Cricket fans love making lists. Often, the lists are as eclectic as they are fanciful. Which is your all-time best XI comprising only No. 4 batsmen? How about the best leg spinners to have never played for Dunedin? We are indefatigable. We can make lists of anything, but few things make our eyes light up more than a list of great Test hundreds. Read more

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French novelist and screenwriter Pierre Lemaitre’s Alex opens with the brutal kidnapping of a 30-year-old woman as she is walking home after dinner on a mild Paris evening. Read more

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Shiva Naipaul, the younger brother of VS Naipaul, was born in Trinidad in 1945. He died in London in 1985, of a heart attack, at the age of 40. A life cut brutally short, an end brought on, some say, by his excesses and lack of discipline. Read more

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Gideon Haigh is one of the finest cricket writers at work today. His latest book, On Warne, is not a biography of arguably the greatest leg spin bowler of all time, it is an extended meditation on the magic and charisma of Shane Warne, the making and sustaining of his legend. Read more

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I enjoyed many more books this year than I can possibly list, but the following – as with all lists – is selective and subjective. Books on the list are not necessarily ones that were published in 2012; rather, they are books I enjoyed reading this year. Read more

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In the November 17 print edition of Hindustan Times, I wrote a piece about Philip Roth and his decision to not write any longer. Read more

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I was out of town for work over the weekend. And for the first time since I had begun to read as a small child, I travelled without any books. Well, not without any books. I went on the trip without a physical book. I took along my e-reader. Read more

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Simon Kuper is one of England’s most astute football writers, and one of the leading commentators on the global game. Read more

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After the disappointment of his last book, The Possibility of an Island, Michel Houellebecq – called, among other things, “France’s greatest literary export” – returns to his audacious, sardonic self in his new novel, The Map and the Territory. Read more

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I am not sure how well AA Gill is known as a food writer in India, but if you have not read him, you could do worse than to make his acquaintance. Read more

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