Top 10 Writer's Reads

John Man is a travel writer and historian with a special interest in Mongolia. Author of Genghis Khan: Life, Death and Resurrection and Attila the Hun, his latest work, Kablai Khan: The Mongol King Who Remade China is this month's Book of the Month

1. The Spiral Staircase by Karen Armstrong (Harper Perennial, 8.99 [pounds sterling])

A powerful, sharply honest account of how the author broke religious bonds to find herself and her true calling

2. Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (Headline Review, 5.99 [pounds sterling])

I love the way she captures the irrational swings of a 14-year-old adrift in a maelstrom of racial tension and sexual awakening

3. Wind Against the Mountain by Richard Davis (Harvard University Press, 28.95 [pounds sterling])

A vivid portrait of 13th-century Song society being shattered by the Mongol invasion

4. The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant (Virago Press, 6.99 [pounds sterling])

A terrific tale of love, art and obsession in Renaissance Florence

5. The Caliph's House by Tahir Shah (Doubleday, 15 [pounds sterling])

A year abroad, a house rebuilt, but with a difference.

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Top 10 Writer's Reads


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