By Caitlin Davies
'Davies's absorbing study serves up just enough sensationalism - and eccentricity - along with its serious inquiry' SUNDAY TIMES'[A] revealing account of the jail's 164-year history' DAILY TELEGRAPH, 5* review'Insightful and thought-provoking and makes for a ripping good read' JEREMY CORBYN'A much-needed and balanced history' OBSERVER'Davies explores how society has dealt with disobedient women - from suffragettes to refugees to women seeking abortions - for decades, and how they've failed to silence those who won't go down without a fight' STYLISTSociety has never known what to do with its rebellious women. Those who defied expectations about feminine behaviour have long been considered dangerous and unnatural, and ever since the Victorian era they have been removed from public view, locked up and often forgotten about. Many of these women ended up at HM Prison Holloway, the self-proclaimed 'terror to evil-doers' which, until its closure in 2016, was western Europe's largest women's prison. First built in 1852 as a House of Correction, Holloway's women have come from all corners of the UK - whether a patriot from Scotland, a suffragette from Huddersfield, or a spy from the Isle of Wight - and from all walks of life - socialites and prostitutes, sporting stars and nightclub queens, refugees and freedom fighters. They were imprisoned for treason and murder, for begging, performing abortions and stealing clothing coupons, for masquerading as men, running brothels and attempting suicide. In Bad Girls, Caitlin Davies tells their stories and shows how women have been treated in our justice system over more than a century, what crimes - real or imagined - they committed, who found them guilty and why. It is a story of victimization and resistance; of oppression and bravery. From the women who escaped the hangman's noose - and those who didn't - to those who escaped Holloway altogether, Bad Girls is a fascinating look at how disobedient and defiant women changed not only the prison service, but the course of history.
The Wolf and the Watchman
By Niklas Natt och Dag
'The best historical thriller I've read in twenty years' A.J. Finn'A thrilling, unnerving, clever and beautiful story. Reading it is like giving a little gift to oneself' Fredrik BackmanThe year is 1793, Stockholm. King Gustav of Sweden has been assassinated, years of foreign wars have emptied the treasuries, and the realm is governed by a self-interested elite, leaving its citizens to suffer. On the streets, malcontent and paranoia abound.A body is found in the city's swamp by a watchman, Mickel Cardell, and the case is handed over to investigator Cecil Winge, who is dying of consumption. Together, Winge and Cardell become embroiled in a brutal world of guttersnipes and thieves, mercenaries and madams, and one death will expose a city rotten with corruption beneath its powdered and painted veneer.The Wolf and the Watchman depicts the capacity for cruelty in the name of survival or greed - but also the capacity for love, friendship, and the desire for a better world.'An unexpected masterpiece, a wild and unusual mix of genres that in one fell swoop succeeds in renewing the entire crime fiction genre' Arne Dahl
Speak No Evil
By Uzodinma Iweala
'Elegant and elegiac' Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Guardian 'A writer of spectacular talent' ObserverOn the surface, Niru leads a charmed life. Raised by two attentive parents in Washington, DC, he's a top student and a track star at his prestigious private high school. Bound for Harvard, his prospects are bright. But Niru has a painful secret: he is queer - an abominable sin to his conservative Nigerian parents. No one knows except his best friend, Meredith - the one person who seems not to judge him. When his father accidentally finds out, the fallout is brutal and swift. Coping with troubles of her own, however, Meredith finds that she has little left emotionally to offer him. As the two friends struggle to reconcile their desires against the expectations and institutions that seek to define them, they find themselves speeding towards a future more violent and senseless than they can imagine. Neither will escape unscathed. Speak No Evil is a novel about the power of words and self-identification, about who gets to speak and who has the power to speak for other people.
This is What Happened
By Mick Herron
Something's happened. A lot of things have happened. If she could turn back time, she wondered how far she would go.Twenty-six-year-old Maggie Barnes is someone you would never look at twice. Living alone in a month-to-month sublet in London, with no family but an estranged sister, no boyfriend or partner, and not much in the way of friends, Maggie is just the kind of person who could vanish from the face of the earth without anyone taking notice.Or just the kind of person MI5 needs to thwart an international plot that puts all of Britain at risk.Now one young woman has the chance to be a hero - if she can think quickly enough to stay alive.
