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      John Murray's heritage is a fascinating story in itself. For nearly a quarter of a millennium, John Murray has been unashamedly populist, publishing the absorbing, provocative, commercial and exciting. Seven generations of John Murrays fostered genius and found readers in vast numbers, until in 2002 the firm became a division of Hachette, under the umbrella of Hodder & Stoughton.
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      John Murray have just published these beautiful new reissues of L.P Hartley's THE BOAT and A PERFECT WOMAN.
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      Patrick Leigh Fermor

      Artemis Cooper's biography of Patrick Leigh Fermor has garnered oustanding reviews, and it has also been shortlisted for a number of awards. These include the Waterstones Book of the Year, the National Book Awards, and the Costa Biography Award.
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    Spring 2015

    John Murray Press Catalogue

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    The Teleportation Accident

    By Ned Beauman


    When you haven't had sex in a long time, it feels like the worst thing that could ever happen to anyone.

    If you're living in Germany in the 1930s, it probably isn't.

    But that's no consolation to Egon Loeser, whose carnal misfortunes will push him from the experimental theatres of Berlin to the absinthe bars of Paris to the physics laboratories of Los Angeles, trying all the while to solve two mysteries: whether it was really a deal with Satan that claimed the life of his hero, the great Renaissance stage designer Adriano Lavicini; and why a handsome, clever, charming, modest guy like him can't, just once in a while, get himself laid.

    From the author of the acclaimed Boxer, Beetle comes a historical novel that doesn't know what year it is; a noir novel that turns all the lights on; a romance novel that arrives drunk to dinner; a science fiction novel that can't remember what 'isotope' means; a stunningly inventive, exceptionally funny, dangerously unsteady and (largely) coherent novel about sex, violence, space, time, and how the best way to deal with history is to ignore it.


    Less than two years after his multi-award-winning debut 'Boxer, Beetle' Ned Beauman returns with another fizzing firework of a caper, featuring as many cracking escapades as its predecessor . . . His prose is wonderfully discursive and buzzes with originality, while scenes of pure farce nod respectfully to Thomas Pynchon and Hunter S Thompson . . . his bold characterisations, slapstick humour, slick similes and tangential subplots are sublime. A strong, smart follow-up that proves Beauman is more than comfortable with the hype he's created for himself.Terrific . . . if there was ever any worry that he might have crammed all his ideas into his first book, this makes it clear he kept a secret bunker of his best ones aside.'If you care about contemporary writing, you must read this . . . BOXER, BEETLE was acclaimed as the most inventive fictional debut in years, buzzing with energy and ideas, and Beauman's second novel keeps up the pace'Funny and startlingly inventive . . . Beauman is a writer of prodigious talent, and there are enough ideas and allusions and comic set pieces in this work, longlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize, to fill myriad lesser novels.A glorious, over-the-top production, crackling with inventive wit and seething with pitchy humour . . . A beguiling success . . . Ingenious . . . There is such an easy felicity in Beauman's writing and such a clever, engaging wit . . . that one feels he could write something as much fun every two years. The prospect of which makes me very, very happy indeed.An extraordinary, Pynchonesque flea-circus of a book...Ned Beauman's pyrotechnical comic novel, his second, is as violently clever as you'd expect from his earlier book, BOXER, BEETLE... [a] frantically entertaining pasteboard extravaganzaThis is an unquestionably brilliant novel, ribald and wise in equal measure . . . a witty and sometimes deeply moving fictional exegesis of the Modernist twilight.I'm sure it's the funniest novel on the list.He's done it again . . . Beauman does adolescent male lust and anomie with the verve of a young Amis and this is a great romp of a novel, delightful in its inventiveness.A hoot - very clever and charming, with an awesone range of reference.Funny, scandalous, decadent and erudite, THE TELEPORTATION ACCIDENT is a hugely enjoyable madness with flavours of Pynchon, Huysmans and Jerome K. Jerome.Beauman, whose first novel BOXER, BEETLE was widely acclaimed, sets out his stall as a latter-day Evelyn Waugh in this dazzling satire that begins in 1930s Berlin. Biting black comedy.[Beauman] is blisteringly funny, witty and erudite . . . Beauman manages to combine the intrigue of a thriller with the imagery of a comedy. It makes for an excellent read.Ned Beauman is a very funny writer, but also a very serious one. His second novel is a glorious rigmarole of satire, insanity, genre tropes and aching romantic pain, but never doubt that it is an essentially serious book.Its meticulously crafted plot skitters from sci-fi to noir thriller; with comedic interludes and some romance for added sizzle . . . you'll be left bedazzled.Beauman has a huge gift for satire and the wry phrase...brought together so immaculately you never notice how hard he's working.A novel that turns everything on its head, Beauman's book is critical, funny and deliciously deviant.Ned Beauman is a writer of unceasing invention and his second novel is replete with ideas.Popping with ideas, fizzing with vitality and great fun to quaff.Ned Beauman has written another very pleasing comic romp through the 1930s, offering a second offbeat perspective on the rise of the Third Reich. It is, once more, full of good jokes, erudite winks and historical whimsy . . . Beauman excels at both the grand, jostling structure and the individual sentence. His similes are often inspired, his dialogue is frequently hilarious, and his ability to keep all the plates spinning, as the story dashes between years and continents, is very impressive.Lovable, brilliant and entertaining . . . Beauman takes a huge range of styles and genres and pushes them and bends them often to glorious effect . . . Beauman has a huge talent for metaphor and simile and hits with almost all of them. My personal favourite was 'there was enough ice in her voice for a serviceable daiquiri' - very Raymond Chandler. Also brilliant are some of his characters - notably Colonel Gorge who suffers from 'ontological agnosia' brought on by sniffing too much of the car polish that has made him rich, which means that he cannot differentiate between pictures and reality. That this references back to the Brechtian approach to theatre is just one example of the cleverness of Beauman's approach. But mostly, Gorge is just hilarious . . . Beauman is one of the most innovative young writers around and is one to follow.It is brilliantly witty, with a pace edging on breathless. Every stage is like the denouement of a great crime novel refigured as science. The reader is constantly challenged (and rewarded) as occurrences alternate between being clear and nebulous. Genuinely exhilarating.At times THE TELEPORTATION ACCIDENT is as bloody-mindedly difficult as Egon Loeser, but it builds slowly, brings its threads together with great skill, and Ned Beauman turns a good phrase as his characters dance their line between the cleverly obnoxious and the obnoxiously clever.Praise for Boxer, Beetlea piece of staggeringly energetic intellectual slapstick . . . it's crammed with strange, funny and interesting thingsan enjoyable confection; witty, ludicrous and entertainingAn astonishing debut...buzzing with energy, fizzing with ideas, intoxicating in its language, Boxer, Beetle is sexy, intelligent and deliriously funnyA rambunctious, deftly-plotted delight of a debutNed Beauman's astonishingly assured debut starts as it means to go on: confident, droll, and not in the best of taste . . . Many first novels are judged promising. Boxer, Beetle arrives fully formed: original, exhilarating and hugely enjoyable.Frighteningly assuredExuberant . . . There are politics, black comedy, experimentation and wild originality - and I haven't even got to the beetles. Terrific.Debut bout is a real knockout . . . dazzlingIts ambitions are enormous, in terms of the range, energy and quality of the writingDazzling . . . As in PG Wodehouse and the early Martin Amis the tone is mischievous and impudent without being merely jaunty or wacky . . . in Erksine and Broom we have two endlessly curious heroes whose thoughts are fascinating even at their silliest.A witty, erudite debut . . . thick with trivia, it confidently takes on British fascism, the Thule society, anti-Semitism, atonal composition, sex, and the class system . . . An articulate and original romp . . . often gobsmackingly smutty. Beauman is one to watch.Not one for the easily shocked, young scribe Ned Beauman subjects the reader to a parade of ghoulish events and ghastly theories throughout his dazzling first novel Boxer, Beetle . . . deeply researched and punchily written, this is an utterly unique work that marks the London-based author out as an exciting new voice in fiction.Beauman skips with panache between his dreadful version of the present and the macabre absurdities of a period when cock-eyed science and rabid anti-Semitism provided a toxic cocktail for the upper classes. His killer irony evokes early Evelyn Waugh, and his lateral take on reality Will Self at his unsettling best. This is humour that goes beyond black, careening off into regions of darkness to deliver the funniest new book I've read in a year or two.Clever, inventive, intelligently structured, genre-spanning, as magpie-like in its references as any graphic novel, and above all, an enjoyable, high-octane read through a fascinating period in history.The 1930s are wonderfully evoked, and the historical sections of the novel are taut, thematically rich and extremely well written . . . it takes real skill to make a tragic hero out of the five-foot, nine-toed alcoholic Seth Roach . . . it's clear from this compelling debut that Beauman can perform the complicated paradoxical trick required of the best 21st-century realist novelists: to take an old and predictable structure and allow it to produce new and unpredictable connections.An edifying treatise on the absurdity of eugenics and racial theories, and probably the most politically incorrect novel of the decade - as well as the funniest . . . Monstrous misfits with ugly motives are beautifully rendered in a novel where Beauman's scrupulous research is deftly threaded through serious themes in a laugh-out-loud-on-the-train history lesson.I can only gape in admiration at a new writing force and wonder what he's going to produce next.The scenes set in the past are reminiscent of Evelyn Waugh's Decline and Fall in their grotesque stupidity and amorality, and the present-day characters are as ruthless as any in modern noir fiction. It also makes a persuasive argument for the moral repercussions of Darwinism and the absurdities of fascism and repressed homosexuality, but that's just three aspects of a witty, fascinating and romping read.Beauman writes with wit and verve.A shape-shifting, time-travelling, genre-teasing treat.

