"In my experience of writing – and of life – the frenzy of dreams and that of form always go together." Iosi Havilio
Bookanista recommends
Poets, pedants and survivors

Poets, pedants and survivors

Masterful reworkings of Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending, Maylis de Kerangal’s Mend the Living, and Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith transposed to Korea head another bright batch of literary adaptations and biopics opening in UK cinemas in April. Here’s a selection to keep you dazzled in the dark at your favourite film venues for weeks...
Faith, grief and passion

Faith, grief and passion

As 2017 kicks off with two stunning but radically different novel-inspired blockbusters in the shape of Silence and A Monster Calls (with Liam Neeson looming large in both), we launch a regular round-up of unmissable literary adaptations and biopics coming soon to UK cinemas. Here are our picks for January. Silence Martin Scorsese’s epic adaptation...
Timely and timeless books

Timely and timeless books

Book browsing in a bookshop is as much an art as it is a way of life. Here is my trawl through some rather beautiful children’s books, with delighted thanks to Hatchards and Waterstones Piccadilly, for being not only shops but especially worlds of books, with wonderfully rich departments dedicated specifically to children.   Seasonal...
Tumult and majesty

Tumult and majesty

Looking back on an eye-opening year in literature and politics, I winnow down my favourite books of 2016 and pick out some of the spring 2017 titles that have so far caught my eye. It’s a captivating mix of reliable favourites, new voices, and authors striking out on a new path.   MY 2016 TOP...
Three Christmas hampers

Three Christmas hampers

Still pondering gifts for the smaller people in your life as the winter holidays loom? Here’s a selection of non-perishable treats for Discerning Young, Not Very Young and Definitely Older readers, featuring books that have been published, reissued or rediscovered in 2015, as well as one or two earlier favourites. Hamper #1 – A Box of...
The year of the Watchman

The year of the Watchman

As 2015 draws to a close it’s time to reflect on the literary highlights of the past twelve months. I ended last year’s round-up with brief mentions of a few titles I already had my eye on, and I’m pleased to say that the vast majority of them didn’t disappoint. Edith Pearlman’s short-story collection Honeydew...
Shoot the writer

Shoot the writer

As the BFI London Film Festival attracts the focus of the capital’s critics and movie buffs, and superstar actors crowd the red carpets, we spare a thought for the source novels, biographies and fables that inspired some of this year’s most anticipated main features – including a handful of remastered classics. Brooklyn Adapted by Nick...
Fiction 2014–2015

Fiction 2014–2015

It’s that time of year again, so here’s my list of the best reads from the past twelve months, and some recommendations for a few titles to look out for in the new year. Starting with novels, and a title I would pick as my favourite of the year if pushed – Akhil Sharma’s Family...
Children's books for all ages

Children’s books for all ages

Here’s a selection of children’s favourites to be cherished across the generations, a compendium of winged words and enchanted images by endlessly inventive authors and illustrators. Mostly published (or reissued) over the past year, new characters rub shoulders with old and voices combine in captivating harmony, jostling for space on bookshelves, coffee or breakfast tables...
From page to screen

From page to screen

The hype around the release of Gone Girl is a useful reminder that around half the top-grossing films of the last two decades have been literary adaptations. Bringing a well-loved book to the big screen is relatively risk-free, and this is reflected in the programme of the London Film Festival, the 58th edition of which...