Tracey Thorn fills the airwaves with audiobooks, articulate teens and Caitlin Moran.
"It's not the vulgarity that makes you want to puke so much as the asininity" in BBC season of wealth.
John Berger finds wider ripples of thought in his local pool.
Antonia Quirke rounds up the best of the New Year's radio, including War and Peace and The Supernatural North.
The paintings are anything but dry in Frederick Wiseman's documentary about the London gallery.
Elections, empires and the "extreme present" in culture editor Tom Gatti's guide to the coming literary year.
On Stephen Sondheim’s 85th birthday, he will be revered as the genius of musical theatre. But his failures are just as fascinating as his successes.
New voices join old friends in our selection of the best poems published in the New Statesman over the past 12 months.
A new exhibition at Lille's Palais des Beaux-Arts reveals the life of an ancient image-maker.
A N Wilson's book reveals the surprisingly diverse tastes of this quintessential English monarch.
The smart, insightful and oddly underrated US actor Ethan Hawke on first meeting River Phoenix, the Sony hacking crisis and “the beauty of censorship”.
The new year already offers the promise of Tilda Swinton in a fetching wig and the scariest film since Halloween. What's not to like?
Down and Out with Nicholas Lezard.
Even I willingly acknowledge that the damage to the vineyards of Champagne was one of the lesser tragedies of the First World War.
NS pop critic Kate Mossman talks to the former Sex Pistol about Ed Miliband, Ukip and “men’s dangly bits”.
Children get the best TV this year, says Rachel Cooke.
Wonder Woman is riddled with contradictions: sexless, yet sexy; strong, yet vulnerable; a feminist hero created by a man.
Ryan Gilbey casts an eye over the Christmas fare.
Handing out the gongs.
Tom Watson sits through the best and worst video games so you don’t have to.
Breaking Bad’s power lies in its chilling vision of a society in thrall to the market.
Fairy tales are capable of depicting the hardest challenges we face as human beings.
From the artist Margaret Keane, the subject of the new Tim Burton film Big Eyes, to Courtney Love and Mary Shelley, our society is always ready and willing to listen to denials of female authorship, even where they are based on the flimsiest of evidence.
Lord Sugar’s rather laboured hunt for a new business partner finally finishes.
Jay the lesbian gannet made our Christmas much less tense than normal. The home-made Baileys flowed.
Is there a darker Christmas lyric than Band Aid’s “Well, tonight thank God it’s them instead of you”?
Estonia’s Swedes survived revolution, invasion and exile. Their struggles tell the story of 20th-century Europe.
All was harmony, until Jon mentioned the legend of how people in the audience in 1896 had ducked when the train suddenly appeared on-screen.
The death of Rik Mayall in June 2014 quite rightly made the front page of every newspaper. There is no one better than the BBC to make a warm and loving tribute to a comedy hero.