Five Books Newsletter 36

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This week's interview

Nicholas Shakespeare on Bruce Chatwin

Bruce Chatwin, author of In Patagonia and The Songlines, reinvented travel literature. Nicholas Shakespeare, his biographer, lifts the lid on a complex life and selects five books that influenced Chatwin’s work.

Books of the Week“It’s a crazy-ass book. Every sentence is mad and perfect in its own particular way.”

Chad Harbach on Novels with Sporting Themes (“He was born in North Vietnam, I was born in a logging town in Oregon and we end up in the same war on different sides.”

Karl Marlantes on the Vietnam War (“Read this, not just because it's about the Rwandan genocide (though it's important to know what human nature is capable of) but because it is a beautifully, beautifully written, unputdownable book.”

Mia Farrow on Changing the World for Good (“It’s hard to eat fish having read this book.”

David Shukman on Environmental Change (“The protagonist is somebody who had been living in New York and been a banker and he gradually turns into, as the title says, a reluctant fundamentalist.'”

Daniyal Mueenuddin on Pakistan (

Quote of the Week

"In chess hard work is often underestimated while the idea of effortless genius is greatly overestimated.”
Dominic Lawson on Chess (

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