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.
Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (20th edition)
By Susie Dent
'This is, in fact, not what you were looking for; but it's much more interesting' Terry PratchettMuch loved for its wit and wisdom since 1870, Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable takes you on a captivating adventure through its trademark blend of language, culture, myth and legend. Nowhere else could the histories of the guillotine and Guinness stout sit so comfortably alongside the KGB and the Keystone Kops. Brewer's is a catalogue of curiosities and absurdities that, over almost 150 years in print, has acquired near-mythical status.Edited by Susie Dent, this new edition includes a brand new Collection of Curious Words and many new and updated entries. Its pages brim with esoteric and entertaining oddities - everything from curious customs to the world of newspapers and political alliances of yesteryear - all seen through the distinctive Brewer lens.This twentieth edition of Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable encapsulates all the charm and wit that characterise its predecessors and maintains the standards of scholarship and eclecticism that have long been its hallmark.Whether you're a committed Brewerphile or a newcomer to its pages of fascinating entries, this edition will draw you in and keep you glued to its rich mix of eccentric nuggets. As Susie Dent explains in the foreword, Brewer's "is unlike any other reference book that exists, anywhere."
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 Lippy RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK
By Jo Brand
'Feisty and funny' Sunday ExpressSometimes it's hard to be a woman and sometimes it's time to be a hard woman . . . This is a book for all those times.Once upon a (very very) long time ago Jo Brand was what you might describe as 'a nice little girl'. Of course, that was before the values of cynicism, misogyny and the societal expectation that Jo would be thin, feminine and demure sent her off down Arsey Avenue. The plot thickened, when due to a complicated fusion of hormones, horrible family dynamics and a no-good boyfriend they hated, Jo ended up leaving home at 16. Now she's considerably further along life's inevitable bloody 'journey' - and she's fucked up enough times to feel confident she has no wisdom to offer anyone. But who cares? She's going to do it anyway...Born Lippy is a gathering of all the things Jo Brand wishes she'd known, all the things she's learnt, and all the things she hopes for the future. A century after women got the vote (albeit married women over the age of 28) it's time to take stock of exactly what it means to be female today. And if there's one thing women are entitled to, it's having a bloody good moan about things big and small - so here goes . . .HOW TO MANAGE A BULLY * YOUR FAMILY AND HOW TO SURVIVE IT * WHAT NO-ONE TELLS YOU ABOUT THE FEMALE BODY * BEING DIFFERENT * SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT SOCIABLE * HOW NOT TO FALL IN LOVE * FEMINISM: A RE-BRANDING * ADVENTURES IN YOUR HEAD * HAVING FUN * NOT HAVING FUN: WHAT TO DO WHEN IT ALL GOES WRONG * STAYING SANE * YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU WEAR * MODERN MANNERS* HOW TO DO WHAT YOU WANT: OR NOT DO WHAT OTHERS WANT * BEING HEALTHY * GETTING ON A BIT * THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES: MORE DEADLY THAN THE MALE?
Blowing the Bloody Doors Off
By Michael Caine
'Chatty and engaging . . . he often comes across as endearingly humble' SUNDAY TIMES'Thoroughly engaging' SUNDAY EXPRESS magazine'Fabulous storytelling' PRIMAHollywood legend and British national treasure Sir Michael Caine shares the wisdom, stories, insight and skills that life has taught him in his remarkable career - and now his 85th year.One of our best-loved actors Michael Caine has starred in a huge range of films - including all-time favourites - from the classic British movies Alfie, Zulu and The Italian Job to the Hollywood blockbusting Dark Knight trilogy, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Hannah and Her Sisters and Cider House Rules. Caine has excelled in every kind of role - with a skill that's made it look easy. He knows what success takes - he's made it to the top of his profession from the toughest beginning. But as he says 'Small parts can lead to big things. And if you keep doing things right, the stars will align when you least expect it.' Now in his 85th year he wants to share everything he's learned.With brilliant new insight into his life and work and with his wonderful gift for story, this is Caine at his wise and entertaining best.
