Two Roads - perfect Book Club fiction and non fiction.

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    Two Roads Books

    Since we started publishing in 2011, the landscape of publishing has changed a great deal. But our mantra – stories, voices, places, lives is a constant. Whatever the format, this is what we do and matters – we're all about stories. We publish about a dozen books a year, both fiction and non-fiction and we're always on the lookout for the extraordinary. Strong stories, beautifully written, that you want to press into the hands of your friends and say . . . 'You must read this.'
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Stories, Voices, Places, Lives

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Two Roads

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

By Therese Anne Fowler

'I wish I could tell everyone who thinks we're ruined... Look closer, and you'll see something extraordinary, mystifying, something real and true. We have never been what we seemed.'

When beautiful, reckless Southern belle Zelda Sayre meets F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance in 1918, she is seventeen and he is a young army lieutenant. Before long, Zelda has fallen for him, even though Scott isn't wealthy or prominent or even a Southerner and keeps insisting, absurdly, that his writing will bring him both fortune and fame. When he sells his first novel, she optimistically boards a train to New York, to marry him and take the rest as it comes.

What comes, here at the dawn of the Jazz Age, is unimagined success and celebrity that will make Scott and Zelda legends in their own time. Each place they go becomes a playground: New York City, Long Island, Hollywood, Paris, and the French riviera - where they join the endless party of the glamorous, sometimes doomed Lost Generation that includes Ernest Hemingway, Sara and Gerald Murphy, and Gertrude Stein.

Everything seems new and possible, but not even Jay Gatsby's parties go on forever. Who is Zelda, other than the wife of a famous - sometimes infamous - husband? With brilliant insight and imagination, Therese Anne Fowler brings us Zelda's irresistible story as she herself might have told it.

If ever a couple ... became an era, it was F Scott Fitzgerald and his glamorous "flapper" wife, Zelda. They were the Jazz Age.An utterly engrossing portrayal of Zelda Fitzgerald and the legendary circles in which she moved. In the spirit of Loving Frank and The Paris Wife, Therese Anne Fowler shines a light on Zelda instead of her more famous husband, providing both justice and the voice she struggled to have heard in her lifetime.Finely researched, entertaining and very plausible.A brilliant example of what biographical fiction can be. Read it, read it, read it.An often superb novel.Fowler articulates the story of Zelda in the first person, encapsulating her struggle exquisitely. She amplifies Zelda's whisper into a lion's roar. Our girl finally gets the justice, autonomy, and recognition she so desperately craved in her lifetime. The era is projected in full technicolour and makes for utterly compulsive reading.A treat.In her new novel Z, Fowler draws a compellingly complete portrait of that other Paris (and New York and St. Paul and Long Island) wife: mother, painter, writer, flapper, feminist Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald.A thrilling read.Zips along addictively and exposes the dark side of artistic ambition.A gorgeously rendered piece of literary entertainment, not a biography but rather a love story set in the Jazz Age.A must-read.Captures the playful, deeply loving, sexy relationship between the young Fitzgeralds.Z is a fictional account of Zelda Fitzgerald's life - giving voice to the determined, intelligent and vibrant woman who struggled to find her identity in the shadow of her husband, whose demons challenged them both with heartbreaking consequences. An unforgettable read.Thoughtful and emotionally charged, Z is a mesmerising piece of fiction that brings to life an era and the set of people who defined it. Faithfully researched, written with brio and style, it is a must-read for Fitzgerald obsessives but should also captivate readers coming new to the legend.Sassy, witty and compulsively readable, Z is destined to put Fowler on the literary map.Narrated by Fowler's imagined voice of Zelda Fitzgerald, this is the touching and ultimately tragic love story of Zelda and her husband, F Scott Fitzgerald. Like much of their life, reality played like an F Scott Fitzgerald novel - full of glamour, alcohol and bad behaviour. This is an engrossing read of celebrity life. In some ways the story is specific to the between the war years and that fascinating creative group of writers and artists. In particular the opportunities for women beyond the role of home-maker drew Zelda and frustrated Scott. In other ways, perhaps things haven't changed that much as bright starts shine and burn out. Amy Winehouse anyone?Fowler's Zelda is all we would expect and more... Fowler has given us a lovely, sad and compulsively readable book.What Fowler so masterfully achieves in Z is a thoughtful portrait of a woman who might not have been as 'crazy' as we all had been led to believe, but one who was constantly disregarded by a jealous and narcissistic husband.Though there are many biographies of the Fitzgeralds, Fowler's well-researched fictional account provides a tender, intimate exploration of a complicated and captivating woman ... Fowler's detailed prose will certainly spark fresh interest in the most famous couple of the Roaring Twenties.Fowler portrays a softer, more anxious Zelda, but loveable nonetheless, whose world is one of textured sensuality.From her youth as the belle of Montgomery to the heady early days of marriage to the inevitable breakdowns, Fowler chronicles Zelda's incredible life with sympathy and compassion.Fowler renders rich period detail in this portrayal of a fascinating woman both blessed - and cursed - by fame.Fowler's richly imagined portrait of the Jazz Age's literary royalty is a wonderfully engaging read. With crisp dialogue and vivid descriptions, Z delivers both a compelling love story and a poignant tale of a woman coming into her own as an artist.A novel that is as hearbreaking as it is mesmerizing. Just magnificent.The New York Times bestselling novel of the woman dubbed 'The First Flapper' - Zelda Fitzgerald, wife and muse to F. Scott Fitzgerald. Set against the glamorous backdrop of the Roaring Twenties, Z is the story of the golden couple who had it all, but who weren't destined for a happy ending.

Therese Anne Fowler was born in Illinois and is a graduate of North Carolina State University, where she earned a BA in sociology and an MFA in creative writing. She taught undergraduate fiction writing and was editorial assistant for the literary magazine Obsidian III before leaving to write fiction full-time.

Gatsby mania.The first novel about Zelda, herself: F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife and muse - known as 'The First Flapper'.Half of the Jazz Age's golden couple: their celebrity was notorious. Together they embodied the Jazz Age - brash, bold and unafraid. William Randolph Hearst had a reporter covering their antics exclusively.For fans of Paris Wife and Loving Frank: great book group appeal - the Fitzgeralds lived an alcohol-fuelled life during the 'greatest, gaudiest spree in history', as F. Scott Fitzgerald described the Twenties. Their circle comprised some of the greatest writers and artists of the early Twentieth century, the 'Lost Generation' in Paris to the Prohibition of New York.A misunderstood and often tragic figure: struggling with the roles of wife, mother, artist, as well as mental illness - Zelda has long been a mysterious character - this meticulously researched and sympathetic portrait brings her out of Scott's shadow.Huge resurgence of interest in the Fitzgeralds from the sell-out 8-hour play of GATZ to Baz Luhrmann's mid-2013 Warner film of The Great Gatsby starring Carey Mulligan and Leonardo DiCaprio.The Roaring Twenties are back - have they ever been away?Zelda's bob was described by Time Magazine as one of the ten most iconic hairstyles of all time.

