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Sprawling family epic is several long bridges too far

Sprawling family epic is several long bridges too far

Bridge of Clay tells the sometimes involving, but often over-written and wearying, tale of the Dunbar boys, five brothers who fight, drink and survive in a house without adults

Joy in the harm

Joy in the harm

In an extract from her latest book, Schadenfreude: The Joy of Another’s Misfortune, Tiffany Watt Smith looks at the human impulse to revel in someone else’s misery

A guide to making real differences, from a woman of substance

A guide to making real differences, from a woman of substance

Kingsolver still schmaltzing all the way to the bank

Kingsolver still schmaltzing all the way to the bank

Heady times aboard Rolling Stone’s rock rollercoaster

Heady times aboard Rolling Stone’s rock rollercoaster

Ballagh’s self-portrait is perceptive, provocative and sometimes chaotic

Ballagh’s self-portrait is perceptive, provocative and sometimes chaotic

A mawkish story is rescued by its own authenticity

A mawkish story is rescued by its own authenticity

Paris Echo is Sebastian Faulks’s third France-set novel, but he avoids an entirely romantic gaze of Parisian life, thanks in large part to this Moroccan narrator

McNamee’s gift for intense imagery sets a most atmospheric  mood

McNamee’s gift for intense imagery sets a most atmospheric mood

You don’t really read Eoin McNamee for his plots – though he is superbly good at them, and can nudge a gripping conspiracy thriller to life with just the right touches of jittery menace. You read him for his sentences

Rigorous and compelling study of Henry VIII’s chief henchman

Rigorous and compelling study of Henry VIII’s chief henchman

Diarmaid MacCulloch does not deny his subject’s ruthless side, but insists that it must be put in historical context

A gripping account of the Troubles reported from the frontline

A gripping account of the Troubles reported from the frontline

New take on Poirot feels like a pale imitation

New take on Poirot feels like a pale imitation

This study of political emotion hits a nerve

This study of political emotion hits a nerve

Woodward dives deep for project Fear

Woodward dives deep for project Fear

Some of what Woodward reveals is both fascinating and terrifying, as Trump’s officials grapple with his erratic behaviour by effectively usurping his constitutional authority

A family affair that covers all the bases of a changing Ireland

A family affair that covers all the bases of a changing Ireland

Inspired by the visit of Pope John Paul II to Ireland in 1979, matriarch Bridget Doyle is determined that her family will produce the first Irish pope

Another portion of literary fast food from Murakami

Another portion of literary fast food from Murakami

If Killing Commendatore is anything to go by, the faults of Murakami’s work are largely indissoluble from its virtues