I seem to have over a dozen books on the go: is this the sign of an erratic mind? Here are some of the best of them. DH Lawrence's Women in Love is intense, wonderfully offensive at times, and now unintentionally funny. He is worth ten of his blander compatriots. Elizabeth Jane Howard is an assured comic writer, rising above accusations of being middlebrow, in Getting it Right. Michèle Roberts's The Book of Mrs. Noah somehow manages to be experimental, passionate, political, lyrical and highly readable all at the same time. And Barbara Pym is never far from the bedside table: someone to read again, and again, and again.