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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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    L P Hartley reissues

    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

Download the John Murray Press Spring 2015 catalogue to find out about the exciting books publishing this year.
John Murray

What If?

By Randall Munroe

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.


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, lin?gering 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 jokesRandall 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

Remembered for a While

By Nick Drake, Gabrielle Drake, Cally Callomon
An official celebration of Nick Drake's life and music.

'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 DrakeNick 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

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John Murray

Good Ideas

By Michael Rosen
Learning can 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.

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 goodMichael 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

How Google Works

By Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg
How 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.

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 thought

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

The Virgins

By Pamela Erens
A seductive prep school novel.

'Erens brilliantly captures the dark side of adolescence . . . On a par with the likes of Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides' Independent

'Flawlessly executed and irrefutably true' John Irving

'A must for fans of Nabokovian tragedy' Irish Tatler

The events of 1979-80 reverberate around the campus of Auburn Academy and linger many years later in the mind of narrator Bruce Bennett-Jones. Aviva Rossner and Seung Jung are an unlikely couple at the elite East Coast boarding school and are not shy in flaunting their newly discovered sexuality. Their blossoming relationship is watched with envy and fascination by Bruce and other classmates, who believe their liaison to be one of pure, unadulterated passion and pleasure.

But nothing is what it seems, and as Aviva and Seung struggle to understand themselves and each other, things begin to fall apart. Their ultimate descent into shame and betrayal has disastrous consequences beyond their own lives.

An elegiac account of the doomed teenage love of Seung and Aviva. It deftly explores the complexities of adolescence, that time of experimentation, self-discovery and, potentially, self-destructionIt joins the ranks of the great boarding school novels while somehow evoking the twisted, obsessive narrations of Nabokov's Pale Fire or Wharton's Ethan FromeFlawlessly executed and irrefutably trueErens . . . has done a star turn with the prep school tale, giving it meaning for those who might not usually care about that worldA beautifully written storySinking into Ms. Erens's prose feels like slipping underwater, in a lake, in the dark: at once gradual and startling; the world outside the novel seems to give way entirely to the world withinIt's rare to find a book that summons the delicate emotional state of teenagers . . . without being precious or cynical, but Pamela Erens' The Virgins beautifully manages that featWhat happens between Seung and Aviva, this pair of star-crossed lovers, is truly horrible; the ending shouldn't be given away by a reviewer[A] subtle, accomplished second novelNow that James Salter is in his twilight years, his considerable fan base will be ecstatic to encounter his heiress apparent, Pamela ErensYoung love, unconsummated, presents its own dangers in Pamela Erens' excellent new novelI did read one 2013 novel I completely loved. It's Pamela Erens's The Virgins . . . makes new-seeming some familiar territory. Aviva Rossner and Seung Jung are lovers at a prep school whose tragic relationship is narrated by a jealous but perceptive narrator, Bruce Bennett-Jones. Prep-school fictions tend toward the nostalgic; this one, though set in the late seventies, feels up to date . . . It's drenched in sexual urges and sexual jealousies, the way sex confers a halo on teenagers that only other teenagers can seeThis book will nostalgically take the reader back to their teenage years, yet also make them very glad those heart-breaking days are overThis novel has struck a brilliant new seam . . . Erens wonderfully evokes the lethal cocktail of adolescent desire, loneliness and bitter envyErens' lovers are beautifully drawn and The Virgins is a haunting period piece, taking the reader back to a time before teenagers could look to the internet for answers. They were not, it turns out, such good old days after allA cautionary and heart-wrenching tale of teenage love, with achingly nostalgic overtones that makes it a must for fans of Nabokovian tragedyErens has written an elegant, clever book about vulnerable individuals trying to make the difficult transition to adulthood in the hothouse atmosphere of an enclosed societyIt is a well-judged piece of writing, simmering with teenage lust and confusion, the author giving readers just enough information to keep them hookedStunning . . . Erens brilliantly captures the dark side of adolescence . . . On a par with the likes of Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides or Sheila Kohler's Cracks . . . a devastating tour de forceAn anthem for doomed youth, an intense tale of teenage failure to make the leap to adult life . . . sensitively told, with Updike-like observation . . . an accomplished work[Erens] manages a delicate bit of witchcraft such that, by halfway through the novel, our fingertips are humming on the page. And that is due to the way she summons so intensely the momentousness of adolescence, when everything feels big and important, and every moment feels like the one after which you will never be the same againPamela Erens lives up to the promises I was given. The writing is startlingly good . . . there isn't a wasted word . . . an insightful look at the nature of love and how it contrasts with lust and needErens' novel is at once shocking and familiar, her prose bald, explicit and searingly honest. Best of all, she excels at encapsulating the tumultuous emotions of sexual awakening in all its rawnessPamela Erens' debut novel, The Understory, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in a wide variety of literary, cultural, and mainstream publications, including Tin House, Byliner, New England Review, the Literary Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, the Millions, The New York Times, and O: The Oprah Magazine.Well written and compelling - the author's writing style has been compared to James SalterThe Virgins has attracted strong pre-pub attention in the US and has been flagged up by The Millions as one to watchThe author's previous novel, The Understory, was a finalist for the LA Times Book Award and she is eligible for UK prizes such as the Baileys Prize for Fiction
John Murray

The King's Grave

By Philippa Langley, Michael Jones
The real life, death and remarkable discovery of history's most controversial monarch.

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 chaptersFascinating

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


By Tim Glencross
A bold and confident debut novel about politics, money, and art in contemporary Britain.

'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) satireIt'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 lifeTim 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.Barbarians is a contemporary social-realist novel of extraordinary scope and ambitionIt will be John Murray's lead debut novel for 2014Antecedents 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
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John Murray

How to Ruin a Queen

By Jonathan Beckman
A tale of greed, lust, deceit, theft on an extraordinary scale, charlatanry, kidnapping, assassination and escape from prison.

'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 perpetratedStranger 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 compellingJonathan 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 New Digital Age

By Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen
The must-read book for anyone concerned about the present and the future

'This is the most important - and fascinating - book yet written about how the digital age will affect our world' Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs

From two leading thinkers, the widely anticipated book that describes a new, hugely connected world of the future, full of challenges and benefits which are ours to meet and harness. The New Digital Age is the product of an unparalleled collaboration: full of the brilliant insights of one of Silicon Valley's great innovators - what Bill Gates was to Microsoft and Steve Jobs was to Apple, Schmidt (along with Larry Page and Sergey Brin) was to Google - and the Director of Google Ideas, Jared Cohen, formerly an advisor to both Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton.

Never before has the future been so vividly and transparently imagined. From technologies that will change lives (information systems that greatly increase productivity, safety and our quality of life, thought-controlled motion technology that can revolutionise medical procedures, and near-perfect translation technology that allows us to have more diversified interactions) to our most important future considerations (curating our online identity and fighting those who would do harm with it) to the widespread political change that will transform the globe (through transformations in conflict, increasingly active and global citizenries, a new wave of cyber-terrorism and states operating simultaneously in the physical and virtual realms) to the ever present threats to our privacy and security, Schmidt and Cohen outline in great detail and scope all the promise and peril awaiting us in the coming decades.

A breakthrough book - pragmatic, inspirational and totally fascinating. Whether a government, a business or an individual, we must understand technology if we want to understand the future.

'A brilliant guidebook for the next century . . . Schmidt and Cohen offer a dazzling glimpse into how the new digital revolution is changing our lives' Richard Branson

This is a book that defines both the nature of the new world which the internet is creating; and its challenges. It describes a technological revolution in the making. How we navigate it is a challenge for countries, communities and citizens. There are no two people better equipped to explain what it means than Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen''At last, a brilliant guide book for the next century - what the future holds for entrepreneurs, revolutionaries, politicians and ordinary citizens alike. Schmidt and Cohen offer a dazzling glimpse into how the new digital revolution is changing our lives. This book is the most insightful exploration of our future world that I have ever read, and once I started reading I was simply unable to put it down''Every day, technological innovations are giving people around the world new opportunities to shape their own destinies. In this fascinating book, Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen draw upon their unique experiences to show us a future of rising incomes, growing participation, and a genuine sense of community - if we make the right choices today''Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen's thoughtful, well-researched work elucidates the staggering impact of technology on our daily lives, as well as what surprising and incredible developments the future may hold. Readers might be left with more questions than answers, but that's the idea - we are at our best when we ask "What's next?"''Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen have produced a searching meditation on technology and world order. Even those who disagree with some of their conclusions will learn much from this thought-provoking volume''The New Digital Age is must reading for anyone who wants to truly understand the depths of the digital revolution. Combining the skills of a social scientist and a computer scientist, Cohen and Schmidt blend the technical and the human, the scientific and the political, in ways I rarely saw while in government. They challenge the reader's imagination on almost every page. Indeed, what will be the impact of virtual and physical worlds coexisting, the first generation of humans to have an indelible record, or more frequent revolutions without resolution as the digital age nurtures more celebrities than leaders. And these questions are just the beginning. Read on''This is the book I have been waiting for: a concise and persuasive description of technology's impact on war, peace, freedom and diplomacy. The New Digital Age is a guide to the future written by two experts who possess a profound understanding of humanity's altered prospects in a wireless world. There are insights on every page and surprising conclusions (and questions) in every chapter. For experts and casual readers alike, Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen have produced an indispensable book''This is the most important - and fascinating - book yet written about how the digital age will affect our world. With vivid examples and brilliant analysis, it shows how the internet and other communications technologies will empower individuals and transform the way nations and businesses operate. How will different societies make tradeoffs involving privacy, freedom, control, security, and the relationship between the physical and virtual worlds? This realistic but deeply optimistic book provides the guideposts. It's both profoundly wise and wondrously readable''The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business offers an intriguing fusion of ideas and insights about how the virtual world is intersecting with the "Westphalian order". It seeks a balance between the discontinuities of technologists' "revolutions" and the traditionalism of internationalists' study of states, power, and behaviour. The authors explain that technology is not a panacea, yet the uses of technology can make a world of difference. This book should launch a valuable debate about the practical implications of this new connectivity for citizens and policy makers, societies and governments''Few people in the world are doing more to imagine - and build - The New Digital Age than Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen. With this book, they are looking into their crystal ball and inviting the world to peek in''We have long needed an incisive study of how the ever evolving world of technology leaves almost no aspect of life unchanged. We have it in The New Digital Age. Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen offer a rigorous approach to decoding what the future holds in a story that is as well written and entertaining as it is important''Starting with a simple, powerful and terrifying observation - that "the internet is among the few things humans have built that they don't truly understand" - this fascinating book takes you on a wonderfully stimulating and important journey. It will make you rethink your concepts of the digital age, the way the world works, what lies ahead, and what all this means for you, your family and your community. You don't need to know much about technology to benefit from this incredibly insightful book. Using their repeatedly-tested talents and their highly successful experiences, Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen brilliantly detail for us how the digital age is rapidly altering the balance of power between citizens and governments, between the physical and virtual worlds, and between good and bad. Whether we like or not, technology is fundamentally changing the manner in which we all interact and depend on each other - and in an accelerating manner whose scale and scope remain obscure for too many of us. This brilliant book is a must read for all those seeking to understand, and navigate well a fundamental structural shift that will play a critical role in determining the wellbeing of current and future generations'Serious and informative . . . this is an important book, partly as an account of what may happen, but mainly as a picture of the present mind-set of Silicon ValleySchmidt and Cohen are right to point to the disruptive effects of pervasive new communications medium such as the internet either to liberate or to destabilise, depending on which side of the fence you are onThe New Digital Age is the most ambitious attempt to date to sketch the contours of the world that will emerge as a result of the penetration of electronic networking into every corner of the globe and every part of people's lives . . . the thoroughness is - to use a sophomore clich? - awesomeThe writers are at their most persuasive when talking about the link between people and technology: their faith in human ingenuity leads to an optimistic vision . . . a clear and thorough thesis suggesting that the world we are forging with the web is a better one than we have at the momentThe New Digital Age is a considered workThough Schmidt chairs Google and Cohen runs its think tank, they avoid corporate propaganda in this far-reaching surveyMakes sense of the infinite and terrifying possibilities of tomorrowGoogle's Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen tease apart the potential influence of technology on politics, security and daily life in The New Digital AgeA perceptive insight into where Silicon Valley is taking us allA serious, informative and important book

Eric Schmidt is the Executive Chairman of Google. Prior to joining Google, he was the chairman and CEO of Novell and has held senior positions at a number of illustrious technology companies. He has a degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University as well as a master's and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley. He is also a member of President Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and is an active member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Jared Cohen is Director of Google Ideas and an Adjunct Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, he served as a member of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff and a close advisor to Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton, where he focused on the Middle East, South Asia, counter-terrorism, and the development of '21st century statecraft.' He was personally responsible for intervening to keep Twitter operating during the 2009 Green Revolution in Iran. He has a BA from Stanford University and an M.Phil in International Relations from Oxford University. He is fluent in Swahili.

As the Executive Chairman of Google and the architect of its success over the last decade, nobody is better placed to write this book than Eric SchmidtJared Cohen is a Director of Google Ideas, leading the forward thinking of the companyGoogle is the most influential company of our times - nobody involved in government, business or society anywhere in the world can afford to be without this bookAccessibly written and packed with mind-expanding ideas
John Murray

Acts of Omission

By Terry Stiastny
Every country has its secrets. So does every family.