Bedtime Stories for Stressed Out Adults
'Dreamy' STYLIST'Calm and restore an anxious mind before sleep... the most beautiful book that will, without a doubt, put you in the mood for some zzzzzs.' the SUN'Hurrah for a book that draws us away from the cold blue light of the smart phone and into the soothing glow of poems, short stories and extracts' The Simple Things magazineIntroduced by Lucy Mangan* * * Tales to soothe tired souls. A night time companion for frazzled adults, including calming stories and poems for a good night's sleep. * * *This cheering book of best loved short tales, extracts and poems will calm and restore an anxious mind before sleep.A good night's sleep is essential for our well being and our health, but in our busy lives sleep is often poor and overlooked. Now is the time to stop a while and find consolation and wonder in other worlds where all is well and sleep just a page or two away. From classic stories by Oscar Wilde, Guy de Maupassant and Katherine Mansfield, to friendly tales of our childhoods, to poetry that reminds us of the simple joys of life, this lovingly curated book will soothe a tired mind and gently carry you to the peaceful land of sleep.So switch off, snuggle down and allow yourself to escape into new worlds and old; magical, mysterious and tender realms that will accompany you to your own sweet dreams.
By Lauren Oliver
It's been five years since Mia and Brynn murdered Summer Marks, their best friend, in the woodsIncreasingly obsessed with a novel called The Way into Lovelorn and by their fan-fiction imagining of its sequel, the girls were drawn by an undertow of fantasy into the magical world they'd created. But eventually, their delusions turned sick, and the Shadow, Lovelorn's central evil, began to haunt them.Or so the story goes. The only thing is: they didn't do itBrynn and Mia have both found different ways to hide from their notoriety, seeking refuge from a world that hates them-a world that will never feel magical, or safe, ever again.On the anniversary of Summer's death, a seemingly insignificant discovery resurrects the mystery and pulls Mia and Brynn back together once again. But as past and present, fiction and reality, begin again to intertwine, Brynn and Mia must confront painful truths they tried for so long to bury-and face the long shadow of memory that has, all this time, been waiting.In this engrossing, twisty novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver weaves an unforgettable, mesmerizing tale of exquisite obsession, spoiled innocence, and impossible friendships.***PRAISE FOR LAUREN OLIVER'A tense psychological thriller with a devastating denouement' Daily Mail on Vanishing Girls'Hugely moving and gorgeously written . . . an extremely clever and well-written novel that is ultimately uplifting' Heat on Before I Fall'Creepier and sweeter than GONE GIRL' MTV on Vanishing Girls'This brilliant thriller has a killer twist' Fabulous on Vanishing Girls'Lauren Oliver is the rising star of young adult fiction' The Sunday Times on Delirium
Brief Answers to the Big Questions
By Stephen Hawking
The Borough Market Cookbook
By Ed Smith
'Like the market, the book is exciting, instructive, seductive and inspirational.' -Claudia Roden _____________An essential gift for the keen cook in your life. Borough Market is the beating heart of London's food scene. Every year millions of locals and tourists flock to Borough Market to soak up the unique atmosphere, interact with the expert traders and sample the world-class produce. This gorgeous book takes you on a tour of a year at the Market, from the beginning of spring, through Easter and Midsummer, to Apple Day in October and the switching on of the lights at Christmas - with the most delicious recipes highlighting the very best of those celebrations. Divided by season, each recipe celebrates at least one hero ingredient from that time of year: why not try Chilled asparagus soup in spring; Rolled pork belly and sticky nectarines in summer; Beetroot dal in autumn; or Clementine sponges with cranberry sauce in winter? Along the way, you'll be introduced to key seasonal ingredients with shopping and preparation tips, straight from the artisan producers, that will change how you cook for ever.Packed full of beautiful photography, much of it shot on location at Borough throughout the year, this is a cookbook that will inspire food lovers and home cooks everywhere, even if they only follow Borough Market from afar._____________THE PERFECT WINTER MENURoast Delica pumpkin with crisp sage, seeds and curdIntensely sweet and buttery winter squash, roasted with sage and its own seeds and then slicked with a sheep or goat's curd. Assemble on a large serving platter to kick off a dinner party. One-pot golden chicken and Judión beansA bowl of comfort ideal for this time of year: juicy chicken with golden, crispy skin, cooked in a warming broth with the creamiest butter beans. Make sure you have lots of crusty bread to mop up the juices. Clementine sponges with cranberry sauceAn alternative to the traditional figgy pudding and brandy butter, though really they're too good to confine to just one day. The tart and syrupy cranberry-studded sauce is spooned over the citrus sponge and served with double cream for the most indulgent winter pud. Spiced apple sourSpiked with cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg, this is Christmas in a cocktail.
