Courageous: Author Ruth Rendell

Washington Journal: Reporting Watergate and Richard Nixon's Downfall by Elizabeth Drew, book review

Gripping account of Watergate scandal calls into doubt Frost's role

Siberia: A History of the People by Janet M Hartley, book review: A guided tour of the frozen wastes

A grim waste of ice and snow dotted with unspeakable penal colonies. That's all we know about Siberia. The first surprise in Janet M Hartley's fact-packed survey of 400 years of Russia's Wild East is that Siberia is a rich country.

Fire Songs by David Harsent, book review: Author finds an early late flowering

Truly significant poets continue to challenge their readers from book to book. Some – like W B Yeats, Czeslaw Milosz and even R S Thomas – go on to have "late great" flowerings. David Harsent may not be at the "late" stage yet, but with every book his stature as a truly significant writer becomes more undeniable.

Misquoting Muhammad: The Challenge and Choices of Interpreting the Prophet's Legacy by Jonathan A C Brown, book review

A study of interpretations over the ages illuminates modern ethical dilemmas

In Love and War by Alex Preston, book review: Evocative portrait of passion and fascism

There is much to admire in Alex Preston's third novel, In Love and War, the Florence-set tale of one young man's journey from lacklustre British Blackshirt to fervent Italian Resistance fighter.

Papers in the Wind by Eduardo Sacheri, translated by Mara Faye Lethem - book review: Story of friendship and football gets lost in translation

Papers in the Wind is the story of a friendship between four middle-aged Argentinian men: one of them (Mono) dies and the others inherit ownership of a hopeless footballer; they have to find a way of selling the player to pay for Mono's daughter's school fees.

John the Pupil by David Flusfeder - book review: A beautifully measured portrait of a pilgrim's progress

The cover blurb for his seventh novel compares David Flusfeder with Umberto Eco and Quentin Tarantino – which is both wholly understandable and irksomely spurious. While there is a similar intellectual chicanery and a ludic approach to form, the brevity and compression of John the Pupil, its spaces, make this a lazy comparison. Lazy because this is a novel far more original and ambitious than such a description would suggest.

Future Days: Krautrock And The Building Of Modern Germany by David Stubbs - book review

West Germany, 1968. The shamed populace have knuckled down and created the Wirtschaftswunder, belatedly fulfilling Hitler’s promise of a Volkswagen for everyone, but not everyone is content. Rarely has the youthful dictum “don’t trust anyone over 30” been so apt, for this is a nation beset with collective historical amnesia. Protest ranges from direct action to a belief that German music can revive itself without copying the American saviours/occupiers. Surprisingly, an entirely original idiom was born which has influenced the world’s popular music ever since.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki And His Years Of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami - book review

So, here we are back in the intriguing, irritating, sometimes dubious world of Haruki Murakami’s imagination. A world where the entirely mundane and the startlingly enigmatic are used to chart the life of loner, who’s brimful with sadness and existential angst, and haunted by weird, and weirdly meaningful dreams and nightmares.

Hack Attack by Nick Davies - book review

That two more former News of the World journalists were charged this week with phone-hacking is a sobering reminder that the story told in Hack Attack is not yet over. As the reporter who first sought to expose the full extent of criminal activity at News International’s then flagship title, Nick Davies has a unique view on the events that unfolded after he began his investigations for The Guardian in 2008. He also knows how to weave a compelling tale.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton - book review

It’s 1676 and 18-year-old Nella Oortman arrives with her trunk and her pet parakeet at a “stately and beautiful house” on Amsterdam’s Herengracht. This prime piece of real estate belongs to her wealthy merchant husband, Johannes Brandt, whom she’s met once, in a “blink of a marriage ceremony” at her childhood country home a month earlier.

Poetry books round-up: From Nazareth to Didcot in rhyme

Suzi Feay puts in the air miles to cover some of the best new poetry

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