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The Troubled Man Henning Mankell (Vintage)

Apart from one extraordinary hostile review in the Guardian (memo: never try and parody the style of the book you're reviewing, it makes you look like an idiot), Mankell's valediction to Wallander has been generally well-received. Downbeat and troubling, certainly, but that was always the territory anyway. What next for Mankell, though? Colin Dexter only writes crossword books these days.

33 Revolutions Per Minute Dorian Lynskey (Faber )

Somewhat overtaken by events in North Africa, where The Bangles' Walk Like An Egyptian became a surprise revolutionary anthem, this history/anthology of protest songs covers the usual bases, from Guthrie through Dylan all the way up to the Bard of Barking Mr Bragg, with some interesting sidelines into disco.

The Less Decieved Philip Larkin (Faber)

Larkin's second collection receives its first Faber outing, but contains the essence of his genius, that essential uncertainty 'I have never found, the place where I could say/ this is my proper ground, here I shall stay' (Places, Loved One) and the almost defiant yet melancholy exhalation of Want, 'Beyond all this/the wish to be alone.'

The Fetish Room Redmond O'Hanlon/ Rudi Rotthier (Profile)

Traveller and eccentric Redmond O'Hanlon is himself stalked by Rudi Rotthier in this part-biography, part-travelogue around the landscapes of O'Hanlon's youth.

It is perhaps only by using this method that we can get a clearer picture of the darker aspects of his life, particularly the struggle between science and religion that marked his early years.

Katy Perry Jo Berry (Orion)

Or is it Jo Berry by Katy Perry? The gaudy cover says it all. This is a flashy, upbeat tale of the rise and rise of former church crooner Ms Perry to the dizzying heights of being Russell Brand's better half, 'one of Hollywoods most exciting and endearing couples' as the blurb has it.

The Laughter Of Mothers

Paul Durcan (Vintage)

Those looking for a last minute Mother's Day present could do no better than to pick up this wonderful book by Paul Durcan. As much a history of 20th century Ireland as a tribute to the indomitable character of his mother, this is wise, funny, and probably the best poetry collection to emerge from Ireland in the last decade.

Women In Love D H Lawrence (Penguin)

Lawrence's best novel has been receiving the BBC treatment. Composed while Lawrence was attempting to set up an artistic commune in Zennor, it is nothing less that a complete re-examination of the nature of relationships both sexual and spiritual.

Michael Conaghan


From Belfast Telegraph