Recommended Books

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The Independent Culture
A Place of Fallen Leaves by Tim Pears, Hamish Hamilton, pounds 14.99. Unusually strong debut novel set in a sleepy Devon village. Review by Kate Bassett, 27 March.

Lincoln at Gettysburg by Garry Wills, Simon & Schuster, pounds 17.99. An impressive examination of the implications of one of the most famous speeches in American history. Review by Godfrey Hodgson, 20 March.

The Blindfold by Siri Hustvedt, Hodder & Stoughton, pounds 8.99. Elegantly written first novel about a young woman's life alone in New York. Review by Justine Picardie, 13 February.

The Oracle at Stoneleigh Court by Peter Taylor, Chatto, pounds 14.99. Haunting stories imbued with the lost grandeur of the American South. Review by D J Taylor, 13 March.