Jonathan Franzen: The painful price of freedom

Jonathan Franzen’s latest novel, Freedom, has been hailed as a masterpiece. He talks about its painful origins – and his life as a ‘modern Tolstoy.’

The Royal Wedding

The TV event of the 1980s

Queen's Diamond Jubilee: a barge perfumed by flowers

The royal flotilla for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations will rival Cleopatra’s in its floral treasures.

Preparing for Christmas

Laying a festive table.

The inspiration for Allegra Hicks’s ‘Genevieve’ jumpsuit? Er, me

When Allegra Hicks said she wanted to name a jumpsuit after me, I should have demurred gracefully, but…

Rome: Eternally grateful

The dizzying charms and beauty of Rome simply leave you hungry for more.

The Shangri La Ranch that inspired Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Adele

How a rock and roll lifestyle sells bricks and mortar.

Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands exhibition at the British Library

Landscape has shaped our greatest literature, as a new exhibition at the British Library explores.

Life could be like a box of chocolates

Mindfulness therapy fights stress and depression by teaching you how to ‘own’ the present.

Barack Obama should ignore Sarah Palin

Valerie Singleton

Not daring, just dull.

H&M launches new eco collection

With the brand launching its new sustainable clothing range, has ethical fashion finally shaken off its 'hippies only' image?

Mickey Takers:

How can you enjoy Walt Disney World in Florida without exhausting your children and wearing yourself out?

Sexy kitchens? It’s a man’s world now

Kitchens have replaced fast cars as the new male status symbol.

The Good Book can’t be bettered

The philosopher AC Grayling has created a secular bible, but its guidance for a good life fails to convince.

'Life is pared down to what really matters’

Rory MacLean’s new memoir records the precious months he spent caring for his mother, Joan, who was terminally ill with cancer.

Are these overseas school trips just pricey package holidays?

The perils of playing Cupid

Why is matchmaking such a compulsive sport.

Come on, Stella. You’ve had your fun. Now deliver the goods

Stella McCartney launches a collection for high-street chain H & M.

Bless this mouse:

The Suffolk church that invites animals to join in the service.

Home renovations

IVF orphans who will always ask their mother: how could you?

IVF may give ageing mothers everything they want - but what about the children?

Stolen whisky, sandpit sex and the peril of being cool at school

As three pupils at trendy Bedales now know, being a rebel can backfire.

Battle of the Christmas supermums

When time is running out, buy in ready-made support to ensure a cracking Christmas Day.

Lady Macbeth, Cordelia, Ophelia, Princess Diana

Princess Diana’s Panorama interview was an Oscar-winning performance.

Belle Plagne skiing: the perfect break

You don’t have to take your family to a giant ski resort to get everything you need, says Genevieve Fox from atmospheric Belle Plagne.

To the rescue:

Sarah Beeny’s home renovation advice.

I ran the Daily Telegraph Book Club and wrote a weekly column, The Daily Telegraph Book Group. The Book Club became a touring event, sponsored by National Book Tokens. I’ve reviewed debut fiction for The Daily Mail and I’ve been a member of three book groups, one for fifteen years. The latter was called The No 8 Group. Our choices were eclectic: high, low, never both and always fuelled by three-course meals in each other’s homes. I’d say The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown was a low, and Sebastian Barry’s Days Without End a high. It’s just about one of the most tender, poetic novels I have ever read.

Click on the images below to read some of my reviews.

 

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