Two Roads Books

Two Roads Books is an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton, a British publishing house, now a division of Hachette. Announced by its Publisher, Lisa Highton, in September 2010, Two Roads started publishing in 2011. Publishing about a dozen books a year, with a mixture of narrative non-fiction and fiction, its stated mission is ‘stories-voices-places-lives’. Two Roads particularly champions reading groups and book clubs, and since she launched the list publisher Lisa Highton has travelled over 7,500 miles vising independent bookshops and their book groups. Possibly the best known title on the Two Roads list to date is Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, which was made into a film in 2011 starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon.
Two Roads

Dream New Dreams

By Jai Pausch

'I asked Jai what she has learned since my diagnosis,' Randy Pausch wrote about his wife in THE LAST LECTURE. 'Turns out, she could write a book titled Forget the Last Lecture; Here's the Real Story.'

DREAM ON traces Jai's experiences since Randy's diagnosis, from the constant struggle she faced as a mother of three small children, to the burdens and dilemmas that accompany the role of caregiver: navigating the steep medical learning curve; managing finances; often neglecting one's own needs; making gut-wrenching decisions; and dealing with emotions ranging from guilt and resentment, to our greatest human qualities of compassion and love. With concrete advice woven artfully into a personal narrative, DREAM ON will resonate and appeal not only to the legions of readers who made THE LAST LECTURE a phenomenal bestseller, but also to all those who have lost -- or are in the process of losing -- a loved one.

A remarkably frank, deeply moving and thematically rich memoir about death, dying and the grieving process, by the wife of the late Randy Pausch, author of THE LAST LECTURE.

Jai Pausch became an impassioned advocate promoting pancreatic cancer research following the 2008 death of her husband, Randy Pausch, Ph.D, acclaimed Carnegie Mellon University professor and author of the international best seller, The Last Lecture. During Randy`s twenty-three-month battle with cancer, Jai took on the responsibility as his cancer caregiver, learning specialised medical, palliative, and hospice care. Previously, Jai Pausch led the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science Web team as the Director of Electronic Publications. Today, Pausch researches do-it-yourself instructional videos for home repairs and remodelling. She lives with her children, Dylan, Logan and Chloe, in Hampton Roads, Virginia.For fans of THE LAST LECTURE, eager to read more and find out how Jai and the family coped.TLE LAST LECTURE has sold millions of copies world-wide, and is an iconic book in terms of inspirational living.Inspirational memoir about building a new life and keeping one's dreams alive after experiencing tragedy.For readers of Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking and Elizabeth Edwards' Resilience.DREAM ON champions and guides the masses of carers who tend to their loved ones suffering from cancer.
Two Roads

The End of Your Life Book Club

By Will Schwalbe

'A wonderful book about wonderful books and mothers and sons and the enduring braid between them.' - Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays With Morrie
'a true meditation on what books can do.' - Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with Amber Eyes
Mary Anne Schwalbe is waiting for her chemotherapy treatments when Will casually asks her what she's reading. The conversation they have grows into tradition: soon they are reading the same books so they can have something to talk about in the hospital waiting room. Their choices range from classic (Howards End) to popular (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), from fantastic (The Hobbit) to spiritual (Jon Kabat-Zinn), with many in between. We hear their passion for reading and their love for each other in their intimate and searching discussions.
A profoundly moving testament to the power of love between a child and parent, and the power of reading in our lives.

I was so moved by this marvellous book. Schwalbe has done something extraordinary: made a personal journey public in the most engaging, funny and revealing way possible. It is a true meditation on what books can do.Will Schwalbe gives us two love stories in one: That of his relationship with his dynamo of a mother as her horizons shrink, and that of their mutual devotion to the printed word, infinitely and insistently engaging. Tender and touching and beautifully done.A perfect book-club book about books and the community they create that also portrays the love between mother and son.Will Schwalbe's brave and soulful elegy to his remarkable mother, his recollection of their sparklingly literate conversations, is a timely reminder that one exceptional person, or one exceptional book, can be a torch in the darkness. You'll turn the last page wishing you'd met Mary Anne Schwalbe, vowing to be worthy of her incandescent example - and promising yourself to read more.A wonderful book about wonderful books and mothers and sons and the enduring braid between them. Like the printed volumes it celebrates, this story will stay with you long after the last page.At last a book that celebrates the role books play within our own story. Will Schwalbe has created a tender, moving and honest portrayal of the precious relationship between a mother and son - an ode to that beautiful thing called astonishing, pertinent, and wonderfully welcome work.An extraordinarily wise, witty, and quietly wrenching book about parental love, filial love, profound grief, and literature's great consolations. How wonderful to encounter a writer who combines erudition with great emotional honesty, and who isn't afraid of addressing life's most profound and baffling questions.This touching and insightful memoir about the slow process of dying will appeal to readers of Tuesdays With Morrie and The Last Lecture, but also to people who love delving into books and book discussions. Like Mary Anne, who reads the ending first, you know how this book is going to end, but while it is a story about death, it is mostly a celebration of life and of the way books can enrich it.a moving and inspiring storyWhat self-respecting reader isn't a sucker for a great book about other great books? The End of Your Life Book Club is that much and more.a graceful, affecting testament to a mother and a life well lived.a tribute to a remarkable woman and an exemplary reader.Literature bridges generations in Will Schwalbe's thoughtful tribute to his late motherA truly poignant read . . . a moving tribute to a wonderful-sounding mum and the power of fiction.It helps of course if you are a book lover and can relate to the passion for reading, but even prolific readers will find that the book teaches them not only about life and death but about the power of a really good book to move you and peel off the onion skin layers of "what you already know" and reveal truths.a life-enhancing celebration of the power of books and reading, very much in the vein of Tuesdays with Morrie

The inspiring story of a son and his dying mother, who form a 'book club' that brings them together as her life comes to a close.

