Our top six books this week: Hitler’s last stand in the Ardennes and more

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Ardennes 1944: Hitler’s Last Gamble

by Antony Beevor. This offensive was Hitler’s last throw of the dice. It involved about a million men and finally broke the back of the Wehrmacht on the Western Front. A much-anticipated work on the Battle of the Bulge from the master of ­narrative history. (Viking, May 21)

Spain: The Centre of the World 1519-1682

by Robert Goodwin. From soldiers such as the Duke of Alba, to artistic figures such as El Greco and Velázquez, the 16th century was a Golden Age, when arts, poetry and literature flourished. This work places these impressive achievements in a global context. (Bloomsbury, May 7)

The Life of Saul Bellow

by Zachary Leader. The Canadian-born ­Bellow was a titan of ­literature, winning Nobel and Pulitzer prizes. This is the first biography to appear since his death in 2005 and, authorised by the estate, spans the period from his birth to the publication of Herzog, the work that made him. (Cape, May 7)

Church of Marvels

by Leslie Parry. Orphans, abandoned babies and disappearances, this story set in 1895 New York explores the lives of four strangers that become entwined over a night. From Coney Island to the crowded tenements of the Lower East Side, life will never be the same again. (Two Roads, May 7)


by Christopher Hope. Jimfish is a South ­African Everyman who defies the usual ­classification of race. He becomes an unlikely witness to the end of apartheid and the defining moments of the end of the 20th century. Part fable, part fierce commentary on politics and power from the Booker-shortlisted author. (Atlantic Books, May 7)

Things We Have in Common

by Tasha Kavanagh. A dark tale of Yasmin, a vulnerable teenage heroine. Rejected by her peers, she is ­determined to ­befriend one of the most ­popular girls around, Alice. But then, ­Alice vanishes. Debut novel that has been described as a mix of Sue Townsend and Zoë Heller. (Canongate, May 7)