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The Academy Award for Best Picture (Film Terbaik) adalah salah satu Academy Award atau penghargaan Oscar yang dipersembahkan oleh Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) untuk film yang dianggap terbaik dalam suatu tahun perfilman. Film Terbaik adalah satu-satunya kategori yang memberikan hak bagi setiap anggota AMPAS untuk mengajukan satu nominasi. Film Terbaik dianggap sebagai Academy Award paling penting karena mewakili semua aspek dalam film, yaitu penyutradaraan, pemeranan, komposisi musik, skenario, penyuntingan, dan aspek lainnya. Sehingga, Film Terbaik menjadi penghargaan puncak yang diberikan pada akhir setiap upacara Academy Awards. Hingga Academy Awards ke-86, 512 film telah dinominasikan untuk penghargaan Film Terbaik.[1]

Daftar isi

  pemenang kategori

1920-an[sunting | sunting sumber]

1930-an[sunting | sunting sumber]

1940-an[sunting | sunting sumber]

1950-an[sunting | sunting sumber]

1960-an[sunting | sunting sumber]

1970-an[sunting | sunting sumber]

Tahun Film Nomine
1970
(ke-43)
Patton Frank McCarthy
Airport Ross Hunter
Five Easy Pieces Bob Rafelson dan Richard Wechsler
Love Story Howard G. Minsky
MASH Ingo Preminger
1971
(ke-44)
The French Connection Philip D'Antoni
A Clockwork Orange Stanley Kubrick
Fiddler on the Roof Norman Jewison
The Last Picture Show Stephen J. Friedman
Nicholas and Alexandra Sam Spiegel
1972
(ke-45)
The Godfather Albert S. Ruddy
Cabaret Cy Feuer
Deliverance John Boorman
The Emigrants Bengt Forslund
Sounder Robert B. Radnitz
1973
(ke-46)
The Sting Tony Bill, Michael Phillips dan Julia Phillips
American Graffiti Francis Ford Coppola dan Gary Kurtz
Cries and Whispers Ingmar Bergman
The Exorcist William Peter Blatty
A Touch of Class Melvin Frank
1974
(ke-47)
The Godfather Part II Francis Ford Coppola, Gray Frederickson dan Fred Roos
Chinatown Robert Evans
The Conversation Francis Ford Coppola
Lenny Marvin Worth
The Towering Inferno Irwin Allen
1975
(ke-48)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Michael Douglas dan Saul Zaentz
Barry Lyndon Stanley Kubrick
Dog Day Afternoon Martin Bregman dan Martin Elfand
Jaws Richard D. Zanuck dan David Brown
Nashville Robert Altman
1976
(ke-49)
Rocky Irwin Winkler dan Robert Chartoff
All the President's Men Walter Coblenz
Bound for Glory Robert F. Blumofe dan Harold Leventhal
Network Howard Gottfried
Taxi Driver Michael Phillips dan Julia Phillips
1977
(ke-50)
Annie Hall Charles H. Joffe
The Goodbye Girl Ray Stark
Julia Richard Roth
Star Wars Gary Kurtz
The Turning Point Herbert Ross dan Arthur Laurents
1978
(ke-51)
The Deer Hunter Barry Spikings, Michael Deeley, Michael Cimino dan John Peverall
Coming Home Jerome Hellman
Heaven Can Wait Warren Beatty
Midnight Express Alan Marshall dan David Puttnam
An Unmarried Woman Paul Mazursky dan Tony Ray
1979
(ke-52)
Kramer vs. Kramer Stanley R. Jaffe
All That Jazz Robert Alan Aurthur
Apocalypse Now Francis Ford Coppola, Fred Roos, Gray Frederickson dan Tom Sternberg
Breaking Away Peter Yates
Norma Rae Tamara Asseyev dan Alex Rose

1980-an[sunting | sunting sumber]

1990-an[sunting | sunting sumber]

Tahun Film Nomine
1990
(ke-63)
Dances with Wolves Jim Wilson dan Kevin Costner
Awakenings Walter F. Parkes dan Lawrence Lasker
Ghost Lisa Weinstein
The Godfather Part III Francis Ford Coppola
Goodfellas Irwin Winkler
1991
(ke-64)
The Silence of the Lambs Edward Saxon, Kenneth Utt dan Ron Bozman
Beauty and the Beast Don Hahn
Bugsy Mark Johnson, Barry Levinson dan Warren Beatty
JFK A. Kitman Ho dan Oliver Stone
The Prince of Tides Barbra Streisand dan Andrew S. Karsch
1992
(ke-65)
Unforgiven Clint Eastwood
The Crying Game Stephen Woolley
A Few Good Men David Brown, Rob Reiner dan Andrew Scheinman
Howards End Ismail Merchant
Scent of a Woman Martin Brest
1993
(ke-66)
Schindler's List Steven Spielberg, Gerald R. Molen dan Branko Lustig
The Fugitive Arnold Kopelson
In the Name of the Father Jim Sheridan
The Piano Jan Chapman
The Remains of the Day Mike Nichols, John Calley dan Ismail Merchant
1994
(ke-67)
Forrest Gump Wendy Finerman, Steve Tisch dan Steve Starkey
Four Weddings and a Funeral Duncan Kenworthy
Pulp Fiction Lawrence Bender
Quiz Show Michael Jacobs, Julian Krainin, Michael Nozik dan Robert Redford
The Shawshank Redemption Niki Marvin
1995
(ke-68)
Braveheart Mel Gibson, Alan Ladd Jr. dan Bruce Davey
Apollo 13 Brian Grazer
Babe Bill Miller, George Miller dan Doug Mitchell
The Postman (Il Postino) Mario Cecchi Gori, Vittorio Cecchi Gori dan Gaetano Daniele
Sense and Sensibility Lindsay Doran
1996
(ke-69)
The English Patient Saul Zaentz
Fargo Ethan Coen
Jerry Maguire James L. Brooks, Laurence Mark, Richard Sakai dan Cameron Crowe
Secrets & Lies Simon Channing-Williams
Shine Jane Scott
1997
(ke-70)
Titanic James Cameron dan Jon Landau
As Good as It Gets James L. Brooks, Bridget Johnson dan Kristi Zea
The Full Monty Umberto Pasolini
Good Will Hunting Lawrence Bender
L.A. Confidential Curtis Hanson, Arnon Milchan dan Michael Nathanson
1998
(ke-71)
Shakespeare in Love David Parfitt, Donna Gigliotti, Harvey Weinstein, Edward Zwick dan Marc Norman
Elizabeth Alison Owen, Eric Fellner dan Tim Bevan
Life Is Beautiful Elda Ferri dan Gianluigi Braschi
Saving Private Ryan Steven Spielberg, Ian Bryce, Mark Gordon dan Gary Levinsohn
The Thin Red Line Robert Michael Geisler, John Roberdeau dan Grant Hill
1999
(ke-72)
American Beauty Bruce Cohen dan Dan Jinks
The Cider House Rules Richard N. Gladstein
The Green Mile Frank Darabont dan David Valdes
The Insider Pieter Jan Brugge dan Michael Mann
The Sixth Sense Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy dan Barry Mendel

2000-an[sunting | sunting sumber]

Tahun Film Nomine
2000
(ke-73)
Gladiator Douglas Wick, David Franzoni dan Branko Lustig
Chocolat David Brown, Kit Golden dan Leslie Holleran
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon William Kong, Hsu Li-kong dan Ang Lee
Erin Brockovich Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg dan Stacey Sher
Traffic Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz dan Laura Bickford
2001
(ke-74)
A Beautiful Mind Brian Grazer dan Ron Howard
Gosford Park Robert Altman, Bob Balaban dan David Levy
In the Bedroom Graham Leader, Ross Katz, dan Todd Field
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh dan Barrie M. Osborne
Moulin Rouge! Martin Brown, Baz Luhrmann dan Fred Baron
2002
(ke-75)
Chicago Martin Richards
Gangs of New York Alberto Grimaldi dan Harvey Weinstein
The Hours Scott Rudin dan Robert Fox
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Barrie M. Osborne, Fran Walsh dan Peter Jackson
The Pianist Roman Polanski, Robert Benmussa dan Alain Sarde
2003
(ke-76)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Barrie M. Osborne, Peter Jackson dan Fran Walsh
Lost in Translation Ross Katz dan Sofia Coppola
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World Samuel Goldwyn Jr., Peter Weir dan Duncan Henderson
Mystic River Robert Lorenz, Judie G. Hoyt dan Clint Eastwood
Seabiscuit Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall dan Gary Ross
2004
(ke-77)
Million Dollar Baby Clint Eastwood, Albert S. Ruddy dan Tom Rosenberg
The Aviator Michael Mann dan Graham King
Finding Neverland Richard N. Gladstein dan Nellie Bellflower
Ray Taylor Hackford, Stuart Benjamin dan Howard Baldwin
Sideways Michael London
2005
(ke-78)
Crash Paul Haggis dan Cathy Schulman
Brokeback Mountain Diana Ossana dan James Schamus
Capote Caroline Baron, William Vince dan Michael Ohoven
Good Night, and Good Luck Grant Heslov
Munich Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy dan Barry Mendel
2006
(ke-79)
The Departed Graham King
Babel Alejandro González Iñárritu, Steve Golin dan Jon Kilik
Letters from Iwo Jima Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg dan Robert Lorenz
Little Miss Sunshine David T. Friendly, Peter Saraf dan Marc Turtletaub
The Queen Andy Harries, Christine Langan dan Tracey Seaward
2007
(ke-80)
No Country for Old Men Scott Rudin, Joel Coen dan Ethan Coen
Atonement Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner dan Paul Webster
Juno Lianne Halfon, Mason Novick dan Russell Smith
Michael Clayton Jennifer Fox, Kerry Orent dan Sydney Pollack
There Will Be Blood Paul Thomas Anderson, Daniel Lupi dan JoAnne Sellar
2008
(ke-81)
Slumdog Millionaire Christian Colson
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall dan Ceán Chaffin
Frost/Nixon Ron Howard, Brian Grazer dan Eric Fellner
Milk Bruce Cohen dan Dan Jinks
The Reader Anthony Minghella, Sydney Pollack, Donna Gigliotti dan Redmond Morris
2009
(ke-82)
The Hurt Locker Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier dan Greg Shapiro
Avatar James Cameron dan Jon Landau
The Blind Side Gil Netter, Andrew A. Kosove dan Broderick Johnson
District 9 Peter Jackson dan Carolynne Cunningham
An Education Finola Dwyer dan Amanda Posey
Inglourious Basterds Lawrence Bender
Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness dan Gary Magness
A Serious Man Joel Coen dan Ethan Coen
Up Jonas Rivera
Up in the Air Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman dan Jason Reitman

2010-an[sunting | sunting sumber]

Tahun Film Nomine
2010
(ke-83)
The King's Speech Iain Canning, Emile Sherman dan Gareth Unwin
127 Hours Danny Boyle, John Smithson dan Christian Colson
Black Swan Scott Franklin, Mike Medavoy dan Brian Oliver
The Fighter David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman dan Mark Wahlberg
Inception Christopher Nolan dan Emma Thomas
The Kids Are All Right Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte dan Celine Rattray
The Social Network Dana Brunetti, Ceán Chaffin, Michael De Luca dan Scott Rudin
Toy Story 3 Darla K. Anderson
True Grit Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, dan Scott Rudin
Winter's Bone Alix Madigan dan Anne Rosellini
2011
(ke-84)
The Artist Thomas Langmann
The Descendants Jim Burke, Alexander Payne dan Jim Taylor
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close Scott Rudin
The Help Brunson Green, Chris Columbus dan Michael Barnathan
Hugo Graham King dan Martin Scorsese
Midnight in Paris Letty Aronson dan Stephen Tenenbaum
Moneyball Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz dan Brad Pitt
The Tree of Life Sarah Green, Bill Pohlad, Dede Gardner dan Grant Hill
War Horse Steven Spielberg dan Kathleen Kennedy
2012
(ke-85)
Argo Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck dan George Clooney
Amour Margaret Menegoz, Stefan Arndt, Veit Heiduschka dan Michael Katz
Beasts of the Southern Wild Dan Janvey, Josh Penn dan Michael Gottwald
Django Unchained Stacey Sher, Reginald Hudlin dan Pilar Savone
Les Misérables Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward dan Cameron Mackintosh
Life of Pi Gil Netter, Ang Lee dan David Womark
Lincoln Steven Spielberg dan Kathleen Kennedy
Silver Linings Playbook Donna Gigliotti, Bruce Cohen dan Jonathan Gordon
Zero Dark Thirty Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow dan Megan Ellison
2013
(ke-86)
12 Years a Slave Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen dan Anthony Katagas
American Hustle Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison dan Jonathan Gordon
Captain Phillips Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti dan Michael De Luca
Dallas Buyers Club Robbie Brenner dan Rachel Winter
Gravity Alfonso Cuarón dan David Heyman
Her Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze dan Vincent Landay
Nebraska Albert Berger dan Ron Yerxa
Philomena Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan dan Tracey Seaward
The Wolf of Wall Street Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joey McFarland dan Emma Tillinger Koskoff
2014
(ke-87)
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher dan James W. Skotchdopole
American Sniper Clint Eastwood, Andrew Lazar, Robert Lorenz, Bradley Cooper dan Peter Morgan
Boyhood Richard Linklater dan Cathleen Sutherland
The Grand Budapest Hotel Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven M. Rales dan Jeremy Dawson
The Imitation Game Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky dan Teddy Schwarzman
Selma Christian Colson, Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner dan Jeremy Kleiner
The Theory of Everything Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce dan Anthony McCarten
Whiplash Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook dan David Lancaster
2015
(ke-88)
Spotlight Blye Pagon Faust, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin dan Michael Sugar
The Big Short Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner dan Brad Pitt
Bridge of Spies Steven Spielberg, Marc Platt dan Kristie Macosko Krieger
Brooklyn Finola Dwyer dan Amanda Posey
Mad Max: Fury Road Doug Mitchell dan George Miller
The Martian Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer dan Mark Huffam
The Revenant Arnon Milchan, Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mary Parent dan Keith Redmon
Room Ed Guiney
2016
(ke-89)
Moonlight Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner dan Jeremy Kleiner
Arrival Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Aaron Ryder dan David Linde
Fences Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington dan Todd Black
Hacksaw Ridge Bill Mechanic dan David Permut
Hell or High Water Carla Hacken dan Julie Yorn
Hidden Figures Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams dan Theodore Melfi
La La Land Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz dan Marc Platt
Lion Emile Sherman, Iain Canning dan Angie Fielder
Manchester by the Sea Matt Damon, Kimberly Steward, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck dan Kevin J. Walsh
2017
(ke-90)
The Shape of Water Guillermo del Toro dan J. Miles Dale
Call Me by Your Name Peter Spears, Luca Guadagnino, Emilie Georges dan Marco Morabito
Darkest Hour Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten dan Douglas Urbanski
Dunkirk Emma Thomas dan Christopher Nolan
Get Out Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Edward H. Hamm Jr. dan Jordan Peele
Lady Bird Scott Rudin, Eli Bush dan Evelyn O'Neill
Phantom Thread JoAnne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson, Megan Ellison dan Daniel Lupi
The Post Amy Pascal, Steven Spielberg dan Kristie Macosko Krieger
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin dan Martin McDonagh

Rumah produksi multinominasi dan multipiala[sunting | sunting sumber]

  1. ^ The 2nd Academy Awards is unique in being the only occasion where there were no official nominees. Subsequent research by AMPAS has resulted in a list of de facto nominees, based on records of which films were evaluated by the judges at the time.
  2. ^ The Academy also announced that A Farewell to Arms came in second, and Little Women third.
  3. ^ The Academy also announced that The Barretts of Wimpole Street came in second, and The House of Rothschild third.
  4. ^ The Academy also announced that The Informer came in second, and Captain Blood third.

