Jessica Lambert

The Bibliophile and the Bore

Two new books about reading are polar opposites. Alexander McCall Smith's musings are platitudinous while Nick Hornby reads like someone you’d love to chat with until the sun came up

Whodunnit? Who Cares?

Perhaps the Booker judges awarded Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries the prize to ensure that their getting through all 836 exhausting pages of her frustrating novel wasn’t in vain

Just Don’t Call it Science Fiction

MaddAddam occasionaly misses the mark, but at its best is an existential voyage and an exploration of storytelling itself

A Right Way to Live and Die

James Salter is seeing something of a renaissance of late. His elegantly written Collected Stories confirms him as a writer of moving and humane prose

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"