'Intelligent, gripping and convincing' Henry Porter

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

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 is going to take us back to where it all began. Across 25 vivid episodes, Kathy Willis, Kew's charismatic Head of Science, will show 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 going to be a beautifully designed hardback, 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 scholarly

KATHY WILLIS is director of science at Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. She is also professor of long-term ecology and a fellow of Merton College, both at Oxford University. Winner of several awards, she has spent over 20 years researching and teaching biodiversity and conservation at Oxford and Cambridge.

CAROLYN FRY is the former editor of Geographical, the magazine of the Royal Geographic Society and has travelled the world in search of stories. She has written five successful books, including the acclaimed Plant Hunters.

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
Inside the Tour with the four aces.

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 judiciousKevin 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

The Manner of Men

By Stuart Tootal
D-Day as it has never been told before.

In June 1944, an elite unit of British paratroopers was sent on a daring and highly risky behind-the-lines mission, which was deemed vital to the success of D-Day.

Dropping ahead of the main Allied invasion, 9 PARA were tasked with destroying an impregnable German gun battery. If they failed, thousands of British troops landing on the beaches were expected to die. But their mission was flawed and started to go wrong from the moment they jumped from their aircraft above Normandy. Only twenty per cent of the unit made it to the objective and half of them were killed or wounded during the attack.

Undermanned and lacking equipment and ammunition, the survivors then held a critical part of the invasion beachhead. For six bloody days, they defended the Breville Ridge against vastly superior German forces and bore the brunt of Rommel's attempt to turn the left flank of the Allied invasion.

The Manner of Men is an epic account of courage beyond the limits of human endurance, where paratroopers prevailed despite intelligence failures and higher command blunders, in what has been described as one of the most remarkable feat of arms of the British Army and the Parachute Regiment during the Second World War.

Deftly captures the agonising way in which everything went wrongTold in elegant and evocative prose . . . The Manner of Men is one of those rare books - one that actually manages to bring to life the reality of a desperate mission behind enemy lines. This former soldier writes superbly wellIf you have any interest in military history this is a must - I'll be reading it more than once. A fascinating story - couldn't be any less than five starsColonel Stuart Tootal has served in Germany, Northern Ireland, the Gulf War and during the invasion of Iraq. He also served in the MOD, for which he was awarded the OBE. In 2006 he commanded 3 PARA in Afghanistan and was awarded a DSO for outstanding leadership and gallantry. He subsequently set up the 3 PARA Afghan Trust charity, on leaving the army. He now works in the City and is a defence commentator for a major national TV network, numerous papers and radio programmes. He regularly lectures on leadership in challenging environments and his experiences in Afghanistan to forums. The Manner of Men is his second book.Details one of the most remarkable feats of arms of the Parachute Regiment during the Second World War.A compelling and human portrait using a wealth of primary sources.Vivid and powerful writing that brings you into the heart of the action.Hour by hour account of D-Day from the first men in.
John Murray

When Britain Burned the White House

By Peter Snow
The 1814 invasion of Washington.

As heard on BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week.

Shortlisted for the Paddy Power Political History Book of the Year Award 2014.

In August 1814 the United States' army is defeated in battle by an invading force just outside Washington DC. The US president and his wife have just enough time to pack their belongings and escape from the White House before the enemy enters. The invaders tuck into the dinner they find still sitting on the dining-room table and then set fire to the place.

9/11 was not the first time the heartland of the United States was struck a devastating blow by outsiders. Two centuries earlier, Britain - now America's close friend, then its bitterest enemy - set Washington ablaze before turning its sights to Baltimore.

In his compelling narrative style, Peter Snow recounts the fast-changing fortunes of both sides of this extraordinary confrontation, the outcome of which inspired the writing of the 'Star-Spangled Banner', America's national anthem. Using a wealth of material including eyewitness accounts, he also describes the colourful personalities on both sides of these spectacular events: Britain's fiery Admiral Cockburn, the cautious but immensely popular army commander Robert Ross, and sharp-eyed diarists James Scott and George Gleig. On the American side: beleaguered President James Madison, whose young nation is fighting the world's foremost military power, his wife Dolley, a model of courage and determination, military heroes such as Joshua Barney and Sam Smith, and flawed incompetents like Army Chief William Winder and War Secretary John Armstrong.

When Britain Burned the White House highlights this unparalleled moment in American history, its far-reaching consequences for both sides and Britain's and America's decision never again to fight each other.

[An] excellent account . . . Snow, an experienced British journalist, has told the story of those engagements with brio and a fine gift for making sense of the complexities of battle . . . a fine example of serious and literate popular historySnow's narrative is authoritative and absorbing, his profiles sure and compelling, his judgments considered and fair, and his documentation most impressiveNever before has this story been told more fully or more engagingly, with greater empathy for both sides, or with greater balance. The pace is brisk, the characterizations sure, the judgments done with a light touch. The book distinguishes itself by rounding off the story of Washington with the subsequent Baltimore attack-both part of the larger British Chesapeake campaign. For the story of that campaign, this is now the narrative to readWith ample quotes from English letters and diaries, Snow ably brings out the humanity of his subjectsPeter Snow's account of this extraordinary event in British-American relations reads like a military thriller, each chapter raising the tension with a mass of detail and a kaleidoscope of characters who transform this book from what could have been a dry, chronological account into a riveting romp . . . Snow adds an extra ingredient - a boyish enthusiasm for his subject . . . a meticulous and fascinating accountA stirring taleThe result is superb. When Britain Burned the White House is an exemplary work of history - lucid, witty and humane, with terrific pace, and so even-handed that it will surely be received as well in America as hereSnow builds his account on the voices of those who fought and witnessed the campaign, from nervous US militiamen to Ross, Cockburn and Dolley Madison, the president's resourceful wife. Written with verve and insight, this is a fitting reminder of a remarkable interlude in a war that deserves to be better knownPeter Snow is a highly respected journalist, author and broadcaster. He was ITN`s Diplomatic and Defence Correspondent from 1966 to 1979 and presented Newsnight from 1980 to 1997. An indispensable part of election nights, he has also covered military matters on and off the world`s battlefields for forty years. Peter is married and has six children.Details the relatively little-known but extraordinary account of when British troops entered Washington and burned down the White House.Peter Snow is a much loved TV presenter and a highly respected author and broadcaster.Snow gives a fully rounded perspective of events using accounts from both sides.
John Murray

A Lovely Way to Burn

By Louise Welsh
The first book in a thrilling new crime trilogy from the author of The Girl on the Stairs.

As heard on BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime

It doesn't look like murder in a city full of death.

A pandemic called 'The Sweats' is sweeping the globe. London is a city in crisis. Hospitals begin to fill with the dead and dying, but Stevie Flint is convinced that the sudden death of her boyfriend Dr Simon Sharkey was not from natural causes. As roads out of London become gridlocked with people fleeing infection, Stevie's search for Simon's killers takes her in the opposite direction, into the depths of the dying city and a race with death.

