The Story Of A Secret State

By Stanley Price, July 8, 2011

By Jan Karski,
Penguin Classics, £20

This book was dictated by Jan Karski to a bilingual (Polish-English) secretary in a Manhattan hotel room during the summer of 1944. It was published that November in the US and was an immediate best-seller. It is now published in the UK for the first time, a very worthy Penguin Classic.


A Forehead Pressed Against A Window

By John Nathan, July 8, 2011

Robert Rietti
Ari Scharf Publishing £12.50

Although more books are being published than ever before, it's not enough to write well and have led an interesting life for your memoir to end up in bookshops. You usually have to be famous, too, or at least have had a childhood mired in misery.


The Great Partnership: God, Science and the Search for Meaning

By Stephen Frosh, July 4, 2011

By Jonathan Sacks.
Hodder and Stoughton, £17.99

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks is an unusual type of public intellectual. He is an outstanding teacher, with enormous personal authority; a more than prolific author; a source of advice for leading politicians; a moralist, a biblical and talmudic scholar and a philosopher.


Review: The French Father

By Jennifer Lipman, July 4, 2011

Alain Elkann (trans:Alastair McEwen)
Pushkin Press, £8.99


Interview: Mark Thomas

By Brigit Grant, June 27, 2011

Sitting on the train reading comedian Mark Thomas's book, Extreme Rambling: Walking Israel's Barrier, I'm approached by a young woman who wants to know where to get it. "I'm a fan," she says, "and so is my brother, who lives in Israel. I think it will be interesting, not that there'll be any surprises. He is so pro-Palestinian."


An ancient question: how ripe is a ripe old age?

By Stephen Frosh, June 27, 2011

You're Looking Very Well
by Lewis Wolpert; Faber and Faber, £14.99

Is That All There Is?
by Julia Neuberger; Rider, £12.99

by Catherine Mayer; Vermilion, £12.99


How to be forever young

By John Belknap, June 20, 2011

The Ballad of Bob Dylan
Daniel Mark Epstein
Souvenir Press, £20

The Mammoth Book of Bob Dylan
Edited by Sean Egan
Robinson, £7.99


Review: The Novel in the Viola

By David Herman, June 20, 2011

By Natasha Solomons
Sceptre, £12.99

Natasha Solomons published her first novel last year. Mr Rosenblum's List was the charming, bitter-sweet story of a Jewish refugee couple who come to Britain in the 1930s.


Interview: Nicole Krauss

By David Herman, June 6, 2011

When she was interviewed for the Radio 3 programme, Private Passions - in which guests tell Michael Berkeley about their favourite pieces of music - Nicole Krauss worried why she had chosen such melancholy pieces. Berkeley reassured her: "They are the pieces that move us most."


Review: I Found It At The Movies

By Clive Sinclair, June 6, 2011

By Philip French
Carcanet, £19.95

Back in the day, a New York detective's station boss was known - in the jargon - as his rabbi. Well, when it comes to the movies, Philip French is mine. Okay, his reviews, which have appeared regularly in the Observer for longer than I can remember, are not holy writ, but they are surely talmudic.