Christopher Hirst

Christopher Hirst is an award-winning food writer and freelance journalist.

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The Juice, By Jay McInerney

"On my 55th birthday," the novelist muses, "I was astonished by the beauty and depth of wines fermented the year I was born."

The Green Road into the Trees, By Hugh Thomson

Though he has written books on Andes, Himalayas and Mexico, Hugh Thomson is not sure anywhere is "quite as strange and foreign as England".

I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen, By Sylvie Simmons

Though it's a big book, this closely observed account of a counter-culture bard might have benefited from being longer still.

School of chop: Learning the art of butchery at the Ginger Pig

How do you butcher a lamb? Or make Mexican street food in a British kitchen? Christopher Hirst finds out.

Paperbacks: Making, By Thomas Heatherwick

The wunderkind of British design compares this magnificent survey of his 3-D creations to "putting flowers in a flower press".

Paperbacks: Al Dente, By David Winner

How to feast Roman style, from vineyard snails to wafers

Paperbacks: Higher Gossip, By John Updike

Only whisper it, but some of us prefer John Updike's essays to his dissections of suburbia.

Paperbacks: The Price of Inequality, By Joseph E Stiglitz

Though Stiglitz's glorious assault on unfettered markets is directed mainly at the US ("Of the 1 per cent, for the 1 per cent, by the 1 per cent"), we have scant grounds for complacency.

Paperbacks: Once Upon a Time: The Lives of Bob Dylan, By Ian Bell

This first half of a two-book biography starts with the infamous folkie heckle of 1966, "Judas!" Dylan's response: "You're a liar", then "Play fucking loud".

The bitter truth: flavours now include liquorice and celery

Why bitters are back on the bar: A few little drops pack a big punch in cocktails

No wonder we're learning to love them again, says Christopher Hirst

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Day In a Page

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