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Image result for Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott

Intricate and crisp, witty and solemn: a book with special and dangerous properties.”               Hilary Mantel

Baroque, Byzantine and beautiful – not to mention bold.”         M.R. Carey

Rotherweird is twisted, arcane murder-mystery with shades of Deborah Harkness, Hope Mirrlees and Ben Aaronovitch, Mervyn Peake and Edward Gorey at their disturbing best.

The town of Rotherweird stands alone – there are no guidebooks, despite the fascinating and diverse architectural styles cramming the narrow streets, the avant garde science and offbeat customs. Cast adrift from the rest of England by Elizabeth I, Rotherweird’s independence is subject to one disturbing condition: nobody, but nobody, studies the town or its history.

For beneath the enchanting surface lurks a secret so dark that it must never be rediscovered, still less reused.

But secrets have a way of leaking out.

Two inquisitive outsiders have arrived: Jonah Oblong, to teach modern history at Rotherweird School (nothing local and nothing before 1800), and the sinister billionaire Sir Veronal Slickstone, who has somehow got permission to renovate the town’s long-derelict Manor House.

Slickstone and Oblong, though driven by conflicting motives, both strive to connect past and present, until they and their allies are drawn into a race against time – and each other. The consequences will be lethal and apocalyptic.

 

Welcome to Rotherweird!

 

 

 

Image result for You Don’t Know Me by Imran MahmoodIt’s easy to judge between right and wrong – isn’t it?

Not until you hear a convincing truth.

Now it’s up to you to decide…
An unnamed defendant stands accused of murder. Just before the Closing Speeches, the young man sacks his lawyer, and decides to give his own defence speech.

He tells us that his barrister told him to leave some things out. Sometimes, the truth can be too difficult to explain, or believe. But he thinks that if he’s going to go down for life, he might as well go down telling the truth.

There are eight pieces of evidence against him. As he talks us through them one by one, his life is in our hands. We, the reader – member of the jury – must keep an open mind till we hear the end of his story. His defence raises many questions… but at the end of the speeches, only one matters:

 

Did he do it?
An original take on a courtroom drama that puts the reader in the position of the jury. Superb character-driven fiction…A rollercoaster ride…Masterful.”                      Guardian

 

An exciting first novel, highly original, cleverly plotted and convincingly written.”                         Literary Review

 

“You Don’t Know Me is a brave debut by a barrister… an impressively original courtroom drama.”                     The Times

 

A daring concept executed to perfection, a hypnotic and authentic voice, and questions for us to answer as people and readers.”                      Lee Child

 

An eye-opening, slick and compulsive thriller with an important message and unique writing.”                        Adam Deacon, actor, writer, rapper, director – star of Kidulthood and Adulthood

 

 

 

 

Image result for Dead Writers in Rehab by Paul Bassett DaviesWhen literary reprobate Foster James wakes up in a strange country house, he assumes he’s been consigned to rehab (yet again) by his dwindling band of friends and growing collection of ex-wives.

But he soon realises there’s something a bit different about this place after he gets punched in the face by Ernest Hemingway.

Is Foster dead? Has his less-than-saintly existence finally caught up with him? After an acrimonious group therapy session with Hunter S Thompson, Colette, William Burroughs, and Coleridge, it seems pretty likely. But he still feels alive, especially after an up-close and personal one-on-one session with Dorothy Parker.

When he discovers that the two enigmatic doctors who run the institution are being torn apart by a thwarted love affair, he and the other writers must work together to save something that, for once, is bigger than their own gigantic egos.

This is a love story. It’s for anyone who loves writing and writers. It’s also a story about the strange and terrible love affair between creativity and addiction, told by a charming, selfish bastard who finally confronts his demons in a place that’s part Priory, part Purgatory, and where the wildest fiction can tell the soberest truth.

 

It is dark, dirty, grim and confusing – in a very good way. It’s also warm, humane, funny and mischievous, and all the pages are in the right order.”                 Jeremy Hardy

 

 

 

Image result for The 7th Function of Language by Laurent BinetOne of the funniest, most riotously inventive and enjoyable novels you’ll read this year.”                      Observer

Roland Barthes is knocked down in a Paris street by a laundry van. It’s February 1980 and he has just come from lunch with Francois Mitterrand, a slippery politician locked in a battle for the Presidency. Barthes dies soon afterwards. History tells us it was an accident.

But what if it were an assassination? What if Barthes was carrying a document of unbelievable, global importance? A document explaining the seventh function of language – an idea so powerful it gives whoever masters it the ability to convince anyone, in any situation, to do anything.

Police Captain Jacques Bayard and his reluctant accomplice Simon Herzog set off on a chase that takes them from the corridors of power and academia to backstreet saunas and midnight rendezvous. What they discover is a worldwide conspiracy involving the President, murderous Bulgarians and a secret international debating society.

In the world of intellectuals and politicians, everyone is a suspect. Who can you trust when the idea of truth itself is at stake?

 

Establishes Laurent Binet as the clear heir to the late Umberto Eco, writing novels that are both brilliant and playful, dense with ideas while never losing sight of their need to entertain.”                      Alex Preston, Observer

A playful conspiracy thriller.”              Guardian, 2017 Books of the Year

Lively, earthy, experimental, ambitious, clever and endlessly entertaining… The recondite world of literary and linguistic theory collides delightfully with the pulsating one of desperate car chases, Bulgarian heavies brandishing poisoned umbrellas, and international espionage… Smart, witty, direct, cool.”                        Times Literary Supplement

Disgustingly talented… It is a hugely entertaining novel, taking delight in its own twists and turns.”                       Nicholas Lezard, Spectator

Incredibly timely … very entertaining, like a dirty Midnight in Paris for the po-mo set.”             Lauren Elkin, Guardian

An almost filmic detective romp, taking in glamorous international locations, killer dogs, Bulgarian secret agents, several varieties of sex and wild car chases.”                        Andrew Hussey, Literary Review

 

 

Image result for The Nothing by Hanif KureishiOne night, when I am old, sick, right out of semen, and don’t need things to get any worse, I hear the noises growing louder. I am sure they are making love in Zenab’s bedroom which is next to mine.

 

Waldo, a fêted filmmaker, is confined by old age and ill health to his London apartment. Frail and frustrated, he is cared for by his lovely younger wife, Zee. But when he suspects that Zee is beginning an affair with Eddie, ‘more than an acquaintance and less than a friend for over thirty years,’ Waldo is pressed to action: determined to expose the couple, he sets himself first to prove his suspicions correct – and then to enact his revenge.

 

Written with characteristic black humour and with an acute eye for detail, Kureishi’s eagerly awaited novella will have his readers dazzled once again by a brilliant mind at work.

 

Hanif Kureishi’s short, sharp tale of revenge is diabolical fun.”                         The Times
Hanif Kureishi delivers a monstrous three-hander in this novel of a frail film director.”               GQ Magazine

A punchy, disturbing fable.”                Alex Clark, Guardian

 

Image result for Anything is Possible by Elizabeth StroutAn unforgettable cast of small-town characters copes with love and loss from the No. 1 New York Times bestselling and Man Booker long-listed author of My Name is Lucy Barton

Anything is Possible tells the story of the inhabitants of rural, dusty Amgash, Illinois, the hometown of Lucy Barton, a successful New York writer who finally returns, after seventeen years of absence, to visit the siblings she left behind.

Reverberating with the deep bonds of family, and the hope that comes with reconciliation, Anything Is Possible again underscores Elizabeth Strout’s place as one of America’s most respected and cherished authors.

 

It’s hard to believe that a year after the astonishing My Name Is Lucy Barton Elizabeth Strout could bring us another book that is by every measure its equal, but what Strout proves to us again and again is that where she’s concerned, anything is possible. This book, this writer, are magnificent.”                      Ann Patchett
This is a shimmering masterpiece of a book…Strout is a brilliant chronicler of the ambiguity and delicacy of the human condition. Anything is Possible is a wise, stunning novel.”                 Observer

The words appear on the page as if breathed there.”                 Sunday Telegraph

Strout’s compassion for her fellow creatures, as these anguished, lean stories prove, is as keen as a whip and all the more painful for it.”

Guardian

Anything is Possible is absolutely wonderful. Here is a writer at the peak of her powers: compassionate, profoundly observant, laser-cut diamond brilliant.”               Literary Review

 

 

Image result for House of Names by Colm TóibínThey cut her hair before they dragged her to the place of sacrifice. Her mouth was gagged to stop her cursing her father, her cowardly, two-tongued father. Nonetheless, they heard her muffled screams.

 

On the day of his daughter’s wedding, Agamemnon orders her sacrifice.

His daughter is led to her death, and Agamemnon leads his army into battle, where he is rewarded with glorious victory.

Three years later, he returns home and his murderous action has set the entire family – mother, brother, sister – on a path of intimate violence, as they enter a world of hushed commands and soundless journeys through the palace’s dungeons and bedchambers. As his wife seeks his death, his daughter, Electra, is the silent observer to the family’s game of innocence while his son, Orestes, is sent into bewildering, frightening exile where survival is far from certain. Out of their desolating loss, Electra and Orestes must find a way to right these wrongs of the past even if it means committing themselves to a terrible, barbarous act.

House of Names is a story of intense longing and shocking betrayal. It is a work of great beauty, and daring, from one of our finest living writers.

 

 

Part of Tóibín’s success comes down to the power of his writing: an almost unfaultable combination of artful restraint and wonderfully observed detail . . . Unforgettable.”                     New York Times

A gorgeous stylist, Tóibín captures the subtle flutterings of consciousness better than any writer alive . . . Never before has Tóibín demonstrated such range, not just in tone but in action. He creates the arresting, hushed scenes for which he’s so well known just as effectively as he whips up murders that compete, pint for spilled pint, with those immortal Greek playwrights.”             Washington Post

If there is a more brilliant writer than Tóibín working today, I don’t know who that would be.”                        Karen Joy Fowler

 

 

Image result for The Swimming Lesson & Other Stories by Kobus MoolmanWritten in a range of styles, voices and genres, each of these ten stories offers original insights into the difficulties of staying afloat. Whether the challenge is being differently abled (with all the outsider isolation this brings); lower-income family life under unbending patriarchal rule; or being born a female child in an abusive, gendered culture, the narratives are convincing (often humorous) in their portrayal of trapped lives striving for transcendence.

The darkly funny ‘Kiss and the Brigadier’ invokes the stultifying boredom of small-town life and the captured mentalities of its understimulated citizens; ‘Extracts from a Dispensable Life’ offers a creative and sensitive reading of the gender violence theme; while the irreverent but never disrespectful ‘Angel Heart’ ventures into the risky waters of religious send-up.

The Swimming Lesson and Other Stories is a collection that stands out for its unusual perspectives; its frank, often uncomfortable treatment of taboo topics; its creative risk-taking; and its skilful and observant recreation of worlds gone by, which still leave their aftershocks.

 

 

 

Image result for The Last Stop by Thabiso MofokengSet in the taxi industry, the story’s main characters are a poor taxi driver, a wealthy taxi owner and the taxi driver’s girlfriend. Crime fiction featuring paranormal elements, The Last Stop combines gritty realism with the magical. It shows what happens between people in times of taxi violence and deals with themes of lust, betrayal and revenge. The Last Stop is an engaging, clever, interesting and darkly enjoyable read with an incredible plot twist at the end.

 

 

 

Image result for Black Moses by Alain MabankçouLonglisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2017.

It’s 1970, and in the People’s Republic of Congo a Marxist-Leninist revolution is ushering in a new age. But over at the orphanage on the outskirts of Pointe-Noire where young Moses has grown up, the revolution has only strengthened the reign of terror of Dieudonné Ngoulmoumako, the institution’s corrupt director.

So Moses escapes to Pointe-Noire, where he finds a home with a larcenous band of Congolese Merry Men and among the Zairian prostitutes of the Trois-Cents quarter. But the authorities won’t leave Moses in peace, and intervene to chase both the Merry Men and the Trois-Cents girls out of town. All this injustice pushes poor Moses over the edge. Could he really be the Robin Hood of the Congo? Or is he just losing his marbles?

Black Moses is a larger-than-life comic tale of a young man obsessed with helping the helpless in an unjust world. It is also a vital new extension of Mabanckou’s extraordinary, interlinked body of work dedicated to his native Congo, and confirms his status as one of our great storytellers.

 

Africa’s Samuel Beckett … one of the continent’s greatest living writers.”                Guardian

A Congolese rewriting and reimagining of Dickens.”                   Scotsman

Language and literature bestow both blessings and curses on the picaresque heroes in Mr Mabanckou’s novels of his central African homeland … Black Moses exhibits all the charm, warmth and verbal brio that have won the author of Broken Glass and African Psycho so many admirers – and the informal title of Africa’s Samuel Beckett. Helen Stevenson, his translator, again shakes Mr Mabanckou’s cocktail of sophistication and simplicity into richly idiomatic English.”             Economist

 

 

 

Image result for Men Without Women: Stories by Haruki MurakamiI find writing novels a challenge, writing stories a joy. If writing novels is like planting a forest, then writing short stories is more like planting a garden.

Across seven tales, Haruki Murakami brings his powers of observation to bear on the lives of men who, in their own ways, find themselves alone. Here are vanishing cats and smoky bars, lonely hearts and mysterious women, baseball and the Beatles, woven together to tell stories that speak to us all.

Marked by the same wry humor that has defined his entire body of work, in this collection Murakami has crafted another contemporary classic

 

Supremely enjoyable, philosophical and pitch-perfect new collection of short stories. . . Murakami has a marvellous understanding of youth and age – and the failings of each.”                        Observer

Murakami writes of complex things with his usual beguiling simplicity. . . Strangely invigorating to read. . . It is Murakami at his whimsical, romantic best.”                    Financial Times

Calculatedly provocative. . ., the stories offer sweet-sour meditations on human solitude and a yearning to connect. . . Murakami, always inventive, is one of the finest popular writers at work today.”                      Evening Standard

 

Image result for New Boy: Othello Retold by Tracy ChevalierO felt her presence behind him like a fire at his back.

Arriving at his fourth school in six years, diplomat’s son Osei Kokote knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day – so he’s lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can’t stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl. By the end of the day, the school and its key players – teachers and pupils alike – will never be the same again.

The tragedy of Othello is transposed to a 1970s’ suburban Washington schoolyard, where kids fall in and out of love with each other before lunchtime, and practise a casual racism picked up from their parents and teachers. Watching over the shoulders of four 11-year-olds – Osei, Dee, Ian and his reluctant girlfriend Mimi – Tracy Chevalier’s powerful drama of friends torn apart by jealousy, bullying and betrayal will leave you reeling.

 

High school, with its crushes, insecurities and politics, works as the perfect backdrop to Shakespeare’s original plot… New Boy, with its angsty teenagers, racial frictions and a magnificently fleshed out antagonist, is a tense and tight read… It can be read in a single afternoon and it really is a heady rollercoaster of emotions, right to the breathless and shocking last line.”                  Irish Independent

What Chevalier has done is recast the play to illuminate the peculiar trials of our era… a fascinating exercise … In Chevalier’s handling, the insidious manipulations of Othello translate smoothly to the dynamics of a sixth-grade playground, with all its skinned-knee passions and hop-scotch rules … How Chevalier renders Iago’s scheme into the terms of a modern-day playground provides some wicked delight. She’s immensely inventive about it all.”                       Ron Charles, Washington Post

 

Image result for Silver and Salt by Elanor DymottThere was a child in our courtyard. I saw a child there, standing by the fountain. She was there, then she was gone.

