Recommended Books

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The Independent Culture
Young Men and Fire by Norman Maclean, University of Chicago, pounds 9.95. Gripping and profound adventure among the firefighters of Montana. Review by Robert Winder, 17 December.

Radio Activity by John Murray, Sunk Island, pounds 7.99. Distinctive and idiosyncratic comic novel that sends up the nuclear industry. Review by

D J Taylor, 11 December.

Georges Perec: A Life in Words by David Bellos, Harvill, pounds 35. Ample and generous biography of a remarkable French novelist, the games-playing author of Life A User's Manual. Review by Hugo Barnacle, 11 December.

The Holder of the World by Bharati Mukherjee, Chatto & Windus, pounds 14.99. Big, entertaining, romantic novel that squeezes three cultures, three centuries and two continents into a neat whole. Interview by Marianne Brace,

6 November.