Late in his short life Joseph Roth deliberately spoiled a pair of trousers which his better-off Viennese fellow-writer Stefan Zweig had bought for him. Loth to accept charity, he died an alcoholic early in 1939.
Since the 1970s, a powerful genre has emerged: novels and dramas about child evacuees during the Second World War. Some of the best-known titles are Nina Bawden's Carrie's War, Jack Rosenthal's The Evacuees and Michelle Magorian's Goodnight Mr Tom.
Mishka Ben-David abandoned a PhD in Hebrew literature to join the Mossad. His most famous assignment was a botched attempt to assassinate Hamas's leader, Khaled Meshaal. After 12 years, he left and became a thriller-writer. This is his second novel to appear in English (it was originally published in Hebrew in 2008).
Broken on the Inside, by Simon Hammelburg, was originally published in Holland in 1996. At the beginning of this new version (Aerial Media, £16.99) we are told that it "may be read as a novel" and that "it is based on 1,200 interviews with Holocaust survivors and their children".
Amid a summer riot, five teenagers take a civil servant hostage. William Sutcliffe's Concentr8 (Bloomsbury, £12.99) is set in a disturbingly recognisable Britain where the government has been unscrupulously doling out ADD drugs but has suddenly withdrawn supplies. Sutcliffe alternates between the voices of the listless lawbreakers, a journalist, a negotiator and a floppy-haired mayor.
There is that moment of excitement on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow when someone in the crowd comes forward with a sparkling jewel that turns out to be the real thing worth thousands. And more often than not, it is the affable, forever smiling Geoffrey Munn who reveals the unknown story behind the gem.
John Mann is an unlikely candidate to lead the fight against antisemitism in Britain. A blunt-speaking Yorkshireman who sits on Labour's back benches, the Bassetlaw MP came to the cause a decade ago without any apparent prior qualification or motivation. He has subsequently become one of the country's foremost experts on the fight against Jew-hatred.