By Steven Johnson
Plenty of books offer useful advice on how to get better at making quick-thinking, intuitive choices. But what about more consequential decisions, the ones that affect our lives for years, or centuries, to come? Our most powerful stories revolve around these kinds of decisions: where to live, whom to marry, what to believe, whether to start a company, how to end a war.Full of the beautifully crafted storytelling and novel insights that Steven Johnson's fans know to expect, Farsighted draws lessons from cognitive science, social psychology, military strategy, environmental planning, and great works of literature. Everyone thinks we are living in an age of short attention spans, but we've actually learned a lot about making long-term decisions over the past few decades. Johnson makes a compelling case for a smarter and more deliberative decision-making approach. He argues that we choose better when we break out of the myopia of single-scale thinking and develop methods for considering all the factors involved.There's no one-size-fits-all model for the important decisions that can alter the course of a life, an organization, or a civilization. But Farsighted explains how we can approach these choices more effectively, and how we can appreciate the subtle intelligence of choices that shaped our broader social history.
Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data
By Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, Thomas Ramge
Markets have long been acknowledged to be a superior mechanism for managing resources but until the advent of big data, they largely functioned better in theory than in practice. Now, as ideal markets are within reach because of vastly greater access to information, we are on the verge of a major disruption. As data becomes a more valuable asset than cash, the rules for surviving and thriving are changing.Reinventing Capitalism is a provocative look at how data is reinventing markets and, in so doing, is ushering in an era where the firm is no longer predominant. With richer and more comprehensive information about human wants and needs, an economy powered by data offers the possibility of increased abundance, equality, and resilience. The data-driven markets that will thrive in this environment are far better than firms at organizing human endeavors, meaning that finance driven capitalism is being displaced by its more efficient, moresustainable, and more democratic disruptor: data capitalism.
By Helen Thomson
'Wonderfully clear, fluent and eye-opening' THE TIMES'A stirring scientific journey, a celebration of human diversity and a call to rethink the "unthinkable"' NATURE'An utterly fascinating romp around the nether regions of the human mind' BIG ISSUEIMAGINE . . . getting lost in a one-room flat; seeing auras; never forgetting a moment; a permanent orchestra in your head; turning into a tiger; life as an out-of-body experience; feeling other people's pain; being convinced you are dead; becoming a different person overnight.Our brains are far stranger than we think. We take it for granted that we can remember, feel emotion, navigate, empathise and understand the world around us, but how would our lives change if these abilities were dramatically enhanced - or disappeared overnight? Award-winning science writer Helen Thomson has spent years travelling the world tracking down incredibly rare brain disorders. In Unthinkable she tells the stories of nine extraordinary people. From the man who thinks he's a tiger to the doctor who feels the pain of others just by looking at them, their experiences illustrate how the brain can shape our lives in unexpected and, in some cases, brilliant and alarming ways. Delving into the rich histories of these conditions, exploring the very latest research and cutting-edge medical techniques, Thomson explains the workings of our consciousness, our emotions, our creativity and even the mechanisms that allow us to understand our own existence. Story by remarkable story, Unthinkable takes us on an unforgettable journey through the human brain. Discover how to forge memories that never disappear, how to grow an alien limb and how to make better decisions. Learn how to hallucinate and how to make yourself happier in a split second. Find out how to avoid getting lost, how to see more of your reality, even how exactly you can confirm you are alive. Think the unthinkable.
By Jonathan Clegg, Joshua Robinson
A fascinating book, by two witty and meticulous sports writers Sunday TimesA jaunty journey through the past quarter of a century in English football The TimesMagnificent ... Witty, pacy, thorough, this is a book hard to put down Daily MailBrilliant IndependentHow did English football - once known for its stale pies, bad book-keeping and hooligans - become a commercial powerhouse and the world's premium popular entertainment?This was a business empire built in only twenty-five years on ambition, experimentation and gambler's luck. Lead by a motley cast of executives, Russian oligarchs, Arab Sheikhs, Asian Titans, American Tycoons, battle-hardened managers, ruthless agents and the Murdoch media - the Premier League has been carved up, rebranded and exported to phenomenal 185 countries. The United Nations only recognizes 193.But the extraordinary profit of bringing England's ageing industrial towns to a compulsive global attention has come at a cost. Today, as players are sold for hundreds of millions and clubs are valued in the billions, local fans are being priced out - and the clubs' local identities are fading. The Premier League has become the classic business fable for our globalised world.Drawing on dozens of exclusive and revelatory interviews from the Boardrooms - including Liverpool's John W. Henry, Tottenham's Daniel Levy, Martin Edwards and David Gill at Manchester United, Arsène Wenger and Stan Kroenke at Arsenal, Manchester City's sporting director Txiki Begiristain, and executives at Chelsea, West Ham, Leicester City and Aston Villa - this is the definitive bustand boom account of how the Premier League product took over the world.
