By David Bramwell, Jo Keeling
'I LOVE THE BOOK... A BRILLIANT READ' Chris Evans, Radio 2 Breakfast Show'This book, that I approached with caution, turns out to be magnificent. Tested it with the Moondog entry. Passed A+' Danny Baker, Radio 5LiveA CELEBRATION OF CURIOSITY AND OBSESSIONStep into a world of gloriously unpredictable characters such as Ivor Cutler, Quentin Crisp, Joe Orton, Reginald Bray, Ken Campbell, Screaming Lord Sutch, Sun Ra, Buckminster Fuller, Timothy Leary and Ayn Rand.The Odditorium is a playful re-telling of history, told not through the lens of its victors, but through the fascinating stories of a wealth of individuals who, while lesser-known, are no less remarkable.Throughout its pages you'll learn about the antics and adventures of tricksters, eccentrics, deviants and inventors. While their stories range from heroic failures to great hoaxes, one thing unites them - they all carved their own path through life. Each protagonist exemplifies the human spirit through their dogged determination, willingness to take risks, their unflinching obsession and, often, a good dollop of eccentricity.Learn about Reginald Bray (1879-1939), a Victorian accountant who sent over 30,000 singular objects through the mail, including himself; Muriel Howorth (1886-1971), the housewife who grew giant peanuts using atomic energy; and Elaine Morgan (1920-2013), a journalist who battled a tirade of prejudice to pursue an aquatic-based theory of human evolution, which is today being championed by David Attenborough. While many of us are content to lead a conventional life, with all of its comfort and security, The Odditorium reminds us of the characters who felt compelled to carve their own path, despite risking ostracism, failure, ridicule and madness. Outsider artists, linguists, scientists, time travellers and architects all feature in The Odditorium, each of whom risked ostracism, ridicule and even madness in pursuit of carving their own esoteric path, changing the world in wonderful ways.'BRAMWELL CLEARLY HAS AN EYE FOR THE ODDBALL AND ARCANE' The Guardian
Our Greatest Gift
By Henri J. M. Nouwen
Our Greatest Gift is a meditation on dying. Dying and death can often bring fear. But the experience of dying and caring for the dying can become the deepest experience of love. Nouwen encourages us to ask: 'How can my death become fruitful in the lives of others?' Ultimately, it is the greatest gift we have to offer.
By Irina Ratushinskaya
An epic and engrossing novel set at the beginning of the twentieth century, THE ODESSANS is the story of three families from Odessa in the Ukraine: the Russian Petrovs, the Jewish Geibers, and the Teslenkos, who are of Ukrainian and Polish descent. Throughout years of war, famine, political struggle and incredible hardship, their deep friendships sustain each of the families. Their lives are rent by tragedy; some friends are hounded by anti-Semites, while others join opposite sides in the Civil War or are forced to flee to Odessa. But through it all, their characteristic good humour and faith in each other enable their close circle to survive.
By Saul David
'The definitive work on the subject....This is the achievement of a masterly, first-rate historian' New York Times Book Review'It's a brilliantly orchestrated book, wonderfully rich in detail, but at the same time roaring along at a heart-thumping pace...' Mail on Sunday'A brilliant, breathless account that reads like the plot of an action movie.' Sunday TelegraphThis edition is updated with new material on recent discoveries. On 3 July 1976 Israeli Special Forces carried out a daring raid to free more than a hundred Israeli, French and US hostages held by German and Palestinian terrorists at Entebbe Airport, Uganda. The legacy of this mission is still felt today in the way Western governments respond to terrorist blackmail. Codenamed Thunderbolt, the operation carried huge risks. The flight was a challenge: 2,000 miles with total radio silence over hostile territory to land in darkness at Entebbe Airport in Idi Amin's Uganda. On the ground, the Israeli commandos had just three minutes to carry out their mission. They had to evade a cordon of élite Ugandan paratroopers, storm the terminal and free more than a hundred hostages. So much could have gone wrong: the death of the hostages if the terrorists got wind of the assault; or the capture of Israel's finest soldiers if their Hercules planes could not take off. Both would have been a human and a PR catastrophe. Now, with the mission largely forgotten or even unknown to many, Saul David gives the first comprehensive account of Operation Thunderbolt using classified documents from archives in four countries and interviews with key participants, including Israeli soldiers and politicians, hostages, a member of the Kenyan government and a former terrorist. Both a thrilling page-turner and a major piece of historical detective work, Operation Thunderbolt shows how the outcome of Israel's most famous military operation depended on secret diplomacy, courage and luck-and was in the balance right up to the very last moment.