    From the award-winning Ned Beauman, an 'unquestionably brilliant' (TLS) novel that establishes him as one of the exciting and influential voices in modern British fiction.

    Ned Beauman was born in 1985 and lives in London. He has written for Dazed & Confused, AnOther and the Guardian. His debut novel, BOXER, BEETLE was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Desmond Elliot Prize, and won the Writers' Guild Award for Best Fiction Book. Ned Beauman was picked by The Culture Show as one of the 12 Best New British Writers in 2011. His second novel, THE TELEPORTATION ACCIDENT was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012.Ned Beauman's debut novel, Boxer, Beetle, was shortlisted for the Guardian first book award and the Desmond Elliot Prize, and won the Jewish Book Council's Outstanding Fiction Award and the UK Writers' Guild Award in 2011.Like Michael Chabon, Beauman combines a fast-moving plot with dazzling language and lots of ideas."Funny, scandalous, decadent and erudite, The Teleportation Accident is a hugely enjoyable madness with flavours of Pynchon, Huysmans and Jerome K. Jerome." NICK HARKAWAYLONGLISTED FOR THE 2012 MAN BOOKER PRIZE
    John Murray

    What we believe

    John Murray

    Good Ideas

    By Michael Rosen

    We live in a world surrounded by all the stuff that education is supposed to be about: machines, bodies, languages, cities, votes, mountains, energy, movement, plays, food, liquids, collisions, protests, stones, windows. But the way we've been taught often excludes all sorts of practical ways of finding out about ideas, knowledge and culture - anything from cooking to fixing loo cisterns, from dance to model making, from collecting leaves to playing 'Who am I?'. The great thing is that you really can use everything around you to learn more.

    Learning should be much more fun and former children's laureate, million-selling author, broadcaster, father of five and all-round national treasure, Michael Rosen wants to show you how. Forget lists, passing tests and ticking boxes, the world outside the classroom can't be contained within the limits of any kind of curriculum - and it's all the better for it.

    Long car journeys, poems about farting, cake baking, even shouting at the TV can teach lessons that will last a lifetime. Packed with enough practical tips, stories and games to inspire a legion of anxious parents and bored children, Good Ideas shows that the best kind of education really does start at home.

    'Why curiosity is the key to life . . . inspiring and entertaining and thrilling. Michael Rosen, poet, broadcaster and former children's laureate, who is so genuinely passionate, so enthusiastic, so in touch with what it is like to be a child . . . has written a book about how to educate kids at home. It's playful and eclectic . . . about telling stories and collecting stones, messing about with the wires in old plugs and recounting Greek myths.A spirit of enquiry makes learning child's play . . . Nothing ever seems to have come over as boring to Rosen as he roams cheerfully over his childhood memories . . . Science experiments in the bath, singing rounds, days out, quizzes and puzzles are all recruited as practical ways of discovering more about the ideas, knowledge and culture surrounding us but often simply taken for granted. Rosen includes so many ideas for making family life a springboard for further exploration [that] it would be hard for an adult to come away from this engaging study without at least one very good idea for what to do next when there seems nothing else to doA truly wonderful book . . . engaging, thoughtful and very, very practicalOffers thought provoking advice to parents in how to broaden the minds of their broodMy favourite book on parenthood . . . A politics that neither takes childhood and parenting seriously nor can have a laugh in the process deserves to inspire nothing much more than apathy and antipathy. Michael Rosen is the polar opposite to such twin barbs, he cares about children, deeply and is richly amusing . . . extraordinarily good'Michael Rosen, poet, broadcaster and former children's laureate, who is so genuinely passionate, so enthusiastic, so in touch with what it is like to be a child . . . has written a book about how to educate kids at home' GuardianMichael Rosen is an acclaimed poet whose many books have won a number of prizes. We're Going on a Bear Hunt has sold over 8,000,000 copies worldwide and he was Children's Laureate between 2007 and 2009. A popular broadcaster, he has presented Radio 4's Word of Mouth since 1996. But he also has a PhD in education, five honorary doctorates and is Professor of Children's Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London. His monthly letter to the education secretary 'Dear Mr Gove', published in the Guardian, has become required reading for parents and teachers.The Dangerous Book for Boys meets Homework for Grown UpsWe're Going on a Bear Hunt has sold EIGHT MILLION COPIES worldwide. This is a book for parents everywhere who want to borrow a bit of Michael's adventurous and playful take on learning.Blanket publicity and feature coverage expected and great POS, bookseller activities and innovative marketing campaign planned.A much loved author with a fantastic profile: Rosen has presented Radio 4's Word of Mouth programme since 1998, writes a monthly 'Dear Mr Gove' column for the Guardian and is in constant demand.With witty illustrations and great design -- this is going to be a beautiful book and a perfect present for Christmas 2014.
    John Murray


    By Tim Glencross

    'A dazzling debut' The Times

    It is 2008, late capitalism is in crisis, and the great and the good are gathered at an Islington house party. Hosting proceedings are waspish Sherard Howe, scion of a publishing dynasty and owner of a left-wing magazine, and his wife, Daphne Depree, whose feminist work The Third Sex is seen - to her increasing discomfort - as an intellectual cornerstone of the Blair era. The guests include cabinet ministers, celebrated artists and peers of the realm; but somehow it's doubtful that any number of grandees would overshadow Afua, the Howes' beautiful and supremely ambitious adopted daughter, already a rising star of the Labour Party.

    Into this world arrives twenty-four-year-old Elizabeth "Buzzy" Price, an aspiring poet only too aware of her suburban background. Moral support is at hand from shy but devoted Henry, the Howes' biological son - though perhaps Buzzy is most grateful for her friend's connection to her own unrequited love, Afua's boyfriend, the worldly Marcel.

    As the years pass and a coalition government takes office, Buzzy's fortunes rise and the elder Howes' lives threaten to unravel. But do the civilising possibilities of art involve enlarging Buzzy's romantic ambitions, or revealing their moral complacency? And could meek and gentle Henry, having angered his family by going to work for the political enemy, turn out to be steelier than anyone thought - as steely, even, as his formidable adopted sister?

    Barbarians is a debut of extraordinary scope and confidence; a fresh, contemporary novel about love, art and politics, told with a 19th century sensibility.

    A very funny, clever and keenly observed political (and social) satireAn engaging debutIt's refreshing . . . Glencross is an astute, immaculately funny writer with a strong ear for the present moment. Elegantly witty sentences flow from his pen like wine from a bottle. He is particularly good at skewering the often gaping chasm between people's public and private selvesTim Glencross has set his sights high in this debut. Replete with references to Middlemarch, Can You Forgive Her? and other all-embracing novels of Victorian society, Barbarians aims to take the temperature of the times, using a group of Oxbridge graduates clustered around Labour's Islington set as its gauge. Along the way there are references to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, namechecks for Melvyn Bragg and Ian McEwan, visits to Brixton, a Soho club and a north London luvvie party, off-the-page reports from Private Eye and the Daily Telegraph, and a walk-on part for Tony Blair . . . Far from being mere ciphers, Afua and her friends are given sufficient spark to make them live on the page . . . The satire, meanwhile, is subtle enough to be compelling, and the references glancing enough not to grate . . . An engaging and often impressive debut . . . Glencross feels like a writer to watchEntertaining, with a rich array of snobs and halfwitsThis is a clever, amusing and well written debut novel by someone who has great fun at the expense of the so-called elite classesGlencross's first novel is a lively and easy readA dazzling debutHurrah for the novel as entertainment . . . A diverting examination of twentysomething Cambridge graduates finding their feet among London's political and cultural elite . . . Sincere and well put together: it's an enjoyably old-fashioned novel that grasps something real about the way we live nowGlencross is a ripping writer, perfectly weaving his discrete storylines one into the other, creating believable ambitions and outcomes, and pacing events with aplomb. We'll definitely be looking out for his next effortA droll survey of the past few years of British political lifeA bold and confident debut novel about politics, money, and art in contemporary Britain.Tim Glencross studied modern languages at Cambridge University. He worked as a Shadow Minister's researcher and speechwriter before qualifying as a lawyer. He lives in London.After a successful hardback publication in 2014, and glowing reviews, Barbarians will be a lead John Murray paperback for 2015.Barbarians is a contemporary social-realist novel of extraordinary scope and ambitionAntecedents include Alan Hollinghurst's The Line of Beauty, Jonathan Coe's What a Carve Up! and Armando Iannucci's The Thick of ItTim Glencross knows whereof he speaks; he trained as a lawyer, was an MP's researcher and speechwriter, and now works for an EU consultancy
    John Murray

    How Google Works

    By Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg

    Both Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg came to Google as seasoned Silicon Valley business executives, but over the course of a decade they came to see the wisdom in Coach John Wooden's observation that 'it's what you learn after you know it all that counts'. As they helped grow Google from a young start-up to a global icon, they relearned everything they knew about management. How Google Works is the sum of those experiences distilled into a fun, easy-to-read primer on corporate culture, strategy, talent, decision-making, communication, innovation, and dealing with disruption.

