Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova among those writing movingly of value of reading during their incarceration
They bleached, waxed and spent jobseeker's allowance on foundation. Then Holly Baxter and Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett created feminist blog – and now book – The Vagenda. Here they explain why the beauty myth is more pernicious now than ever
Historian with a sympathetic understanding of common people in 16th- and 17th-century England
Writer reveals campaign of hate she had to endure after a public lecture she gave on the commodification of royalty
David Adam's punchy explanation of the mental torment of OCD is well-intentioned, but lacks subtlety. By Jenny Turner
Laura Bates's Everyday Sexism is frustratingly short on practical solutions. And The Vagenda is as puerile as the media it critiques, writes Rachel Cooke
As a fresh controversy arises in Delaware over whether parents should censor school reading lists, Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants series tops the list of books which received the most complaints
Selina Todd's compelling history of the British working class is a tragedy that needed telling, says David Kynaston
The writer, who died on Thursday, created her teen diarist Adrian Mole while she was a struggling single mother of three. In this Observer article from 1989, she described how the state had left her destitute
Alison Flood: Sue Townsend's spotty comic creation was the same age as me – his cul-de-sac growing pains struck a poignant chord
The working class has no sense of itself any more. It needs to get it together. Selina Todd's cliche- and nostalgia-free history will help. By Suzanne Moore
We cannot help but react to numbers, but why are odds masculine and evens feminine? Why were Levi's 501s and WD-40 given those names? And is number 3 really 'warm' and 'friendly'? Alex Bellos does the maths
Scientist Sharon Moalem says we will soon be able to alter our children's lives with genetic manipulation – would you do it if you could?
Poet laureate and authors Julian Barnes, Ian McEwan and Mark Haddon want to meet justice secretary to discuss restrictions
Regulations introduced by the justice secretary Chris Grayling that stop people sending books to prisoners in England and Wales, have caused outrage among writers, teachers and prison experts. But what titles would they send?