Review: Goals for Galilee

By Simon Round, June 10, 2010

By Jerold Kessel and Pierre Klochendler
JR Books, £18.99

Bnei Sakhnin may just be the club that disproves the old cliché that football, the World Cup notwithstanding, is "only a game".

For Sakhnin's largely Arab-Israeli supporters, the fortunes of the club mean much more than 90 minutes on a Saturday. For Bnei Sakhnin's rise has become equated with its fans' identity, self-esteem and desperate wish to be accepted as equals.


Review: Playing Days

By David Herman, June 3, 2010

By Benjamin Markovits
Faber and Faber, £12.99

The opening sentence of Benjamin Markovits's new novel reads: "My first recognisably sexual experience took place in the weight room of my junior high school, after class, during basketball practice."


Review: Hitch-22: A Memoir

By Vernon Bogdanor, June 3, 2010

By Christopher Hitchens
Atlantic Books, £20

Christopher Hitchens is a quintessential product of the 1960s. A student revolutionary and anti-Vietnam protester, his polemical targets have included Henry Kissinger and Mother Theresa. But 9/11 changed him utterly, leading him to break with his erstwhile comrades, and support the Iraq war against what he calls "Islamofascism".


Pevsner: The early life, Germany and Art

By Oliver Kamm, May 27, 2010

By Stephen Games
Continuum, £20

Nikolaus Pevsner was the most celebrated architectural historian of his generation. Born in Leipzig in 1902, he settled in Britain at the age of 31. He became the pre-eminent cataloguer and critic of England's architectural heritage. As Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge from 1949 to 1955, and in his teaching at Birkbeck College, he embodied a concern for Englishness.


Review: Intuition

By Brigit Grant, May 27, 2010

By Allegra Goodman
Atlantic Books

With my own experience of laboratory life confined to the dissection of an unfortunate frog during double biology 30 years ago, a novel about medical research did not immediately spark my Bunsen.

As appreciative as I am of the remarkable efforts of - in particular - medical scientists, 344 pages of test-tube division and the splaying of rodent organs was strictly Lancet or BMJ material --- or so I thought.


Review: Mr Rosenblum's List

By Rebecca Abrams, May 21, 2010

By Natasha Solomons
Sceptre, £12.99

When David Cameron’s Jewish great-great-grandfather, Emile Levita, pitched up in Britain from Germany in 1850s, he wasted no time in transforming himself into a proper English gentleman. He bought a grouse moor, married out, and sent his four sons to Eton. The redoubtable hero of Natasha Solomons’s delightful debut novel has similar ambitions, but encounters a number of weird and wonderful obstacles along the way, including a giant woolly pig.


Review: Dimanche and Other Stories

By Anne Garvey, May 21, 2010

By Irène Némirovsky (Trans: Bridget Patterson)

Literary fame seldom arrives in reverse order. But Irène Némirovsky's popularity exploded with the release in 2005 of her last, unfinished work, Suite Française, depicting both the barbarity and tenderness of what she calls "the war of 1940". It has been followed by a steady stream of her earlier works.


Review: Palestine Betrayed

By Colin Shindler, May 13, 2010

By Efraim Karsh
Yale University Press, £20

Palestine Betrayed is a detailed riposte to the version of the Israel-Palestine conflict that places the blame solely at Israel's doorstep. Efraim Karsh, Professor of Middle East and Mediterranean studies at King's College London, charges the younger generation of Palestinian historians with avoiding an academic exploration of the Naqba and instead offering a tale of lament and tears.


Review: World Cup Wishes

By David Herman, May 13, 2010

By Eshkol Nevo (Trans: Sondra Silverston)
Chatto & Windus

Eshkol Nevo's first, impressive novel, Homesick (2008), was on the Israeli bestseller list for 60 weeks and won two major prizes. His second, World Cup Wishes, is better still. Starting as an entertaining read about male friendship, it gets darker and more interesting, until it reaches a powerful and moving climax.


Review: The Lessons

By Hephzibah Anderson, May 6, 2010

By Naomi Alderman
Viking, £12.99

Naomi Alderman's award-winning debut novel, Disobedience, ushered readers into the self-contained world of Orthodox Hendon. Her second, The Lessons, unfolds in a similarly cloistered environment, though at first glance its Oxford backdrop could hardly be further removed. The hushed quads and ancient spires seem a far cry from NW4's suburban semis and urban parks, yet both worlds have their own calendar, culture, and customs, and both are shaped by a tradition so intense it can feel stifling.