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Osama Bin Laden’s bookshelf

I’m confused as to why the US authorities would release a list of the books that appeared on the shelves of Osama Bin Laden’s Pakistan compound but the list is now being analysed around the world. Bin Laden read books about law, military strategy and, of course, books about the 9/11 attacks, including conspiracy theories. […]

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Top Ten Books About Addiction

This morning’s top 10 books list on The Guardian is a good one – top 10 books about addiction. There are some obvious choices like Irvine Welsh’s darkly funny, tragic and often really gross (that toilet scene…!) novel Trainspotting, and the surreal nightmare that is Requiem for a Dream by Hubert Selby Jr, but also […]

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Joan Didion’s favourite books

The Brainpicker blog has highlighted Joan Didion’s list of her favourite books of all-time. Lots of classics including Henry James, Hemingway, Orwell, Emily Brontë, James Baldwin and the poetry of WH Auden, Robert Lowell and Wallace Stevens. Born in 1934, Didion’s literary career began in 1963 with her debut novel, Run, River. In 2005, Didion won a […]

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The most expensive sales of 2014 – a double helping of David Bailey

Today, we have published our annual list of the most expensive sales of the year. The list for 2014 is remarkable for many reasons. A copy of Das Kapital sold for a staggering sum. There were appearances from legendary books like Dune, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Hobbit, Ulysses, and A Farewell to Arms. A […]

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My Favourite Reads of 2014

Every single year around this time, I find myself reflecting back on the books I’ve read since January 1st, and feeling: 1) mad at myself for not reading more; 2) mad at myself for wasting my life finishing that one really dreadful book; 3) delighted that I kept going through the hard bits of that […]

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What the Boss reads: Bruce Springsteen’s 30 favourite books

The New York Times recently asked American rock star Bruce Springsteen about favourite books. The Boss admitted that he did not begin reading seriously until he was 28 or 29 because he spent so much time on the road. It sounds like he’s been an avid reader ever since. His taste varies from the classics […]

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2014 Booker Prize shortlist announced

The shortlist for the 2014 Man Booker Prize has been announced. The six books shortlisted are: The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma Death Railway, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his affair with his uncle’s young wife two years […]

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Heston Blumenthal’s historic tribute to British cuisine wins 2014 James Beard cookbook of the year

The biggest prize in the cookbook genre was announced yesterday and a book describing the long and complex legacy of British cuisine has picked up the main award. The James Beard Foundation Book Awards named Historic Heston by English chef Heston Blumenthal as cookbook of the year. Blumenthal, owner of The Fat Duck, details the identity […]

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Bailey’s shortlist for women’s fiction

The shortlist for the UK Women’s Prize for Fiction (once called the Orange Prize but now sponsored by Bailey’s) has been revealed. Eimear McBride, Hannah Kent and Audrey Magee are all contenders with their debut novels. Donna Tartt and Jhumpa Lahiri are the big names, while Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie continues to enhance her […]

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Race Rock to In Paradise – a list of Peter Matthiessen’s books

Peter Matthiessen, one of America’s top writers in the past 60 years, died on Saturday at the age of 86. The Guardian carries an obituary. He had been suffering from Leukemia. Born in 1927, Matthiessen is remembered for co-founding The Paris Review literary magazine in the 1950s but he also enjoyed a long writing career […]

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