    The authors explain how the confluence of three seismic changes - the internet, mobile, and cloud computing - has shifted the balance of power from companies to consumers. The companies that will thrive in this ever-changing landscape will be the ones that create superior products and attract a new breed of multifaceted employees whom the authors dub 'smart creatives'. The management maxims ('Consensus requires dissension', 'Exile knaves but fight for divas', 'Think 10X, not 10%') are illustrated with previously unreported anecdotes from Google's corporate history.

    'Back in 2010, Eric and I created an internal class for Google managers,' says Rosenberg. 'The class slides all read 'Google confidential' until an employee suggested we uphold the spirit of openness and share them with the world. This book codifies the recipe for our secret sauce: how Google innovates and how it empowers employees to succeed.'

    A blink view of what it is to work at one of the world's most successful companies. For that voyeuristic reason alone, it is worth readingSchmidt and Rosenberg put much of their emphasis on people - how to hire, train, motivate, organise, reward the talent needed to run a company like GooglePlenty of tips on managing 'smart creatives'An informative and creatively multilayered Google guidebookThis very popular read see the pair give an entertaining run-down of what working at Google teaches you, and how technology has changed the power balance between firm and consumer . . . food for thoughtHow to hire, manage, motivate, strategize and grow a business in today's disruptive world from Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman, and Jonathan Rosenberg, advisor to Google CEO Larry Page.

    Jonathan Rosenberg joined Google in 2002 and managed the design and development of the company's consumer, advertiser, and partner products, including Search, Ads, Gmail, Android, Apps, and Chrome. He is currently an advisor to Google CEO Larry Page.

    Eric Schmidt served as Google's CEO from 2001 to 2011. During that time he shepherded the company's growth from a Silicon Valley start-up to a global technology leader that today has over $55 billion in annual revenues and offices in more than 40 countries. Eric is now Google's executive chairman.

    Revolutionary look at business in the 21st century - the Tom Peters of our timesGoogle has proved that disruption, not conformity, will define the next business decades - and the secrets are hereFrom CEOs to lower managers, this is an essential primer
    John Murray

    Paint Your Wife

    By Lloyd Jones

    The next morning Alma showed up with his tin case of pencils and his sketchbooks. She showed him through to the sitting room. She had an idea that a sitting was a formal occasion and in preparation had gone around the room straightening cushions and pulling off furnishing covers. She had dressed herself up in her Sunday best, a black skirt and red blouse. She had been toying with putting a flower in her hair.

    Long ago, when the men were away at the war, Alma began painting the women of the town. Alice, his favourite, returned his attentions, and when her husband George came home from the war, he set out to prove his love and reclaim his wife by moving a hill to improve the view for her - with a spade and wheelbarrow.

    Now, decades later, the townspeople, looking to escape various corners of despair, turn to Alma's drawing classes and, in doing so, learn to rediscover each other. For when you draw, the only thing that matters is what lies before you.

    Paint Your Wife is a colourful, sensual novel, brimming with rich stories and even richer characters.

    A gentle, whimsical book . . . Jones's writing is easy and sophisticated, reminding me of Steinbeck at his humorous best . . . the whole fanciful sprawl is a delightA story of the redemptive power of art from the bestselling author of Mister Pip.Lloyd Jones is the author of several novels and short story collections which include Mister Pip, winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize best book award and shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2007. It has been made into a film starring Hugh Laurie. He lives in Wellington, New Zealand.Beautifully realised sense of place capturing the realities of small-town New Zealand, with a nod to big-city London lifeLloyd Jones is an extraordinarily gifted writer whose prose style appeals to all - in this instance his rich language really brings the varied characters to lifeEffortlessly captures the essence of small town society and the importance of community
    John Murray

    Lillian on Life

    By Alison Jean Lester

    'I absolutely loved it. A delight . . . so fresh and clever and subversive' Kate Atkinson

    'I completely loved Lillian on Life. What a great voice, what energy and wit . . . very original and often extremely funny' Karen Joy Fowler

    Lillian, a single, well-travelled woman of a certain age, wakes up next to her married lover and looks back at her life. It's not at all the life she expected.

    Walking the unpaved road between traditional and modern options for women, Lillian has grappled with parental disappointment, society's expectations and the vagaries of love and sex. As a narrator she's bold and witty, and her reflections - from 'On Getting to Sex' to 'On the Importance of Big Pockets' or 'On Leaving in Order to Stay' - reverberate originally and unpredictably.

    In Lillian on Life, Alison Jean Lester has created a brutally honest portrait of a woman living through the post-war decades of change in Munich, Paris, London and New York. Her story resonates with the glamour and energy of those cities. Charming, sometimes heartbreaking, never a stereotype, Lillian is completely herself; her view of the world is unique. You won't soon forget her.

    I absolutely loved it. A delight . . . so fresh and clever and subversiveA beautifully written, deft debut; edgy, elegant Lillian will stay with youI completely loved Lillian on Life. What a great voice, what energy and wit . . . very original and often extremely funnyA delicious, sweet-sad debut novelA dazzling first novel . . . In short vignettes, Lillian looks back, drawing an impressionistic portrait of a bold life full of ad­ven­ture - erotic and otherwise - in prose spiked with unflinching observations, riotous riffs and poignant reflectionsFrom the moment I caught sight of the book cover I was hooked . . . I read Lillian on Life in one sitting, very swiftly as though she were telling me her stories and giving me advice. I might have raced through it, but I know I'll read it againA bold and witty narrator . . . impossible to put downIt's rare that you find a book that's so easy to read yet so difficult to forget, but this debut novel will stay with you and have you questioning your own love life for weeks after finishing it . . . Think Sex and the City meets Rona Jaffe's 1958 novel The Best of Everything[Lillian on Life is] written in a strangely companionable style, like you were sharing a night of secrets and girl chat with an old friend. It felt at once both familiar and surprising and kept me reading on to find out all the fascinating things that Lillian had done in her life. Lester has created a likeable heroine and an enjoyable storyI will be recommending Lillian to many other women of my acquaintance. Her passion, achievements and self-effacing observations have the potential to entertain and inspire us allThe snapshots build into a witty, candid account of those little dilemmas that the average woman meets every day - except that Lillian is far from average. In fact, I wish we could have lunchI'll never forget Lillian on Life. Looking backward, she's brutally honest about her needs, her lovers, her parents. Salinger could have invented her . . . Roth would have loved her . . . and so will you. A rare book, a little raunchy, but very rich and very realLillian on Life is a quirky book with a very deep heart and soul. I found it full of life and full of wisdomIn this remarkably mature first novel, Alison Jean Lester has channeled the worldly yet wistful elegance of Colette to portray an unforgettable heroine. Lillian's provocative reflections on love, vanity, sexual intimacy, and surviving as an independent woman over half a century are deeply movingWhat a splendid book! By turns acerbic and warm, urbane and homespun, Lillian on Life is - like its protagonist - charming, funny, and unabashedly smart. But as slender and enjoyable as this book is, it's much more than simply a lark. Each elegantly compressed chapter leaves us luxuriating in thought: about the snippets of experience so vividly depicted, and about those that have been, with perfect art, left outLife and love lessons as told by sassy narrator Lillian as she looks back in this brilliantly written, bold debut.Alison Jean Lester was born in the United States and has variously grown up, studied, worked, written and raised her two children in the US, the UK, China, Italy, Taiwan, Japan and Singapore. She currently lives with her family in Singapore. Lillian on Life is her first novel.Lillian is a smart and sassy narrator which makes her story compelling and readableStrong appeal for those who enjoyed The Best of Everything,The Rules of Civility and fans of Mad MenAs well as being a writer, the author is a communications skills coach and improvisational comedian which can only mean good things publicity wiseSold to Amy Einhorn Books in the US who will make this their lead title so should be great momentum coming from there
    John Murray

    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 Magazine

    The 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.

