WHAT BOOK would thriller writer John Connolly take to a desert island? 

WHAT BOOK would thriller writer John Connolly take to a desert island? John Connolly is reading Bloody Sam, a biography of director Sam Peckinpah  He would take George Eliot’s Middle or a DIY book to a desert island Thriller writer said Fleishman Is In Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner left him cold By Daily Mail Reporter Published: … Read more

The Allies’ capture of Sicily in 38 days was the beginning of the end for Third Reich

HISTORY   SICILY ’43 by James Holland (Bantam £25, 640 pp)  Sicily was a tough nut to crack for the Allied forces from Britain, Canada and the U.S., who landed on the enemy-occupied Mediterranean island in the blistering summer of 1943. They came from fighting Rommel’s tanks on the wide open deserts of North Africa to … Read more

Tales of gloriously eccentric British pensioners

BOOK OF THE WEEK THE GRAN TOUR    by Ben Aitken (Icon £14.99, 306 pp) When Ben Aitken discovers that for £109 he can get a four-night coach trip to Scarborough, with a cooked breakfast every morning, three-course dinner every night and excursions to York and Whitby, his first thought is: ‘That’s how much my sister … Read more

WHAT BOOK would author and illustrator Tony Ross take to a desert island?

WHAT BOOK would author and illustrator Tony Ross take to a desert island? Tony, a resolute royalist, is halfway through Elizabeth II by Nicholas Davies He would take The Kenneth Williams Diaries by Russell Davies to a desert island The illustrator was first turned on to reading by his Rupert books He could not summon up any … Read more

One royal wedding, seven musical stars and a VERY driven mother: Memoir reveals commitment required

FAMILY   House of music by Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason (Oneworld £18.00, 320 pp)  When Dr Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason opens the bathroom door at her family home in Nottingham, she smiles at the pockmarked linoleum which gives the impression ‘a lively woodpecker has been at work’. The line of dents leads to the toilet seat where her third child, … Read more

The rusting maritime heap off the coast of Essex which makes up nation known as Sealand

SOCIETY  Sealand by Dylan Taylor-Lehman (Icon £16.99, 320 pp)  Sealand, ‘the true story of the world’s most stubborn micronation’ — a micronation being defined as ‘an invented country within the territory of an established nation, whose boundaries go unrecognised on the world stage’ — is a celebration of British eccentricity. The hero is Roy Bates, … Read more

Camilla Thurlow admits going Love Island was more scary than clearing land mines in new memoir 

MEMOIR NOT THE TYPE   by Camilla Thurlow (John Blake £16.99, 288 pp) Camilla Thurlow was not exactly your average Love Island contestant when she appeared on the reality dating show in 2017. She was not, like many islanders, a personal trainer, sexy scaffolder or nebulous influencer. Thurlow’s job was far more dangerous: explosive ordinance disposal … Read more

Abandoned as a baby, Charlie Gilmour struggled until a magpie helped him fly free of his demons  

BOOK OF THE WEEK  Fatherhood by Charlie Gilmour (Weidenfeld £15.99, 288 pp) Featherhood, it would be tempting to say, is where Helen Macdonald’s H Is For Hawk meets Gerald Durrell’s My Family And Other Animals. But Charlie Gilmour’s memoir is so original and ingeniously wrought, it stands on its own as a book to which … Read more

What makes an Olympic champion

What makes an Olympic champion: New book explores the common attributes of elite athletes – from being a younger sibling to loving the ‘agony’ of training Annie Vernon won two world championships and an Olympic silver for rowing She explores what makes elite athletes elite in a fascinating new book  Author points out skills are … Read more

WHAT BOOK would journalist Sophia Money-Coutts take to a desert island?

WHAT BOOK would journalist Sophia Money-Coutts take to a desert island? Sophia Money-Coutts reveals she is reading City Of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert  The book she’d take to a desert island is Bill Bryson’s Notes From A Big Country And tells how Richmal Crompton’s Just William stories first got her reading By Sophia Money-coutts For The … Read more

Martin Latham, who has sold books for more than 30 years, explores why we love books so much

Why bookshops are literally to die for: Martin Latham, who has sold books for more than 30 years, explores the history of books, and why we love them so much Martin Latham, manager of Waterstones in Canterbury, tells the bookseller’s tale He explores the history of book and packs the memoir with touching stories  ‘Unstuffy’ … Read more