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Coincidentally, her victory comes 28 years after a New Zealander last won the Man Booker prize. What Tartt has managed here is the literary equivalent of up-market fast food outlets in the restaurant world: reading it is not unlike queuing around the block for the finest cheeseburger in town. Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon, £20 This is Pynchon’s best novel since Mason & Dixon.
At the age of 76, Pynchon has produced an edgy work of fiction set in 2001, with momentous concerns: 9/11, capitalism and the internet.
It heralds all the changes from vinyl to digital switchover, from the birth of rock to soul, punk, hip hop, indie and many more besides. It starts with Soho and Jazz and takes us right through the various venues and genres up to the present day. Le Livre Blanc by Anne-Sophie Pic, £45 Anne-Sophie Pic is the only woman in France with three Michelin stars, and her cookbook, Le Livre Blanc, is as stellar as her food.
The son of an East End fishmonger, Sir David inherited his sense of humour from his father, who often had fellow fishmongers and shoppers in stitches.A sinister murder-mystery plot, which unfolds with panache. This is the backdrop for Sarah Naughton's acclaimed novel, set in the Victorian era amidst the crime ridden slums of backstreet London, where no-one is safe, particularly children.This is an absorbing tale of murder – child murder no less – and dark, brooding evil doings and characters aplenty. The Childhood of Jesus by JM Coetzee, £16.99 The title of this book is misleading.Le Livre Blanc tells Pic’s extraordinary story and shares unique recipes and exclusive culinary insights. Historic Heston by Heston Blumenthal, £125 Fancy a spot of mock turtle soup (1892), followed by some quaking pudding (1600)?The king of cutting-edge cuisine, Heston, is back with this beautifully-bound idiosyncratic history of British dishes.
Jesus does not appear in the 300-odd pages which comprise Coetzee’s hilarious novel. Bonkers: My Life in Laughs by Jennifer Saunders, £20 For those in search of the perfect stocking filler, look no further.