    Sometimes painfully honest, often emotional, occasionally funny, sometimes dry and scholarly - always deeply engaging - Remembered for a While is probably the most ambitious, generous and thorough volume about a musician to see publication. Put simply, this is the authoritative resource for fans and future historians who may find themselves considering Nick Drake. In its absolute integrity and its sheer dignity, it is second only to his musicA beautiful bookThis authorised companion to the wistful genius with a troubled mind includes contributions from friends, collaborators, critics and familyFrom the beautifully tactile cover onwards this musical companion is a genuine delight, featuring never seen before photos, family scrapbook press cuttings, handwritten lyrics, letter extracts from Nick to his parents and also from his father Rodney's diary...Sad but ultimately celebratory, this beautiful publication is the closest any book has yet come to capturing the 'real' Nick DrakeGabrielle Drake's beautifully put-together tribute to her brother Nick Drake . . . I loved looking at the unseen photos and listening to the unreleased John Peel session that came with the bookExactly 40 years after his death, acres have been written about Drake, but nothing authorised had come from the Drake estate. This gorgeous new book, co-compiled by his sister Gabrielle rectifies this. It is not a biography, but a deeply considered collection of essays, lyrics, photos and extracts, including from the diary of Drake's father as the folk singer sank into his fatal depressionI'll be dipping in and out of the sumptuous Nick Drake: Remembered For A While for years to comeForty years on from his passing and the fragile music and sturdy myth of Nick Drake still haunt the culture . . . This legacy is only enhanced by Remembered for a While . . . a poetic, delightful and fascinating mix of never before seen photos, hand-written lyrics and scrapbooked press clippings as well as interviews with friends and family and excerpts from Drake's letters. A beautifully made and exquisite book built solely out of love for it's subject, Remembered for a While is a perfect companion to the songs that inspired itThis beautifully packaged book has the imprimatur and approval of his actress sister Gabrielle, as well as contributions from the likes of Monty DonA superb book that anyone touched by Nick's music will find fascinatingBeautifully packaged and laid out . . . A fitting tribute to a unique musicianThis book is magnificent . . . An informative and emotionally affecting framing of the life and work of a doomed young man, this book is a labour of lovePraise for Nick DrakeOne of the most beloved English singers of all timeI am a huge admirer of his recordsEvery indie band in America lists Nick Drake as an influenceRock has known a million morose young poets . . . by the law of averages, they were bound to spawn at least one genuine genius. They did. His name was Nick DrakeAn official celebration of Nick Drake's life and music.Nick Drake was a singer-songwriter who died in 1974, at the age of 26. He recorded three albums in his lifetime - Five Leaves Left, Bryter Layter and Pink Moon - all of which have since become classics.2014 is the 40th anniversary of Nick Drake's deathThis is the first and only authorized companion to his life and work - provides a personal and unique portrait of an elusive talentIncludes exclusive new material including Nick's own letters and sketches, hand-written lyrics and little-seen photographs
    John Murray


    By Edith Pearlman

    'The best short story writer in the world' Susan Hill, The Times

    Honeydew is the first collection from Edith Pearlman since Binocular Vision, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and a 'spectacular literary revelation' (Sunday Times).

    Over the last few decades, Edith Pearlman has staked her claim as one of the great practitioners of the short story. Her understanding and skill have earned her comparisons to Anton Chekhov, John Updike and Alice Munro. Her latest work, gathered in this stunning collection of twenty new stories, is an occasion for celebration.

    The stories in Honeydew are unmistakably by Pearlman; whole lives in ten pages. They are minutely observant of people, of their foibles and failings, but also of their moments of kindness and truth. Whether the characters are Somalian women who've suffered circumcision, a special child with pentachromatic vision or a staid professor of Latin unsettled by a random invitation to lecture on the mystery of life and death, Pearlman knows each of them intimately and reveals them with generosity.

    Prepare to be dazzled. Edith Pearlman's latest, elating work confirms her place as one of the great modern short-story writers . . . Vivacity and zest enliven every page. Body language is wittily caught . . . Personalities are keenly explored. Honeydew elatingly continues the celebration of life's diversity to which Binocular Vision so excitingly introduced usThe world's best short story writer thrills us again. Her stories are often likened to those of Alice Munro, but the resemblance is superficial and Pearlman is the finer writer. She is sharper, harder-hitting, odder, her prose and above all her imagery more vivid and memorable . . . These stories do no give up their treasures all at once. You read them many times over and still do not exhaust their depths and subtleties, still hit upon some magnificent phrase that passed you by earlier . . . Edith Pearlman is the best short story writer in the worldHoneydew will afford an international audience another opportunity to enjoy Pearlman's distinctive and memorable fictions . . . Pearlman has been compared with, among others, John Updike and Alice Munro, but this is misleading. Pearlman's stories - slightly old-fashioned in their use of conceit; refreshingly loose in their capacity for digression or tangent; occasionally Whartonian in the bemused and acidic clarity of their narrative eye - are sui generis . . . her fiction [is] a fortifying pleasure to readOne of the most essential short story visionaries of our timeEdith Pearlman's astonishing stories have won numerous awards in America and prompted accolades here, comparing her to Chekhov, Munro and Updike. Such comparisons are not helpful, for her voice is unique; however, her literary status is indeed of the highest order, as this, her fifth collection, most joyfully demonstratesDepicting her deceptively artless way of writing that places you right by the side of her characters without you knowing how you got there . . . beautifully displays Pearlman's knack for summoning entire lives in a few simple strokes[Edith Pearlman's] elegant new collection of shrewdly observed stories dealing with love, friendship, ageing and much more delivers in every wayHoneydew is [Edith Pearlman's] best collection yetHoneydew seems likely to solidify [Pearlman's] place in the literary firmamentSmart and deeply rendered, full of striking observations and some of the best sentences you'll ever want to readThere remain a few dedicated practitioners of the short story, and Edith Pearlman is one to be cherished . . . the twenty stories [in Honeydew] are vinegary, rueful, droll, humane and endlessly inquisitive. Though intricately constructed, they are slight in drama and emphasis, set down like a light footprint that nevertheless fixes itself in one's memory as though pressed in wet cementWhat a pleasure to encounter a writer who can speak volumes in a few short sentencesPearlman's prose shimmers, and the stories are filled with beguiling details[Pearlman's] virtues are comparable to the great Alice MunroA short story collection that confirms [Pearlman's] reputation as a great writerPearlman strikes mercilessly at the pressure points of her subjects' lives in a manner reminiscent of Muriel Spark, not least because of the lightness of her touch . . . Her crowning glory, however, is her ability to distil the essence of her stories with the precise grace of a master chemist . . . a perfume of the purest emotion hangs in the air, delicately coating but never drowning Pearlman's prose . . . I'd put money on this being one of the best short story collections of the yearWill stay in the memory for a long time to comeHer characters are so real that reading the book can feel voyeuristic. America already loves Edith Pearlman. We should get in on the act.Pearlman strikes swiftly and mercilessly at the pressure points of her subjects' lives in a manner reminiscent of Muriel Spark, not least because of the lightness of her touchI'll never understand why short stories remain an underrated form of fiction compared to novels . . . yet the conventional publishing industry still regards short stories as a risk. Thank goodness some of them think it's a risk worth taking or we might not get little nuggets of gold like Edith Pearlman's Honeydew . . . delicate, superbly crafted stories . . . They say still waters run deep, and so it is with these thoughtful and moving tales that reflect the profound truths of our ordinary lives back at usEdith Pearlman's meticulously observed new collection . . . Such is the life-affirming power of multi prize-winning Pearlman's storytelling that there is a crumb of comfort to be derived from each resolution, however apparently desolate. She has a remarkable eye for both the ordinary and extraordinary and there is more than a faint hint of melodrama in even the most down-to-earth of domestic situations . . . Pearlman's prose is subtle, ironic and mostly unadorned so the odd metaphor has all the more effect . . . Each story is a masterpiece of economy and the collection as a whole is the perfect bedside bookThere is a whole lot of life in Honeydew, Pearlman's masterful and necessary new collection of short stories. Many of the stories in Honeydew feel almost like pocket novels. More than that: they feel like pocket Russian novels. There are so many people in this book that you're left with the impression that Pearlman hasn't written a collection of stories so much as she's written a community of themThese twenty tales by the newly crowned doyenne of the American short story are again in a class of their own. Pearlman's exquisitely precise prose brings to life whole lives and whole intricate, convincing worlds. With a profound understanding of her characters' inner life, elegant style and painterly visual imagery . . . these moving, multi-layered tales condense a novel's scope and insight into just a few pagesOnce immersed in the precision-tooled, intricate tales that make up Pearlman's latest collection, Honeydew it is hard to accede to the view that short stories somehow short-change the reader . . . each of the 20 stories here offers a distillation of a lifetime's experience. Belated realisation of what the heart desires is a recurring motif, as is a fascination with the other - other cultures, other people, other ways of being . . . she has the gravity and erudition of Tessa Hadley or Margaret DrabbleHer mastery of the short story form continues to deepen[Edith Pearlman's] majestic new collection is further cause for celebration. Pearlman excels at capturing the complex and surprising turns in seemingly ordinary lives . . . a collection abundant with stories that have an uncanny power to charm and devastate . . . Honeydew should cement her reputation as one of the most essential short story visionaries of our timeA book to dip into and savourA moreish treat from a master of the formHoneydew . . . retains the 78-year-old author's ferociously individual style, characterised by prose that is bolshie yet nuanced, elegant but not fussy, stylish without being vain . . . the dialogue is clear as water yet punches like gin, with characters memorably frothed with metaphorEdith Pearlman is a true master of the short story . . . Each short story is beautifully written. Pearlman has an enviable way with words . . . In every story her brilliant use of imagery, characterisation and moral, quite simply, cannot be faultedAn intricate and ingenious writerThe new collection of stories from the author of the award-winning Binocular Vision.On publication of her last book, Binocular Vision, Edith Pearlman was hailed as "a spectacular literary revelation" (Sunday Times); "a genius of the short story" (Guardian); "an unsung master" (The Times); "the equal of Updike or Munro" (Independent).In the US, Binocular Vision won the National Book Critics' Circle Award for Fiction.In the UK, it was the Sunday Times Fiction Book of the Year.It was a Waterstone's book club pick.
    John Murray

