The FT’s best books of 2015

The FT’s books editor reflects on the literary trends, publications and events of the year — while FT critics and experts select their must-read titles

TS Eliot, the poet and the professor

Would the writer have approved of Christopher Ricks’s huge annotated collection of his work? By John Sutherland

Evening on the promenade in the Shatea district of Jeddah

Reviews of ‘Saudi Arabia’ by Paul Aarts and Carolien Roelants, and ‘Muted Modernists’ by Madawi al-Rasheed

The Saudi ruling family is struggling at home to control forces it has unleashed

©James Albon

‘Cockfosters’, by Helen Simpson

The author’s stories are building into a multi-generational chronicle of contemporary women’s experiences. Review by Rebecca Abrams

The Cabaret of Plants: Botany and the Imagination by Richard Mabey

‘The Cabaret of Plants’, by Richard Mabey

The author is in fine form in his latest exploration of our relationship with nature. Review by Matthew Wilson

‘High Dive’, by Jonathan Lee

A fictionalised account of an IRA bomber and his victims is a study in empathy. Review by Luke Brown

‘Capital: New York’, by Kenneth Goldsmith

An American poet’s attempt to evoke the spirit of a city through others’ words. Review by Lauren Elkin

‘The President and the Apprentice’, by Irwin Gellman

The author challenges conventional wisdom on an underestimated president’s relationship with his deputy. Review by Robert Zoellick

‘The November Criminals’, by Sam Munson

Review by Suzi Feay

‘The Light That Gets Lost’, by Natasha Carthew

Review by Suzi Feay