PAPERBACKS

! The Married Man: A Life of D H Lawrence by Brenda Maddox, Minerva pounds 7.99. The intensity of Lawrence's life and work has driven biographers to adopt lurid titles: The Dark Sun, The Forked Flame etc. With her downbeat choice, you fear Maddox is signalling a domesticated Lawrence "for the 1990s". Actually he was big on housework, and the title points to Maddox's belief that the most significant thing about him was his "mismatch made in heaven" with a chain-smoking, promiscuous German baroness. There isn't much sympathy for Frieda in these pages but she is paid her Muse's due, and Lawrence still comes over as more the bullying autodidact than shining prophet.

! A Different Sea by Claudio Magris, trs M S Spurr, Harvill pounds 7.99. Magris is one of those intellectuals whose gnomic playfulness can both infuriate and fascinate. This brief novel is about Enrico, an Istrian who, in 1909, shuns authoritarian Europe to read the ancient Greeks among the sheep of Patagonia. But he reappears in the post-Great War chaos and yearns now for the Austro-Hungarian simplicities of his childhood. Yet nothing here is quite as it seems and at times Magris's narrative reads like an ironic commentary on New Ageism and the Vietnam era.

! Daisy Bates in the Desert by Julia Blackburn, Minerva pounds 6.99. A poetic and original prose writer, Blackburn again fuses biography, travel writing and reminiscence (she last did it for Napoleon on St Helena) to present the story of Daisy Bates, a kind of Apostle of the Aborigines. Blackburn's identification with this extraordinary Irish woman - bigamist, traveller, storyteller, amateur prostitute, self-taught ethnologist and CBE - is so total that author and subject exchange dreams and memories like friends in a school playground. Few writers would get away with it, but Blackburn's imaginative commitment carries her through.

! Easy Money: Inside the Gambler's Mind by David Spanier, Oldcastle Books pounds 6.99. Not terribly systematic - but then no systems win all the time, right? - still, a very entertaining survey of why Gambling Is Good for You. We visit casinos, study the theory of Blackjack, the history of Gambler's Anonymous, enter the world of John Aspinall and "Lucky" Lucan and hear of attempts to use computers to predict roulette wheels. There are games of chance with a lot more buzz than you get queuing for a lottery ticket, and this book proves it.

! The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye: Five Fairy Stories by A S Byatt, Vintage pounds 5.99. The first four are fairy stories in the accepted sense but Byatt's last is a 180-page novella. Middle-aged Gillian addresses a "narratology" conference in Istanbul, when she suddenly sees, hovering above the audience, the empty, sterile embodiment of her horror of ageing and the body's decay. So far, so spooky. But later, in her hotel room, a djinn pops out of the bottle she got in the Bazaar and - alakazam! - her existential problems are all solved, for the djinn not only has the usual three wishes, he is the most amazing sex-therapist. To this mere narratologist, it's like a modern novel tagged with an ending from an X-rated Disney cartoon.

Arts and Entertainment
Loading individual letters on to an original Heidelberg printing press
books
Arts and Entertainment
Shades of glory: Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend

Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act

Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

    'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

    In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
    VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

    How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

    Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
    They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

    Typefaces still matter in the digital age

    A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
    Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

    'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

    New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
    The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

    Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

    Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

    Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
    Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

    Crisp sales are in decline

    As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
    Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

    Ronald McDonald the muse

    A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
    13 best picnic blankets

    13 best picnic blankets

    Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
    Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

    Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

    Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
    Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'