Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing
By Daniel Tammet
'Full of charm and fascination' The Bookseller'Would dazzle any storyteller in love with words and their deepest meanings' Amy Tan, author of Joy Luck Club'A generous book and a beguiling read' Rebecca Gowers* * * * * *From the bestselling author of Born on a Blue Day and Thinking in Numbers, a delightful and eclectic exploration of language, and what it can teach us about ourselves and our lives.Why is the name 'Cleopatra' not allowed in Iceland? Why do clocks 'talk' to the Nahua people of Mexico? And if we are what we eat, are we also what we say? These are just some of the questions Daniel Tammet answers in Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing, a mesmerising new collection of essays investigating the intricacies and profound power of human language. Tammet goes back in time to explore the numeric language of his autistic childhood; he looks at the music and patterns that words make, and how languages evolve and are translated. He meets one of the world's most accomplished lip readers in Canada, learns how endangered languages like Manx are being revived and corresponds with native speakers of Esperanto in their mother tongue. He studies the grammar of the telephone, contemplates the significance of disappearing dialects, and also asks: will chatbots ever manage to convince us that they are human?From the art of translation to the lyricism of sign language, Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing is a fascinating journey through the world of words, letters, stories and meanings, and an extraordinary testament to the stunning range of Tammet's literary and polyglot talents.
By Levison Wood
Levison Wood was only 22 when he decided to hitch-hike from England to India through Russia, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, but he wasn't the conventional follower of the hippy trail. A fascination with the deeds of the early explorers, a history degree in the bag, an army career already planned and a shoestring budget of £750 - including for the flight home - he was determined to find out more about the countries of the Caucasus and beyond - and meet the people who lived and worked there.EASTERN HORIZONS is a true traveller's tale in the tradition of the best of the genre, populated by a cast of eccentric characters; from mujahideen fighters to the Russian mafia. Along the way he meets some people who showed great hospitality, while others would rather have murdered him...
The Girl Who Climbed Everest
By Bonita Norris
'What I've learned from climbing mountains is that we can push ourselves far beyond what we think we are capable of, and it's outside of our comfort zones that the most amazing things happen.'What drives us to go to our limits and beyond? What does it take to make dreams come true over all else? And how can you turn fear into courage? From Everest to K2, The Girl Who Climbed Everest is the story of Bonita Norris' journey undertaking the world's toughest and most dangerous expeditions. Once an anxious teenager with an eating disorder it was the discovery of a passion for climbing that inspired Bonita to change her life. Drawing on her experiences to capture the agonies - both mental and physical - and joys of her incredible feats Bonita also imparts the lessons learned encouraging you to harness greater self-belief.The Girl Who Climbed Everest is an honest exploration of everything Bonita has learnt from climbing. Life lessons about ambition, values, risk, happiness, the courage to fail, and what's ultimately important. An indispensable and important book for anyone who has ever doubted their potential or put limits on themselves - whatever challenge you face or ambitions you want to achieve, The Girl Who Climbed Everest will inspire you to take action and live life more fearlessly.
