Paperbacks: The End of the Line
The Island at the Centre of the World
The Bugatti Queen
Power, Politics and Culture
A Brief History of the Human Race
Ice Road
Old School

Persuasive and desperately disturbing, this book is the maritime equivalent of
Silent Spring, but there is one major difference.

The End of the Line by Charles Clover (EBURY £7.99 (314pp))

Persuasive and desperately disturbing, this book is the maritime equivalent of Silent Spring, but there is one major difference. While Rachel Carson's terrible warning inspired the environmental movement, it seems likely that our disastrous overfishing of the world's oceans will continue. Clover notes that the collapse of the cod on the Grand Banks, once the greatest stock of codfish in the world, has had virtually no effect on threatened fisheries elsewhere. Having fished out one area, the factory boats simply move on. Currently, the EU spends £127m per year buying access to waters as far afield as the Falklands. If starvation results from overfishing in west Africa, "Europe will bear the biggest part of the blame". Clover tells this sad, bad story with passion and urgency. Assisted by new technology, commercial fishing is "vastly more fatal" to fish stocks than pollution. It is little less than criminal that only 10 per cent of animals killed in the seas are eaten - the rest thrown away as by-catch or used as food in aquaculture. Our asset-stripping of oceans is assisted by many leading chefs. One company that emerges with some credit is McDonald's, which uses the plentiful Alaskan pollock for Filet-o-Fish. Unfortunately, the dish drowns the healthy fillets in an acid ooze of tartare sauce. CH

The Island at the Centre of the World by Russell Shorto (BLACK SWAN £7.99 (507pp))

From 1609, and the first trading party led by Henry Hudson, Shorto tells the story of early New York. We learn how "Manhartes" island was purchased by the Dutch government in 1626 for 60 guilders. Its main native pathway became Broadway, though it now follows the ancient thoroughfare only at its northern and southern ends. In this absorbing history, Shorto insists that the melting pot of New York stems from the first Manhattanites. Though "messy and haphazard', their community was "in a way, very modern". CH

The Bugatti Queen by Miranda Seymour (POCKET £7.99 (301pp))

Shaking together equal parts of sex, speed and scandal, Seymour has produced an irresistible cocktail of a book. When her career as a risqué dancer in Twenties Paris was terminated by a skiing accident, Hellé Nice capitalised on her love of speed. Sponsored by Bugatti, she notched up a host of racing victories. She survived a terrible crash that killed six, but her career was finished by allegations of Nazi collaboration. Though her previous biographies have concerned slightly less racy figures (Henry James, Ottoline Morrell) Seymour takes to the track with thrilling élan. CH

Power, Politics and Culture by Edward W Said (BLOOMSBURY £18.99 (485pp))

Many could generate an equally bulky collection of interviews, but few would be so insightful and interesting as these. Said noted 20 years ago that global terrorism "goes back to Conrad... as an aesthetic activity rather than a political thing". He was bravely outspoken about his native Palestine: "Arafat employs 80,000 bureaucrats - that's where his support comes from." But this volume also reveals the breadth and humanity of Said's thought. It is typical of him that a discussion of Islamic politics should prompt an anecdote about Marx (Groucho, not Karl). CH

A Brief History of the Human Race by Michael Cook (GRANTA £9.99 (385pp))

Cook adroitly accomplishes what his title declares, but the real joy of this book is in the detail. We learn that the Inca state depended on statistical records in the form of knotted strings; that the worship of a single god by the Israelis from the 6th century BC continues to have repercussions ("it is in the nature of monotheism to pick a quarrel"); that the Islamic world was bound together by the efficiency of the Muslim calendar; that the 11th-century Chinese were obsessed with deciphering inscriptions on bronze vessels from 2000BC, but Attic vases were ignored in the West until the 16th century. CH

Ice Road by Gillian Slovo (VIRAGO £7.99 (544pp))

"Can the dead speak?" Stalin and Hitler, the twin puppet-masters behind this bold saga, thought not. Robustly, stirringly drawn, Gillian Slovo's characters prove them wrong as they bear witness to the tragic story of Leningrad from the onset of Soviet purges in 1934 to the relief of the Nazi siege, nine harsh years later. Slovo doesn't disgrace the memory of Doctor Zhivago as she transforms the Russian past into an epic novel of betrayal, survival and heroism. This is history with its overcoat frayed, its teeth chattering but its spirits unfrozen. BT

Old School by Tobias Wolff (BLOOMSBURY £7.99 (195pp))

Set in a prestigious American public school, this novel provoked comparisons with Dead Poets' Society. That's a bit like comparing War and Peace with Saving Private Ryan. After visits from Robert Frost and Ayn Rand, the school prepares for an audience with Hemingway - a prospect which sets the cat among the pubescent pigeons. Wolff's clear-eyed portrayal of youthful literary aspiration and dishonour is both compelling and extremely moving. CP

Buy any book reviewed on this site at www.independentbooksdirect.co.uk
- postage and packing are free in the UK
Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Healy of The 1975 performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset

music
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe Withnail and I creator, has a new theory about killer's identity
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
tvDick Clement and Ian La Frenais are back for the first time in a decade
Arts and Entertainment
The Clangers: 1969-1974
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Rocky road: Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino play an estranged husband and wife in 'San Andreas'
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Nicole Kidman plays Grace Kelly in the film, which was criticised by Monaco’s royal family

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emilia Clarke could have been Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey but passed it up because of the nude scenes

film
Arts and Entertainment
A$AP Rocky and Rita Ora pictured together in 2012

music
Arts and Entertainment
A case for Mulder and Scully? David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in ‘The X-Files’

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Impressions of the Creative Community Courtyard within d3. The development is designed to 'inspire emerging designers and artists, and attract visitors'

architecture
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010

GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Norton was back in the commentating seat for Eurovision 2015

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May on stage

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Arts and Entertainment

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
film
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Comics
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific