Real by Stephanie Merritt (Gardners). Real is a stunning novel from one of the rising stars of British literature. Not yet published in the U.S, it’s a moving, beautifully written, and funny book that deals with commitment, romantic expectations, and dysfunctional relationships.
Arthur & George by Julian Barnes (Knopf, $25). Julian Barnes’ newest novel is his best—a whodunit involving the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, based on a true story set in 1915 in the English countryside. It is also a powerful depiction of Edwardian society and its prejudices. Due to arrive in the U.S. in January.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Selected Letters of James Joyce edited by Richard Ellmann (out of print). I take such pleasure in reading these letters, especially the extraordinary intimate erotic ones he wrote to his wife, Nora, which Joyce himself described as “obscene,” “bestial,” “pure,” and “spiritual.” I also enjoy his letters to Yeats, Shaw, Pound, et al.
The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham (Vintage, $13). This exquisite novel, set in China in 1920, is about the search for love. It’s written in a most delicate and wistful manner.
Richard Burton: A Life by Melvyn Bragg (out of print). A wonderful portrait of a man of vast qualities, devastating flaws, crippling melancholy—a reckless warrior and an acting genius. This 1988 biography, titled Rich when originally published in the U.K., traces Burton’s rise from poverty in Wales to undreamt—of fame, wealth, and disillusionment.
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (Penguin, $14). Yeah, I know…but if you haven’t read it, you should, and if you have, then you can reread it. It’s a fabulous story with unforgettable characters.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.