The Rise and Fall of Great Powers
By Tom Rachman
WHO IS TOOLY ZYLBERBERG?9-year-old Tooly is living in Bangkok, largely left to her own devices, when she is spirited away by a seductive group of outsiders who take her from city to city across the globe. At 20, she is wandering the streets of Manhattan with a scribbled-on map, living with a ping-pong-playing, avocado-loving Russian émigré called Humphrey and scamming strangers for her shadowy protector, Venn.Now, aged 31, she runs a second-hand bookshop on the Welsh borders and has found a kind of peace with her strange upbringing - until she gets a message from an old flame asking her to come back to New York to see her dying father.Tooly has spent so much of her life becoming what others want her to be, she has lost all sense of herself. Warm, hilarious, moving and fizzing with intelligence, THE RISE AND FALL OF GREAT POWERS is a masterpiece about the search for identity, the people who rise into and fall out of our lives, and how to figure out what home means.www.tomrachman.com#whoistooly #riseandfall
The Reason I Jump: one boy's voice from the silence of autism
By Naoki Higashida
The No. 1 Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller.Written by Naoki Higashida when he was only thirteen, this remarkable book provides a rare insight into the often baffling behaviour of autistic children. Using a question and answer format, Naoki explains things like why he talks loudly or repeats the same questions, what causes him to have panic attacks, and why he likes to jump. He also shows the way he thinks and feels about his world - other people, nature, time and beauty, and himself. Abundantly proving that people with autism do possess imagination, humour and empathy, he also makes clear how badly they need our compassion, patience and understanding.David Mitchell and his wife have translated Naoki's book so that it might help others dealing with autism and generally illuminate a little-understood condition. It gives us an exceptional chance to enter the mind of another and see the world from a strange and fascinating perspective.The book also features eleven original illustrations, inspired by Naoki's words, by the artistic duo Kai and Sunny.
The Rules: The Way of the Cycling Disciple
By The Velominati
THE WAY OF THE CYCLING DISCIPLERule #6: Free your mind and your legs will follow.Rule #9: If you cycle in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.Rule #12: The correct number of bikes to own is n+1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned.THE VELOMINATI embrace cycling not as a pastime, but as a way of life, as obsessed with style, heritage, authenticity and wisdom as with performance.THE RULES is their Bible. It is an essential part of every cyclist's arsenal - whether you're grudgingly cycling to work in the rain or gearing up to be the next Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy or Victoria Pendleton.velominati.comtwitter.com/velominatifacebook.com/velominativelominati.tumblr.com/youtube.com/velominati
By Marc Pye
Josh Strachan has it all. His own electrical business, a beautiful girlfriend and a monopoly on the electrical work in the sleepy Scottish village of Glen Leven. Until London electricians, Nathan and Karl, arrive to do a rewire on the psychiatric hospital. And one by one Josh starts to lose his business, his girlfriend, his friends ... and most importantly his mind. By wreaking revenge on the English outsiders, he ends up digging a hole for himself that even he can't get out of. Then bent copper PC Gordon who wants the outsiders out and has a vested interest in trying to protect Josh from the long arm of the law, knows this time Josh has gone too far.
The Roundabout Man
By Clare Morrall
Who is the Roundabout Man?He doesn't look like a tramp, yet he lives on a roundabout in a caravan and survives on the leftovers from a nearby motorway service station. He calls himself Quinn, the name of a boy in a world-famous series of children's books, but he's nearer retirement than childhood.What he hopes no one will discover is that he's the real Quinn, immortalised as a child by his mother in her entrancing tales about a little boy's adventures with his triplet sisters. It is this inheritance he has successfully run away from - until now. When Quinn's reclusive existence is invaded, he has to turn and face his past, and all the uncomfortable truths it contains about himself, his sisters and, most of all, his mother. By the author of Astonishing Splashes of Colour and The Man Who Disappeared, The Roundabout Man delivers a wittily observed slice of modern life as it plumbs the gulf between nostalgia and reality.
