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Singers and dancers perform to Pharrell William's 'Happy' during celebrations at Universal Studios. Photo: Getty
The book that will make you quit your job
By Sophie McBain - 02 September 12:30

Paul Dolan believes all humans strive for happiness, which he defines as a combination of pleasure and a sense of purpose. The problem is that we are often very bad at maximising our own well-being.

Poet Philip Larkin with Monica Jones.
Reviews round-up | 2 September
By New Statesman - 02 September 12:20

The critics’ verdicts on David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks, Will Self’s Shark, and a new biography of Philip Larkin by James Booth.

Legends: Lauren Bacall with her then husband Humphrey Bogart and their son Stevie in 1951. Photo: Getty
Stardust memories: Lauren Bacall on Woman's Hour
By Antonia Quirke - 01 September 12:22

To mark the death of the actress, Woman’s Hour reran a thrilling 2005 conversation between Bacall and Jenni Murray. 

Felicity Cloake: Recreating Ernest Hemingway’s favourite burger
By Felicity Cloake - 01 September 11:20

The original calls for garlic, spring onion, piccalilli, capers and wine, plus two American spice blends, parsley, grated apple, Cheddar and carrots, shredded ham, soy sauce and tomato.

Lurid: The Rip Van Winkle section of Rock City's fairy-tales tableaux. Photo: K Tempest Bradford/Flickr
A visit to Rock City on Lookout Mountain is a bad trip through a kitsch fairytale grotto
By Will Self - 01 September 10:25

In front of me was the most lurid tableau I’d ever seen: a vast glass case housing myriad individual little scenes from fairy tales, each one illustrated by posed figurines and ditsy bits of model-making.

The politician and his playmaker: Tony Blair and Alex Ferguson in 1996. Photo: Steve Eason/Getty
Pitch perfect: the ten football matches that changed the world
By John Bew - 31 August 11:11

Jim Murphy’s book combines a blokey ethos with a serious tone, and includes the Eton-smashing 1883 FA Cup final, the 1943 Spanish Cup semi-final and Robben Island’s  “Makana League”.

Accidental Narratives
By Jack Underwood - 31 August 10:45

A new poem by Jack Underwood. 

Dazzling in the desert: Dubai skyline. Photo: Getty
Lost in Dubai: Joseph O’Neill’s Booker Prize-longlisted new novel
By Leo Robson - 29 August 16:22

Although the book has no plot to speak of, it keeps extending false hope, writes Leo Robson.

Ringo was the top bandmate with the other Beatles. Photo: Terry O'Neill/Getty Images
Battle of the Beatles: who was the fabbest of the four?
By New Statesman - 29 August 12:13

Four leading figures make their cases for Paul, John, George or Ringo respectively. 

In the Frame: The Last Resort
By Tom Humberstone - 29 August 10:19

Tom Humberstone’s weekly comic.

Bake-off: a table of cakes for the Oxford-Cambridge boat race. Photo: Getty
Tracey Thorn: The kids protest but sugary treats are an ever stickier issue
By Tracey Thorn - 29 August 10:00

The low-fat yoghurts I shovel down my neck and the smoothies I’ve been promoting to my vegetable-allergic teenage son might just as well have been crystal meth.

Eva Green.
Beaten to a pulp: Why the hyper-stylised Sin City is in need of Raymond Chandler
By Ryan Gilbey - 29 August 10:00

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For imagines what 1940s cinema might have looked like with CGI and no Hays Code - but it falls short of that era’s crackling dialogue, smoky characters and emotional pull.

In the New Statesman this week: Autumn Fiction Special
By New Statesman - 28 August 17:08

This week’s New Statesman kicks off a seminal publishing season with reviews of new novels by the biggest names in British literature.

SS officers including former Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss (second from left) relax at Solahütte, a resort near the concentration camp, 1944. Photo: courtesy US Holocaust Memorial Museum
Too much information: how scientists and historians captured the brains of Amis and McEwan
By Leo Robson - 28 August 16:22

Novels by both authors seems to be creaking under the burden of researched fact and rehearsed message, but there was a time when their impulses flowed in the opposite direction.

Dentist.
Banal retentive: To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris
By Philip Maughan - 28 August 15:30

In his new, Booker-longlisted novel, Joshua Ferris retains his title as the poet of the modern workplace, but his invented religion, Ulmism, proves to be a pretty dry excuse for a quest.