On the death of her father, celebrated photographer Max Hollingbourne, Ruthie returns to his villa in remote, wild Greece. After fifteen years in exile she is welcomed by her older sister, Vinny. They build a fragile happiness in their haven above the sea, protecting one another from the dark secrets of their childhood. But the arrival of an English family at a neighbouring cottage, and one young girl in particular, triggers a chain of events that will plunge both women back into the past, with shocking and fatal consequences.

Devastating in its razor-sharp exploration of a tragic family legacy, Silver & Salt is the story of two sisters, bound by their history and driven to repeat it.

 

I read Silver & Salt as if in a trance. Elanor Dymott is a master of delicate psychological suspense, treading gently but with devastating precision until every detail of this very sad story is revealed and embedded in the reader’s mind, possibly forever.”                      Elena Lappin

 

 

 

Image result for Cry Mother Spain by Lydie SalvayreWinner – Prix Goncourt and English PEN Award

 

Aged fifteen, as Franco’s forces begin their murderous purges and cities across Spain rise up against the old order, Montse has never heard the word fascista before. In any case, the villagers say facha (the ch is a real Spanish ch, by the way, with a real spit).

Montse lives in a small village, high in the hills, where few people can read or write and fewer still ever leave. If everything goes according to her mother’s plan, Montse will never leave either. She will become a good, humble maid for the local landowners, muchísimas gracias, with every Sunday off to dance the jota in the church square.

But Montse’s world is changing. Her brother José has just returned from Lérida with a red and black scarf and a new, dangerous vocabulary and his words are beginning to open up new realms to his little sister. She might not understand half of what he says, but how can anyone become a maid in the Burgos family when their head is ringing with shouts of RevoluciónComunidad and Libertad?

The war, it seems, has arrived in the nick of time.

 

Impressive … an effective account of a hideous time of brutal politics and the desperate compromises many made to make life possible.”                Sunday Times

An extraordinary book . . . very powerful.”                        Irish Times

A turbulent, magnificent novel that shines a new light on the Spanish Civil War. It resonates with the power of a manifesto for modern times.”                      François Busnel, L’Express

A seriously important novel … The novel Pasolini would have written had he been the son of Spanish exiles.”                   Time Out, Barcelona

A magnificent novel. A brilliantly written family saga and a mesmerising study of memory and historical reconstruction.”                      El Mundo

 

 

 

Image result for A Field Guide to Reality by Joanna KavennaExtraordinary, wise, funny, adventurous.”             A. L. Kennedy
I couldn’t put it down. A cult following seems certain.”               Literary Review
In this darkly ironic novel – a quest for truth, a satire, an elegy – Joanna Kavenna displays fearless originality and wit in confronting the strangeness of reality and how we contend with the death of those we love. Beautiful, ethereal drawings by Oly Ralfe illustrate this haunting journey through time, space and human understanding.

 

A novel so utterly startling and inventive, it’s almost an act of resistance. Joanna Kavenna is a true literary insurgent: bravely unconventional and ruthless in her quest to demonstrate the possibility of deep, distinctive experience.”               Miriam Toews

If Lewis Carroll was parodying intellectual fashions with his curious characters, Kavenna is here leading the reader playfully through the paradoxes of the quantum universe . . . It is refreshing as well as disconcerting to read a novel that sets aside convention so resolutely, and to encounter a heroine who is so quirky, curious and clever on her quest through the quantum Wonderland.”                        Suzi Feay, Guardian

 

 

Image result for The Boy on the Bridge by MR CareyOnce upon a time, in a land blighted by terror, there was a very clever boy.

The people thought the boy could save them, so they opened their gates and sent him out into the world.
To where the monsters lived.

 

In The Boy on the Bridge M. R. Carey returns to the world of The Girl With All the Gifts, the phenomenal word-of-mouth bestseller which is now a critically acclaimed film starring Sennia Nanua, Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton and Paddy Considine.

 

Spectacular!”         Martina Cole

Carey writes with compassion and fire – strange and surprising and humane.”                 Lauren Beukes

A tense story with superbly rendered characters.”                       Scifinow

A terrifying, emotional page-turner that explores what it means to be human.”               Kirkus

 

The third volume of Granta’s renowned and prescient, Best of Young American Novelists.

Every ten years, Granta devotes an issue to new American fiction by writers under the age of forty, showcasing the young novelists deemed to be the best of their generation writers of remarkable achievement and promise.

In 1997 and 2007 we picked out such luminaries as Edwidge Danticat, Jeffrey Eugenides, Jonathan Safran Foer, Jonathan Franzen, Nicole Krauss, Lorrie Moore, Yiyun Li, Karen Russell and Gary Shteyngart.

In this special issue, we bring you Granta s Best of Young American Novelists of 2017: twenty-one outstanding writers, each able to capture the preoccupations of modern America.

Jesse Ball, Halle Butler, Emma Cline, Joshua Cohen, Mark Doten, Jen George, Rachel B. Glaser, Lauren Groff, Yaa Gyasi, Garth Risk Hallberg, Greg Jackson, Sana Krasikov, Catherine Lacey, Ben Lerner, Karan Mahajan, Anthony Marra, Dinaw Mengestu, Ottessa Moshfegh, Chinelo Okparanta, Esmé Weijun Wang, Claire Vaye Watkins

These are the novelists you will soon be reading, chosen by panel of judges who are themselves acclaimed writers: Patrick deWitt, A.M. Homes, Kelly Link, Ben Marcus and Sigrid Rausing.

 

 

 

 

Image result for Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. SapolskyA ground-breaking synthesis of the entire science of human behaviour by ‘one of the best scientist-writers of our time’ (Oliver Sacks) — ‘It’s no exaggeration to say that Behave is one of the best nonfiction books I’ve ever read’ Wall Street Journal

Why do we do what we do? Behave is at once a dazzling tour and a majestic synthesis of the whole science of human behaviour. Brought to life through simple language, engaging stories and irreverent wit, it offers the fullest picture yet of the origins of tribalism and xenophobia, hierarchy and competition, morality and free will, war and peace.

Robert Sapolsky’s ingenious method is to move backwards in time from the moment at which a behaviour occurs, layer by layer through the myriad influences that led to it.

Throughout, Sapolsky considers the most important question: what causes acts of aggression or compassion? What inspires us to terrible deeds and what might help foster our best behaviour?

Wise, humane, often very funny, Behave is a towering achievement, powerfully humanizing, that is unlikely to be surpassed for many years.

 

It’s no exaggeration to say that Behave is one of the best nonfiction books I’ve ever read.”                  Wall Street Journal

Magisterial … This extraordinary survey of the science of human behaviour takes the reader on an epic journey … Sapolsky makes the book consistently entertaining, with an infectious excitement at the puzzles he explains … a miraculous synthesis of scholarly domains.”                 Steven Poole, Guardian

Truly all-encompassing … detailed, accessible, fascinating.”                 Telegraph

A miraculous book, by far the best treatment of violence, aggression, and competition ever. Its depth and breadth of scholarship are amazing, building on Sapolsky’s own research and his vast knowledge of the neurobiology, genetic, and behavioral literature. All this is done brilliantly with a light and funny touch that shows why Sapolsky is recognized as one of the greatest teachers in science today.”                   Paul Ehrlich, author of Human Natures

One of the best scientist-writers of our time.”                    Oliver Sacks

“Behave is like a great historical novel, with excellent prose and encylopedic detail. It traces the most important story that can ever be told.”                       E O Wilson

As wide as it is deep, this book is colorful, electrifying, and moving. Sapolsky leverages his deep expertise to ask the most fundamental questions about being human.”                     David Eagleman, author of Incognito

One of the finest natural history writers around.”                        New York Times

 

 

Image result for The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu: The Quest for this Storied City and the Race to Save Its Treasures by Charlie EnglishTwo tales of a city: The historical race to reach one of the world’s most mythologised places, and the story of how a contemporary band of archivists and librarians, fighting to save its ancient manuscripts from destruction at the hands of al Qaeda, added another layer to the legend.

To Westerners, the name “Timbuktu” long conjured a tantalising paradise, an African El Dorado where even the slaves wore gold. Beginning in the late eighteenth century, a series of explorers gripped by the fever for “discovery” tried repeatedly to reach the fabled city. But one expedition after another went disastrously awry, succumbing to attack, the climate, and disease. Timbuktu was rich in another way too. A medieval centre of learning, it was home to tens of thousands of ancient manuscripts, on subjects ranging from religion to poetry, law to history, pharmacology, and astronomy. When al-Qaeda–linked jihadists surged across Mali in 2012, threatening the existence of these precious documents, a remarkable thing happened: a team of librarians and archivists joined forces to spirit the manuscripts into hiding.

Relying on extensive research and firsthand reporting, Charlie English expertly twines these two suspenseful strands into a fascinating account of one of the planet’s extraordinary places, and the myths from which it has become inseparable.

 

A piece of postmodern historiography of quite extraordinary sophistication and ingenuity… [written with] exceptional delicacy and restraint.”                          TLS

 

Part reportage, part history, part romance and wholly gripping… a riveting read.”                     Sunday Times

 

A fascinating interweaving of past and present: meticulously researched, powerfully written and riveting.”                  Ben Macintyre

 

A fascinating account of Timbuktu’s history and the brave and crazy adventurers who sought death and glory trying to get there.”              The Times

 

A rewarding account … after reading it I felt I knew more, cared more and wanted to know more.”                       Scotland on Sunday

 

 

 

 

Image result for The Black Door: Spies, Secret Intelligence and British Prime Ministers by Richard Aldrich and Rory CormacThe Black Door explores the evolving relationship between successive British prime ministers and the intelligence agencies, from Asquith’s Secret Service Bureau to Cameron’s National Security Council.

At the beginning of the 20th Century the British intelligence system was underfunded and lacked influence in government. But as the new millennium dawned, intelligence had become so integral to policy that it was used to make the case for war. Now, covert action is incorporated seamlessly into government policy, and the Prime Minister is kept constantly updated by intelligence agencies.

But how did intelligence come to influence our government so completely?

The Black Door explores the murkier corridors of No. 10 Downing Street, chronicling the relationships between intelligence agencies and the Prime Ministers of the last century. From Churchill’s code-breakers feeding information to the Soviets to Eden’s attempts to assassinate foreign leaders, from Wilson’s paranoia of an MI5-led coup d’état to Thatcher’s covert wars in Central America, Aldrich and Cormac entertain and enlighten as they explain how our government came to rely on intelligence to the extent that it does today.

 

Must read stuff. Aldrich and Cormac are inexhaustible researchers, who use a wide range of archives and include striking material from off-the-record informants. The Black Door is a vital, authoritative book.”                     Richard Davenport-Hines, The Times

 

Pioneering book … a major contribution to our understanding of British prime ministers over the last century. This is one of those rare books that deserve to change the way that modern British political history is researched and written.”              Christopher Andrew, Literary Review

 

This book deserves to be taken very seriously. The authors are intimately familiar with the history of the modern intelligence community.”                  Sunday Times

 

 

 

 

Image result for Three Minutes to Doomsday by Joe NavarroIt is 1988 and Florida-based FBI agent Joe Navarro divides his time between SWAT assignments, flying air reconnaissance, and working counter-intelligence. A body-language expert with an uncanny ability to “read” those he interrogates, Navarro is known as super-intense – an agent whose work ethic quickly burns out partners. He craves an assignment that will get him noticed by the FBI top brass but then again, as he’ll come to learn: be careful what you wish for . . .
It was while on a routine assignment – interviewing a ‘person of interest’, a former US soldier named Rod Ramsay with links to another soldier, Clyde Conrad, recently arrested in Germany as a traitor – that Navarro thought he smelled a rat. He noticed a tic in Ramsay’s hand when Conrad’s name was mentioned. Not a lot to go on, but enough for Navarro to insist that an investigation be opened.
What followed was extraordinary – and unique in the annals of espionage detection – a game of cat-and-mouse played at the highest level: on one side, an FBI agent who must not reveal that he suspects his target; on the other, a traitor, a seller of his country’s secrets, whose weakness is the thrill he gets from sparring with his inquisitor.
To prise from Ramsay the full extent of the damage he had wrought, Navarro had to pre-choreograph every interview because Ramsay was exceptionally intelligent, with the second highest IQ ever recorded by the U.S. Army. It would become an interrogation that literally pitted genius against genius – a battle of wits fought against one of the most turbulent periods of the 20th century – the demise and eventual collapse of the Eastern Bloc and the Soviet Union – and the very real possibility that Russia’s leaders, in a last desperate bid to alter history’s trajectory, might engage in all-out war. As Navarro was to learn over the course of nearly fifty exhausting and mind-bending interviews and interrogations, Ramsay had handed the Soviets the knowledge needed to destroy America and its western allies…

In Three Minutes to Doomsday, Joe Navarro tells this extraordinary story for the first time – a story of the exposure and breaking of one of the most damaging espionage rings in US history whose treachery threatened the entire world.

One of the most gripping cat-and-mouse espionage stories you’ll ever read—and it all really happened. Like the showdown between FBI profiler Will Graham and evil genius Hannibal Lecter portrayed in the book Red Dragon and its film adaptation Manhunter, this real-life account by FBI agent/body-language expert Joe Navarro of outwitting traitor/savant Rod Ramsay will irresistibly push you to the edge of your chair. What makes the read even more intense is that the stakes couldn’t be higher: possibly, the lives of every American if our hero doesn’t get his adversary to expose the full extent of what he’s wrought.”
Barry Eisler

 

 

 

Image result for Diary of a Vampire in Pyjamas by Mathias MalzieuThis is a memoir by French bestselling and award-winning author and musician Mathias Malzieu. It focuses on a single year in which he explores his close encounter with death. Insightful, tragic and even often very funny, it is a hugely inspirational read.

In November 2013 Malzieu is diagnosed with a rare and life-threatening blood disease: his bone marrow does not produce enough blood cells, and those that survive are being attacked by the body’s natural antibodies as if they were viruses. Highly anaemic and at risk of a cardiac attack or fatal haemorrhaging, Malzieu is whisked into hospital, and spends months in a sterile isolation room. He is kept alive by blood transfusions, while waiting for a bone marrow transplant. When he has the energy for it, he writes in his diary and strums his ukelele.

To read this book is to be in awe of the triumph of the human spirit. As a reader you find yourself marvelling at how we find the mechanisms to cope with tragedy and uncertainty when faced with the reality that we may die. Malzieu’s highly active imagination allows him to transcend the limits of his body and its increasing failures through fantasy and escapism. His wonderfully addictive childish wonder with a punk Gothic twist lifts the narrative from being a depressing account to a reading experience that is evocative, poetic and intensely moving.

Malzieu survived thanks to a revolutionary operation involving stem-cell treatment with the blood from an umbilical cord. As he leaves the hospital with not only a different blood group but also a different DNA, he describes himself as the oldest newborn in the world. As Malzieu says himself, ‘To have had my life saved has been the most extraordinary adventure I have ever had.’

 

Francois Truffaut with a rock’n’roll band.”             Iggy Pop

Malzieu’s prose is distinctly original, spitting and fizzing with unique similes and striking metaphors.”                        Guardian

 

 

 

Image result for Bandit: A Daughter’s Memoir by Molly BrodakRaw, poetic and compulsively readable … I can’t wait to buy a copy for everyone I know.”                  Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help
The summer she turned thirteen, Molly Brodak’s father was arrested for robbing eleven banks. In time, the image she held of him would unravel further, as more and more unexpected facets of his personality came to light.

