Shards of Memory by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (John Murray, pounds 15.99). East meets West in cosmopolitan comedy of manners. Her best novel since "Heat and Dust".
Robert Graves: Life on the Edge by Miranda Seymour (Doubleday, pounds 20). Perceptive account of the writer who lived "as he thought a poet should - on an emotional tightrope".
The Mahler Album edited by Gilbert Kaplan (Thames and Hudson, pounds 48). Over 300 photographs of the most handsome composer in history, with a fascinating memoir by one of his contemporaries.
Life Without Armour: An Autobiography by Alan Sillitoe (HarperCollins, pounds 18.99). Gritty life story of the Northern autodidact. Best on his pre- war Nottingham childhood.
Dark Spectre by Michael Dibdin (Faber, pounds 15.99). Claustrophobic thriller about a sinister American sect. Perfect holiday reading.