Women of the Dunes
By Sarah Maine
THE WATERSTONES SCOTTISH BOOK OF THE MONTH!A perfect gift for Mother's Day - the new novel from the acclaimed author of The House Between Tides, winner of the Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year 2018!'Sarah Maine is a master of Scottish historical fiction' Sunday Post****It is the women who are keepers of tales.Atmospheric, intoxicating and filled with intrigue, this sweeping novel is an epic story spanning the centuries, that links three women together across history. Libby Snow spent her childhood hearing stories and legends from long ago. Now an archaeologist, her job is to dig deeper into the past, but her excavation at Ullaness, on Scotland's west coast has a very personal resonance. For the headland of Ullaness holds not only the secrets of the legend of Ulla, the Norsewoman, but also begins the strange story of Ellen.Libby's grandmother passed on these tales - of love, betrayal and loss - but the more Libby learns at Ullaness, the more twisted the threads become. When human remains are discovered in the dunes, it becomes clear that time, and intention, have distorted accounts of what happened there. Is it too late to uncover the truth? Or is Libby herself in danger of being caught up in this tangled web of fable and deceit? Praise for Sarah Maine:'An echo of Daphne du Maurier' - Independent'Maine adroitly weaves together the three strands of her novel' Sunday Times'Maine writes beautifully about the wilderness' - The Times'Maine skillfully balances a Daphne du Maurier atmosphere with a Barbara Vine-like psychological mystery...' - Kirkus
A Well-Behaved Woman
By Therese Anne Fowler
'A very lively read' Independent'A pacy, elegant novel' Mail on Sunday'A glittering depiction of a woman ahead of her time who absolutely refused to be second best' Red 'Wholly absorbing' Stylist 'Therese Anne Fowler's portrait of this feisty, forward-thinking woman is enthralling' Good Housekeeping'Sure to enthral' Harper's Bazaar OUTSPOKEN. BRAVE. BRILLIANT. FIERCE.Alva Smith, her Southern family destitute after the Civil War, married into one of America's great Gilded Age dynasties: the newly wealthy but socially shunned Vanderbilts. Ignored by New York's old-money circles and determined to win respect, she designed and built nine mansions, hosted grand balls, and arranged for her daughter to marry a duke. But Alva also defied convention for women of her time, asserting power within her marriage and becoming a leader in the women's suffrage movement. With a nod to Jane Austen and Edith Wharton, Therese Anne Fowler paints a glittering world of enormous wealth contrasted with desperate poverty, of social ambition and social scorn, of friendship and betrayal, and an unforgettable story of a remarkable woman.GOOD BEHAVIOUR WILL ONLY GET A WOMAN SO FAR.OPTIONED BY SONY PICTURES TELEVISION**PRAISE FOR Z: A NOVEL OF ZELDA FITZGERALD, A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER**'Brilliant. Read it, read it, read it' Daily Mail 'Superb' Independent on Sunday 'Utterly compulsive reading' Stylist 'A treat' Sunday Times
By Peter Snow, Ann MacMillan
'Highly readable . . . an intimate and varied account of fascinating stories of people at war' History of WarWar Stories is a fascinating account of ordinary men and women swept up in the turbulence of war. These are the stories - many untold until now - of thirty-four individuals who have pushed the boundaries of love, bravery, suffering and terror beyond the imaginable. They span three centuries and five continents. There is the courage of Edward Seager who survived the Charge of the Light Brigade; the cunning of Krystyna Skarbek, quick-thinking spy and saboteur during the Second World War; the skullduggery of Benedict Arnold, who switched sides in the American War of Independence and the compassion of Magdalene de Lancey who tenderly nursed her dying husband at Waterloo. Told with vivid narrative flair and full of unexpected insights, War Stories moves effortlessly from tales of spies, escapes and innovation to uplifting acts of humanity, celebrating men and women whose wartime experiences are beyond compare.
The Women Who Shaped Politics
By Sophy Ridge
Sophy Ridge, presenter for Sky News, has uncovered the extraordinary stories of the women who have shaped British politics. Never has the role of women in the political world ever been more on the news agenda, and Sophy has interviewed current and former politicians including among others, Nicola Sturgeon, Ruth Davidson, Betty Boothroyd gain exclusive insight into the role women play in politics at the highest level. The book also includes Theresa May's first at-length interview about her journey to becoming Prime Minister. These interviews have revealed the shocking truth about the sexism that is rife among the House of Commons both in the past and today, with sometimes shocking, and sometimes amusing anecdotes revealing how women in Westminster have worked to counter the gender bias. Sophy provides gripping insight into historical and contemporary stories which will fascinate not just those interested in politics but those who want to know more about women's vital role in democracy. From royalty to writers and from class warriors to suffragettes, Sophy tells the story of those who put their lives on the line for equal rights, and those who were the first to set foot inside the chambers of power, bringing together stories that you may think you know, and stories that have recently been discovered to reveal the truth about what it is to be a woman in Westminster. This book is a celebration of the differing ways that women have shaped the political landscape. The book also, importantly, sheds light on the challenges faced by women in government today, telling us the ways that women working in politics battle the sexism that confront them on a daily basis.
