The Anatomy Of Violence:

The Biological Roots Of Crime by Adrian Raine (Penguin, £10.99)

The origins of criminal behaviour have, over the past 100 years, been assumed to be sociological, poverty and deprivation leading to crime and so on. But in this provocative yet intelligent study, Raine proposes a "neurocriminology" that controversially has its roots in the now-discredited theories of phrenology of the 19th century: that criminals' brains are physically different.

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Dark Vales by Raimon Casellas (Dedalus Press, £9.99)

Dedalus Press produces yet another sublime translated novel, this time Catalan author Casellas's 1901 tale of parish priest Llatzer, sent to an undeveloped village in the Spanish mountains as a punishment for some doctrinal heresy. He arrives wanting only to die and be forgotten, but finds strength bringing God back to a lonely, isolated people.

Glitter And Glue by Kelly Corrigan (Coronet, £13.99)

It's easy to see how Corrigan has become a best-selling author: she has an immensely likeable voice, funny and just the right side of wholesome, before it tips into prissiness. This memoir about her teenage experience of nannying in Australia is really about how she made a new relationship with her mother, and while it's "heart-warming", it's also perceptive.

Sylvia Plath: Poems Chosen By Carol Ann Duffy (Faber, £8.99)

This selection chosen by the Poet Laureate is meant as a companion piece to fuller volumes of Plath poems, but in condensed form it also serves to emphasise her growth as a poet, particularly with regard to the early poems, influenced by Ted Hughes, and the later, more independent work that adheres to Plath's mantra, "be tough".

Lesley McDowell