The Empathy Instinct
By Peter Bazalgette
'If we hope to meet the moral test of our times, then I think we're going to have to talk more about the "empathy deficit". The ability to put ourselves in somebody else's shoes, to see the world through somebody else's eyes . . .' Barack ObamaEmpathy 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.
By Luke Jennings
She is the perfect assassin.A Russian orphan, saved from the death penalty for the brutal revenge she took on her gangster father's killers.Ruthlessly trained. Given a new life. New names, new faces - whichever fits.Her paymasters call themselves The Twelve. But she knows nothing of them. Konstantin is the man who saved her, and the one she answers to.She is Villanelle. Without conscience. Without guilt. Without weakness.Eve Polastri is the woman who hunts her. MI5, until one error of judgment costs her everything.Until stopping a ruthless assassin becomes more than her job. It becomes personal.Originally published as ebook singles: Codename Villanelle, Hollowpoint, Shanghai and Odessa.
Yuki Means Happiness
By Alison Jean Lester
Diana is young and uneasy in a new relationship when she leaves America and moves halfway around the world to Tokyo seeking adventure. In Japan she takes a job as a nanny to two-year-old Yuki Yoshimura and sets about adapting to a routine of English practice, ballet and swimming lessons, and Japanese cooking.But as Diana becomes increasingly attached to Yuki she also becomes aware that everything in the Yoshimura household isn't as it first seemed. Before long, she must ask herself if she is brave enough to put everything on the line for the child under her care, confronting her own demons at every step of the way. Yuki Means Happiness is a rich and powerfully illuminating portrait of the intense relationship between a young woman and her small charge, as well as one woman's journey to discover her true self.
By Mick Herron
SHORTLISTED FOR THE CWA GOLDSBORO GOLD DAGGER AND THE IAN FLEMING STEEL DAGGER SHORTLISTED FOR THE THEAKSTON OLD PECULIAR CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR'If you read one spy novel this year, read Real Tigers' The Spectator'The finest new crime series this millennium' Mail on SundayCatherine Standish knows that chance encounters never happen to spooks.She's worked in the Intelligence Service long enough to understand treachery, double-dealing and stabbing in the back.What she doesn't know is why anyone would target her: a recovering drunk pushing paper with the other lost causes in Jackson Lamb's kingdom of exiles at Slough House.Whoever it is holding her hostage, it can't be personal. It must be about Slough House. Most likely, it is about Jackson Lamb.And say what you like about Lamb, he'll never leave a joe in the lurch.He might even be someone you could trust with your life . . .
By Mick Herron
Winner of the 2013 CWA Gold Dagger AwardA BBC Front Row best crime novel of the yearA Times crime and thriller book of the year'The finest new crime series this millennium' Mail on SundayDickie Bow is not an obvious target for assassination.But once a spook, always a spook. And Dickie was a talented streetwalker back in the day, before he turned up dead on a bus. A shadow. Good at following people, bringing home their secrets.Dickie was in Berlin with Jackson Lamb. Now Lamb's got his phone, and on it the last secret Dickie ever told, and reason to believe an old-time Moscow-style op is being run in the Service's back-yard.In the Intelligence Service purgatory that is Slough House, Jackson Lamb's crew of back-office no-hopers is about to go live . . .
By Mick Herron
Shortlisted for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award'The finest new crime series this millennium' Mail on SundayYou don't stop being a spook just because you're no longer in the game.Banished to Slough House from the ranks of achievers at Regent's Park for various crimes of drugs and drunkenness, lechery and failure, politics and betrayal, Jackson Lamb's misfit crew of highly trained joes don't run ops, they push paper.But not one of them joined the Intelligence Service to be a 'slow horse'.A boy is kidnapped and held hostage. His beheading is scheduled for live broadcast on the net.And whatever the instructions of the Service, the slow horses aren't going to just sit quiet and watch . . .
