1) Private Island: Why Britain now belongs to someone else by James Meek
Verso Books, £12.99
One of the less anticipated aspects of the privatisation of Britain's national services has been their consequent majority ownership by overseas interests. As Meek reveals, the best interests of both British business and consumers are no longer on the agenda. His case studies reveal the motivations of investors and suggest a worrying prognosis for trade and investment.
2) Exploration Fawcett by Colonel Percy Fawcett
Companion Book Club, 1954
I always loved reading: books on medieval knights, ghosts and 18th-century England were all on my father's bookshelves. But what sparked my passion for travel was Exploration Fawcett. It's by an eccentric British explorer and geographer who mapped the boundaries for the new South American countries for the Royal Geographical Society from 1906 to 1925. He met Indians with tales of lost cities and 'white' men before the Spaniards.
3) Who Discovered America? Gavin Menzies and Ian Hudson
William Morrow, £12.91
Exploration Fawcett also fired an interest in ancient civilisations and the origins and migrations of early peoples. Who Discovered America? is the most exciting recent book on the subject. Through both original research and the popularisation of existing work, it indicates there is substantial evidence of trans-oceanic contact between America and the Old World long before Columbus. Fascinating stuff.
Christopher Foyle is the non-executive chairman of Foyles bookshops