Related to: 'The Wisdom of the Shire'

Noble Smith

Noble Smith is an award-winning playwright, video game writer and author of the fantasy novella Stolen from Gypsies. He is the former media director of an international human rights foundation where he served as executive producer of feature-length documentaries, including the highly praised 'Protagonist' and 'Neither Memory Nor Magic' (featuring the voice of Viggo Mortensen). Noble has been a Tolkien devotee since childhood, and lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and children.

Chapter One

SUNNYSIDE, by Glen David Gold

Read the first chapter of Glen David Gold's SUNNYSIDE.

A short story by Hodder author Karen Campbell

Double Figures

A fantastic short story from the critically acclaimed author of THE TWILIGHT TIME and AFTER THE FIRE.

John Murray

Revenger (John Shakespeare 2)

Rory Clements

Revenger (John Shakespeare 2) For fans of CJ Sansom and SJ Parris, REVENGER is the fourth in chronological order of Rory Clements' acclaimed and bestselling John Shakespeare series of Tudor spy thrillers. Clements, winner of the Ellis Peters Historical Fiction Award, 'does for Elizabeth's reign what CJ Sansom does for Henry VIII's' Sunday Times1592. England and Spain are at war, yet there is peril at home, too. The death of her trusted spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham has left Queen Elizabeth vulnerable. Conspiracies multiply.The quiet life of John Shakespeare is shattered by a summons from Robert Cecil, the cold but deadly young statesman who dominated the last years of the Queen's long reign, insisting Shakespeare re-enter government service. His mission: to find vital papers, now in the possession of the Earl of Essex.Essex is the brightest star in the firmament, a man of ambition. He woos the Queen, thirty-three years his senior, as if she were a girl his age. She is flattered by him - despite her loathing for his mother, the beautiful, dangerous Lettice Knollys who presides over her own glittering court - a dazzling array of the mad, bad, dangerous and disaffected. When John Shakespeare infiltrates this dissolute world he discovers not only that the Queen herself is in danger - but that he and his family is also a target. With only his loyal footsoldier Boltfoot Cooper at his side, Shakespeare must face implacable forces who believe themselves above the law: men and women who kill without compunction. And in a world of shifting allegiances, just how far he can trust Robert Cecil, his devious new master?

Mulholland Books

Black Light

Patrick Melton, Stephen Romano, Marcus Dunstan
John Murray

The Secret Life of Words

Henry Hitchings

Communication is essential to our lives, but how often do we stop to think about where the words we use have come from? Have you ever thought about which words in English have been borrowed from Arabic, French or Dutch? Try admiral, landscape and marmalade just for starters. The Secret Life of Words is a wide-ranging account not only of the history of English, but also of how words witness history, reflect social change and remind us of our turbulent past. Henry Hitchings delves into our promiscuous language and reveals how and why it has absorbed words from more than 350 other languages many originating from the most unlikely of places, such as shampoo from Hindi and kiosk from Turkish.From the Norman Conquest to the present day, Hitchings narrates the story of English as an archive of our human experience and uncovers the secrets behind everyday words. This is a celebration of our language; after reading it, you will never again take the words we use for granted.

John Murray

The Broken Road

Patrick Leigh Fermor
Two Roads

The Wolf of Wall Street

Jordan Belfort
Chapter One: A Faraway Land

A LONG LONG TIME AGO AND ESSENTIALLY TRUE, by Brigid Pasulka

Read the first chapter of Brigid Pasulka's A LONG LONG TIME AGO AND ESSENTIALLY TRUE.

John Murray

Martyr (John Shakespeare 1)

Rory Clements

Martyr (John Shakespeare 1) For fans of CJ Sansom and SJ Parris, MARTYR is the third in chronological order of Rory Clements' acclaimed and bestselling John Shakespeare series of Tudor spy thrillers. Clements, winner of the Ellis Peters Historical Fiction Award, 'does for Elizabeth's reign what CJ Sansom does for Henry VIII's' Sunday TimesEngland is close to war. Within days the axe could fall on the neck of Mary Queen of Scots, and Spain is already gathering a battle fleet to avenge her. Tensions in Elizabeth I's government are at breaking point. At the eye of the storm is John Shakespeare, chief intelligencer in the secret service of Sir Francis Walsingham. When an intercept reveals a plot to assassinate England's 'sea dragon', Francis Drake, Shakespeare is ordered to protect him. With Drake on land fitting out his ships, he is frighteningly vulnerable. If he dies, England will be open to invasion. In a London rife with rumour, Shakespeare must decide which leads to follow, which to ignore. When a high-born young woman is found mutilated and murdered at an illicit printing house, it is political gunpowder - and he has no option but to investigate.But why is Shakespeare shadowed at every turn by the brutal Richard Topcliffe, the blood-drenched priest-hunter who claims intimacy with Queen Elizabeth herself? What is Topcliffe's interest in a housemaid, whose baby has been stolen? And where do two fugitive Jesuit priests fit into the puzzle, one happy to die for God, the other to kill for Him? From the splendour and intrigue of the royal court, to the sleek warships of Her Majesty's Navy and the teeming brothels of Southwark, Shakespeare soon learns that nothing is as it seems . . .

