How do we find calm in our frantic modern world? Tim Parks - lifelong cynic and spirituality-sceptic - finds himself on a Buddhist meditation retreat trying to answer this very question. With brutal h..
When it comes to death, is there ever a best case scenario? In this disarmingly witty book, Julian Barnes confronts our unending obsession with the end. He reflects on what it means to miss God, wheth..
How does a writer compose a suicide note? This was not a question that the prize-winning novelist William Styron had ever contemplated before. In this true account of his depression, Styron describes ..
You've just passed someone on the street who could be the love of your life, the person you're destined for - what do you do? In Murakami's world, you tell them a story. The five weird and wonderful t..
What's the worst another drink could do? In this dispiritedly sobering book, John Cheever pours out our most sociable of vices, and hands it to us in a highball. From the calculating teenager who raid..
In this inspiring, witty and eminently sensible book, Nigella Lawson sets out a manifesto for how to cook (and eat) good food every day with a minimum of fuss. From basic roast chicken and pea risotto..
How to be a good father? Children's birthday parties, unsuccessful family holidays, humiliating antenatal music classics: the trials of parenthood are all found in Knausgaard's compelling and honest a..
Can we truly know the one we love? In this painfully candid book Marcel Proust looks straight into the green eye of every lover's jealous struggle. He broods on why we are driven to try and possess on..
Have you ever tried to learn another language? When Zhuang first comes to London from China she feels like she is among an alien species. The city is disorientating, the people unfriendly, the languag..
Freedom and enfranchisement. Something anarchical which pushes at boundaries. The sweetness of leisure time. Each of these rich avenues of meaning are bound up in the word 'liberty' and are explored h..
Welcome to motherhood - a land of aching fatigue, constant self-sacrifice and thankless servitude, a land of bottomless devotion, small hands and feet like warm pink roses, and velvet kisses. Here is ..
Could drugs offer a new way of seeing the world? In 1953, in the presence of an investigator, Aldous Huxley took four-tenths of a gramme of mescalin, sat down and waited to see what would happen. When..
Is who we are really only skin deep? In this searing, remonstrative book, Toni Morrison unravels race through the stories of those debased and dehumanised because of it. A young black girl longing for..
Your sister might be the kindred soul who knows you best, or the most alien being in your household; she might enrage you or inspire you; she might be your fiercest competitor or closest co-conspirato..
Is there anything quite so exhilarating as swimming in wild water? This is Roger Deakin's swimming tour of Britain, a frog's-eye view of the country's best bathing holes - the rivers, rock pools, lake..
Bob Slocum is anxious, bored and fearful of his job. So why is it he wants nothing more than the chance to speak at the next company convention? In this darkly satirical book, Joseph Heller takes us f..