    The Hireling

    By L. P. Hartley
    Overcome with grief at her husband's death, Lady Franklin, an eligible young widow, unburdens herself to Leadbitter - a gallant, hard-bitten ex-soldier who has invested his savings in the car he drives for hire - as he takes her on a series of journeys. He in turn beguiles her with stories of his non-existent wife and children, drawing her out of her self-absorption and weaving a dream-life with Lady Franklin at its heart. Half-hoping to make his dream come true, Leadbitter takes a bold, not to say reckless, step which costs him dearly, and brings these characters' tangled story to a dramatic and unexpected conclusion.One of the best novels [Hartley] has producedA masterly evocation of grief and loneliness that bind two very different people together, from the author of The Go-Between.L. P. Hartley (1895-1972) was a British writer, described by Lord David Cecil as 'One of the most distinguished of modern novelists; and one of the most original'. His best-known work is The Go-Between, which was made into a 1970 film. Other written works include: The Betrayal, The Boat, My Fellow Devils, A Perfect Woman and Eustace and Hilda, for which he was awarded the 1947 James Tait Black Memorial Prize. He was awarded the CBE in 1956.A rediscovered classic from a brilliant writer - L. P. Hartley was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the CBEAdapted for cinema in 1973 - directed by Alan Bridges, featuring Sarah Miles and Robert ShawFor readers of classic literature, who steer away from the mainstream and like to discover hidden gems
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    John Murray

    What If?

    By Randall Munroe


    From the creator of the wildly popular, hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask.

    Millions visit each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. Fans ask him a lot of strange questions: How fast can you hit a speed bump, driving, and live? When (if ever) did the sun go down on the British Empire? When will Facebook contain more profiles of dead people than living? How many humans would a T Rex rampaging through New York need to eat a day?

    In pursuit of answers, Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations and consults nuclear reactor operators. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity, complemented by comics. They often predict the complete annihilation of humankind, or at least a really big explosion.

    With this book and with XKCD, you're a kid with a chemistry set all over again. [Randall Munroe's] enthusiasm for all things scientific is infectious . . . required reading for grown-ups, it's just fun to remember that science is really, really coolSmart answers to silly questions: Randall Munroe reveals allWhat If? maintains a delightfully free-wheeling tone throughout, especially when complicated calculations lead to whimsical results. Despite all the hard facts and gigantic numbers, it never feels like a textbook-and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to enjoy itThe best bathroom book you'll ever buy...Munroe takes inane, useless and often quite pointless questions asked by real humans (mostly sent to him through his website), and turns them into beautiful expositions on the impossible that illuminate the furthest reaches, almost to the limits, of the modern sciences .The first chapter, "Q. What would happen if the Earth and all terrestrial objects suddenly stopped spinning, but the atmosphere retained its velocity?" ends with the anthropomorphized moon worrying over the state of the Earth, and, with the gravity generated by its own rotation around the Earth, saving our dying planet. The physics are real; so is the emotional content. . . The answers are all illustrated with xkcd's trademark stick figures.. . . . and these are eminently approachableBrilliantWhat If? includes old favorites, new inquiries and the mix of expert research and accessible wit that has made Munroe a favorite among both geeks and laymenMunroe's brilliant What-If? column-which features scientifically rigorous, utterly absurd answers to ridiculous hypotheticals-has been on the bestseller lists since it was announced in March. Today, it hits shelves and: It. Is. A. Triumph[What If?] has solved my annual birthday-present and holiday-gift dilemmas for a large group of people . . . What makes Munroe's work so fantastic is a combination of two elements: his commitment to trying to answer even the weirdest question with solid science, and his undeniable sense of humour. So, here's a "What If?" from me: If everyone on the planet simultaneously bought a copy of this book, stopped what they were doing and read it cover to cover, would modern civilization and our global economy collapse? It's worth trying the experiment.For the record, I'm loving XKCD's What If -- 'Dear Abby for mad scientists'Munroe has hit on a wonderful form of science and engineering communication that can do so much-extolling the value of analytical thinking, examining data, and doing back-of-the-envelope calculations-while entertaining readers at the same time . . . an incredibly fun book with quirky, hand-drawn picturesThoughtful, scientific, and highly entertainingIf you're the kind of person whose brain whizzes with questions, Munroe's book may calm the noise. He's done all the hard work for youXKCD is nerd royalty, the alpha dork, there's no geek more widely cited and lovedIt's totally brilliant and everyone who matters already knows that!Education should aim to teach people to reason confidently about problems that they have never come across before. This book is a great deal of fun, and a masterclass in such reasoning. Like all the best lessons, you only realise you've learnt something once you've finished itDangerously absorbing . . . if you have ever been gripped by an insatiable, preposterous intellectual curiosity (regardless of actual scientific knowledge), I could not think of a better book to keep you from doing that essay for an extra hour or twoThe reader is left constantly subject to outbursts of laughter, lin­gering doubts concerning the sanity of the human race, and an ever-growing fascination with the way our world and the universe works . . . Though science geeks will be the first to acknowledge Munroe's greatness, even people suffering from a chronic hatred towards anything concerned with math will find the humour and absurdity of What If? hard to resistFunny and fascinating: brilliant for dinner with matesIt will satisfy the curious and arouse curiosity in anyone who's not - and it's got great jokes

    Science's most intriguing questions answered by the web's favourite writer, the genius behind

    Munroe's hilarious and compelling answers explain everything from the odds of meeting your one true soulmate to how many humans a rampaging T-Rex would need to eat a day.

    Randall Munroe is the creator of the webcomic xkcd and author of xkcd: Volume 0. Randall was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, and grew up outside Richmond, Virginia. After studying physics at Christopher Newport University, he got a job building robots at NASA Langley Research Center. In 2006 he left NASA to draw comics on the internet full time, and has since been nominated for a Hugo Award three times. The International Astronomical Union recently named an asteroid after him: asteroid 4942 Munroe is big enough to cause mass extinction if it ever hits a planet like Earth. XKCD has over a billion page-hits a year.XKCD was chosen by Wired as one of the 20 key influences of the last 20 years alongside Steve Jobs and online dating.XKCD is a global phenomenon, read in over 190 countries. 1,400,000 visits from the UK; 657,000 from ANZ; 624,000 from Germany each month.All kinds of high-profile fans from Brian Cox to Tim Minchin. Ben 'Bad Science' Goldacre described XKCD as 'nerd royalty, the alpha dork, there's no geek more widely cited and loved.'When XKCD self-published a book of cartoons, it sold 110,000 copies. They have a very committed fan base.
    John Murray

    How to Ruin a Queen

    By Jonathan Beckman

    'A hell of a tale and Jonathan Beckman gives it all the verve and swagger it deserves . . . I read it with fascination, delight and frequent snorts of incredulity' The Spectator

    On 5 September 1785, a trial began in Paris that would divide the country, captivate Europe and send the French monarchy tumbling down the slope towards the Revolution. Cardinal Louis de Rohan, scion of one of the most ancient and distinguished families in France, stood accused of forging Marie Antoinette's signature to fraudulently obtain the most expensive piece of jewellery in Europe - a 2,400-carat necklace worth 1.6 million francs.

