Paperbacks: Mister Pip, by Lloyd Jones

This engrossing, Booker-shortlisted novel, set on a tropical island riddled with ants and angry soldiers, contains moments so dark they make your skin prickle. Narrated by 13-year-old Matilda, it describes what happens when the enigmatic Mr Watts begins reading Great Expectations to the schoolchildren. Full of the heat and energy of a tropical civil war, this is a story about conflict, loyalty and the power and limitations of stories themselves.