A Lovely Way to Burn is the first outbreak in the Plague Times trilogy. Chilling, tense and completely compelling, it's Louise Welsh writing at the height of her powers.

An unusual and fascinating take on a crime novel from the established and endlessly inventive Louise Welsh . . . With a strong central character and vivid depictions of the disorder that accompanies social breakdown, it's a gripping book that prepares the way nicely for the next volumeDon't start reading this if you have a long to-do list, it's a hypnotically readable thriller and you won't get much don't until you've finished it . . . What's gripping about this is the way the two stories, the crime thriller and the gathering apocalypse combine to create something tenser and scarier than either alone. The way that society gradually disintegrates is brilliantly done; it makes you feel just how fragile civilisation isA tense, claustrophobic medical whodunit with an apocalyptic tone that cranks the stakes ever higherI was with Louise Welsh's gutsy gripping heroine Stevie Flint every terrifying step of the wayI read it in two sittings, pausing only to sleep and dream about it. Gripping, perfectly paced and beautifully writtenWe've come to expect lots of good things from Welsh, including a brilliant sense of location. She doesn't disappoint with her images of London breaking down. As ever, the writing is fluid, the dynamic taut and through the control of such small telling moments, Welsh deftly breathes life into her characters. Only an accomplished writer knows exactly when to let the reader fill in the gaps. Stevie is a gusty, gripping protagonist, beautifully drawn . . . Welsh has taken our everyday lives, given them a twist, and no supernatural manifestation of our darkest hours is any match for what real human beings can do to each other when mankind loses its humanity. This is just first part of a trilogy. Scary, shocking and touching by turns, this apocalyptic thriller will enthral. I haven't been so buried in a book in a whileA terrifying journey into the possible, this is dystopia for today. Feral, frightening and fascinating, A Lovely Way to Burn gripped and chilled me in equal measureWelsh's potent take on the psychological thriller - her stupendous debut The Cutting Room - works by allowing a quietly menacing mood to hum beneath the most ordinary scenes. The writer she reminds me of most is Ian McEwan: both specialise in secrets, rather chilly sexuality, sudden reversals of fortune, and uneasy intimations of doom . . . A Lovely Way to Burn is superb popular fiction - a box-set waiting to happen. Roll on part twoThe London of the novel at once recalls sci-fi dystopia, Dante's Inferno and accounts of the 1665 great plague . . . Welsh's plot is ably handled . . . She has in Stevie . . . an engaging, stroppy heroine for the trilogy this novel launchesThis is a novel rich in the kind of iridescent word painting that has long been Welsh's speciality, and the vulnerable, often maladroit Stevie is a wonderful protagonist . . . readers will be impatient for the second in the trilogyThe first in a trilogy, and it should be hugeWelsh skilfully presents London, initially as it is now, but rapidly descending into a plague-gripped dystopia . . . I appreciate a book that affects me . . . the relentlessly taut suspense of A Lovely Way to Burn still lingers on my psyche. Such an apocalyptic crisis does not seem improbable and here's hoping freakishly foul weather and tube strikes are not an omen of things to comeWelsh constructs an intelligent mystery within the pages of A Lovely Way to Burn . . . It's close enough to what we know to be utterly terrifying and that was part of its hold on me. Welsh has taken our everyday lives, given them a twist, and put them in the background of an intriguing, addictive novelLouise Welsh writes elegantly and has visualised London in extremis with immense and detailed clarity. It is all very exciting, and there are two more volumes to come[Louise] Welsh develops a fantastically written mystery which keeps you hanging on to every word. She creates excelling imagery of the struggle Stevie faces . . . A must read, which will leave you dreaming - or having nightmares - of apocalyptic London for weeksI've felt for a while that we are in the mood for an intelligent slice of London-based dystopia, and I think Louise Welsh has cracked it with A Lovely Way to Burn . . . it kept me up all night nervously turning the pagesThe book isn't out until the 20th March but a mixture of Welsh's writing style and the subject matter made it impossible to resistThis is can't put down goodYou know you're in for a seriously chilling read in this apocalyptic thriller when three very unlikely killers - an MP, a hedge fund manager and a vicar - go on a murderous rampage in the sweltering capitalA brilliantly imaginative mix of mystery and apocalypse . . . perfect pacing and [a] wonderfully compelling main protagonist . . . top notch descriptive prose . . . I almost guarantee that this one will leave you with haunted dreams and a slight sense of imbalance . . . brilliantly written, superbly described. There are two more novels to come and I for one cannot wait!A taut thriller so involving that I missed my bus stop!There are no daughters, no sisters, no mothers in this darkening world; as the city turns to chaos, men roam the streets and women become invisible. This comment on what catastrophe may actually do to society makes Welsh's take on the dystopia less conservative and Wells-like, recalling instead writers such as Doris Lessing or Margaret Atwood. The pace and thriller-style of the narrative pitch her tale towards the commercial end of the market but her lone female in a world dominated by men gives it the subversive edge of a more literary workGripping new dystopian thriller . . . Welsh has already proven her prowess as a controlling mistress of creepily suspenseful fiction with acclaimed chillers such as The Cutting Room and The Girl on the Stairs. This is an ambitious departure, being the first in a proposed Plague Times trilogy. It succeeds on several counts. It is a propulsive read, written in lean sentences and snappy cliffhanging chapters . . . Most impressive of all is the Scottish writer's evocation of a London that, with a Dickensian swagger, emerges as a pulsating untameable beast in its own rightWelsh weaves thoughtful, emotional themes into a thriller plot - and does it very well . . . A Lovely Way to Burn is the first in a promised trilogy, and if Welsh can keep up the quality of writing and create an effective arc, future writers of apocalypse may indeed turn to her to see how it's doneThe descriptions of London and society unravelling into chaos are utterly compelling and scarily realistic . . . Great if you like tense thrillers - and as it's the first in a series called The Plague Times Trilogy, it bodes well for the next twoIf you're looking for a novel that communicates thrills and paranoia to the extent that you forget anywhere else you're meant to be until you finish, look no further. I should add a caveat thought: you'll never again listen to a news item about a drug resistant 'super bug' without shivering, and that's even before Book 2 hits the bookshops. So, are you feeling brave?A chilling chronicle of an unravelling society and a true testament to an author at the height of her powers. Next instalments can't come soon enoughA brilliantly imaginative thriller with a compelling heroine and well-paced plot that keeps the tension highA Lovely Way To Burn once more proves that there are few writers who can unsettle as Louise Welsh doesThis is the first in a trilogy from the award-winning short-story and thriller writer; a scary vision of London falling apart that's addictively readableChilling[A] pacy murder mystery . . . [Louise Welsh's] plague is plausible and chilling. In a city of desperate people, even the most benign places become fraught with danger, and every step of Stevie's amateur investigation is palpably tenseA thrillingly dystopian mystery . . . It's a fine setup, and Stevie is a strong character, a forthright blend of sales sass and reporter brass. Welsh is particularly good at describing the institutional and social disorder that accompanies the outbreak of the sweatsSuspenseful and intelligent dystopian fiction. Welsh writes snappily and with filmic precision . . . Her setting, vivid and initially familiar, grows increasingly alien as the crisis worsens. Welsh knows exactly how to build tension and momentum as her lone hero presses on with her quest. She also knows how to create a memorably sinister world in which nothing and no one is solid, and the shreds of comfort that remain are intangible or inanimateLouise Welsh delivers an absolute cracker of a crime thriller set against the backdrop of a country in the grip of a frightening plague . . . Welsh's picture of a rapidly-disintegrating society stands comparison of some of the best in this field, including John Wyndham's timeless classic, The Day of the Triffids, and the fact that A Lovely Way to Burn is the first in a trilogy set in the Plague Times is, for me and other disaster fans, very good news indeedLouise Welsh rarely repeats herself, a quality to celebrate in a crime novelist. A Lovely Way to Burn is a dystopian thriller set in an all-too-plausible version of contemporary London. Welsh puts her own distinctive mark on it . . . this intelligent thriller creates an alarmingly convincing picture of London on the brink of disintegration; it reminds us how fragile we areWelsh plays brilliantly on our worst fears, and the pace never lets up. Seriously scary

Louise Welsh is the author of five highly acclaimed novels including The Cutting Room and, most recently, The Girl on the Stairs. She has been the recipient of several awards. A Lovely Way to Burn is the first novel in the Plague Times trilogy.

Visit Louise's website for more information:

The queen of psychological suspenseA fast-paced and explosive plot covering pandemic and murder, combined with Welsh's usual literary touchAn exciting new trilogy from an established and well-respected crime authorLouise Welsh is the recipient of several awards including the John Creasy Memorial Dagger and the Saltire First Book Award
John Murray

The Broken Road

By Patrick Leigh Fermor
The long-awaited final volume of the trilogy by Patrick Leigh Fermor - hailed as the greatest travel writer of his generation.

The long-awaited final volume of the trilogy by Patrick Leigh Fermor.

A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water were the first two volumes in a projected trilogy that would describe the walk that Patrick Leigh Fermor undertook at the age of eighteen from the Hook of Holland to Constantinople. 'When are you going to finish Vol. III?' was the cry from his fans; but although he wished he could, the words refused to come. The curious thing was that he had not only written an early draft of the last part of the walk, but that it predated the other two. It remains unfinished but The Broken Road - edited and introduced by Colin Thubron and Artemis Cooper - completes an extraordinary journey.

Nobody could do the job better than the book's editors. Colin Thubron is a travel writer of Leigh Fermor's calibre, Artemis Cooper is his masterly biographer . . . It contains wonderful passages of purest Leigh Fermor . . . Time and again he gives us vivid glimpses of encounters along the way - priests and peasants, the squalors of the back country, high life in Bucharest - and this virtuoso display is embedded as always in his astonishing range of learning . . . full of fun, kindness, easy learning, sophistication and innocence . . . a gently fitting conclusion to his tumultuous masterpieceThis is a major work. It confirms that Leigh Fermor was, along with Robert Byron, the greatest travel writer of his generation, and this final volume assures the place of the trilogy as one of the masterpieces of the genre, indeed one of the masterworks of post-war English non-fictionColin Thubron and Artemis Cooper have put this book to bed with skill and sensitivity . . . Friends and fans, acolytes, devotees and disciples can all rest easy. It was worth the waitThe editors have done a fine jobIt is magnificent. Cooper and Thubron have done an immense service in bringing the book to publication, for it unmistakably stands comparison with its remarkable siblings. The prose has the glorious turbulence and boil of the first two books, and the youthful magic of his 'dream-odyssey' is still potentA fitting conclusion to his masterpiece . . . This book is momentousThe pages are filled with brilliant evocations of his life on the road, none richer than the time he spent in a Romanian broth . . . It is a fitting epilogue to 20th-century travel-writing and essential reading for devotees of Sir Patrick's other worksI set off along The Broken Road laden with expectations that I would have to make allowances. Yet almost from the off, I realised that I would have no use for these. Here was a wealth of descriptions that only Leigh Fermor could have conjured up . . . In a stroke of brilliance, Thubron and Cooper have included the separate diary that Leigh Fermor kept of the month he spent exploring Mount Athos in Greece immediately after leaving Istanbul. So, the Athos diary, aglow with rich experience, finally brings the journey to its rightful end in the spiritual heart of the country that was to prove, though the young author did not yet know it, Leigh Fermor's "real love and destination"This is a picaresque essay, a virtuoso tapestry of anecdote in the author's best traditionThe first two volumes were a joy to read, not least for Leigh Fermor's ability to recapture in later life the intense excitement of being a young man lighting out. The latest book offers similar joys . . . Also evident are another of the joys of the earlier books - the pyrotechnics of his writing. Exuberance is expressed in heightened suggestions . . . it captures the joy of the open road, the fresh view he gives of Europe as it began to show the stresses that led to world war, and the glimpses of a long-lost life and innocenceThe Mount Athos diary - untampered with by his older self - reminds us what an extraordinary young man he was . . . This early style is more immediate, more youthful; a pleasure to read in a wholly different way from the later magnificenceA road trip that is as illuminating as it is incomplete made by a traveller, warrior and jewelled stylistThere is plenty to enjoy, so much so that the reader often forgets to wonder how much is true, and how much the revisionist work of an inventive and poetic mind . . . the pleasure lies in its combination of erudition, exuberant speculation, lively anecdote and meticulous, picture-painting language . . . Gorgeous imagery, granted, yet it is in Leigh Fermor's disarming cameos that The Broken Road excelsHis literary executors have topped, tailed and polished with such sympathy and skill that their interventions cannot be detected. This is pure Paddy: these are his feelings, perceptions and responses, his the observations, his the descriptions, consummate in a phrase, acute and intense when extended to paragraph or page; this is his style yet it is in many ways a youthful text, its core the adventure of a very young man, its embellishments the experience, curiosity and wisdom of his older selfWhat a poignant and somehow fitting finale for a legendary procrastinator. It was certainly worth the waitThis final leg, through Romania and Bulgaria rounds off a classic trilogyFor readers of the other two books, to see the odyssey at last (almost) concluded, will naturally be irresistible. For everyone else there is the discovery of a unique writerThe final volume confirms the trilogy as one of the 'masterpieces' of English travel writingA scintillating continuation of the prodigious walk that took the young Leigh Fermor right into the heart of magically different pre-war Europe and beyond . . . his journey is complete, his world task accomplished, with the whole undertaking as thick in marvels as Aladdin's caveThe perfect present for anyone with wanderlustThe third unfinished volume of Leigh Fermor's enchanted journey through Mitteleuropa is here at lastGlorious . . . Artemis Cooper and Colin Thubron created THE BROKEN ROAD from a rejected essay on walking (15 times the size requested of Paddy), some failed drafts and a pair of flimsy travel journals. But the author is arguably more present in their loving editorial hands . . . than in any of his other books. There is also that infectious enthusiasm for the road and the lived experience, for spoken language, oral knowledge and for everything Byzantine and GreekHis epic journey's erudite conclusion will not disappoint his many fansOffers a fascinating glimpse of a lost time and talentMy favourite book this year was the final, unfinished and posthumous volume of Patrick Leigh Fermor's walking trilogy . . . it is every bit as masterly as Between the Woods and the WaterIts rich depictions and liquid language make this a masterpiece to savourIn magnificent prose [Patrick Leigh Fermor] describes liaisons with countesses in crumbling castles, changing landscapes, now lost forever, and the delight of a young man with nothing but himself and his quest for adventure. Travel writing at its most sublimeHis award-winning biographer Artemis Cooper and travel writer Colin Thubron have painstakingly and sensitively worked on Paddy's draft of the final leg of his epic journey and ghosted a wonderful account of his swashbuckling journey . . . It conjures up a life that's unimaginable in more cautious modern times and is beautifully writtenLike many really good things, it's hard to say why The Broken Road, the final volume of Patrick Leigh Fermor's account of his walk from Holland to Constantinople, is so satisfying. But it isFollowing his walk across Europe, Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011) lived and travelled in the Balkans and Greek Archipelago. He joined the Irish Guards and during the occupation of Crete led the party that captured the German commander. He was awarded the DSO and OBE.The book that the fans of Patrick Leigh Fermor have been waiting forHuge amount of interest and publicity surrounding all things Patrick Leigh FermorA TIME OF GIFTS won the WH Smith AwardBETWEEN THE WOODS AND THE WATER was awarded the Thomas Cook Travel Award
John Murray