The Other Hand
By Chris Cleave
Reissued to mark Sceptre's 30th anniversary, with an exclusive new afterword by the author.Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and Costa Novel of the Year, this international bestseller has become a reading group classic.We don't want to tell you too much about this book. It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this:It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific.The story starts there, but the book doesn't.And it's what happens afterwards that is most important.Once you have read it, you'll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.
One Hundred Answers from Spirit
By Gordon Smith
Widely recognized as Britain's top medium, Gordon Smith here answers the deeper questions that people ask of the spirit world, the big questions of life and death.For most of the time people go to Gordon Smith's public events in the hope of hearing messages from loved ones who have passed. The information that Gordon is able to share is world-renowned for its astonishing accuracy and detail - information that he could not possibly have discovered by any other means. This information reunites people with their loved ones and gives them comfort and solace.But sometimes we all want to know the answers to questions that go beyond the narrowly personal, questions that are equally relevant to all human beings:What happens to us after death?Is there a Heaven and a Hell?Why do bad things happen more to some people than to others?To what extent are our lives predestined?Do we reincarnate?Are spirit guides a type of angel?In order to answer these questions and penetrate the deeper mysteries of the human condition, Gordon Smith has here gone into a very deep trance to consult his own spirit guide. The answers he has brought back will amaze, illuminate and inspire.
Off the Page
By Jodi Picoult, Samantha van Leer
An enchanting YA novel from Number One bestselling author Jodi Picoult, co-written with her daughter.Meant for each other . . . Meet Oliver, a prince literally taken from the pages of a fairy tale and transported into the real world. Meet Delilah, the girl who wished Oliver into being. It's a miracle that seems perfect at first - but there are complications. To exist in Delilah's world, Oliver must take the place of a regular boy. Enter Edgar, who agrees to play Oliver's role in the pages of Delilah's favorite book. But just when it seems that the plan will work, everything gets turned upside down. In this multilayered universe, the line between what's on the page and what's possible is blurred. Is there a way for everyone to live happily ever after? OFF THE PAGE is a stand-alone novel as well as the sequel to the authors' bestseller BETWEEN THE LINES, and is perfect for readers looking for a fairytale ending.*Featuring an augmented reality cover which readers can bring to life using the Zappar app to see Oliver and Delilah come off the page!*
By Chris Ryan
Despatches from the secret world behind the headlines. Former SAS legend Chris Ryan brings you his seventeenth novel, filled with his trademark action, thrills and inside knowledge. Osama Bin Laden is dead.The President of the United States knows it. The world knows it. And SAS hero Joe Mansfield knows it. He was on the ground in Pakistan when it happened. He saw Seal Team 6 go in, and he saw them extract with their grisly cargo. He was in the right place at the right time.Or maybe, the wrong place at the wrong time.Because now, somebody wants Joe dead, and they're willing to do anything to make it happen. His world is violently dismantled. His family is targeted, his reputation destroyed. And as a mysterious and ruthless enemy plans a devastating terror attack on both sides of the Atlantic, Joe knows this: his only chance of survival is to find out what happened in Bin Laden's compound the night the Americans went in.But an unseen, menacing power has footprints it needs to cover. And it will stop at nothing to prevent him uncovering the sinister truth...
