Books

Reasons why ice is nice

By Robert Low, December 14, 2012

Asked to name their favourite season, I suspect most Britons would opt for spring or summer, but Adam Gopnick unhesitatingly picks winter. He grew up in Canada, where the snow comes early, lies thick on the ground and stays around until spring, shaping every facet of life.

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Vivid, violent comedy of terrors

By Madeleine Kingsley, December 14, 2012

The start of A M Homes’s new novel, is truly to die for: the action is murderous, and the shattering of successful lives delivered with g-force intensity. Homes sets brothers Harry and George Silver (an Esau and Jacob of the heavily health-insured, SUV generation) against each other.

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Irish eyes unsmiling

By Jenni Frazer, December 14, 2012

During the Second World War, Ireland was officially neutral. But, shockingly, its proximity to the British mainland had made it an attractive pre-war base for Nazi Party officials, some of whom found a ready ear for hatred of the Jews among the priestocracy of the Irish Free State.

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A Hebrew text message

By Natasha Lehrer, December 7, 2012

In this provocative, playful, speculative journey through the rich, centuries-old heritage of Jewish literature, father and daughter Amos Oz and Fania Oz-Salzberger propose a “textline” rather than a bloodline — a notion of Jewish lineage that is etched not in blood but in words, spoken and written.

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Smoking gun in Golders Green and Gaza

By Zoe Strimpel, December 7, 2012

In financial circles, “dead cat bounce” means a brief period of recovery in the price a declining stock. It’s safe to say that Seth Freedman, a former City trader and author of a book about drugs in the Square Mile pre-crash, knows a thing or two about plummeting stock.

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'We still need each other'

By J. P. O'Malley, November 30, 2012

Hanna Rosin wants to point out, right from the start of the interview, that her latest book, The End of Men, is not — as many have claimed — a feminist manifesto for the 21st century.

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Plentiful pictures of people and places

By Andrew Rosemarine, November 30, 2012

Lawrence Joffe’s History, overflows with images and ideas and amply fulfils its opening declaration: “The tale of Jewish survival is full of extraordinary drama — triumphs followed by… near extinction.”

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Doom with a view

By Jenni Frazer, November 23, 2012

I imagine most Leonard Cohen devotees will approach this book with an equal mix of fear and loathing. I know I did. Or perhaps that should be fear and loving.

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The glamorous girl with the grenades

By Vanessa Curtis, November 23, 2012

Christine Granville was the first woman to work as a special agent for the British during the Second World War and the country’s longest-serving such operative. Some of the stories of Granville’s bravery and quick thinking have become the stuff of legend.

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Skipping a Lesson

By David Herman, November 23, 2012

Friedrich Torberg worked as a journalist in Prague and Vienna and fled in 1938 after the Anschluss. Like so many Jewish émigré writers, he travelled around western Europe until he managed to get to New York, invited by the Pen Club as one of “Ten Outstanding German Writers”. He returned to Austria in 1951, and died in Vienna in 1979.

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