The Girl Who Fell to Earth | Sophia Al-Maria
US-born Sophia Al-Maria's story of growing up as the child of an American mother and Qatari father involved the decision to follow her Bedouin heritage, Lucy Scholes writes.
Drinking Water: A History | James Salzman
"In developed countries, we do not think much about drinking water on a daily basis. It is plentiful, safe and easily available," writes James Salzman in his fine new book Drinking Water: A History. We don't think, he says, about the quality or quantity of our H2O. "We simply turn the tap or open a bottle of water.
The Secrets of Alchemy | Lawrence M Principe
As far as mythology goes, alchemy has enjoyed a favourable reputation as a science steeped in sorcery, offering promises of endless wealth and eternal youth through the legendary philosopher's stone. As far as facts go, its reality is more grounded in practicality
The Cuckoo’s Calling | Robert Galbraith
The crime fiction market seems to know no bounds, but every new author needs his sleuth to have a gimmick or a "past". And Robert Galbraith's "hero" has quite a few interesting quirks.
Hallucinations | Sacks
Oliver Sacks book amounts to little more than a taxonomy of varieties of hallucination.
Standing in Another Man’s Grave | Ian Rankin
John Rebus, the Scottish detective made popular in Ian Rankin's mystery novels, is back after a long absence, writes Malcolm Forbes, and he continues to lead an unhealthy lifestyle, and yes, he still drives that old Saab.
The Forgotten | David Baldacci
While his skill with prose is subject to taste, David Baldacci can't be faulted in his delivery of what his fans want and expect of a page-turner. Add the return of Special Agent John Puller (from Baldacci's previous bestseller list-topper Zero Day) to the mix and there's certainly enough potential for some suspenseful notes, if not a full-on crescendo.
Book reviews from The National's Review section this week. To read a review, click on the cover.