By John Julius Norwich
'Never before had the world seen four such giants co-existing. Sometimes friends, more often enemies, always rivals, these four men together held Europe in the hollow of their hands.' Four great princes - Henry VIII of England, Francis I of France, Charles V of Spain and Suleiman the Magnificent - were born within a single decade. Each looms large in his country's history and, in this book, John Julius Norwich broadens the scope and shows how, against the rich background of the Renaissance and destruction of the Reformation, their wary obsession with one another laid the foundations for modern Europe. Individually, each man could hardly have been more different - from the scandals of Henry's six wives to Charles's monasticism - but, together, they dominated the world stage. From the Field of the Cloth of Gold, a pageant of jousting, feasting and general carousing so lavish that it nearly bankrupted both France and England, to Suleiman's celebratory pyramid of 2,000 human heads (including those of seven Hungarian bishops) after the battle of Mohács; from Anne Boleyn's six-fingered hand (a potential sign of witchcraft) that had the pious nervously crossing themselves to the real story of the Maltese falcon, Four Princes is history at its vivid, entertaining best. With a cast list that extends from Leonardo da Vinci to Barbarossa, and from Joanna the Mad to le roi grand-nez, John Julius Norwich offers the perfect guide to the most colourful century the world has ever known and brings the past to unforgettable life.
By Louise Welsh
'A vivid, action-packed journey through a post-apocalyptic world. Terrifying and touching in equal measure, the novel is a love story, an adventure, a road movie, a family drama and a murder mystery rolled into one' The Times Scotland'No Dominion gripped me and broke my heart in equal measure' Val McDermidIt is seven years since the Sweats wiped out most of the world's population. But for those who survived the outbreak, life has gone on. Stevie Flint and Magnus McFall are now part of a small community on the Orkney Islands, without mobile phones or TV, without antibiotics or fuel, who are trying to rebuild the rudiments of democratic civilisation.When three strangers arrive on the islands, however, they upset the fragile community, bringing long-buried tensions to the surface. Realising that a number of the islands' young are missing, Stevie and Magnus set off on a journey to the mainland to get them back - a mainland swarming with outlaw gangs, and where self-appointed autocrats and religious fanatics hold sway . . . Thrilling and breathless, No Dominion asks what happens when the scaffolding of civilisation collapses, and how far we'd go to preserve our humanity.
By Josh Ireland
'An epic tale of love, dishonour, bravery, cowardice, betrayal and high-treason. Beautifully written. A stunning debut' Damien LewisPlayboy. Fascist. Strongman. Thief.Traitors.September 1939. For years now Britain has been rudderless, divided and grievously unequal. Successive governments have floundered as they struggled to cope with economic misery at home and machinations abroad. Many of the country's citizens are seduced by fascism; others are simply left alienated by leaders who seem unwilling or unable to take the decisive action that is so desperately needed.When war breaks out the imperiled nation achieves the unity and purpose that has eluded it for more than a decade. It is a time of heroism and sacrifice in which many thousands of soldiers and civilians give their lives. But some Britons choose a different path, renegades who will fight for the Third Reich until its gruesome collapse in 1945. The Traitors tells the stories of four such men: the chaotic, tragic John Amery; the idealistic but hate-filled William Joyce; the cynical, murderous conman Harold Cole; and Eric Pleasants, an iron-willed pacifist and bodybuilder who wants no part in this war.Drawing on declassified MI5 files, as well as diaries, letters and memoirs, The Traitors is a book about disordered lives in turbulent times; idealism twisted out of shape; of torn consciences and abandoned loyalties; of murder, deceit, temptation and loss. It shows how a man might come to desert his country's cause, and the tragic consequences that treachery brings in its wake.
Dashing for the Post
By Patrick Leigh Fermor
A revelatory collection of letters written by the author of The Broken Road.Handsome, spirited and erudite, Patrick Leigh Fermor was a war hero and one of the greatest travel writers of his generation. He was also a spectacularly gifted friend. The letters in this collection span almost seventy years, the first written ten days before Paddy's twenty-fifth birthday, the last when he was ninety-four. His correspondents include Deborah Devonshire, Ann Fleming, Nancy Mitford, Lawrence Durrell, Diana Cooper and his lifelong companion, Joan Rayner; he wrote his first letter to her in his cell at the monastery Saint Wandrille, the setting for his reflections on monastic life in A Time to Keep Silence. His letters exhibit many of his most engaging characteristics: his zest for life, his unending curiosity, his lyrical descriptive powers, his love of language, his exuberance and his tendency to get into scrapes - particularly when drinking and, quite separately, driving. Here are plenty of extraordinary stories: the hunt for Byron's slippers in one of the remotest regions of Greece; an ignominious dismissal from Somerset Maugham's Villa Mauresque; hiding behind a bush to dub Dirk Bogarde into Greek during the shooting of Ill Met by Moonlight, the film based on the story of General Kreipe's abduction; his extensive travels. Some letters contain glimpses of the great and the good, while others are included purely for the joy of the jokes.
