Camera crew in Hollywood in the 1930s

‘West of Eden’, by Jean Stein

Corrupt tycoons, eccentric moguls, damaged starlets — little is as it first appears in Jean Stein’s Hollywood history. Review by Danny Leigh

illustration by Cat O’Neil
©Cat O’Neil

‘Gold Fame Citrus’, by Claire Vaye Watkins

A distinctive new voice describes how life and love — of a sort — can be sustained even in a drought-blighted world. Review by Jonathan Lee

A villager in Rajasthan has her eyes scanned for the digital identification programme ‘Aadhaar’
©Mansi Thapliyal/Reuters

‘Rebooting India’, by Nandan Nilekani and Viral Shah

Inside India’s attempt to bring start-up savvy into government. Review by Victor Mallet

'When Breath Becomes Air', by Paul Kalanithi

‘When Breath Becomes Air’, by Paul Kalanithi

A neurosurgeon’s memoir of his final months is an urgent meditation on life, not death. Review by Lucy Kellaway

‘In Other Words’, by Jhumpa Lahiri, translated by Ann Goldstein

A prizewinning writer sloughs off her old language and old self to turn Italian. Review by Jan Dalley

‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’, by Keiron Pim

The life of an enigmatic figure from London’s 1960s scene. Review by Ludovic Hunter-Tilney

The North Water, by Ian McGuire

‘The North Water’, by Ian McGuire

Both man and beast face slaughter in this visceral tale of whaling and murder. Review by Malcolm Forbes

Front cover of 'Why Torture Doesn’t Work', by Shane O’Mara

‘Why Torture Doesn’t Work’, by Shane O’Mara

Torture is ineffective as well as morally indefensible. Review by Giovanni Frazzetto

‘Gangster Warlords’, by Ioan Grillo

‘Gangster Warlords’, by Ioan Grillo

Review by Orlando Bird

'Viral' n by Lydia Winter

‘Viral’, by Helen FitzGerald

Review by Lydia Winter