By Ben Schott
Ever thought, 'There should be a German word for that'? Well, now there is.

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.

Fu?faust - 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 funBen 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 Alphabets to Zipcodes, the surprising story of our 26 letters from million-selling author and Radio 4 language expert, 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 . . . enjoyableMichael 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
Welcome 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.

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 wayGyles 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

Patrick Leigh Fermor

By Artemis Cooper
The authorized biography shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year, the National Book Awards and the Costa Biography Award.

Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011) was a war hero whose exploits in Crete are legendary, and above all he is widely acclaimed as the greatest travel writer of our times, notably for his books about his walk across pre-war Europe, A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water; he was a self-educated polymath, a lover of Greece and the best company in the world.

Artemis Cooper has drawn on years of interviews and conversations with Paddy and his closest friends as well as having complete access to his archives. Her beautifully crafted biography portrays a man of extraordinary gifts - no one wore their learning so playfully, nor inspired such passionate friendship.

'Artemis Cooper's funny, wise, learned but totally candid biography reveals Leigh Fermor to be an adventurer through and through . . . page-turning''Artemis Cooper's definitive biography draws on many years' encounters with Fermor, and is probably the most important travel-related book of the year''Patrick Leigh Fermor survived enough assaults on his existence to make Rasputin seem like a quitter . . . He was elegant as a cat, darkly handsome, unboreable, curious, fearless, fortunate, blessed with a near eidetic memory, and is surely one of the great English prose stylists of his generation . . . At last his biography has been detailed in full, in Artemis Cooper's tender and excellent book''This book is a primer for those poor souls yet to encounter his work, and a valuable, decoding manual for the multitude who believe that Leigh Fermor's trilogy about his youthful walk from the Hook of Holland to Istanbul marks one of the high points of twentieth-century English prose . . . Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover''Xenophilia is as English as Stilton. In one of the wonderful letters quoted in this perceptive, haunting and highly readable biography, Patrick Leigh Fermor called living in England "like living in the heart of a lettuce. I pine for hot stones and thorns and olive trees and prickly pears"''Happy the hero who, after a lifetime of glorious achievement, in death finds a biographer worthy of his memory. Artemis Cooper . . . makes this marvellous book less a mere life story than an evocation. [Patrick Leigh Fermor] is justly commemorated in this magnificent biography, and will surely be remembered for ever as one of the very best of men''Magnificent . . . Cooper's book is the perfect memorial to this remarkable man . . . For those of us who loved him and his work, and for a whole generation of writers who set off in his footsteps, he was the exemplar, showing how magnificently an English life could still be lived. He remains . . . the model to which we still aspire''Whether describing a night attack on Crete, a love affair or the political tensions over Cyprus that poisoned Anglo-Greek relations after the Second World War, she writes with a cool hand and clear head. Her book lives up to the majesty of the man''Artemis Cooper has done a brilliant job. The story rips along, as Leigh Fermor's life did, with friends and lovers, books and journeys and parties. And in the quieter moments we are left with something far more enduring: a man for whom the world was endlessly fascinating, and who found that he could create for his readers with carefully crafted words the same wonder that it gave him''The outstanding achievement in literary biography this year''It is not easy writing a biography of someone who has poured so much of his life into his books, but Artemis Cooper has done a brilliant job''In a splendid biography Artemis Cooper shows how a rather frustrated young man, who found it difficult to conform, changed the course of his life by undertaking an extraordinary journey . . . Cooper has done a sterling job in recounting his time on Crete''He is the greatest travel writer of the last century, a master of English prose . . . no one has written so well about what it is like to be young and hopeful, with one's future spread before one. Artemis Cooper has done him proud''Artemis Cooper carries us on a calm, confident journey . . . Cooper has mastered a tremendous amount of material''Artemis Cooper winningly followed in the footsteps of the great charmer, warrior and yarn-spinner''Artemis Cooper's biography proved magnificently that a somewhat over-eulogised hero could be well worth the eulogising after all''There's a true biographical treat in store with the long-awaited arrival of . . . Patrick Leigh Fermor, the sure-to-be glorious life of the twentieth century's greatest Hellenic traveller''Excellent, well-sourced''By any standards, Patrick Leigh Fermor led an extraordinary life''Artemis Cooper draws on years of interviews with the author and his friends in this much-anticipated biography''Fermor emerges as a man determined to live on his own terms, if not his own means, and who mostly - and most magnificently - succeeded''I also adored Artemis Cooper's biography of my favourite travel writer . . . in her new biography Cooper has left the perfect memorial to this remarkable man, which is as full of joie de vivre as its subject''An outstanding account of an extraordinary life; tender and evocative, without ever hardening into hagiography''The life of an immensely charming man . . . compelling, funny and wise''In describing Leigh Fermor's life, Artemis Cooper had often to revisit a told tale while correcting detail, expounding and inserting context. It was not an easy commission, and she has delivered it brilliantly . . . Artemis Cooper's fine biography gives colour and substance to the adventure, and a delicate, sympathetic portrait of the man who made it his life''An admirably fair-minded portrait of the celebrated travel writer and adventurer''It is not easy to convey the flavour of a man whose fame to a large extent rests on his ebullient personality and conversation but Ms Cooper succeeds admirably in this readable and entertaining book''A fine friendly, biography of a heroic, headlong character''Unputdownable biography''Artemis Cooper has done a fine job of documenting his travels''Tender and excellent''Meticulously researched''Artemis Cooper . . . has done him proud''[Patrick Leigh Fermor's] experiences have been rubbed smooth by much telling, often inaccurate as well as humdrum, and it is very much to Artemis Cooper's credit that she irons out the inaccuracies and places each anecdote in its poper context, backing it up with careful documentation''Cooper does this iconic figure proud in a well-researched biography''One of the 20th century's truly great men, Fermor is admirably served by this splendid biography''Cooper does full justice to this fascinating 20th-century Renaissance man''A superb biography of the adventurous travel writer and war hero, draws on the years of interviews and complete access to his archives''A roster of adventure and exuberant derring-do''His writing beautifully evokes exotic people and places. There wasn't nearly enough of it, but what there was has endured''Artemis Cooper's Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure was widely admired for its vivid portrait of a remarkable man''A clear-sighted account of an extraordinary life''She successfully communicates his enormous enthusiasm for life'Artemis Cooper reveals a quite extraordinary human beingAffectionate but never credulous, Cooper gets the measure of the manIt is the depth, pace and objectivity that distinguishes this impressive biographyAffectionate and amiable biographyCooper makes a familiar life - the adolescent walk across Europe, the derring-do in wartime Crete, the books that established him as one of the great prose writes of the 20th century - seem newTender and excellentArtemis Cooper does a wonderful job of retelling the story of how 'Paddy' tramped across Europe in the 1930s, slept with princesses and kidnapped Nazis on his beloved island of Crete. Affectionate but never credulous, Cooper gets the measure of the manArtemis Cooper is the author of Cairo in the War, 1939-1945 and Writing at the Kitchen Table, the authorized biography of Elizabeth David. With her husband Antony Beevor she wrote Paris After the Liberation, 1945-1949. She has edited two collections of letters and Words of Mercury, a collection of pieces by Patrick Leigh Fermor.An eagerly awaited biographyGuaranteed to get masses of coverage - death announced on TV and huge broadsheet obituariesBook of the Week interestedThe final volume of the walk due to be published in autumn 2013

