The wild life of the Durrells

Any family is a tapestry: woven into its history are flaws, tragedies and adventures, glittering fictions and jokes enlivening the solid texture of fact and the rips and darns of wider historic events. Family stories are worth telling, and this one is fascinatingly put together by Michael Haag. For few families present such an entertaining patchwork tale as the Durrells, three of whose members were writers.

Have you ever dreamed of writing a bestseller? Well, here's some good news: there's still time to enter the Daily Mail First Novel Competition.

Undeterred by a well-nigh unbroken litany of sex abuse scandals over the years, the British still pack more children off to boarding schools than any other country on Earth.

You'll need a while to get over the first three pages of this book. Portia, the first woman to qualify as a gamekeeper in Scotland, has taken a punter out to shoot a stag.

Ezra Pound was the most difficult man of the 20th century, writes Daniel Swift in his prologue - a claim that at first sight may seem completely over the top.

Brother investigates brother's tragic death 40 years on

An unspeakable tragedy befell the Beard family from Swindon on August 18, 1978, during their holiday in north Cornwall. Nine-year-old Nicky, enjoying one final play in the waves after a blissful day on Tregardock beach, near Port Isaac, was swept off his feet and drowned.

Martin Lindstrom is a Danish brand consultant. He says working out what millions of people are doing is all very well - but does it tell you what one person might do, or you, or me?

Euston Station on a forlorn winter's night. Min Kym and her cellist boyfriend, en route to Manchester, find a table at a cafe, buy tea and sit waiting on the cold forecourt.

Human beings in Britain as elsewhere have never had the easiest relationship with otters. For centuries we hunted them remorselessly, and why? Because they ate fish.

The psychotherapist Julia Samuel, founder of the charity Child Bereavement UK, has devoted the past 28 years to working with the bereaved, and that experience shines through her book.

In a world where Instagram reigns, it's the alternative fashionistas who are making waves in the industry.

Although today we tend to romanticise the evacuee experience, the Jarman family story (as told by the son of one of the sisters) reminds us of the heartbreak endured by many.

Amanda Leask was the sort of woman to inspire feelings of envy. Clever, attractive and married to a man who adored her, she was, as her husband would whisper in her ear at night, 'living the dream'.

When in Rome do as Hollywood stars did!

In the post-war period, dozens of spectacular American film productions were based at the Cinecitta complex built by Mussolini on the outskirts of Rome. Hollywood companies were drawn to the Eternal City by the low cost of Italian labour and the high quality of their craftsmanship, the skill of the technicians and costume-makers and the genius of the sculptors and set decorators. The story of the Italian capital's cinema scene is told in Dolce Vita Confidential By Shawn Levy.(bottom left)

Dorothy grew up in Manhattan mansions and palaces in Newport, Rhode Island, 'trimmed with vine-covered pergolas casting filigree shades' but wasn't, however, a flibbertigibbet.

Some of the most beautiful creatures who ever lived blossomed in the Sixties - Julie Christie, Susannah York, Jane Asher, Marianne Faithfull, Jacqueline Bisset and Charlotte Rampling.

Over the last few years, a number of surgeons have written memorably and often lyrically about their work.

As I opened this book with its painting of Maud Russell sitting up in her flouncy Thirties bed, I guessed these might be rather shallow diaries jazzed up with a bit of Blitz excitement.

Most people will know that Heathcliff appears in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights and Mr Rochester is in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. But who's the equally dark and brooding Arthur Huntingdon?

How do you prepare a teenager for the things that really matter in adult life? Here is Peter Dunne's answer to that mighty parenting conundrum: a book comprising 50 short essays.

Brave boys the fat man branded liars: How Cyril Smith's victims were ignored when they

All this week, Labour MP Simon Danczuk is laying bare how the Establishment, the Liberal Party, the police and even MI5 covered up the industrial-scale child abuse of 29-stone Rochdale MP Cyril Smith. Today, how his victims were ignored and betrayed when they tried to expose their suffering.