How speaking — and misspeaking — provides a window into our mental activity: A review of Um...: Slips, Stumbles, and Verbal Blunders, and What They Mean by Michael Erard. The sign language of an isolated village sheds light on how the mind works: A review of Talking Hands: What Sign Language Reveals About the Mind by Margalit Fox. A review of The Tiger That Isn't: Seeing Through a World of Numbers by Michael Blastland and Andrew Dilnot. A review of The Book of General Ignorance: Everything You Think You Know Is Wrong by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson.

New take on Puff The Magic Dragon: Children's book offers a new, drug-free take on the dragon made popular in the song by Peter, Paul and Mary. English folk songs are a cultural treasure comparable to Shakespeare – so why are they so under-appreciated? A review of The Folk Handbook.  A review of Dirty Little Secrets of the Record Business: Why So Much Music You Hear Sucks by Hank Bordowitz. Music's New Mating Ritual: As genres are fused, cryptically named hybrids emerge; the story behind "gypsy punk"

The Shape of Thighs to Come: Those ripped six-pack abs? Over, guys. Ditto the bowling-ball breasts and jutting derrieres women have been acquiring. Fashion has declared them cliche, and if history is any guide, clothes make the mannequin. An article on Michael Vick and the Cult of the Spoiled Athlete. Designated Villain: Has George Steinbrenner taken the fun out of losing? A so-called sport that is elitist, sexist and racist, and fences off swathes of beautiful countryside for the privileged few. Can Richard Tomkins get over his golfing prejudices and join the club?