Walking to Jerusalem
By Justin Butcher
'What's so impressive about Justin Butcher's book is the interweaving of his personal face-to-face experiences in Israel and Palestine against the backdrop of the social and political realities there. This book displays an empathy that is unusual in discussions of that tangled and tragic situation - the kind of empathy that will be essential in arriving at any decent solution to it.' BRIAN ENO 2017 marked three important anniversaries for the Palestinian people: 100 years since the Balfour Declaration; 50 years since the Six-day War; and ten years since the Blockade of Gaza. As an act of penance, solidarity and hope, actor and musician Justin Butcher - along with ten other companions for the full route, plus another hundred joining him for various stretches along the way - walked from London to Jerusalem. This book is the record of his journey: a combination of walking journal, travel writing and pilgrim stories. It's less of a travel guide to walking across Europe and more an exploration of the many strands radiating from the Holy Land and its narrative, weaving paths across place and history, through the lives of Justin's fellow-walkers - and, of course, his own life. Between the route itinerary and the themes of Balfour and Christian Zionism, Weizmann and cordite, colonialism, Jerusalem Syndrome and Desert spirituality, Justin charts a chronicle of serendipity: happenstances hilarious, infuriating and occasionally numinous - or, as pilgrims might say, encounters with the Divine.'This is a gripping and intelligent book that everybody should read.' PATRICK COCKBURN, Middle East correspondent, The Independent
George Best: A Memoir: A unique biography of a football icon
By Michael Parkinson
Michael Parkinson and George Best faced one another countless times in interviews. Their conversations were mutually respectful, even intimate, yet always brimming with searching questions and revealing answers.The great Manchester United and Northern Ireland attacker - one of the few sports personalities to merit the term 'iconic' - was almost always candid, lucid and self-effacing. Alcoholism had him in its grip from an early age, affecting the love affairs that fed the tabloid headlines, but there was far more to Best than booze and birds.In George Best: A Memoir, Michael Parkinson draws upon decades of award-winning journalistic experience to re-evaluate a remarkable footballer and a damaged friend. The book weaves together recollections of when the 'the fifth Beatle' ensured it was Manchester, not London or Liverpool, which made the Sixties swing; of Best enjoying a carefree kickabout with the Parkinsons' children in the family garden; and selected transcripts from their endlessly fascinating interviews.'Where did it all go wrong?' is the punchline to a famous Best story. George Best: A Memoir provides Michael Parkinson's considered response to the question while bringing fresh insight into the footballing genius that made Best one of the immortals and the self-destructive side of his character.
Rugby: Talking A Good Game
By Ian Robertson
Ian Robertson joined the BBC during the golden age of radio broadcasting and was given a crash course in the art of sports commentary from some of the greatest names ever to sit behind a microphone: Cliff Morgan and Peter Bromley, Bryon Butler and John Arlott. Almost half a century after being introduced to the rugby airwaves by his inspiring mentor Bill McLaren, the former Scotland fly-half looks back on the most eventful of careers, during which he covered nine British and Irish Lions tours and eight World Cups, including the 2003 tournament that saw England life the Webb Ellis Trophy and "Robbo" pick up awards for his spine-tingling description of Jonny Wilkinson's decisive drop goal.He reflects on his playing days, his role in guiding Cambridge University to a long spell of Varsity Match supremacy and his relationships with some of the union code's most celebrated figures, including Sir Clive Woodward and Jonah Lomu. He also writes vividly and hilariously of his experiences as a horse racing enthusiast, his meetings with some of the world's legendary golfers and his dealings with a stellar cast of sporting outsiders, from Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor to Nelson Mandela. It is a hugely entertaining story that begins in a bygone rugby age, yet has much to say about the game in the here and now.
A Step So Grave
By Catriona McPherson
'Everything I adore' Red magazine'Plenty of twists to keep you guessing' The BookbagWedding bells are set to ring as Dandy Gilver, family in tow, arrives in windswept Wester Ross on Valentine's Day. They've come to celebrate Lady Lavinia's fiftieth birthday and to meet her daughter Mallory, a less-than-suitable bride-to-be for Dandy's son Donald.But soon love is the last thing on Dandy's mind when the news breaks that Lady Lavinia has been found dead, brutally murdered in the middle of her famous knot garden. Strange superstitions and folklore abound among the Gaelic-speaking locals. But , Dandy suspects that the tangled boughs and branches around Applecross House hide something much more earthly at work . . .
