Don't sweat it

This week, Lucy Dallas and Toby Lichtig are joined by the critic and gym-sceptic Irina Dumitrescu to consider a clutch of books about fitness – how it came to be the industry it is, what it means to us, even what the smell of sweat does; Alex Clark, a regular contributor to the TLS’s fiction pages, runs through this year’s Booker Prize shortlist, just announced, before turning to a real-life story that reads like a mystery novel: the “Stonehouse affair”, the tale of the MP and former Cabinet minister John Stonehouse, who disappeared while swimming from a private beach in Miami


The Age of Fitness: How the body came to symbolize success and achievement by Jürgen Martschukat

Exercised: The science of physical activity, rest and health by Daniel Lieberman

The Joy of Sweat: The strange science of perspiration by Sarah Everts

The Secret to Superhuman Strength by Alison Bechdel

John Stonehouse, My Father: The true story of the runaway MP, by Julia Stonehouse

Stonehouse: Cabinet minister, fraudster, spy by Julian Hayes

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