By Levison Wood
Levison Wood was only 22 when he decided to hitch-hike from England to India through Russia, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, but he wasn't the conventional follower of the hippy trail. A fascination with the deeds of the early explorers, a history degree in the bag, an army career already planned and a shoestring budget of £750 - including for the flight home - he was determined to find out more about the countries of the Caucasus and beyond - and meet the people who lived and worked there.EASTERN HORIZONS is a true traveller's tale in the tradition of the best of the genre, populated by a cast of eccentric characters; from mujahideen fighters to the Russian mafia. Along the way he meets some people who showed great hospitality, while others would rather have murdered him...
The Elephant to Hollywood
By Michael Caine
THE DEFINITIVE, MOST UP-TO-DATE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF BRITISH SCREEN ICON AND LEGEND SIR MICHAEL CAINEIt's been a long journey for Maurice Micklewhite - born with rickets in London's poverty-stricken Elephant & Castle - to the bright lights of Hollywood. With a glittering career spanning more than five decades and starring roles which have earned him two Oscars, a knighthood, and an iconic place in the Hollywood pantheon, the man now known to us as Michael Caine looks back over it all. Funny, warm, honest, Caine brings us his insider's view of Hollywood (where there's neither holly nor woods). He recalls the films, the legendary stars, the off-screen moments with a gift for story-telling only equalled by David Niven. Hollywood has been his home and his playground. But England is where his heart lies. And where he blames the French for the abundance of snails in his garden. A plaque now celebrates him at the Elephant in London. His handprint is one of only 200 since 1927 to decorate the hallowed pavement outside that mecca of Hollywood stars, Grauman's Chinese Theatre. A very British star, The Elephant to Hollywood is the remarkable full circle of Michael Caine's life.If you enjoyed his documentary My Generation, don't miss this definitive autobiography by the very man himself.
The Essential Dave Allen
By Graham Mccann
When Dave Allen passed away in March 2005, we lost a true comedy great. Sitting cross-legged on a high stool, whiskey in one hand, cigarette in the other, Dave Allen's exasperated commentaries on the absurdities of modern life struck a chord with millions of fans in Britain, Ireland and Australia for over four decades. He was a compelling storyteller - able to spin shaggy dog stories out of the almost any subject, including the missing tip of his fourth finger of his left hand, for which he provided various unlikely explanations. But his gentle, laconic wit could also give way to ferocious attacks on the media, the state and, most famously, the Catholic Church. He was a unique talent - a comic who could make his audiences laugh, cry, and be shocked, all in one.This official celebration of Dave Allen's comedy has been drawn together by Graham McCann - Britain's best-loved entertainment writer. It is a treasure trove of stories, stand-up routines, sketches, interviews and photos, which takes us on a journey from the cradle to the grave. It will delight Dave Allen's million of fans, old and new alike.'Dave Allen was our greatest storyteller and nobody ever came close to his ability to spin a yarn. He was unique, right up there with the greats.' Jack Dee
Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing
By Daniel Tammet
'Full of charm and fascination' The Bookseller'Would dazzle any storyteller in love with words and their deepest meanings' Amy Tan, author of Joy Luck Club'A generous book and a beguiling read' Rebecca Gowers* * * * * *From the bestselling author of Born on a Blue Day and Thinking in Numbers, a delightful and eclectic exploration of language, and what it can teach us about ourselves and our lives.Why is the name 'Cleopatra' not allowed in Iceland? Why do clocks 'talk' to the Nahua people of Mexico? And if we are what we eat, are we also what we say? These are just some of the questions Daniel Tammet answers in Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing, a mesmerising new collection of essays investigating the intricacies and profound power of human language. Tammet goes back in time to explore the numeric language of his autistic childhood; he looks at the music and patterns that words make, and how languages evolve and are translated. He meets one of the world's most accomplished lip readers in Canada, learns how endangered languages like Manx are being revived and corresponds with native speakers of Esperanto in their mother tongue. He studies the grammar of the telephone, contemplates the significance of disappearing dialects, and also asks: will chatbots ever manage to convince us that they are human?From the art of translation to the lyricism of sign language, Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing is a fascinating journey through the world of words, letters, stories and meanings, and an extraordinary testament to the stunning range of Tammet's literary and polyglot talents.
By Mary Robinson
Shortlisted for the Political Book Awards 2013 Political Book of the YearThe first woman President of Ireland, who became UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson has spent her life in pursuit of a fairer world.Now, for the first time, she reveals what lies behind the vision, strength and determination that has helped her to achieve so much for human rights around the globe.She describes the upbringing which gave her her strong sense of values and how she came into painful conflict with her parents - marrying against their wishes and, later, helping to legalise contraception in a deeply Catholic Ireland.As a barrister she won landmark cases advancing the causes of women and the marginalised against the prejudices of the day. When - to the surprise of many - she became the first woman President of Ireland in 1990, she put Ireland firmly on the international stage.Accepting the position of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 1997 was her biggest challenge and here she describes the huge political difficulties she encountered among the many triumphs. Subsequently, based in New York, she led Realizing Rights for eight years, pioneering how to implement in practice economic and social rights: working in African countries on health, decent work, corporate responsibility and women's empowerment in peace and security. Now heading her own Climate Justice foundation she has succeeded in finding the independence she needs to work effectively on behalf of the millions of poor around the world most affected by climate change. Told with the same calm conviction and modest pride that has guided her life, Everybody Matters will inspire everyone who reads it with the belief that each of us can, in our own way, help to change the world for the better.
Everybody Died, So I Got a Dog
By Emily Dean, Emily Dean
The funny, heart-breaking, wonderfully told story of love, family and overwhelming loss which led Emily Dean to find hope and healing in the dog she always wanted.Growing up with the Deans was a fabulous training ground for many things: ignoring unpaid bills, being the most entertaining guest at dinner, deconstructing poetry. It was never home for the dog Emily craved. Emily shared the lively chaos with her beloved older sister Rachael, her rock. Over the years the sisters bond grew ever closer. As Rachael went on to have the cosy family and treasured dog, Giggle, Emily threw herself into unsettled adventure - dog ownership remaining a distant dream. Then, tragically, Rachael is diagnosed with cancer. In just three devastating years Emily loses not only her sister but both her parents as well. This is the funny heart-breaking, wonderfully told story of how Emily discovers that it is possible to overcome the worst that life can throw at you, that it's never too late to make peace with your past, and that the right time is only ever now, as she finally starts again with her very own dog - the adorable Shih-tzu named Raymond.(P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited