11 under-£100 home buys | Knit maxi dresses | Exfoliating body lotions | New Britney documentaries

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Lose yourself in an ambitiously imaginative novel by one of the bestselling authors of our time

Seven years ago, American author Anthony Doerr published All The Light We Cannot See, a moving story of a blind French girl and a German orphan trying to navigate the perils of World War Two – it went on to sell 9.3 million copies worldwide and won him the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Now, Doerr is back with Cloud Cuckoo Land (4th Estate), an epic tale that addresses everything from climate change and neurodiversity to crushing loneliness, homosexuality and ancient Greek tales. But the common thread that runs throughout is the enduring importance of books and storytelling for those we leave behind.

"If you're hoping for All The Light We Cannot See 2.0, ditch your expectations now," says Stylist Loves' editor Gemma Crisp. "Not only is Cloud Cuckoo Land a whopping 622 pages, Doerr's signature short chapters hop between 1453 Constantinople, 20th and 21st century America and more than 100 years into the future. You'll meet a cast of characters including the fiesty orphaned seamstress Anna who learns how to read against all odds, disfigured Omeir who finds solace in raising livestock before being forcibly recruited to join an army preparing for a siege, autistic Seymour who struggles to find his place in modern day Idaho, Korean War veteran Zeno who has never felt like he belonged, and Konstance who's on a spaceship voyage from a ruined Earth to find a new planet where humankind can thrive. And just to make things even more interesting, there's a translation of a long-lost book written by an ancient Greek novelist that binds all of these seemingly disparate stories together. It's hard to do it justice without writing a thesis but safe to say Cloud Cuckoo Land is a fascinatingly ambitious tale that's worth the seven year wait." £20, Bookshop.org 


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11 under-£100 buys that are on Team Stylist's interiors wishlists for October
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These follow-up documentaries reveal shocking new details of Britney Spears' conservatorship

Of all of pop culture's most disturbing revelations, there are few more shocking than the details of Britney Spears' 13 year-long conservatorship. Earlier this year, The New York Times' bombshell documentary Framing Britney Spears explored the singer's rise to fame, subsequent struggles and the supporter-led #FreeBritney movement. Now, after sparking worldwide attention, there's not one but two further documentaries dropping this week – Britney Vs Spears on Netflix and The New York Times' follow-up, Controlling Britney Spears, which speaks to individuals who have worked closely with the star over the years to investigate exactly how the court-ordered arrangement was used as "an oppressive and controlling tool".

"Whereas Framing provided an overview of the power struggles involved in Spears' odious conservatorship, Controlling delves deeper into the alleged systems of surveillance she was placed under," says Stylist contributor Holly Bullock. "Though the documentary details many shocking claims, the most gobsmacking is how Spears' security team and business management company conspired to limit and monitor her communications, from placing parental controls on her phone to secretly hiding recording devices in her bedroom." With the next critical court hearing in Spears' case scheduled for tomorrow, we'll be reminded of one of the documentary's most powerful soundbites from the star: "I deserve to have a life." Watch now on Sky Documentaries and NOW TV  


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