A History of Running Away
By Paula McGrath
'A wonderful storyteller' Joseph O'ConnorIn 1982 Jasmine wants to box, but in 1980s Ireland boxing is illegal for girls.In 2012 a gynaecologist agonises about a job offer which would mean escape from the increasingly fraught atmosphere of her Dublin hospital. But what about her mother, stuck in a nursing home?And in Maryland Ali, whose mother has recently died, hooks up with a biker gang to escape from grandparents she didn't know she had.Gradually revealing the unexpected connections between the three women, A History of Running Away is a brilliantly written novel about running away, growing up and finding out who you are.
By Garry Kasparov
In May 1997, the world watched as Garry Kasparov, the greatest chess player in the world, was defeated for the first time by the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue. It was a watershed moment in the history of technology: machine intelligence had arrived at the point where it could best human intellect.It wasn't a coincidence that Kasparov became the symbol of man's fight against the machines. Chess has long been the fulcrum in development of machine intelligence; the hoax automaton 'The Turk' in the 18th century and Alan Turing's first chess program in 1952 were two early examples of the quest for machines to think like humans -- a talent we measured by their ability to beat their creators at chess. As the pre-eminent chessmaster of the 80s and 90s, it was Kasparov's blessing and his curse to play against each generation's strongest computer champions, contributing to their development and advancing the field. Like all passionate competitors, Kasparov has taken his defeat and learned from it. He has devoted much energy to devising ways in which humans can partner with machines in order to produce results better than either can achieve alone. During the twenty years since playing Deep Blue, he's played both with and against machines, learning a great deal about our vital relationship with our most remarkable creations. Ultimately, he's become convinced that by embracing the competition between human and machine intelligence, we can spend less time worrying about being replaced and more thinking of new challenges to conquer.In this breakthrough book, Kasparov tells his side of the story of Deep Blue for the first time -- what it was like to strategize against an implacable, untiring opponent -- the mistakes he made and the reasons the odds were against him. But more than that, he tells his story of AI more generally, and how he's evolved to embrace it, taking part in an urgent debate with philosophers worried about human values, programmers creating self-learning neural networks, and engineers of cutting edge robotics.
In Pursuit of Memory
By Joseph Jebelli
SHORTLISTED FOR THE ROYAL SOCIETY SCIENCE BOOK PRIZE 2017'When I was twelve, my grandfather began to act strangely. It started with inexplicable walks. He'd leave the dinner table and we would find him, half an hour later, aimlessly wandering around the neighbourhood. His smiles were gradually replaced by a fearful, withdrawn expression; as if he'd lost something irreplaceable. Before long, he didn't recognise any of us.'Alzheimer's is the great global epidemic of our time, affecting millions worldwide - there are over 850,000 people with the diagnosis in the UK alone. And its shockwaves extend far wider, through disbelieving families and friends. In 2016, it overtook heart disease as the number one cause of death in England and Wales, and as our populations age, scientists are working against the clock to find a cure. Neuroscientist Joseph Jebelli is among them. Determined to save other families from the experiences that had rocked his, he set out to write the book that explained what happened to his grandfather. Far more than the story of a disease, In Pursuit of Memory zooms inside the human brain to see how Alzheimer's works and out again to show, entwined with the history and science, a thrilling hunt for answers. His quest takes us from nineteenth-century Germany and post-war England, to the jungles of Papua New Guinea and the technological proving grounds of Japan; through America, India, China, Iceland, Sweden and Colombia. Its heroes are scientists from around the world, and the brave patients and families who have changed the way that researchers think about the disease. Jebelli's compelling insider's account shows vividly why he feels so hopeful about a cure but also why our best defence in the meantime is to understand the disease. In Pursuit of Memory is the definitive book on Alzheimer's: its past, present and future.