War With Russia
By General Sir Richard Shirreff
A chilling political thriller that is dangerously close to becoming realityAccording to General Sir Richard Shirreff, recently retired Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe we are already at war with Russia. Putin is waging war by unconventional means, including sponsoring terrorist attacks in Ukraine and in the UK and also cyber warfare. This book shows how war with Russia could erupt into conventional warfare with the bloodiest and most appalling consequences if the necessary steps are not taken urgently. As Admiral James G Stavridis, US Navy, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe, says 'You fail to read this book at your peril. Like any 'strongman', the Russian president's reputation for strength is everything. Lose momentum, fail to give the people what they want and he fails. Putin has already demonstrated that he has no intention of failing. He has already started a lethal dynamic which, unless checked right now, could see him invade the Baltic states. Russia's invasion and seizure of Georgia in 2008 was our 'Rhineland moment'. We ignored the warning signs - as we did back in the 1930s - and we made it 'business as usual'.Crimea in 2014 was the President's 'Sudetenland moment' and again he got away with it. Since 2014 Russia has invaded Ukraine. The Baltics could be next.Our political leaders assume that nuclear deterrence will save us. General Sir Richard Shirreff shows us why this will not wash.
By Michael Arnold
Warlord's Gold, the fifth novel in The Civil War Chronicles, Michael Arnold's acclaimed series of historical thrillers, sees battle-scarred hero, Captain Stryker, 'the Sharpe of the Civil War' on a quest to recover lost treasure.Autumn,1643. As an increasingly bitter war rages across England, Captain Innocent Stryker leaves Oxford with orders to recover a lost treasure, vital to the success of the Royalist cause. But a seemingly simple mission to the remote Scilly Isles is soon jeopardised, for enemies lie in wait. A formidable Parliamentarian agent has been sent ahead of Stryker's force, intent on defeating Royalist plans. Feared by ally and enemy alike, he is a man whose determination is only matched by his hatred for Stryker.The quest for the gold takes Stryker across storm-ravaged seas, through enemy territory and finally to the Royalist stronghold of Basing House. And it is there that Stryker will face his most dangerous challenge yet.
The Wisdom House
By Rob Parsons
You don't always have to learn the hard way.On the spur of the moment, the morning after the birth of one of his grandchildren, Rob Parsons wrote the baby a letter.And then Rob began to think about how he hoped he'd have the chance to talk with all his grandchildren as they grew. He imagined them coming into his study, settling into one of the two comfy armchairs in front of the fire and opening up about the challenges they were facing.Perhaps it would be when they were beginning their first job, buying their first house, getting married or starting a family. Or perhaps they'd talk long into the night, when their hearts were broken or friends had betrayed them. Perhaps he would have the chance to help them rebuild the dream that somebody had trodden on.'Come on in, take a seat - tell me what's been going on...'Rob knew he wouldn't have all the answers. But maybe he could help - just a little.
When Paris Went Dark
By Ronald Rosbottom
In May and June 1940 almost four million people fled Paris and its suburbs in anticipation of a German invasion. On June 14, the German Army tentatively entered the silent and eerily empty French capital. Without one shot being fired in its defence, the Occupation of Paris had begun. When Paris Went Dark tells the extraordinary story of Germany's capture and Occupation of Paris, Hitler's relationship with the City of Light, and its citizens' attempts at living in an environment that was almost untouched by war, but which had become uncanny overnight. Beginning with the Phoney War and Hitler's first visit to the city, acclaimed literary historian and critic Ronald Rosbottom takes us through the German Army's almost unopposed seizure of Paris, its bureaucratic re-organization of that city, with the aid of collaborationist Frenchmen, and the daily adjustments Parisians had to make to this new oppressive presence. Using memoirs, interviews and published eye-witness accounts, Rosbottom expertly weaves a narrative of daily life for both the Occupier and the Occupied. He shows its effects on the Parisian celebrity circles of Pablo Picasso, Simone de Beauvoir, Colette, Jean Cocteau, and Jean-Paul Sartre, and on the ordinary citizens of its twenty arrondissements. But Paris is the protagonist of this story, and Rosbottom provides us with a template for seeing the City of Light as more than a place of pleasure and beauty.