Dogfight proves that a famous name is not the only reason to adapt a film for the stage
By Ryan Gilbey - 28 August 15:15

Dogfight at the Southwark Playhouse shows that a musical using an existing film as its springboard is no more or less likely to succeed than an entirely original work. And rightly so.

Opulent: staff at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai
Don’t blame it on the bellboy: how India does hotels
By Rachel Cooke - 28 August 12:07

The Taj Mahal Palace, which looks like the bastard child of Sandringham and St Pancras Station, is India’s biggest and most epically decadent hotel. 

Perfect storm: over the decade between 1960 and 1970 Ringo, John, George and Paul conjured up a rich alchemy. Photo: Getty
Come together: the collision of culture, chemistry and magic that created the Beatles
By Hunter Davies - 28 August 11:52

Fifty years since the height of their fame, the band’s legacy is more important than ever, writes authorised Beatles biographer Hunter Davies.

Larkin and his close companion Monica Jones at John Betjeman’s funeral, 1984. Photo: Getty
A life more ordinary: salvaging Philip Larkin’s reputation
By Erica Wagner - 28 August 10:04

A painstakingly diligent new biography leaves Erica Wagner feeling relieved that the poet’s pornography collection is “almost entirely lost”.

Screams like teen spirit: girls go wild at a Beatles concert, Christmas 1963. Photo: Sharok Hatami/Rex
Forty pairs of abandoned knickers: Maureen Lipman on the Fab Four in Hull
By Maureen Lipman - 28 August 10:00

In the second half, John Lennon stepped forward to the mike, thighs straining against his shiny and confining suit. He shook his locks, lowered his eyes and let me have it.

British Voluntary Aid ambulance drivers at front. Image: www.gwpda.org/photos
Women volunteers were first to the war zone in 1914
By Toby Thacker - 28 August 9:28

While many of the men men who volunteered faced months, even years, of training and waiting for uniforms and weapons, the women who volunteered as nurses, or “dressers” in August 1914 were in the war zone within weeks.

A street cafe in Paris, c.1929. Photo: Getty
Wouldn’t be seen dead there: what our choice of café says about us
By Oliver Farry - 28 August 9:04

In a densely populated city, the café or the neighbourhood bar is effectively an extension of home. The ones we choose are the most basic manifestation of our social self-conception.

Moo closer: presenter Max Mosley
Cattle royale: why red meat should be a treat
By Rachel Cooke - 27 August 10:00

Chicken is permitted to remain on the all-you-can-eat buffet, even if it has been produced in a vast shed containing 54,000 birds. Ditto mussels.

Crash and burn: Colin Myler, last editor of the News of the World, closes the paper in 2011. Photo: Tom Stoddart/Getty
Other people’s voicemail: how phone-hacking became the news
By Peter Jukes - 26 August 12:29

The author and screenwriter Peter Jukes reviews two new exposés on the News of the World scandal. 

Beyoncé performs at the VMAs. Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty Images
Beyoncé’s VMA performance was feminism’s most powerful pop culture moment
By Rebecca Traister - 26 August 12:08

More and more high-profile women are embracing the language, ideas, and symbolism of feminism, and that they’re doing it from their places within the power structure, not just from outside of it.

Temps perdu: a 1900s Paris street scene. Photo: Getty
Bouquets and billets-doux: letters from Proust to his neighbour
By Jane Shilling - 26 August 12:07

Propped against a multitude of pillows in his dark bedroom, Proust maintained his connections with the outside world through a blizzard of letters.

Night Moves.
Night Moves: an environmental thriller with an intractable problem at its core
By Ryan Gilbey - 26 August 10:30

Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning star as eco-warriors in Kelly Reichardt’s tense new film, two radicals who plan to blow up a hydroelectric dam.

Fight the power: Coral Stoakes's placard used in the London protests of 2011
The things they carried: the ingenious props of modern protest
By Michael Prodger - 22 August 17:49

A new exhibition at the V&A celebrates the hardware of protest movements, ranging from Solidarity to the Guerrilla Girls by way of Greenham Common and the anti-apartheid campaign.

Automatic: Kraftwerk perform at Tate Modern in 2013. Photo: Rex
Krautrock: Germany’s coolest export that no one can quite define
By Stuart Maconie - 22 August 16:09

Krautrock is a term that is bandied about alarmingly freely by bloggers, hipsters and, most of all, bands, desperate for its reflected cool – but what does it actually mean? By Stuart Maconie. 

Song
By Emily Berry - 22 August 12:16

A new poem by Emily Berry. 

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