The latest on books and the arts
A man reads a Kindle in Victoria Tower Gardens. Image: Getty.
Amazon to pay authors according to how many pages people read
By Barbara Speed - 22 June 15:53

The company will pay self-published authors on its lending services per page from next month. 

A shot of a train from The Darjeeling Limited. Photo: YouTube screengrab
Track record: why trains weave their way through the history of great cinema
By Ryan Gilbey - 19 June 16:20

Films set on trains are some of the best.

Alistair McGowan as Jimmy Savile. Photo: Helen Maybanks
A terrifying, sweaty memory: Alistair McGowan's dark turn as Jimmy Savile
By Mark Lawson - 19 June 12:02

McGowan's performance demonstrates the combination of eccentricity and intimidation that allowed Savile first to lure his victims and then to disguise his abuse of them.

A silhouette of a man in front of a giant Apple logo. Photo: Getty
The Evil Genius theory: do you have to be a nightmare to be truly innovative?
By Alix Christie - 19 June 11:48

From Johann Gutenberg to Steve Jobs, extraordinary creativity is so often coupled with callous disregard for others.

Ginger nut: Chris Evans in his TFI heyday.
Thank f*** it's over: Chris Evans' TFI Friday is still awful, twenty years later
By Rachel Cooke - 18 June 16:59

TFI Friday was quite nasty at its edges: it gave off a strong whiff of bullying and low-level belligerence. The male graduate population of north London seemed not to notice this.

A Jaws exhibition at Universal Studios, Japan. Photo: Jeremy Thompson/Wikimedia
Suckers, teeth and fins: how the natural world affects our minds
By Antonia Quirke - 18 June 14:23

BBC Radio 4's Natural Histories.

The Jam play the Manchester Apollo, 1980. Photo: Harry Potts/Flickr
Slaves to the rhythm: what the non-frontmen have to say
By James Medd - 18 June 12:42

Accounts of The Jam, the Grateful Dead, Alice Cooper and Belle and Sebastian come from the back.

László Krasznahorkai after receiving the Man Booker International Award. Photo: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images
Man Booker winner László Krasznahorkai is not “difficult” – only defiant
By Jane Shilling - 18 June 12:38

Seiobo There Below, translated by Ottilie Mulzet, is László Krasznahorkai's most recent novel in English.

Game of Thrones: Trust me, if SPOILER were really dead, they'd have died in episode 9
By Jonn Elledge - 18 June 12:15

The sudden death in the last scene of Monday's Game of Thrones was a cliffhanger, nothing more.

Right to roam: our minds’ ability to wander is what allows us to forge creative links. Picture: © Martin O'Neil
This is your brain on unread emails: does the information age stop us thinking straight?
By Sophie McBain - 18 June 12:10

Three new books explore the modern information assault - and how to survive it.

Peer review: Shaw “crowded his pages with writers’ names to show he was no solitary eccentric, but part of an international zeitgeist”. Photo: AKG-Images
“I want to be the Irish Nietzsche”: what the Übermensch meant to Bernard Shaw
By Michael Holroyd - 18 June 12:08

What did Shaw admire in Nietzsche? In the absence of God, both were seeking a purpose.

James Rhodes performs at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Photo: Amy T. Zielinski/Getty Images
In pianist James Rhodes' self-hatred, there is a compelling case for empathy
By Caroline Crampton - 18 June 12:06

In his memoir Instrumental, it feels at times as though Rhodes is daring you to dismiss him, to find his story trivial or inferior.

Meditate wildly: a drawing by Kundera from the 1970s.
In Milan Kundera’s first new novel in 15 years, the novelty begins to wear thin
By Leo Robson - 18 June 11:53

Over the past 30 years, virtually all of Kundera’s innovations have been either imitated or overtaken. Kundera's challenge is to outlive his own novelty.