Cecelia Ahern fantasises about “a surreal magical room, where I could call a book and it would fly off the shelves and land in my hand, like in ‘Matilda’”.

Would I sound crazy if I admitted to knowing that I have 16,344cm of shelving in my house, of which 10,322cm are filled, leaving me room for about 3,0(...)

Roger Casement: although not named in the article, he was responsible for attempting to recruit into the German Irish Brigade

February 5th, 1916 A Times reporter who interviewed exchanged prisoners of war found that many Irish among them had been induced to join the “German(...)

Gulets, traditional twin-masted schooners, above, are the perfect way to explore the coast of Anatolia in  Turkey

He was called Gem and certainly lived up to his name. The chef aboard our Turkish charter, Gem (Cem in Turkish) rustled up from his small galley ki(...)

Author Jung Chang talking to Peter Florence about ‘Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine who launched modern China’ at the Hay Festival Kells, Co Meath. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne

Visitors to the Hay Festival in Kells, Co Meath this weekend enjoyed both food for thought and food for the senses. It was a winning combination. Fina(...)

The Kuthodaw Pagoda in Mandalay is home to the biggest book in the world. Built during the reign of King Mindon, it houses 729 stupas, or stone-inscription caves, containing  entire canon of Theravada Buddhism.  Photograph: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

The Kuthodaw Pagoda in Mandalay is home to the biggest book in the world. A Unesco World Heritage Site, it contains the entire canon of Buddhis(...)