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Paperbacks

The Nostalgia Factory:

Memory, Time And Ageing by Douwe Draaisma (Yale, £10.99)

Why is it that we seem to recall earlier memories more strongly in old age? Draaisma in The Nostalgia Factory calls this the "reminiscence effect", but what is really appealing about his accessible and entertaining study is the enthusiasm with which he treats old age, considered so often by today's society as a time of decay and decline.

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The Glass Ocean by Lori Baker (Virago, £8.99)

Some may not care for Baker's unusual style as her red-haired protagonist Carlotta Dell'oro tells the story of her now-dead parents in this otherwise conventional historical novel.

But others like me will love her pared-back, sharp-edged prose which, while it makes her story hard to follow, also gives it a dynamic and invigorating feel.

The Memory Palace: A Book Of Lost Interiors by Edward Hollis (Portobello, £9.99)

The home is a "museum of the soul", a lovely phrase echoed in Hollis's meticulous and often surprisingly touching history of how certain interiors became "lost" to us through time, as well as the objects contained within, like curiosity cabinets from the 17th century or Roman dining rooms, and what that loss means for us.

The Best British Short Stories 2014 edited by Nicholas Royle (Salt, £9.99)

Royle's robust rebuttal to publishing conglomerates and their attitudes to the short story is contained within his introduction to a volume that is appropriately robust too.

This collection of short stories by new and more established writers emphasises the directness and strength of the form, with only one or two slightly flabbier exceptions.

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