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Paperbacks

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler (Serpent's Tail, £7.99)

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler (Serpent's Tail, £7.99)

Fowler's tale of an unusual family set-up goes back to a time in the 70s when experimentation on chimpanzees meant treating them as humans. It was a laudable intention, but beset by problems. What saves this intelligent and moving novel from a rather deadly sentimentalism is the political anger brimming at the surface.

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Scotland's Choices: The Referendum and What Happens Afterwards by Iain McLean, Jim Gallagher and Guy Lodge (Edinburgh University Press, £12.99)

This books sets out its aim for neutrality in the introduction and laudably remains neutral throughout, although that may mean it's a little dry. It assesses issues such as monetary union should Scotland choose independence and membership of the EU, as dispassionately as possible, and details how negotiations would be likely to go.

The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane (Sceptre, £8.99)

This is a lovely, compelling and sensitive debut about 75-year-old Ruth who's seeing tigers in her home, and her relationship with her son and her carer, Frida, who turns up out of the blue to help look after her. The lines between reality and fantasy become more blurred.

The Shape We're In: How Junk Foods and Diets are Shortening our Lives by Sarah Boseley (Guardian Faber, £12.99)

Scotland's appalling health record should mean every person in the country reads this book, which shows the extent to which sugar and other fattening additives are added to our daily diet, causing often deadly obesity problem. Boseley's guide is sympathetic to over-eaters and angry with the conglomerates, who pack our food with fats.

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