1. John le Carré, The Pigeon Tunnel


The master of espionage fiction offers a memoir of sorts, a series of meticulously crafted, witty and enthralling "stories from my life". He describes the childhood deceptions and losses that launched him, his schooling in Switzerland, where he made his first "infant steps for British Intelligence, delivering I knew not what to I knew not whom."


2. Ann Patchett, Commonwealth


In her brilliant new novel, Patchett, winner of the 2001 Orange Prize for Bel Canto, traces the consequences of one impulsive act on an American family over 50 years. She begins with a christening party for Fix and Beverly Keating's second daughter, Franny. Bert Cousins, a Los Angeles deputy district attorney, shows up uninvited with a bottle of gin. By the end of the party, he has kissed Beverly. Patchett creates memorable, complex characters in this exploration of the reverberations of betrayal.


3. Franz Kafka, Konundrum


"Kafkaesque" is "synonymous with the nightmarish, the ominous, and the bureaucratically bizarre," notes Peter Wortsman in the afterword to his lucid and rhythmic translation of a selection of the Prague icon's short stories, parables, letters and diaries.


4. Peter Ho Davies, The Fortunes


Davies distills 150 years of Chinese-American history in his timely and eloquent new novel. In Gold, the first of its four sections, Ah Ling, 14, the son of a Hong Kong prostitute, seeks his fortune in California. Silver portrays the 30-year career of the LA-born actress Anna May Wong, who co-stars with Douglas Fairbanks at 19.


5. James Gleick, Time Travel


Science writer Gleick takes a panoramic approach to the fourth dimension, a subject that fascinated the fin de siècle scientific world. He begins with HG Wells drafting his landmark 1895 book The Time Machine. He includes Edith Nesbit, a Wells contemporary, who invented a time-travel subgenre in her 1906 novel The Story of the Amulet.


6. Enrique Vila-Matas, Vampire in Love


Barcelona-born Vila-Matas has published more than 20 novels, and won the 2014 Prix Formentor. This selection of 19 stories showcases his dark yet whimsical wit and genre-blending tendencies. In the title story, a desperate man with two sharp vampire's teeth has a sinful eye for an altar boy. The narrator calls him "Saint Nosferatu". "Like all those in love", Vila-Matas writes, "he is both vampire and martyr".


7. Ursula Le Guin, The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena, Stories and Songs


Le Guin is the second living novelist (after Philip Roth) to be included in the Library of America. This first volume, with a new introduction and chronology from the author, gathers her early work, before she turned to science fiction. The Complete Orsinia offers invaluable insights into Le Guin's genius. "My games are transformation and invention," she writes.


8.Ruth Franklin, Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life


Known best for her 1948 story The Lottery, and her novels The Haunting of Hill House (1959) and We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962), Shirley Jackson wrote literary suspense in the tradition of Hawthorne, Poe and Henry James. Franklin tracks Jackson's mythmaking life from her girlhood in a northern Californian suburb through her marriage to literary critic Stanley Edgar Hyman with whom she had four children.

雪莉·杰克逊的悬疑作品沿袭了霍桑、坡和享利·詹姆斯的风格,她最著名的作品是1948年的故事《The Lottery》及小说《山宅鬼惊魂》(1959)。弗兰克林追溯了杰克逊神奇的人生经历,从她在加州北部的少女时光,写到她的婚姻,又写到和她一起生育了四个孩子的文学批评家斯坦利·爱德加·海曼。

9. Eimear McBride, The Lesser Bohemians


McBride wowed the literary world with her first novel, A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing, which won the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction and the first Goldsmiths Prize, among others. McBride writes of her narrator's tentative first roles in student plays, and a year of increasing intimacy with an older actor. As he describes his own childhood, and twisted relationship with his mother, she struggles to tame her own most powerful instincts.


10. Jonathan Safran Foer, Here I Am


Foer's energetic third novel is chock-a-block with modern conundrums. Jacob and Julia's marriage, frayed by raising three young sons, threatens to tear apart over his sexting. Serious sadness, cheeky dialogue and cutting-edge relevance keep this novel crackling.