Christopher Hirst

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

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The Independent around the web

How to Sound Clever, By Hubert van den Bergh

It can safely be said that no Independent reviewer will need a collection of "600 English words you pretend to understand… when you don't".

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.

Voices of the Old Sea, By Norman Lewis

A great travel writer painted wild Spain just before tourism

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.

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Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there