The Last Lecture meets Tuesdays with Morrie.A moving story of a mother and son and their love of books. For all book lovers who understand what books have to teach us and the value of shared experiences.The book list includes A Fine Balance, The Book of Common Prayer, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Uncommon Reader, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, The Year of Magical Thinking, Crossing to Safety, Brooklyn and many many more.Mary Anne Schwalbe was an extraordinary woman and this book is not only an exploration of the books they shared but also the values and her life of service. When she died, full page obituaries appeared in a range of papers, from the New York Times to major international and UK papers.Reading group campaign.Mary Anne Schwalbe lived in the UK for many years.Celebrity endorsements to come over a wide range of arts and media. have sold to Ullstein (Germany), Ambo Anthos (Holland), Rizzoli (Italy), Belfond (France), RBA Libros (Spain), Objectiva (Portugal), Hayakawa (Japan) and Book21 (Korea).The Two Roads book club is reading 12 of the books featured in THE END OF YOUR LIFE BOOK CLUB.
Two Roads

Until I Say Good-Bye

By Bret Witter, Susan Spencer-Wendel

What would you do with one last year? Susan Spencer-Wendel was determined to laugh instead of cry.
In June 2011, Susan Spencer-Wendel learned she had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) - Lou Gehrig's disease - an irreversible condition that systematically destroys the nerves that power the muscles. She was 44-years-old, with three young children, and she had only one year of health remaining.
She decided to live that year with joy.
She left her job as a journalist and spent time with her family. She built a meeting place for friends in her backyard. And she took seven trips with the seven most important people in her life. As her health declined, Susan journeyed to the Yukon, Hungary, the Bahamas, and Cyprus. She went to the beach with her sons and to Kleinfeld's bridal shop in New York City with her teenage daughter, Marina, for a glimpse of the wedding she would never attend.
She also wrote this book. No longer able to walk or even lift her arms, she tapped it out letter by letter on her iPhone using only her right thumb, the last finger still working.
And yet Until I Say Good-Bye is not angry or bitter. It is sad in parts - how could it not be? - but it is filled with Susan's optimism, joie de vivre and sens of humour. It is a book that, like Susan, will make everyone smile.
From a hilarious family Christmas disaster to the decrepit monastery in eastern Cyprus where she rediscovered her heritage, Until I Say Good-Bye is Susan Spencer-Wendel's unforgettable gift to her loved ones and to us: a record of their final experiences together and a reminder that every day is better when it is lived with joy.

Less a memoir about dying than a template for life. The spirit of the book - her spirit - is uplifting.Her heart-ripping book chronicles what she did immediately after her diagnosis: she decided to embrace life while death chased her down... endearing and all too human.You might worry that a memoir about living with a terminal disease could be too upsetting. Instead, in Susan Spencer Wendel's hands it is both life-enhancing and inspiring. In Until I Say Good-Bye she chronicles her last year of adventures as she wrings every ounce of joy out of her remaining months.Inspiring.All you can do... is to turn the pages, slack-jawed, in awe at her insistence on having powerful, individual experiences.It's a touching and brutally honest account of one mother's inspiring attempt to get the most out of the time she has left.This is not a book drowning in tears. It remains optimistic for the future, even if the author will not be there to see it. There is laughter and, as promised, joy throughout.Susan Spencer-Wendel had to face the question, 'What would you do if you had a year to live?' This profound, tender, and often funny account of her experiences will remind readers of what really matters most: love.An emotional roller-coaster of a memoir.The inspirational account of a woman whose ALS diagnosis and subsequent physical decline don't prevent her from enjoying life to the fullest, which she proves....almost unbearably moving chronicle of how Spencer-Wendel went about creating lasting moments in that year for the ones she loved.The tales are painfully honest, and they're heartbreaking because we know the inevitable outcome. But mostly, they're inspiring. Spencer-Wendel, even in the darkest of moments, remains insistent on happiness - staggeringly so.Her honesty and frustration are underscored with a wicked sense of humour.A poignant, wise love story.Journalist Spencer-Wendel discovered she was ill when her left hand suddenly became withered. As she struggles to come to terms with knowing something is wrong - not wanting to find out, then not fully believing the doctor's ALS diagnosis - she writes with courage and strength... Spencer-Wendel's life will sadly be cut short, but in writing her story, she shows her family and friends how to go on, choosing happiness and love over fear.In the spirit of THE LAST LECTURE and Tuesdays with Morrie, a powerfully emotional, inspirational and irrepressibly joyous look at the things that matter most and a celebration of life in the face of death.New York Times bestseller.Extremely powerful story: In the vein of The Last Lecture and Tuesdays with Morrie, UNTIL I SAY GOOD-BYE is unbelievably moving and inspirational. Susan's determination to seize every day and live with meaning comes through in every word that she writes.A truly magical story and so much more than one woman's 'bucket list'. It's a celebration of life, a look into the face of death, and the effort we must make to show the people that we love and care about how very much they mean to us.International sensation - rights have now been sold in over 20 territories: USA (HarperCollins); UK (Hodder); Brazil (Sextante); Catalan (Ara Llibres); China (Citic); Croatia (Fraktura); Czech Republic (Euromedia); Finland (WSOY); France (Presses de la Cite); French Canada (Editions de L'Homme); Germany (Heyne); Holland (A.W. Bruna); Hungary (Libri); Israel (Kinneret); Italy (Rizzoli); Japan (Kodansha); Korea (Munhakdongne); Portugal (Bertrand/Pergaminho); Slovakia (Ikar); South America (Oceano); Spain (Planeta); Taiwan (Commonwealth); and Thailand (Amarin).Film rights sold to Universal (in a multi-million dollar deal), who are lining up producers.Dedicated website and online, advertising and strong social media campaign.Susan Spencer-Wendel's story has been spotlighted in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Daily Mail, Guardian, Observer, Daily Telegraph.A timeless gift for Mother's Day and beyond - the perfect book to share with those closest to us.Co-writer Bret Witter is the author of the smash #1 New York Times bestseller Dewey. His books have sold more than two million copies, been translated into more than thirty languages, and spent more than a year on the New York Times bestseller list.
Two Roads

The Still Point of the Turning World

By Emily Rapp

Like all mothers, Emily Rapp had ambitious plans for her son, Ronan. He would be smart, loyal, physically fearless, level-headed but fun. He would be good at crossword puzzles like his father. He would be an avid skier like his mother. Rapp would speak to him in foreign languages and give him the best education.

But all of these plans changed when Ronan was diagnosed at nine months old with Tay-Sachs disease, a rare and always-fatal degenerative disorder. Ronan was not expected to live beyond the age of three; he would be permanently stalled at a developmental level of six months. Rapp and her husband were forced to re-evaluate everything they thought they knew about raising a family. They would have to learn to live with their child in the moment; to find happiness in the midst of sorrow; to parent without a future.

