To learn how to live well we must look to the past, says social philosopher Roman Krznaric. He recommends five books, from Thoreau to Orwell, that inspire us to live more adventurously. "I like to make a distinction between introspection and outrospection. In the 20th century we were obsessed with introspection... In the 21st century we need to balance introspection with outrospection – the idea that the way to discover how to live is to discover how other people see the world, to put yourself in their shoes and see how they have pursued the art of living." Read more.
The enormous variety of new, beautifully-blurbed books being published every month presents an agony of choice for the casual reader. Luckily, literary prize shortlists offer a shortcut to discovering some of the best novels of the year. Here, Five Books deputy editor Cal Flyn offers a helpful round-up of the award-winning novels of the 2023 season and a few notable runners-up. Read more.