When the story was first translated from Danish and published in England in the mid-nineteenth century, the Little Match Girl's dying visions of lights and a grandmother in heaven were often interpreted as metaphors of religious salvation. In "Matchless", Maguire adds a different dimension to the story, intertwining the match... read more

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In 2009 it was How Not to Write a Novel ("A hilarious, wickedly observed and deeply useful guide". "Observer"). In 2010 it's "Read This Next" - Sandra Newman and Howard Mittelmark have written the perfect book for anyone who has ever struggled to choose what to read next. But this is far more than a guide for book groups. Cov... read more

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The Etymologicon springs from Mark Forsyth's Inky Fool blog on the strange connections between words. It's an occasionally ribald, frequently witty and unerringly erudite guided tour of the secret labyrinth that lurks beneath the English language, taking in monks and monkeys, film buffs and buffaloes, and explaining precisely... read more

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"The book is like the spoon: once invented, it cannot be bettered". (Umberto Eco). These days it is impossible to get away from discussions of whether the book will survive the digital revolution. Blogs, tweets and newspaper articles on the subject appear daily, many of them repetitive, most of them admitting ignorance of the... read more

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A star-studded line-up of writers, artists, designers, musicians, and chefs discuss their favorite books, with irresistible paintings by artist Jane Mount.
The books that we choose to keep--let alone read - can say a lot about who we are and how we see ourselves. In My Ideal Bookshelf, dozens of leading cultural figures... read more

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From Polynesian Mythology to the Yates' Garden Guide, from Allen Curnow to Alice Tawhai, from Wiremu Te Rangikaheke's letters to Katherine Mansfield's notebooks, Maori and Pakeha New Zealanders have struggled for two and a half centuries to work the English language into some sort of truth about this place. The Auckland Unive... read more

Forthcoming, Mid-November, 2012

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In these seventeen essays (and one short story) the 2011 Man Booker Prize winner examines British, French and American writers who have meant most to him, as well as the cross-currents and overlappings of their different cultures. From the deceptiveness of Penelope Fitzgerald to the directness of Hemingway, from Kipling's vie... read more

A standout book for me: Through the Window is a collection of essays in which Julian Barnes examines the English, French and American writers who have meant the most to him. Barnes is in sparkling form and I now feel compelled to follow in his tracks, so I have a reading list as long as my arm. - Tim

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Helen Brown, James Belich, Joe Bennett, Steve Braunias, Dan Carter, Helen Clark, Joy Cowley, Max Cryer, Karl du Fresne, Marc Ellis, Dai Henwood, Sam Hunt, Kevin Ireland, Lloyd Jones, Sir Bob Jones, Hamish Keith, John Key, Dame Fiona Kidman, Chris Laidlaw, Nigel Latta, Michael Laws, Sarah-Kate Lynch, Richie McCaw, Bill Manhire... read more

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How many times have you wished that your history stretched all the way back to Greek and Roman myths and legends? Or that you'd been taught Latin at school? Or perhaps you wish you knew all about the great inventions and medical developments that have made our world what it is today? A "Classical Education" provides all of th... read more

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It has been one of those days. You've worked like a Trojan, displaying titanic strength and stoic endurance to overcome the Herculean labours that have faced you in order to meet that deadline. We regularly employ classically-derived expressions in our everyday language, yet many of us have little understanding of the orig... read more

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A great American writer's confrontation with a great European critic - a personal and intellectual awakening. A hundred years ago, the Viennese satirist Karl Kraus was among the most penetrating and prophetic writers in Europe: a relentless critic of the popular media's manipulation of reality, the dehumanizing machinery of t... read more

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The English language is a battlefield. Since the age of Shakespeare, arguments over correct usage have been acrimonious, and those involved have always really been contesting values - to do with morality, politics and class. THE LANGUAGE WARS examines the present state of the conflict, its history and its future. Above all, i... read more

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The Gorgeous Nothingss - the first full-colour facsimile edition of Emily Dickinson's manuscripts ever to appear - is a deluxe edition of her late writings, presenting this crucially important, experimental late work exactly as she wrote it on scraps of envelopes. A never-before-possible glimpse into the process of one of our... read more

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This is a book that explains the grammar that people really need to know, such as the fact that an apostrophe is the difference between a company that knows its s*** and a company that knows it's s***, or the importance of capital letters to avoid ambiguity in such sentences as "I helped my Uncle Jack off his horse." David Ma... read more

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In Early Modern Europe the first readers of a book were not those who bought it. They were the scribes who copied the author's or translator's manuscript, the censors who licensed it, the publisher who decided to put this title in his catalogue, the copy editor who prepared the text for the press, divided it and added punctua... read more

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Cathy Earnshaw or Jane Eyre? Petrova or Posy? Scarlett or Melanie? Lace or Valley of the Dolls? On a pilgrimage to Wuthering Heights, Samantha Ellis found herself arguing with her best friend about which heroine was best: Jane Eyre or Cathy Earnshaw. She was all for wild, passionate Cathy; but her friend found Cathy silly, a ... read more

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Author:Sigrid Rausing
Series:Granta: The Magazine of New Writing

'The weekend her father left -- left the house, the town, the country, everything, packing so lightly I believed he would come back -- he said 'You can raise Nickie by yourself. You'll be good at it. And I had said, 'Are you on crack?' And he replied, continuing to fold a blue twill jacket, "Yes, a little." --Lorrie Moore 'He... read more

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Author:John Freeman
Series:Granta: The Magazine of New Writing

Ten years later, where are we looking? How do we see things differently?
From Ground Zero to Kampala to London to Mumbai, the echoes are still heard, the impact is still felt. The way we interact, the way we travel, our relationship to media and technology, and the very way we regard the world we live in have all been ... read more

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Hari Kunzru travels to Chernobyl, Detroit, and Japan to investigate the phenomenon of disaster tourism. Policeman-turned-detective-turned-writer A Yi describes life as a provincial gumshoe in China. Physician Siddhartha Mukherjee visits a government hospital in New Delhi, where he meets Madha Sengupta, at the end of his life ... read more

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J.R.R. Tolkien had a great knowledge of, and love for, world mythology when he wrote his beloved trilogy of Middle Earth. In particular, the symbol of the Ring has a rich and fascinating heritage, and this beautifully illustrated literary detective work searches down Tolkien's sources and inspiration. Written authoritively by... read more

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