Hodder Paperbacks

The Adventure Of English

Melvyn Bragg
Hodder Paperbacks

Avalon

Anya Seton

Merewyn has grown up in savage tenth-century Cornwall; a lonely girl, sustained by stubborn courage and by pride in her descent from the great King Arthur. Rumon, a young French prince, has always dreamt of finding the idyllic island of hearsay and legend, Avalon. He gladly leaves his home in Provence but his hopes are dashed when his ship is wrecked off the Cornish coast. Rumon and Merewyn meet and from that hour their lives are intertwined. They make their way to the court of King Edgar and his beautiful young queen. At first they are dazzled but there is evil lurking in the corridors of power . . .Stretching from France to the eastern shores of America to the plains of Greenland, the journeys of Rumon and Merewyn make for an unforgettable saga.

Sceptre

In Our Time

Melvyn Bragg

Melvyn Bragg's In Our Time series regularly enlightens and entertains substantial audiences on BBC Radio 4. For this book he has selected episodes which reflect the diversity of the radio programmes, and takes us on an amazing tour through the history of ideas, from philosophy, physics and history to religion, literature and biology. We can discover the reasons for the fall of the Byzantine empire, and why women were persecuted as witches in the seventeenth century. What shape is the origin of life? Where does our calendar come from? We can unearth the influence of prime numbers, Socrates and Tectonic plates. Melvyn Bragg orchestrates the ideas of leading academics in each field so that the dynamic and lively discussion from the programmes comes through vividly on the page. IN OUR TIME brings to life the signposts of history, the moments that significantly changed the world as we know it, and the individuals and ideas that made us what we are today.

Chapter One

TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, by John le Carré

Read the first chapter of John le Carré's acclaimed TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, now a major film.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Selfless Gene

Charles Foster

In THE SELFLESS GENE, Charles Foster assesses the claims of Neo-Darwinists and Young Earth Creationists, demonstrating that orthodox Christianity is not incompatible with what evolutionary biology says about our world. The real issue, he argues, centres around the ethical implications of natural selection, and what such a system - based on selfishness, waste and death - might say about the loving creator God of the Christian faith. Intelligent, provocative and accessible, THE SELFLESS GENE offers the prospect of a reasoned dialogue between faith and scientific study, and a reconciliation of what are popularly seen as two opposing worldviews.

John Murray

Beautiful Children

Charles Bock
Two Roads

The End of Your Life Book Club

Will Schwalbe

Mary Anne Schwalbe is waiting for her chemotherapy treatments when Will casually asks her what she's reading. The conversation they have grows into tradition: soon they are reading the same books so they can have something to talk about in the hospital waiting room. Their choices range from classic (Howards End) to popular (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), from fantastic (The Hobbit) to spiritual (Jon Kabat-Zinn), with many in between. We hear their passion for reading and their love for each other in their intimate and searching discussions. A profoundly moving testament to the power of love between a child and parent, and the power of reading in our lives. 'A wonderful book about wonderful books and mothers and sons and the enduring braid between them.' - Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays With Morrie'a true meditation on what books can do.' - Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with Amber Eyes

Mulholland Books

Murder as a Fine Art

David Morrell

The Ratcliffe Highway murders of 1811 were the most notorious mass killings in their day. Never fully explained, they brought London and all of England to the verge of panic. Forty-three years later, the equally notorious 'opium eater' Thomas De Quincey returns to London. Along with his Confessions, he is known for a scandalous essay about the killings: 'On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts'. Days after his arrival, a family is killed in the same horrific way as the earlier murders. It seems someone is using the essay as an inspiration - and a blueprint. And De Quincey himself is the obvious suspect. Aided by his daughter Emily and two determined Scotland Yard detectives, he must uncover the truth before more blood is shed... and London itself falls prey to attack. In MURDER AS A FINE ART, gaslit London becomes a battleground between a literary star and a demented murderer - whose lives are linked by secrets long buried, but never forgotten.

By publicist Kerry Hood

On set with Peter Robinson and DCI Banks

DCI is being brought to life in an ITV adaptation of one of his novels. His publicist, Kerry Hood, made a visit to the set to bring us up to speed on what to expect from Peter Robinson's first TV adaptation.

Sceptre

Wish You Were Here: England on Sea

Travis Elborough