Motherland | William Nicholson | Simon and Schuster
William Nicholson’s novel about five people who meet in England during the Second World War just before the battle of Dieppe suffers from a predictable plot and leaden characters, writes Deborah Lindsay Williams
A World in One Cubic Foot: Portraits of Biodiversity | David Liitschwager | University of Chicago Press
This aptly named book of photographs measures about 30cm by 30cm and weighs over two kilograms but contains immeasurable beauty and an infinitely valuable message.
Detroit City Is the Place To Be: The Afterlife of an American Metropolis | Mark Binelli | Metropolitan Books
Mark Binelli, a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and Men's Journal, was not the only enterprising reporter to migrate to Detroit in the wake of the American auto industry's collapse, but he's the only one who stayed long enough to separate the persistently rich culture and stubbornly determined citizens of his beloved home city from Detroit's metaphoric obligations. The result is an unsentimental, intelligent and lucid book, Detroit City Is the Place To Be: The Afterlife of an American Metropolis.
The Investigation | Philippe Claudel | MacLehose Press
The French author Philippe Claudel's newly translated novel is a dark fable that is as entertaining as it is disturbing.
Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks | Jenny White | Princeton University Press
Though likely to disappoint ascendant Arab Islamists, this idea of a personal Muslimhood, free from state oversight, is at the centre of Turkish life today. It's also the focus of Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks, a deeply insightful book by Jenny White, a professor of social anthropology at Boston University.
The Racketeer | John Grisham | Double Day
The Racketeer works as another ripping read (and probably another blockbuster film) due to Grisham's tight plotting.
Thinking in Numbers | Daniel Tammet | Hodder & Stoughton
Daniel Tammet, the British author and autistic savant, follows up his first two books with Thinking in Numbers, a collection of essays about "how maths illuminates our lives".
Book reviews from The National's Review section this week. But don't judge a book by the cover. Click on the cover to read a review.