BOOKS / Paperbacks

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Children of the Flames: Dr Josef Mengele and the Untold Story of the Twins of Auschwitz by Lucette Matalon and Sheila Cohn Dekel, Pan pounds 5.99. An almost unbearably painful account of the twins selected for genetic experimentation by the 'Angel of Death' at Auschwitz. Because of their particular fate, many of the twins were the only members of their families to come out of the camp alive: the book, rather oddly, counterpoints survivors' stories, and their legacy of shame and guilt as well as pain, with the life of Mengele himself.

Mr Wu & Mrs Stitch: The Letters of Evelyn Waugh and Diana Cooper, ed Artemis Cooper, Sceptre pounds 7.99. These remarkable letters are prime-time Waugh. They begin in 1932, at the end of his brief first marriage, and describe the surreal hilarity of his press career in Ethiopia, the brittle gaiety of high society, then the calmer waters of re-marriage, hated domesticity and cantankerous old age. Courtly and tender and funny to the last, these are the letters of two highly intelligent people who always raised their game for each other.

Nico: The Last Bohemian by James Young, Bloomsbury pounds 12.99. Remember Nico? Velvet Underground's stunning figurehead singer was a casualty of stardom, heroin and Warhol's Factory in a way now familiar in rock 'n' roll stories. This impressionistic, on-the-road account turns up the rancid underside of her world, and tells the unglamorous truths about what happens when you have been an icon and don't die before you get old.

Catholics and Sex by Kate Saunders and Peter Standford, Mandarin pounds 4.99. 'So how, exactly, did the Catholic Church get its collective knickers into such a twist about sex?' runs the breezy opening chapter of this apologia-cum- polemic, which deals with childhood, guilt, marriage and divorce, the origins of sexual law and taboo. There is some interesting material from interviews, but both the quotations and the arguments seem rather well-worn.