Forms of Enchantment: Writings on Art & Artists by Marina Warner

Reviewed by Helen Parry Although Marina Warner is perhaps best known (and deservedly) for her magnificent work on fairy tales, she has long been writing about other aspects of culture: from her exploration of the cult of the Virgin Mary in Alone of All her Sex, to figures of fear and horror in No Go…

How Shostakovich Changed My Mind by Stephen Johnson

Reviewed by Karen Langley Readers of Shiny New Books will know of my love for Notting Hill Editions books; I’ve reviewed their Beautiful and Impossible Things and The Russian Soul volumes, and so the promise of a new book covering the impact of Russian composer Dimitri Shostakovich’s music on author Stephen Johnson was impossible to resist.…

Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith

Reviewed by Anna Hollingsworth Here’s a confession: I am envious of Zadie Smith.This is not only a case of casual, low-level, everyday envy, the kind you might feel over someone’s new wardrobe, but a full-blown envy that warrants its place among the seven deadly sins. I may be risking victim blaming here – if the…

1919 Between the Wars 1939  by  Philip Ziegler

Reviewed by Terence Jagger   So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years – Twenty years largely wasted, the years of l’entre deux guerres   T S Eliot, Four Quartets: East Coker This book covers a period which for me – as for the author himself – is relatively unknown, coming…