Spanish flu was 'the greatest tidal wave of death since the Black Death' - killing as many as 100 million people worldwide in a short but devastating three year long epidemic directly after World War One. In this book, Laura Spinney shows how Spanish flu cast a long, dark shadow over the 20th century.
Sixties pin-up Fiona Lewis reveals how director Roman Polanski was mad about sex 'and would jump up and down on the bed with glee' in her romp of a memoir
The saying, 'if you can remember the Sixties, you weren't there' is disproved in this highly readable romp of a memoir by the ex-model and actress Fiona Lewis. She was there, flaunting her gorgeous looks on the King's Road in 1964, and she does remember it - all too well. She has total recall of the heady excitement of those days and of the darker side of the Swinging Sixties - the way girls like her, in their late teens, longing to make a bit of money and a name for themselves, were taken advantage of.
Civilisation is killing us - we're over-fed, overheated and understimulated. The remedy? Get cold, wet, hungry and ... Live forever!
Who are those people who want to prolong life by dieting, not drinking, taking exercise and other hardships? I have never understood them. The years we gain, as we creak towards our 100th birthday, are hardly the years we want. If only life could be frozen in time at, say, 25, before baldness, cataracts, ex-wives, mortgages and false teeth appear on the horizon to spoil the fun - then you'd be talking.Instead we find these stringy and bad-tempered characters in late-middle-age who go in for long solitary bike rides, competitive squash and, if you are Scott Carney, invigorating runs up Kilimanjaro wearing nothing but a bathing cap.
The wife who let the mistress move in! Artist Augustus John's spouse sacrificed her life for him... and was astonishingly forgiving of his infidelity
Sometimes when you see a photograph in a book you want to punch it. I experienced that urge halfway through this fascinating collection of the letters of Ida John, when I came to the photograph of her husband, the artist Augustus John, sitting propped up in bed in their rented house in Essex in 1905, playing the concertina with a cigarette hanging out of his bearded mouth. Apparently he used to laze around like that all morning, before reading a novel all afternoon and spending the evening peacefully drawing.