By Matthew Syed
What can Roger Federer teach us about the secret of longevity? What do the All Blacks have in common with improvised jazz musicians? What can cognitive neuroscientists tell us about what happens to the brains of sportspeople when they perform?And why did Johan Cruyff believe that beauty was more important than winning? Matthew Syed, the 'Sports Journalist of the Year 2016', answers these questions and more in a fascinating, wide-ranging and provocative book about the mental game of sport. How do we become the best that we can be, as individuals, teams and as organisations? Sport, with its innate sense of drama, its competitive edge, its psychological pressures, its sense of morality and its illusive quest for perfection, provides the answers.
By Stephan Abarbanell
It is 1946, and the full horrors of the previous six years are slowly coming to light.But in Jerusalem, Elias Lind can't accept that his brother Raphael really did die in a concentration camp. He has evidence that the scientist is still alive but, unable to search for him himself, he persuades a young member of the Jewish resistance to help. Lilya's search for Raphael takes her from the dusty streets of Jerusalem to the heart of political London, from US-controlled Munich to an overcrowded and underfunded displaced persons camp, before leading her to the devastated shell of Berlin itself. But before long Lilya realises that she isn't the only one searching for the missing scientist; a mysterious pursuer is hot on her heels, and it soon becomes clear that Raphael's life isn't the only one in question . . .Displaced is a deeply intelligent thriller about how the actions of a few can change the course of history. It is about the making of a new world from the ashes of the old, and decisions taken whose consequences are still with us today.
By Rebecca Rideal
1666 was a watershed year for England. The outbreak of the Great Plague, the eruption of the second Dutch War and the Great Fire of London all struck the country in rapid succession and with devastating repercussions.Shedding light on these dramatic events, historian Rebecca Rideal reveals an unprecedented period of terror and triumph. Based on original archival research and drawing on little-known sources, 1666: Plague, War and Hellfire takes readers on a thrilling journey through a crucial turning point in English history, as seen through the eyes of an extraordinary cast of historical characters. While the central events of this significant year were ones of devastation and defeat, 1666 also offers a glimpse of the incredible scientific and artistic progress being made at that time, from Isaac Newton's discovery of gravity to Robert Hooke's microscopic wonders. It was in this year that John Milton completed Paradise Lost, Frances Stewart posed for the now-iconic image of Britannia, and a young architect named Christopher Wren proposed a plan for a new London - a stone phoenix to rise from the charred ashes of the old city.With flair and style, 1666 shows a city and a country on the cusp of modernity, and a series of events that forever altered the course of history.
By Mick Herron
Never outlive your ability to survive a fight.Twenty years retired, David Cartwright can still spot when the stoats are on his trail. Jackson Lamb worked with Cartwright back in the day. He knows better than most that this is no vulnerable old man. 'Nasty old spook with blood on his hands' would be a more accurate description.'The old bastard' has raised his grandson with a head full of guts and glory. But far from joining the myths and legends of Spook Street, River Cartwright is consigned to Lamb's team of pen-pushing no-hopers at Slough House.So it's Lamb they call to identify the body when Cartwright's panic button raises the alarm at Service HQ.And Lamb who will do whatever he thinks necessary, to protect an agent in peril . . .
Dinosaurs on Other Planets
By Danielle McLaughlin
'An exquisite collection from an exciting new voice in short fiction' LadyA woman battles bluebottles as she plots an ill-judged encounter with a stranger; a young husband commutes a treacherous route to his job in the city, fearful for the wife and small daughter he has left behind; a mother struggles to understand her nine-year-old son's obsession with dead birds and the apocalypse.In Danielle McLaughlin's stories, the world is both beautiful and alien. Men and women negotiate their surroundings as a tourist might navigate a distant country: watchfully, with a mixture of wonder and apprehension. Here are characters living lives in translation, ever at the mercy of distortions and misunderstandings, striving to make sense both of the spaces they inhabit and of the people they share them with.
Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
By Mario Giordano
Auntie Poldi can think of no finer place to wait for death than Sicily. All she asks is a sea view, fine wine (and plenty of it), and her family close around.When death instead takes her handsome young friend Valentino - and under mysterious circumstances at that - Poldi will not take it lying down.Perhaps it's in her blood (her father was a detective chief inspector); perhaps it's a diverting excuse to spend more time with men in uniform; or perhaps it's just the promise she makes to Valentino while holding his poor dead hand.But Auntie Poldi's hunting instincts have never felt more alive. Justice must be served - if it's the last thing she does . . .
The Empathy Instinct
By Peter Bazalgette
Empathy is the power of understanding others, imaginatively entering into their feelings. It is a fundamental human attribute, without which mutually co-operative societies cannot function. In a revolutionary development, we now know who has it, who lacks it and why. Via the MRI scanner we are mapping the human brain. This is a new frontier that reveals a host of beneficial ideas for childcare, teens challenged by the internet, the justice system, decent healthcare, tackling racism and resolving conflicts. In this wide-ranging and accessible book full of entertaining stories that are underlined by the latest scientific research, Peter Bazalgette also mounts a passionate defence of arts and popular culture as a means of bridging the empathy gap. As the world's population expands, consuming the planet's finite resources, as people haunted by poverty and war are on the move and as digital communications infinitely complicate our social interactions, we find our patience and our sympathy constantly challenged. Here is the antidote.Culminating in a passionate manifesto on empathy, The Empathy Instinct is what makes us human and what can make us better humans.
Street of Eternal Happiness
By Rob Schmitz
'Enjoyable and illuminating . . . Rob Schmitz writes with great affection' GuardianShanghai: a global city in the midst of a renaissance, where dreamers arrive each day to partake in a mad torrent of capital, ideas and opportunity. Rob Schmitz is one of them. He immerses himself in his neighbourhood, forging relationships with ordinary people who see a brighter future in the city's sleek skyline. There's Zhao, whose path from factory floor to shopkeeper is sidetracked by her desperate measures to ensure a better future for her sons. Down the street lives Auntie Fu, a fervent capitalist forever trying to improve herself while keeping her sceptical husband at bay. Up a flight of stairs, CK sets up shop to attract young dreamers like himself, but learns he's searching for something more. As Schmitz becomes increasingly involved in their lives, he makes surprising discoveries which untangle the complexities of modern China: a mysterious box of letters that serve as a portal to a family's - and country's - dark past, and an abandoned neighbourhood where fates have been violently altered by unchecked power and greed. A tale of twenty-first-century China, Street of Eternal Happiness profiles China's distinct generations through multifaceted characters who illuminate an enlightening, humorous and, at times, heartrending journey along the winding road to the Chinese dream. Each story adds another layer of humanity to modern China, a tapestry also woven with Schmitz's insight as a foreign correspondent. The result is an intimate and surprising portrait that dispenses with the tired stereotypes of a country we think we know, immersing us instead in the vivid stories of the people who make up one of the world's most captivating cities.
By Rory Gleeson
'Rockadoon Shore is terrific' Roddy Doyle'One of the most exciting Irish storytellers to have emerged in years' Gavin CorbettCath is worried about her friends. DanDan is struggling with the death of his ex, Lucy is drinking way too much and Steph has become closed off. A weekend away is just what they need so they travel out to Rockadoon Lodge, to the wilds in the west of Ireland. But the weekend doesn't go to plan. JJ is more concerned with getting high than spending time with them, while Merc is humiliated and seeks revenge. And with long-ignored tensions now out in the open, their elderly neighbour Malachy arrives on their doorstep with a gun in his hands . . .Honest, moving and human, Rockadoon Shore is a novel about friendship and youth, about missed opportunities and lost love, and about the realities of growing up and growing old in modern-day Ireland. Highly energetic and tensely humorous, it heralds a new and exciting voice in contemporary Irish fiction.
By Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, Kenneth Cukier
New and expanded edition.An International Bestseller - Over One Million Copies Sold!Longlisted for the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.Since Aristotle, we have fought to understand the causes behind everything. But this ideology is fading. In the age of big data, we can crunch an incomprehensible amount of information, providing us with invaluable insights about the what rather than the why.We're just starting to reap the benefits: tracking vital signs to foresee deadly infections, predicting building fires, anticipating the best moment to buy a plane ticket, seeing inflation in real time and monitoring social media in order to identify trends. But there is a dark side to big data. Will it be machines, rather than people, that make the decisions? How do you regulate an algorithm? What will happen to privacy? Will individuals be punished for acts they have yet to commit? In this groundbreaking and fascinating book, two of the world's most-respected data experts reveal the reality of a big data world and outline clear and actionable steps that will equip the reader with the tools needed for this next phase of human evolution.
Born A Crime
By Trevor Noah
The New York Times Top 10 BestsellerThe compelling, inspiring, (often comic) coming-of-age story of Trevor Noah, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.One of the comedy world's brightest new voices, Trevor Noah is a light-footed but sharp-minded observer of the absurdities of politics, race and identity, sharing jokes and insights drawn from the wealth of experience acquired in his relatively young life. As host of the US hit show The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, he provides viewers around the globe with their nightly dose of biting satire, but here Noah turns his focus inward, giving readers a deeply personal, heartfelt and humorous look at the world that shaped him. Noah was born a crime, son of a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother, at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents' indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the first years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, take him away.A collection of eighteen personal stories, Born a Crime tells the story of a mischievous young boy growing into a restless young man as he struggles to find his place in a world where he was never supposed to exist. Born a Crime is equally the story of that young man's fearless, rebellious and fervently religious mother - a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence and abuse that ultimately threatens her own life.Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Noah illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and an unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a personal portrait of an unlikely childhood in a dangerous time, as moving and unforgettable as the very best memoirs and as funny as Noah's own hilarious stand-up. Born a Crime is a must read.
By Chris Anderson
In the New York Times-bestselling Ted Talks Chris Anderson, head of TED, reveals the inside secrets of how to give a first-class presentation. Where books like Talk Like TED and TED Talks Storytelling whetted the appetite, here is the official TED guide to public speaking from the man who put TED talks on the world's stage. 'Nobody in the world better understands the art and science of public speaking than Chris Anderson. He is absolutely the best person to have written this book' Elizabeth Gilbert.Anderson shares his five key techniques to presentation success: Connection, Narration, Explanation, Persuasion and Revelation (plus the three to avoid). He also answers the most frequently asked questions about giving a talk, from 'What should I wear?' to 'How do I handle my nerves?'.Ted Talks is also full of presentation tips from such TED notable speakers as Sir Ken Robinson, Bill Gates, Mary Roach, Amy Cuddy, Elizabeth Gilbert, Dan Gilbert, Amanda Palmer, Matt Ridley and many more. This is a lively, fun read with great practical application from the man who knows what goes into a truly memorable speech. InTed Talks Anderson pulls back the TED curtain for anyone who wants to learn how to prepare an exceptional presentation.
By Mick Herron
Tom Bettany is working at a meat processing plant in France when he gets a voicemail from an Englishwoman he doesn't know telling him that his estranged 26-year-old son is dead - Liam Bettany fell from his London balcony, where he was smoking pot.Now for the first time since he cut all ties years ago, Bettany returns home to London to find out the truth about his son's death. Maybe it's the guilt he feels about losing touch with Liam that's gnawing at him, or maybe he's actually put his finger on a labyrinthine plot, but either way he'll get to the bottom of the tragedy, no matter whose feathers he has to ruffle. But more than a few people are interested to hear Bettany is back in town, from incarcerated mob bosses to those in the highest echelons of MI5. He might have thought he'd left it all behind when he first skipped town, but nobody ever really walks away.