A Nick Drake Companion
By Pete Paphides
This short book, taken from Remembered For A While, tells the stories and circumstances that surround every known recording in Nick Drake's canon (as well as a few unrecorded songs). The result is like a detailed, extended series of liner notes, something to read while sitting in your favourite chair, in your favourite room, listening to the imperishably beautiful music they describe. A Nick Drake companion.
The Middle-Class ABC
By Fi Cotter-Craig, Zebedee Helm
The Middle Class ABC is the book loos, bedside tables and farmers markets the length and breadth of the land have been waiting for - a humorous celebration of the facts (some are even true) and foibles, manners and mores, peccadilloes and armadillos, of contemporary British middle-class life.Letter by letter, the occasionally clever, witty and absurd observations and cartoons will ring true for all good Middlings. WARNING: you might even recognize your own or your friends' choices of children's names, foodie fads, holiday destinations . . . Crammed with affectionately teasing jokes and some truly dreadful puns, this is a book to enjoy at any time of the year in the course of going about one's business.
By Randall Munroe
THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLERFrom the creator of the wildly popular xkcd.com, hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask.Millions visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. Fans ask him a lot of strange questions: How fast can you hit a speed bump, driving, and live? When (if ever) did the sun go down on the British Empire? When will Facebook contain more profiles of dead people than living? How many humans would a T Rex rampaging through New York need to eat a day?In pursuit of answers, Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations and consults nuclear reactor operators. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity, complemented by comics. They often predict the complete annihilation of humankind, or at least a really big explosion.
Thistle Versus Rose
By Albert Jack
'It is tremendously good fun winding up the Scots. It is terribly easy, particularly Scottish politicians. They can take things far too seriously.' Jeremy Paxman* It's 700 years since England fought Scotland at the Battle of Bannockburn. Miraculously - we still don't understand how - the Scots actually won. It's pretty much the only time they've ever beaten us at anything. So has there ever been a better opportunity to celebrate seven centuries of winding up the Scots?Exploring everything from food, class, the empire and the weather to language, love and landscape, Thistle vs Rose is a hilarious miscellany of Anglo-Scots rivalry. Introduced by bestselling popular historian Albert Jack, it features quotes, jokes and trivia from Stephen Fry, Bill Bryson, Jimmy Carr, George Mikes, Michael McIntyre and many, many others.* published alongside Susan's Morrison's rival Ebook 700 YEARS OF WINDING UP THE ENGLISH (9781473604933) *
By Ben Schott
Ever thought, 'There should be a German word for that'? Well, now there is. From the mind that created Schott's Original Miscellany comes a unique volume exploring the idiosyncrasies of the human condition . . . auf Deutsch.In which language but German could you construct le mot juste for: a shameful love of bad foods, Sunday-afternoon depression, the lingering sensation of a first kiss, delight at the changing of the seasons, the urge to hoard, the joy of the perfectly wrapped present, or the ineffable pleasure of a cool pillow?For example:Haarmonie - Reassuring your hairdresser.Fußfaust - Instinctively curling up your toes in mortification at someone else's embarrassment.Zwillingsmoral - Reading horoscopes you don't believe in.Gastdruck - The exhausting effort of being a good houseguest.andKraftfahrzeugsinnenausstattungsneugeruchsgenuss - New car smell.
Kenneth Williams: Born Brilliant
By Christopher Stevens
Kenneth Williams was the stand-out comic actor of his generation. Beloved as the manic star of Carry On films and as a peerless raconteur on TV chat shows, he was also acclaimed for serious stage roles. Born Brilliant will include much previously unseen material from Williams's candid daily journal and also draw on rare in-depth interviews with friends and colleagues. Since the publication of edited extracts from his diaries, much controversy has surrounded Williams's personal and professional lives. This biography traces the complex contradictions that characterised an extraordinary life and presents the first full portrait of a star who was born brilliant.
By Justin Pollard
The history of science is often seen as a story of advancement but nothing could be further from the truth. Science, it is true, has progressed, but rarely in the direction intended and seldom for the reasons given. This has a lot to do with the people responsible.Meet Thales, credited as 'the father of science', whose only real claim to fame is that he often fell into ditches, discover how Archimedes never said Eureka and hated baths anyway and how the most lucrative ancient Greek invention was not democracy but the slot machine.Justin Pollard also fills us in on Issac Newton who liked to disguise himself and lurk in London's less salubrious pubs, how eleven people claimed to have invented the steam engine and why the first website was twelve foot across and made of wood.
The Interesting Bits
By Justin Pollard
Did you give school history lessons your undivided attention? Even if you did, youre probably none the wiser as to how exactly Henry II of France came to have a two-foot splinter in his head or why Alexandra of Bavaria believed she had swallowed a piano. Or where terms like bunkum, maverick, John Bull and taking the mickey come from; or how the Tsarina of Russia once saved a life with a comma; or why Robert Pate hit Queen Victoria on the head with a walking stick. For some unknown reason the most interesting bits of history are kept out of lessons and away from syllabuses. Relegated to historys footnotes, they lie buried beneath the dense text like a few golden nuggets in a mountain of granite. Now The Interesting Bits rights this wrong; it is a veritable treasure trove of those surprising, eccentric, chaotic, baffling asides that dont fit neatly into historys official narrative. They are historys little-known treasures the gems that generations of teachers have excised from lessons on the grounds that they might make history too much like well fun.
By Justin Pollard
War brings out the very best and worst in people although, frankly, its usually the latter. But for all our thousands of years of practice at this most dangerous art there is precious little evidence that we're either outgrowing it or getting any good at it. It is an occupation filled with heroism, genius, hubris, idiocy and blind panic all bought on at least in part by large measures of astonishingly good and bad luck - and they're all here in Charge! This is not a book filled with battle diagrams swarming with arrows or 100,000 word descriptions of the tactical basis for the Pastry War. It is a book about the smaller tragedies and triumphs that actually go to make up the big picture - toilets that sink U-boats, unsporting attacks on Christmas day, armies that stop for tea, bombs on renegade balloons, drunk generals, blind kings, blind drunk generals, circular warships, and all the joy and misery that such things bring with them. And an interesting bit about the Pastry War.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
By Dan Kieran
What is it about an engine roaring into life that makes grown men go weak at the knees? This is a book about machines and the men who love them. Some of these men are quite odd. Having always been a mechanaphobe himself, living in the slow lane, Dan Kieran is on a mission to discover the allure of machines and man's need for speed. Follow Dan as he climbs aboard a penny-farthing for a jaunt around west London, drives a steam train through the 'alps', joins the pit lane crew of Mitsubishi for the Britcar 24-hour race at Silverstone, discovers the link between Lawrence of Arabia and the 'wall of death', meets tank (yes, tank) collectors and the men behind 'digger ballet', learns to fly in the shadow of Douglas Bader and, along the way, wrestles with Aristotle, Jeremy Clarkson, Plato, Hunter S. Thompson and, mostly, himself.Join Dan as he makes a journey of discovery into another world, the happy and quirky world of the Great British potterer and machine enthusiast. Could he even be tempted to stay there?
In Search of the English Eccentric
By Henry Hemming
The English eccentric is under threat. In our increasingly homogenised society, these celebrated parts of our national identity are anomalies that may soon no longer fit. Or so it seems. On his entertaining and thought-provoking quest to discover the most eccentric English person alive today, Henry Hemming unearths a surprisingly large array of delightfully odd characters. He asks what it is to be an eccentric. Is it simply to thrive on creativity and non-conformity, and where does this incarnation of Englishness stem from? Hemming concludes that this tribe is, in fact, in rude health, as essential as ever to the English national identity, only they are no longer to be found where youd expect them.
How To Be Cool
By Will Smith
How can you be cool at work, or in bed, or in a bar, or in a restaurant? What is cool when it comes to dating? Calling? Not calling? Standing in their garden with a placard and a megaphone? Coolness is a dark art and takes years of practice. But help is at hand. How To Be Cool is your trusty handbook for ineffable coolness in every eventuality. Award-winning comedian Will Smith is your guide through a world where a nifty quip, a signature drink and an outright lie about how much you like Italian arthouse movies can make you feel like Johnny Depp, rather than John McCririck. Glaring social ineptitude will happily be a thing of the past.
Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me
By Lucia Van Der Post
Packed full of golden rules from one of Britain's most stylish women, Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me is a woman's companion for life. Lucia van der Post reveals the secrets of dressing stylishly with advice on everything from how to organise your wardrobe, what to wear to travel and where to buy delicious underwear, great cashmere and sassy skirts. Practical health and beauty tips will help you to choose a sophisticated scent, get fitter and decide whether cosmetic surgery is for you. Once you've mastered looking fantastic, learn how to add some elegance to other areas of your life. Discover great shortcuts to entertaining your guests as well as suggestions, from designers around the world, on how to make your home match the elegant new you. With advice on relationships, motherhood and how to juggle work, love and children, this is the essential handbook for women of all ages. Whether you are just starting out in life or want to age gracefully and make 60 the new 40, let Lucia van der Post guide you towards a new life and a new you with a touch of style.