Women and Power, Mary Beard (Profile Books). The eminent classicist hits the nail on the head over and over again as she picks over the bones of misogyny from Greek myth through to Hillary Clinton. Never have so many women shouted ‘That’s exactly it!’ so many times in one sitting. Seismic.
Scorn, Paul Hoffman (Whitefox). Dark, vicious, at times bleak. And very funny. The priest-consuming comedy thriller with an incredible twist.
Icebreaker, Horatio Clare (Chatto & Windus). A voyage into the Arctic on an icebreaking ship with one of Britain’s best writers of nature and place. You feel the cold leaping off the pages, but want to get to Finland.
Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8, Naoki Higashida (translators David Mitchell, Keiko Yoshida; Sceptre) Follow-up to the feted The Reason I Jump, this extraordinary, myth-busting account of living with non-verbal autism as a young adult is eye-opening and deeply moving.
The Unwomanly Face of War, Svetlana Alexievich (translators Richard Pevear, Larissa Volokhonsky; Penguin Classics). First published (heavily censored) in the Soviet Union in 1985, this English translation of Alexievich’s collection of witness stories from Russian women who lived through, and served in, the Second World War cements her reputation as one of the world’s greatest living social historians.