By Jessie Greengrass
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2018LONGLISTED FOR THE WELLCOME BOOK PRIZE 2019'A stunning debut' GuardianIn Jessie Greengrass' superb debut novel, our unnamed narrator recounts her progress to motherhood, while remembering the death of her own mother ten years before, and the childhood summers she spent with her psychoanalyst grandmother.Woven among these personal recollections are significant events in medical history: Wilhelm Röntgen's discovery of the X-ray; Sigmund Freud's development of psychoanalysis and the work that he did with his daughter, Anna; and the origins of modern surgery and the anatomy of pregnant bodies.Sight is a novel about being a parent and a child: what it is like to bring a person in to the world, and what it is to let one go. Exquisitely written and fiercely intelligent, it is an incisive exploration of how we see others, and how we might know ourselves.
The Human Tide
By Paul Morland
'Fascinating' Sunday Times'Engrossing' Evening StandardEvery phase since the advent of the industrial revolution - from the fate of the British Empire, to the global challenges from Germany, Japan and Russia, to America's emergence as a sole superpower, to the Arab Spring, to the long-term decline of economic growth that started with Japan and has now spread to Europe, to China's meteoric economy, to Brexit and the presidency of Donald Trump - can be explained better when we appreciate the meaning of demographic change across the world.The Human Tide is the first popular history book to redress the underestimated influence of population as a crucial factor in almost all of the major global shifts and events of the last two centuries - revealing how such events are connected by the invisible mutually catalysing forces of population.This highly original history offers a brilliant and simple unifying theory for our understanding the last two hundred years: the power of sheer numbers. An ambitious, original, magisterial history of modernity, it taps into prominent preoccupations of our day and will transform our perception of history for many years to come.
The Brief Life of Flowers
By Fiona Stafford
'A glowing account of the myths and meanings we impose on flowers . . . a book to reread and treasure' John Carey, Sunday Times'A captivating new book that explores our fascination with flowers . . . A delight' Daily MailCome rain or shine, flowers feature perennially in the landscape of human history. Their beauty has inspired some of the greatest works of art and literature, captivating creative minds from Ovid to O'Keeffe, Wordsworth to Van Gogh, Botticelli to Beatrix Potter. But flowers have also played a key part in forming the past, and may even shape our future. Some have served as symbols of monarchs, dynasties and nations - from the Wars of the Roses to the Order of the Thistle. And while the poppy is often associated with WWI, it was the elderflower that treated its wounded soldiers, joining a long line of healing flowers that have developed modern medicine, including lavender and foxgloves. From the personal to the political, flowers play a part in all aspects of life: the right rose, according to the Victorian language of flowers, might mend a broken heart, while sunflowers may just save our planet. This beautifully written collection is at once enchanting and intriguing, weaving together art, science, history and horticulture to offer a fresh perspective on the world around us. The Brief Life of Flowers reveals how even the most ordinary of flowers have extraordinary stories to tell.
On This Day in History
By Dan Snow
On which day was history's shortest war waged and won (in roughly 40 minutes)? How was Napoleon bested by a group of rabbits in 1807? Why did a dispute about beer in an Oxford pub lead to over 100 deaths and 470 years of penance? Why in 1752 did Britain go to bed on 2nd September and wake up on the 14th? How did a women's march in 1917 set off the Russian Revolution?On This Day in History brings to life a key event that happened on each day of the year.From the most important British battle that you've never heard of (20 May 685) to the first meeting of Lennon and McCartney (6 July 1957), and from why Julius Caesar should have been wary of the Ides of March (15 March 44BC) to the day Jeanne de Clisson became a pirate and single-handedly declared war on the King of France (2 August 1343), history is full of unlikely heroes and fascinating turning points.In this book Dan Snow shows us how each day offers a different and unexpected insight into our past. And story by gripping story, this year grows into a vivid, very human history of the world.
Under the Knife
By Arnold van de Laar
'This is history with a surgeon's touch: deft, incisive and sometimes excruciatingly bloody' The Sunday Times'Utterly eccentric and riveting' Mail on Sunday 'Eye-opening and, frequently, eye-watering . . . a book that invites readers to peer up the bottoms of kings, into the souls of rock stars and down the ear canals of astronauts' The Daily TelegraphHow did a decision made in the operating theatre spark hundreds of conspiracy theories about JFK? How did a backstage joke prove fatal to world-famous escape artist Harry Houdini? How did Queen Victoria change the course of surgical history?Through dark centuries of bloodletting and of amputations without anaesthetic to today's sterile, high-tech operating theatres, surgeon Arnold van de Laar uses his experience and expertise to tell an incisive history of the past, present and future of surgery.From the dark centuries of bloodletting and of amputations without anaesthetic to today's sterile, high-tech operating theatres, Under the Knife is both a rich cultural history, and a modern anatomy class for us all.