Sarah Bradford Penguin, £14.99
To coincide with the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination comes the reissue of this 600-page Jackie Kennedy biography. It’s a fat book that benefits from the fact that, after her death, Jackie’s friends were more relaxed about being interviewed – including Bradford’s biggest coup, her sister, Lee Radziwill. There’s as much as you could want to know about her love life, and her husbands’ love lives, but the enduring picture is that of a woman riven with contradictions. The custodian of JFK’s legacy, but also desperate to escape it. She was the closest America got to royalty, but also an “American geisha”. Powerful and manipulative, Jackie nevertheless played a system that subjugated her: in marrying Onassis, she was, once more, “giving herself to a man who regarded her principally as an asset rather than as a woman”. A thought-provoking and tragic biography that gives a great deal of insight into an icon.