Books: ’Tis the season to get reading

David Gorin rounds up the top novels and nonfiction, as well as a collection of short stories, to add to your summer break must-absorb list

France’s final blow in the Far East

After a 55-day siege, on May 7 1954, a small French-held stronghold fell to Vietnamese troops. The colonial power’s empire in the region was no more

BOOKS: Charles van Onselen’s latest work goes down a dark track

The Night Trains etches the lives of millions of people into one’s mind

READ, THE BELOVED COUNTRY: 6 decades of SA literature

If you want to know a country, listen to its stories. What is written and what is read by that nation is a reflection of the anxieties and realities of the time

How Britain lost its crown jewel in the East

Saul David’s book traces the ‘catalogue of blunders’ that led to the fall of Singapore in 1942

Against great odds: the Battle of Britain

The UK’s World War 2 victory over Germany had momentous consequences, but brought the island nation close to defeat

Love Books named best independent bookseller for 2019

Melville’s beloved bookdealer won the accolade at the Sefika SA Book Awards

Midway: the World War 2 sea battle that changed the balance of power in the Pacific

In fighting off an onslaught by huge Japanese forces the US won a crucial advantage

The Booker prize longlist is out

Now is your moment to either get reading madly, or do a quick swot of the nominees and their creations

Holocaust books: the good, the bad and the turgid

David Gorin delves into the world of Holocaust-based fiction and discovers the good, the bad and the turgid

Watershed: the year that changed the course of World War 2

In 1941, Hitler made two fateful moves that cost him victory

Era of change and prosperity: the end of Britain’s Victorian age

Agriculture was waning, but people were happier and wages were rising

Chernobyl: 30 years on

Thirty years on, Chernobyl still holds the imagination in thrall. A new book and series step back in time

BOOK REVIEW: Michael Lewis’s The Fifth Risk

Lessons to learn from Trump as president, natural disasters and other unthinkable scenarios

Literary awards to know about

If you’re looking for your next good read, it’s worth noting who just won category honours in the Costa Book Awards

BOOK REVIEW: The Waiter, by Matias Faldbakken

Mealtimes can be the setting for the gamut of human performances. Norwegian artist and author Matias Faldbakken captures the show