John Sutherland

What Makes A Novel Great?

The author and literary historian John Sutherland asks the question, and answers it himself with ‘How To Be Well Read’, a guide to 500 novels he considers to be great. What defines greatness? A book that is a world first? A game changer? A source of controversy? A novel of immense popularity? Of critical acclaim? […]

Vanished London Street Jobs

When I was a child my father and I would go to the East End’s Petticoat Lane and see the canary sellers, who had dozens of caged birds on display in the street. The last time I went to Bermondsey Market they still had sarsaparilla sellers, and it made me wonder which other jobs have […]

The Perfect Essay

‘There are some questions in life, the very speaking of which are their undoing’ – David Rakoff First, a definition. An article is a piece of writing that is included with others in a newspaper, magazine or other publication. An essay is a short piece of writing on a particular subject. An article is written […]

Books About The Pleasures Of Reading

  There’s a whole subcategory about reading that can teach you a lot about the pleasures of books. Lists of books that you must read before you die, books that will change your life, books about bluffing your way around the fact that there are certain books you haven’t read – books for book lovers. […]