 

Bandit is her attempt to discover what, exactly, is left, when the most fundamental relationship of your life turns out to have been built on falsehoods. It is also a scrupulously honest account of learning how to trust again, and to rebuild the very idea of family from scratch.

 

Refusing to fence off the trickier sides of her father’s character, Brodak tries to find, through crystalline, spellbinding prose, a version of him that does not rely on the easy answers but allows him to be: an unknowable and incomprehensible whole – who is also her father.

 

Unforgettable, moving, and utterly relatable, Bandit is a story of the unpredictable complexity of family.

 

 

 

 

 

Image result for The Soweto Uprisings by Sifiso Mxolisi NdlovuWhen the Soweto uprisings of June 1976 took place, Sifiso Mxolisi Ndlovu, the author of this book, was a 14-year-old pupil at Phefeni Junior Secondary School. With his classmates, he was among the active participants in the protest action against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.

 

Contrary to the generally accepted views, both that the uprisings were ‘spontaneous’ and that there were bigger political players and student organisations behind the uprisings, in the new edition Sifiso’s book shows that this was not the case. Using newspaper articles, interviews with former fellow pupils and through his own personal account, Sifiso provides us with a ‘counter-memory’ of the momentous events of that time.

 

This is an updated version of the book first published by Ravan Press in 1998. New material has been added, including an introduction to the new edition, as well as two new chapters analysing the historiography of the uprisings as well as reflecting on memory and commemoration as social, cultural and historical projects.

 

 

 

Image result for Critique of Black Reason by Achille MbembeIn Critique of Black Reason eminent critic Achille Mbembe offers a capacious genealogy of the category of Blackness—from the Atlantic slave trade to the present—to critically reevaluate history, racism, and the future of humanity. Mbembe teases out the intellectual consequences of the reality that Europe is no longer the world’s center of gravity while mapping the relations among colonialism, slavery, and contemporary financial and extractive capital. Tracing the conjunction of Blackness with the biological fiction of race, he theorizes Black reason as the collection of discourses and practices that equated Blackness with the nonhuman in order to uphold forms of oppression. Mbembe powerfully argues that this equation of Blackness with the nonhuman will serve as the template for all new forms of exclusion. With Critique of Black Reason, Mbembe offers nothing less than a map of the world as it has been constituted through colonialism and racial thinking while providing the first glimpses of a more just future.

 

In his impressive analysis, Critique of Black Reason, [Mbembe] depicts a comprehensive picture of African history, one he regards as the history of racist thinking.”                Ina Schwanse, afrikapost.de

Achille Mbembe ‘s Critique de la Raison Negre . . . [is] a book that you want to shout about from the rooftops, so that all your colleagues and friends will read it. My copy, only a few months old, is stuffed with paper markers at many intervals, suggesting the richness of analysis and description on nearly every page. . . . This is certainly one of the outstanding intellectual contributions to studies of empire, colonialism, racism, and human liberation in the last decade, perhaps decades. . . . A brilliant book.”                      Elaine Coburn – Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society

Achille Mbembe s argument is simple and it is tough: Neoliberalism and the reawakening of a racial mindset that it applies are on the way to making blacks the paradigm of subaltern humanity. Critiquing this situation requires the radical deconstruction of those twin products of modernity: blackness and race.”                      Tiphaine Samoyault, La Quinzaine litteraire

With Critique of Black Reason, Achille Mbembe reaffirms his position as one of the most original and significant thinkers of our times working out of Francophone traditions of anti-imperial and postcolonial criticism. His voyages in this book through a painstakingly assembled archive of empire, race, slavery, blackness, and liberation an archive that Mbembe both reconfigures and interrogates at the same time produce profound moments of reflection on the origin and nature of modernity and its mutations in the contemporary phase of global capital. A tour de force that will renew debates on capital, race, and freedom in today’s world.”               Dipesh Chakrabarty”

A captivating and simultaneously vexing mixture of historical lecture and political-philosophical manifesto.”              Andreas Eckert, Frankfurter Allgemeine

A lucid, thoughtful and sometimes poetic work, with phrases you want to underline on every page. Mbembe is a voice that needs to be heard, in the current discussion about racism and immigration in Europe.”              Peter Vermaas, NRC Handelsblad

For me the most important African thinker today, Achille Mbembe has published the Critique of Black Reason. A very great book, encompassing the perspectives of the African continent as well as the political challenges facing the whole world.”                       Jean-Marie Durand

Achille Mbembe has placed the discourse of Africa squarely in the center of both postmodernism and continental philosophy. Every page of this signifying riff on Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason is a delight to read. African philosophy is currently enjoying a renaissance, and Mbembe is to its continental pole what Kwame Anthony Appiah is to its analytical pole. Every student of postmodernist theory should read this book.”                     Henry Louis Gates, Jr

 

 

 

 

Image result for Requiem for the American Dream: The Ten Principles of Concentration of Wealth and Power by Noam Chomsky et alDuring the Great Depression, which I’m old enough to remember, it was bad–much worse subjectively than today. But there was a sense that we’ll get out of this somehow, an expectation that things were going to get better.

 

In his first major book on the subject of income inequality, Noam Chomsky skewers the fundamental tenets of neoliberalism and casts a clear, cold, patient eye on the economic facts of life. What are the ten principles of concentration of wealth and power at work in America today? They’re simple enough: reduce democracy, shape ideology, redesign the economy, shift the burden onto the poor and middle classes, attack the solidarity of the people, let special interests run the regulators, engineer election results, use fear and the power of the state to keep the rabble in line, manufacture consent, marginalize the population. In Requiem for the American Dream, Chomsky devotes a chapter to each of these ten principles, and adds readings from some of the core texts that have influenced his thinking to bolster his argument.

While many books attempt to explain how we got to this political moment (some successfully), Noam Chomsky’s latest, Requiem for the American Dream, provides necessary historical context. Zooming in on ten ways that government and corporate interests have kept the American people down, Chomsky offers a compelling history that explains today’s economic and political landscape. At 157 pages, it’s a short, beautifully put together book.”                         Huffington Post

 

 

 

Image result for Admissions: A Life in Brain Surgery by Henry MarshFrom the author of the bestselling Do No Harm. Henry Marsh has spent a lifetime operating on the surgical frontline. There have been exhilarating highs and devastating lows, but his love for the practice of neurosurgery has never wavered. Prompted by his retirement from his full-time job in the NHS, and through his continuing work in Nepal and Ukraine, Henry has been forced to reflect more deeply about what forty years spent handling the human brain has taught him.

Moving between encounters with patients in his London hospital, to those he treats in the more extreme circumstances of his work abroad, Henry faces up to the burden of responsibility that can come with trying to reduce human suffering. Unearthing memories of his early days as a medical student, and the experiences that shaped him as a young surgeon, he explores the difficulties of a profession that deals in probabilities rather than certainties, and where the overwhelming urge to prolong life can come at a tragic cost for both patients and for those who love them.

In this searing, provocative and deeply personal memoir, the bestselling author of Do No Harm finds new purpose in his own life as he approaches the end of his professional career, and a fresh understanding of what matters to us all in the end.

 

Sensational…Marsh is curmudgeonly, unflinching, clinical, competitive, often contemptuous and consistently curious. In Admissions he scrubs up just as well the second time around and continues to revel in his joyous candour.”                 Sunday Times

Superb…a eulogy to surgery and a study of living. I didn’t want this book to end. Henry Marsh is part of a growing canon of superb modern medical writers…whose storytelling and prose are transportative…His timing is also impeccable…His sentences, too, feel like works of the finest craftmanship, made with the love that goes into both his woodwork and surgery.”                                  Daily Telegraph

Marsh is, given his profession, a surprisingly emotional man, likably so. His account of his younger self that threads through this compulsive book is a Bildungsroman in itself. He is also a fine writer and storyteller, and a nuanced observer.”                   Observer

Do No Harm, candid and tender, was one of the most powerful books written by a doctor…His follow-up book does not disappoint. The maverick is back, even more blunt and irascible, with tales of thrilling, high-wire operations at medicine’s unconquered frontier, woven through with personal memoir…Marsh in full spate is quite magnificent…a master of tar-black, deadpan humour.”                 The Times

 

 

Image result for Pride and Prejudice: The Gerald Kraak Anthology African Perspectives on Gender, Social Justice and SexualityPride and Prejudice is the first in the Gerald Kraak Anthology series. The kaleidoscopic collection comprises the most exceptional written and photographic entries for the annual Gerald Kraak Award, which was established in 2016 by The Other Foundation and the Jacana Literary Foundation. Offering important African perspectives gathered from the continent, this inaugural edition features works of fiction, journalism, photography and poetry. The pieces are multi-layered, brave and stirring. They represent a new wave of fresh storytelling that provokes thought on the topics of gender, social justice and sexuality.

 

 

 

 

Image result for Letters to a Young Writer by Colum McCannI hope there is something here for any young writer – or any older writer, for that matter – who happens to be looking for a teacher to come along, a teacher who, in the end, can really teach nothing at all but fire.

From the critically acclaimed Colum McCann, author of the National Book Award winner Let the Great World Spin, comes a paean to the power of language, and a direct address to the artistic, professional and philosophical concerns that challenge and sometimes torment an author.

Comprising fifty-two short prose pieces, Letters to a Young Writer ranges from practical matters of authorship, such as finding an agent, the pros and cons of creative writing degrees and handling bad reviews, through to the more joyous and celebratory, as McCann elucidates the pleasures to be found in truthful writing, for: ‘the best writing makes us glad that we are – however briefly – alive.’

Emphatic and empathetic, pragmatic and profound, this is an essential companion to any author’s journey – and a deeply personal work from one of our greatest literary voices.

 

An intensely literary writer … His prose thrums with echoes of Beckett, Yeats and Joyce.”                     Sunday Times

McCann’s writing is elegant and ironic.”                  The Times

Practical writing advice meets heartfelt love song to creativity.”        Irish Times

 

 

 

Image result for More Alive and Less Lonely: On Books and Writers by Jonathan LethemWith impassioned appeals for forgotten writers and overlooked books, razor-sharp essays, and personal accounts of extraordinary literary encounters, Jonathan Lethem’s More Alive and Less Lonely is an essential celebration of literature, from one of America’s finest and most acclaimed working writers. Only Lethem, with his love of cult favourites and the canon alike, can write with equal insight about the stories of modern masters like Lorrie Moore and Salman Rushdie, graphic novelist Chester Brown, science fiction outlier Philip K. Dick, and classics icons like Moby-Dick.

 

 

 

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Joel Sartore intends to photograph every animal in captivity in the world. He is circling the globe, visiting zoos and wildlife rescue centers to create studio portraits of 12,000 species, with an emphasis on those facing extinction. He has photographed more than 6,000 already and now, thanks to a multi-year partnership with National Geographic, he may reach his goal. This book showcases his animal portraits: from tiny to mammoth, from the Florida grasshopper sparrow to the greater one-horned rhinoceros. Paired with the eloquent prose of veteran wildlife writer Douglas Chadwick, this book presents a thought-provoking argument for saving all the species of our planet.

 

Image result for Unpresidented by Paige NickWhen ex-president J Muza is released from prison on medical parole for an ingrown toenail, his expectations of a triumphant return to power and admiration are cruelly dashed.

His once lavish Homestead is a rotting shell, his remaining wives have ganged up on him, the Guptas have blocked his number, and not even Robert Mugabe will take his calls any more. And he just can’t seem to get his plans for world domination off the ground.

Muza is banking on his memoirs full of fake news to pep up his profile, but his ghostwriter, a disgraced journalist, has problems and a tight deadline of his own. What Muza’s not banking on is a fat bill for outstanding rates on The Homestead, and a 30-day deadline to pay back the money, before the bailiffs arrive to evict him.

Is Muza a mastermind, or simply a puppet who fell into the wrong hands? Who is really playing who? What are his remaining wives up to, and will they stay or will they go? And how will he ever pay back the money?

Can the ghostwriter make his deadline before he winds up dead? Or are both men destined to be homeless and loathed forever?

 

 

Image result for Fever by Deon MeyerI want to tell you about my Father’s murder.

I want to tell you who killed him and why.

This is the story of my life.

And the story of your life and your world too, as you will see.

Nico Storm and his father drive across a desolate South Africa, constantly alert for feral dogs, motorcycle gangs, nuclear contamination. They are among the few survivors of a virus that has killed most of the world’s population. Young as he is, Nico realises that his superb marksmanship and cool head mean he is destined to be his father’s protector.

But Willem Storm, though not a fighter, is a man with a vision. He is searching for a place that can become a refuge, a beacon of light and hope in a dark and hopeless world, a community that survivors will rebuild from the ruins. And so Amanzi is born.

Fever is the epic, searing story of a group of people determined to carve a city out of chaos.

 

“Fever bears comparison with landmarks in the genre such as The StandThe novel explores humanity at its best and worst; the crushing loss of civilisation with everything that means for the structure of society…This great book asks us to reflect on our own hidden natures – how would we react if the world we knew came to an end tomorrow?”                 Vaseem Khan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image result for Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek ShanbhagIn this masterful novel by the acclaimed Indian writer Vivek Shanbhag, a close-knit family is delivered from near-destitution to sudden wealth after the narrator’s uncle founds a successful spice company. As the narrator – a sensitive young man who is never named – along with his sister, his parents, and his uncle move from a cramped, ant-infested shack to a larger house and encounter newfound wealth, the family dynamics begin to shift. Allegiances and desires realign; marriages are arranged and begin to falter; and conflict brews ominously in the background.

Their world becomes ‘ghachar ghochar’ – a nonsense phrase that, to the narrator, comes to mean something entangled beyond repair. Told in clean, urgent prose, and punctuated by moments of unexpected warmth and humour, Ghachar Ghochar is a quietly enthralling, deeply unsettling novel about the shifting meanings – and consequences – of financial gain in contemporary India.

 

A great Indian novel…Folded into the compressed, densely psychological portrait of this family is a whole universe.”        Parul Sehgal, The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)

 

“[Shanbhag] is a master of inference and omission…What’s most impressive about Ghachar Ghochar…is how much intricacy and turmoil gets distilled into its few pages…[A] wise and skillful book.”                         Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal
A classic tale of wealth and moral ruin and a parable about capitalism and Indian society.”                    New Yorker
Great Indian novels…tend towards large tomes, written in English. Now, however, the arrival of a new work has shaken up the status quo: Vivek Shanbhag’s gripping Ghachar Ghochar. This slim volume…packs a powerful punch, both in terms of the precision of its portrait of one Bangalore-based family, and, by extension, what this tells us about modern India….Shanbhag is the real deal, this gem of a novel resounding with chilling truths.”                 Independent 
Masterful…This stunning Bangalore-set family drama underlines the necessity of reading beyond our borders….Ghachar Ghochar is both fascinatingly different from much Indian writing in English, and provides a masterclass in crafting, particularly on the power of leaving things unsaid.”                      Deborah Smith,  Guardian

Ghachar Ghochar introduces us to a master.”         Paris Review
One of the finest literary works you will ever encounter…a nuanced wonder.”                 -Irish Times 


A feat of taut, economical storytelling…[with] moments of wonderfully dark, often unexpected, cynicism.”                   Financial Times
One of the best novels to have come out of India in recent decades.”                    Pankaj Mishra, author of Age of Anger 

 

 

 

Image result for The Idiot by Elif BatumanI loved it and could have read a thousand more pages of it.”                     Emma Cline

Selin, a tall, highly strung Turkish-American from New Jersey turns up at Harvard and finds herself dangerously overwhelmed by the challenges and possibilities of adulthood. She studies linguistics and literature, teaches ESL and spends a lot of time thinking about what language – and languages – can and cannot do.

