Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
By John Berendt
Published for the first time in flipback - the new, portable, stylish format that's taken Europe by storm.Genteel society ladies who compare notes on their husbands' suicides. A hilariously foul-mouthed black drag queen. A voodoo priestess who works her roots in the graveyard at midnight. A morose inventor who owns a bottle of poison powerful enough to kill everyone in town. A prominent antiques dealer who hangs a Nazi flag from his window to disrupt the shooting of a movie. And a redneck gigolo whose conquests describe him as a 'walking streak of sex'.These are some of the real residents of Savannah, Georgia, a city whose eccentric mores are unerringly observed - and whose dirty linen is gleefully aired - in this utterly irresistible book. At once a true-crime murder story and a hugely entertaining and deliciously perverse travelogue, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is as bracing and intoxicating as half-a-dozen mint juleps.
Wish You Were Here: England on Sea
By Travis Elborough
In this gloriously original social history, Travis Elborough argues that our national character - our snobbishness and willingness to laugh at ourselves, our attitudes to sex and fair play and our chequered relationship with national pride - has been forged against a backdrop of stormy skies and pebbly beaches. Covering everything from Agatha Christie to the Prince Regent via Billy Butlin and Brighton Rock, this is a book for anyone who has ever wrestled with a deckchair, braved a sopping esplanade or felt the crunch of sand in a sandwich.
A DIAMOND IN THE DESERT: Behind the Scenes in the World's Richest City
By Jo Tatchell
Barely forty years ago, Abu Dhabi was a fishing village on the Arabian Gulf. Now the capital of the United Arab Emirates, its citizens are each worth $17 million, it holds major stakes in Western economies, and has money to burn.In this timely, revealing and evocative portrait of a global player, Jo Tatchell traces the emirate's dramatic development and the sometimes ruinous effect of extreme wealth on its people and their desert culture. And as its rulers fund another giant leap forward, she probes behind the official facade to examine whether this secretive and controlled society can realise its breathtaking plans to transform relations between East and West.
Jewels: A Secret History
By Victoria Finlay
Throughout history the desire for jewels has made and destroyed individual, families and even empires. Today, despite our ability to manufacture synthetics, gemstones still hold their appeal. Victoria Finlay investigates why in her extraordinary journey to uncover the hidden world of precious stones.The starting point is a sapphire given to her by her parents that was harvested, not by a miner as she had imagined but by men in muddy loincloths trawling a warm stream in Sri Lanka. The extraordinary travels in JEWELS: A SECRET HISTORY take her cycling along the Baltic Amber Route, down the emerald mines of Afghanistan.As we learn from a ruby trader in Burma, the more precious a jewel, the greater the human cost of acquiring it, and JEWELS: A SECRET HISTORY also explores the human histories of gemstones. Along the way we learn from Victoria, a qualified gemologist, how to grade a pearl, what New Age 'crystal therapy' is about, and why one of the rarest sapphires in the world is orange.Victoria Finlay's unique blending of travelogue and narrative history ensures that this book, the first for the general reader, will be as unforgettable as the stones themselves.
Rat Scabies And The Holy Grail
By Christopher Dawes
Chris Dawes lives in a quiet street in Brentford, opposite Rat Scabies, former drummer with The Damned and best noted for setting his drums on fire while playing them. Life with Rat as a neighbour isn't run-of-the-mill and things turn even stranger when Rat announces that the two of them are going on a search to find the Holy Grail. The sacred relic has eluded everyone from King Arthur to Monty Python, but Rat reckons he knows where it's stashed.Once they've written a list of things to do ("Buy metal detectors!") the pair get to work on unravelling the mystery, which involves the Knights Templar, the ancient sorcerer Kings of France, a shadowy secret society called the Priory of Sion, the CIA and the remote and spooky village of Rennes-le-Chateau in the Pyrenees, where it begins to look as though someone - or something - wants to stop them from finding out anything at all ... RAT SCABIES AND THE HOLY GRAIL is a psychedelic road trip, a rich historical yarn, and a testimony to the sometimes odd nature of certain friendships.
By Pete Mccarthy
Pete McCarthy's tale of his hilarious trip around Ireland has gained thousands of fans all over the world. Pete was born in Warrington to an Irish mother and an English father and spent happy summer holidays in Cork. Years later, reflecting on the many places he has visited as a travel broadcaster, Pete admits that he feels more at home in Ireland than anywhere. To find out whether this is due to rose-coloured spectacles or to a deeper tie with the country of his ancestors, Pete sets off on a trip around Ireland and discovers that it has changed in surprising ways. Firstly obeying the rule 'never pass a pub with your name on it', he encounters McCarthy's bars up and down the land, and meets English hippies, German musicians, married priests and many others. A funny, affectionate look at one of the most popular countries in the world.