By Tamsin Treverton Jones
Trees are part of the British psyche. We care if just one tree is cut down unnecessarily. So what happens when 15 million are blown down in one night? Part travelogue, part memoir, part celebration of nature's ability to heal itself, Windblown is as rich in character and story-telling as the rings of an ancient oak.'Windblown is a marvellously original mixture of reportage and memoir, holding a memorable event in recent history up to the light and making sense of it' Bel Mooney'A wonderful read' Michael Fish'Vivid ... thoroughly researched and informative' TLS'This eloquently written account shows that the Great Storm was a wake-up call, providing a wealth of information that helps us manage our treescape today.' Tony Kirkham, Head of the Kew Gardens Arboretum
The Finch in My Brain
By Martino Sclavi
'Raw, brave, heart-lifting.' STEF PENNY, author of UNDER THE POLE STAR'Whenever I see Martino I am reminded of how little I know about life and death compared to him. How we don't know what is within us or what may lie on the other side. I hope it's as magical and beautiful as this book.' RUSSELL BRANDWhen film producer Martino Sclavi began experiencing intense headaches, he attributed them to his frenetic lifestyle. As it turned out, he had grade 4 brain cancer and was given 18 months to live. After undergoing brain surgery - while awake - Martino found he had lost the ability to recognise words. His response was to close his eyes and begin to move his fingers across the keyboard to write this, an account of life before diagnosis and since. Defying all predictions Martino is still very much alive, words read out to him by the monotone of a computerised voice he calls Alex. But he must now live in a new way. This book - that he has written but cannot read - charts the effects of his experience: on his relationship with his young son, his marriage, his work and with himself. In the wake of his illness, everything must be reconfigured and Martino is made to question the habits, dreams and beliefs of his old life and confront the present. What he finds is strange and beautiful. Searching for the words between life and death, Sclavi shows that with determination and a subtle, persistent sense of humour, it is possible to change the story of our lives.
Home is Burning
By Dan Marshall
'An incredibly personal story ... sad, but unbelievably funny' - Claudia Winkleman, BBC Radio 2 Arts Show'This memoir is gasp-out-loud, offensively funny, touching and a sure thing for anyone who likes David Sedaris - but with more Mormons' - RedAt twenty-five, Dan left his 'spoiled white asshole' life in Los Angeles to look after his dying parents in Salt Lake City, Utah. His mother, who had already been battling cancer on and off for close to 15 years, had taken a turn for the worse. His father, a devoted marathon runner and adored parent, had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease which was quickly eroding his body. Dan's four siblings were already home, caring for their parents and resenting Dan for not doing the same. Home is Burning tells the story of Dan's year at home in Salt Lake City, as he reunites with his eclectic family -the only non-Mormon family of seven in the entire town - all of them trying their best to be there for the father who had always been there for them.
The Wild Other
By Clover Stroud
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE'This story - so fierce and brave and visceral and raw - will stay with me forever. Clover Stroud is a force of nature, and a woman who is fearless in the face of life and death. I loved it.' Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love'An astonishing book about loss, love, darkness, pain, sex and adventure. I adore it.' Dolly Alderton'There is so much richly evoked life here... beautifully written.' Cathy Rentzenbrink, The Times'This redemptive memoir will steal your heart; it will return it bruised but emboldened.' Mail on Sunday'I have huge admiration for the spirit of this memoir, and its author: full of heart, bravery and adventure. A moving, gripping read.' Amy Liptrot, author of The OutrunClover Stroud grew up in rural Wiltshire surrounded by animals and family. When she was just sixteen her adored mother had a horrific riding accident which left her permanently brain-damaged, and suddenly Clover was left to fend for herself. She embarked on an extraordinary journey to heal her broken heart, courting men and danger through two marriages and five children.The Wild Other is a grippingly honest account of love, sex and travelling to the darkest edges of human experience and back again. Powerful and deeply emotional, this is the story of an extraordinary life lived at its fullest.
I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons
By Kevin Hart
From Philadelphia shoe salesman raised by a single parent with an absent drug addict father, to world famous stand up and comic movie star.The Run is the true story of Kevin Hart. Revealing all aspects of his rags-to-riches life and career in this insightful, moving and funny memoir, these are the stories from his life that have shaped who he is today.