Along the way she befriends Svetlana, a cosmopolitan Serb, and obsesses over Ivan, a mathematician from Hungary. The two conduct a hilarious relationship that culminates with Selin spending the summer teaching English in a Hungarian village and enduring a series of surprising excursions. Throughout her journeys, Selin ponders profound questions about how culture and language shape who we are, how difficult it is to be a failed writer, and how baffling love is.

At once clever and clueless, Batuman’s heroine shows us with perfect hilarity and soulful inquisitiveness just how messy it can be to forge a self.

 

Each paragraph is a small anthology of well-made observations… Batuman has a rich sense of the details of human attachment and lust.”                         New York Times

A moving, continent-hopping coming-of-age story.”                        Alex Preston, Observer, 2017 Books of the Year

I’m not Turkish, I don’t have a Serbian best friend, I’m not in love with a Hungarian, I don’t go to Harvard. Or do I? For one wonderful week, I got to be this worldly and brilliant, this young and clumsy and in love. The Idiot is a hilariously mundane immersion into a world that has never before received the 19th Century Novel treatment. An addictive, sprawling epic; I wolfed it down.”                         Miranda July,

 

 

 

Image result for White Tears by Hari KunzruA feverish new tale from the bestselling author of The Impressionist: two ambitious young musicians are drawn into a dark underworld, haunted by the ghosts of a repressive past

Two twenty-something New Yorkers: Seth, awkward and shy, and Carter, the trust fund hipster. They have one thing in common: an obsession with music. Rising fast on the New York producing scene, they stumble across an old blues song long forgotten by history — and everything starts to unravel. Carter is drawn far down a path that allows no return, and Seth has no choice but to follow his friend into the darkness.

Trapped in a game they don’t understand, Hari Kunzru’s characters move unsteadily across the chessboard, caught between black and white, performer and audience, righteous and forsaken. But we have been here before, oh so many times over, and the game always ends the same way . . .

Electrifying, subversive and wildly original, White Tears is a ghost story and a love story, a story about lost innocence and historical guilt. This unmissable novel penetrates the heart of a nation’s darkness, encountering a suppressed history of greed, envy, revenge and exploitation, and holding a mirror up to the true nature of America today.

 

“White Tears is a book that everyone should be reading right now.”                       Time
Delilloesque — moody, threatening, and profoundly dark… A story about ghosts, about grievances leaking through the fabric of decades, and about retribution, violence and hatred. At every turn, Kunzru’s words concoct a dreamlike world where the past isn’t dead and the boundaries of reality flicker at the margins.”             Huffington Post

Haunting, doom-drenched, genuinely and viscerally disturbing… Kunzru showcases his trademark exhilarating prose throughout – closing with a conclusion that packs a real punch.”                   Independent

“A disorientating odyssey through decades of American history…Kunzru has always been an assured and intellectually gifted novelist, but I am not sure he has ever before displaying such emotional heft.”                     Daily Telegraph

What begins as dude-bro send-up soon spirals into a supernatural revenge fantasy keyed to America’s history of racism.”                      Observer

Both like a radical revenge fantasia and a stern lesson in radical empathy.”                    Spectator

 

 

 

Image result for Belladonna by Daša DrndicAndreas Ban is a writer and a psychologist, an intellectual proper, but his world has been falling apart for years. When he retires with a miserable pension and finds out that he is ill, he gains a new perspective on the debris of his life and the lives of his friends. In defying illness and old age, Andreas Ban is cynical and powerful, and in his unravelling of his own past and the lives of others, he uncompromisingly lays bare a gamut of taboos.

Andreas Ban stands for a true hero of our times; a castaway intellectual of a society which subdues every critical thought under the guise of political correctness. Belladonna addresses some of the twentieth century’s worst human atrocities in a powerful fusion of fiction and reality, the hallmark of one of Europe’s finest contemporary writers.

 

 

 

Image result for American War by Omar el-AkkadPowerful . . . As haunting a postapocalyptic universe as Cormac McCarthy [created] in The Road, and as devastating a look as the fallout that national events have on an American family as Philip Roth did in The Plot Against America. . . . Omar El Akkad’s debut novel, American War, is an unlikely mash-up of unsparing war reporting and plot elements familiar to readers of the recent young-adult dystopian series The Hunger Games and Divergent.”                      -Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

 

An audacious and powerful debut novel: a second American Civil War, a devastating plague, and one family caught deep in the middle–a story that asks what might happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and deadly weapons upon itself.

Sarat Chestnut, born in Louisiana, is only six when the Second American Civil War breaks out in 2074. But even she knows that oil is outlawed, that Louisiana is half underwater, and that unmanned drones fill the sky. When her father is killed and her family is forced into Camp Patience for displaced persons, she begins to grow up shaped by her particular time and place. But not everyone at Camp Patience is who they claim to be. Eventually Sarat is befriended by a mysterious functionary, under whose influence she is turned into a deadly instrument of war. The decisions that she makes will have tremendous consequences not just for Sarat but for her family and her country, rippling through generations of strangers and kin alike.

 

“American War is an extraordinary novel. El Akkad’s story of a family caught up in the collapse of an empire is as harrowing as it is brilliant, and has an air of terrible relevance in these partisan times.”              Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven
“American War, a work of a singular, grand, brilliant imagination, is a warning shot across the bow of the United States. Omar El Akkad has created a novel that isn’t afraid to be a pleasurable yarn as it delves into the hidden currents of American culture and extrapolates from them to envision a deeply tragic potential future.”             David Means, author of Hystopia

 

 

 

Image result for The Fourteenth Letter by Claire EvansA mysterious keepsake, a murdered bride, a legacy of secrets…

One balmy June evening in 1881, Phoebe Stanbury stands before the guests at her engagement party: this is her moment, when she will join the renowned Raycraft family and ascend to polite society.

As she takes her fiancé’s hand, a stranger holding a knife steps forward and ends the poor girl’s life. Amid the chaos, he turns to her aristocratic groom and mouths: ‘I promised I would save you.’

The following morning, just a few miles away, timid young legal clerk William Lamb meets a reclusive client. He finds the old man terrified and in desperate need of aid: William must keep safe a small casket of yellowing papers, and deliver an enigmatic message: The Finder knows.

With its labyrinth of unfolding secrets, Claire Evans’ riveting debut will be adored by fans of Kate Mosse, Carlos Ruiz Zafon and Jessie Burton.

 

Exuberant plotting and witty prose. Great fun.”                  The Times

Claire Evans has created a cast of deliciously sinister and mysterious characters. A hugely satisfying read.”                  Good Housekeeping

 

 

Image result for Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregorFrom the award-winning author of If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things and Even the DogsReservoir 13 tells the story of many lives haunted by one family’s loss.

A GUARDIAN NOTABLE BOOK OF 2017

Midwinter in the early years of this century. A teenage girl on holiday has gone missing in the hills at the heart of England. The villagers are called up to join the search, fanning out across the moors as the police set up roadblocks and a crowd of news reporters descends on their usually quiet home.

Meanwhile, there is work that must still be done: cows milked, fences repaired, stone cut, pints poured, beds made, sermons written, a pantomime rehearsed.

The search for the missing girl goes on, but so does everyday life. As it must.

As the seasons unfold there are those who leave the village and those who are pulled back; those who come together or break apart. There are births and deaths; secrets kept and exposed; livelihoods made and lost; small kindnesses and unanticipated betrayals.

Bats hang in the eaves of the church and herons stand sentry in the river; fieldfares flock in the hawthorn trees and badgers and foxes prowl deep in the woods – mating and fighting, hunting and dying.

An extraordinary novel of cumulative power and grace, Reservoir 13 explores the rhythms of the natural world and the repeated human gift for violence, unfolding over thirteen years as the aftershocks of a stranger’s tragedy refuse to subside.

Absolutely magnificent; one of the most beautiful, affecting novels I’ve read in years. The prose is alive and ringing. There is so much space and life in every sentence. I don’t know how he’s done it. It’s beautiful.”                        Eimear McBride

“Reservoir 13 is quite extraordinary – the way it’s structured, the way it rolls, the skill with which Jon McGregor lets the characters breathe and age.”                       Roddy Doyle

A work of intense, forensic noticing; an unobtrusively experimental, thickly atmospheric portrait of the life of a village which, for its mixture of truthfulness and potency, deserves to be set alongside works of such varied brilliance as Ronald Blythe’s Akenfield, Jim Crace’s Harvest and Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood.”                  Sarah Crown, TLS

Even by the standards of his mature work, McGregor’s latest novel is a remarkable achievement… Fluid and fastidious, its sparing loveliness feels deeply true to its subject. There are moments, as in life, of miraculous grace, but no more than that…(a) humane and tender masterpiece.”                     Irish Times

 

 

 

Image result for Masha Regina by Vadim LeventalPassionate, talented, headstrong and ambitious, Masha takes the European film scene by storm, escaping her small provincial town to become the most daring, avant-garde auteur of her generation. Taking inspiration from her personal life as well as the artists and poets she meets on the streets of St Petersburg, Masha courageously puts herself on the line by transforming her own experiences into art. But as painful memories of her childhood start to resurface, she is forced to confront her demons – the betrayals, the cruelties – in this psychologically compelling debut from one of Russia’s most exciting young writers.

 

“Sketching Masha, Saint Petersburg, and the Russian arts scene with lively and impressionistic detail, Levental swirls in fragmentary conversations, bits of internal monologue, and more than a few knowing references to the Russian literary canon to create a sophisticated twist on a bildungsroman that raises more questions than it answers and showcases the author’s own considerable literary talent.”                  Booklist
“Masha Regina is … populated with cultural quotations from The Iliad to Star Wars, Gogol to The Godfather, fairy tales to porn sites, Don Quixote to computer games. Levantal’s work returns regularly to the “Dostoevskian spirit”, even as it spans both Shakespearean allusions and social media (“nothing drives people apart like daily status updates”)…. In her acknowledgements, translator Lisa Hayden comments on these references “woven into the novel.” Her English version of this complex tapestry is, as ever, a delight, tackling multiple challenges from colloquialisms (“a drunk chick is not in charge of her twat”) to tongue twisters (“by the burbling river bank we bumblingly bagged a burbot”). Hayden’s thoughtful brilliance in this book … helps illuminate contemporary Russian literature for Anglophone readers….The novel triumphs through imagery.”                      Russia Beyond the Headlines

A spectacularly mature, fine and merciless novel.”                       Vechernyi Peterburg

 

 

Image result for Selling Lipservice by Tammy BaikieCompared to the likes of Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, Lauren Beuke’s Zoo City and Andrew Miller’s Dub Steps, Selling LipService is a daring novel. Selling LipService introduces its reader to a strange assortment of new vocabulary, and through this touches on the familiar danger of the commercialisation of language. Through a linguistically brilliant text, Tammy Baikie has created a world that exposes a society that has been swallowed up by the ad men. Since coming of haemorrh-age, Frith must wear a LipService patch to write or speak. The words the patch produces are not her own. Scripted by copywriters, they promote one sponsoring brand or another. With them, ‘You’ – a voice in her head that is the patch’s brand persona and her conformist alter ego – appears. Through the noise of You talking a variety of different LipService brands, Frith struggles to find her way back to speaking for herself. She believes her tastures – her ability to taste things she touches – are the key. But other elements of this consumerist society are equally interested in tastures for commercial gain.

 

 

 

Image result for All Their Minds in Tandem by David SangerThe setting is October 1879. The stage is New Georgetown, West Virginia.

A mysterious figure by the name of ‘The Maker’ has entered this small community and, almost immediately upon doing so, started entering the minds of the townsfolk.

Townsfolk who are as curious as The Maker himself. Like Dr Umbründ, the pint-sized physician with a prodigious capacity for sin; like the three sisters in the house on the hill – one stern, one wild, one mysterious; like the tavern’s semi-mythical siren, ‘The Bird’, who plays spellbinding music from behind a black velvet curtain, and whom no patron has ever laid eyes on; like Odell, a youth with dreams and ambitions that his craven disposition will forever prevent him from seizing; and who has spent the entirety of his erstwhile existence under the crushing heel of Clay, New Georgetown’s lead cad and chief alpha male.

As we enter these characters’ lives, and lightly tread our way through their brains, their bedrooms, their backstories and beyond, we will see what it is they all hope for and hide – and learn just why The Maker has chosen to meet them.

 

 

 

Image result for Norse Mythology by Neil GaimanThe great Norse myths are woven into the fabric of our storytelling – from Tolkien, Alan Garner and Rosemary Sutcliff to Game of Thrones and Marvel Comics. They are also an inspiration for Neil Gaiman’s own award-bedecked, bestselling fiction. Now he reaches back through time to the original source stories in a thrilling and vivid rendition of the great Norse tales. Gaiman’s gods are thoroughly alive on the page – irascible, visceral, playful, passionate – and the tales carry us from the beginning of everything to Ragnarok and the twilight of the gods. Galvanised by Gaiman’s prose, Thor, Loki, Odin and Freya are irresistible forces for modern readers and the crackling, brilliant writing demands to be read aloud around an open fire on a freezing, starlit night.

 

No contemporary fiction writer gets more of his power from the mythological tradition than Neil Gaiman. . . . As always, Gaiman’s a charming raconteur . . . [and he] recognizes a ripping yarn when he sees one.”                    Douglas Wolk

A gripping, suspenseful and quite wonderful reworking of these famous tales. Once you fall into the rhythm of its glinting prose, you will happily read on and on, in thrall to Gaiman’s skillful storytelling.”                        Michael Dirda

 

 

Image result for McSweeney’s 49 Cover StoriesThe “Covers Issue” features today’s top writers rewriting (or covering) classic stories. To name a few, there’s Roxane Gay channeling Margaret Atwood, Jess Walter embodying James Joyce, Meg Wolitzer taking on J.D. Salinger–fourteen stories, all told, spanning a slipcased set of five paperback volumes, each featuring stunning illustrations by the award-winning design outfit Aesthetic Apparatus. Guest–art directed by legendary album-cover designers Gary Burden and Jenice Heo of R. Twerk & Co., the issue is packaged in a 9×9-inch LP-inspired slipcase.

 

 

 

 

Image result for No Longer Whispering to Power: The Story of Thuli Madonsela by Thandeka GqubulePublic Protector Thuli Madonsela has achieved in seven years what few accomplish in a lifetime. She has been praised and vilified in equal measures during her time in office, often putting her at centre stage.

Speaking in Cape Town last year, Madonsela said that her role as Public Protector is akin to that of the Venda traditional spiritual female leader, the Makhadzi, who whispers truth to the king or the ruler. A ruler ignores the Makhadzi at his peril. During the speech, Madonsela joked that when the sounds of exchanges between the ruler and the Makhadzi grow loud, that is when the whispering has failed.

No Longer Whispering to Power is about Madonsela’s tenure as Public Protector, during which the whisper grew into a cry. It is the story of South Africa’s people’s attempt to hold power to account through the Office of the Public Protector. This important book stands as a record of the crucial work Madonsela has done, always acting without fear or favour.

 

“A new book on her tenure as Public Protector reminds us just how impactful a role Madonsela played in South African politics since 2009 – and how much courage it must have taken to stick to her path.”                   Rebecca Davis

 

 

Image result for As by Fire: The End of the South African University by Jonathan JansenWhat are the real roots of the student protests of 2015–16? Why did the protests turn violent? Do the students know how to end it? Former Free State University vice-chancellor Jonathan Jansen delves into the unprecedented disruption of universities that caught SA by surprise. In frank interviews with 11 of the VCs most affected, he examines the forces at work and what is driving our youth. As by Fire gives us an insider view of the crisis and tells us what it means for our universities.

