Recommended books

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A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley, Flamingo pounds 5.99. A powerful prize-winning novel that sets King Lear in rural Iowa. Review by Anthony Quinn, 17 October.

Shylock by John Gross, Chatto pounds 18. A varied, scintillating study of a hero and villain over 400 years. Review by Barbara Everett, 10 October.

Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals by Iris Murdoch, Chatto pounds 20. The audacious attempt to present Western philosophy as a guide to life. Review by Ray Monk, 24 October.

The Heather Blazing by Colm Toibin, Picador pounds 14.99. In this austere tale, a Dublin judge recalls his past. Review by D J Taylor, 26 September.

Poor Things by Alasdair Gray, Bloomsbury pounds 14.99. A rich, involved tale of Victorian passion and fraud. 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.

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

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