Books in brief: The School of Life, Jonathan Franzen and Yasushi Inoue
By Philip Maughan - 10 October 8:00

Three new books you might have missed.

I blame Bridget Jones
By Clmence Sebag - 08 October 12:13

Bridget got me into this mess, and I’ve been waiting 14 years for her to get me out of it, writes Clémence Sebag.

Crap Towns: We can't fix our problems if we refuse to see them
By Sam Jordison - 07 October 12:28

Editor Sam Jordison says his book is not "an exercise in laughing at neglect" but a tough look at the nasty side of British capitalism written by the victims - for the victims.

New Statesman
Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields
By Roger Moorhouse - 03 October 11:01

It’s worth remembering here that many of those women who committed crimes could not resort to the time-worn excuse that they were “following orders”. They were not.

New Statesman
Music at Midnight: The Life and Poetry of George Herbert
By Jonathan Bate - 03 October 10:47

Donne is so damn sexy that he will always seem modern. Marvell is the greatest political poet in the language (always excepting Shakespeare). Yet Herbert lived a quiet life: born in 1593, he died far too prematurely, in 1633.

New Statesman
A Colossal Wreck: A Road Trip Through Political Scandal, Corruption and American Culture
By Nicholas Wapshott - 03 October 10:38

Like many “leftish” Brits who crossed the Atlantic to criticise imperial America from the belly of the beast, Cockburn soon discovered that America barely exists.

New Statesman
The Animals: Love Letters Between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy
By Olivia Laing - 03 October 10:23

Like many couples, they communicated in a private language, a sort of nursery camp in which they were cast as the “Animals”.

New Statesman
Understanding the national paranoia that led to the First World War
By Richard Overy - 03 October 10:15

“There are so many questions and as many answers again.”

New Statesman
From the Archive: Will Tom Clancy be taken seriously in death?
By Sean French - 02 October 17:06

In this article originally written on 2nd September 1994, Sean French wonders why Tom Clancy was hardly ever discussed at all during his lifetime.

Damian McBride: Repentant spinner
By Helen Lewis - 02 October 11:05

Damian McBride is a bastard. And, unusually for a memoirist, he’s very keen to let you know that from the start, writes Helen Lewis.

High Minds by Simon Heffer: A thunderous new history of the Victorian era
By Tristram Hunt - 02 October 10:49

This is an extended paean to an era whose ethos and moral purpose navigated the transition from the chaos of the Industrial Revolution to the equanimity of late-Victorian Britain.

New Statesman
Empress Dowager Cixi: The concubine who launched modern China
By Rana Mitter - 02 October 9:28

Much more than a Chinese Anne Boleyn, Cixi engineered a palace coup to place her young son on the throne at the age of just 25.

David Vann.
Reviews round-up | 1 October
By Critic - 01 October 17:00

The critics' verdict on David Vann, William Boyd and Damian McBride.

The Goldsmiths Prize.
The Goldsmiths Prize: Where the boundaries of fiction and non-fiction cede to creativity
By Philip Maughan - 01 October 13:00

After the Booker Prize's announcement that it will accept English-language across the globe, the Goldsmiths Prize occupies a unique position. Its debut shortlist was revealed this morning.

New Statesman
Stephen King still won't accept Kubrick's genius
By Mark Hodge - 30 September 10:26

What is it that particularly irks King about a film that was so universally acclaimed?

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri: A strangely passive experience
By Claire Lowdon - 26 September 15:34

Stripping back an already pared-down style to the point of blandness.

New Statesman
On David Gilmour: The Loneliness of the Old White Male
By Holger Syme - 26 September 12:41

David Gilmour seems to be fond of authors, and he says he loves their work — provided they are male, white, and very much like him. Here's why he's wrong.

New Statesman
What Should We Tell Our Daughters?: The age after innocence
By Sarah Ditum - 26 September 12:11

Is feminism capable of addressing the differences between women, as well as those between women and men?

New Statesman
Democracy Ltd by Bobby Friedman: Formula wrong
By Jack Straw - 26 September 11:54

British elections used to be heroically corrupt.

New Statesman
The barbarism of reason: John Gray on the Notebooks of Leopardi
By John Gray - 26 September 11:41

The first full translation of a reclusive Italian poet’s philosophical “hotchpotch” is a major event in the history of ideas.

Berlin Wall.
Red Love by Maxim Leo: Secondarily a memoir, foremost a love story
By Marina Benjamin - 26 September 8:50

Marina Benjamin is impressed by the storytelling and cool-headed analysis in Maxim Leo's Red Love: the Story of an East German Family.

New Statesman
Reviews round-up
By Critic - 24 September 12:11

The critics' verdicts on Stephen King, Sathnam Sanghera and Maxim Leon.

New Statesman
Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon: Dotcom survivors
By Leo Robson - 20 September 12:40

A book where even the phrase "You are so grounded" takes on significance.

New Statesman
Jonathan Coe and Justin Cartwright: Fictional prime time
By John Sutherland - 20 September 12:30

The British novel, at its best, is engaged, liberal, highly informed, secular, sceptical and above all humane.

Out of Print by George Brock: An unfinished and chaotic story
By Emily Bell - 20 September 12:15

Brock convincingly disabuses readers of the notion of a “golden age” of journalism in the postwar period. But he often doesn't go far enough.

New Statesman
The Broken Road by Patrick Leigh Fermor: No more a-roving
By Jeremy Seal - 20 September 11:00

I set off along The Broken Road laden with expectations that I would have to make allowances. Yet almost from the off, I realised that I would have no use for these.

Jonathan Franzen.
Why Jonathan Franzen is wrong about novelists and Twitter
By Jennifer Weiner - 19 September 12:22

In his essay last week, Jonathan Franzen complained about the "yakkers and tweeters and braggers" who publicise their books through "Jennifer Weiner-ish" self-promotion. Now, Jennifer Weiner replies.

Bold and beautiful: the new Library of Birmingham
By Stuart Maconie - 19 September 12:07

Over its ten storeys, the Library of Birmingham houses an art gallery, a children’s area, a multimedia centre, two cafés, a music library, a performance space, a theatre, a restaurant, terraces with herb gardens and more.

The Blunders of Our Governments: How attractive would a blunder-free government be?
By Alan Johnson - 19 September 8:12

Even the cleverest politicians make mistakes.