The Still Point of the Turning World is the story of a mother's journey through grief and beyond it. Rapp's response to her son's diagnosis was a belief that she needed to 'make my world big' - to make sense of her family's situation through art, literature, philosophy, theology and myth. Drawing on a broad range of thinkers and writers, from C.S. Lewis to Sylvia Plath, Hegel to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Rapp learns what wisdom there is to be gained from parenting a terminally ill child. In luminous, exquisitely moving prose, she re-examines our most fundamental assumptions about what it means to be a good parent, to be a success, and to live a meaningful life.

A brilliant study of the wages of mortal love.Rapp has written a beautiful and passionate elegy for her son, a book that offers deep wisdom for any reader.A radiant book steeped in deep feelings.Rapp combines an essayist's willingness to lay herself bare on the page, a theologian's search to plumb the mysteries of life and a poet's precision.The Still Point of the Turning World begins as a book about a parent's worst fear, a child's death, but it finally becomes a celebration of Ronan's life, a call to action that urges us, its readers, to be fierce in our loves and our lives.Stunning.Agonising and sublime, is one of the greatest books I've read about how to love... An unforgettable, soul-gripping book.Rapp writes with such radiant honesty and intelligence, pulling you close, making you care, teaching us to live in the moment-and love deeply.Emily Rapp didn't want to tell this story. She had to. That necessity is evident in every word of this intelligent, ferocious, grace-filled, gritty, astonishing starlight of a book.It's hard to find words that do justice to Emily Rapp's The Still Point of the Turning World. It's one of those rare books that you want to press into people's hands and simply say, "You must read this. You will thank me." At every turn, Rapp avoids the maudlin and the expected to get at very deep truths, sometimes painful and sometimes liberating and sometimes both. She looks for wisdom and comfort to a wide range of sources ranging from C.S. Lewis to Marilynne Robinson to Buddhist teaching. And she looks to her son. This is one family's story of living while facing death, but also an astonishingly generous work about recognizing the pain and grace that exist all around us.Emily Rapp has written an intimate, compelling and often unexpectedly funny story that speaks to some of the most universal truths of being human. More than just a narrative, this is art, not to mention essential reading.Rapp has an emotional accessibility reminiscent of Wild author Cheryl Strayed; her unique experiences have a touch of the universal. She comes across as open, midthought. In her book, she wrestles with the ideas of luck and sentimentality and life and love and often circles back, unresolved. Despite being a former divinity student, she bypasses religion for literature, seeking meaning in poetry, myth and, especially, Frankenstein and its author, Mary Shelley... Her kind of parent? The dragon mother: powerful, sometimes terrifying, full of fire and magic.Unflinching and unsentimental, Rapp's work lends a useful, compassionate, healing message for suffering parents and caregivers.A beautiful, searing exploration of the landscape of grief and a profound meditation on the meaning of life.Brave and magnificently written ... this is a book that's honest and thoughtful, and we find that, like Rapp herself, enduring such heartbreak imbues us with a new sense of wisdom and courage.

On Emily's blog, 'Little Seal':

'There's no shortage of mothers chronicling the exploits of their children online, weighing in on parenting's ups and downs. Emily Rapp is an expert on the latter. In Little Seal, she writes about her son, Ronan, who is 2 1/2 and has Tay-Sachs disease. This isn't your typical mommy blog. Ronan is slowly dying - he can no longer move or see, and he has had a variety of seizures - but you won't find a more lyrical, inspiring blog. Readers can count on Rapp for a jolt of humanity and perspective amid the mundane.'

A writer writes; a mother mothers. When those passionate vocations merge in crisis, more than a memoir emerges. The Still Point of the Turning World is a philosophical inquiry into the nature of faith, character, love, and dying. This book is Rapp's, and Ronan's, enduring gift of selves for the rest of us.This memoir of extraordinary tenderness and grace in the face of unimaginable loss is searingly beautiful in the way of a sacred text. Emily Rapp certainly didn't sign on to be our guide into the deepest crevasses of the human heart, but that is what she has become. Of course this is an undeniably sad book, but don't let that stop you. It is also one of the most powerfully alive books I have ever read. Every page shouts: This is what it is to love! To risk! To lose! To bear witness! An unforgettable moral and artistic triumph.Written with remarkable precision and restraint, Emily Rapp's The Still Point of the Turning World takes us to the depths of grief, where almost against our will, heartbreak becomes beautiful.Emily Rapp transforms her particular life situation - being a mother to her son Ronan, who is dying of Tay-Sachs disease - into something universal, challenging readers to remember that love is all we ever have. Rapp's words will sear your heart and make you want to be a better parent, sister, partner, friend. Reading her book will change your life.Emily Rapp vows not to avert her eyes, and she keeps her promise: to the son she is losing to a rare genetic disease, to her family, and to her readers. The result is a staggeringly brilliant and heartbreaking exploration of love, literature, life, death, and belief. Rapp's language is as propulsive and beautiful as her grief is brutal, and her intellectual curiosity is insatiable. She asks the hardest questions any human being is ever forced to ask, about how we understand ourselves and our children, how we love and learn to let each other go. Reading Emily Rapp is like visiting a lush, complicated, inimitable planet. Fly there as fast as you can.A New York Times bestseller, The Still Point of the Turning World is Emily Rapp's arresting eulogy for her late son Ronan: a mother's experience raising a terminally ill child, and what it taught her about family, grief and parenting.

A former Fulbright scholar and graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Emily Rapp is the author of Poster Child: A Memoir. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Salon and Slate among other pubblications. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers' Award, a James A. Michener Fellowship at the University of Texas-Austin, and the Philip Roth Writer-in-Residence fellowship at Bucknell University.
She is currently professor of creative writing and literature at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design and a faculty member in the University of California-Riverside MFA Program.

For more information on Emily, visit her website,

New York Times bestseller.The book received massive UK & ANZ coverage and publicity, including a Times Magazine interview, a 1200-word feature by the author for Sunday Times Style and pieces in Australia's Sunday Style and Mamamia, an Australian news and opinion site, and a brilliant review in The Weekend Australian.The book received great publicity buzz in the US, including tv (the Today show), web (Huffington Post), radio (NPR) and print (all major US publications).The PB edition of The Still Point of the Turning World includes a new chapter that brings readers up to date on what has happened since Ronan's passing.Huge book group appeal: like WILD, this is a memoir of experience that mixes philosophy, art, literature and poetry.Emily's blog, 'Little Seal' (, was selected as TIME magazine's 25 best blogs of 2012.Rapp's New York Times op-ed "Notes from a Dragon Mom" ( generated more than 30,000 hits to her blog and more than 5,000 letters.
Blog and Book Club

Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project

Visit the blog of Gretchen Rubin, author of HAPPIER AT HOME, for every day inspiration and a brilliant book club.