Unexpected Lessons in Love

By Bernardine Bishop
With the wit of Marina Lewycka, the piercing observation of Jane Gardam, and the bittersweet charm of Mary Wesley, this will appeal to all who love Penelope Fitzgerald or the Potato Peel Pie Society.

Shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Novel Award

Cecilia Banks has a great deal on her plate. But when her son Ian turns up on her doostep with the unexpected consequence of a brief fling, she feels she has no choice but to take the baby into her life. Cephas's arrival is the latest of many challenges Cecilia has to face. There is the matter of her cancer, for a start, an illness shared with her novelist friend Helen. Then there is Helen herself, whose observations of Cecilia's family life reveal a somewhat ambivalent attitude to motherhood. Meanwhile Tim, Cecilia's husband, is taking self-effacement to extremes, and Ian, unless he gets on with it, will throw away his best chance at happiness.

Cecilia, however, does not have to manage alone. In a convent in Hastings sits Sister Diana Clegg who holds the ties that bind everyone not only to each other, but to strangers as yet unmet. As events unfold and as the truth about Cephas is revealed, we are invited to look closely at madness, guilt, mortal dread and the gift of resilience. No one will remain unchanged.

'Frank, courageous and entertaining. I felt better for reading it' Margaret Drabble

'This is one of the most enjoyable books I've read in years. I found it completely gripping. The carefully but unobtrusively structured plot (involving adoption, DNA and paternity) is domestic but with a wide reach; it is played out against a backdrop of world events. On reflection, I have never before read a book which confronts a serious and almost unmentionable illness with such lightness of touch. It's happy and it's cheering, with a beautiful warmth to it, achieved without a moment of sentimentality. I loved it''A remarkable, immensely readable and warm-hearted book''A refreshingly candid, unexpectedly witty and ultimately moving tale''A charming, playful novel''Bishop treats a fearful subject with an extraordinary lightness of touch; her humour and her emotional wisdom make this a delightful and humane novel'This novel, wise, sharp and startlingly frank, distils a lifetime of reflection on the rules of attraction, affection - and family life. From confused youth to the ordeals and confusions of old age, her wry insights delight''A wonderful novel, one of those rare books which leaves the reader with a deeper understanding of the human heart . . . This is an author of exceptional intelligence, subtlety and warmth. Expect to hear the name Bernardine Bishop when the lists for the Costa and Man Booker prizes are compiled later this year''This novel should appeal to Joanna Trollope fans . . . Bishop is a fine, intelligent writer, capable of handling moral and philosophical themes with a light touch''This is a vibrant and even welcoming novel . . . it offers such a rich range of pleasures''This is the sort of story which grabs you, pulls you in and won't let you go - but in a very gentle way. The characters are superb. It's wise and it's witty. It's sublimely well-written, not with flowery literary devices but in the sort of prose that leaves you surprised when you realise that you've read a hundred pages and you've no intention of giving up just yet. On a cold winter's day I was left with a warm glow when I finished reading'Effortlessly graceful writingBishop wanders rich fictional groundIt's impossible to recommend the late Bernardine Bishop's wondrous book too highly . . . You will not be so afraid of cancer after reading this bookFull of humour, kindness and gentle irony, this is a richly satisfying readConsidered and reflective, humorous and entertaing, this is a surprising and moving novelThis . . . novel, written in illness, is full of vitality and happiness - a sort of miracleExquisite, funny and sadA tender and acerbically witty tale of two women who survive cancer and become friendsThe great-granddaughter of the poet Alice Meynell, Bernardine Bishop was the youngest witness in the Lady Chatterley trial in 1960. After writing two early novels, she taught in a London comprehensive school for ten years and then had a distinguished career as a psychotherapist, during which she brought up her two sons. Cancer forced her retirement in 2010 and she returned to her first love, fiction. Bernardine Bishop lived in London with her husband, until her death in July 2013.Has all the wit of Marina Lewycka, the brilliant observation of Jane Gardam and the bittersweet charm of Mary WesleyWill also appeal to readers of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie SocietyA compelling slice of family life encompassing birth, death, cancer (and its survival), motherhood, fatherhood, children, adoption, DNA, madness, sanity - and the ties that bind us.
John Murray

Big Data

By Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, Kenneth Cukier

We are witnessing the beginnings of a revolution. Big data - the explosion of information that digitization has sparked - is changing our world in ways we are just starting to appreciate.

