Recommended Books

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The Independent Culture
The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis by Jose Saramago tr. Giovanni Pontiero, Harvill pounds 7.99. An enthralling Portuguese drama mixing high seriousness with wit and farce. Winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Award for July / August.

Poor Things by Alasdair Gray, Bloomsbury pounds 14.99. A rich, involved tale of Victorian passion. Review by Hugo Barnacle, 12 September.

The Rituals of Dinner by Margaret Visser, Viking pounds 17.99. Minute social history served up with relish and style. Review by Robert Winder, 4 September.

Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby, Gollancz pounds 13.99. A football fan muses brilliantly on his life and obsession. Review by Pete Davies, 12 September.

A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel, Viking pounds 15.99. A resounding drama of the French Revolution. Review by Tim Blanning, 29 August.