Lost Victorian Britain by Gavin Stamp (Aurum Press, £12.99)
Not surprisingly perhaps, Glasgow features heavily in this wonderful book, along with its famous architectural son, Alexander "Greek" Thomson. Stamp's love of those buildings he calls "colourful, joyful and life-enhancing" makes for a forceful and passionate reclamation of an era so long regarded as unfashionable, as he emphasises palaces made of glass and galleried churches.
Petite Mort by Beatrice Hitchman (Serpent's Tail, £7.99)
Hitchman's accomplished and assured debut is set in France and is told by two women in two different periods: by Adele Roux, a now-forgotten, risque early cinema star who showed nerve and daring even as a child, and by journalist Juliette Blanc, who is asked to write the older woman's biography. A gently compelling tale.
The Kings And Queens Of Scotland by Timothy Venning (Amberely, £16.99)
Venning's history is a traditional one but he does try to rescue some figures, such as James V, "judged too harshly" when he died at only 30, too soon to correct his mistakes. He also excuses James IV's disastrous Flodden campaign, for "fighting like a knight rather than directing like a commander". An accessible round-up.
The Outsider by Albert Camus (Penguin Modern Classics, £7.99)
Camus is almost as famous now for his spat with that other great French existentialist, Jean-Paul Sartre, whose competing claims of resistance fighting during the war were horribly exposed. But this new translation - which has updated some colloquial expressions for today's readership - restores a sense of singularity to Camus's literary achievement, which surely stands alone, without competitors.