The Widow and her Hero
By Thomas Keneally, Beverley Dunn, David Tredinnick
In 1943, when Grace and Leo Waterhouse married in Australia, they were part of a young generation ready to sacrifice themselves to win the war, while being confident they would survive. Sixty years on, as Grace recounts what happened to her doomed hero, she can say what she suspected then: that for many men, bravery is its own end. The tale she tells is one of great love, lost innocence, a charismatic but unstable Irish commander, dashing undercover missions against the Japanese in Singapore, and - in her eyes - reckless, foolhardy exploits. As fresh details continue to emerge, Grace is forced to keep revising her picture of what happened to Leo and his fellow commandoes - until she learns about the final piece in the jigsaw, and an ultimate betrayal. As absorbing as it is thought-provoking, this timely novel poses unsettling questions about what drives men to battle and heroic deeds, and movingly conveys the life-long effect on those who survive them.(P)2007 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
When Britain Burned the White House
By Peter Snow
As heard on BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week.Shortlisted for the Paddy Power Political History Book of the Year Award 2014.In August 1814 the United States' army is defeated in battle by an invading force just outside Washington DC. The US president and his wife have just enough time to pack their belongings and escape from the White House before the enemy enters. The invaders tuck into the dinner they find still sitting on the dining-room table and then set fire to the place. 9/11 was not the first time the heartland of the United States was struck a devastating blow by outsiders. Two centuries earlier, Britain - now America's close friend, then its bitterest enemy - set Washington ablaze before turning its sights to Baltimore. In his compelling narrative style, Peter Snow recounts the fast-changing fortunes of both sides of this extraordinary confrontation, the outcome of which inspired the writing of the 'Star-Spangled Banner', America's national anthem. Using a wealth of material including eyewitness accounts, he also describes the colourful personalities on both sides of these spectacular events: Britain's fiery Admiral Cockburn, the cautious but immensely popular army commander Robert Ross, and sharp-eyed diarists James Scott and George Gleig. On the American side: beleaguered President James Madison, whose young nation is fighting the world's foremost military power, his wife Dolley, a model of courage and determination, military heroes such as Joshua Barney and Sam Smith, and flawed incompetents like Army Chief William Winder and War Secretary John Armstrong. When Britain Burned the White House highlights this unparalleled moment in American history, its far-reaching consequences for both sides and Britain's and America's decision never again to fight each other.
What Should We Tell Our Daughters?
By Melissa Benn
We have reached a tricky crossroads in modern women's lives and our collective daughters are bearing the brunt of some intolerable pressures. Although feminism has made great strides forward since our mothers' and grandmothers' day, many of the key issues - equality of pay, equality in the home, representation at senior level in the private, public and political sectors - remain to be tackled. Casual sexism in the media and in everyday life is still rife and our daughters face a host of new difficulties as they are bombarded by images of unrealistically skinny airbrushed supermodels, celebrity role-models who depend on their looks and partners for status, and by competitive social media. The likes of Natasha Walter and Katie Roiphe deal with feminism from an adult point of view, but our daughters need to be prepared for stresses that are coming into play now as early as pre-school. This is a manifesto for every mother who has ever had to comfort a daughter who doesn't feel 'pretty', for every young woman who out-performs her male peers professionally and wonders why she is still not taken seriously, and for anyone interested in the world we are making for the next generation.
Why French Children Don't Talk Back
By Catherine Crawford
Catherine Crawford, a mother of two young daughters, is tired of the indulgent brand of parenting so popular in her trendy Brooklyn neighbourhood. All of the negotiating and bargaining has done scant more than to create a generation of little tyrants. After being exposed to the well-behaved, respectful children of her French friends, une lumière went on - French children don't talk back! Why French Children Don't Talk Back is a witty and insightful look at how the French manage to bring up obedient, well-adjusted kids. It occupies a pragmatic place on the book shelf and in life - an anti-Tiger Mother approach to parenting.
By Giles Milton
The Aïchele family were decent, cultured, peace-loving Germans trying their hardest not to get swept up in the madness of Hitler's Third Reich. But by the time war came, for civilians on all sides, there was nowhere left to hide.The conflict took Wolfram, the family's gentle, 18-year-old son, to the Russian Front and the Normandy beaches. It also engulfed the town of his childhood, obliterating its inhabitants in a devastating firestorm.Wolfram is a powerful story of human survival. It is testimony to the fact that even in the darkest times there remains a spark of humanity that can never be totally extinguished.
By Patricia Morrisroe
A fourth-generation insomniac, Patricia Morrisroe decided that the only way she'd ever conquer her lifelong sleep disorder was by becoming an expert on the subject. So, armed with half a century of personal experience and a journalist's curiosity, she set off to explore one of life's greatest mysteries: sleep. Wide Awake is the eye-opening account of Morrisroe's quest - a compelling memoir that blends science, culture, and business to tell the story of why she - and millions of others - can't sleep at night.Over the course of three years of research and reporting, Morrisroe talks to sleep doctors, drug makers, psychiatrists, anthropologists, hypnotherapists, 'wake experts', mattress salesmen, a magician, an astronaut, and even a reindeer herder. A mesmerising mix of personal insight, science and social observation, Wide Awake is for the millions who suffer from sleepless nights and hazy caffeine-filled days. A humorous, thought-provoking and ultimately hopeful book is an essential bedtime companion. It does, however, come with a warning: reading it may promote wakefulness.
