‘The Sea, The Sea,’ by Iris Murdoch

I’ve just read ‘The Sea, the Sea’ in two long chunks over two days which left me with that sensation that you get after consuming a really fine novel of being bigger, more important for having absorbed it. It’s a wonderful novel: an astonishing story, utterly unpredictable, of a self-important theatre director whose determination to … More ‘The Sea, The Sea,’ by Iris Murdoch

‘In It Together’ by Matthew D’Ancona

  If you have the slightest interest in the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government, this book is essential reading. It explains how the coalition came about (and how much secret preparation had been made in the run-up to the 2010 election despite public disavowals) and how it continued to exist despite some severe internal and external … More ‘In It Together’ by Matthew D’Ancona

‘The Rice Paper Diaries’ by Francesca Rhydderch

I can’t recommend this beautifully-written novel highly enough. Francesca Rhydderch barely puts a foot wrong as she tells an extraordinary story. That story is compelling in itself concerned as it is with the experiences of Elsa, a Welsh woman living in wartime Hong Kong when the Japanese invade. It plays out the life-changing effects of interment, … More ‘The Rice Paper Diaries’ by Francesca Rhydderch