 

 

 

 

Image result for Miss Behave by Malebo SephodiUpon encountering historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s quote, ‘well-behaved women seldom make history’, Malebo Sephodi knew that she was tired of everyone else having a say on who and what she should be.

Appropriating this quote, Malebo boldly renounces societal expectations placed on her as a black woman and shares her journey towards misbehaviour.

According to Malebo, it is the norm for a black woman to live in a society that prescribes what it means to be a well-behaved woman. Acting like this prescribed woman equals good behaviour.

But what happens when a black woman decides to live her own life and becomes her own form of who she wants to be? She is often seen as misbehaving.

Miss-Behave challenges society’s deep-seated beliefs about what it means to be an obedient woman. In this book, Malebo tracks her journey on a path towards achieving total autonomy and self-determinism.

 

 

 

Image result for Gift from Darkness by Patience IbrahimA Gift from Darkness is the harrowing yet inspirational story of a young, pregnant Nigerian girl and the hell she endured for the sake of her unborn child when she was kidnapped by Boko Haram.

When Patience Ibrahim’s husband died, she feared that her life was over. She had prayed every night for a baby to complete her family, and suddenly she found herself a nineteen-year-old widow, alone in the world. But when she fell in love again, a happy future seemed possible. Patience married once more , and was overjoyed to discover that she was pregnant.

A few days later, everything fell apart. Men from Boko Haram arrived at her door, killing Patience’s new husband and kidnapping her.

This is the incredible true story of her and her baby daughter’s survival, against all the odds.

 

 

Graphic and Sci Fi

 

 

Image result for Mockingbird: My Feminist AgendaA top secret mission on behalf of an old friend, a tropical cruise. What could go wrong? Turns out it’s a theme cruise -super-hero themed, naturally -a fl oating comic con. Now Bobbi is trapped on a boat with a thousand cosplayers, caped colleagues she was trying to avoid, an ex-boyfriend who keeps showing up at inopportune times and a rampaging herd of corgis. When a passenger is murdered, Bobbi must play Hercule Poirot to find the killer and confront some uncomfortable truths from her past in the process.

 

 

 

Image result for One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel GreenbergA feminist fairy-tale, which I recommend if you’re looking for a Christmas present for a teenage girl… A wondrously intricate book, and a witty attack on the patriarchy, this is an instant classic.”                        Rachel Cooke, an Observer Book of the Year

From the author who brought you The Encyclopedia of Early Earth comes another Epic Tale of Derring-Do.

Prepare to be dazzled once more by the overwhelming power of stories and see Love prevail in the face of Terrible Adversity!

You will read of betrayal, loyalty, madness, bad husbands, lovers both faithful and unfaithful, wise old crones, moons who come out of the sky, musical instruments that won’t stay quiet, friends and brothers and fathers and mothers and above all, many, many sisters.

 

 

 

Image result for Waking Gods by Sylvain NeuvelWhen an alien vessel materialises in London, does it mean peace or war? Waking Gods is the gripping sequel to the ground-breaking thriller Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel.

“A superb, powerful follow-up.”                      SciFiNow

What’s going on?
Turn on the television.
What channel?
Any channel.

An unknown vessel, not of this world, materializes in London. A colossal figure towering over the city, it makes no move. Is this a peaceful first contact or the prelude to an invasion?

Every child has nightmares. But the only thing scarier than little Eva Reyes’ dreams – apocalyptic visions of death and destruction – is the habit they have of coming true…

Scientist Dr Rose Franklin has no memory of the last few years. The strangers she works with say she died, and was brought back to life. The question is not just how … but why?

Kara Resnik and Vincent Couture fell in love during war, and have found peace since. They are the thin line of defence against what is coming. But they do not know they have been living a lie.

And a man who claims to have the answers has his own agenda. There are things he cannot say – and others he won’t.

All pieces of an epic puzzle. One we have been trying to solve since the dawn of time…

 

 

 

Image result for Binti 2 Home by Nnedi OkoraforThe thrilling sequel to the Hugo and Nebula-winning Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

It’s been a year since Binti and Okwu enrolled at Oomza University. A year since Binti was declared a hero for uniting two warring planets. A year since she found friendship in the unlikeliest of places.

And now she must return home to her people, with her friend Okwu by her side, to face her family and face her elders.

But Okwu will be the first of his race to set foot on Earth in over a hundred years, and the first ever to come in peace.

After generations of conflict can human and Meduse ever learn to truly live in harmony?

Binti is a supreme read about a sexy, edgy Afropolitan in space! It’s a wondrous combination of extra-terrestrial adventure and age-old African diplomacy. Unforgettable!” – Wanuri Kahiu, award winning Kenyan film director of Pumzi and From a Whisper

A perfect dove-tailing of tribal and futuristic, of sentient space ships and ancient cultural traditions, Binti was a beautiful story to read.” – Little Red Reviewer

Binti is a wonderful and memorable coming of age story which, to paraphrase Lord of the Rings, shows that one girl can change the course of the galaxy.”                 Geek Syndicate

There’s more vivid imagination in a page of Nnedi Okorafor’s work than in whole volumes of ordinary fantasy epics.”                         Ursula Le Guin

 

 

 

 

Image result for The Moth – All These WondersFrom storytelling phenomenon The Moth: a collection about risk, courage, and facing the unknown, drawn from the best stories ever told on their stages.

 

All These Wonders features voices both familiar and new. Storytellers include writer Jung Chang and comedian Louis C.K, as well as a hip hop ‘one hit wonder’, an astronomer gazing at the surface of Pluto for the first time, and a young female spy risking everything as part of Churchill’s secret army during World War II. They share their ventures into uncharted territory – and how their lives were changed forever by what they found there. These true stories have been carefully selected and adapted to the page by the creative minds at The Moth, and encompass the very best of the 17,000+ stories performed in live Moth shows around the world. Filled with a variety of humourous, moving, and gripping tales from all walks of life, it is timed to celebrate the Moth’s 20th anniversary year.

Brilliant and quietly addictive.”                    Guardian

Beautifully simple, authentic, a little bit therapeutic and utterly addictive. It is a joyful reminder of the power of the story and the need for story-telling.”                   Sunday Times

The stories remain very much in the voices of those who spoke them and thus retain the vulnerability and rawness inherent in the situation of one person, alone at the mic, telling a room full of strangers something personal.”                   Observer

The stories not only maintain their oral integrity but take on new dimensions, allowing you to ponder a turn of events or swirl the language around in your head without missing the next part of the story.”                  New York Times

A wonderful new book … Some [stories] are heartbreakingly sad; some laugh-out-loud funny; some momentous and tragic; almost all of them resonant or surprising. They are stories that attest to the startling varieties and travails of human experience, and the shared threads of love, loss, fear and kindness that connect us … The stories here…have translated seamlessly to the page. Though they are all relatively short … most possess a remarkable emotional depth and sincerity … They are…closely focused, finely tuned narratives that have the force of an epiphany, while opening out to disclose the panoramic vistas of one person’s life or the shockingly disparate worlds they have inhabited or traversed.”                Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

“All These Wonders is replete with wondrous true stories of loves, losses, rerouted dreams, and existential crises of nearly every unsugarcoated flavour.”                   Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

 

 

 

Image result for So Sad Today: Personal Essays by Melissa BroderSo sad today? Many are. Melissa Broder is too. How and why did she get to be so sad? And should she stay sad?

She asks herself these questions over and over here, turning them into a darkly mesmerising and strangely uplifting reading experience through coruscating honesty and a total lack of self-deceit.

Sexually confused, a recovering addict, suffering from an eating disorder and marked by one very strange sex fetish: Broder’s life is full of extremes. But from her days working for a Tantric nonprofit in San Francisco to caring for a severely ill husband, there’s no subject that Broder is afraid to write about, and no shortage of readers who can relate. When she started an anonymous Twitter feed @sosadtoday to express her darkest feelings, her unflinching frankness and twisted humour soon gained a huge cult following.

In its treatment of anxiety, depression, illness and instability; by its fearless exploration of the author’s romantic relationships (romantic is an expanded term in her hands); and with its inventive imagery and deadpan humour, So Sad Today is radical. It is an unapologetic, unblinkingly intimate book that splays out a soul and a prose of unusual beauty.

 

If Melissa Broder weren’t so fucking funny I would have wept through this entire book.”                        Lena Dunham

So Sad Today is desperately honest ― Melissa Broder lays herself bare but she does so with strength, savvy, and style. Sad and uncomfortable and its own kind of gorgeous. Reveals so much about what it is to live in this world, right now.”                  Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author of Bad Feminist

 

 

Image result for On Intelligence: The History of Espionage and the Secret World by John Hughes-WilsonThis book is a professional military-intelligence officer’s and a controversial insider’s view of some of the greatest intelligence blunders of recent history. It includes the serious developments in government misuse of intelligence in the recent war with Iraq. Colonel John Hughes-Wilson analyses not just the events that conspire to cause disaster, but why crucial intelligence is so often ignored, misunderstood or spun by politicians and seasoned generals alike.

This book analyses: how Hitler’s intelligence staff misled him in a bid to outfox their Nazi Party rivals; the bureaucratic bungling behind Pearl Harbor; how in-fighting within American intelligence ensured they were taken off guard by the Viet Cong’s 1968 Tet Offensive; how over confidence, political interference and deception facilitated Egypt and Syria’s 1973 surprise attack on Israel; why a handful of marines and a London taxicab were all Britain had to defend the Falklands; the mistaken intelligence that allowed Saddam Hussein to remain in power until the second Iraq War of 2003; the truth behind the US failure to run a terrorist warning system before the 9/11 WTC bombing; and how governments are increasingly pressurising intelligence agencies to ‘spin’ the party-political line.

 

There should be a well-thumbed copy on every general’s and every intelligence officer’s bedside table.”                      Professor M.R.D. Foot

 

 

 

 

Imagine a sisterhood – across all creeds and cultures. An unspoken agreement that we, as women, will support and encourage one another. That we will remember we don’t know what struggles each of us may be facing elsewhere in our lives and so we will assume that each of us is doing our best…

So begins WE: an inspiring, empowering and provocative manifesto for change. Change which we can all effect, one woman at a time. Change which provides a crucial and timely antidote to the ‘have-it-all’ Superwoman culture and instead focusses on what will make each and every one of us happier and more free. Change which provides an answer to the nagging sense of ‘is that it?’ that almost all of us can succumb to when we wake in the dead of night.

Written by actress Gillian Anderson and journalist Jennifer Nadel – two friends who for the last decade have stumbled along together, learning, failing, crying, laughing and trying again – WE is a not a theoretical treatise but instead a rallying cry to create a life that has greater meaning and purpose. Combining tools which are practical, psychological and spiritual, it is both a process and a vision for a more fulfilling way of living. And a truly inspiring vision of a happier, more emotionally rewarding future we can all create together…

 

 

 

 

Image result for Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel by Tom WainwrightEverything drug cartels do to survive and prosper they’ve learnt from big business – brand value and franchising from McDonald’s, supply chain management from Walmart, diversification from Coca-Cola. Whether it’s human resourcing, R&D, corporate social responsibility, off-shoring, problems with e-commerce or troublesome changes in legislation, the drug lords face the same strategic concerns companies like Ryanair or Apple. So when the drug cartels start to think like big business, the only way to understand them is using economics.

In Narconomics, Tom Wainwright meets everyone from coca farmers in secret Andean locations, deluded heads of state in presidential palaces, journalists with a price on their head, gang leaders who run their empires from dangerous prisons and teenage hitmen on city streets – all in search of the economic truth.

 

One of the pithiest and most persuasive arguments for drug law reform I have ever read.”                    Misha Glenny, New York Times

An economics manual for the Breaking Bad generation… a fascinating account.”                         The Times

Great fun… He reveals how drug barons run their illegal multi-billion dollar global businesses in much the same way as Fortune 500 chief executives.”                       Sunday Times

 

 

 

 

 

Image result for Black Hole Blues & Other Songs from Outer Space by Janna LevinBrilliant and timely.”                         James Gleick

 

The full inside story of the detection of gravitational waves at LIGO, one of the most ambitious feats in scientific history.

Travel around the world 100 billion times. A strong gravitational wave will briefly change that distance by less than the thickness of a human hair. We have perhaps less than a few tenths of a second to perform this measurement. And we don’t know if this infinitesimal event will come next month, next year or perhaps in thirty years.

In 1916 Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves: miniscule ripples in the very fabric of spacetime generated by unfathomably powerful events. If such vibrations could somehow be recorded, we could observe our universe for the first time through sound: the hissing of the Big Bang, the whale-like tunes of collapsing stars, the low tones of merging galaxies, the drumbeat of two black holes collapsing into one. For decades, astrophysicists have searched for a way of doing so…

In 2016 a team of hundreds of scientists at work on a billion-dollar experiment made history when they announced the first ever detection of a gravitational wave, confirming Einstein’s prediction. This is their story, and the story of the most sensitive scientific instrument ever made: LIGO.

Based on complete access to LIGO and the scientists who created it, Black Hole Blues provides a firsthand account of this astonishing achievement: a compelling, intimate portrait of cutting-edge science at its most awe-inspiring and ambitious.

 

Gripping … very, very well written … I reached the beautiful ending of this book with a little sob of gratitude … heartbreaking … brilliant.”                 Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

It is hard to imagine that a better narrative will ever be written about the behind-the-scenes heartbreak and hardship that goes with scientific discovery. Black Hole Blues is a spectacular feat – a near-perfect balance of science, storytelling and insight … It is as inevitable as gravity that this book will win a swath of awards.”             Michael Brooks, New Statesman

Astonishing … superb … Ms Levin is able to tell the tale so soon, and so well, because she has had privileged access to the experiment. She has also known the experimenters for several years … Ms Levin is herself a scientist, which explains her access, but more than that she is a writer … readers feel as if they are sitting in on her interviews or watching over her shoulder as she describes two black holes colliding … A splendid book that I recommend to anyone with an interest in how science works and in the power of human imagination and ability.”                         John Gribbin, Wall Street Journal

A superb storyteller. This is the most vivid account I can remember of science policy in action … I’ll be surprised if anyone brings out a more readable book on gravitational waves in the near future.”                    Financial Times

Taking on the simultaneous roles of expert scientist, journalist, historian and storyteller of uncommon enchantment, Levin delivers pure signal from cover to cover … Levin harmonizes science and life with remarkable virtuosity … exposing the invisible, incremental processes that produce the final spark we call genius … As redemptive as the story of the countless trials and unlikely triumph may be, what makes the book most rewarding is Levin’s exquisite prose.”                  Maria Popova,  New York Times

The most important development in astronomy since the invention of the telescope … [Levin] excels in conveying the personalities of the scientists and their professional and personal struggles … With the success of Ligo, we stand at the dawn of a new era in astronomy, Levin says in her excellent book.”                Marcus Chown, THES

 

 

 

 

 

Image result for The Spider Network: The Wild Story of a Maths Genius, a Gang of Backstabbing Bankers and One of the Greatest Scams in Financial History by David EnrichListed as an FT book of the month

Anyone with an interest in financial services and in what has gone wrong will find The Spider Network compelling.”             Daniel Finkelstein, The Times

Will snare you in its web of deceit, lies, corruption, manipulation and colourful characters. [a] brilliant investigative exposé.”              Harlan Coben

A gripping narrative … impressive reporting and writing chops are on full display … reads like a fast-paced John le Carré thriller, and never lets up.”                  New York Times
A model of investigative financial writing… a more satisfying read than The Big Short by Michael Lewis”                      Literary Review

Jaw-dropping.”          Financial Times

In 2006, an oddball group of bankers, traders and brokers from some of the largest financial institutions made a startling realization: Libor—the London interbank offered rate, which determines the interest rates on trillions in loans worldwide—was set daily by a small group of easily manipulated administrators, and that they could reap huge profits by nudging it fractions of a percent to suit their trading portfolios. Tom Hayes, a brilliant but troubled mathematician, became the lynchpin of a wild alliance that included a prickly French trader nicknamed “Gollum”; the broker “Abbo,” who liked to publicly strip naked when drinking; a nervous Kazakh chicken farmer known as “Derka Derka”; a broker known as “Village” (short for “Village Idiot”) who racked up huge expense account bills; an executive called “Clumpy” because of his patchwork hair loss; and a broker uncreatively nicknamed “Big Nose” who had once been a semi-professional boxer. This group generated incredible riches —until it all unravelled in spectacularly vicious, backstabbing fashion.