The joys of discovering WATER FOR ELEPHANTS

March 2011
Hodder Sales Rep, Ian Williamson writes about the joys of discovering WATER FOR ELEPHANTS by Sara Gruen.
Two Roads

Ape House

By Sara Gruen

The New York Times bestseller - of how six bonobo apes change the lives of three humans, from master storyteller Sara Gruen, author of the international bestseller, Water for Elephants.

These bonobos are no ordinary apes. Like others of their species, they are capable of reason and carrying on deep relationships - but, unlike most bonobos, they also know American Sign Language.

Isabel Duncan, a scientist at the Great Ape Language Lab, doesn't understand people, but animals she gets, especially the bonobos. Isabel feels more comfortable in their world than she's ever felt among humans . . . until she meets John Thigpen, a very married reporter who braves the ever-present animal rights protesters outside the lab to see what's really going on inside.

When an explosion tears apart the lab, severely injuring Isabel and 'liberating' the apes to an unknown destination, John's human interest piece turns into the story of a lifetime.

DON'T MISS YOUR BUS STOP . . . reading this week's talking-point book, Ape House by Water for Elephants author Sara Gruen. It's a funny, provocative lampoon of pop culture, about a group of sign-language-speaking bonobo monkeys who are liberated from a science lab, only to wind up on a reality TV show.Ape House is gripping, emotionally exhilarating and, by a large margin, the best novel I've read in the past 12 months. Or perhaps 24.... A twisting pacy plot . . . vivid page-turner . . . mining the same literary vein as Jodi Picoult and TC Boyle whose strong, conflicted characters and ethically charged plots deliver brilliant but challenging fiction.If you love animals like I do, it's a must read.had me instantly enrapturedGruen's astute, wildly entertaining tale of interspecies connection is a novel of verve and conscience - the fate of the bonobos is a brilliantly satirical surprise.It is a page-turner written with flair, imagination and a sharp sense of irony.Very, very few novels can change the way you look at the world around you. This one does.Consider reality TV, meth labs, over-the-top animal-rights activists, Botox, tabloids and Internet diatribes, and you, too, might come to the conclusion: People should be more like animals. Sara Gruen's entertaining, enlightening new novel will certainly leave you thinking so.Has the dramatic tension of a crime thriller... Twists and turns, lies, and treachery abound in this funny, clever, and perceptive story.Ape House is difficult to put down, filled as it is with genuine hilarity and heartbreak.The biggest accomplishment of Ape House is that it brings bonobos to life. The writing is effortless, as though Gruen sat down and wrote the book in one breezy afternoon.Gruen delivers a tale that's full of heart, hope, and compelling questions about who we really are.Propulsive... Gruen writes with the commercial breathlessness of a cozier Dan Brown.'Ape House is a moving account of a close bond between human and ape - and human and human too.''enlightening and believable''Gruen writes about her animal characters with energy and empathy. . . . [she] has a lovely, noticing eye. Fron tiny silver flecks drifting off champagne cork foil, to a dogbowl sliding away from a rescued pit bill, there is plenty of surface detail to detain the reader.'From the bestselling author of Water for Elephants comes another immensely engaging novel ....

Sara Gruen is the internationally bestselling author of Water for Elephants and At The Water's Edge. Her works have been translated into forty-three languages and have sold more than ten million copies worldwide.
Water for Elephants was adapted into a major motion picture starring Reese Witherspoon, Rob Pattinson, and Christoph Waltz.
She lives in Western North Carolina with her husband and three children.

With more than four million copies of the book in print, Sara Gruen's previous book, Water for Elephants, has now spent over three years on the New York Times bestseller list and fourteen weeks at number one.Fascinating insight into the world of language apes.The movie of Water for Elephants stars Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon and Christophe Waltz.Moving and funny - a genuine page turner.The first chapter of Ape House is included in Water for Elephants.Quick link to Two Roads website in every book.
Two Roads

The Last Lecture

By Randy Pausch, Jeffrey Zaslow

The phenomenal international bestseller - with over 8 million copies sold.
What legacy would you choose to leave behind for your children?
When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give 'a last lecture' lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. But the lecture he gave, 'Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams', wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because time is all you have and you may find one day that you have less than you think). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.

A lot of professors give talks titled 'The Last Lecture'. Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?

In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humour, inspiration, and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.

InspiringA New York Times bestseller with over 8 million copies sold, Professor Randy Pausch's moving and inspirational book is based on his extraordinary Last Lecture. 'We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.'Randy Pausch was a professor of Computer Science, Human Computer Interaction, and Design at Carnegie Mellon University. From 1988 to 1997, he taught at the University of Virginia. An award-winning teacher and researcher, he worked with Adobe, Google, Electronic Arts (EA), and Walt Disney Imagineering, and pioneered the Alice project. He died in 2008, two years after his diagnosis.A Number One New York Times bestseller, spending two years on the New York Times bestsellers list.Over twenty-five million people have now seen Randy give the lecture, via thousands of websites, and television shows such as OprahWill appeal to fans of Tuesdays with Morrie, which has sold over ten million copies worldwideVisit
Two Roads


By Helen Brown

For all those people who say they aren't cat people, but deep down know they are.
Helen Brown wasn't a cat person, but her nine-year-old son Sam was. So when Sam heard someone mention that her cat had just had a litter, he pleaded to go and see them. Helen was powerless to resist and the deal was done - to be delivered when the kitten was big enough to leave her mother.

Just a week later, Sam was killed in a road accident. Not long after this, a little black kitten was delivered to the family's doorstep. Totally numbed by Sam's death, Helen had completely forgotten about the new arrival, which belonged in another universe when Sam was still alive.

Helen was ready to send her back, but Sam's younger brother, Rob, identified with the kitten who'd also lost her brothers. Stroking her, it was the first time Helen had seen him smile since Sam's death. There was no choice, the kitten - dubbed Cleo - had to stay

Cleo's immense character slowly taught the family to laugh again, giving them hope of getting back to normal. She went on to become the high priestess of Helen's household - vetoing her new men, terrifying visiting dogs and playing an integral role in their lives to become both a guardian and friend.

Possibly the next Marley and Me, Cleo, is an honest and un-mawkish true story of ordinary people rebuilding their lives after a tragedy, with the help of a kitten. Even non cat-lovers will be moved.Cat-lovers will be charmed and amused . . . a salutary reminder of the gratitude we humans owe to our companion animals.From the publisher of Marley & Me and Dewey, this is the uplifting and affecting tale of Cleo the kitten, who helps to heal a family after a terrible tragedy.

Helen Brown was born and brought up in New Zealand where she worked as a journalist, TV presenter and scriptwriter. Now living in Melbourne, Australia with her family, Helen continues to write columns for the New Zealand media, where she`s been voted Columnist of the Year several times.