Let Me Tell You A Story
By Rob Parsons
Rob Parsons is a bestselling author who has travelled widely across the UK and around the world, sharing his own stories of the ups and downs of life and faith with over a million people at live events over the past 30 years.Let Me Tell You A Story brings together some of the very the best of these stories - heartwarming and challenging tales that make up a compendium of insights on faith and family, love and loss, money and priorities, dreams and goals.Pull up a chair and settle in to enjoy as the storyteller weaves his spell...
By Timothy Keller
The New Testament begins not with a dramatic narrative or lofty poetry but with a genealogy. Provocatively, Matthew's gospel includes women in Jesus' family line - something that wasn't customary in an ancient culture, where women were largely powerless and uninfluential. In this surprising take on the Christmas story, Tim Keller reveals how, by focusing on the women in Jesus' birth narratives, a colourful, scandalous, and refreshing tale of grace emerges.
A Daily Dose of Mercy
By Don Stephens
'And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.' Micah 6:8 NIVThis book contains 365 short daily devotions on the theme of mercy. Each day's reading will take about one minute to read, and is accompanied by a short scripture passage and a gentle tug on your heart to be the light of mercy in someone's life each day, because a merciful heart looks beyond its own difficulties and encourages others. Written by Don Stephens, bestselling author of Ships of Mercy, and founder of the charity Mercy Ships which offers free surgical care to people in desperate need in Africa, these daily devotional readings are inspired by the very best stories from the work of the people who volunteer on the ship. But each day's reflection points to the need for mercy everywhere... not just across the ocean, but down the street, next door, and even in our very own homes.
Pushing the Boundaries: Cricket in the Eighties
By Derek Pringle
'Pringle's tale is both a love letter to the greatest player of his generation, Sir Ian Botham and an engaging romp in which cricket only plays a walk-on part.' Michael AthertonThe Eighties was a colourful period in English cricket. As a member of the most successful team in Essex's history and an England side capable of extraordinary highs and lows, Derek Pringle was lucky enough to be in the thick of it. Now, with the perspective of more than twenty years as a journalist, he lays bare the realities of life as a professional cricketer in a decade when the game was dominated by a cast of unforgettable characters, whose exploits became front-page news.Picked for the Test side while still an ear stud-wearing student at Cambridge, he was as surprised as anybody to find himself playing alongside the likes of David Gower, Allan Lamb and Phil Edmonds. He also had to contend with being hailed as the new Ian Botham, even though the old one was still going strong - and playing in the same team.For England, it was a time of mixed fortunes, as Ashes victories alternated with humiliation by a dominant West Indies. The chop-and-change policy of the selectors - culminating in the summer of four captains in 1988 - made cricket such an insecure profession that some players chose to go on rebel tours of South Africa, while others relished every opportunity the game provided - on and off the field.The hard slog of domestic cricket, meanwhile, had never seen so much talent, with counties boasting overseas players like Viv Richards, Malcolm Marshall and Javed Miandad. A coach-free zone, it was left in the hands of canny old pros such as Keith Fletcher and John Lever, who guided Essex to multiple Championship and one-day successes.But cricket was changing, and not necessarily for the better. By the end of the decade, as the new coaching culture established itself, it became clear that the days of the maverick cricketer were numbered. Few players ended the Eighties wealthy, but as Derek Pringle's eye-opening memoir reveals, all left rich in experience, with enough stories to last a lifetime.
Girls of Paper and Fire
By Natasha Ngan
Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Selection in this stunning YA fantasy novel. Perfect for fans of Renée Ahdieh, Laini Taylor and Sabaa Tahir. 'A timely reminder that, in the right hands, the fantasy genre has things to say about injustice and abuse of power in the real world' GUARDIANEach year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It's the highest honour they could hope for...and the most demeaning. This year, there's a ninth. And instead of paper, she's made of fire.Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. Ten years ago, her mother was snatched by the royal guards, and her fate remains unknown. Now, the guards are back and this time it's Lei they're after - the girl with the golden eyes, whose rumoured beauty has piqued the king's interest.Over weeks of training in the opulent but oppressive palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit a king's consort. There, Lei does the unthinkable - she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens her world's entire way of life. Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide how far she's willing to go for justice and revenge.
How to Hold a Grudge
By Sophie Hannah
'Hannah is entertaining company and the book is even more amusing...' The Times'Hannah is excellent on how to embrace our grudges, nurture them and use them to become a better person' GraziaWhat if grudges are not just good for us but great?How often have you held a grudge and felt guilty about it? 'Forgive and move on' is the received wisdom, and that's what many of us try to do. Positive thinking is essential for a happy life, but how we get to that positive is even more crucial. What if grudges can ward off danger, and help us live better lives?What if they can act as stepping stones, pointing us in the right direction? This ultimate guide will give you all the tools you need to analyse, process and embrace your grudges in order to be your best possible self.** How to Hold a Grudge - The Podcast now available for download! Check out Grudge of the Week, and discover the latest Grudge Music **
The Little Book of Bob
By James Bowen
The new book from James and street cat Bob. 'One thing I've known about Bob from the very beginning is that he possesses a wisdom that is unusual, even in cats. In the decade since we met he's grown even wiser in my eyes. This book is a collection of the insights I've gained during my years with Bob.' In the spring of 2007, busker James Bowen came across an injured ginger tom cat in the hallway of his shelter in north London. What he didn't know was that this would be the start of a friendship that would turn both their lives around, and lead to A Street Cat Named Bob, the international bestseller that tells the story of their friendship. The Little Book of Bob is a collection of the wisdom James has learnt from Bob throughout the years, as they go through thick and thin together. From the power of friendship to staying calm and finding the joys in a simple life, let Bob be your guide on how to navigate the ins and outs of life like a wise street cat.
A Sea of Gold
By Julian Stockwin
'Tension surges through A Sea of Gold . . . In this rousing yarn, Stockwin again raises naval fiction to a new level' - Quarterdeck1809. After his heroic actions during the retreat to Corunna, Captain Sir Thomas Kydd is the toast of London society. Here he falls in with the legendary frigate captain, Lord Thomas Cochrane.So begins a relationship, professional and personal, that will be unlike any that Kydd has known: a relationship that will lead him, almost simultaneously, to first glory, then ruin.The French fleet is massing in the Basque Roads in a near impregnatable position. The Admiralty orders Cochrane to command an attack, to the chagrin of more senior officers who object to being overlooked and Cochrane's reputation for daring. Cochrane insists that his new friend, Kydd, is in the forefront of the assault armada, a motley collection of rocket, bomb and fire ships that will set the anchorage ablaze - this despite Kydd's almost pathological fear of fire. The fallout from what follows will see Kydd financially ruined, with only his former shipmates, his oldest friend of all, Nicholas Renzi, and the whisper of hidden Spanish treasure promising the sea of gold that he needs to save himself. ********************Praise for Julian Stockwin's Kydd series'Paints a vivid picture of life aboard the mighty ship-of-the-line' Daily Express'This heady adventure blends fact and fiction in rich, authoritative detail' Nautical Magazine'Fans of fast-paced adventure will get their fill with this book' Historical Naval Society'In Stockwin's hands the sea story will continue to entrance readers across the world' - Guardian
All The Queen's Corgis
By Penny Junor
'It is actually a serious book, but it had me laughing out loud several times on the Tube. All mothers should receive one for Christmas.' Marcus Berkmann, SpectatorEveryone who loves The Crown on Netflix will enjoy this celebration of Queen Elizabeth II and her beloved canine friends.The Queen has had corgis by her side ever since she was seven years old and persuaded her father to buy one for the family. She also has several dorgis (a cross resulting from an accidental liaison between one of the Queen's corgis and Princess Margaret's dachshund) and is a passionate breeder of gundogs.The dogs are the Queen's constant companions, travelling with her by air, road and rail, from one royal residence to another. She walks and feeds them herself, chooses names for them, and at the end of their days, buries them with personalised plaques to commemorate each individual. Penny Junor reveals the scraps and scrapes that the dogs have been involved in - the hierarchy amongst them, the corgis' feisty attitude to footmen and guests, gardeners and innocent passersby. This fascinating and affectionate look at the Queen and her most faithful companions is a book for dog lovers everywhere about what really makes our much-loved and longest reigning monarch truly light up.