Rules of Civility
By Amor Towles
'Fabulous' Observer'Achingly stylish' Guardian'Irresistible' Daily Telegraph'Gripping' The Sunday TimesIn a jazz bar on the last night of 1937, watching a quartet because she couldn't afford to see the whole ensemble, there were certain things Katey Kontent knew: the location of every old church in Manhattanhow to sneak into the cinemahow to type eighty words a minute, five thousand an hour, and nine million a yearand that if you can still lose yourself in a Dickens novel then everything is going to be fine.By the end of the year she'd learned:how to live like a redheadand insist upon the very best;that riches can turn to rags in the trip of a heartbeat,chance encounters can be fated, and the word 'yes' can be a poison.That's how quickly New York City comes about, like a weathervane, or the head of a cobra. Time tells which.'A delicious and memorable novel that will leave you wistful - and desperate for a martini.' Stylist'Elegance and hardship drip off the page' Daily Mail
By Melvyn Bragg
'Melvyn Bragg has added another formidable chapter to one of the most distinguished literary series of recent times' David Robson, Sunday Telegraph It was not love at first sight. It proved to be not much of a conversation...Nothing should have come of it. A passionate but ultimately tragic love affair starts when two students - one French, one English - meet at university at the beginning of the sixties. From its tentative early stages, the relationship develops into a life-changing one, whose profound impact continues to reverberate forty years later. 'Daring and brave...With great skill and stunning insight, Bragg doesn't just tell a very tragic tale, he explores what it really means to love and be loved...eclipses anything Bragg has written before' Henry Sutton, Daily Mirror 'A powerful novel that communicates difficult emotional truths. Yet its dark themes are balanced by the vivid portrait it paints of 1960s London' Frank Egerton, The Times 'Utterly absorbing. Melvyn Bragg is worth a host of more fashionable writers. He never shows off, but tells us how it is' Allan Massie, Scotsman 'A terrific book' John Harding, Daily Mail
The Russia House
By John Le Carré
It is the third summer of perestroika. Barley Blair, London publisher, receives a smuggled document from Moscow. It contains technical information of overwhelming importance. But is it genuine? Is the author genuine? A plant? A madman?Blair, jazz-loving, drink-marinated, dishevelled, is hardly to the taste of the spymasters, yet he has to be used - sent to the Soviet Union to make contact. Katya, the Moscow intermediary, is beautiful, thoughtful, equally sceptical of all state ideology. Together, as the safe clichés of hostility disintegrate, they may represent the future - an idea that is anathema to the entrenched espionage professionals on both sides. THE RUSSIA HOUSE: a spy story, a love story, and a fable for our time.
Remembering the Bones
By Frances Itani
Georgina Danforth Witley has never felt she has led anything but an ordinary life. But here she is on her way to meet the Queen. Born on April 21, 1926, the exact same day as Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, Georgie is one of 99 privileged Commonwealth subjects invited to an 80th-birthday lunch at Buckingham Palace. All she has to do is drive two hours to the airport and board the plane for London. Except that in her excited state, Georgie drives her car off the road, tumbling into a thickly wooded ravine. Thrown from the car, injured and unable to move but desperately hopeful that someone will find her, she must rely on her strength, her full store of family memories, her no-nonsense wit and a recitation of the names of the bones in her bodya long-forgotten exercise from childhood that reminds her she is still very much alive.
Room Full of Mirrors
By Charles R. Cross
Jimi Hendrix continues to fascinate, and sell huge quantities of albums, even 35 years after his death. Quite apart from his influence on musicians and fans, a large part of the appeal of his sensational life story lies in the thrill of the era whose values he came to stand for. The Sixties still exert a massive pull over pop culture and this is genuinely a book for anyone interested, not only in Hendrix but also in anything to do with the pop culture of the last 40 years.Meticulously researched and sensitively and beautifully written, this is a labour of love that reveals the nuances, foibles and tragedies of the human being behind the iconic image.This is the sweeping, authoritative and colourful biography that Jimi Hendrix deserves and that his legions of fans, young and old have been waiting for.
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.
The Road to McCarthy
By Pete Mccarthy
Setting off from Ireland, Pete McCarthy takes us on a wonderful journey around the weird and wonderful Irish communities of the world.In his own inimitable style, Pete recounts his adventures and escapades as, in Morocco he meets the head of Clan McCarthy, and then goes on to visit the renowned Irish peoples of New York. He journeys to the southern hemisphere and then back again to the United States before ending up in a small town called McCarthy in Alaska.Will he encounter enough McCarthy's Bars, as he continues to obey the eighth rule of travel: 'never pass a pub with your name on it'? This is a funny, affectionate look at the Irish communties of the world.
Requiem for the East
By Andreï Makine
Amid the ashes of the Soviet Union a Russian army doctor turned spy addresses the woman he loves - a fellow spy who has shared his shadowy life in Africa, Europe and the Middle East, but who has disappeared. The tale he unfolds spans three generations of his family, ordinary people caught up in the convulsions of the Russian empire in the twentieth century, from the civil war through the Second World War to beyond the fall of communism. It is a tale of brutality and soured dreams yet also one of altruism, tenacity and immense courage, written by a master.
A River Town
By Thomas Keneally
In turn-of-the-century Australia, Tim Shea supports his young family by running a general store in a remote riverside town, where he finds the same hypocrisy and snobbery which made him emigrate from Ireland, and suffers a series of misfortunes which take him to the brink of disaster. Capturing the spirit of the times, this is the mesmerising tale of a flawed hero whose stubborn integrity is nearly his undoing.