Many animal memoirs are published, but few will affect the reader like this one. Like MARLEY, this is really a story of love and family.The appetite for good books in this genre is phenomenal: MARLEY & ME has sold over 6 million copies worldwide with the film grossing $200M worldwide; DEWEY has sold over 2 million copies worldwide, with a film in production.CLEO is already a bestseller in New Zealand and Australia.Major UK serial rights sold.Cleo was a top ten bestseller in hardback.
Two Roads

The Reading Promise

By Alice Ozma

When Alice was nine years old, she and her father - a beloved school librarian - made a promise to read aloud together for 100 consecutive nights. Upon reaching their goal, they celebrated over pancakes, but it was clear that neither wanted to let go of what had become their reading ritual. They decided to continue what became known as The Streak for as long as they possibly could.

From L. Frank Baum to Dickens to J.K. Rowling to Shakespeare, Alice's father read to her every night without fail until the day she entered college, a remarkable eight years later. In this deeply affecting memoir, Alice tells the story of her relationship with the extraordinary man who raised her - from his steadying hand on the back of her wobbly bike to his one-man crusade to keep reading in schools - the words they shared and the spaces in between. Alice poignantly illustrates the unbreakable parent-child bond, the books they treasured, and the life lessons learned along the way.

'At a time when books often seem under attack, threatened with redundancy by the more aggresive advocates of new media, it is good to read so spirited and charming a paean in praise of the pleasures of reading as The Reading Promise.''My favourite . . . she writes beautifully of an unbreakable parent-child bond and the life lessons learnt from literature along the way. . . . My Father's Day gift of the month.''Alice Ozma has given us the gift of a remarkable love story. In her love of books, and of her father, we see the most meaningful promises we might make to our own parents, our own children, and to ourselves.''Tender, funny, and deeply readable, THE READING PROMISE tells the story of how a simple ritual became a treasured father-daughter tradition. Promise yourself to revisit what matters . . . promise you'll pick up this tribute to the ways in which books change lives.''A testament to the power of books and reading, especially reading together, the book details the comfort, excitement, terror and inspiration stories can provide. Part love letter to a devoted parent, part memoir of a sensitive, intelligent girl, part passionate plea for readers to preserve traditions of reading aloud and using libraries, this is a book to curl up with and sink into.''THE READING PROMISE is a powerful testament to the difference a parent's devotion and the act of reading can make in a child's life. A rare and triumphant story.''Clearly fabulous for libraries everywhere. . . . My pick.''This is about so much more than books and reading. It's about single-parenthood and childhood, about raising a loving, witty, articulate kid, and all of it accomplished without anyone turning into the Alpha-Parent/Tiger-Dad.''Ozma's work is humorous, generous, and warmly felt, and with a terrific reading list included, there is no better argument for the benefits of reading to a child than this rich, imaginative work.''Ozma has written a memoir as rich and revealing, witty and warm, confident and compassionate as works by people who may have been around a few more blocks, but who probably haven't read as many books. Persuasive and influential, poignant and inspirational, Ozma's exuberant paean to the joys and rewards of reading - and being read to - is a must-read treasure for parents, especially, and bibliophiles, certainly.''this utterly charming memoir, which blends Ozma's reading experience with a perfectly phrased account of her upbringing and shows us just how much she learned. VERDICT: Sweet, engaging, and obviously inspiring (it even ends with a "Reading Promise"), this is the perfect book to hand any curmudgeon who needs reminding that reading makes a difference or thinks that today's youth are all blase. Highly recommended.''Alice's book serves as a rallying cry, advocating the importance of books and challenging the reader to make a reading promise of their own.''This charming memoir just might spark a revolution in communcal reading''For anyone with a love of books and particularly those who love reading aloud, The Reading Promise is a must-read. . . . And for those of you looking for a Father's Day gift for a book-loving dad, this might just be perfect.''as a record of love between a father and daughter -- and a story about the importance of rituals in family life -- Ozma's debut is touching.''Among other things, this is a poignant, reflective, often frank record of a very difficult adolescence.'Ozma has written a thoroughly entertaining book with skill, intelligence and a delightful sense of humor. The book is about reading... but its greatest strength lies in the author's affection for the father who kept his promise. He emerges from the story, with some poignancy, as a man whose idiosyncrasies are more than matched by his remarkable gift for parenthood.'More than a novel about reading, it is an affecting portrait of the author's father. Ozma strikes the difficult balance of being incredibly poignant but not over-sentimental in her account of this unique man. This book is definitely worth a few nights' attention. And if you can get your father to read it to you - well, even better.''gleeful, generous memoir. Sometimes corny or comic, always compasisonate, it explores a parent-child relationship rooted in trust, storytelling and true love of reading.''A captivating memoir of Alice's deep connection with her father.''a coming-of-age memoir about the touching connection between a devoted but lonely single father and his precocious and "nerdy" daughter.''an inspiring reminder of the difference that books can make.'The heart-warming, true story of a young woman, her single father, and the books they shared as he read to her every night of her childhood, from Harry Potter to Alice in Wonderland.

Alice Ozma, a Rowan University graduate, lives surrounded by world-class libraries and bookstores in historical Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is passionate about literature, education and working with children.

Follow her on Twitter at, like her on Facebook at and find out more about her and The Reading Promise at

Reading with My Father celebrates that special bond between fathers and daughters.The universal element of a father and daughter bonding over books is certain to have widespread, life-affirming appeal.For lovers of Tuesdays with Morrie and Dewey, Reading with My Father has the same elements of wisdom, family and community.There is a phenomenal market for books about books.Publishing in time for Father's Day 2011 (June US/UK, September ANZ).The book includes a Foreword by Alice's father, Frank Brozina.Alice's father is a librarian and was recently let go because his school library got rid of books to make way for computers. This book could become a battle cry for librarians to get behind; especially after the controversial government plans for libraries were announced, both in the States and the UK.Alice and her father's reading list will be included in the book: Dickens, Dr Seuss, Lewis Carroll, Lois Lowry, Betsy Byars, Louis Sachar and so many more.
Two Roads

The Sea on Our Skin

By Madeleine Tobert

Set in a tiny, traditional community on a Pacific island, this is the story of a marriage and a family, of great loves and great betrayals and how real island life is so much more than the blissful idyll Westerners see. Ioane Matate has been a traveller running away from his island since he was fifteen, restless, dissatisfied and troubled. Amalia Hoko has grown up an island child, loved and sheltered, accepting as a boundary and limitation the sea that Ioane uses as his escape route. They belong to different worlds, but when Ioane returns to the island, Amalia is the wife he chooses, loves and maltreats, with far-reaching and disturbing consequences for both them and their children.

