Recommended Books

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The Independent Culture
Grand Days by Frank Moorhouse, Picador, pounds 14.99. Compelling story about a woman's romantic career, set against the turbulent birth of the League of Nations. Review by Natasha Walter, 11 September.

A Wreath Upon the Dead by Briege Duffaud, Poolbeg, pounds 14.99. Remarkable novel full of splendid voices exploring the fateful history of Northern Ireland. Review by Robert Winder, 1 October.

Feather Crowns by Bobbie Ann Mason, Chatto, pounds 15.99. Exhilarating novel about clannish life on the farm in rural America. Review by Anthony Quinn, 2 October.

The Expense of Glory by Ian McIntyre, HarperCollins, pounds 20. Skilful and sensitive biography of Lord Reith, an uneasy titan among pygmies. Review by Godfrey Hodgson, 2 October.

The Gospel According to Jesus Christ by Jose Saramago, Harvill, pounds 8.99. The Bible story given a profound and poignant twist by this year's winner of the Independent Award for Foreign Fiction. Review by Gabriel Josipovici, 11 September.