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The Independent Culture
Millenium: A History of Our Last Thousand Years by Felipe Fernandez- Armesto (Bantam, pounds 25). Dazzling designer history which zaps through the planet's last thousand years.

Oswald's Tale: An American Mystery by Norman Mailer (Little, Brown, pounds 25). The novelist turns to non-fiction and gets under the skin of America's most famous assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.

Enigma by Robert Harris (Hutchinson, pounds 15.99). Brilliant follow-up to the best- selling thriller, Fatherland, set among the wartime code-breakers of Bletchley Park.

Promised Lands by Jane Rogers (Faber, pounds 14.99). The world of the early Australian settlers alternates with a modern-day plot in this haunting tale of messianic madness and Utopian dreams.

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