The Sea on Our Skin transports the reader to the South Pacific with an immediacy that makes the island almost tangible. This is a beguiling and lyrical story, taking its rhythms from the oral storytelling tradition of island life and the myths of the South Seas and blending them with the age-old stories of mothers and children and characters whose joy and suffering linger hauntingly in the mind of the reader.

'A quickly paced read, which drips with sumptuous imagery.''First-time novelist Madeleine Tobert has written a totally convincing fiction about a small island community, somewhere in the Pacific, still untainted by Western ways.''Written with a graceful simplicity . . . a straightforward, fable-like tale''Written with warmth and humour and has plenty of unexpected turns.''[Tobert's] creative skills and care with her writing shine through in this impressive first novel.''Extraordinary and absorbing . . . recommended for a read you will find both lyrical and memorable.''An intergenerational narrative of stunning lyrical quality.'

A lyrical novel of mothers and sons, love, family and the far-reaching consequences of betrayal, set on a small Pacific island.

Originally from Scotland, Madeleine Tobert spent several years in the Pacific islands. She tried to leave but found she just couldn't. She now lives in Auckland with her Fijian husband and their daughter. The Sea on Our Skin is her first book.A lyrical debut, beautifully written, from a new talent.Madeleine has lived the island life and has first-hand knowledge of culture and place.Very few novels have been set in the South Pacific - a fascinating setting.Book club, literary festival appeal.
Two Roads

The Puppy Diaries

By Jill Abramson

One sparkling summer day, Jill Abramson brought home a nine-week-old golden retriever named Scout. Over the following year, as she and her husband raised their adorable new puppy, Abramson wrote a hugely popular column for The New York Times's website about the joys and challenges of training this rambunctious addition to their family. Dog-lovers from across the country inundated her with emails and letters, and the photos they sent in of their own dogs became the most visited photo album on the Times's site in 2009.

Now, Abramson has gone far beyond the material in her column and written a detailed and deeply personal account of Scout's first year. Part memoir, part manual, part investigative report, The Puppy Diaries continues Abramson's intrepid reporting on all things canine. Along the way, she weighs in on such issues as breeders or shelters, adoption or rescue, raw diet or vegan, pack-leader gurus like Cesar Millan or positive-reinforcement advocates like Karen Pryor.

What should you expect when a new puppy enters your life? With utterly winning stories and a wealth of practical information, The Puppy Diaries provides an essential road map for navigating the first year of your dog's life.

Anyone who's ever brought home an eight-week-old furry bundle and struggled to remember life Before Dog will enjoy this part-memoir/part-manual from New York Times editor Jill Abramson . . . this book eloquently captures the magic of that precious first year, which dog lovers the world will relate to.An instructive and marvellously entertaining chronicle of a puppy's first year, by the first ever female executive editor of the New York Times.Abramson's New York Times column on Scout smashed site records. Think equal part MARLEY & ME and What to Expect When You're Expecting with a dash of Nora EphronPart memoir, part manual, THE PUPPY DIARIES is at once a feel-good pet story and a helpful guide to a new puppy.For fans of dog stories, from MARLEY & ME to The Art of Racing in the Rain.Boomers are filling the void with pets, moving from their quest to raise the perfect child to raising the perfect dog.As well as writing a puppy memoir, the author applied her journalistic skills to the puppy industry in her quest to find the best way to raise Scout, including a session with Cesar Millan.
Two Roads

Signs of Life

By Natalie Taylor

Signs of Life is Natalie Taylor's story. It starts the day her husband dies and ends sixteen months later on her son's first birthday.

Natalie's journey from wife to widow to mother is heartbreaking, blackly funny and will move you to laughter and tears as she makes it across that finish line. And you have no doubt she will make it because Natalie is a warrior and a woman to cheer for.

Intelligent, witty and moving, this is the very best kind of indie movie in a book. A book to delight, to treasure and to press into the hands of your best friend.

'Profound yet funny, painful yet hopeful. I couldn't put it down.''This is a really good book. Smart and honest.''Sit down with this book. See if you can stop after page one.''Compelling''Some writers have a compelling story; others have an original voice. But it is the rare writer who has both. Natalie Taylor is one of those writers.''With wit, gutting honesty, and a modicum of self-pity, Natalie Taylor gives us permission to cry the necessary gamut of tears that healing requires... and that includes tears of joy.''Young women and solo mothers everywhere will find a new best friend in Natalie Taylor, who meets the challenges of her life with grace and humor.''This candid memoir of a journey into and out of darkness has a full quota of humor and ends on a note of hope.''An absorbing memoir about sorrow and growing up handled with such dignity and grace that you will forgive Ms. Taylor for making you cry.''Yes, I cried. Yes, I laughed. And yes, books have had this effect on me before. But never before have I felt so changed by a book.''Buy it, read it, love it.'

Natalie Taylor, newly married to her childhood sweetheart and expecting their first child, is suddenly widowed in a senseless accident. Her journey from wife to widow to mother is a story of sadness, hope and inspiration.

Natalie Taylor and her son, Kai Taylor, live in Royal Oak Michigan. Natalie teaches high school English and recently obtained her master's degree in education.

Learn more about Natalie on her blog at and follow her on Twitter at

WORD OF MOUTH - unputdownable. Strong recommend.VOICE VOICE VOICE - every so often a writer this fresh, this original and unpretentious comes along. Fine writing from a brand new talent.INDIE - this is an indie movie in a book, for those who loved Juno/500 Days of Summer/I Love you Man etc.NOT a grief memoir!BREAKOUT - could be that talked about debut memoir - a dramatic journey, an endearing heroine who feels instantly like an old friend and writing that is powerful and unflinching.STRONG female market, young parents, book clubs.BOOKS - yes, lots of them, her teaching list providing comfort and insight: including THE COLOR PURPLE, GREAT GATSBY, OF MICE AND MEN, CATCHER IN THE RYE. Some dodgy TV in there too.FILM - Optioned of course.
Two Roads

Farangi Girl

By Ashley Dartnell

Ashley Dartnell's mother was a glamorous American, her father a dashing Englishman, each trying to slough off their past and upgrade to a more romantic and exotic present in Iran. As the story starts, Ashley is eight years old and living in Tehran in the 1960s: the Shah was in power, life for Westerners was rich and privileged. But somehow it didn't all add up to a fairytale. There were bankruptcies and prisons, betrayals and lovers, lies and evasions. And throughout it all, Ashley's passionate and strong-willed mother, Genie.