    Where were the diamonds now? Was Rohan entirely innocent? Was, for that matter, the queen? What was the role of the charismatic magus, the comte de Cagliostro, who was rumoured to be two-thousand-years old and capable of transforming metal into gold?

    This is a tale of political machinations and extravagance on an enormous scale; of kidnappings, prison breaks and assassination attempts; of hapless French police disguised as colliers, reams of lesbian pornography and a duel fought with poisoned pigs. It is a detective story, a courtroom drama, a tragicomic farce, and a study of credulity and self-deception in the Age of Enlightenment.

    Glittering and gloriously goofy . . . This is a terrific tale, told with assurance and gustoJonathan Beckman has an eye for a good story. His account of the affair is full of human drama, including illicit sex, assassination attempts and prison escapes . . . a superb piece of research that separates myth from realityA really fascinating historyStranger than fiction and told with a verve that suggests the author relishes his dodgy taleJonathan Beckman has tunnelled into the warren of misinformation . . . and has come out with what must be as near to the truth as we'll getJonathan Beckman tells his complicated tale with gustoA wonderfully enjoyable account of one of the most audacious cons ever perpetratedJonathan Beckman dazzlingly rehabilitates Marie Antoinette in an atmospheric and evocative account of diamonds, fraud, intrigue and a 1785 case that stoked antiroyalist feeling in FranceA richly enjoyable account of one of the most audacious scams ever perpetratedBeckman's tale of the Diamond Necklace Affair is full of character and tawdry details, and glistens with wit and insightBeckman has waded through masses of evidence from the trial to retell this fascinating and complicated storyGripped me like a whodunnit . . . That's not surprising. It relates the story of the greatest crime caper of the 18th CenturyBeckman has waded through masses of evidence from the trial to retell this fascinating and complicated storyStranger than fiction but just as gripping, How to Ruin a Queen is a masterly exploration of the 'diamond necklace' affairA work of scholarship and imagination, that focusses new light on the famous and extraordinary affair of Marie Antoinette and the stolen diamonds. The narrative is like an ingenious chess game showing us the complex moves of bishops, knights and pawns round the king and queen. Jonathan Beckman is the new Wilkie Collins of biographical historyHow to Ruin a Queen is a fascinating and impeccably researched account of one of the great scandals of the 18th century. Beckman is a master-storyteller whose consummate skills are evident on every pageA murky story of the Ancien Regime including diamonds and sex, brilliantly toldNecklace to neckless! This is the murky tale of the diamond heist that led to Marie Antoinette's demiseA rollicking whodunitA hell of a tale and Jonathan Beckman gives it all the verve and swagger it deserves . . . I read it with fascination, delight and frequent snorts of incredulity - and I strongly suspect you will tooFascinating . . . a gripping detective story and a witty revelation of a scandal that shocked ParisIn his intriguing history, Jonathan Beckman has spun out of this dirty tangle of source material a clear and compelling narrative line . . . with its exuberant use of language and subtly ironic storytelling, it is almost as colourful as the scandal it exploresGripped me like a whodunit . . . Beckman tells this scarcely believable story with flairJonathan Beckman skilfully unfolds the intricacies and absurdities of this extraordinary episode . . . Beckman provides us with an engaging and finely researched study of an affair that, despite having the plot of a frothy operetta, was of genuine historical significanceAs gripping as a heist movieA gem . . . glistening with wit and insightFast-paced, colourful and richVivid and compellingA tale of greed, lust, deceit, theft on an extraordinary scale, charlatanry, kidnapping, assassination and escape from prison.Jonathan Beckman is senior editor of Literary Review. He has degrees in English from the University of Cambridge and Intellectual and Cultural History from Queen Mary, University of London. In 2010, he won the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction.How to Ruin a Queen is pacy, intelligent narrative non-fiction, with an extraordinary story and cast of characters, about one of the key events leading up to the French revolutionDespite its importance, the story is almost unknown in the English-speaking world; this is the first book written in English on the affair in over fifty years, and the first to make to make use of the extensive archival materialJonathan Beckman is well-connected in the literary world: he is Senior Editor of the Literary Review, and in charge of non-fiction thereHe has already received both a Royal Society of Literature/Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction, and a Society of Authors grant, for this book
    John Murray

    The King's Grave

    By Philippa Langley, Michael Jones

    Now with a new chapter.

    The official inside story of the life, death and remarkable discovery of history's most controversial monarch.

    On 22 August 1485 Richard III was killed at Bosworth Field, the last king of England to die in battle. His victorious opponent, Henry Tudor (the future Henry VII), went on to found one of our most famous ruling dynasties. Richard's body was displayed in undignified fashion for two days in nearby Leicester and then hurriedly buried in the church of the Greyfriars. Fifty years later, at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries, the king's grave was lost - its contents believed to be emptied into the river Soar and Richard III's reputation buried under a mound of Tudor propaganda. Its culmination was Shakespeare's compelling portrayal of a deformed and murderous villain, written over a hundred years after Richard's death.

    Now - in an incredible find - Richard III's remains have been uncovered beneath a car park in Leicester. The King's Grave traces this remarkable journey. In alternate chapters, Philippa Langley, whose years of research and belief that she would find Richard in this exact spot inspired the project, reveals the inside story of the search for the king's grave, and historian Michael Jones tells of Richard's fifteenth-century life and death. The result is a compelling portrayal of one of our greatest archaeological discoveries, allowing a complete re-evaluation of our most controversial monarch - one that discards the distortions of later Tudor histories and puts the man firmly back into the context of his times.

    Jones's historical chapters are measured, reasonable and elegantly written[Philippa Langley] has just written a compelling book with historian and friend Michael Jones . . . It is cleverly constructed: in alternate chapters she tells the story of her quest, while Michael details the life of Richard colourfully. It reads like an up-all-night thrillerThis is the year that Richard III rose up from his unmarked grave in a Leicester car park, and this is the book that describes the painstaking quest for the king's body, and the battle that destroyed him. Philippa Langley pursued his remains, Michael Jones pursued his reputation and together they have written a book which explains and defines the battle where he died, the grave that was lost, and the legend that followed him. This book is about an important excavation indeed, of the body from a lost grave, and of a king from a long libelThe King's Grave . . . reveals the remarkable story of how the remains came to be unearthed. And the result is a compelling portrayal of one of this century's most important archaeological discoveriesHistory at its most fascinatingA . . . page-turnerLangley's invaluable contribution to the investigation is undisputed; she envisioned, facilitated and drove it for years. Her confidential, breathy, diary-style chapters recreate the immediacy of the dig for the reader . . . The Search for Richard III makes for compelling readingJones's cogent and nuanced narrative provides the historical ballast to Langley's searchInteresting [and] engagingThe King's Grave tells two remarkable stories in alternating chaptersFascinatingThe real life, death and remarkable discovery of history's most controversial monarch.

    Michael Jones was awarded a history PhD by Bristol University and subsequently taught at Glasgow University and Winchester College. He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and member of the British Commission for Military History, and works now as a writer, media consultant and presenter. Among his historical titles he has written books on the battles of Bosworth, Agincourt, Stalingrad and Leningrad. He was TV consultant for Channel 4's Richard III: Fact or Fiction and National Geographic's Mystery Files: The Princes in the Tower, and co-author, with Philippa Gregory and David Baldwin, of The Women of the Cousins' War.

    Philippa Langley inaugurated the quest for King Richard III's lost grave as part of her ongoing research into history's most controversial monarch. Her project marked the first-ever search for the grave of an anointed King of England, and was made into the acclaimed TV documentary The King in the Car Park for Channel 4. She is a screenwriter and the secretary of the Scottish Branch of the Richard III Society.

    The history story of the year - lead item for days in all mediaHow an obsession radically realters our view of historyThousands of members of the Richard III society - and since the discovery more each dayBoth an extraordinary historical portrait of the last British monarch to be killed in battle and the inspiring, contemporary story of a unique archaeological digThe discovery of Richard III's remains has been called 'one of the most significant finds in archaeological history'Finally dispels the myth behind one of history's most infamous kingsThe Channel 4 TV documentary The King in the Car Park attracted 3.7 million UK viewers. A total of 6 million viewers watched this, and the second airing - that's 1 in 10 peopleThe Channel 4 TV documentary The King in the Car Park was nominated for a BAFTA TV award and won the Royal Television Society Award in the history category
    John Murray

    Acts of Omission

    By Terry Stiastny

    Winner of the Paddy Power Political Novel of the Year

    In 1998 the gilt is starting to come off a new era.

