Is it really worth all the effort to avoid spoilers?
'Man' via www.shutterstock.com
Contrary to popular belief, several recent studies suggest that plot spoilers don't always make us like a film or books less – and may even make us like it more.
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A Renaissance expert recommends her favourite historical fiction.
The global South has more in common than just proximity – our cultural heritage links our literature.
Seasons, stars, settler colonialism: the nations of the south – Australia, Argentina and South Africa – have much in common. And the 2003 Nobel laureate for literature, JM Coetzee, is helping reframe Australian writing within this southern context.
Supporters of presidential candidate José Mário Vaz cheer at a campaign rally in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, in 2014.
Despite the evident weakness of state institutions and accountability of elites, Guinea-Bissau is still a country that ‘works’.
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A relationship expert recommends her favourite romantic fiction – and it doesn't have to be all princes and fairytales.
A book about drug addiction and prostitution aimed at 'young adults' was a very daring thing 20 years ago.
DeLillo's latest novel dwells on the implications of accelerating technology – including the practice of freezing dead bodies in the hope that one day, they could become immortal.
If you read a translation of a book, have you read the book? Can language ever really tell you what someone else is thinking? Jhumpa Lahiri navigates these tricky waters in her memoir, In Other Words.
Library space is changing.
The popularity of libraries has not diminished. Numbers show more people are going to libraries than ever before. Here's why.
Sarah Kanake and her brother Charlie.
Characters with Down syndrome are extremely rare in novels and rarer still are stories written from their point of view. But people with disabilities have an equal right to belong in narrative fiction.
A whole world lies in these pages.
Dismissing children's books as childish only means that adult readers miss out on a world of fantastic literature.
Jane Eyre has been retold over and over again, but remains eternally relevant.
Jane Eyre (2011), Focus Features
Charlotte Brontë's heroines - most famously Jane Eyre - struggle with psychologically complex questions. And unlike Jane Austen's female protagonists, they prize self knowledge and self expression over conventional moralism.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that the first sentence of a novel sets the tone. Our new column, On Writing, explores the wonderful world of opening lines: from Tolstoy to Elmore Leonard.
The common grey silverfish, Ctenolepisma longicaudata, in Sydney.
Silverfish have disappeared from our homes as book-bindings - their favourite food - have improved.
Young adult literature is booming – and the secret is in the communities of young book lovers forming online.
Experts once thought that young adult literature was doomed. Now it's got some of the fastest-growing sales in publishing. What changed? Social media might be the key.
Waugh considering a younger self.
© Alexander Waugh
Waugh spent his time at Oxford studying: not history, but the people who would populate his novels.
‘All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost’ - ancient Elvish verse of prophecy.
Quenya, Sindarin, Klingon and Dothraki – there's an art to making up languages.
EL James: the infamous ‘Fifty Shades’ author.
A poor review doesn't make for a bad book. But a good one doesn't make for a good one either.
Journalists Alexander Clifford of the Daily Mail and Alan Moorehead of the Daily Express in the North African desert, 1942.
Imperial War Museum, via Wikimedia Commons.
Alan Moorehead's accounts of the second world war revealed his vital and gripping talent, but his peacetime novels were stilted and corny. A new biography delves into his life and language.
Not shelved by any means – but there’s no room for complacency.
Books by Shutterstock
Many libraries are now being transferred to be run by community groups. These volunteers play an important role but libraries should not be sacrificed for economic or political expediency.