In Pursuit of Memory
By Dr Joseph Jebelli
The Invention of Nature
By Andrea Wulf
WINNER OF THE 2015 COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARDWINNER OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY SCIENCE BOOK PRIZE 2016'A thrilling adventure story' Bill Bryson'Dazzling' Literary Review 'Brilliant' Sunday Express'Extraordinary and gripping' New Scientist'A superb biography' The Economist'An exhilarating armchair voyage' GILES MILTON, Mail on Sunday Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) is the great lost scientist - more things are named after him than anyone else. There are towns, rivers, mountain ranges, the ocean current that runs along the South American coast, there's a penguin, a giant squid - even the Mare Humboldtianum on the moon. His colourful adventures read like something out of a Boy's Own story: Humboldt explored deep into the rainforest, climbed the world's highest volcanoes and inspired princes and presidents, scientists and poets alike. Napoleon was jealous of him; Simon Bolívar's revolution was fuelled by his ideas; Darwin set sail on the Beagle because of Humboldt; and Jules Verne's Captain Nemo owned all his many books. He simply was, as one contemporary put it, 'the greatest man since the Deluge'.Taking us on a fantastic voyage in his footsteps - racing across anthrax-infected Russia or mapping tropical rivers alive with crocodiles - Andrea Wulf shows why his life and ideas remain so important today. Humboldt predicted human-induced climate change as early as 1800, and The Invention of Nature traces his ideas as they go on to revolutionize and shape science, conservation, nature writing, politics, art and the theory of evolution. He wanted to know and understand everything and his way of thinking was so far ahead of his time that it's only coming into its own now. Alexander von Humboldt really did invent the way we see nature.
The Island of the Women and Other Stories
By George Mackay Brown
In these six stories George Mackay Brown leads us back along the sweep of Orkney's past and beyond even that to the remoteness of fable. He reveals the timelessness of the lived moment and the constants of island life in the harvest of sea and land and the compulsions of voyage and homecoming.
The Illicit Happiness of Other People
By Manu Joseph
Seventeen-year-old Unni has done something terrible. The only clue to his actions lies in a comic strip he has drawn, which has fallen into the hands of his father Ousep - a nocturnal anarchist with a wife who is fantasizing about his early death. Ousep begins investigating the extraordinary life of his son, but as he circles closer and closer to the truth, he unravels a secret that shakes his family to the core.Set in Madras in the 1990s, where every adolescent male is preparing for the toughest exam in the world, this is a powerful and darkly comic story involving an alcoholic's probe into the minds of the sober, an adolescent cartoonist's dangerous interpretation of absolute truth, an inner circle of talented schizophrenics and the pure love of a 12-year-old boy for a beautiful girl.
By Adam Lashinsky
In Inside Apple, Adam Lashinsky provides readers with an insight on leadership and innovation. He introduces Apple business concepts like the 'DRI' (Apple's practice of assigning a Directly Responsible Individual to every task) and the Top 100 (an annual event where that year's top 100 up-and-coming executives are surreptitiously transported to a secret retreat with company founder Steve Jobs).Based on numerous interviews, the book reveals exclusive new information about how Apple innovates, deals with its suppliers, and is handling the transition into the Post Jobs Era. While Inside Apple provides a detailed investigation into the unique company, its lessons about leadership, product design and marketing are universal. Inside Apple will appeal to anyone hoping to bring some of the Apple magic to their own company, career, or creative endeavour.
In This Way I Was Saved
By Brian Deleeuw
I pounded myself against the inside of his head, but it was useless. He couldn't hear me; I was trapped. So, like any other prisoner, I waited. I bided my time.Luke is six. He is a lonely child, but he has one friend, his best friend - Daniel - whom he met in the playground on the day his parents finalised their divorce. Only Luke can see Daniel. They play games together, and Daniel watches over Luke; he is there when he first wakes up and there when he goes to sleep. Daniel's first memory is of Luke calling his name in the playground. Daniel is not an ordinary child.Luke's mother spends more and more time in her room, haunted by family memories. She takes Luke and Daniel from New York to a deserted beach town, as winter sets in. Daniel is changing. He feels faint, weightless. Luke seems forgetful of him.Time passes. Luke and Daniel have not seen one another for a long time. Until, one night, Daniel suddenly finds himself standing in Luke's bedroom, woken by the sound of breaking glass. He does not know how much time he has; but he knows how he can be saved.
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.
