Britain by the Book
By Oliver Tearle
What caused Dickens to leap out of bed one night and walk 30 miles from London to Kent?How did a small town on the Welsh borders become the second-hand bookshop capital of the world?Why did a jellyfish persuade Evelyn Waugh to abandon his suicide attempt in North Wales? A multitude of curious questions are answered in Britain by the Book, a fascinating travelogue with a literary theme, taking in unusual writers' haunts and the surprising places that inspired some of our favourite fictional locations. We'll learn why Thomas Hardy was buried twice, how a librarian in Manchester invented the thesaurus as a means of coping with depression, and why Agatha Christie was investigated by MI5 during the Second World War. The map of Britain that emerges is one dotted with interesting literary stories and bookish curiosities.
Born A Crime
By Trevor Noah
WINNER OF THE THURBER PRIZEThe 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.
The Blood Miracles
By Lisa McInerney
The second novel from the author of the Baileys Prize-winning The Glorious Heresies'Fast paced, compelling, and thrilling, Lisa McInerney writes the type of fiction that is both beautifully crafted and immensely enjoyable' Louise O'Neill'The Blood Miracles has all the brio, street smarts and vicious linguistic verve of The Glorious Heresies, but with this follow up Lisa McInerney also reminds us just how brilliantly accomplished and ruthlessly focused a storyteller she is' Colin BarrettLike all twenty-year-olds, Ryan Cusack is trying to get his head around who he is. This is not a good time for his boss to exploit his dual heritage by opening a new black market route from Italy to Ireland. It is certainly not a good time for his adored girlfriend to decide he's irreparably corrupted. And he really wishes he hadn't accidentally caught the eye of an ornery grandmother who fancies herself his saviour. There may be a way clear of the chaos in the business proposals of music promoter Colm and in the attention of the charming, impulsive Natalie. But now that his boss's ambitions have rattled the city, Ryan is about to find out what he's made of, and it might be that chaos is in his blood.
By Ali Almossawi
What's the best way to sort your laundry?Why is Facebook so good at predicting what you like?How do you find new music?Readers around the world have embraced Ali Almossawi's whimsical illustrations and his funny, clarifying explanations of complex subjects. In Bad Choices Almossawi demystifies a new topic of increasing relevance to our lives: algorithms. This is a book for anyone who's looked at a given task and wondered if there was a better, faster way to get it done. What's the best way to organize a grocery list? What's the secret to being more productive at work? How can we better express ourselves in 140-characters?Presenting us with alternative methods for tackling each scenario, Almossawi guides us to better choices that borrow from same systems that underline a computer word processor, a Google search engine, or a Facebook ad. Once you recognise what makes a method faster and more efficient, you'll become a more nimble, creative problem-solver, ready to face new challenges.
By Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, Kenneth Cukier
New and expanded edition.An International Bestseller - Over One Million Copies Sold!Shortlisted 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.
The Best Year Yet
By Sophie Howarth
Black Box Thinking
By Matthew Syed
The Sunday Times No.1 Bestseller From the Bestselling Author of BounceWhat links the Mercedes Formula One team with Google?What links Team Sky and the aviation industry?What connects James Dyson and David Beckham?They are all Black Box Thinkers.Black Box Thinking is a new approach to high performance, a means of finding an edge in a complex and fast-changing world. It is not just about sport, but has powerful implications for business and politics, as well as for parents and students. In other words, all of us.Drawing on a dizzying array of case studies and real-world examples, together with cutting-edge research on marginal gains, creativity and grit, Matthew Syed tells the inside story of how success really happens - and how we cannot grow unless we are prepared to learn from our mistakes.
Beasts of No Nation
By Uzodinma Iweala
Official tie-in to the Netflix Original Film featuring Idris Elba (Thor, Prometheus and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) and directed by Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre).Agu is just a boy when war arrives at his village. His mother and sister are rescued by the UN, while he and his father remain to fight the rebels. 'Run!' shouts his father when the rebels arrive. And Agu does run. Straight into the rebels' path. In a vivid, sparkling voice, Agu tells the story of what happens to him next; his life as a child-soldier. His story is shocking and painful, and completely unforgettable.Beasts of No Nation gives us an extraordinary portrait of the chaos and violence of war.For a sneak peak of the Netflix Original Film of Beasts of No Nation, have a look at the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRsaclO0VbU
By Kevin Mitchell
NOW WITH A NEW CHAPTERThis is a special era in the history of tennis. The physicality and skill, as well as the commercial and public interest, have hit levels not seen before. At the heart of the game's growing appeal are four players: Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray. Never in the history of the game have so few players dominated for so long and it is their rivalry that makes this the 'Golden Age of Tennis'. However, in 2013, the dominance of the Big Four came under sustained pressure and a new era beckoned. Break Point chronicles how the old guard met the challenge of the hungry young contenders determined to break their stranglehold on the Tour, from the genteel lawns of Wimbledon to the raucous bleachers of Flushing Meadows, and all points in between.
