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Outline is the mesmeric seventh novel from Rachel Cusk. Like Stendhal, the author can move seamlessly through many scenarios yet hold the reader's attention without fail.

Outline by Rachel Cusk

Rachel Cusk's magically tremulous narrative moves seamlessly along a carousel of different people's stories, told during a summer writing course in Athens. It may be the best novel you could read this year.

  • A compelling account of the struggle for independence by the noted historian Charles Townshend

    The Republic by Charles Townshend

    Townsend's careful, appealing study - recently published in paperback - may well be the definitive account of the struggle for Irish Independence.

  • Goodbye to All That: the First World War recalled by the great stylist  and truth-teller Robert Graves.

    Good-Bye to All That by Robert Graves

    "There was no patriotism in the trenches " wrote the late Robert Graves in Good-Bye to All That, his 1929 autobiography, which included a vivid account of his First World War experiences. This new edition restores the work to its original version.

  • Scholarly yet loving: John Eliot Gardiner's monumental portrait of JS Bach

    Music in the Castle of Heaven John Eliot Gardiner

    Conductor John Eliot Gardiner has earned a global reputation as perhaps the greatest interpreter of the music of Johnann Sebastian Bach in modern times.This 630-page work is a loving hommage to the music and the man.

  • George Herbert: stalwart of Irish school texts

    Music at Midnight by John Drury

    For anyone over 40 at least, the 16th century poet George Herbert was a stalwart of English school texts in this country. Music at Midnight - The Life and Poetry of George Herbert by John Drury illuminates the life and the work.

  • Thanks for the memories

    Experiencing Nirvana - Grunge in Europe, 1989

    Anyone who bought Nirvana or Sub Pop releases is sure to find nuggets throughout.

  • A taxi-van driver carries passengers up and down Sri Lanka and reflects on what he sees in Gunesekera's brilliant stories.

    Noontide Toll by Romesh Gunesekera

    Romesh Gunesekera has eight works of fiction to his name and his debut novel, Reef, published in 1994, made the Booker Prize shortlist. His new stories are narrated by a companionable taxi-van driver as he ferries passengers up and down through Sri Lanka.

  • He Wants: lacks pep in its step

    He Wants by Alison Moore

    Alison Moore's first novel, The Lighthouse, was deservedly shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2012. In this, her second novel Moore is at pains to depict a prim, boring England, while trying to keep us interested in her central human drama. Risky.

  • England And Other Stories by Graham Swift

    The 25 stories in Swift's new collection examine England and the people who live there from quirky angles, tales that mostly engage completely in short sprints.

  • A young man's creation written under the close shadow of James Joyce

    Echo's Bones by Samuel Beckett

    The previously unpublished story Echo's Bones is too in love with its future necessity for footnotes. It is little more than a young man's creation, written under the close shadow of James Joyce.

  • Holloways were used as routes to pilgrim places, to the sea and to market.

    Holloway by Macfarlane, Donwood & Richards

    This 36-page work details time spent trekking through an ancient holloway in Dorset. It's part-authored by Robert Macfarlane, one of the most revered writer-naturalists working in English at present.

  • Nicolson's journey around the Homeric world: Ulysses and Achilles, and the stories of their exploits assembled in the Iliad and the Odyssey.

    The Mighty Dead by Adam Nicolson

    Homer's epic poems, The Iliad and the Odyssey, are the oldest stories that mankind has for reading and their background and complex origins are explored in this fascinating new book.

  • An invaluable aid for dealing with everything life throws at us

    Mindfulness On the Go Padraig O'Morain

    Padraig O'Morain is a writer and psychotherapist, who has practised mindfulness for 25 years. His accessible 200-page work demonstrates how we can feel more at home in our own skin, both at work and at home.

  • Sense of the fantastic and the surreal: Machado De Assis

    Stories - Joaquim Maria Machado De Assis

    In these ten stories, The Brazilian writer Machado de Assis's sense of the fantastic prefigures the work of the much-better known Argentinian writer, Jorge Luis Borges. Woody Allen is a fan.

  • Derek Walcott - new collection of his exuberant, erudite poems

    The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2013

    Born in St Lucia (West Indies) in 1930, Derek Walcott won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992, and he has collaborated with the late Seamus Heaney and with Paul Simon. This new Selected Poems runs to over 600 pages and proves an excellent introduction.