Bag of Bones
By Stephen King
He went to Dark Score Lake to confront his past. Now he might drown in it . . .When Mike Noonan's wife dies unexpectedly, the bestselling author suffers from writer's block. Until he is drawn to his summer home, the beautiful lakeside retreat called Sara Laughs.Here Mike finds the once familiar town in the tyrannical grip of millionaire Max Devore. Devore is hell-bent on getting custody of his deceased son's daughter and is twisting the fabric of the community to this purpose. Three year old Kyra and her young mother turn to Mike for help. And Mike finds them increasingly irresistible.But there are other more sinister forces at Sara Laughs - and Kyra can feel them too . . .
Black Dahlia, Red Rose
By Piu Eatwell
******* A TIMES 'BOOK OF THE YEAR' **********Shortlisted for the CWA Dagger for non-fiction***'A magnificent, meticulous and startling re-examination of a crime that haunts the world's imagination' Geoffrey Wansell, author of An Evil Love: The Life of Frederick West'Eatwell writes brilliantly . . . [she] has finally offered [Elizabeth] Short a type of belated justice. Her book reads like a thriller' Sunday Times'A compelling read, in both style and substance . . . A must-read for anyone with an interest in the Black Dahlia - or indeed any fan of the true-crime genre' Rod Reynolds, author of The Dark Inside'Compulsively readable, impeccably researched and heart-rending at times . . . Superb' Sarah Lotz, author of The Three and The White Road*************On 15th January 1947, the naked, dismembered body of a black-haired beauty, Elizabeth Short, was discovered lying next to a pavement in a Hollywood suburb. She was quickly nicknamed The Black Dahlia.The homicide inquiry that followed consumed Los Angeles for years and the authorities blew millions of dollars of resources on an investigation that threw up dozens of suspects. But it never was solved.Until now.In this ground-breaking book, Piu Eatwell reveals compelling forensic and eye witness evidence for the first time, which finally points to the identity of the murderer. The case was immortalised in James Ellroy's famous novel based on the case, in Kenneth Anger's Hollywood Babylon and Brian de Palma's movie The Black Dahlia.This is a dark tale of sex, manipulation, obsession, psychopathy and one of the biggest police cover ups in history.
Congratulations! You're the proud owner of the most complex information processing device in the known universe. The human brain comes equipped with all sorts of useful design features, but also many bugs and weaknesses. Problem is you don't get an owner's manual. You have to just plug and play. As a result, most of us never properly understand how our brains work and what they're truly capable of. We fail get the best out of them, ignore some of their most useful features and struggle to overcome their design faults. Featuring witty essays, enlightening infographics and fascinating 'try this at home' experiments, New Scientist take you on a journey through intelligence, memory, creativity, the unconscious and beyond. From the strange ways to distort what we think of as 'reality' to the brain hacks that can improve memory, The Brain: A User's Guide will help you understand your brain and show you how to use it to its full potential.
By Dominick Donald
A Sunday Times, Observer, Evening Standard and Daily Mail book of the year'Remarkably accomplished' Observer'Casts a magical spell' Daily Mail'Deeply impressive' Evening StandardA stunning debut crime novel for fans of Robert Harris, Philip Kerr and C.J. Sansom's Dominion.London, 1952. Dick Bourton is not like the other probationer policemen in Notting Hill. He's older, having fought in Europe and then Korea. And he's no Londoner, being from Cotswold farming stock. Then there's Anna, the exotically beautiful White Russian fiancée he has brought back to these drab streets and empty bombsites. She may as well come from a different planet. The new copper also has a mind of his own. After an older colleague is shot by a small-time gangster they are chasing in a pea-souper fog, something nags at Bourton's memory. He begins to make connections which his superiors don't want to see, linking a whole series of deaths and the fogs that stop the city in its tracks. Desperate to prove himself and his theories, Bourton fails to notice the fear which his mysterious bride is doing her best to conceal - and overcome.Soon both Anna and Bourton are taking dangerous paths into the worst fog London has ever known...**********"London had gone. As he stepped through the wicket, a dry smoky chill puffing over the lintel, everything that made the city - skyline, street signs, crowds, scarlet double-deckers - had disappeared, lost in the murk. I can't see the kerb, for God's sake, let alone Barker's across the road. He looked both ways, the chill crawling down his neck . . . Coshing gangs will love this. And our man. But we're on your trail, sunshine. He raised his hat to Marling, locking up behind. Tomorrow we nab you."