Fly Away Home: Stories by Marina Warner (Salt, £8.99)

The always excellent Marina Warner ranges through eras, from art history to myth, and from fiction to non-fiction, to produce a collection of mostly modern-set stories where central characters are searching for something. Loss or lack results in desire, and it’s a different kind of desire that marks every one of the storytellers here.

The Last Drop: The Politics Of Water by Mike Gonzalez and Marianella Yanes (Pluto Press, £14.99)

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Environmentalists have been warning us for years that the next big war will be fought over water, and Gonzalez and Yanes point to certain factors like globalisation and the growth of mega-cities as the main causes of our misuse of it. The writers have amassed an impressive array of facts to argue convincingly. But will anyone listen?

Euphoria by Lily King (Picador, £7.99)

In the hands of a less experienced novelist this tale of married anthropologists Nell and Fen, and a young interloper Andy, could have been nothing more interesting than that. But setting her story in the New Guinea jungle, King uses the tribe behaviour the three are studying to bring that backdrop powerfully to the fore.

Pauperland: Poverty And The Poor In Britain by Jeremy Seabrook (Hurst Publishers, £9.99)

“The history of the poor is a history of attitudes to the poor, since the voices of poor people have generally gone unheard," argues Seabrook. With that in mind, he takes on those who have written about the poor throughout history, until more recent times when he asks people in poverty themselves. Powerful and necessary.