With exclusive access to key characters and evidence, The Spider Network is not only a rollicking account of the scam, but also a provocative examination of a financial system that was crooked throughout.

 

A damning look at the culture of trader chicanery. Enrich has sidestepped the temptation to slip into author-as-prosecutor mode, instead going the wry tour guide route to lucidly (and often hilariously) usher readers through the Looney Tunes world that wrought l’affaire Libor.”                      John Helyar, coauthor of Barbarians at the Gate

With an unerring eye for detail, Enrich shows in this masterful work how a toxic stew of greed, arrogance and a lust for power led to a criminal scheme of unparalleled dimensions. It should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand the dirty underbelly of the financial world.”                Kurt Eichenwald, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Informant

 

 

Image result for Nabokov’s Favourite Word is Mauve: The Literary Quirks and Oddities of our Most-Loved Authors by Ben BlattRead this book thoughtfully. It’s fun. And, I think, the shape of some very interesting things to come.”               John Sutherland, The Times 

Nabokov’s Favourite Word is Mauve is a playful look at what the numbers have to say about our favourite authors and their classic books. Journalist and statistician Ben Blatt asks the questions that have intrigued curious book lovers for generations: Does each writer have their own stylistic footprint? Do men and women write differently? What are the crutch words our best-loved authors fall back on? Which writer is the most cliched? Spanning from Shakespeare and Jane Austen to fan fiction, JK Rowling and Stephen King, Blatt reveals the quirks and oddities of the world’s greatest writers. This is a lighthearted, humorous book that uses numbers to inform our understanding of words to enlighten, to clarify, and, above all, to entertain.

 

 

Image result for Tragic Shores: A Memoir of Dark Travel by Thomas CookI have come to thank dark places for the light they bring to life.’

Thomas Cook has always been drawn to dark places, for the powerful emotions they evoke and for what we can learn from them. These lessons are often unexpected and sometimes profoundly intimate, but they are never straightforward.

With his wife and daughter, Cook travels across the globe in search of darkness – from Lourdes to Ghana, from San Francisco to Verdun, from the monumental, mechanised horror of Auschwitz to the intimate personal grief of a shrine to dead infants in Kamukura, Japan. Along the way he reflects on what these sites may teach us, not only about human history, but about our own personal histories.

During the course of a lifetime of traveling to some of earth’s most tragic shores, from the leper colony on Molokai to ground zero at Hiroshima, he finds not darkness alone, but a light that can illuminate the darkness within each of us. Written in vivid prose, this is at once a personal memoir of exploration (both external and internal), and a strangely heartening look at the radiance that may be found at the very heart of darkness.

 

A memoir of a lifetime’s travel to some of the darkest places on earth: a first work of non-fiction from this much-admired and award-winning crime writer.

 

 

 

 

 
Growing up in 1930s Brooklyn, Florence Fein will do anything to escape the confining values of her family and her city, and create a life of meaning and consequence. When a new job and a love affair lead her to Moscow, she doesn’t think twice about abandoning America – only to discover, years later, that America has abandoned her.

Now, as her son Julian travels back to Moscow – entrusted to stitch together a murky transcontinental oil deal – he must dig into Florence’s past to discover who his mother really was and what she became. He must also persuade his own son, Lenny, to abandon his risky quest for prosperity in the cut-throat Russian marketplace. As he traces a thread from Depression-era America, through the collective housing and work camps of Stalin’s USSR, to the glittering, oil-rich world of New Russia, Julian finally begins to understand the role he has played – as a father, and as a son.

Urgently relevant, The Patriots asks huge, complex questions about identity, loyalty, truth and self-deception, and explores tangled historical connections between Russia and the US… At the heart of this weighty and engaging novel are true stories: hundreds of Americans living in the USSR in the 1930s … The Patriots contains elements of family saga, corporate thriller, historical novel and philosophical bildungsroman. Krasikov writes with a poetic ear for sound and cadence.”  Guardian

“[An] outstanding historical saga [and] a dazzling and addictive piece of work… Accomplished and packed with believable detail and entertaining dialogue [The Patriots] also feels curiously relevant, tip-toeing around the complicated relationship between the United States and Russia during and after the Cold War… As an intelligent literary commentary on Russo-American relations of the past century, it’s unparalleled.”             Spectator
“The Patriots is a masterwork, a Dr Zhivago for our times. It is a novel rooted in characters so real you weep over their tragic fates, so realized you think you’re watching a movie, with sentences so sharp and wise they stop you in your tracks. The story of dreamy Florence Fein, from Flatbush, Brooklyn, will break your heart.” Yann Martel

A sweeping, ambitious kaleidoscope of family, faith, identity, idealism, and displacement… I found on every page an observation so acute, a sentence of such truth and shining detail, that it demanded re-reading for the sheer pleasure of it. The Patriots has convinced me that Krasikov belongs among the totemic young writers of her era.”            Khaled Hosseini
Compelling… Krasikov’s characters are so vivid that you almost think you are watching events unfold on a movie screen… The Patriots is a novel which encompasses many themes – identity, family, love, self-deception and the dangers of political ideology. it’s a beautifully written epic novel, and it will certainly be one of my stand-out reads of the year.”    Culture Life

“[The Patriots] draws you in and envelops you completely, [with] characters who are as vivid as friends. Krasikov tackles huge themes with aplomb, her writing as confident as a veteran’s. Particularly in the anniversary year of the Revolution, what she has to say on the compromises we make for idealism – for love of country – is worth reading.”         Elle

 

 

 

Image result for Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal“Big-hearted, earthy and funny… A rattlingly good story.”   Deborah Moggach

 

Every woman has a secret life…

When Nikki takes a creative writing job at her local temple, with visions of emancipating the women of the community she left behind as a self-important teenager, she’s shocked to discover a group of barely literate women who have no interest in her ideals.

Yet to her surprise, the white dupatta of the widow hides more than just their modesty – these are women who have spent their lives in the shadows of fathers, brothers and husbands; being dutiful, raising children and going to temple, but whose inner lives are as rich and fruitful as their untold stories. But as they begin to open up to each other about womanhood, sexuality, and the dark secrets within the community, Nikki realises that the illicit nature of the class may place them all in danger.

East meets west and tradition clashes with modernity in a thought-provoking cross-cultural novel that might make you look again at the women in your life…

 

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows balances darkness and light, social commentary and ecstatic escapism… funny and moving tale of desire and its discontents.”                     Economist

Poignant, intelligent yet wickedly funny – a delightful read that reignites one’s belief in the power of sisterhood.”                        June Sarpong

 

 

 

 
Vivid and Terrifying.”             Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train

The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six…

  1. When Alice Hopkins’ husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.

But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women’s names.

To what lengths will Matthew’s obsession drive him?
And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?

At once a feminist parable and an old-fashioned, check-twice-under-the-bed thriller.”     Patrick Gale

A tense, surprising and elegantly-crafted novel.”    Ian McGuire, author of The North Water

A richly told and utterly compelling tale, with shades of Hilary Mantel.”  Kate Hamer, author of The Girl in the Red Coat

A clever, pacey read that blends truth and fiction.”                        The Times

“A clever novel with a slow burn of horror.”             Guardian

‘A haunting, brooding debut’ (Psychologies)

 

Image result for In the Name of the Family by Sarah DunantIn the Name of the Family – as Blood and Beauty did before – holds up a mirror to a turbulent moment of history, sweeping aside the myths to bring alive the real Borgia family; complicated, brutal, passionate and glorious. Here is a thrilling exploration of the House of Borgia’s doomed years, in the company of a young diplomat named Niccolo Machiavelli.

It is 1502 and Rodrigo Borgia, a self-confessed womaniser and master of political corruption is now on the Papal throne as Alexander VI. His daughter Lucrezia, aged twenty-two, already thrice married and a pawn in her father’s plans, is discovering her own power. And then there is Cesare Borgia: brilliant, ruthless and increasingly unstable; it is his relationship with the diplomat Machiavelli which offers a master class on the dark arts of power and politics. What Machiavelli learns will go on to inform his great work of modern politics, The Prince.

But while the pope rails against old age and his son’s increasing maverick behavior it is Lucrezia who will become the Borgia survivor: taking on her enemies and creating her own place in history.

A thrilling period vividly brought to life.”                 Woman & Home

In the end, what’s a historical novelist’s obligation to the dead? Accuracy? Empathy? Justice? Or is it only to make them live again? Dunant pays these debts with a passion.”              Washington Post

Which one of us will go down in history?” asks Cesare of Machiavelli. There are many words written about both men in fiction and non-fiction. However Dunant has a storyteller’s instincts for the telling detail and the broad sweep of history. This, and her glorious prose make Dunant’s version irresistible.”                         The Times

Dunant has made completely her own the story of Italy’s most infamous ruling family. Retaining the knack for plotting and pacing from the crime novels that began her career, she depicts history in a way that we can see, hear and smell . . . Dunant’s Italian novels are an enthralling education.”              Mark Lawson, Guardian

 
For Kari du Toit, Valentine’s Day will never be the same again. When the love of her life reveals he’s been unfaithful to her, life, romance, and everything in-between come crashing down. Suddenly it seems as if her previous life – one far removed from Bloubergstrand’s sandy beaches – is slowly catching up with her.

After ten years of silence, Kari receives a call from her estranged brother. At the foot of Devil’s Peak, where neighbourly salaams and burkas are as ordinary as yellow polka-dot bikinis in Blouberg, she once again becomes Karima Essop, daughter of Amina and Farouk Essop. Daughter, sister, deserter.

For Kari, sometimes finding love means going back to where you came from.

 

An outstanding debut, and definitely an author to watch.

 

 

 

 

A dazzling debut.”     Marcel Berlins, The Times

The Global Million-Copy Bestseller. Published In 15 Languages Worldwide. A 21st-Century High-Concept Disaster Thriller

Fast, tense, thrilling – and timely: this will happen one day. Highly recommended.”         Lee Child

Tomorrow will be too late.

A cold night in Milan, Piero Manzano wants to get home.

Then the traffic lights fail. Manzano is thrown from his Alfa as cars pile up. And not just on this street – every light in the city is dead.

Across Europe, controllers watch in disbelief as electricity grids collapse.

Plunged into darkness, people are freezing. Food and water supplies dry up. The death toll soars.

Former hacker and activist Manzano becomes a prime suspect. But he is also the only man capable of finding the real attackers.

Can he bring down a major terrorist network before it’s too late?

 

 

 

When I finished Sara Baume’s new novel I immediately felt sad that I could not send it in the post to the late John Berger. He, too, would have loved it and found great joy in its honesty, its agility, its beauty, its invention. Baume is a writer of outstanding grace and style. She writes beyond the time we live in.”    Colum McCann

Struggling to cope with urban life – and with life in general – Frankie, a twenty-something artist, retreats to the rural bungalow on ‘turbine hill’ that has been vacant since her grandmother’s death three years earlier. It is in this space, surrounded by nature, that she hopes to regain her footing in art and life. She spends her days pretending to read, half-listening to the radio, failing to muster the energy needed to leave the safety of her haven. Her family come and go, until they don’t and she is left alone to contemplate the path that led her here, and the smell of the carpet that started it all.

Finding little comfort in human interaction, Frankie turns her camera lens on the natural world and its reassuring cycle of life and death. What emerges is a profound meditation on the interconnectedness of wilderness, art and individual experience, and a powerful exploration of human frailty.

 

A fascinating portrait of an artist’s breakdown in rural Ireland … a remarkable ability to generate narrative pace while eschewing plot, making it enough for the reader to observe a mind observing the world … it’s fascinating, because of the cumulative power of the precise, pleasingly rhythmic sentences, and the unpredictable intelligence of the narrator’s mind … Art may also require a willingness to question the ordinary that is incompatible with conventional criteria of sanity. One of the most radical aspects of this novel is its challenge to received wisdom about mental illness … There are no answers here, but there is a reminder of the beauty that can be found when you allow yourself to look slowly and sadly at the world.”                Guardian

After a remarkable and deservedly award-winning debut, here is a novel of uniqueness, wonder, recognition, poignancy, truth-speaking, quiet power, strange beauty and luminous bedazzlement.”      Joseph O’Connor

“Extraordinarily compelling … What makes it so gripping as that the reader is trapped in Frankie’s mind as much as she is; every tiny detail is magnified into metaphysical significance that she cannot understand and that the reader cannot parse … Frankie’s surreal and yet understandable mind-patterns are eloquent as well as awful.”            Spectator

Baume’s mixing of the visual arts and fiction is as satisfying as Ali Smith’s … [a] raw-nerved and wonderful novel.”                          New Statesman

 

 

 

 

 
Shortlisted For The 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize For Fiction

There are things even love can’t do … If the burden is too much and stays too long, even love bends, cracks, comes close to breaking and sometimes does break. But even when it’s in a thousand pieces around your feet, that doesn’t mean it’s no longer love …

Yejide is hoping for a miracle, for a child. It is all her husband wants, all her mother-in-law wants, and she has tried everything – arduous pilgrimages, medical consultations, appeals to God. But when her relatives insist upon a new wife, it is too much for Yejide to bear. It will lead to jealousy, betrayal and despair.

Unravelling against the social and political turbulence of 1980s Nigeria, Stay With Me sings with the voices, colours, joys and fears of its surroundings. Ayobami Adebayo weaves a devastating story of the fragility of married love, the undoing of family, the wretchedness of grief, and the all-consuming bonds of motherhood. It is a tale about our desperate attempts to save ourselves and those we love from heartbreak.

 

Scorching, gripping, ultimately lovely.”       Margaret Atwood

 

Affecting and powerful … Adebayo’s prose is a pleasure: immediate, unpretentious and flecked with whip-smart Nigerian-English dialogue. There are only three first-time novelists on this year’s Baileys longlist; Adebayo deserves her spot among them.”       Sunday Times

 

A thoroughly contemporary style that is all her own … clever and funny … despite the intense sadness of her subject matter, she has produced a bright, big-hearted demonstration of female spirit, as well as the damage done by the boundlessness of male pride.”                        Guardian

 

Colourful, vibrant, energetic – a stunning tale of what happens when societal expectations collide with reality.”                        Tendai Huchu, author of The Hairdresser of Harare

 

 

 
When Tom loses the love of his life, time travel seems like the only answer. . . what could possibly go wrong?

So, the thing is, I come from the world we were supposed to have.

That means nothing to you, obviously, because you live here, in the crappy world we do have.

But it never should’ve turned out like this. And it’s all my fault – well, me and to a lesser extent my father.

And, yeah, I guess a little bit Penelope.

In both worlds, she’s the love of my life. But only a single version of her can exist.

I have one impossible chance to fix history’s greatest mistake and save this broken world.

