningham lived a near-monastic existence in a tiny studio apartment above Carnegie Hall. If you haven’t seen it already, watch Richard Press’s charming 2010 documentary Bill Cunningham, New York, in which the director follows his subject around the city.
Killing Commendatore is hard to describe – it is so expansive and intricate – but it touches on many of the themes familiar in Murakami’s novels: the mystery of romantic love, the weight of history, the transcendence of art, the search for elusive things just outside our grasp. In town for a few days last week, Murakami, 69, sits for a brief interview in his publisher’s office after an hour’s jog around Central Park. How did you get the idea for ‘Killing Commendatore’?
The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry’s last book – which was a Sunday Times number one bestseller and Waterstones Book of the Year 2016 – reads like a long lost fin-de-siècle Gothic classic. Melmoth, meanwhile, re-writes an early 19th-century Gothic classic for the modern age. In Perry’s version of the story, she turns the titular figure into a woman: Melmoth the Witness, otherwise known as Melmotte or Melmotka, “cursed to wander the earth without home or respite... always watching, always seeking out everything that’s most distressing and most wicked, in a world which is surpassingly wicked, and full of distress.” As in Maturin’s original, stories nest within stories, and it’s by means of a collection of letters, diary entries, footnotes and endnotes that the whole is pieced together.
The judge’s copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover used in the landmark 1960 obscenity trial of DH Lawrence’s famous novel is to be sold at auction in October. The paperback copy will be sold with a fabric bag, hand-stitched by the judge’s wife Lady Dorothy Byrne so that her husband could carry the book into court each day while keeping it hidden from reporters. The lot includes the notes on significant passages that Lady Byrne had helpfully marked up on the book for her husband, and a four-page list of references she had compiled on the headed stationery of the Central Criminal Court.
National Poetry Day was launched in 1994 with the aim of inspiring people to enjoy, discover and share poems. This year’s event takes takes on October 4, with poetry readings, talks, performances and competitions across the country. To mark National Poetry Day, which is supported by organisations including the BBC, Arts Council England and the Royal Mail, we’ve chosen some of the best books of poetry, from old favourites to new collections.
Like Matilda, I was surrounded by bullies. Like Matilda, I was surrounded by people who thought intelligence was an inconvenience and a liability. Unlike Matilda, my method for dealing with my bullies was based on crying and hiding.
Lethal White, JK Rowling’s fourth outing as Robert Galbraith, takes place in 2012, when Britain was basking in the glory of the Olympics and Paralympics. Instead, there are corrupt government officials who abuse their power, far-left antisemitic characters and troubled relationships everywhere you turn. Lethal White picks up where Career of Evil, the last Galbraith novel, ended – at Robin Ellacott’s wedding to Matthew Cunliffe.
American Animals, a film recounting the true story of a 2004 rare book theft, was recently released in cinemas. The film is a dramatic retelling of events based on director Bart Layton’s interviews and written correspondence with the convicted book thieves – interactions which began while the thieves were serving seven-year prison sentences following their guilty pleas. In 2004, four friends in their early 20s – Charles Allen, Eric Borsuk, Warren Lipka, and Spencer Reinhard – attempted to execute an elaborate plan to steal more than $12m (£9m) worth of textual treasures from the special collections at Transylvania University in Kentucky.
Whether you’re on the hunt for beautiful stories interwoven with whimsical recipes or need fast, feel-good food for the whole family, these are some of our favourite cookbooks published in 2018 so far. Husband and wife duo Itamar and Sarit bring us this intimate collection of middle eastern recipes aimed at any home cooking situation life could throw at you.
“A sketch can be a point of reference for further work or simply a way of practising drawing and observational skills,” she says. When it comes to paper you can use anything, either a proper sketchbook or scraps of paper. The softer pencils are great for loose sketches, while the harder ones are good for intricate detail.
Ghost Wall, Sarah Moss’s sixth novel, is further proof that she’s one of our very best contemporary novelists. At a mere 160 pages, Ghost Wall may look unassuming, but it’s testament to Moss’s notable talents that within these she’s able to address the huge topics of misogynistic brutality and violence, gender inequality and class warfare, not to mention the lessons of history. Narrated by 17-year-old Silvie, the action in the novel takes place over the course of a few days at the height of summer.
One of the biggest causes of outrage when the Man Booker Prize shortlist was announced this morning was the omission of Sally Rooney’s Normal People. Previously touted by many as a favourite to win, the novel is undoubtedly gripping: I read it within a few hours, turning the pages compulsively through the night.
Luckily, there are some books out there that are targeted at helping beginners with money management. Whether you’re looking to slash your spending, get thrifty in the kitchen, understand what’s going on with your bank account or finally start a savings account, these books promise to finally make you financially savvy. Over the last month, we’ve dedicated ourselves to trawling through a stack of money management books to find our top eight for beginners.
“She Walks in Beauty” by Lord Byron “The Ballad of William Bloat” by Raymond Calvert “The Prophet” by Abraham Cowley “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost “To the Virgins” by Robert Herrick “The Congo” by Vachel Lindsay “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day” by William Shakespeare A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare “Ulysses” by Alfred Lord Tennyson “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau “O Captain! My Captain!” by Walt Whitman “O Me! O Life!” by Walt Whitman
Rather than make some anodyne opening remarks, she shared a complicated reflection about her pursuit of the Mary Todd Lincoln role in the Steven Spielberg film Lincoln and about her own mother, who had died of cancer in 2011. Soon after she learned the Lincoln part was hers, she made dinner for her mother. Then she opened up to her about how Field had been sexually abused as a child by her stepfather.
Among Ash-Heaps and Millionaires Trimalchio in West Egg On the Road to West Egg Under the Red, White and Blue Gold-Hatted Gatsby The High-Bouncing Lover