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Paperbacks

Dark Entries by Robert Aikman (Faber, £7.99)

Dark Entries by Robert Aikman (Faber, £7.99)

The late Robert Aikman's stories have the quality of bad dreams: creepy houses, wraith-like creatures, the familiar become strange. All of it feels like Freud's "uncanny" but these were originally published in 1964, well after Freud had peaked for mystery or horror writers. But it's the sensuality of his scary worlds that makes them truly frightening.

Constructive Wallowing: How To Beat Bad Feelings By Letting Yourself Have Them by Tina Gilbertson (Piatkus, £10.99)

The advice given in this book seems self-evident but it's actually quite practical. Gilbertson's main point goes against much of the "you can do it" school of self-help, and instead advocates even five minutes of your time to feel sad about whatever it is you want to feel sad about. Her tone is informal but gently brisk.

The Listener by Tove Jansson (Sort Of Books, £8.99)

It's really since her death in 2001 that Swedish writer Jansson's adult fiction has come to the attention of UK audiences. Her stories in this collection are cool pieces, still and stark, from the spinster aunt whom nobody listens to but in whom everybody confides, to the artist who draws his own death.

The Divide: American Injustice In The Age Of The Wealth Gap by Matt Taibbi (Scribe, £14.99)

Taibbi's excellent account of the "new despotism" in America ranges around statistics: poverty is on the increase, the prison population is rising, yet crime is down. How to make sense of that? He shows superbly well how certain crimes are considered appropriately punishable by prison and some are not (money-laundering by HSBC, for example).

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