PAPERBACKS

Making Monsters by Richard Ofshe & Ethan Watters (Andre Deutsch, pounds 12.99)

"Remembering is the First Stop to Healing", proclaims an advert in the South-Western Bell Yellow Pages. And memories of child abuse, as viewers of Oprah well know, seem almost commonplace in America today. This convincing attack on recovered memory therapy claims that to strip people of their actual memories, fill them with hatred, and charge a fee for the trouble, is the real abuse going on.

Mothers' Boys by Margaret Forster (Penguin, pounds 5.99)

Margaret Forster always suprises with the speed with which she yanks the reader into the heart of her family sagas, spinning tales of generational history with the ease of a good gossip. Here, Mrs Armstrong and Mrs Kennedy are brought together after their teenage sons are involved in a brutal stabbing A gripping old-fashioned read, which captures the agonies of mother-love over the social niceties of the kitchen table.

Richard Ingrams, Lord of the Gnomes by Harry Thompson (Mandarin, pounds 6.99)

What a charmed life those Private Eye boys must have led. Games played in school studies and Oxford rooms worked just as well when transferred to Soho offices, and even earned them spending money and rakish esteem. Most charmed among them was Ingrams, subject of this biography, whose air of remote helplessness so fired women up, that it had them pushing him into lavatories on fast-moving trains.

Daisy Bates in the Desert by Julia Blackburn (Minerva, pounds 6.99)

A bright, penniless Irish girl, Daisy Bates boarded a ship for Australia and reinvented herself. After a brief marriage to Breaker Morant, and brief forays into Australian high society, she abandoned a life-long preoccupation with her own good looks, and went to live with the Aborigines. This novelistic Life is a strange and stunning read, retracing the life of this contradictory woman whose last reminder of the grasses of Ireland was a stalk of cabbage.

Rushing to Paradise by J G Ballard (Flamingo, pounds 5.99)

On the island of Saint Esprit, the albatross isn't the only endangered species. When Dr Barbara Rafferty moves in with her band of wild-eyed eco-activists, she's intent on building the perfect feminist utopia, where natural habitats are treated with respect, and where she doesn't have to wash her hair. Men are "Reason", she says, but women are "Magic", which means men are out once their fertility falls. Savage satire, but with little sense of fun.

The Flanders Panel by Arturo Perez-Reverte (Flamingo, pounds 5.99)

Picked out in sienna blue and copper-green, Duke Ferdinand and Roger de Arras sit poised over a chess board. Not an unusual painting for Julia, a dark-eyed picture restorer from Madrid, to tackle - but one that hides a mysterious inscription, "Quis necavit equitem," (who killed the knight?). With its wood-panelled apartments, this Euro-thriller cries out for the Inspector Morse film crew.

The Rock of Tanios by Amin Maalouf (Abacus, pounds 6.99)

Located in a Lebanese village in the 1830s, this variation on the themes of loyalty, power and love won the Prix Goncourt. As the feudal order crumbles, the bastard son of a local sheikh is swept up in murder, treachery and colonial manoeuvring. Told with the simplicity of fable but set on the cusp of the modern world, this is a wonderful tale based on the real-life betrayal of one of the author's forebears.

An Intimate History of Humanity by Theodore Zeldin (Minerva, pounds 7.99)

In this audacious work, Zeldin muses on 25 opaquely titled themes, eg "Why there has been more progress in food than in sex". For each, there is a profile of an individual who is somehow affected and a digressive essay bolstered by odd facts. From successive chapters we learn: Socrates was very ugly; there are 250,000 types of leaves; Andean peasants use 20-40 varieties of potato in a stew. Diffuse but dazzling.

First World War by Martin Gilbert (Harper Collins, pounds 9.99)

Don't be put off by its 600-page bulk or by the fear that Churchill's famously voluminous biographer may be a touch on the dry side. This panoramic narrative is superbly readable. The horrors of industrialised mass slaughter are tempered by a wealth of unexpected detail, such as the 1914 Times report of fictitious Russians in Britain ("fierce-looking bearded fellows in fur hats"). The prolific Mr Gilbert is a national treasure.

Writing Home by Alan Bennett (Faber, pounds 7.99)

Perhaps the most successful dramatic spin-off since Shaw's Prefaces, Bennett's collection of offcuts, squibs and diary entries from the past 25 years flew out of shops last Christmas. Its success was well deserved. Not only is Bennett a master of drollery, he is also one of the finest stylists currently writing. Sadly, the chance to issue an expanded edition including recent work, such as his Peter Cook obituary, was overlooked.

Scott Fitzgerald: A Biography by Jeffrey Meyers (Papermac, pounds 12)

Against a dizzy Jazz Age backdrop, a cast of legendary figures drink themselves to hell. This riveting, if familiar story (it is the sixth major Life), is told with objectivity. It was, as Chandler noted, "a marvel that Fitzgerald did as well as he did", blitzed as he was by booze. We may lament the loss of a fine novelist to Hollywood, but Meyers points out that the only money he made came from films and short stories.

East, West by Salman Rushdie (Vintage, pounds 5.99)

Scheherazade meets Star Trek in these well-honed miniatures from the maestro of the cross-cultural block-buster. They fall into three sections: folksy, slightly magical tales set in India; European literary baubles; and the doings of bookish Indian chaps in Britain. The significance of fantasy is a recurring feature. Though little more than hors-d'oeuvres compared to Rushdie's customary banquets, they are nutritious nonetheless.

Arts and Entertainment
Chloe-Jasmine Whicello impressed the judges and the audience at Wembley Arena with a sultry performance
TVReview: Who'd have known Simon was such a Roger Rabbit fan?
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
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.

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam