The weather’s closing in and you’ve got nothing to read?

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The weather’s closing in and you’ve got nothing to read?

Eight essential books to read now

Iona McLaren


Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan
In this alternative 1980s London, Britain has lost the Falklands War, Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power and Alan Turing achieves a breakthrough in artificial intelligence. McEwan’s new novel follows the fortunes of a couple as they co-design the personality of Adam, one of the first batch of synthetic humans, and the profound moral dilemmas that arise. (Jonathan Cape)
The Porpoise by Mark Haddon
The author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time delivers his first novel since The Red House (2012), with this eccentric retelling of Pericles, Prince of Tyre. A beautiful girl is raised in luxurious isolation by a jealous father; her suitor, understanding more than he should, is pursued by an assassin on a wild adventure that leaps between ancient and modern times. (Chatto and Windus)
Cari Mora by Thomas Harris
From the author of The Silence of the Lambs comes a new novel – his first since Hannibal Rising (2006)  – about a ruthless man of unspeakable appetites, whose twin desires are to find the $25m worth of cartel gold buried under a Miami Beach mansion, and Cari Mora, the caretaker of the house. (William Heinemann)
Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson
Winterson’s playful updating of Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel imagines a young transgender doctor falling in love with the AI scientist Victor Stein (geddit?), a divorced man called Ron Lord planning to launch a new generation of sex dolls, and an Arizona cryonics facility in which dozens of cadavers are waiting to return to life. (Jonathan Cape)
This Storm by James Ellroy
Ellroy’s LA Quartet, including The Black Dahlia (1987) and LA Confidential (1990), have become modern classics. He returned to the same mid-century noir beat in 2014 with Perfidia, his first novel in a second LA Quartet. Now comes a sequel, This Storm, set in 1941, which fills in some of the back story of LA Confidential’s arch-baddy, Dudley Smith. (William Heinemann)
My Seditious Heart by Arundhati Roy
In the 20 years between writing The God of Small Things and its follow-up, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Roy devoted herself to the political essay. This volume represents a complete collection of her non-fiction. (Hamish Hamilton)
Big Sky by Kate Atkinson
After a nine-year hiatus, in which Atkinson has delivered the popular and critical hits of Life After Life, A God in Ruins and Transcription, she returns to her magnificently hard-bitten, ex-military sleuth Jackson Brodie, star of unconventional detective novels such as Case Histories. This time, Brodie is trying to find peace and quiet in a Yorkshire seaside village – naturally, in vain. (Doubleday)
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
Vuong’s extraordinary debut poetry collection, Night Sky With Exit Wounds, won the TS Eliot Prize in 2017. Now comes his first novel, an autobiographical tale about his family’s past in Vietnam. (Jonathan Cape)
– © Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)

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