Author David Nicholls (Hal Shinnie/ press image from Emma Knight)

Nine books for a desert island, distant planet, or home

Beware: David Nicholls' Us could have you both laughing and crying out loud

File picture of England's national soccer team captain Bobby Moore holding aloft the Jules Rimet trophy as he is carried by his teammates

Books of the year 2014: The best sports books

While Alex Ferguson and Roy Keane dominated the bestseller charts, the most revelatory football book of the year was Bobby Moore: The Man in Full

Vivian Maier Self-Portrait

Books of the year 2014: The best photography books

The myth of Vivian Maier and the 'undiscovered' archive of more than 150,000 photographs went mainstream this year, and this monograph stands as a great testament to her skill

Charles Lindbergh in 1927

Paperbacks of the year: Part 3

Bryson’s book contends that this was the year his native land came into its own, dominating the world stage with its politicians, its newspaper industry, its wealth, and its film stars

The Novel Cure: Literary prescriptions for coping with your family at Christmas

Ailment: Coping with your family at Christmas

Boxing day reads: Festive chick lit reading, round robin letters and the Moomins

Katie Fforde's short-story collection A Christmas Feast (Arrow, £6.99) makes for easy-going festive chick-lit reading. Four frothy tales of romance sandwiched between some rather flimsy super-short tidbits clearly supposed to whet and then sate your appetite (as the title suggests, the book is structured around the various courses of a Christmas feast, from "champagne and canapés" to "coffee and chocolate truffles"). I can't say I was at all impressed by Fforde's picture-perfect, and ultimately rather sexist world, where the woman always gets her man, who's inevitably older, wiser and more successful than she is, but as a Sunday Times bestselling author she must be doing something right.

Unfinished business: there's more to a good book than its ending

Week in Books column: Arifa Akbar

Britain's monarchs revived: Historian David Cannadine reflects on Penguin's royalty series

The series casts a new light on 45 British kings and queens
Surf's up: Matt Richell preparing to hit the waves - the pastime that would ultimately end his lifelong friendship with writer Saul Wordsworth

Remembering a good reader: Novelist Saul Wordsworth on the true friend who was a cool customer

Sending out a manuscript for critical appraisal is a scary and personal business. Here, first-time novelist Saul Wordsworth recalls the man whose influence mattered above all

Bestseller: Judy Blume

Judy Blume on her new adult novel, In the Unlikely Event

She is loved by girls – and women – everywhere. As Judy Blume announces her first adult novel in 16 years, Kate Wills talks to the author who seems to have a hotline to teen turmoil

Since her stunning Booker success, Roy's real passion has been for politics, not fiction.

Arundhati Roy’s book on caste rejected by some anti-caste activists

Booker Prize winner and activist-author Arundhati Roy was recently in London to launch her new book called The Doctor and the Saint, except, it’s not entirely her book.

The Top Ten: Worst autobiography titles

This list was suggested by this magazine's editor, Mike Higgins, when he saw that Rio Ferdinand's memoir was called '#2Sides'. Ben Stanley nominated 'Auto Da Fay', by Fay Weldon, while Michael Crick nominated 'It's About A Ball', by Alan Ball, but those are both superb.

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