Review: The Sellout by Paul Beatty

Review: The Sellout by Paul Beatty

Some books are so unlike any others that it takes a while to understand what is happening when you start reading them. Their characters are unfamiliar and the situations unrecognisable,…

Don’t judge a book by its cover … but by its reader

Don’t judge a book by its cover … but by its reader

It is easy for a reader to deliver a damning verdict on a book. Whether it is a debut novel or the masterpiece of a genius, the dismissal can be…

Please, Don’t Tell Me Reading is a Waste of Time

Please, Don’t Tell Me Reading is a Waste of Time

Conversation at polite dinner parties is constrained by an implicit set of rules. No talking religion, no talking politics and no talking sex. In the future, I might have to…

A Tale of Two Bookshops

A Tale of Two Bookshops

To me, it seemed like the worst of times. A big, bright, multinational bookstore had opened up directly across the road from my favourite independent bookseller. Book lovers were miffed.…

Is it worth reading ‘difficult’ books?

Is it worth reading ‘difficult’ books?

There are two types of people in the world: one who loves a challenge, and one who likes nothing less. I’ve always thought that I was in the latter category,…

The Lure of Shared Sadness

The Lure of Shared Sadness

Sadness is something we shun. We shrink from the grieving as if their condition was contagious, and we implore the depressed to ‘cheer up’. In fear of the spectre of…

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