Gizelle's Bucket List
By Lauren Fern Watt
'A dog story that doesn't fail to amaze.' Miranda Hart, bestselling author of Peggy and Me'I laughed and cried. Everyone reading this will be touched by Lauren's amazing bucket list adventures with her dog Gizelle.' James Bowen, bestselling author of A Street Cat Named Bob and The World According to Bob'An inspirational and uplifting experience that will make you feel anything is possible.' ElleThrough the most important times of her life, Lauren's big beautiful English mastiff Gizelle had always been there for her.She was there through the choppy waters of her first relationship, and by her side through the painful reality of her mother's addiction, and when she finally left home for New York she was there to fill up her tiny Manhattan apartment and become her enormous, pavement-hogging, snuffly best friend.So when Lauren discovered the shocking news that Gizelle had a life-threatening tumour, she designed an epic bucket list to make the absolute most of the time they had left together.Their heartwarming adventure will change her forever and provide her with the best lessons she could ever learn for her life ahead.
By Alys Fowler
'An emotional and compelling memoir, that left me inspired, both by her bravery in transforming her life, and by the unexpected beauty she finds along the way' Countryfile Magazine'Fowler beautifully exposes her emotional fragility while also celebrating the unloved nature of buddleia, herons and even the water rats who take refuge among the locks.' i paper'Fowler captures the beauty of the canal's dishevelled, neglected condition...' Times Literary Supplement'Thoughtful and heartbreakingly honest ...Beautiful' Press Association'An astounding memoir' Gay Star News'Hidden Nature is one of the most thrilling things I've read in a long time' Waterways World'She writes wonderfully about the species that have carved out a place for themselves amid the discarded shopping trolleys, condom packets and industrial waste' Guardian'This candid book is as much about mapping the heart as it is about mapping the paths of waterways. Lovely.' Simple Things'A beautiful memoir' Good Housekeeping'Gentle, brave and acutely observant' Woman's WeeklyLeaving her garden to the mercy of the slugs, the Guardian's award-winning writer Alys Fowler set out in an inflatable kayak to explore Birmingham's canal network, full of little-used waterways where huge pike skulk and kingfishers dart.Her book is about noticing the wild everywhere and what it means to see beauty where you least expect it. What happens when someone who has learned to observe her external world in such detail decides to examine her internal world with the same care?Beautifully written, honest and very moving, Hidden Nature is also the story of Alys Fowler's emotional journey and her coming out as a gay woman: above all, this book is about losing and finding, exploring familiar places and discovering unknown horizons.
The Grief Survival Guide
By Jeff Brazier
Jeff Brazier has experienced bereavement in many forms: In his childhood, helping his two boys through the devastating death of their mother, Jade Goody, witnessing the anguish of his own mum when she lost both of her parents, and hearing the stories of his coaching clients who are coming to terms with loss. No one can be an expert on grief, but within this book Jeff provides support and guidance from someone who has been there. Accessible and hands-on The Grief Survival Guide offers practical advice on everything from preparing for the eventuality of death, managing grief, how best to support family and friends, and moving forward. There is no 'one size fits all' approach so instead Jeff teaches us that the best we can do is understand, cope and survive.
Walking the Americas
By Levison Wood
LONGLISTED IN THE ADVENTURE TRAVEL CATEGORY OF THE 2017 BANFF MOUNTAIN BOOK AWARDS SUNDAY TIMES TOP 10 BESTSELLERBY THE AUTHOR OF WALKING THE HIMALAYAS, WINNER OF THE 2016 EDWARD STANFORD ADVENTURE TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD'Levison Wood has breathed new life into adventure travel.' Michael PalinWalking the Americas chronicles Levison Wood's 1,800 mile trek along the spine of the Americas, through eight countries, from Mexico to Colombia, experiencing some of the world's most diverse, beautiful and unpredictable places.His journey took him from violent and dangerous cities to ancient Mayan ruins lying still unexplored in the jungles of Mexico and Guatemala. He encountered members of indigenous tribes, migrants heading towards the US border and proud Nicaraguan revolutionaries on his travels, where at the end of it all, he attempted to cross one of the most impenetrable borders on earth: the Darien Gap route from Panama into South America.This trek required every ounce of Levison Wood's guile, tact, strength and resilience in one of the most raw, real and exciting journeys of his life.
I Heard You Paint Houses
By Charles Brandt