The Economist 2018年度推荐书单

摘要

They are about corruption, blood, slavery, survivalism, espionage and a drifting second-world-war veteran.

重点推荐

政策类

Moneyland:Why Thieves And Crooks Now Rule The World And How To Take It Back

  • 作者:奥利弗·布洛(Oliver Bullough)

  • 售价:298 pages; £20 | St Martin’s Press in May $28.99 | ¥196(精装)

  • 链接:https://www.amazon.cn/dp/125020870X

  • 内容概要

Moneyland是作者布洛虚构的一个词汇,指的是一个让全世界富豪权贵们洗钱的地方。

富人怎样把超级财富藏到税务局不找到的地方?作者以苏联遗贵为主线,收集了律师、会计、金融诈骗集团的多方故事,勾勒出财产转移的世界地图。在这本书里,布洛讲讲述他在 Moneyland 的发现 —— 这是由一群无法无天,无国籍的超级富豪组成的秘密国家。你将会在书中看到欧洲和美国的机构如何为这些洗钱的人服务,从而破坏了西方世界稳定的根源。你会了解到整个世界为这种无秩序的商业活动付出的代价,还有有志之士是如何反击他们的。

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奥利弗·布洛(Oliver Bullough)著有两部关于俄罗斯历史和政治的非虚构作品,《俄罗斯的最后一人》(THE LAST MAN IN RUSSIA)以及《声名鹊起》(LET OUR FAME BE GREAT),并凭此入围英国奥威尔奖(Orwell Prize)短名单,获得美国科尼利厄斯·瑞安奖(Cornelius Ryan)。

Shadows of Empire

基于对英国,美国,加拿大,澳大利亚和新西兰英语国家之间特殊联系的信念,被支持者称为“Anglosphere”,批评者称之为“Empire 2.0”。

“Anglosphere”(中文常译为:英语圈) 并不是一个常用术语。首先是由美国科幻作家尼尔·斯蒂芬森在他的《钻石年代》(1995年出版)中创造出的,最初并没有详细定义。 《韦氏字典》将其定义为“这个世界上英语语言及文化主宰的国家”(the countries of the world in which the English language and cultural values predominate)。

在这本书中,迈克尔·肯尼(Michael Kenny)和尼克·皮尔斯(Nick Pearce)将这一想法的历史渊源追溯到大英帝国在维多利亚时代晚期。他们展示了英国政治人物,从丘吉尔到撒切尔,如何不断改写它以及如何通过一群右翼政治家,历史学家和小册子来恢复它。

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Michael Kenny 剑桥大学公共政策教授。苏格兰议会专家小组成员,就英国退欧的宪法影响提供政策建议。

Nick Pearce 英国巴斯大学(University of Bath)公共政策教授。政策研究所(The Institute for Policy Research,IPR)主任,领导政策研究所(IPR)的研究,教学,政策计划和公众参与活动。

历史类

A History of America in 100 Maps

 
在本书中,Susan Schulten 使用地图探索了美国五个世纪的历史,从大航海时代到数字时代。
 
全书 100 幅全彩色地图主要来自英国图书馆档案,并按照时间顺序编成九个章节。其中一些地图是由成熟的制图员制作的,而另一些是由不知名的人制作的,例如切诺基部落领导人,前线士兵和第一代正式接受教育的女孩。有些是政治和外交的工具,有些则是社会改革甚至广告和娱乐的工具。作者发掘了每一幅地图的特征,并就其更大的历史意义进行讨论,从而传达对过去的全新视角。

本书提供富有想象力和视觉吸引力的美国历史之旅,向读者展示了一种驾驭自己世界的新方式。

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Susan Schulten 美国丹佛大学教授,历史学家。本科毕业于加州大学伯克利分校,并从宾夕法尼亚大学获得博士学位。

The China Mission: George Marshall’s Unfinished War, 1945-1947

乔治·卡特利特·马歇尔(George Catlett Marshall)堪称美国历史上最伟大的军人政治家之一,他的成就可比德怀特·艾森豪威尔(Dwight Eisenhower),或许还堪与乔治·华盛顿(George Washington)本人相提并论。 1939年,他被富兰克林·罗斯福(Franklin Roosevelt)任命为参谋长,负责将美国陆军从一支弱小、萎靡的部队,转变为一座强大的战争机器。他被哈利·杜鲁门(Harry Truman)誉为「二战中最伟大的人物」,被温斯顿·邱吉尔(Winston Churchill)誉为真正的「胜利建筑师」,在塑造战后不稳定的和平之中,他也发挥了重要作用。

但是,在马歇尔的众多成功之中,夹杂着一次重大失败。他在退伍后回到了位于维吉尼亚州利斯堡的家中,但是没休息几天就肩负特殊使命飞往中国。然而,这一使命以失败为终,中国陷入了内战。这本书即讲述了一位战士和政治家的经历,同时提醒了现代读者:美国的影响力有其边界。

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Daniel Kurtz-Phelan 《外交》(Foreign Affairs)杂志执行编辑(2017年10月~)。曾担任美国国务院政策规划团队(The Policy Planning Staff)成员。

《外交》(Foreign Affairs),由美国著名的智库美国外交关系协会主办,为美国国际事务及外交政策研究领域最权威、影响力最大的学术杂志之一。杂志于1922年开始出版。1947年7月,《外交》刊登了乔治·凯南的文章X Article,使外界首次了解到遏制战略思想。

The Policy Planning Staff,内部缩写 S/P,是美国国务院的主要战略部门。有时也称为政策规划委员会/办公室。它由着名的外交官乔治·凯南(George F. Kennan)于1947年根据国务卿乔治·马歇尔(George Marshall)的要求创建,“作为国务卿独立政策分析和建议的来源”。该委员会的的第一个任务是设计马歇尔计划。

商业经济类

We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights

本书记载了美国历史上最成功但最不为人知的“民权运动”的故事。

​​​亚当·温克勒(Adam Winkler)从殖民时代开始他的叙述,重点分析了美国最高法院历史上最具争议的裁决之一:2010年对联合公民(Citizen United)诉联邦选举委员会一案的裁决,揭示了公司对民主和宪法本身形成的深远影响。关于公司权利的第一个最高法院案件开始于 1809 年,相较于关于非裔美国人或妇女权利的第一个可比案例还要早半个世纪。从那以后,企业开展了一场持久而卓有成效的运动,以赢得越来越多的个人权利。

企业是与个人具有同等意义的“公民”,还是一种具有与个体不同权利和责任的实体?一系列法庭胜利让美国企业逐步争取到了越来越多的“公民权”,但企业人格化背后还有更多复杂的政治问题。本书为所有对美国历史、法律和政治感兴趣的人带来了富有启发的阅读。

本书同时入围2018年非小说类国家图书奖、纽约时报年度书籍、华盛顿邮报年度书籍、经济学人年度最佳书籍。

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​​亚当·温克勒(Adam Winkler),加州大学洛杉矶分校宪法教授。
温克勒是奥斯卡获奖电影制片人欧文·温克勒的最小儿子。小时候,他在电影中扮演过小角色。

其它作品:《Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America》

AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order

李开复,现任创新工场的董事长兼首席执行官。IT 业界知名经理人和计算机科学家。曾在苹果、SGI、微软和 Google 等多家 IT 公司担当要职。
李开复在本书中预言中国将主宰人工智能。他认为中国将粉碎硅谷,因为它拥有更多的数据,蔑视隐私,并且更加无情地竞争。
李开复说,“如果数据是新的石油,那么中国就是新的沙特阿拉伯。”

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美国参议员马克·华纳(Mark Warner,参议院民主党党团副主席,曾任维吉尼亚州州长)将《AI Superpowers》一书列入他的2018年推荐阅读书单The 2018 POLITICO 50 Reading List

科学技术类

Beyond Weird

大多数关于量子力学的书都强调它的古怪,大众通常也觉得非常令人困惑、难以理解。
本书作者尝试以轻松简单的方式入手,简单而深思熟虑地解释主题,揭示了理论的真正力量。

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菲利普·鲍尔(Philip Ball) 英国科学作家。 二十多年来,他一直是《自然》杂志编辑及《观点》杂志(Prospect)、《化学世界》(Chemistry World)、《自然材料》(Nature Materials )和 《BBC Future》的专栏作家。