Waiting For Hitler
By Midge Gillies
The perfect follow-up for readers of Dunkirk, Hidden Britain, Finest Hour and other gripping, personal accounts of life during the Second World War.In late summer 1940, Hitler told his army to prepare to invade England. The nation waited, breathless with tension, for the Nazi threat to become real.Acclaimed author Midge Gillies gathers together the personal accounts of those who still remember this time, with written sources from contemporary press reports, to diaries and letters, to illustrate and recreate the fear, suspense and even excitement of living in England in the shadow of the Nazis. A pair of sisters, determined that life should go on as normally as possible, carry on swimming and playing tennis - only to find themselves under suspicion of being sympathisers because of their seemingly carefree attitude. A group of former poachers and gamekeepers huddle in a woodland hideout, newly trained and prepared to blow up bridges and slit German throats. Citizens hide their most treasured possessions from the Nazis in biscuit tins, or bury them in graveyards.Over the weekend of September 7th, the code word for high alert flashed round the country, and with tensions at their height many assumed it to mean that the Nazis had already landed. Sunday September 8th was declared a National Day of Prayer - and seemed to many to be the beginning of the end.This is a compelling and evocative account of what it was like, for that short period in 1940, to be waiting for Hitler.
By Malcolm Gaskill, Malcolm Gaskill
By the spring of 1645, civil war had exacted a terrible toll upon England. Disease was rife, apocalyptic omens appeared in the skies, and idolators detected in every shire. In a remote corner of Essex, two obscure gentlemen began interrogating women suspected of witchcraft, triggering the most brutal witch-hunt in English history.Witchfinders is a spellbinding study of how Matthew Hopkins, 'the Witchfinder General', and John Stearne extended their campaign across East Anglia, driven by godly zeal. Exploiting the anxiety and lawlessness of the times, and cheered on by ordinary folk, they extracted confessions of satanic pacts resulting in scores of executions.
By Giles Milton
This is the forgotten story of the million white Europeans, snatched from their homes and taken in chains to the great slave markets of North Africa to be sold to the highest bidder. Ignored by their own governments, and forced to endure the harshest of conditions, very few lived to tell the tale.Using the firsthand testimony of a Cornish cabin boy named Thomas Pellow, Giles Milton vividly reconstructs a disturbing, little known chapter of history. Pellow was bought by the tyrannical sultan of Morocco who was constructing an imperial pleasure palace of enormous scale and grandeur, built entirely by Christian slave labour. As his personal slave, he would witness first-hand the barbaric splendour of the imperial court, as well as experience the daily terror of a cruel regime.Gripping, immaculately researched, and brilliantly realised, WHITE GOLD reveals an explosive chapter of popular history, told with all the pace and verve of one of our finest historians.
Watching the English
By Kate Fox
In WATCHING THE ENGLISH anthropologist Kate Fox takes a revealing look at the quirks, habits and foibles of the English people. She puts the English national character under her anthropological microscope, and finds a strange and fascinating culture, governed by complex sets of unspoken rules and byzantine codes of behaviour.The rules of weather-speak. The ironic-gnome rule. The reflex apology rule. The paranoid-pantomime rule. Class indicators and class anxiety tests. The money-talk taboo and many more . . .Through a mixture of anthropological analysis and her own unorthodox experiments (using herself as a reluctant guinea-pig), Kate Fox discovers what these unwritten behaviour codes tell us about Englishness.
Whisper of the Blade
By Erik Durschmied
Revolution brings tragedy, terror and heroism. Using historical texts and eye witness accounts as well as his own interviews, Erik Durschmied shares his unique understanding of revolutionary events that have shaped the course of history. His curiosity and amazement are reflected in the pages as is his irreverence for the conventional recitation of history. Progressing from the 18th to the 20th century, Durschmied provides a remarkable snapshot of the French Revolution; the Red October rising in Russia; Operation Walküre in Germany; Che Guevara's exploits; the rise and fall of Emperor Hirohito in Japan and the fall of the Shah of Iran in these powerful stories.
The Weather Factor
By Erik Durschmied
Despite major improvements in collecting information and forecasting the weather, the 'factor of the unpredictable' is as real today, as it was in days when Noah was forced to set sail on the ark. Floods have drowned millions, droughts and famines have wiped out entire populations, frost has brought a sudden halt to invincible armies, and storms have sunk unsinkable armadas. When man comes to face nature's elements, it is not so much human incompetence as the uncertainty of the weather that leads on to disaster.