By Tim Glencross
'A dazzling debut' The Times It is 2008, late capitalism is in crisis, and the great and the good are gathered at an Islington house party. Hosting proceedings are waspish Sherard Howe, scion of a publishing dynasty and owner of a left-wing magazine, and his wife, Daphne Depree, whose feminist work The Third Sex is seen - to her increasing discomfort - as an intellectual cornerstone of the Blair era. The guests include cabinet ministers, celebrated artists and peers of the realm; but somehow it's doubtful that any number of grandees would overshadow Afua, the Howes' beautiful and supremely ambitious adopted daughter, already a rising star of the Labour Party.Into this world arrives twenty-four-year-old Elizabeth "Buzzy" Price, an aspiring poet only too aware of her suburban background. Moral support is at hand from shy but devoted Henry, the Howes' biological son - though perhaps Buzzy is most grateful for her friend's connection to her own unrequited love, Afua's boyfriend, the worldly Marcel.As the years pass and a coalition government takes office, Buzzy's fortunes rise and the elder Howes' lives threaten to unravel. But do the civilising possibilities of art involve enlarging Buzzy's romantic ambitions, or revealing their moral complacency? And could meek and gentle Henry, having angered his family by going to work for the political enemy, turn out to be steelier than anyone thought - as steely, even, as his formidable adopted sister?Barbarians is a debut of extraordinary scope and confidence; a fresh, contemporary novel about love, art and politics, told with a 19th century sensibility.
By Fiona MacCarthy
Fiona MacCarthy makes a breakthrough in interpreting Byron's life and poetry drawing on John Murray's world-famous archive.She brings a fresh eye to his early years: his childhood in Scotland, embattled relations with his mother, the effect of his deformed foot on his development. She traces his early travels in the Mediterranean and the East, throwing light on his relationships with adolescent boys - a hidden subject in earlier biographies.While paying due attention to the compelling tragicomedy of Byron's marriage, his incestuous love for his half-sister Augusta and the clamorous attention of his female fans, she gives a new importance to his close male friendships, in particular that with his publisher John Murray. She tells the full story of their famous disagreement, ending as a rift between them as Byron's poetry became more recklessly controversial.Byron was a celebrity in his own lifetime, becoming a 'superstar' in 1812, after the publication of Childe Harold. The Byron legend grew to unprecedented proportions after his death in the Greek War of Independence at the age of thirty-six. The problem for a biographer is sifting the truth from the sentimental, the self-serving and the spurious. Fiona MacCarthy has overcome this to produce an immaculately researched biography, which is also her refreshing personal view.
The Beast in the Jungle
By Louis Bayard
April 1914. Former US President Theodore Roosevelt and his son Kermit have embarked on a dangerous expedition down an uncharted river in the Brazilian Amazon. Threatened as they are by disease, drowning and starvation, an even greater peril awaits them when they are captured by a local Indian tribe, the mysterious Cinta Larga, and forced to hunt for a savage creature laying waste to the jungle's inhabitants. In their search for the elusive beast, they find unexpected allies in a young mother and her half-caste child. But with hopes, dreams and lives at stake, father and son must confront the fissures in their own relationship and the dark secrets from their shared past. This exciting psychological thriller, inspired by actual historical events and figures, charts an audacious journey through the Amazonian heart of darkness and explores the demons that live within and without.
Between the Woods and the Water
By Patrick Leigh Fermor, Crispin Redman
The acclaimed travel writer's youthful journey - as an 18-year-old - across 1930s Europe by foot began in A Time of Gifts, which covered the author's exacting journey from the Lowlands as far as Hungary. Picking up from the very spot on a bridge across the Danube where his readers last saw him, we travel on with him across the great Hungarian Plain on horseback, and over the Romanian border to Transylvania.The trip was an exploration of a continent which was already showing signs of the holocaust which was to come. Although frequently praised for his lyrical writing, Fermor's account also provides a coherent understanding of the dramatic events then unfolding in Middle Europe. But the delight remains in travelling with him in his picaresque journey past remote castles, mountain villages, monasteries and towering ranges.(P)2014 John Murray Press
The Broken Road
By Patrick Leigh Fermor
The long-awaited final volume of the trilogy by Patrick Leigh Fermor. A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water were the first two volumes in a projected trilogy that would describe the walk that Patrick Leigh Fermor undertook at the age of eighteen from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. 'When are you going to finish Vol. III?' was the cry from his fans; but although he wished he could, the words refused to come. The curious thing was that he had not only written an early draft of the last part of the walk, but that it predated the other two. It remains unfinished but The Broken Road - edited and introduced by Colin Thubron and Artemis Cooper - completes an extraordinary journey.
