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Little black books

Little black books

Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas arrived here a few weeks back – I make no apology for putting this out there – and a grateful world has ten new songs to add to the canon. But that’s not why we’re here. We’ll leave him rumbling away, his sub-baritone voice in his boots, and tour the sleeve notes. The lyrics are there, the sketches and the credits, and pages from the various notebooks where the songs took shape. These … Read entire article »

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Punctuation in business

Punctuation in business

Waterstones has a new owner. This is not news. What is news is how we know. Daily despatches from the frontline of the high street are hard to avoid, but for the visible, definitive evidence, we’re off to Piccadilly via the US, a baseball diamond, and a boardroom where an unexpected character enjoys a moment in the sun. At the launch of the Waterstones 11 in London, where the bookshop’s seers announced their pick of debut novels for … Read entire article »

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Notes in the margins

Notes in the margins

The picture is of a door in my town, a door that never opens, in one of those back-of-the-tapestry corners behind the prettiness. The kind of corner where outcrops of unloved and untenanted buildings sprout buddleia and toadflax, and where the vents of cooker hoods and boilers puff harmlessly on the air. Cities don’t like a vacuum, even when they’re in the margins. Corners like this fill up with all kinds of things. The blank canvas … Read entire article »

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