The art of the possible Premium

12 January 2017 | by Julia Langdon
It is almost impossible now to consider the political life and legacy of Clement Attlee without comparing the circumstances of the Labour Party during his 20-year tenure as its longest-ever serving leader with those of his party today.

Going for broke Premium

12 January 2017 | by Kirsty Jane McCluskey
A Good Year, in outline, doesn’t sound very exciting. Seven reflections from seven Anglican bishops – four male, three female – for seven seasons of the liturgical year, from Advent to Pentecost.

Before the storm Premium

12 January 2017 | by Thomas Tallon
This moving and vivid historical novel is set in Italy and London between 1928 and 1939 and cleverly interleaves the personal and the political, portraying the conflicts of loyalty produced by troubled times with great subtlety.

Peace and quiet Premium

12 January 2017 | by Danny Sullivan
Thomas Merton wrote: “There is only one winner in war./The winner is war itself./ Not truth, not justice, not liberty, not morality./ These are the vanquished.”

Beyond satire Premium

04 January 2017 | by Raymond Edwards
His major works don’t quite work but there are few things as good as the best of this priest-writer’s stylish vignettes and pastiches

Going far? Premium

04 January 2017 | by Marcus Tanner
The great days of travel writing are surely far behind us now. What’s left to explore, beyond North Korea? TV, the internet and cheap air travel have shrunk the world.

Short sighted Premium

04 January 2017 | by Gregory Wolfe
Being called a “writer’s writer” is usually the kiss of death for authors, at least in terms of sales.

Fallen from grace Premium

04 January 2017 | by Laurent Mignon
In the aftermath of the failed coup of 15 July last year, there were reports in the Turkish media of the arrest of ­people who were burying books far from prying eyes.

Bound for glory Premium

15 December 2016 | by Lucy Beckett

Doing good Premium

15 December 2016 | by Clare Short
An odd but interesting book. Duncan Green, who has worked for development organisations for 35 years, aims to explain how change happens so that activists might be more effective in achieving their objectives.

Relative values Premium

15 December 2016 | by Susan Dowell
Will Tye, a gifted scholar, falls from a Cambridge college spire during a night climb.

Not quite a saint Premium

15 December 2016 | by Marcus Tanner
With his matinee idol looks, deep baritone voice and sterling record as a pastor, Alojzije Stepinac seemed destined for a long and glorious career when he was made Archbishop of Zagreb and head of the Church in Croatia in 1937 at the extraordinarily young age of 39.

Books of the year Premium

08 December 2016
Our reviewers have selected a rich mix of favourites from the books published in 2016. Here, some choose their highlights, ranging from politics to gardening, poetry to theology, a gripping thriller set in the Vatican to literary fiction set inside Hamlet’s mother’s womb…

Lost in the post Premium

01 December 2016 | by Clifford Longley
For some time I have been wanting to know what “post-liberalism” is, in case it is important. John Milbank is certainly important. He is the founder of an influential school of Anglican theology called Radical Orthodoxy, also known as post-liberal theology.

Cowboys and Indians and windpumps Premium

01 December 2016 | by Shelby Tucker
This is a gripping account of a long love affair. The BBC first sent Tim Slessor to make a film in the American West in 1961 and 1963. Then he took time out and worked for a year on the High Plains, where he was “completely hooked” by the “people, history, skies, scale, everything about it”.

Playing for time Premium

01 December 2016 | by Suzi Feay
Shakespeare plays don’t tend to be in need of an update or contemporary twist; they’re good for all time. Hag-Seed is the latest in the Shakespeare Retold series, which has seen Jeanette Winterson take on The Winter’s Tale and Howard Jacobson The Merchant of Venice.

Learning from history Premium

24 November 2016 | by Chris Patten
Ian Davidson, a former Financial Times Paris correspondent, has written a ­readable account of the French Revolution which, though brief, is pretty comprehensive. It tells the dramatic story from the summoning of the Etats généraux to the fall of Robespierre.

Dancing partners Premium

24 November 2016 | by Emma Hughes
Years ago, I lived with a trainee psycho­analyst. When he showed me the reading list for his first term’s­ seminars, I was surprised to see that topping it wasn’t The Interpretation of Dreams or Totem and Taboo, but L.P. Hartley’s The Go- Between.

Third way Premium

24 November 2016 | by Rupert Shortt
A senior Anglican cleric, New Testament scholar, musician and social activist: Anthony Harvey has great gifts. Now in his mid eighties, he can take justified pride in the many achievements recorded in this memoir.

Over the top Premium

24 November 2016 | by Noonie Minogue
Born in 1903 and reading Latin and Greek by the age of five, the “pleasantly feline” Sir Steven Runciman, pioneering historian of the Crusades, lived his gilded youth and charmed life through nearly a century of disasters.

On the road to Lund Premium

17 November 2016 | by Anne Dillon
The 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s alleged posting of his 95 theses on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg has been marked already by an abundance of books, lectures, conferences and events – Pope Francis, to the consternation of some, travelled to Lund, Sweden, to join Lutheran leaders in an ecumenical service – and many more are scheduled for the coming year.

Yours briefly Premium

17 November 2016 | by James Moran
Here is the fourth and final instalment in the monumental Letters of Samuel Beckett, consisting of a treasure trove of the playwright’s writing to a wide range of correspondents.

Last rites Premium

17 November 2016 | by Eamon Maher
Richard Power’s masterpiece is available again in a handsome new paperback edition. Power was born in Dublin in 1928 and joined the Civil Service after completing a degree in English literature at Trinity College.

Writer’s tale Premium

17 November 2016 | by Sue Gaisford
In 1913, aged 47, Beatrix Potter married William Heelis, a solicitor from Hawkshead. She had just published her nineteenth book, The Tale of Pigling Bland. The marriage lasted for 30 years until her death: the little story, while still in print, remains extremely odd.

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