Titanic Survivor by Violet Jessop (Sutton, pounds 8.99)

The author was a stewardess aboard the ill-fated vessel. Her memoirs, discovered after her death in 1971, are crammed with detail, such as the ship's cat Jenny and "cold-eyed" professional gamblers. She gives a graphic account of the sinking - including her hesitation over which hat to wear on the lifeboat and the resentment that the pounds 10 given to each surviving crew member by the Mayor of Southampton was swiftly retrieved when he discovered they had also been given pounds 25 by the Daily Telegraph. The disaster occupies only 30 pages, but that is not the only feature of interest: Miss Jessop was shipwrecked again in 1916.

Gaglow by Esther Freud (Penguin, pounds 6.99)

Esther Freud's third novel alternates between conversations in a London flat between a pregnant woman and her artist father, and memories of "granny's" life in pre-war Berlin. Dual narratives can be hard to pull off, but Freud's descriptions of ancestral marzipan roses, Titian-haired nannies and First World War battlefields are convincingly meshed into a family psycho-drama that plays itself out in the sitting-rooms of St John's Wood several generations on.

Turner: a life by James Hamilton (Sceptre, pounds 7.99)

An excellent biography - revealing on the life, perceptive on the art. Britain's greatest painter was an indefatigable traveller ("from 1790- 1810, he came to know England as few others"), political radical and secret erotic artist. Despite his crotchety image, Turner was generous and engaging. He wittily deflected criticism at a dinner party: "Nice green, that lettuce, and the beetroot pretty red. Add some mustard and then you have one of my pictures." The dazzling wunderkind ended his days in drunken squalor, but Hamilton reminds us of the "overwhelming talent and physical resilience" of this "genius... before his time".

Hitler and Geli by Ronald Hayman (Bloomsbury, pounds 7.99)

A detailed and absorbing exploration of Hitler's secret relationship with his niece Geli Raubel. Though there is no conclusive proof that Hitler (a pathological misogynist) and Geli were lovers, they had been living together for four years when she was found shot dead, aged 23, in 1931. The official verdict was suicide, but Hayman speculates that Hitler may have killed her in a fit of rage when she revealed her pregnancy. Either way, there is no doubting the profound impact of her death upon him. Coming from the same family, Hitler felt no need to hide his shaming background from her: "Geli ... was his only friend."

Genesis by Robert Alter (Norton, pounds 9.95)

Believing modern versions to have "shaky English" and the King James Version to have "shaky Hebrew", Alter produced his own acclaimed translation of Genesis. At the outset, it takes a bit of getting used to: "When God began to create heaven and earth, and the earth was then welter and waste and darkness over the deep and God's breath hovering over the waters, God said, `Let there be light'." Similarly, Adam is introduced as "the human" and his name crops up only at the end of the chapter. But Alter's version is rigorously accurate and his grave, lucid poetry steadily grows on you.

Sex Crimes by Jenefer Shute (Vintage, pounds 6.99)

Jenefer Shute's sleekly written thriller set in the Szechuan restaurants and yuppie bars of downtown Boston is aimed at scaring the pants off any SWF looking for a date. Thirty-eight-year-old attorney Christine Chandler makes a big mistake when she shares a cab home with Scott, a good-looking younger man she meets at a friend's New Year's party. What starts off as a one-night stand turns into 10 months of illicit sex, and ends in a crime of hideous cruelty. A scarily plausible portrait of a woman who takes the compartmentalism of her life one step too far.

A Likeness in Stone by J Wallis Martin (New English Library, pounds 5.99)

Oxford whodunits never seem to lose their cosily gruesome appeal, and Wallis Martin's first novel of high tables and mortuary slabs is no exception. When a female body is recovered from the bottom of a local reservoir, a 20-year-old investigation into the case of missing Somerville student Helena Warner is reopened. Prime suspects: the mousy best friend, now a weirdo living in Warrington, and two boys from Worcester College with a secret to hide. To the rescue: DCI Driver of the Thames Valley Police (though not in a Jag).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

    £28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

    £16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

    Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

    £16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

    £17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living