I'm probably the last man alive not to have read the books of R.K. Narayan, who seems to have been at it since 1935. This year I made up for lost time, with The Financial Expert (Mandarin, £3.99). I'm hooked. He uses the seductive tricks of the European novelist to bring you into Hinduism, which you would not otherwise wish to enter, presumably. It is a disconcerting experience, but pleasurable.