Recommended books

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

Mating by Norman Rush, Cape, pounds 15.99. Extraordinary search for love in Africa, winner of the Irish Times /Aer Lingus Fiction Prize. Review by Anthony Quinn, 8 August

The Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe, Picador, pounds 14.99. A powerful story of madness. Winner of the Irish Times / Aer Lingus Irish Fiction Prize. Review by Marek Kohn, 2 May.

Wagner: Race and Revolution by Paul Lawrence Rose, Faber pounds 20. A scathing picture of the anti-Semitic strain running through the composer's life and work. Review by Tim Jackson, 25 July.

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.

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