Rocket Men

详细讲述阿波罗8号航天任务,人类历史上第一次绕月载人航天飞行。

美国国家航空航天局(NASA)针对阿波罗8号的准备工作只花了四个月时间。计划中采用的硬件只被使用过几次:土星5号火箭此前只发射过两次,而阿波罗航天器也只执行过一次载人任务(阿波罗7号)。通过与宇航员,他们的亲人,宇航局人员和无数专家数百小时的一对一采访,以及充满生动和令人难忘的细节,揭示了所涉及的史诗般的危险,以及人类第一次离开地球并进入一个新世界所带来的独特勇气。

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罗伯特·库森(Robert A. Kurson),美国作家。毕业于哈佛法学院,职业写作生涯始于芝加哥太阳时报。

  • 2004 年畅销书《Shadow Divers》。讲述两位美国潜水员探索第二次世界大战时期德国U型潜艇沉船的故事。

Nine Pints: A Journey Through the Money, Medicine and Mysteries of Blood

《Nine Pints》跨越科学,政治,故事和全球流行病,以全新的眼光揭示我们生命的血液。

作者将我们从古老的放血实践带到了“液体活检”的突破,这有望通过简单的验血来诊断癌症和其他疾病。介绍了Janet Vaughan,他在Blitz期间建立了世界上第一个大规模献血系统,以及Arunachalam Muruganantham,因其在发展中国家的卫生巾方面的工作而被称为“月经人”。探讨了等离子体输血的利润丰厚的业务,其中美国被称为“血浆的欧佩克”。作者展望未来,研究人员试图将合成血液带到您附近的医院。

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罗斯·乔治(Rose George),英国记者和作家。毕业于牛津大学、宾夕法尼亚大学,能说流利的法语和意大利语。曾作为科索沃“康德纳斯旅行者”杂志的战地记者,两次在萨达姆 侯赛因的生日聚会上做客。

  • A Life Removed (Penguin Books, 2004) ISBN 978-0141019055 | 探讨了利比里亚境内难民和流离失所者的日常
  • The Big Necessity (Metropolitan/Portobello, 2008) ISBN 9780805090833 | 世界上最被忽视的公共卫生问题危机,体面厕所的基本必要性
  • Ninety Percent of Everything (Metropolitan Books New York, 2013) ISBN 9780805092639
  • Deep Sea and Foreign Going (Portobello London 2013) ISBN 9781846272998
  • Nine Pints: a Journey Through the Money, Medicine, and Mysteries of Blood (Metropolitan Books, 2018) ISBN 9781627796378

书单明细

Politics and current affairs

Moneyland

Moneyland is the author’s term for the virtual country into which the world’s mega-rich smuggle their (sometimes ill-gotten) wealth, so insulating it from the attention of tax and other officials. Focused in part on the kleptocrats of the former Soviet Union, the book ranges across the world and a wide cast of lawyers, accountants and mountebanks who see to it that money stolen in poor, ill-run countries can be invested in rich, safe ones. An urgent exposé of a vital subject.

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress

  • 作者:Steven Pinker
  • 售价:576 pages; $35 |Allen Lane; £25
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His critics regard him as Panglossian, and suspect he cherry-picks statistics, but the author’s case for global optimism is entertaining and well-argued. The Enlightenment virtues of reason and education, allied to trade and technology, have made the world richer, safer and even happier, he contends, and the improvements are likely to continue. Populists and demagogues are merely a blip in this consoling counterpoint to the misery of the news.

Fascism: A Warning

  • 作者:Madeleine Albright
  • 售价:254 pages; Harper Collins; $27.99 and £16.99
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The former secretary of state—and a longtime professor of international relations at Georgetown University—fled both Nazism and communism as a child. She does not deploy the term “fascism” loosely and deplores those who do; instead she cooly analyses the way countries can descend into tyranny. In uncertain times, she observes, many people no longer want to be asked what they think: “We want to be told where to march.”

First Raise a Flag: How South Sudan Won the Longest War but Lost the Peace

  • 作者:Peter Martell
  • 售价:Hurst; 320 pages; £25
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A correspondent based in Juba, capital of the new, troubled country of South Sudan, explains its tragic predicament. A history of slave raids, imperialism and brutal rule by Khartoum leads to independence and civil war. The saga is enlivened by interviews with retired spooks and elderly veterans of the colonial administration.