Once Upon A Time In The West...Country
By Tony Hawks
Waking in the middle of the night whilst on holiday, Tony Hawks declares an epiphany to his barely conscious partner Fran. Fed up of living in a city where the only contact with his neighbours in three years was a dispute over a boundary fence, his mind has been made up and it's time for a change... of postcode. At the age of 53, Tony is finally ready to renounce his London lifestyle and head for the countryside, and to his enormous surprise, Fran agrees. Once Upon a Time in the West... Country tells the story of how a series of events lead Tony and Fran to uproot their city lives for a rural alternative in deepest Devon. Full of Tony's trademark mixture of humour, hope, adventure and absurdity, this book will chart their journey as they adapt from the relative ease of city life to the vagaries of a village community. But between organic gardening courses, attending village meetings and the impending birth of his first child, Tony still has time for one last adventure, cycling coast to coast with a mini pig called Titch. Full of eclectic characters - including the best neighbour in the world - Once Upon a Time in the West... Country is the heartwarming and hilarious tale of Tony Hawks' new life in the country.
By Joyce Meyer
As technology increases your accessibility, it becomes harder to mute the background noise of your life and receive God's guidance. Joyce Meyer calls this OVERLOAD, when the demands of your busy life become all-consuming and overwhelming. But to experience the joyful life God has planned, you must make time to focus on His Word. Then you'll receive His healing calmness and gain the strength to take on life's challenges, from physical ailments to problems in relationships. Through the practical advice and Scriptural wisdom in this book, you'll learn how to unplug and free yourself from burdens that weigh you down. You'll gain simple, effective tips for better rest and stress management and discover the fulfilling life you were meant to lead.
Outstanding Confidence In A Week
By Patrick Forsyth
Building confidence just got easierIt is an old saying, and perhaps a sobering thought, that 'if you think you can, you can, and if you think you can't, you're right'. What often makes the difference between doing something successfully and failure is the level of confidence you bring to the task. The trick is to ensure that you have sufficient confidence to bring.You have a choice. Either you opt out: operating on whatever level of self-confidence circumstances bestow upon you, recognizing that human nature, the competitive workplace and other influences tend to exert a negative pressure to reduce the level of self-confidence you have. Or you adopt an active approach and determine that you will work at achieving a useful level of self-confidence despite all the world may throw at you. It really is a no-brainer, especially since much that you need to do to take control is straightforward.View it the right way and take action to make it possible and confidence, and confidence in the workplace particularly (the focus here), can be increased. This book is designed to help. It sets out practical approaches, ways of thinking and ways of doing that will help you - and it shows how very manageable some of those techniques are to deploy.Each of the seven chapters in Outstanding Confidence In A Week covers a different aspect:- Sunday: What is confidence?- Monday: A little judicious self-analysis- Tuesday: The nature of the workplace- Wednesday: Working at creating confidence- Thursday: The contribution of appearance- Friday: Communication to the rescue- Saturday: A foundation of knowledge and skill
Oblivion (A Lux Novel)
By Jennifer L. Armentrout
The hotly-anticipated follow-up to New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout's megaselling Lux series, written from the point of view of Daemon Black.I knew the moment Katy Swartz moved in next door, there was going to be trouble. Lots of it. And trouble's the last thing I need, since I'm not exactly from around here. My people arrived on Earth from Lux, a planet thirteen billion light years away. Plus, if there's one thing I know, it's that humans can't be trusted. We scare them. We can do things they only dream about, and honestly, we make them look weak as hell. 'Cuz they are.But Kat is getting to me in ways no one else has, and I can't stop myself from wanting her - or wanting to use my powers to protect her. She makes me weak, and I'm the strongest of our kind, tasked with protecting us all. So this one simple girl...she can mean the end for us. Because the Luxen have an even bigger enemy - the Arum, and I need to stay on my game. Falling for Katy - a human - won't just place her in danger. It could get us all killed, and that's one thing I'll never let happen... Re-live the thrilling, pulse-pounding action and epic romance of Daemon and Katy's story all over again.
By Grace McCleen
It was the year when Madeline's family moved to an island her father believed God had guided him to.It was a place where she revelled in the natural beauty of their surroundings. It was a time of euphoria, but also of successive disasters. It was the night Madeline turned fourteen, when she did something she thought would save her beloved mother. Something so traumatic that she cannot now recall it, but her suave new psychiatrist thinks he knows how to unlock her memory. He is treading on very dangerous ground.
