Category: Books

Brussels to name public square after Brontë sisters

A square in Brussels will be named after the Brontë sisters, the first tribute of its kind in the Belgian capital, more than 178 years after Charlotte and Emily arrived in the city to study French. Councillors in the north-west district of Koekelberg voted to name a square “Place des Sœurs Brontë” in French, or […]

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Searching for Consolation in Max Weber’s Work Ethic

Charisma and Disenchantment: The Vocation Lectures Max Weber Buy on Bookshop New York Review of Books, 176 pp., $15.95 Modern invocations of the work ethic are usually misreadings: The Protestant Ethic was more lament than celebration. Weber sought to narrate the arrival of what had become a no-longer-questioned assumption: that our duty was to labor […]

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Top 10 best-dressed characters in fiction | Amanda Craig

The first clothes in western literature, Adam and Eve’s fig leaves, performed their essential fictional function in drawing attention to the protagonists’ moral failings. Clothes in contemporary fiction seem to me to be an underused trope, perhaps because fast fashion has made individual garments less emblematic. When my own heroine Hannah is persuaded into a […]

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Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers review – a suburban mystery

In the mid 50s, scientists began to give serious consideration to the possibility of single-sex reproduction. Dr Helen Spurway, a biologist at the University of London, observed that guppies were apparently capable of parthenogenesis. It had also been demonstrated that it was possible to induce spontaneous conception in rabbits by freezing the fallopian tubes. In […]

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J.K. Rowling retracts tweet praising Stephen King after he supported transgender women

J.K. Rowling walked back praise for Stephen King after her fellow author spoke out against her recent anti-transgender comments.  “Trans women are women,” King tweeted Sunday, after a fan asked him to address “the TERF tweet,” referencing Rowling’s social media posts earlier this month, which many fans deemed transphobic.  Earlier that day, King retweeted one of […]

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Young adult books roundup – review

It wouldn’t be summer without a sun-drenched coming-of-age story, so beautifully realised in Meg Rosoff’s seductive and elegant The Great Godden (Bloomsbury). In an almost implausibly golden British summer, two families congregate at an idyllic house by the sea until the arrival of American brothers Kit and Hugo is the catalyst for devastating change. The […]

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The Hidden Racism of Vaccine Testing

In Adverse Events, Fisher reports her discoveries traveling across the U.S. to go inside the “hidden world” of Phase I testing facilities. Fisher interviewed more than 200 healthy human subjects in Phase I trials and the staff who managed, castigated, and cared for them in six facilities evenly distributed across the East Coast, Midwest, and […]

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The Golden Rule by Amanda Craig review – exquisite escapism

With this year’s getaways so uncertain, summer reading feels less of an indulgence than a vital source of escape. Amanda Craig’s new novel, The Golden Rule, is an ideal contender for such times, offering comfort and wit, compassion and philosophical stimulation, all played out against the backdrop of Cornwall’s subtropical splendour. Its protagonist is Hannah, […]

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