A New York Times bestseller. Longlisted for the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.

Since Aristotle, we have fought to understand the causes behind everything. But this ideology is fading. In the age of big data, we can crunch an incomprehensible amount of information, providing us with invaluable insights about the what rather than the why.

We're just starting to reap the benefits: tracking vital signs to foresee deadly infections, predicting building fires, anticipating the best moment to buy a plane ticket, seeing inflation in real time and monitoring social media in order to identify trends. But there is a dark side to big data. Will it be machines, rather than people, that make the decisions? How do you regulate an algorithm? What will happen to privacy? Will individuals be punished for acts they have yet to commit?

In this groundbreaking and fascinating book, two of the world's most-respected data experts reveal the reality of a big data world and outline clear and actionable steps that will equip the reader with the tools needed for this next phase of human evolution.

'Just as water is wet in a way that individual water molecules aren't, big data can reveal information in a way that individual bits of data can't. Mayer-Schonberger and Cukier show us the surprising ways that enormous, complex and messy collections of data can be used to predict everything from shopping patterns to flu outbreaks''Every decade, there are a handful of books that change the way you look at everything. This is one of those books. Society has begun to reckon the change that big data will bring. This book is an incredibly important start''An optimistic and practical look at the big data revolution - just the thing to get your head around the big changes already underway and the bigger changes to come''In Big Data, Mayer-Schonberger and Cukier break new ground in identifying how today's avalanche of information fundamentally shifts our basic understanding of the world. Argued boldly and written beautifully, the book clearly shows how companies can unlock value, how policymakers need to be on guard, and how everyone's cognitive models need to change''This brilliant book cuts through the mystery and the hype surrounding big data. A must-read for anyone in business, information technology, public policy, intelligence, and medicine. And anyone else who is just plain curious about the future''The book teems with great insights on the new ways of harnessing information, and offers a convincing vision of the future. It is essential reading for anyone who uses - or is affected by - big data''Big Data is a must-read for anyone who wants to stay ahead of one of the key trends defining the future of business'An excellent primerFascinatingRaises profound questionsAn elegant and readable primerViktor Mayer-Schonberger is at Oxford, Kenneth Cukier is at The Economist and together they make a great team. They haven't just identified a new trend. They also understand double-edged swords. Much of their book goes into how, possibly to regulate Big Data, when most of our legal system, so far, has no awareness of the significance of the 'excess' data we slough off in such vast quantitiesInformative . . . Mayer-Schonberger and Cukier make interesting observations about data-crunching techniques

Viktor Mayer-Sch?nberger is Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford University, following a decade on the faculty of Harvard's Kennedy School. He is one of the most respected authorities on what is happening in the big data arena. His book, Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age, is considered a seminal work on the ever-presence of data.

Kenneth Cukier is the Data Editor of The Economist and a leading thinker on developments in big data. His writing on technology, business and society has appeared in Foreign Affairs, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and elsewhere. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Big data is going to change the way our world works - imminentlyAn incredibly timely and important book from two of the most well-respected and well-positioned people in the fieldDemonstrates where and how big data applications impact the lives of everyone, using anecdotes and instances that every reader can relate to
John Murray

The One Thing

By Gary Keller
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?


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.


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
John Murray

Abducting a General

By Patrick Leigh Fermor
A daring behind-enemy-lines mission from the author of A Time of Gifts and The Broken Road, who was once described by the BBC as 'a cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Greene'.

One of the greatest feats in Patrick Leigh Fermor's remarkable life was the kidnapping of General Kreipe, the German commander in Crete, on 26 April 1944. He and Captain Billy Moss hatched a daring plan to abduct the general, while ensuring that no reprisals were taken against the Cretan population. Dressed as German military police, they stopped and took control of Kreipe's car, drove through twenty-two German checkpoints, then succeeded in hiding from the German army before finally being picked up on a beach in the south of the island and transported to safety in Egypt on 14 May.

Abducting a General is Leigh Fermor's own account of the kidnap, published for the first time. Written in his inimitable prose, and introduced by acclaimed Special Operations Executive historian Roderick Bailey, it is a glorious first-hand account of one of the great adventures of the Second World War. Also included in this book are Leigh Fermor's intelligence reports, sent from caves deep within Crete yet still retaining his remarkable prose skills, which bring the immediacy of SOE operations vividly alive, as well as the peril which the SOE and Resistance were operating under; and a guide to the journey that Kreipe was taken on, as seen in the 1957 film Ill Met by Moonlight starring Dirk Bogarde, from the abandonment of his car to the embarkation site so that the modern visitor can relive this extraordinary event.

It takes some chutzpah to kidnap a German general - and serious presence of mind to get away with it. Paddy, the Special Operations Executive commander of a group of 11 Cretan andartes, or guerrilla fighters, together with his second-in-command Captain William Stanley Moss, had excessive stores of both . . . Abducting a General . . . is the work of a mature man, anxious to pay proper tribute to the Cretans who were the backbone of the resistance and ran by far the greatest risks. His SOE reports, which run to 90 pages here, provide gripping cinematic portraits of Leigh Fermor the soldierBeautifully written . . . Fermor's love of Crete and scholarly knowledge of the Classics exude from the pagesAs a pure adventure story . . . it is hard to beatSuperb . . . Leigh Fermor's many fans will find plenty of the old master's fizz in this resurrected work . . . irresistiblePaddy's vividly idiomatic reports irresistibly take us in to the skulduggery and derring-do . . . a wonderful storyThe late, great Pagrick Leigh Fermor, described as a cross between Indiana Jones, James Bond and Graham Greene, first became famous in 1944 for his daring kidnap of high-ranking German general . . . Afficionados of the tale were spoilt this yearGripping buccaneering of the old schoolPaddy was the Byron of our timeFollowing his walk across Europe, Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011) lived and travelled in the Balkans and Greek Archipelago. He joined the Irish Guards and during the occupation of Crete led the party that captured the German commander. He was awarded the DSO and OBE. Towards the end of his life he wrote the first two books about his early trans-European odyssey, A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water. He planned a third, unfinished at the time of his death in 2011, which has since been edited by Colin Thubron and Artemis Cooper and published as The Broken Road.The Broken Road and Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure were both top ten bestsellersAlthough a story often told, this is the first time Leigh Fermor's own account, in his unique prose style, has been publishedAdditional material of his SOE reports bringing the immediacy of life in the war, and a modern walking guide