MARK Buckland is only 26, yet he lives with the sensation time is running out.
In the stillness, it's hard to imagine the gunfire and shelling, the skies ablaze as homes burned to the ground.
'People tell me the most heart-breaking things," says Chuck Palahniuk, his face lit by the warm glow of the fire.
hIGH above the pavements and the careworn crowds, there they are, the century-old tributes carved out of stone:
Her name was Gertrude Canning.
Alan McGee took his last line of cocaine in February 1994.
Wreathed in a halo of menthol cigarette smoke, June Brown is giving me a guided tour of her palatial bungalow in Surrey while talking to her late husband, the actor Robert Arnold.
'I don't like to think of myself as a grave-robber," says Charles Ardai, co-founder (with Max Phillips) of crime fiction imprint Hard Case Crime.
Jenni Fagan, novelist
Laurie Sansom, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the National Theatre of Scotland
Herald writers reveal what's provided their reading pleasure this year.
Book Week Scotland, which is about to launch its second annual series of events, came to life several years ago on a Sunday night in the lounge of an Edinburgh hotel.
Those who live in Birmingham might this weekend hear the stamping of feet and clapping of hands coming from its magnificent new library.
In a speech last week at the National Library of Scotland, Alexander McCall Smith spoke of his fear of countries and places losing their identities under the onward creep of globalisation.
Some time ago, knowing my love of Georges Simenon's fiction, a friend started to give me one of his novels each year at Christmas.
My conscience has been nagging me of late.
Ian Bell reviews two important books ahead of the independence referendum.
A Rip Van Winkle for our times, Dundonian Euan Saddler casts his vote in the 1979 devolution referendum then falls into a sleep that lasts for 20 years.
It seems self-evident, perhaps, that books should be about stories.
There are some books that seem as if they might fit snugly into almost any stocking, no matter how old or young the owner's foot.
The seminal texts of psycho-analysis refer to a woman named "Anna O", whose case was one of the cornerstones of the discipline.
Instructions For A Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell (Tinder Press, £7.99)
In one of the most evocative passages in a novel full of description, Margaret Drabble offers a portrait of a child her narrator sees in an airport queue.
The demanding duties that fall on those who must deal with the death of a world statesman had an added, most delicate element in the case of Francois Mitterrand.