Five Books Newsletter 1

Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.

Dear Five Books reader,

We have now launched an extremely barebones, temporary webpage ( . We have close to 900 interviews - on everything from archaeology to Zimbabwe - and, as a first step, we have tried to sort them into categories that will make them easier to browse. They are supposed to mirror sections in a bookshop or library that you, as a reader, might be interested in - whether it's the thriller ( section to find a book to read on a beach holiday, or the philosophy ( section to ponder the meaning of life.

Our new interview for this week was supposed to be a light-hearted one. Amber Dermont, author of The Starboard Sea,  chose her favourite novels on Teenage Misadventure ( . In the end I'm not sure her choices were exactly light-hearted, though as her parting shot she did say that all of the books she'd chosen have "elements of humour and wit that are sort of inseparable from tragedy."

Below, our choices of books and quotes for this week, all gathered from our library of interviews. I hope you find at least one that you'll feel like reading!

Have a lovely weekend,

Sophie Roell (

This Week's Books

"I was riveted by Kraus’s central theme, that World War I could to some extent be understood as a media-driven event."

Niall Ferguson on Intellectual Influences (

"Essentially, the more petrol we use, the fatter we become."

Danny Dorling on Modern Britain (

"I think we need a new Grapes of Wrath today, a modern times version."

John Kerry on Progressivism (’s-bats-world-by-r-m-nowak

"There are about 5,000 mammal species in the world and 1,100 of those are bats." (’s-bats-world-by-r-m-nowak)

Phil Richardson on Bats (’s-bats-world-by-r-m-nowak)

"In the early 1920s Fitzgerald and his friends were also thinking and talking earnestly about the idea of what American literature should be...Could America develop its own literary identity?"

Sarah Churchwell on The Great Gatsby (

Quote of the Week

"I spent my youth being a pessimist about the future of the world, but then it dawned on me that things were getting better and all my friends were getting richer and I didn’t need to be a pessimist."
Matt Ridley on Technology & Optimism (’s-all-going-be-fine)

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