For this issue’s cover, inimitable actress TILDA SWINTON talks to the novelist Deborah Levy In this landmark conversation Tilda looks into both the past and the future, seeking out the contours of how encounters with the work of writers such as Virginia Woolf and Muriel Spark shaped her worldview. We are invited to eavesdrop on two cultural giants connecting through the time-honoured method of literary exchange.

The Book of the Season is THE ODYSSEY, a singable story of heroes and gods inhabiting the world’s first archipelago and the perfect read for slow summer journeys, outbound or inbound. Contributors include: Justin E. H. Smith, Rebecca May Johnson, Nicholas Jubber, Eliot Haworth, Jeremy Lewis, Sabine Mirlesse and Rob Doyle.






The Interview: TILDA SWINTON by Deborah Levy — ‘I always think that becoming a performer has been my way of writing all these years’

Added context


Introduction: The truest fantasy by Seb Emina

History: To hunt down Homer by Justin E. H. Smith — To find and eliminate him

Food: A very old sausage by Rebecca May Johnson — Blood, fat and envy

Op-ed: The popular one-eyed monster by Nicholas Jubber — Was the Cyclops unfairly treated?

Theatre: An Odyssean event by Eliot Haworth — Adapting in Amsterdam

Fashion: Trojan horsemen by Jeremy Lewis — An old trick with a new feature

Material: Goodbye, sea silk by Sabine Mirlesse — You can’t buy it

Intensely Searching

Diary of a first read by Rob Doyle — Let’s do this

Do it yourself

Five crossword clues to which the answer is ‘The Odyssey’ by Daniel Levin Becker — The game is to work out why

The Penguin Classics

Full set


The Happy Reader is a unique magazine about reading for anyone who wishes to stay inspired, informed and entertained.With beautiful typography, the magazine is a design object which celebrates the pure pleasure of reading and the calming luxury of being offline.

Each issue is split into two halves. The first half is an in-depth interview with a book fanatic and the second half gets under the skin of one classic work of literature.


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The Happy Reader × Athenaeum

This July, the Happy Reader Book Club gathered in Amsterdam, in honour of The Black Tulip, our Book of the Season for summer 2018.

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