Lockdown reading

Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year resonates with our new way of life

The Class A drug for bibliomaniacs

‘You can easily spot the bibliomaniacs among the readers, and we tend to egg each other on’

Life-creating libraries

‘It turns out I have a local authority lending library in part to thank for setting me off as a writer’

Found in translation

‘The best translations can be miracles in and of themselves’

The books I wish I’d never read

"This was the great discovery: that books could let you in to places of danger. Perhaps inevitably this included places you regretted having gone"

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"