Into the Hands of the Soldiers: Freedom and Chaos in Egypt and the Middle East

  • 作者:David Kirkpatrick
  • 售价:384 pages; $28. Bloomsbury Publishing; £25
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In this pellucid chronicle of Egypt’s trajectory since the toppling of Hosni Mubarak in 2011, the former Cairo bureau chief of the New York Times is almost as scathing about the bungling foreign policy of successive American administrations as he is about Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt’s strongman president. The country’s so-called stability, he suggests, is again breeding misery and extremism.

Shadows of Empire

  • 作者:Michael Kenny and Nick Pearce
  • 售价:200 pages; $19.95 and £14.99
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The “Anglosphere” is not a term in common parlance. This timely and enlightening book shows that, throughout the 20th century, the idea of a fraternity of English-speaking nations exerted a powerful influence on British politicians, including Churchill and Thatcher. It has resurfaced in Brexiteers’ dreams of invigorated Commonwealth trade.

History

A History of America in 100 Maps

  • 作者:Susan Schulten
  • 售价:University of Chicago Press; 256 pages; $35. British Library; £30
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A collection of maps, by turns beautiful and eccentric, which charts the making of America. It shows the role of maps in exploration and conquest and proves that, while some aspects of American political geography are enduring, much in the country’s make-up has, like the banks of the Mississippi, always been in flux.

Pogrom: Kishinev and the Tilt of History

  • 作者:Steven Zipperstein
  • 售价:Liveright; 288 pages; $27.95 and £20
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1903 年基什尼奥夫犹太人屠杀。

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The pogrom in Kishinev in 1903 became a byword for anti-Semitic violence for Jews everywhere, its victims blamed variously for their passivity and for having resisted their attackers. The event roused Zionists and Jew-haters alike, and was instrumental in both the publication of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” and the establishment (in New York) of the naacp. A gripping, scrupulous history of a seminal but mythologised atrocity.

The China Mission: George Marshall’s Unfinished War, 1945-1947

  • 作者:Daniel Kurtz-Phelan

  • 售价:W.W. Norton & Company; 496 pages; $28.95

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Marshall’s mission to China is much less well-known than his effort to rebuild Europe after the second world war. The former, unlike the latter, failed; China descended into civil war and then a communist dictatorship. This account of the debacle by a former diplomat is both a compelling portrait of a remarkable soldier and statesman and an instructive lesson in the limits of American power, even at its zenith.

Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations

By Ronen Bergman. Random House; 784 pages; $35. John Murray; £19.99

For this impressive work of reportage, the author not only spoke to hundreds of Israeli spies but also convinced them to hand over a trove of documents. Then he constructed a thrilling narrative of extreme bravery and compromised morality.

Business and economics

We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights

  • 作者:Adam Winkler

  • 售价:Liveright; 496 pages; $28.95

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“For most of American history”, the author comments, “the Supreme Court failed to protect the dispossessed and the marginalised, with the justices claiming to be powerless in the face of hostile public sentiment.” Meanwhile “the court has insisted that broad public sentiment favouring business regulation must bend to the demands of the constitution.” A lively survey of a neglected but important feature of American history.

AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order

  • 作者:Kai-Fu Lee

  • 售价:Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 272 pages; $28

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A former manager at assorted American tech giants—and now the boss of a Chinese venture-capitalist fund—anticipates the coming contest to dominate artificial intelligence. He thinks China will crush Silicon Valley because it has more data, disdains privacy and competes more ruthlessly. Thought-provoking, if not altogether convincing.

Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society

  • 作者:Eric Posner and E. Glen Weyl

  • 售价:Princeton University Press; 368 pages; $29.95 and £24.95

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A law professor and an economist argue that the way out of liberalism’s impasse is to expand the role of markets, not to subdue them. Some of their ideas—on property rights, elections, immigration and much besides—are impractical, and others eccentric; but together they point to a possible response to the challenges of populism and protectionism.

EuroTragedy: A Drama in Nine Acts

By Ashoka Mody. Oxford University Press; 672 pages; $34.95 and £25.49

A comprehensive and authoritative history of the euro which argues that the project was a predictable error. Written by a former senior official at the imf, the book laments the intellectual failures present at the foundation of the single-currency area and in the mishandled response to the sovereign-debt crisis after 2010.

Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World

By Adam Tooze. Viking; 720 pages; $35. Allen Lane; £30

This panoramic survey of the aftermath of the financial crash of 2008 has four main themes: the immediate response, in which the banks were rescued; the euro-zone crisis; the shift in the developed world after 2010 to more austere fiscal policies; and the rise of populist politics in Europe and America in the wake of the debacle. The author has little faith in the ability of governments to take decisive action when the next crisis hits.

