Instructions For A Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell (Tinder Press, £7.99)
O'Farrell's latest novel starts with an intriguing, yet straightforward enough premise - the disappearance of a husband, father and grandfather one morning in a hot July in 1976. But it's the complex, intimately drawn dynamics between the mother and her grown-up children, and between the siblings, who return home for the first time in years, that prove to be the real hook in this portrait of a family in crisis.
The Pinecone by Jenny Uglow (Faber, £10.99)
Uglow's superb reclamation of forgotten Victorian Sarah Losh casts a light not just on a woman who had the vision and the means to be an architect, if not the social approval of her male counterparts, but also on the political upheaval of the day. She reminds us that the Victorian era was often a violent and troubled one.
Portrait Of A Novel: Henry James And The Making Of An American Masterpiece by Michael Gorra (Liveright, £12.19)
A must for James fans, this beautifully written, sedate but never sedentary account of the writing of his "first true success", Portrait Of A Lady, offers us detailed biographical insight as well as valuable critical comment on the complex man and writer caught between two worlds, and never as popular a writer as he hoped to be.
O Pioneers by Willa Cather (Hesperus Press, £8.99)
Cather is the "pioneer" writer par excellence, and her exact yet full depictions of those self-willed women like Alexandra Bergson, who tried to establish themselves in hostile country, can be seen as a metaphor for women's struggles at the beginning of the 20th century, when Cather published this novel. Not a modernist work, it's nevertheless subversive and revolutionary.