By Michael Jones
In 1485 the Battle of Bosworth marked an epoch in the lives of two great houses: the house of York fell to the ground when Richard III died on the field of battle; and the house of Tudor rose from the massacre to reign for the next hundred years. Michael Jones, co-author of The King's Grave: The Search for Richard III, rewrites this landmark event in English history. He shifts our perspective of its heroes and villains and puts Richard firmly back into the context of his family and his times.
Beside the Ocean of Time
By George Mackay Brown
In this novel set on the fictitious island of Norday in the Orkneys, George Mackay Brown beckons us into the imaginary world of the young Thorfinn Ragnarson, the son of a crofter. In his day-dreams he relives the history of this island people, travelling back in time to join Viking adventurers at the court of the Byzantine Emperor in Constantinople, then accompanying a Falstaffian knight to the battle of Bannockburn.Thorfinn wakes to the twentieth century and a community whose way of life, steeped in legend and tradition, has remained unchanged for centuries. But as the boy grows up - and falls in love with a vivacious and mysterious stranger - the transforming effect of modern civilization brings momentous and irreversible changes to the island. During the Second World War Thorfinn finds himself in a German prisoner-of-war camp, and it is here that he discovers his gifts as a writer. Long afterwards he returns, now a successful novelist, to a deserted and battle-scarred island. Searching for the peace and freedom of mind he had in abundance as a child, he finds instead something he didn't even know he was looking for.George Mackay Brown intertwines myth and reality to create a novel of deceptive simplicity. The story of Thorfinn and the island of Norday is a universal and profound one, rooted in the timeless landscape of the Orkneys, the inspiration of all his writing.
By L. P. Hartley
In The Betrayal, the sequel to The Brickfield, Richard Mardick, now an ageing novelist, is forced by circumstances to look back on the days of his boyhood and confesses to Denys Aspin, his young secretary and biographer-to-be, how Lucy's death has forever marred his life and distorted his inner peace. The consequences of this rash disclosure range from threats and blackmail to the entirely unpredictable reactions of Richard's friends.
By Aly Monroe
From the author of ICELIGHT, winner of the 2012 Ellis Peters Historical Fiction Award, BLACK BEAR is the fourth in the critically acclaimed Peter Cotton series following the fortunes of British spy Peter Cotton as he navigates the treacherous uncertainties of the post-war world. For all fans of John le Carre, Robert Harris, Eric Ambler and Graham Greene. 'Confirms Aly Monroe's genius for creating tension...' Daily TelegraphSent to Manhattan as part of the British effort to build intelligence into the new United Nations Organisation 'from the foundations up', Agent Peter Cotton wakes up in the Ogden Clinic on East 76th Street, a private facility reserved for very special patients and veterans. He is told he was found badly bruised, slumped in a doorway, and that he had been injected with at least three 'truth-drugs'. He is lucky to be alive. Plagued by vertigo, colour blindness and tunnel vision, and unable to be certain what is real and what hallucinatory, Cotton must piece together what has happened to him, find out who is responsible and why. What he discovers is even more unsettling. His biggest uncertainty? Why he has been allowed to live.
By L. P. Hartley
Timothy Casson, a bachelor writer, is forced to return from a contented life in Venice to an English village. Taking a house by the river where he can pursue his passion for rowing, he has to do battle with the locals to overcome his isolation and feelings of incompleteness. This most complex of Hartley's novels examines the multiple layers of Casson's relationships with servants, local society and friends.
Bridge Across My Sorrows
By Christina Noble
Christina Noble's story is one of bravery and resilience in the face of deprivation and abuse on a scale that most would find unimaginable. Her childhood in the Dublin slums barely merits the name: after the early death of her mother, her family was split apart, her alcoholic father unable to care for his children. Christina was sexually abused and later escaped from an orphanage to live in poverty on the streets of Dublin. Whilst in an abusive marriage, in a dream she found the will to fight. Christina's hope lay in a determination to work among the bui doi, the street children of Vietnam, and this was the starting point for the most extraordinary part of her story. Within two years of arriving in Ho Chi Minh City she had opened a medical and social centre and achieved worldwide fame. Outspoken, often angry, yet profoundly moving, Bridge Across my Sorrows is one of the most inspirational stories ever told.