Passion, intrigue and feng shui for the discerning reader

A best-seller about the young of the frog? His chapter on Napoleon and Frogspawn is a classic

AS SUMMER approaches, bringing long hours of reading in the garden or on the beach, it's time to bring you another round-up of the best of the fabulous new books on offer.

Love Letters of Blair, Brown and Mandelson, edited by Donald Macintyre, Anathema Press, pounds 29.99

The nation thrilled to the revelations of the three-sided love-hate relationship between Tony, Gordon and Peter, and now this tempestuous menage a trois spawns another major best-seller. "You are the two finest people I know," writes Tony in one particularly lovely passage, "so let's have an end to this crass vendetta or I'll come round and kick your heads in." The language of passion indeed.

Hague - a Lost Leader? by Brian Walden, Peripatetic Press, pounds 29.99

Nobody has ever been sure whether Hague was an inspired leader or a hard-hearted monster who sent thousands of Tory voters to their unnecessary death. Was he an inspired tactician? Or a buffoon who blundered through his years in command before being replaced? Brian Walden wrote this book without notes, never pausing to take a rest, keeping his eye on the screen so obviously there are lots of ums and ers, but the achievement is magnificent. He never quite makes up his mind about Hague - the last half of the book is about Nostradamus and Cardinal Richelieu, suggesting he couldn't keep his mind on the subject - but it is never less than gripping.

The Feng Shui Book of the Eclipse by Geoff Oboe, Tranquillity Press, pounds 29.99

Thought that nobody could think of another reason for writing a book of balderdash about feng shui? Think again! Geoff Oboe (a pseudonym?) has devoted a whole book to where we should be on 11 August, which way we should be facing and what to call your cat if it should be born during the hours of darkness. He also has a list of approved names for Eclipse Babies.

The Post-Feminist Cookbook by Germaine Greer, Polenta Press, pounds 29.99

Fans of her outrageous TV cookery programme, in which Germaine throws ingredients round the kitchen and often at members of the audience she can't stand, will love this boisterous collection of her favourite recipes, swear words and ideas for cooking garden flowers. Germaine Greer has always maintained that alongside the famous male chefs of history there have been talented female cooks who have been forgotten because they weren't pushy enough. Not this one.

The Tadpole in History by Dr. Rabindra Singh, Amber, Wellbred and Truffle, pounds 29.99

"The thinking behind this little volume dedicated to the place of the tadpole in history is that if people could write best-selling books about such minimal historical subjects as the cod, the tulip and longitude," writes Dr Sabindra Singh in his introduction, "maybe I could get away with writing a best-seller about the young of the frog." And so he has. His chapter on Napoleon and Frogspawn is a classic.

An Unsuitable Book by Vikram Seth, Poppadom Press, pounds 29.99.

Vikram Seth's sprawling new novel is about the tragic figure of a writer cut off from the world for half a dozen years, unable to leave his home except to dash out and make occasional broadcasts. This writer, confined to his own quarters, getting older and balder, is gradually consumed by the idea that pop music is important, a fit subject for a grown-up to be interested in. When he comes out of exile he writes an enormous novel set in the world of pop music, because nobody dares tell him it's a non- starter. Seth's message seems to be: Buy a few Haydn CDs and get a life.

Women Are From Venus, Men Are From a Service Area on the M25 by John Greybeard, Garfunkel & Schuster, pounds 29.99.

John Greybeard's theory about the sexes is disarmingly simple. If you write a book with the word "men" in the title and also the word "women", he thinks, you almost certainly have a best-seller on your hands. And he seems to be right.

My Sort of Sunningdale by General Pinochet, Rambling Press, pounds 29.99.

The distinguished Chilean statesman and thinker has been living a secluded life in a leafy suburb of the Home Counties for a year or more, and has had ample opportunity to explore the byways of this still rural part of the world, accompanied only by three armed policemen. He still thinks that his native Chile takes some beating, but has grown very fond of Sunningdale and vastly prefers it to Spain. It is a shame, he says, that such a pretty island as Britain is overcrowded - a few more people should be "disappeared", he jokes, so you don't keep bumping into them. Did he ever bump into Janet Street-Porter? He doesn't say.

Arts and Entertainment
Jude Law in Black Sea

film

In Black Seahe is as audiences have never seen him before

Arts and Entertainment
Johnny Depp no longer cares if people criticise his movie flops

film

Arts and Entertainment
Full circle: Wu-Tang’s Method Man Getty

Music review

Arts and Entertainment
When he was king: Muhammad Ali training in 'I Am Ali'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Scare tactics: Michael Palin and Jodie Comer in ‘Remember Me’

TVReview: Remember Me, BBC1
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Arts and Entertainment
A comedy show alumni who has gone on to be a big star, Jon Stewart
tvRival television sketch shows vie for influential alumni
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Arts and Entertainment
Image has been released by the BBC
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Will there ever be a Friends reunion?
TV
News
Harry Hill plays the Professor in the show and hopes it will help boost interest in science among young people
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
A Van Gogh sold at Sotheby’s earlier this month
art
Arts and Entertainment

MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word

Arts and Entertainment
It would 'mean a great deal' to Angelina Jolie if she won the best director Oscar for Unbroken

Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says

Arts and Entertainment
Winnie the Pooh has been branded 'inappropriate' in Poland
books
Arts and Entertainment
Lee Evans is quitting comedy to spend more time with his wife and daughter

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
American singer, acclaimed actor of stage and screen, political activist and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson (1898 - 1976), rehearses in relaxed mood at the piano.
filmSinger, actor, activist, athlete: Paul Robeson was a cultural giant. But prejudice and intolerance drove him to a miserable death. Now his story is to be told in film...
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is dominating album and singles charts worldwide

music
Arts and Entertainment
Kieron Richardson plays gay character Ste Hay in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Midge Ure and Sir Bob Geldof outside the Notting Hill recording studios for Band Aid 30

music
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.

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

    Christmas Appeal

    Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
    Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

    Is it always right to try to prolong life?

    Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

    What does it take for women to get to the top?

    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
    Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

    Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

    Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
    French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

    French chefs campaign against bullying

    A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

    Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
    Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

    Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

    Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
    Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

    Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

    Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
    Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

    Paul Scholes column

    I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
    Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game