Flushing out the detox books - Why civilisations collapse - Sharon and My Mother-in-Law - Profiting from Iraq - US politicians - Ursula Le Guin - Paul Foot on the vote
January is traditionally not a good time for new books. Publishers reason that we will be miserable at being back at work with enormous post-Xmas debt and having grossly over-indulged. Well, we could all do with a good clear out. Over 1 million detox books have been sold in Britain. Go through your house and presents. Find them in your bathroom, under the sofa, on the coffee table and maybe even lurking in your recipe books. Bag them all up with any stray sweet wrappers and tinsel that the cat has been worrying for weeks, and chuck them out. You'll feel better.