What’s really going on in the world of books

There was a predictable outpouring of support for Philip Pullman last week from authors who are sick of working for free. Pullman (below) announced on Twitter that he has resigned as the patron of the Oxford Literary Festival because of its “attitude to paying speakers (they don’t)”.

How the North Sea has shaped our world

Saturnine and cruel, the formidable North Sea is often overlooked – even by those who live within a stone's throw of its steel-grey waters. But as a playground, theatre of war and cultural crossing-point, it has shaped the world in myriad ways, forging heroes and villains and sealing the fates of nations. Tom Blass boarded ship and travelled across it