Stuck for holiday reading? Whether you’re looking for memoirs, historical biographies or cutting-edge science, our critics have the answer


Arnhem by Antony Beevor

Beevor’s account of the Arnhem campaign, that ill-judged and deeply unlucky northward leap by the Allies into occupied Holland in 1944 (captured in the classic 1977 film A Bridge Too Far), is, as you would expect from this master-narrator, completely gripping. The dreadful story is played out day by day, sometimes hour by hour, but always with one eye on the commanders’ strategic thinking (or lack of it). NM (Viking, £25)

The King and the Catholics by Antonia Fraser

“We require the Papists to be given up for your lives!” chanted…