Saturday 05 July 1997
How Stella Got Her Groove Back by Terry McMillan (Penguin, pounds 5.99) Tired of loading the dishwasher and driving her son to Little League practice, Californian banker Stella Payne decides to take a vacation from the real world. Six new swimsuits later, she's sipping pina coladas by a Caribbean pool and checking out Winston Shakespeare, a 21-year-old Adonis.
Accordion Crimes by E Annie Proulx (Fourth Estate, pounds 6.99) Proulx's stories of immigrant America are as raw as a Minnesota winter. Following the travels of a green accordion as it passes from hand to hand over 100 years, she rehearses the songs of exile of four generations of Americans.
Next of Kin by Joanna Trollope (Black Swan, pounds 6.99) When Robin Meredith persuades Caro, a cowgirl from California, to share his workaday Midlands farm, he doesn't expect her to drop dead from a brain tumour. Nor does he expect his brother to take her death so badly. As unobtrusively plotted as the gentle countryside it describes.
Cause of Death By Patricia Cornwell (Warner Books, pounds 5.99) It's New Year's Eve and the body of a local investigative reporter has been found on the bottom of an icy river. Another tough case for ballsy Kay Scarpetta and her sidekicks: niece Lucy (computer whiz and outed lesbian) and police captain Pete Marino.
Catwalk by Georgina Newbery (Warner Books, pounds 5.99) Don't be put off by the trashy cover; this pastiche of the fashion biz is a classy little number. Set in the corridors of a Conde Nast-like glossy mag, it records a summer of King's Road drinks parties and romantic encounters for the mag's surprisingly likeable editor and her deeply camp deputy.
Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald (Vintage, pounds 6.99) Set in Nova Scotia's Cape Breton, this haunting saga shows its author to be as intimate with small cruelties as her fellow-countrywoman Margaret Atwood. Married at 13, Lebanese-born Materia gives birth to a child she can never love. Three more daughters follow, as does the First World War and a run of peculiar tragedies.
Bombardiers by Po Bronson (Minerva, pounds 6.99) Less of a novel than a high-adrenaline trashing of corporate America, this wicked depiction of West Coast bond dealers will appeal to anyone who's seen the inside of a city dealing room. Given a block of overpriced bonds to offload, they develop the "bombardier" mentality: flying as close to the wind as possible without risking psychological breakdown.
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food