By Lois Pryce
SHORTLISTED FOR THE EDWARD STANFORD ADVENTURE TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR'A warm, funny account of a road trip in contemporary Iran. It's had my whole family howling with laughter and shedding a few tears' - Shappi Khorsandi, Guardian'A proper travelogue - a joyful, moving and stereotype-busting tale' - National Geographic Traveller Books of the YearIn 2011, at the height of tension between the British and Iranian governments, travel writer Lois Pryce found a note left on her motorcycle outside the Iranian Embassy in London:... I wish that you will visit Iran so you will see for yourself about my country. WE ARE NOT TERRORISTS!!! Please come to my city, Shiraz. It is very famous as the friendliest city in Iran, it is the city of poetry and gardens and wine!!!Your Persian friend,HabibIntrigued, Lois decides to ignore the official warnings against travel (and the warnings of her friends and family) and sets off alone on a 3,000 mile ride from Tabriz to Shiraz, to try to uncover the heart of this most complex and incongruous country. Along the way, she meets carpet sellers and drug addicts, war veterans and housewives, doctors and teachers - people living ordinary lives under the rule of an extraordinarily strict Islamic government.Revolutionary Ride is the story of a people and a country. Religious and hedonistic, practical and poetic, modern and rooted in tradition - and with a wild sense of humour and appreciation of beauty despite the comparative lack of freedom - this is real contemporary Iran.'Within a few pages I'd recognised a kindred spirit' - Dervla Murphy, author of Full Tilt
Remembered for a While
By Nick Drake, Gabrielle Drake, Cally Callomon
'Probably the most ambitious, generous and thorough volume about a musician to see publication' Mouth MagazineThe authorised companion to the music of Nick Drake, compiled, composed and edited by Cally Callomon and Gabrielle Drake, with contributions from Nick's friends, critics, adherents, family and from Nick Drake himself.Remembered For A While is not a biography. It is, rather, an attempt to cast a few shards of light on Nick Drake the poet, the musician, the singer, the friend, son and brother, who was also more than all of these. We hope it will accompany all those in search of an elusive artist, whose haunting presence defies analysis.The book contains:* In-depth interviews with many of Nick's friends, most notably Paul Wheeler, Nick's close friend from Cambridge days, a singer-songwriter who, of all Nick's friends, perhaps best understood, from personal experience, Nick's journey through musical creation to despair and back again.* A selection of photos from all eras - some never seen before - with reproductions of documents such as the scrapbook Molly Drake kept of her son's press cuttings, and the original and rejected album covers.* Images of Nick's handwritten and typed lyrics, including the lyrics of some songs for which the music has never been found.* Newly commissioned pieces by Nick's friends Jeremy Harmer, Brian Wells, Robin Frederick and the poet Will Stone. Contributions also from the sleeve designer Michael Trevithick, Island Records's Ann Sullivan and the photographer and artist Nigel Waymouth.*Extracts from Nick's letters - part of an extensive correspondence that exists between Nick and his parents, which charts their relationship from the time he first went to boarding school until the time he came home, when his depression had settled upon him and he felt he had nowhere else to go. From this point, Nick's life was documented by his father, Rodney Drake, who kept a detailed diary, as he and his wife Molly struggled to understand their son's state of mind and how to help him. Passages from this poignant record are included.* A short musical guide to each song's key and tuning to accompany the lyrics, together with an explanatory interpretation of Nick's guitar performance, the result of several years close study by singer-songwriter Chris Healey.* A comprehensive guide to all of Nick's live performances. * And a lengthy essay by noted music critic Pete Paphides, which includes interviews with Nick's musical collaborators and friends - his producer Joe Boyd, his recording engineer John Wood and his orchestrator, the late Robert Kirby - as well as descriptions of the recording process of each album.
The Renaissance: All That Matters
By Michael Halvorson
Was the Renaissance just a period of extraordinary art and architecture?The Renaissance: All That Matters examines the major developments of the Renaissance era from its beginnings in Italian city/states to later cultural, political, and scientific achievements in France, Spain, England, and Germany. By examining original sources and introducing readers to new research and important debates, this accessible book provides an exciting introduction to the Renaissance age.This book attempts to answer two questions. Firstly, what are the essential features of the Renaissance movement that gradually transformed Europe in the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries? Secondly, how many of these cultural, artistic, and intellectual transformations continue to influence modern societies today?The Renaissance began as a renewal of classical Greek and Roman culture that originated in fourteenth-century Italy, gradually spread throughout Europe, and continues to influence Western societies up to the present. The Renaissance: All That Matters introduces the brilliant writers and cultural innovators of the Renaissance, who transformed the West through their scholarly, artistic, and scientific activities, including Francesco Petrarch, Leonardo da Vinci, Niccolo Machiavelli, Thomas More, and Galileo Galilee. Throughout the Renaissance, intriguing visionaries revived the study of literature, reformed medieval universities, invigorated the arts, enhanced the economy, explored new geographic worlds, and invented machines and devices such as the printing press, the telescope, firearms, and clocks.
Rich: The Life of Richard Burton
By Melvyn Bragg
Richard Burton: star. The roaring boy from the Welsh coal valleys who came to sport on the banks of the old Nile, playing great Antony to Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra. From the West End to Hollywood, from Camelot to Shakespeare, he drank, dazzled and despaired, playing out his life on the public stage. But there was another, quieter, off-stage Richard Burton, a face hidden from the multitude.Melvyn Bragg, allowed free access to the never-before-revealed Burton private notebooks, and with the cooperation of friends who have never spoken about him before, has brought together the private and public sides for the first time. Rich is the complete Richard Burton: a revelation.
Room Full of Mirrors
By Charles R. Cross
Jimi Hendrix continues to fascinate, and sell huge quantities of albums, even 35 years after his death. Quite apart from his influence on musicians and fans, a large part of the appeal of his sensational life story lies in the thrill of the era whose values he came to stand for. The Sixties still exert a massive pull over pop culture and this is genuinely a book for anyone interested, not only in Hendrix but also in anything to do with the pop culture of the last 40 years.Meticulously researched and sensitively and beautifully written, this is a labour of love that reveals the nuances, foibles and tragedies of the human being behind the iconic image.This is the sweeping, authoritative and colourful biography that Jimi Hendrix deserves and that his legions of fans, young and old have been waiting for.
The Real Heroes Of Telemark
By Ray Mears
Sixty years ago, four men parachuted onto a Norwegian glacier, carrying only the most basic equipment. Their mission was to prevent the Nazi regime from building an atomic bomb. Now wilderness expert Ray Mears tells the true story of this gruelling campaign, showing how these men's ability to survive in extreme conditions influenced the outcome of the Second World War.The Telemark campaign was an example of the bravery and skill of the SOE trainees. The Norwegians transformed a military disaster into a triumph. This book tells the full story for the first time.