26 members recommend

From sapiens to a searing performance of “Streetcar named Desire” to German art and mind-altering gardens, 26ers tell us what’s on their mind this September.


sapiensFrom the Beginning….

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, published by Harvill Secker – This is one of those grand, swashbuckling, swaggering, compendious books with a massive ambition. It’s nothing less than the history of humankind from pre-history to the near future. Part anthropology, part history, part futurology, it’s opinionated, insightful, passionate, scholarly and batty. If you like to do battle with a book, and be inspired, informed and infuriated in equal measure, rush out and buy this now.

Martin Lee


  1. The Secrets , a series of 30-minute, stand alone dramas on BBC. Short and satisfying. Especially the first with Alison Steadman and Olivia Colman.
  2. Streetcar Named Desire starring Gillian Anderson at the Young Vic. Searing, sultry Tennessee Williams at its best. There’s some NT Live and NT Encore showings at cinemas tomorrow and later this month.
  3. Two Days, One Night . Marion Cotillard shines in the Dardennes’ socialist, crusading epic of a film. Go see.

Elen Lewis

hauserTake a Day Off

1.Get inspired with a day out in Somerset at international art gallery Hauser & Wirth’s new space. Especially wonderful are the wild and free gardens designed by Dutch landscape gardener Piet Oudolf (also did NYC’s Highline). Read more about this and other rousing days out in my travel blog.

(Image courtesy of Piet Oudolf and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Heather Edwards)

  1. Looking forward to “The Most of Nora Ephron”, a new anthology which brings together most of her work from her early journalism writing to “I Feel Bad About My Neck”. A big fan of wit Dorothy Parker, Ephron covered everything from what it’s really like to be a journalist- recording life while others live it – to the Vietnam war to her sagging neck. (She wore a lot of scarves).
  2. Eager to see Anselm Kiefer at the Royal Academy. Born 8 March 1945 just two months before V.E. Day, Kiefer grew up in the aftermath of war among the ruins of saturated bombing. His favourite materials are the ones he first experienced – straw, lead and rubble. Kiefer is a real thinker, deeply spiritual and joyful as evidenced in the terrific on-line interview with Tim Marlow where he admits that as a child he first wanted to be Jesus, then the Pope, and finally, when those looked unlikely, an artist.

Elena Bowes

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