The Mercy Seat
By Elizabeth H. Winthrop
As the sun begins to set over Louisiana one October day in 1943, a young black man faces the final hours of his life: at midnight, eighteen-year-old Willie Jones will be executed by electric chair for raping a white girl - a crime some believe he did not commit. In a tale taut with tension, events unfold hour by hour from the perspectives of nine people involved. They include Willie himself, who knows what really happened, and his father, desperately trying to reach the town jail to see his son one last time; the prosecuting lawyer, haunted by being forced to seek the death penalty against his convictions, and his wife, who believes Willie to be innocent; the priest who has become a friend to Willie; and a mother whose only son is fighting in the Pacific, bent on befriending her black neighbours in defiance of her husband. In this exceptionally powerful novel, Elizabeth Winthrop explores matters of justice, racism and the death penalty in a fresh, subtle and profoundly affecting way. Her kaleidoscopic narrative allows us to inhabit the lives of her characters and see them for what they are - complex individuals, making fateful choices we might not condone, but can understand.'It takes a brave writer to compose a novel about the execution of an African-American man in the Deep South when the topic has previously been brought to life by authors like Harper Lee and Ernest Gaines. There are multiple possibilities for failure: preachiness, melodrama and bias, to name a few. But Elizabeth H. Winthrop avoids these hazards by writing well, demonstrating once again that while the subject matter is the body of the narrative, the prose itself is the soul and the thing that makes a topic new. . . [The novel] gathers great power as it rolls on propelled by its many voices.' Tim Gautreaux, New York Times
The Moscow Deception
By Karen Robards
Action-packed, fact-paced thriller perfect for fans of KAREN ROSE and the RED SPARROW movie. Clever. Cunning. Highly skilled. There's only one Bianca St. Ives. And for her enemies, that's one too many.'Move over, James Bond and Jack Reacher . . . ' Kingdom BooksBianca St. Ives - a highly skilled con-woman and thief - is in trouble. A revelation about her past has left her reeling, as well as making her the target of a network of assassins. Bianca was raised a fighter. She'll try and outsmart her pursuers, but if it's kill or be killed, she's got her finger flush against the trigger. But then Bianca's father loops her in on a job that might just do the trick: recovering a collection of heavily guarded, priceless artifacts stolen during World War II, and return it to Germany. The price paid if she succeeds - intel that could finally bring down the shadowy forces seeking to bury her for good. Faced with threats that circle closer with every move she makes, she knows the stakes have never been higher, but when you're already living on borrowed time, you have to hustle if you want to live to see tomorrow.ORDER THE NEXT IN THE SERIES, THE FIFTH DOCTRINE, NOW
Modern Japan: All That Matters
By Jonathan Clements
Jonathan Clements charts the rise of Japan since the end of World War Two. Presenting the country as the Japanese themselves see it, he explains key issues in national reconstruction, the often-overlooked US Occupation, the influence of the Cold War, student unrest, political scandals, and the meteoric rise and sudden fall of the Japanese economy in the late 20th century.He chronicles changes in women's rights and consumer habits, developments in politics, education and health today, and the shadow of nuclear issues from Hiroshima to Fukushima. He also raises topics rarely covered by the foreign media - Japan's ethnic minorities and burakumin underclass, the influence of organised crime and the hard sell behind "soft" power.A final chapter examines the price Japan has paid for its meteoric rise, the problems of a greying population and a declining countryside, and the long-term implications of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.All That Matters about modern Japan. All That Matters books are a fast way to get right to the heart of key issues.
Modern China: All That Matters
By Jonathan Clements
In Modern China: All That Matters, Jonathan Clements presents China as the Chinese themselves see it. He explains the key issues of national reconstruction; the Cold War, the Cultural Revolution, and the dizzying spectacle of China's economic reform. Clements offers a Chinese perspective on such events as the Handover of Hong Kong, and chronicles the historical events that continue to resonate today in Chinese politics, economics, culture and quality of life.A final chapter examines China's role in the global marketplace, its indirect effect on foreign economies from Australia to America to Africa, and its growing military might, with an assessment of the damage done to its environment and population. In his most provocative assertion, Clements suggests that China's contemporary problems are not the trials of a developing nation, but a possible vision of our own future. This accessible and readable book will appeal both to students and general readers, giving a fascinating introduction to modern China - and what matters most about it.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
By John Berendt
Published for the first time in flipback - the new, portable, stylish format that's taken Europe by storm.Genteel society ladies who compare notes on their husbands' suicides. A hilariously foul-mouthed black drag queen. A voodoo priestess who works her roots in the graveyard at midnight. A morose inventor who owns a bottle of poison powerful enough to kill everyone in town. A prominent antiques dealer who hangs a Nazi flag from his window to disrupt the shooting of a movie. And a redneck gigolo whose conquests describe him as a 'walking streak of sex'.These are some of the real residents of Savannah, Georgia, a city whose eccentric mores are unerringly observed - and whose dirty linen is gleefully aired - in this utterly irresistible book. At once a true-crime murder story and a hugely entertaining and deliciously perverse travelogue, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is as bracing and intoxicating as half-a-dozen mint juleps.
The Man Who Invented History
By Justin Marozzi
Herodotus is known as the Father of History, but he was much more than that. He was also the world's first travel writer, a pioneering geographer, anthropologist, explorer, moralist, tireless investigative reporter and enlightened multiculturalist before the word existed. He was at once learned professor and tabloid journalist, with an unfailing eye for fabulous material to inform and amuse, to titillate, horrify and entertain. In his masterpiece the Histories, tall stories of dog-headed men, gold-digging ants and flying snakes jostle for space within a mesmerising narrative of the Persian Wars, from which Greece emerged triumphant in 5BC to give birth to Western civilisation.Using the effervescent and profoundly modern Herodotus as his guiding light, Justin Marozzi takes the reader back to his world with eclectic travels to Greece, Turkey, Egypt and war-torn Iraq.
By Patrick Leigh Fermor
This is Patrick Leigh Fermor's spellbinding part-travelogue, part inspired evocation of a part of Greece's past. Joining him in the Mani, one of Europe's wildest and most isolated regions, cut off from the rest of Greece by the towering Taygettus mountain range and hemmed in by the Aegean and Ionian seas, we discover a rocky central prong of the Peleponnese at the southernmost point in Europe.Bad communications only heightening the remoteness, this Greece - south of ancient Sparta - is one that maintains perhaps a stronger relationship with the ancient past than with the present. Myth becomes history, and vice versa. Leigh Fermor's hallmark descriptive writing and capture of unexpected detail have made this book, first published in 1958, a classic - together with its Northern Greece counterpart, Roumeli.
By Pete Mccarthy
Pete McCarthy's tale of his hilarious trip around Ireland has gained thousands of fans all over the world. Pete was born in Warrington to an Irish mother and an English father and spent happy summer holidays in Cork. Years later, reflecting on the many places he has visited as a travel broadcaster, Pete admits that he feels more at home in Ireland than anywhere. To find out whether this is due to rose-coloured spectacles or to a deeper tie with the country of his ancestors, Pete sets off on a trip around Ireland and discovers that it has changed in surprising ways. Firstly obeying the rule 'never pass a pub with your name on it', he encounters McCarthy's bars up and down the land, and meets English hippies, German musicians, married priests and many others. A funny, affectionate look at one of the most popular countries in the world.