BOOKS / Recommended

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The Independent Culture
Mating by Norman Rush, Cape pounds 14.99. Dazzling novel about a woman's vibrant life in the Kalahari. Interview by Natasha Walter, 5 December.

A Time to Speak by Helen Lewis, Blackstaff Press pounds 6.95. Remarkable autobiography of a Czech ballet teacher in the eye of the Holocaust. Review by Sue Gaisford, 14 November.

Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals by Iris Murdoch, Chatto pounds 20. The audacious study of Western philosophy as a guide to life. Review by Ray Monk, 24 October.

The Dictionary of National Biography: Missing Persons edited by C S Nicholls, Oxford pounds 65. Expensive but marvellous compendium: more than a thousand gripping lives rescued from oblivion. Review by Robert Winder, 22 January.

I am the Clay by Chaim Potok, Heinemann pounds 13.99. Excellent novel about a rescued boy improvising in war-torn Korea. Review by Tim Jackson, 23 January.