    Mark Lucas, the recently appointed foreign minister, is in a dilemma. A disk containing the names of British informants to the Stasi has ended up in the hands of the government. Elected on a platform of transparency, he faces resistance from the diplomatic service who don't want him to return it to the Germans, despite their entreaties.

    Alex Rutherford, a young man working for the intelligence services, wakes up one morning with a hangover and a dawning realisation that his computer is lost and, with it, the only copy of that disk.

    When the disk is delivered to the newspaper where journalist Anna Travers works, she finds herself unravelling not just a mystery, but many people's lives . . .

    Acts of Omission plunges the reader into a virtuoso recreation of late-nineties Britain. Suspenseful, exquisitely constructed and thought-provokingly topical, it is a novel about what happens when state secrets become public, and the human cost of those secrets.

    A thriller of rare intelligenceStiastny cleverly entwines historical fact with fiction . . . not simply a good work of fiction, but an ode to the history that inspired itA must-read for lovers of political thrillersAn intriguing political spy thriller from a former BBC reporter . . . Stiastny brings all her experience to bear in this sinuous story . . . A spirited portrait of the murky skulduggery that inhabits modern politicsA convincing picture of Westminster in the 1990sTerry Stiastny proves herself a skilful prose stylist and a connoisseur of telling details . . . The neatly drawn cast of spies, journalists and politicians orbit each other with compelling stealth . . . Stiastny writes locally but thinks globally, and the result is impressiveThe recreation of the atmosphere of late 90s London is excellent as is the impression of the fast regenerating city of BerlinAn intriguing, compelling story that cuts across the decades and generations and brings the issues of the Cold War days right into present timesStiastny is an ex-BBC political reporter and she guides us around the newsroom, Whitehall and Parliament with an insider's eye and effortlessly clear, precise prose. She is particularly good on the great games of Westminster, and on the language of journalese . . . A beautifully crafted storyIntelligent, gripping and convincing. Terry Stiastny displays a real grasp of the art of mystery writing, as well as an ability to evoke the particular atmosphere of the post-communist era and the secret dealings of the British establishment. I loved itAn author to watchEvery country has its secrets. So does every family.The majority of Terry Stiastny's journalistic career was spent reporting for BBC News, which she left in 2012. During her time at the BBC, she worked in Berlin and Brussels, covered politics in Westminster and spent many years on BBC Radio 4 news programmes. She was educated at Oxford University, studying PPE at Balliol College and International Relations (MPhil) at St Antony's College. She lives in London with her husband and two sons.Based on a true story of Stasi files of agents in the UK that the UK government has in its possession. In real life, though, unlike the novel, they haven't been made public, or returned to Germany2014 is the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wallThe author is very well-connected, having worked at the BBC for most of her career - including in Berlin and covering politics in Westminster, which has informed the writing of this bookThe issues raised by the book - individual actions versus the state; the leaking of intelligence; the responsibility of newspapers - are of course very much in the news at the moment, with the Snowden revelations and Alan Rusbridger being alternately lauded and condemnedA literary thriller in the Robert Harris/William Boyd mould, Acts of Omission will be a major launch for John Murray. Unusually, Terry is a woman in a male-dominated genre
    John Murray

    Plants: From Roots to Riches

    By Kathy Willis, Carolyn Fry

    Tie-in to the landmark 25-part BBC Radio 4 series with Kew Gardens.

    Our peculiarly British obsession with gardens goes back a long way and Plants: From Roots to Riches takes us back to where it all began. Across 25 vivid episodes, Kathy Willis, Kew's charismatic Head of Science, shows us how the last 250 years transformed our relationship with plants.

    Behind the scenes at the Botanical Gardens all kinds of surprising things have been going on. As the British Empire painted the atlas red, explorers, adventurers and scientists brought the most interesting specimens and information back to London.

    From the discovery of Botany Bay to the horrors of the potato famine, from orchid hunters to quinine smugglers, from Darwin's experiments to the unexpected knowledge unlocked by the 1987 hurricane, understanding how plants work has changed our history and could safeguard our future.

    In the style of A History of the World in 100 Objects, each chapter tells a separate story, but, gathered together, a great picture unfolds, of our most remarkable science, botany.

    Plants: From Roots to Riches is a beautifully designed book, packed with 200 images in both colour and black and white from Kew's amazing archives, some never reproduced before. Kathy Willis and Carolyn Fry, the acclaimed popular-science writer, have also added all kinds of fascinating extra history, heroes and villains, memorable stories and interviews. Their book takes us on an exciting rollercoaster ride through our past and future and shows us how much plants really do matter.

    An aesthetic, historical and scientific journey through the flowering of botany as a science. This beautifully illustrated book, replete with botanical plates, scientific engravings and fine photographs, is nearly as much of a treat as a visit to the gardens

    A whistle-stop tour of the wonderful world of botanyA must for anyone interested in living things and classificationVivid, immersive and fascinatingAn accessible introduction, enriched by archive imagesLavished with beautiful, never-before seen photographs and illustrations, this book offers something for everyone - drama, adventure, history, science and innovation. A must-readThe fascinating history of some of the plants we take for grantedVivid, immersive and fascinating, this book takes the reader on a global voyage of discovery, travelling through time and tide to ?chart the incredible stories behind myriad plantsA fascinating portraitLively, thought-provoking and scholarlyThis book will stimulate all who love plants, both amateurs and professionalsTie-in to the landmark 25-part BBC Radio 4 series with Kew Gardens.

    KATHY WILLIS is Director of Science at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. She is also Professor of Biodiversity and a Fellow of Merton College, both at Oxford University. Winner of several awards, she has spent over twenty-five years researching and teaching biodiversity and conservation at Oxford and Cambridge.

    CAROLYN FRY is a freelance science writer. She has written seven successful books, including Plant Hunters, winner of the European Garden Book Prize. Formerly Editor of the Royal Geographical Society's magazine, Geographical, her work has been published in New Scientist, BBC Online, Telegraph, Guardian, The Times and Independent on Sunday.

    EVERY WEEK Radio 4 has 11,000,000 listeners tuning in for an average 11.5 hours.Kew is a much loved and hugely popular tourist attraction, receiving 1.6 million visits in 2013.Great radio when properly published can be very successful indeed (A HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN 100 OBJECTS: 214,026 - 139,952 £30 HB; 35,247 £20 HB; 45,820 £9.99 PB)...This series (along with World War One) is Radio 4's most important focus for 2014.
    John Murray

    Break Point

    By Kevin Mitchell

    This is a special era in the history of tennis. The physicality and skill, as well as the commercial and public interest, have hit levels not seen before. At the heart of the game's growing appeal are four players: Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray. Never in the history of the game have so few players dominated for so long and it is their rivalry that makes this the 'Golden Age of Tennis'.

    However, in 2013, the dominance of the Big Four came under sustained pressure and a new era beckoned. Break Point chronicles how the old guard met the challenge of the hungry young contenders determined to break their stranglehold on the Tour, from the genteel lawns of Wimbledon to the raucous bleachers of Flushing Meadows, and all points in between.

    Those seeking a more uplifting view of the present would do well to read Kevin Mitchell's Break Point . . . The 'inside story' genre doesn't always live up to its promise, but Mitchell's is a successful example[Kevin Mitchell] writes well, reflects thoughtfully on the opinions of his interviewees, and has a nice line in self-deprecationMitchell gives illuminating insights into life as a full-time tennis correspondentA discursive, thoughtful and witty examination of the modern game . . . Mitchell is brilliant on the personalities . . . He excels in his portrait of Murray . . . His book is timely and judiciousInside the Tour with the four aces.Kevin Mitchell writes for the Observer and the Guardian as boxing and tennis correspondent. He has been Sports Journalist of the Year and Sports Features Writer of the Year. War, Baby: the Glamour of Violence was short-listed for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year.Insider account of a year on the road with the top four tennis players of our timeThe author is a much-respected tennis correspondent and has regular access to the top players on the ATP tourMitchell has been Sports Journalist of the YearWar, Baby: the Glamour of Violence was short-listed for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year and we would expect Break Point to do well in this prize tooNever before have so many people been interested in tennis and the number of tennis fans can only increase given Murray's recent Wimbledon win
    John Murray


    By Ben Schott

    Ever thought, 'There should be a German word for that'? Well, now there is. From the mind that created Schott's Original Miscellany comes a unique volume exploring the idiosyncrasies of the human condition . . . auf Deutsch.

    In which language but German could you construct le mot juste for: a shameful love of bad foods, Sunday-afternoon depression, the lingering sensation of a first kiss, delight at the changing of the seasons, the urge to hoard, the joy of the perfectly wrapped present, or the ineffable pleasure of a cool pillow?

    For example:

    Haarmonie - Reassuring your hairdresser.

    Fußfaust - Instinctively curling up your toes in mortification at someone else's embarrassment.