Biography and memoir

The Wife’s Tale: A Personal History

By Aida Edemariam. Harper; 314 pages; $26.99. Fourth Estate; £16.99

The author’s Ethiopian grandmother, Yetemegnu, was married at the age of eight to a religious student more than 20 years her senior. By 14 she was a mother. She fled her husband’s mistreatment, yet when he was arrested she petitioned the emperor on his behalf; on his death she mourned “my husband, who raised me”. The family sought sanctuary in the mountains when the Italians invaded in 1935. This intimate memoir is also an oblique chronicle of Ethiopia’s turbulent history.

Educated

By Tara Westover. Random House; 385 pages; $28. Hutchinson; £14.99

A riveting memoir of a brutal upbringing. The author grew up in a normally opaque environment: a Mormon survivalist household in Idaho, where she endured abuse and received no education. Despite not setting foot in a classroom until she was 17, she made it to university and wound up with a phd from Cambridge.

Barracoon

By Zora Neale Hurston. Amistad; 208 pages; $24.99. HQ; £12.99

Zora Neale Hurston’s study of Kossula, later called Cudjo Lewis, one of the last Africans to be kidnapped into slavery in America, has never been commercially published before. Interviewed at his home in Alabama in 1927-28, he vividly recalled his capture and illegal transportation on the eve of America’s civil war: “I think maybe I die in my sleep when I dream about my mama.” A devastating book.

Napoleon: A Life

By Adam Zamoyski. Basic Books; 784 pages; $40. William Collins; £30

Some of his critics portray him as a monster; enthusiasts have characterised him as a demi-god. In this superlative account, Napoleon is a mortal, with great virtues and equally great flaws, at once dazzling and gauche. “From the sublime to the ridiculous”, Napoleon himself said after his disastrous campaign in Russia, “there is but one step.”

Churchill: Walking with Destiny

By Andrew Roberts. Viking; 1,152 pages; $30. Allen Lane; £35

Of the many biographies of Winston Churchill, this is the fullest. Acknowledging its subject’s flaws and sometimes catastrophic mistakes, it nevertheless makes a compelling case for his greatness, both as a statesman and a writer. More unusually, by evoking his wit, generosity and courage, it also succeeds in making him lovable. “I was not the lion,” Churchill said, “but it fell to me to give the lion’s roar.”

Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World 1914-1948

By Ramachandra Guha. Knopf; 1,104 pages; $40. Allen Lane; £40

At a time of rising Hindu nationalism, the Mahatma’s values and example are as relevant as ever in his homeland. This second volume of a magisterial biography begins in 1914, when Gandhi returned to India from South Africa. It conveys his charisma, his intellect and the evolution of his political beliefs, including his advocacy of Hindu-Muslim reconciliation.

The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War

By Ben Macintyre. Crown; 368 pages; $28. Viking; £25

Oleg Gordievsky, a vital Western asset inside the kgb, was smuggled across the Soviet Union’s border with Finland in the boot of a car. The story of Mr Gordievsky’s life, and that of Aldrich Ames, the renegade cia officer who outed him, is told with the gusto of a thriller. A fitting tribute to a brave but lonely man.

Culture

The Personality Brokers

By Merve Emre. Doubleday; 336 pages; $27.95. Published in Britain by William Collins as “What’s Your Type?”; £20

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the best-known personality test, is the focus of an entertaining cultural history of the personality-assessment industry. It was invented by a mother-and-daughter team, under the influence of Carl Jung. Its enduring popularity ought not to be surprising: after all, it offers both the “rush of self-discovery” and “the comfort of solidarity” with others of the same type.

The Prodigal Tongue

By Lynne Murphy. Penguin Books; 368 pages; $17. Oneworld; £16.99

The first and perhaps only book on the relative merits of American and British English that is dominated by facts and analysis rather than nationalistic prejudice. For all its scholarship, this is also a funny and rollicking read.

Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke and the Making of a Masterpiece

By Michael Benson. Simon & Schuster; 512 pages; $30 and £25

An illuminating account of a collaboration that resulted in a landmark film. The author’s scientific background helps him to explain its pathbreaking visual effects. The making of a great work of art has rarely been anatomised so thoroughly.

Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard and the Golden Age of Science Fiction

By Alec Nevala-Lee. Dey Street Books; 544 pages; $28.99. To be released in Britain in August; £10.99

An indispensable book for anyone trying to understand the birth and meaning of modern science fiction in America from the 1930s to the 1950s—a genre that reshaped how people think about the future, for good and ill.

Boom Town

By Sam Anderson. Crown; 448 pages; $28

The fortunes of the Thunder, Oklahoma City’s basketball team, become a metaphor for the city’s own history in a hymn to an unsung metropolis. In this colourful compendium of heroism, skulduggery, land-grabs, oil and violence, its subject emerges as equal parts Wild West and Oz.

Fryderyk Chopin: A Life and Times

By Alan Walker. Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 768 pages; $40. Faber & Faber; £30

Chopin’s romantic life—he was a child prodigy who ran off with George Sand before dying at 39—has had many chroniclers. This definitive account draws on new sources to shed light on his career and volatile times. The man behind the myth emerges as an amiable perfectionist.

Fiction

The Long Take

By Robin Robertson. Knopf; 256 pages; $27. Picador; £14.99

The wondrous story of a Canadian veteran of the second world war who washes up in New York and then Los Angeles—told mostly in verse. Walker, the protagonist, is haunted by his experiences in combat and by memories of his youth, and pained by the neglect of the homeless in California. Probably the best novel of the year.

The Silence of the Girls

By Pat Barker. Doubleday; 304 pages; $27.95. Hamish Hamilton; £18.99

The “Iliad” reimagined from the perspective of Briseis, the captured slave-girl who is the cause of the quarrel between Achilles and Agamemnon that animates Homer’s epic—and in the original is almost silent. The technicolour horrors of war are accompanied by similes of almost Homeric brilliance.

Washington Black

By Esi Edugyan. Knopf; 352 pages; $26.95. Serpent’s Tail; £14.99

The title character of this poignant saga is born into slavery on a sugar plantation in Barbados; he escapes in the company of an eccentric inventor, a slave-catcher on his trail, before wandering across several continents. An original and compulsive exploration of a tragic subject.

Milkman

By Anna Burns. Graywolf Press; 360 pages; $16. Faber & Faber; £8.99

The winner of this year’s Man Booker prize is set during the Troubles in Northern Ireland in an unnamed city that looks like Belfast. “Middle sister”, the protagonist (nobody in the book has a conventional name), is stalked by a paramilitary. A haunting depiction of the impact of violence on ordinary lives.

Love is Blind

By William Boyd. Knopf; 384 pages; $26.95. Viking; £18.99

The tale of a Scottish piano-tuner infatuated with a Russian opera singer gallops across fin-de-siècle Europe, from Paris to St Petersburg to Trieste, then onwards to the Andaman Islands. A treat for the author’s many fans and a masterclass in old-fashioned storytelling.

Normal People

By Sally Rooney. Faber & Faber; 266 pages; £14.99. To be published in America by Hogarth in April; $26

A beautiful portrait of an on-off relationship between two Irish youngsters, at school and university. The scrutiny of their self-deceptions is at once unforgiving and tender. The tango of power is masterfully conveyed in their dialogue.

Fire Sermon

By Jamie Quatro. Grove Press; 224 pages; $24. Picador; £14.99

A lyrical, experimental novel about faith and adultery, divine and erotic love, worship and transgression, from an accomplished writer of short stories.

Science and Technology

Beyond Weird

By Philip Ball. University of Chicago Press; 384 pages; $26. Bodley Head; £17.99

Most books on quantum mechanics emphasise its weirdness, a built-in excuse for being baffling. Wearing deep learning lightly, this author explains his subject simply and thoughtfully, revealing the theory’s true power as a way of knowing what can be said about nature.

Rocket Men

By Robert Kurson. Random House; 384 pages; $28. Scribe; £18.99

A gripping account of Apollo 8, the first manned space flight around the Moon. The story of the dangerous mission that laid the ground for the Moon landing has not been told in such detail until now.

Nine Pints: A Journey Through the Money, Medicine and Mysteries of Blood

By Rose George. Metropolitan Books; 368 pages; $30. Portobello Books; £14.99

This history of blood takes its name from the quantity in a human body. The author visits high-tech facilities, a South African slum and Nepalese villages to convey, scintillatingly, what is known and what remains mysterious about the liquid.

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