BOOKS / Recommended

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A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley, Flamingo pounds 5.99. A powerful prize-winning novel that sets King Lear in rural Iowa. Review by Anthony Quinn, 17 October.

Shylock by John Gross, Chatto pounds 18. A varied and scintillating study of a hero and villain over 400 years. Review by Barbara Everett, 10 October.

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

My Golden Trades by Ivan Klima, Granta pounds 13.99. A great storyteller's ironic account of survival under Communism. Winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Award for September /October.

John Maynard Keynes by Robert Skidelsky, Macmillan pounds 20. Second volume of an exhilarating biography, larded with telling details. Review by Ian McIntyre, 14 November.

Poor Things by Alasdair Gray, Bloomsbury pounds 14.99. A rich, involved tale of Victorian passion and fraud, winner in the Whitbread novel category. Review by Hugo Barnacle, 12 September.

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.

Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby, Gollancz pounds 13.99. A football fan muses brilliantly on his life and obsession. Winner of the 'Bookie' Prize - the William Hill sports book award. Review by Pete Davies, 12 September.

The Gaze of the Gorgon by Tony Harrison, Bloodaxe, pounds 6.95. Fierce and witty poems composed with a marvellous mixture of high and low tones. Winner of the Whitbread poetry category. Review by Robert Winder, 3 December.