As we finally come face to face with Tolkien's Smaug on the big screen, Philip Hoare sets off in search of the greatest of all mythical creatures – from the satanic lizards of the Bible to the Jungian monster within us all
Claire Armitstead kicks off a series on writers and readers' favourite books to curl up with on biting winter nights
Novelist says he 'can't think of a thing to say' but nonetheless acquires 170,000 followers in three days
Charlotte Brontë's erotic masterpiece became a sensation in Victorian England. Its great strength was its intimate dialogue with the reader, explains Robert McCrum
Fatima Bhutto, scion of the political dynasty, talks to Elizabeth Day about her first novel and 'the ghosts of history'
From Lionel Shriver on older brothers to the latest Donna Tartt, Viv Groskop picks the best fiction in the 'year of the doorstop'
A fan of Disney's Mary Poppins as an eight-year-old, Kathryn Hughes was given PL Travers's book. But she found it dull, odd and severely lacking in dancing penguins. As Saving Mr Banks arrives in cinemas, she re-encounters a classic story
This week Alice Munro will receive the Nobel prize for literature. Lisa Allardice, who met Munro in Canada after the publication of her collection The View from Castle Rock, asks her about the dividing line between life and work
From serial killers to tartan noir, Laura Wilson rounds up the pick of the crop
There were mighty tomes from Donna Tartt and Eleanor Catton, pastiches for lovers of Bond and Wodehouse, and a final novel from Iain Banks. We look back at the year's big hitters
At an appropriately chilly time of year, we're going to be taking a close look at 'something narsty in the woodshed'
Renewed popularity of 1965 novel by the late John Williams secures bookseller's award for standout novel of the year
Grab blanket and a cup of tea: we're kicking off winter reads with our pick for the cosiest book: S by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst
One of these leaked stories can sit with the late author's best work. The other two are mere sketches
A fascinating biography skilfully traces the contradictions that defined Norman Mailer, writes Philip French