Five-and-a-half-year-old girl climbs 5 forts in a day, sets world record

On June 8 last year, Harshiti became the youngest to climb the highest peak in Maharashtra — Kalsubai (1,646 metres) in Satara district — in three hours and 35 minutes. She was honoured for achieving the feat by the India Book of Records on August 19 and the Asia Book of Records on December 19 […]

Palestinians Regroup, Tell Arab World Not to Deal with Israel Before Peace

Arab countries, especially those on the Arabian Peninsula, have long drifted away from hardline anti-Israel stances, especially as the rising influence of nearby revolutionary Shiite Muslim Iran became an increased concern of the Sunni Muslim monarchies of the region. But in the face of this well-established trend, Erekat appealed to fellow Arabs not to concede […]

‘I literally weep’: anguish as New Zealand’s National Library culls 600,000 books

Some treasures have already been saved. While trawling the cull lists, writer Chris Bourke found a first-edition copy of Jack Keruouc’s On the Road, which sells for upwards of NZ$1,000. That copy has now been rescued by a North Island library, while the entire Holocaust collection has been claimed by New Zealand’s Holocaust centre, after […]

A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor – review

Neil MacGregor has been director of the British Museum for eight years now, and in that period he has presided over a truly startling transformation in its image. What was previously seen as something of a national embarrassment, a monument to British rapacity and taste for plunder, is now regarded with pride, and even devotion, […]

Inside mind of ‘world’s worst serial killer’ dubbed ‘The Beast’ who butchered 400 kids

Garavito only accepts food and drink from a few guards that he trusts because he fears being poisoned, and he rarely agrees to leave his cell. It is said he spends his time making earrings and necklaces, and is relaxed and chatty with guards.

Like Christmas: New Zealand’s post-Covid books boom

Despite the looming economic downturn and projections by the International Monetary Fund that New Zealand’s economy could contract by up to 8% this year, a number of new independent bookshops are pushing ahead with launches, including Renee Rowland of The Twizel Bookshop, who will open a new store in Timaru in June.

Eat, Pray, Love author nominated for £30,000 Wellcome book prize

This year’s winner will be announced on 29 April, joining former Wellcome winners Andrea Gillies, who took the inaugural prize for her Alzheimer’s memoir, Keeper; Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks; LaPlante; and Thomas Wright’s biography of William Harvey, Circulation.

Wellcome book prize goes to Andrew Solomon’s Far From the Tree

Solomon interviewed more than 300 families for the book, which covers subjects from autism to prodigies as it tells the stories of parents who find profound meaning in their relationships with children who are unlike them. He spokeof how “the backdrop to the book, woven through its chapters, is my own experience as a child […]

Cat Deeley’s book of joy

It began with NoddyShe tells me her love for reading started as a child. “I was an insomniac even when I was little. I would read all the time when I couldn’t sleep, insatiably devouring books at all times of the night or early morning.” Her favourite author was Enid Blyton. “My obsession began with […]

Henrietta Lacks’s legacy lives on as Rebecca Skloot wins medical book prize

This was the second year of the Wellcome Trust book prize, which is open to both fiction and non-fiction on the theme of health and medicine. Also shortlisted for the award were Teach Us to Sit Still by Tim Parks, an account of his struggle with a crippling prostate problem and Medic: Saving Lives from […]