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OUT NOW Deeper than Indigo by Jenny Balfour Paul (Medina Publishing, £22.95; offer price, £21.95) Central to this outstanding book’s conception is the forgotten Victorian explorer and indigo planter Thomas Machell, and the remarkable effect his...
Joanna's Journey
Woe betide those who incur the wrath of an unstoppable, imperious figure leading the way thousands of miles across Asia. No, it’s not Genghis Khan and his merciless horde, but Ab Fab’s Patsy with camera crew in tow. In Joanna Lumley’s Trans-Siberian...
Book Reviews: 3 July
OUT NOW The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi (Orbit, £16.99; offer price, £14.99) Since his awardwinning novel The Windup Girl, Bacigalupi has quickly asserted himself as a new force in ecotechnological science fiction. His latest is set in the United...
Book Reviews: 26 June
OUT NOW The Weightless World by Anthony Trevelyan (Galley Beggar Press, £11; offer price, £9.90) When Steven Strauss sets off for Mumbai in pursuit of an antigravity machine, he assumes it exists only in the head of his boss, Raymond Ess. So does...
Book Reviews: 19 June
OUT NOW THE READERS OF BROKEN WHEEL RECOMMEND by Katarina Bivald (Chatto & Windus, £12.99; off er price, £11.69) When bookish Sara, who has never left her native Sweden, is invited to Broken Wheel, Iowa, by her literary pen pal Amy, she jumps at the...
Book Reviews: 12 June
OUT NOW LIVING IN THE SOUND OF THE WIND by Jason Wilson (Constable, £20; offer price, £16.50) ‘You love him or ignore him,’ writes Jason Wilson of his subject, the novelist and naturalist WH Hudson. But whether or not you know anything much about...
Book Reviews: 5 June
OUT NOW A History Of Money by Alan Pauls (Melville House, £17.99; offer price, £16.19) A young man looks back on his life growing up in 1970s and 1980s Argentina, starting with a defining event in his youth: a family friend died in a helicopter crash,...
Radio Review: 29 May
Oddly, a radio documentary is probably the perfect medium in which to explain the National Radio Quiet Zone, a 13,000 square mile area in the United States completely devoid of radio waves. The lockdown, which has been in place since 1958, is there to...
Book Reviews: 29 May
OUT NOW SMALL HANDS by Mona Arshi (Pavilion Poetry, £9.99; offer price, £9.49) There is an exciting new arrival on the poetry scene: Pavilion Poetry, an imprint of Liverpool University Press, describes itself as ‘poetry that takes a risk… sure to...
Book Reviews: 22 May
OUT NOW SHOES FOR ANTHONY by Emma Kennedy (Ebury Press, £12.99; offer price, £11.69) When the Second World War arrives at a placid Welsh mining village, the locals rise to the occasion magnificently. At first the area remains relatively distant from...
Radio Review: 15 May
At the time of writing, I had no idea who would be running the country. Of course, the Tories won but sitting there on election day, I did know that Adam Cumiskey, one of the duty editors running Radio 4’s results coverage, went to work in a tabard...
Book Reviews: 15 May
REMEMBERING GALLIPOLI This year marks the centenary of the Anglo-French landings on the Gallipoli peninsula. The Gallipoli campaign off ered the hope that not only could Turkey be defeated, but the trenches of the Eastern and Western fronts...
The Lady Guide to Modern Manners: 15 May
Dear Thomas, My question is a simple one. If you give a younger member of your family Christmas and birthday presents and the person does not say thank you in any way, do you continue to give presents and thus build up resentment? Or do you wash your...
Book Reviews: 8 May
OUT NOW THE STREET by Bernardine Bishop (Sceptre, £18.99; offer price, £14.99) Published posthumously, Bishop’s final novel offers an absorbing portrait of a residential London street. It starts with John, a young newcomer living temporarily with his...
Book Reviews: 1 May
OUT NOW A DIFFERENT KIND OF WEATHER: A Memoir by William Waldegrave (Constable, £20; offer price, £16) While Waldegrave was still in short trousers, there were three Etonian prime ministers in a row – Eden, Macmillan and Home – so naturally the press...
Keeping the HOME FIRES burning
Inspired by Julie Summers’s nonfiction book, Jambusters, ITV’s latest drama Home Fires follows a group of women living in rural Cheshire – in the looming shadow of war. As men and boys go off to fight, the women are left to keep the fabric of the...
Book Reviews: 24 April
OUT NOW GORSKY by Vesna Goldsworthy (Chatto & Windus, £12.99; offer price, £11.69) Russian Roman Gorsky isn’t just any oligarch about town. He is so wealthy that his new London home makes Buckingham Palace seem ‘like an ungainly box by a roundabout’....
The Daily: April 20
Vivien Leigh outfit sold at auction At a Californian auction, an outfit worn by Vivien Leigh in the film Gone with the Wind has been sold for $137,000 (£91,000). The outfit consists of a two-piece ensemble: a grey skirt and overcoat which Vivien wore...
Radio Review: 17 April
The Easter weekend wireless harboured two music documentary treats. First came It’s All About The Bass on Radio 4 (still available on iPlayer), in which Ellin Stein (maker of a rather fine Tom Lehrer documentary I reviewed a while back) spoke to...
Book Reviews: 17 April
OUT NOW A CURIOUS FRIENDSHIP: The Story Of A Bluestocking And A Bright Young Thing by Anna Thomasson (Macmillan, £20; offer price, £17.50) The unlikely friendship between Edith Olivier and Rex Whistler is the subject of Thomasson’s hefty but engaging...

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