Are you war-weary? Does the thought of going over the top once more fill you with dread? Do you long for the bookshops and newspapers to forget about the first world war? Well, summon your sinews and make a final effort: Alexander Watson's Ring of Steel is perhaps the most important of the current crop of books – and certainly one of the best. Its starting point is that, however terrible the war was for the British – with a million dead – it was much, much worse for the peoples of central and eastern Europe. It didn't just kill huge numbers of them, it brought shattering defeat and ushered in a century of political upheaval and ethnic conflict. Today, in Ukraine, the war's legacy is still being contested. … [Read more...] about Ring of Steel: Germany and Austria-Hungary at War, 1914-1918 review – a well argued, important book
In the case of Jim Button, the writer had no idea where the story was headed when he began writing it. During an interview on German TV interview in 1990, he said: "It sounds like a joke, but it's true: I didn't know what was in that package," he said, referring to the package that was delivered containing Jim at the start of the story. For Ende, writing was an adventure. "There's a moment when the characters take on a life of their own and you just follow their lead," he said at the time. … [Read more...] about Jim Button: How racist is the popular children’s book?
The drama, based on the novel of the same name by Sally Rooney, follows Irish students Connell (Paul) and Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones) as they navigate social and class dynamics from school to university. … [Read more...] about Normal People star Paul Mescal reads Elmer the Elephant book in aid of Save The Children… and has a VERY sassy put-down for one fan
Even Sir Paul McCartney finds it hard to get down with the kids. ‘My family do Instagram,’ says the ex Beatle, ‘and I say, “I can’t believe you’re doing this, because every time you post, you’ve got to think of something clever to say.” It’s the worst pressure on earth. … [Read more...] about SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Lord Bragg goes back in time for tale of privations in his new book
Passionate about the novel, Hoare hopes the project will convince intrigued but intimidated readers to give Moby-Dick a try. "Moby-Dick is perhaps the most famous yet least-read of all American novels. For anyone who ever wanted to read it but was daunted by its length, we have the perfect solution: we're reading for you," he said. "Everyone's scared of a book that long, they're scared of the length, they're scared of the content. But when you read it you realise it's incredible." … [Read more...] about Moby-Dick captures stars for reading voyage