(words by acgoodall)
Great House by Nicole Krauss (Viking)
Her first offering since 2005′s international bestseller The History Of Love, Krauss’s new novel is a meditation on memory and the trail of history,told via an object, a large desk that informs each of the protagonists’ lives. Again her writing is concerned with the dark extending shadow of the Holocaust, but also examines Pinochet’s regime and the Israel-Palestine conflict. Her deft, acute prose navigates us through the interconnected debris of unresolved loss.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber)
Ishiguro’s novel is enjoying a renaissance thanks to the film starring Knightley, Mulligan, Garfield et al. Set in an unsettlingly familiar version of rural England, dystopian but not, the novel follows three children – Ruth, Tommy and Kathy – at the Halisham boarding school in Norfolk. It’s clear from the start that their school and their designated role in the world of “originals” is morally dubious, strange and disturbing. A muted narrative that demands rereading – read it before you see the film.
The Trinity Six by Charles Cummings (Harper Collins)
The former M16 man has created a le Carré-esque spy yarn in which Russia expert, Dr Sam Gaddis, uncovers startling new information about the previously unknown sixth member of the notorious Cambrdige spy ring. But as Gaddis delves further into the mystery, he soon finds himself on the brink of uncovering information that will shake Europe and its intelligence services to the very core. A gripping spy thriller from an exciting crime writer.
Why We Lie: The Source of Our Disasters by Dorothy Rowe (Harper Collins)
Australian psychologist and author Rowe delves deeply into the reasons why we lie via science, collective memory, sociology survival and more; it also examines some of the greatest lies in history. Entertaining and informative, it might even put you off telling those little white fibs you’re so fond of!
You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier (Penguin)
…You’re flesh and blood, an individual. But will you be in the future? Have social networks replaced creativity? Will we be able to think for ourselves outside the realm of the digital, internet, and prorammed code? And how can we stop the march of mass mediocrity? In his new book, Lanier explains how the individual can thrive in a machine-dominated future. A compelling book, whose author made TIME’s 100 most-influential list last year.