All items: Jane Smiley

Donny O'Rourke takes us to Edinburgh in August, for a Lughnasadh harvest festival — but one of culture, not of crops.

Tiffany Murray flees the over-familiar, but still creatively disabling, complaints of a despondent writer, by escaping to the strange new world of Iceland and its music.

Since she was a child, devouring stories about ponies, Katherine Roberts has loved reading about horses. Nor was she alone in this passion for the equestrian, which is to be found in classical as well as popular literature.
Do reader’s care about seasonal lists? Heavy-duty books for Autumn and fluffy reads for the beach? Not a bit, says Katharine Grant. There was a time when seasonal publishing was dictated by the barges arriving laden with books; but with cheap printing, the re-order, and e-book, publishing seasons have become like fashion seasons: micro-sized and consumer led.