Having served in the Army Air Corps for a number of years and coming from a family military background, this tale of the original hero of The Great Escape, made famous from the Hollywood movie of the same name, location and dates, but an altogether completely different list of characters, (as only Hollywood could ever do and get away with) was most intriguing.
Nick's book is perhaps one of the best I've read all year. Inside you'll find his research will both disgust and enlighten; you might even cry, you may throw up, but you certainly won't be cheerful. Cohen has successfully lifted the veil on the myth of free speech and as a result, he's perfectly revealed all the mendacity of those that claim we have it.
Mott has written the novel in a way that you expect it to be an account from one of the more educated characters, whom often doubts their dates and so forth. This use of engagement with the reader, allows the mysterious narrator to guide you through the town and the story, with a somewhat effortless ease.
Nuala Casey's debut novel set in London's famed bohemian quarter - concerns itself with four ordinary Londoners who get caught up in the cloying hysteria of 6 July 2005, the day Britain was announced as host of the Olympic Games. But as day breaks after a night of bacchanalia - the 4am in question - a day of infamy begins: 7/7, a date Londoners will never forget.
Sud de France is as much a foodie travelog as it is a cookbook, there are lots of notes about the region which is wonderfully written and interesting to read. The familiarity that Conran has with this area of France shines through, the insight is thorough and while reading you feel that you have seen and tasted the area.
On one hand, poetry of trauma offers the process of healing a psychologically wounded mind for those who have been subjected to mentally constricting and damaging behaviour from trusted relationships or even repeated exposure to violence. On the other hand, it needs caution if such poetry is widely promoted to a large audience, because in some of such works, the distinction between real and unreal can be diminished.
Dystopian novels are enjoying something of a renaissance. According to Goodreads, the number of dystopian-themed books is currently at its highest since the 1960s. Women writers seem to be leading the way.
In his first novel, Socrates Adams doesn't seem that bothered about giving you an easy ride. Yes, there's the humour, a requirement for the 'alt lit' canon, and the thread with which he pulls you into his yarn, to have you wince for his characters and cringe through the situations they create for themselves. But it's not the laughs that make this debut an impressive one.
You might remember those books - they probably still make them (I just checked, they do) - called Choose Your Own Adventure where you read a bit, then there's a little action, then you make the hero's choice at some bifurcation of the story.
There haven't been many coherent voices speaking out against the impending money-splash of the London Olympics next year. Most have been swept away by the shiny promised land of the new Westfield, or the dubious pledges buried in tonnes of polished glass and metal, said to be invested in our potentially athletic children's futures.
Sam Leith served as literary editor of the Daily Telegraph until 2008 and is the author of two award-winning books, Dead Pets and Sod's Law. His work has also appeared in - amongst other publications - the Evening Standard, The Guardian, and the Sunday Times. Leith's first novel, The Coincidence Engine was released in February.