The President And The Provocateur by Alex Cox (Oldcastle Books, £12.99)
The 50th anniversary of John F Kennedy's assassination sees film director Cox take an original tack, chronologically comparing the president's life story with that of Lee Harvey Oswald's. Cox has deployed an inspired structure, emphasising Oswald's impoverished origins (he was put into an orphanage aged three by his mother) as well as the political events of the day. You may need to make notes.
Loading article content
Artful by Ali Smith (Penguin, £9.99)
Smith gives four rather brilliant lectures in this book, which read like fictional accounts interspersed with observations about literature, life and relationships, as she discusses time, form, "edge" and reflection. Ultimately though, this is about imagination, and few can have more informative things to say about that than Smith, one of the more original imaginations.
Losing The Dead by Lisa Appignanesi (Virago, £8.99)
Appignanesi's often fragmented, always engrossing memoir of her parents' survival of Nazi Poland, which saw them subsequently remove their young family to Canada in the early 1950s, is largely about what happens after someone has escaped the danger that has swallowed up other family members and friends, the anger and fearfulness that never quite leave.
One Thousand And One Nights by Hanan Al-Shaykh (Bloomsbury, £8.99)
These Arabian Nights stories are far sexier and more subversive than the children's versions of Shahrazad's tales, as she delays the hour of her death by telling the king stories that fascinate him. Al-Shaykh's adult style is true to that sense of subversion, full of ribaldry and cheekiness, with an earthy simplicity and directness.