A freewheeling investigation into the magic power locked inside the alphabet, love through the looking glass, the bond between parents and children, and, at its heart, the quest for meaning in a chaotic and untidy world. Maxwell’s Demon by Steven Hall is out now.

Watch Melanie Challenger introduce How to Be Animal - her radical new take on the human story and what it means for us today

Discover the dark underbelly of Victorian Edinburgh in Ambrose Parry’s The Art of Dying, out now.

Kamila Shamsie discusses the Booker-shortlisted novel The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste.