• In brief

  • The Bard behind the curtains

    An absorbing historical novel that enjoyably reinvents the few familiar facts about the playwright

  • Grotesque fascination

    As a man balloons into an obese media-celebrated freak raddled with maladies, his family warp their lives around his gargantuan body

  • Red Ken’s postscript

    The first mayor of London analyses his political career with unsmiling humour

  • Enter the dragon

    A highly sympathetic assessment that clearly places the country in the context of east Asian economic history

  • Thespian lives

    This novel about four aspiring actors has plenty of fun, intrigue and theatrical fluorishes

  • A recalibration of memory

    A poisonous letter haunts a retired man, four decades after sending it to a former lover and an old friend

  • Unseemly pleasure

    A widow takes a pair of lodgers to fill a shortfall in the rent while a gay and vain banker marries a plain Betty

  • Real inheritance

    A child’s naive commentary on family disputes forms a lyrical social chronicle

  • Holy City’s evolution

    A highly readable ‘biography’ about Jerusalem, starting from its Abrahamic origins around 1,000BC

  • Enemy of the regime

    A Moscow correspondent gives a probing, sobering view of a powerful – and dysfunctional – Russia

  • Inner turbulence

    This final instalment to the Kurt Wallander mystery series is more gritty procedural than spy thriller

  • Eviction notice

    A nuanced and darkly comic tale that probes a small community’s ethics to illuminate wider conflicts of aspiration, dignity and circumstance

  • Sea yearnings

    A sympathetically imagined novel about Herman Melville’ life that deftly navigates intense relationships, and fiery characters who weigh ambition and regret

  • Chemical lives

    This remarkable history of the table of elements cross-references art, literature, religion and politics

  • Middle Eastern literary gems

    Reza Aslan’s ‘Tablet & Pen’ offers English translations of a wealth of the region’s literature from the 20th century

  • Rear window

    Curious characters and a sinuous plot set the tone for this novel that examines the anxious social milieu of Nazi Vienna in 1939

  • Art, death and intrigue

    A wealthy art-lover becomes entangled in the mysterious killing of an artist’s daughter

  • Finding the past in Tibet

    This heartfelt memoir explores the region’s martial and religious history

  • Corporate chicanery

    Tim Wu’s ‘The Master Switch’ examines the threat of innovation to established companies

  • Human remains

    An engineer comes to terms with the direction of his desires as he transports the contents of a Parisian cemetery

  • Intriguing Nigerian scenes

    EC Osondu’s promising debut story collection ‘Voice of America’ is populated by a varied cast

  • A region in peril

    David Gardner’s ‘Last Chance’ is an urgent and rigorous analysis of the west’s disastrous policies in the Middle East

  • The exploration of reading

    Zadie Smith et al weigh the creative, immersive, vital activity in ‘Stop What You’re Doing And Read This!’

  • The Weekend