In Tearing Haste
By Patrick Leigh Fermor, Deborah Devonshire
In spring 1956, Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire - youngest of the six legendary Mitford sisters - invited the writer and war hero Patrick Leigh Fermor to visit Lismore Castle, the Devonshires' house in Ireland. This halcyon visit sparked off a deep friendship and a lifelong exchange of sporadic but highly entertaining letters.There can rarely have been such contrasting styles: Debo, unashamed philistine and self-professed illiterate (though suspected by her friends of being a secret reader), darts from subject to subject while Paddy, polyglot, widely read prose virtuoso, replies in the fluent, polished manner that has earned him recognition as one of the finest writers in the English language.Prose notwithstanding, the two friends have much in common: a huge enjoyment of life, youthful high spirits, warmth, generosity and lack of malice. There are glimpses of President Kennedy's inauguration, weekends at Sandringham, stag hunting in France, filming with Errol Flynn in French Equatorial Africa and, above all, of life at Chatsworth, the great house that Debo spent much of her life restoring, and of Paddy in the house that he and his wife Joan designed and built on the southernmost peninsula of Greece.
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.
Inside the Red Mansion
By Oliver August
In 1999, shortly after arriving in Beijing as The Times's China correspondent, Oliver August set out on the trail of China's most wanted man, Lai Changxing. An illiterate peasant from the coastal city of Xiamen, Lai created his own shipping empire from nothing before vanishing abruptly when the Communist Party accused him of corruption and fraud. Once the richest man in the country, Lai was now public enemy number one because his immense wealth became a threat to Beijing's power.Oliver August's highly entertaining search for Lai takes him to the brothels, backwaters and boardrooms that define the spirit of an emerging nation. Fascinated by Lai's story, the author visits the town where he was born, travels on the boat used by his smuggling racket and stays in the hotel where government investigators interrogated and tortured his helpers. The book investigates the tycoon's meteoric rise, his catastrophic demise and the mystery that surrounds his disappearance. After two decades of capitalist reforms, the New China seems to have more clichés than people. Both free and oppressive, anarchic and authoritarian, totally chaotic yet highly regulated, China is changing completely whilst seeming to stay itself. Part investigation, part personal memoir, Inside the Red Mansion is a deeply atmospheric journey into the New China. From the austere bureaucrats of Beijing to the gilded pirate coast opposite Taiwan; from the Gobi desert plains where migrant labour is recruited, to the skyscrapers and nightclubs of boomtowns like Xiamen, Oliver August's gripping yet thoughtful account reveals the dark side of China's economic miracle and a nation finally awakening to its desires.
The Island Walkers
By John Bemrose
For generations, the Walkers have lived in the Island, a small, working class mill-town beside Ontario's Attawan River. But in the summer of 1965 their peace is shattered. When a union organiser comes to town, Alf Walker is forced to choose between loyalty to his friends and advancement up the company ranks. His decision threatens to overwhelm not only his own life, but also his family. Through the course of the book, we come to know the Walkers intimately - Alf, as he attempts to keep ahead of these turbulent events; his son Joe, whose world is overturned by the passion and uncertainty of young love; and his wife Margaret, who must reconcile her English upbringing with the world in which she finds herself. The Island Walkers is a deeply moving novel of a family struggling to make its way through a changing world. Written with remarkable understanding and perception, it reveals a writer of rare vision and accomplishment.
In Search Of Love And Beauty
By Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Through a rich mosaic of episodes, shifting intricately back and forth from the 1930s to the present day, the lives of three generations are traced.Linked by the incessant longing for inner fulfilment, grandmother, mother, son and daughter pursue their selfish quests by very different routes.Yet each is drawn, either by love or by hate, to the magnetic Leo Kellermann, former Adonis, guru, charlatan/genius and founder of the dubious Academy of Potential Development.
In Ethiopia with a Mule
By Dervla Murphy
Dervla Murphy set out with her pack-mule, Jock, on a hazardous trek through Ethiopia's remote and hostile regions. Inspired by stories of Prester John and the Queen of Sheba, she hoped to find there beauty, danger, solitude and mystery. Instead she encountered rough terrain, exhaustion, illness and the disorder of the Ethiopians' domestic affairs - all of which she conquered with endurance and good humour.Despite being robbed three times, Dervla Murphy found the Ethiopian highlanders were unusually hospitable. Out of her dependence on them and her increasing familliarity with their way of life grew a close and warm understanding. On reaching Addis Ababa, she concluded that affection for Ethiopia's peoples was the richest reward of her journey.