Opposition (Lux - Book Five)
By Jennifer L. Armentrout
From Jennifer L. Armentrout, author of the Covenant series, comes the stunning, hotly-anticipated climax to the New York Times bestselling Lux series. Also includes Shadows, the prequel novella to the series. Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came. She can't believe Daemon welcomed his race or stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred.Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything to ensure the survival of their friends...and mankind.War has come to Earth. And no matter the outcome, the future will never be the same for those left standing.
By Jennifer L. Armentrout
A thrilling standalone novel from New York Times bestselling novelist Jennifer L. Armentrout, author of the Covenant and Lux series.He's arrogant, domineering, and... To. Die. For.Hunter is a ruthless killer. And the Department of Defense has him firmly in their grasp, which usually doesn't chafe too badly because he gets to kill bad guys. Most of the time he enjoys his job. That is, until he's saddled with something he's never had to do before: protect a human from his mortal enemy.Serena Cross didn't believe her best friend when she claimed to have seen the son of a powerful senator turn into something...unnatural. Who would? But then she witnesses her friend's murder at the hands of what can only be an alien, thrusting her into a world that will kill to protect their secret.Hunter stirs Serena's temper and her lust despite their differences. Soon he's doing the unthinkable - breaking the rules he's lived by, going against the government to keep Serena safe. But are the aliens and the government the biggest threats to Serena's life... or is it Hunter?
By Leo McKinstry
'Superbly written and gripping' Daily ExpressThe thrilling true account of Hitler's first defeat.In the summer of 1940, the Nazi war machine was at its zenith. France, Denmark, Norway and the Low Countries were all under occupation after a series of lightning military campaigns. Only Britain stood in the way of the complete triumph of Nazi tyranny. But for the first time in the war, Hitler did not prevail. The traditional narrative of 1940 holds that Britain was only saved from German conquest by the pluck of RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain. The image of Dad's Army recruits training with broomsticks is a classic symbol of the nation's supposed desperation in the face of the threat from Operation Sealion, as the German plan for invasion was code-named. Yet as Leo McKinstry details, the British were far more ruthless and proficient than is usually recognised. The brilliance of the RAF was not an exception but part of a pattern of magnificent organisation. In almost every sphere of action, such as the destruction of the French naval fleet or the capture of German spies, Britain's approach reflected an uncompromising spirit of purpose and resolution. Using a wealth of primary materials from both British and German archives, Leo McKinstry provides a ground-breaking new assessment of the six fateful months in mid-1940, beginning with Winston Churchill's accession to power in May and culminating in Germany's abandonment of Operation Sealion.
Origin (Lux - Book Four)
By Jennifer L. Armentrout
From Jennifer L. Armentrout, author of the Covenant series, comes the nail-bitingly addictive fourth book in the New York Times bestselling Lux series. Aliens are the new vampires, and sexy Daemon Black will set your pulse racing...Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he's facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.All Katy can do is survive.Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don't seem entirely crazy, but the group's goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?Together, they can face anything.But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?
One Small Act of Kindness
By Lucy Dillon
What can you do to make the world a better place?Libby and her husband Jason have moved back to his hometown to turn the family B&B into a boutique hotel. They have left London behind and all the memories - good and bad - that went with it.The injured woman Libby finds lying in the remote country road has lost her memory. She doesn't know why she came to be there, and no one seems to be looking for her. When Libby offers to take her in, this one small act of kindness sets in motion a chain of events that will change many people's lives . . .
Opal (Lux - Book Three)
By Jennifer L. Armentrout
From Jennifer L. Armentrout, author of the Covenant series, comes the addictive third book in the New York Times bestselling Lux series. Aliens are the new vampires, and sexy Daemon Black will set your pulse racing...NO ONE IS LIKE DAEMON BLACK.When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn't fooling around. Doubting him isn't something I'll do again, and now that we've made it through the rough patches, well... There's a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.But even he can't protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.After everything, I'm no longer the same Katy. I'm different... And I'm not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I'm capable. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won't turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.Together we're stronger... and they know it.