Stories of mothers and daughters are some of the most compelling in contemporary memoir, from The Liar's Club and The Glass Castle to Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight and Bad Blood. Farangi Girl deserves to be in their company. It's an honest and endlessly recognisable portrait of a mother by a daughter who loved her (and was loved in return).

Against this extraordinary background, Ashley's journey into adulthood was more helter-skelter than most and this portrait of a bewitching and endlessly inventive mother is surprising and deeply moving.

'Crazy, colourful, shocking, compelling. You'll read it straight through once you start.''a vivid, gripping memoir of childhood in little-known pre-revolutionary Iran.''Ashley Dartnell's memoir evokes 1960s Iran in all its beauty and turmoil and conjures a wilful, passionate, fascinating woman in its depiction of her mother. This is a vivid, compelling story woven from both politics and desire.''captures the violence of Iran's 1979 revolution - along with finer details, such as the taste of barbari bread with butter and honey, and the exaggerated politeness ta'arof, which drives Persian social life . . . her late American mother Genie looms largest, a potently glamorous woman in the Elizabeth Taylor mould.''This memoir is both a fascinating and heartbreaking insight into a childhood interrupted . . . gripping.''Fascinating . . . a desperate quest for sanctuary and redemption which, in the end, discovers solace in the most unexpected of places.''compelling memoir of a unique childhood and a fairytale gone wrong.''Amid the tumults of a family that reflected the flux of Iranian politics in the 70s, Ashley Dartnell writes her true tale of an astonishing childhood with flair and feeling. A rich and intensely addictive read which teems with the odd particulars that come from real experience - Farangi Girl is an unforgettable book.''If there is one book I am glad I read this year - this would have to be it. Beautifully written, full of amazing characters - all the more fascinating for being real - this is the memoir of a woman who has led an extraordinary life... excellent reading.''Engaging . . . a gifted raconteur . . . she weaves an astonishing narrative that keeps us speculating, How on earth will this end?'Farangi Girl is a remarkable memoir, an extraordinary story, brilliantly told. . . . intense as any page-turning novel. Right to the last page the reader wonders, what next? All of this is set against a background of seismic historic events in Iran. Compelling.'a moving account'

Born a farangi (foreign) girl in 1960s Tehran to an American beauty and a handsome English father, Ashley Dartnell's life had all the ingredients of a fairy tale. This stunning memoir tells how it all went wrong: from servants and parties to betrayals and bankruptcy.

Ashley Dartnell was born in 1960s Tehran to an American mother and an English father. Educated in Tehran, she later graduated from Bryn Mawr and earned her MBA from Harvard Business School. This is her first book.

Ashley lives in London with her husband and three children.

A moving and brilliantly-written portrait of a mother, set against an exotic background and extraordinary period in history.Can be compared to other mother/daughter memoirs, such as Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, The Liar's Club, Bad Blood and The Glass Castle.Flamboyant and exotic settings - the last days of Western privilege in Iran, the fall of the Shah and the turbulent beginning of the Republic.Reminiscent of Revolutionary Road/Madmen (in terms of the historical period and a marriage gone wrong).Book group potential: the family story, the setting and the history.Unusual Western perspective on the place and times.
Two Roads

The Vet: my wild and wonderful friends

By Luke Gamble
Fresh out of university Luke joins a mixed practice in Dorset, run by the stern but benevolent Mr Spotswode and is quickly thrust into the real world of veterinary medicine: truculent farmers, out-of-hours-surgery, nasty biting squirrels, operating on frog's eyeballs and some of the harsher facts of farming life like dealing with an outbreak of foot and mouth and subsequent slaughter. Luke's dream is to set up on his own and find his place in the world. These things, however, are never quite straightforward. Across the course of this memoir, the young vet not only learns much about his trade, but about his own character - and develops a group of close friends - both animal and human - who will stay with his across his career. The most important of these is Cordelia - the woman of his dreams - his quest to win her heart is a marathon!'In this book, Luke Gamble tells of the horror of the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak from a personal angle with the terrible consequences on the farmers he visits, challenging you to keep a dry eye. But not content with the challenges of everyday vet work, he embarks on an epic 152-mile run across the Sahara to raise money for his charity and win the heart of his wife Cordelia.''A gamut of emotions; laughter, serious weeping, but always enjoyable''Luke Gamble is a West Country treasure . . . like Dr Doolittle but real!''For anyone who has even the slightest interest in animals, this book is a must read. Luke Gamble is the new James Herriott and Gerald Durrell'

TV vet Luke Gamble's heart-warming tales of life as a vet . . . starting out as an idealistic and naive vet in his first year of real practice in the West Country. A natural successor to the classic feelgood stories of James Herriot with a 21st century take.

Luke Gamble graduated from Bristol University in 1999 as a vet and then went on to Cambridge to specialise in large animal medicine and surgery. Although primarily based in his New Forest practice, Pilgrims, his extra curricular work with the Worldwide Veterinary Service charity 'which he founded in 2003' takes him much further afield and was the subject of two TV series on Sky 1. He also runs an emergency service for animals in Dorset and a pet travel company. Luke is a black belt in karate, has run 152 miles across the Sahara to raise money for his charity 'and to impress his wife' and in 2010 was awarded the JA Wight 'James Herriot' Award by the British Small Animal Veterinary Association for outstanding contributions to the welfare of companion animals. Luke is married 'to a vet' and lives in New Forest with his three children, Angel the ridgeback and a bossy rescue cat called Charlie.

The Vet: my wild and wonderful friends was his first book, which he followed-up with The Vet: the big wild world. Learn more about Luke and his charities by visiting his websites, and, and follow him on Twitter at

For all those weaned on the entertaining and feelgood stories of Herriot, Durrell and even Willard Price (with a bit of Richard Curtis romcom thrown in), Luke is part Dr Doolittle with a dash of Indiana Jones.Both charming and engaging, Luke is a natural storyteller and a talented writer, with many more books in him.Comparison authors: James Herriot, Gerald Durrell, Gervase Phinn, Mike Pannett.When he was a small boy, Luke's mother gave him a copy of a James Herriot book with the inscription - 'one day you might write a book like this' - he has.The resurgence of feelgood stories and animal memoirs - Luke plays to that, with a modern twist.Luke's stories reinforce the very good things in life: love, nature, camaraderie & a supportive community.Luke has made two series of The World Wild Vet on Sky 1 - ten programmes in all - on his work abroad with the WVS (SE Asia, Africa, India, Central & South America)Luke has a growing media & TV profile and will embark on a significant grass root and media campaign for the book (the first in a series).Luke's next book, The Vet: To Be a Pilgrim, publishes in
Lisa Highton explains

Why Two Roads

Lisa Highton, Publisher of our new imprint Two Roads, explains why Two Roads.
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