Corrected: Five Books Newsletter 31

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This week's interview

Paul Russell on Free Will and Responsibility

Many philosophical theories try to evade the uncomfortable truth that luck and fate play a role in the conduct of our moral lives, argues philosopher Paul Russell. He chooses the best books on free will and responsibility.

Books of the Week“There is a character loosely based on Albert Einstein and a child character, his niece, who asks a lot of questions.”

Alice Bell on Science Books for Children (“The book is full of humour and very easy to read. It’s a real adventure full of heroism and love.”

Nigar Hasan-Zadeh on Azerbaijan (“Hughes’s voice and his poetic ear are just so wonderful. I remember reading the whole lot of them out loud to myself and thinking 'Wow! This is how they were meant to be heard!'”

Lucy Coats on Greek Myths (“If I have to go to a desert island and take one Mandela book with me it would be Sampson’s.”

John Carlin on Understanding Mandela and South Africa (“Meyrink's novel is just one version of the Golem story, there are dozens. But I like it best because Meyrink was a mystic.”

Andrei Codrescu on Fantastical Tales (“This is a brilliant idea, to look at the 20th century through the prism of this one very special perfume.”

Denise Hamilton on Perfume (áriz-and-jonathan-morduch“This is the book I would love to have had when I was in those shanty towns in Managua.”

Stuart Rutherford on The poor and their money (“The Yacoubian Builiding is celebrated, possibly even notorious, for being such a bestseller.”

Humphrey Davies on Egyptian Writing (

Quote of the Week

"Speaking as an early Christian historian, I don’t think we have any idea whatsoever about what time of year Jesus was actually born.”
Brent Landau on The Real Christmas Story (

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