    Zwillingsmoral - Reading horoscopes you don't believe in.

    Gastdruck - The exhausting effort of being a good houseguest.


    Kraftfahrzeugsinnenausstattungsneugeruchsgenuss - New car smell.

    A homage to German's capacity for word-confection . . . it bring[s] the peculiar delight of German to its author's numerous fansSchott of Miscellany fame is back with an inspired linguistic compilation in which he explores the idiosyncracies of the human condition . . . in GermanBen Schott, the undisputed King of Christmas books, returns . . . Like Douglas Adam's classic The Meaning of Liff, this excellent stocking filler allows your friends and family to succinctly express their shameful love of bad foods, Sunday-afternoon depression or delight at the changing of the seasonsBen Schott presents a miniature delightBen Schott's lexicon of Teutonic definitions is a work of brilliance . . . it is the best funEver thought, 'There should be a German word for that'? Well, now there is.Ben Schott is a phenomenon. His books -- Schott's Original Miscellany, Food & Drink Miscellany, Sporting, Gaming & Idling Miscellany and Schott's Almanac -- have together sold 2.5 million copies in 21 languages. Ben is a regular contributor to The Times and the New York Times. He divides his time between London and New York.Very funny - and uniquely stylish - new book from Ben SchottBen Schott's books have sold 2.5 million copies in 21 languagesInnovative publicity and marketing campaigns planned - this book will be everywhere
    John Murray


    By Michael Rosen

    From minding your Ps and Qs to wondering why X should mark the spot, Alphabetical is a book for everyone who loves words and language. Whether it's how letters are arranged on keyboards or Viking runes, textspeak or zip codes, this book will change the way you think about letters for ever.

    How on Earth did we fix upon our twenty-six letters, what do they really mean, and how did we come to write them down in the first place? Michael Rosen takes you on an unforgettable adventure through the history of the alphabet in twenty-six vivid chapters, fizzing with personal anecdotes and fascinating facts. Starting with the mysterious Phoenicians and how sounds first came to be written down, he races on to show how nonsense poems work, pins down the strange story of OK, traces our seven lost letters and tackles the tyranny of spelling, among many many other things.

    His heroes of the alphabet range from Edward Lear to Phyllis Pearsall (the inventor of the A-Z), and from the two scribes of Beowulf to rappers. Each chapter takes on a different subject - whether it's codes, umlauts or the writing of dictionaries. Rosen's enthusiasm for letters positively leaps off the page, whether it's the story of his life told through the typewriters he's owned or a chapter on jokes written in a string of gags and word games.

    So if you ever wondered why Hawaiian only has a thirteen-letter alphabet, why X should mark the spot or became shorthand for Christmas or how exactly to write down the sound of a wild raspberry, read on . . .

    [Michael Rosen's] beguiling journey through the alphabet will entrance anyone interested in the quirks of language and its history . . . Rosen has written a charming and thought-provoking book about what written language represents, how we use it, and the joys and mysteries therein. His humor and obvious love for his subject are winning elementsThis is a fascinating read and great gift for ChristmasEnjoyable history of the alphabetSubstantial and engagingForget party crackers - when you settle down to the turkey and trimmings this year simply make sure you have this book to hand. There's even a chapter devoted to family friendly alphabet games: perfect for playing after the Queen's been on. That letters can and should be fun, not just functional, is one of the main messages of this bookThe perfect book for anyone who relishes the intricacies of language and letters . . . [Rosen] reveals a gift for seamlessly meshing hard information, personal anecdote, jokes and puzzles with educational, cultural and linguistic questions and wry, pointed, observations . . . There are delights in this book for all ages[Michael Rosen] gives each letter a neat CV . . . enjoyableFrom Alphabets to Zipcodes, the surprising story of our 26 letters from million-selling author and Radio 4 language expert, Michael Rosen.Michael Rosen was born in 1946 in North London and read English at Oxford. He is a former Children's Laureate and is the bestselling author of We're Going on a Bear Hunt, which won the Smarties Best Book of the Year Award, and many other books. He presents Word of Mouth on BBC Radio 4. This is the book he has always wanted to write.A much-loved author with a fantastic profile: Rosen has presented Radio 4's Word of Mouth programme since 1998 and is, among many other things, running the Brighton Festival this yearWe're Going On a Bear Hunt has sold A MILLION COPIES. This is Michael's first book for adults for many yearsBlanket publicity and feature coverage expected and great POS, bookseller activities and innovative marketing campaign plannedAnd it's not just a great read, this book (with its own special alphabet) is also going to be a carefully designed object of beauty -- the perfect present for Christmas 2013
    John Murray

    The Lost Art of Having Fun

    By Gyles Brandreth, Saethryd Brandreth

    One good thing about a recession is that we need to go back to making our own fun. Games are in the Brandreths' blood, they have spent thousands of weekends and rainy holidays playing them and now Gyles, Saethryd and seven-year-old Rory want to share the very best with you. THE LOST ART OF HAVING FUN picks out over 250 games, guaranteed to make even the grumpiest child or adult laugh, and then with all kinds of interesting stories and lovely illustrations, it shows you clearly (and very entertainingly) how to play them. There are classic parlour games alongside all kinds of interesting ones you might not have come across yet.

    Nine chapters cover pretty much every eventuality: Rainy Day Games, Car Journey, Analogue Fun in a Digital World, Music and Drama, Word Games and Brainteasers, Racing Games, Party Games (split between children's birthday parties and dinner parties), Country House Weekend and last but not least Seasonal Games: Christmas, New Year and Easter. Forget consoles and board games, this beautiful book is all you need. And Queen Victoria (whose favourite games are here too) would be amused. Very amused.

    Just the thing with Christmas on the wayWelcome to the ultimate rainy-day book: three generations of the Brandreth family teach you every game you'll ever need to banish boredom from Wink Murder to Sardines and from Consequences to Squeak Piggy Squeak.Gyles Brandreth is the UK expert on all indoor games. In fact, he says modestly, he knows more about games than anyone else on the planet. He was conceived as a result of his father buying the first game of Monopoly sold in Britain, he later became European Monopoly champion, he founded the National Scrabble Championship, he has been on the word and numbers TV game COUNTDOWN since it started thirty years ago, and he features regularly on radio panel games like JUST A MINUTE and WORDAHOLICS . Gyles has written nearly 100 books covering card games, mazes, word puzzles, family games and children's games. His great-great-grandfather published a book of games in 1865 and games have played a big part in the Brandreth family life ever since, as his daughter Saethryd and grandson Rory can attest.Like the best kind of panto, this book, written by three generations of the Brandreth family will entertain everyone of all agesThe family that plays together stays together. Forget consoles and board games, this book is all you needLoads of publicity and events guaranteed, including a parlour-game playing tour of the literary festivals of BritainA beautifully illustrated and designed colour book -- the perfect gift
    John Murray

    The One Thing

    By Gary Keller, Jay Papasan


    You want fewer distractions and less on your plate. The daily barrage of e-mails, texts, tweets, messages, and meetings distract you and stress you out. The simultaneous demands of work and family are taking a toll. And what's the cost? Second-rate work, missed deadlines, smaller pay cheques, fewer promotions-and lots of stress.


    You want more productivity from your work. More income for a better lifestyle. You want more satisfaction from life, and more time for yourself, your family, and your friends.


    In The ONE Thing, you'll learn to

    cut through the clutter

    achieve better results in less time

    build momentum toward your goal

    dial down the stress

    overcome that overwhelmed feeling

    revive your energy

    stay on track

    master what matters to you

    The ONE Thing is the New York Times bestseller which delivers extraordinary results in every area of your life-work, personal, family, and spiritual.


    The number 1 US bestseller which is now sweeping across the world. What's the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

    Gary Keller is chairman of the board and cofounder of Keller Williams Realty, Inc., one of the largest real estate companies in the world. His New York Times bestselling books have sold more than 1,300,000 copies.

    Jay Papasan, a former editor at HarperCollins Publishers in New York, co-authors Gary's books and is Vice President of Publishing at Keller Williams. He's a frequent event speaker and corporate trainer.

    The ONE Thing is the new sensation that is sweeping in from across the Atlantic. In the US, it has been number 1 bestseller on, number 2 in its category on the NewYork Times bestseller lists, and number 3 in non-fiction on the Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.The ONE Thing will be backed up by a major marketing and PR campaign built around viral social media marketing and celebrity endorsementsThe ONE Thing ticks all the boxes to be the defining business / self-development title of the year: it has a straightforward concept, an eye-catching cover, it is highly readable, and it delivers on a life-changing promiseA great author combination. Gary Keller is a real estate legend who founded one of the world's largest estate agent franchises, whose books have sold over 1 million copies; Jay Papasan is a former business books publisher at HarperCollins, who knows what it takes to write a brilliant, bestselling, business book