Except it means saving one Penelope and losing the other forever – and I have absolutely no idea which to choose …

A mind-bending time travel caper.”             Guardian

A thrilling tale of time travel and alternate timelines with a refreshingly optimistic view of humanity’s future.”             Andy Weir, author of international bestseller The Martian

All Our Wrong Todays is elaborately constructed and incredibly emotionally intelligent; it’s a story with super high stakes that genuinely makes you feel every part of Tom’s awful predicament.”                 SciFiNow

A timeless, if mind-bending, story about the journeys we take, populated by friends, family, lovers and others, that show us who we might be, could be – and maybe never should be – that eventually leads us to who we are.”                        USA Today

 

 

 

Underneath the Roanoke Girls’ perfect exterior lies a chilling secret…

Beautiful.
Rich.
Mysterious.

The Roanoke girls seem to have it all. But there’s a dark truth about them which is never spoken. Every girl either runs away, or dies.

Lane is one of the lucky ones. When she was fifteen, over one long, hot summer at her grandparents’ estate in rural Kansas, she found out what it really means to be a Roanoke girl. Lane ran, far and fast. Until eleven years later, when her cousin Allegra goes missing – and Lane has no choice but to go back.

She is a Roanoke girl.

Is she strong enough to escape a second time?
I was immediately drawn into The Roanoke Girls, a haunting and riveting look at one family’s tangled legacy. You won’t stop reading until you’ve unraveled the darkest of Roanoke’s shocking secrets.”               Laura McHugh, author of The Weight of Blood

Dark and intense… with a compelling twist which will remain with you long after the book’s last sentence.”    L.S. Hilton, author of Maestra

 

 
In 1989, a North Korean dissident writer, known to us only by the pseudonym Bandi, began to write a series of stories about life under Kim Il-sung’s totalitarian regime. Smuggled out of North Korea and set for publication around the world in 2017, The Accusation provides a unique and shocking window on this most secretive of countries.

Bandi’s profound, deeply moving, vividly characterised stories tell of ordinary men and women facing the terrible absurdity of daily life in North Korea: a factory supervisor caught between loyalty to an old friend and loyalty to the Party; a woman struggling to feed her husband through the great famine; the staunch Party man whose actor son reveals to him the absurd theatre of their reality; the mother raising her child in a world where the all-pervasive propaganda is the very stuff of childhood nightmare.

The Accusation is a heartbreaking portrayal of the realities of life in North Korea. It is also a reminder that humanity can sustain hope even in the most desperate of circumstances – and that the courage of free thought has a power far beyond those seek to suppress it.

A must-read! The first book of fiction to come out of North Korea. (Smuggled.) Fascinating and chilling. Heartfelt and heartbreaking.”               Margaret Atwood

If poetry, as Wordsworth said, can be glossed as powerful emotion recollected in tranquillity, The Accusation reads like powerful emotion felt right now, in a condition of ongoing crisis … In its scope and courage, The Accusation is an act of great love.”                 Guardian

A collection of courageous and confounding short stories … It’s a quiet privilege to be given access to the voiceless by listening to such vivid and uncompromised storytelling … this collection of stories seems both a flickering light in North Korea’s darkness and an unintentional reminder that it is getting darker here, too.”                  New Statesman

 

 

 

 
In a dazzling work of historical fiction in the vein of Nancy Horan’s Loving Frank, Dawn Tripp brings to life Georgia O’Keeffe, her love affair with photographer Alfred Stieglitz, and her quest to become an independent artist.

This is not a love story. If it were, we would have the same story. But he has his, and I have mine. 

In 1916, Georgia O’Keeffe is a young, unknown art teacher when she travels to New York to meet Stieglitz, the famed photographer and art dealer, who has discovered O’Keeffe’s work and exhibits it in his gallery. Their connection is instantaneous. O’Keeffe is quickly drawn into Stieglitz’s sophisticated world, becoming his mistress, protégé, and muse, as their attraction deepens into an intense and tempestuous relationship and his photographs of her, both clothed and nude, create a sensation.

Yet as her own creative force develops, Georgia begins to push back against what critics and others are saying about her and her art. And soon she must make difficult choices to live a life she believes in.

Complex and original . . . Georgia conveys O Keeffe s joys and disappointments, rendering both the woman and the artist with keenness and consideration.”             New York Times Book Review
As magical and provocative as O Keeffe s lush paintings of flowers that upended the art world in the 1920s . . . [Dawn] Tripp inhabits Georgia s psyche so deeply that the reader can practically feel the paintbrush in hand as she creates her abstract paintings and New Mexico landscapes. . . . Evocative from the first page to the last, Tripp s Georgia is a romantic yet realistic exploration of the sacrifices one of the foremost artists of the twentieth century made for love.”                      USA Today

 

 

 

Mindblowingly inventive and beautifully written short stories from the most exciting new name in SF.

Hannu Rajaniemi exploded onto the SF scene in 2010 with the publication of his first novel The Quantum Thief. Acclaimed by fellow authors such as Charles Stross, Adam Roberts and Alastair Reynolds and brilliantly reviewed everywhere from Interzone to the Times and the Guardian he swiftly established a reputation as an author who could combine extraordinary cutting edge science with beautiful prose and deliver it all with wit, warmth and a delight in the fun of storytelling.

It is exactly these qualities that are showcased in this his first collection of short stories. Drawn from antholgies, magazines and online publications and brought together in book form for the first time in this collection here is a collection of seventeen short stories that range from the lyrical to the bizarre, from the elegaic to the impish. It is a collection that shows one of the great new imaginations in SF having immense fun.

 

A collection that combines the hard science smarts of Gregory Benford with the hipster speak-infected experimentation of M John Harrison, it’s the perfect starting point for Rajaniemi’s fiction.”                     SFX

 

 

 


“Robinson is one of the world’s finest working novelists, in any genre. New York 2140 is a towering novel about a genuinely grave threat to civilisation.”                     
 Guardian

The waters rose, submerging New York City.

But the residents adapted and it remained the bustling, vibrant metropolis it had always been. Though changed forever.

Every street became a canal. Every skyscraper an island.

Through the eyes of the varied inhabitants of one building Kim Stanley Robinson shows us how one of our great cities will change with the rising tides.

And how we too will change.

Like all great sci-fi, New York 2140 is as much inward-looking as it is forward- . . . Robinson’s work has a strong, intelligent social conscience.”                         GQ

Robinson seamlessly binds together characters and narrative strands . . . An immensely enjoyable reading experience.”               SciFiNow

It’s near impossible to capture the vibrance of the entire city in the span of one single novel, yet Kim Stanley Robinson manages to do just that and more.”           Newsweek

 

 

Image result for The Djinn Falls in Love & Other Stories edited by Jared Shurin and Mahvesh MuradA fascinating collection of new and classic tales of the fearsome Djinn, from bestselling, award-winning and breakthrough international writers.
Imagine a world filled with fierce, fiery beings, hiding in our shadows, in our dreams, under our skins. Eavesdropping and exploring; savaging our bodies, saving our souls. They are monsters, saviours, victims, childhood friends.

 

These are the Djinn. And they are everywhere. On street corners, behind the wheel of a taxi, in the chorus, between the pages of books. Every language has a word for them. Every culture knows their traditions. Every religion, every history has them hiding in their dark places.
There is no part of the world that does not know them. They are the Djinn. They are among us.
With stories from Neil Gaiman, Nnedi Okorafor, Amal El-Mohtar, Helene Wecker, Catherine Faris King, Claire North, E.J. Swift, Hermes (trans. Robin Moger), Jamal Mahjoub, James Smythe, J.Y. Yang, Kamila Shamsie, Kirsty Logan, K.J. Parker, Kuzhali Manickavel, Maria Dahvana Headley, Monica Byrne, Saad Hossain, Sami Shah, Sophia Al-Maria, and Usman Malik.

 

Exquisite and audacious, and highly recommended.”         New York Times

Ignites like the creature it profiles… a rich and illuminating cultural experience.”           Washington Post

 

 

 

Image result for Graphic Sticks Angelica: Folk Hero by Michael deForgeSticks Angelica is, in her own words, 49 years old. Former: Olympian, poet, scholar, sculptor, minister, activist, Governor General, entrepreneur, line cook, head- mistress, Mountie, columnist, libertarian, cellist. After a high-profile family scandal, Sticks escapes to the woods to live in what would be relative isolation were it not for the many animals that surround and inevitably annoy her. Sticks is an arrogant self-obsessed force who wills herself on the flora and fauna. There is a rabbit named Oatmeal who harbours an unrequited love for her, a pair of kissing geese, a cross- dressing moose absurdly named Lisa Hanawalt. When a reporter named, ahem, Michael DeForge shows up to interview Sticks for his biography on her, she quickly slugs him and buries him up to his neck, immobilizing him. Instead, Sticks narrates her way through the forest, recalling formative incidents from her storied past in what becomes a strange sort of autobiography. Deforge s witty dialogue and deadpan narration create a bizarre yet eerily familiar world. Sticks Angelica plays with autobiography, biography, and hagiography to look at how we build our own sense of self and how others carry on the roles we create for them in our own personal dramas.

 

A surreal trip into the Canadian wilderness.”           Vice

Toying with autobiography, biography, and hagiography, DeForge examines both how we build our own sense of self and how others take on the roles we create for them.”             Guardian

“[Sticks Angelica is] a meditation on fame… a beautiful, disturbing daydream in pink-and-black ink.”                  Publishers Weekly Starred Review

 

 

 

Image result for Terms & Conditions by R SikoryakFor his newest project, R. Sikoryak tackles the monstrously and infamously dense legal document, iTunes Terms and Conditions, the contract everyone agrees to but no one reads. In a word for word 94-page adaptation, Sikoryak hilariously turns the agreement on its head each page features an avatar of Apple cofounder and legendary visionary Steve Jobs juxtaposed with a different classic strip such as Mort Walker’s Beetle Bailey, or a contemporary graphic novel such as Craig Thompson’s Blankets or Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. Adapting the legalese of the iTunes Terms and Conditions into another medium seems like an unfathomable undertaking, yet Sikoryak creates a surprisingly readable document, far different from its original, purely textual incarnation and thus proving the accessibility and flexibility of comics. When Sikoryak parodies Kate Beaton’s Hark A Vagrant peasant comics with Steve Jobs discussing objectionable material or Homer Simpson as Steve Jobs warning of the penalties of copyright infringement, Terms and Conditions serves as a surreal record of our modern digital age where technology competes with enduringly ironclad mediums.

 

The juxtaposition is hilarious, and we see a Steve Jobs-like character as a stand-in for the heroes of each original work, with the scenes peppered with Apple devices and references alike.”             Macworld

It’s a prodigious feat of pastiche that gives rise to multiple interpretations… Sikoryak (Masterpiece Comics) is an undeniably talented artist with a keen ability to capture different styles, as well as a sly conceptual satirist and prankster. Few will ever actually read these terms and conditions, but that’s basically the point.”                        Publishers Weekly Starred Review

Each page is a loving tribute to a comic book that Sikoryak loves or respects… Sikoryak hasn’t just thrown the text at random pictures; he appears to have actually read this thing through and selected from the vast historic tapestry of comic book imagery a highly appropriate sequence that seems to suit the relevant quoted words perfectly.”                   Independent

 

 

 

 

From the best-selling author of Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists comes a powerful new statement about feminism today – written as a letter to a friend.

I have some suggestions for how to raise Chizalum. But remember that you might do all the things I suggest, and she will still turn out to be different from what you hoped, because sometimes life just does its thing. What matters is that you try.

In We Should All be Feminists, her eloquently argued and much admired essay of 2014, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie proposed that if we want a fairer world we need to raise our sons and daughters differently. Here, in this remarkable new book, Adichie replies by letter to a friend’s request for help on how to bring up her newborn baby girl as a feminist. With its fifteen pieces of practical advice it goes right to the heart of sexual politics in the twenty-first century.

 

“Dear Ijeawele reminds us that, in the history of feminist writing, it is often the personal and epistolary voice that carries the political story most powerfully – For me, the most powerful sentence in the book is its simplest, and comes in only the third paragraph. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie urges Ijeawele to remember to transmit to her daughter “the solid unbending belief that you start off with . . . Your feminist premise should be: I matter. I matter equally. Not ‘if only’. Not ‘as long as’. I matter equally. Full stop.”..there is no doubt that if we raised all of our daughters to believe completely that they “matter equally”, to trust what they feel and think and to worry less about how they look and come across, we would soon find new ways to challenge the multiple injustices and indignities that still limit, and even wreck, so many women’s lives.”                       New Statesman

Personal and urgent . . . Adichie is passionate about equality. Her new book offers 15 ways that we can encourage girls to be strong, to plant seeds of feminism. But more than that, Adichie hopes the book will help ‘move us toward a world that is more gender equal.’ Doing so means knocking down ingrained assumptions about how men and women think and behave.”                      Washington Post

 

 

 
The New York Times Bestseller

These 128 pages are a brief primer in every important thing we might have learned from the history of the last century, and all that we appear to have forgotten.”              Observer

History does not repeat, but it does instruct.

In the twentieth century, European democracies collapsed into fascism, Nazism and communism. These were movements in which a leader or a party claimed to give voice to the people, promised to protect them from global existential threats, and rejected reason in favour of myth. European history shows us that societies can break, democracies can fall, ethics can collapse, and ordinary people can find themselves in unimaginable circumstances.

History can familiarise, and it can warn. Today, we are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to totalitarianism in the twentieth century. But when the political order seems imperilled, our advantage is that we can learn from their experience to resist the advance of tyranny.

Now is a good time to do so.

 

Timothy Snyder reasons with unparalleled clarity, throwing the past and future into sharp relief. He has written the rare kind of book that can be read in one sitting but will keep you coming back to help regain your bearings. Put a copy in your pocket and one on your bedside table, and it will help you keep going for the next four years or however long it takes.”           Masha Gessen
Easily the most compelling volume among the early resistance literature. . . . A slim book that fits alongside your pocket Constitution and feels only slightly less vital. . . . Clarifying and unnerving. . . . A memorable work that is grounded in history yet imbued with the fierce urgency of what now.”                   Washington Post

We are rapidly ripening for fascism. This American writer leaves us with no illusions about ourselves.”                        Svetlana Alexievich, Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature
Please read this book. So smart, so timely.”                        George Saunders
As Timothy Snyder explains in his fine and frightening On Tyranny, a minority party now has near-total power and is therefore understandably frightened of awakening the actual will of the people.”                     Adam Gopnik,  New Yorker
 

 

Image result for The Islamic Enlightenment: The Modern Struggle between Faith and Reason by Christopher de BellaigueThe best sort of book for our disordered days: timely, urgent and illuminating.”  Pankaj Mishra
The Islamic Enlightenment: a contradiction in terms?

The Muslim world has often been accused of a failure to modernise, reform and adapt. But, from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the present day, Islamic society in its Middle Eastern heartlands has in fact been transformed by modern ideals and practices, including the adoption of modern medicine, the emergence of women from purdah and the development of democracy.

Who were the scholars and scientists, writers and politicians that brought about these remarkable changes? And why is their legacy now under threat?

Beginning with the dramatic collision of East and West following Napoleon’s arrival in Egypt, and taking us through 200 tumultuous years of Middle Eastern history, Christopher de Bellaigue introduces us to key figures and reformers; from Egypt’s visionary ruler Muhammad Ali to brave radicals like Iran’s first feminist Qurrat al-Ayn and the writer Ibrahim Sinasi, who transformed Ottoman Turkey’s language and literature.

This book tells the forgotten story of the Islamic Enlightenment. It shows us how to look beyond sensationalist headlines to foster a genuine understanding of modern Islam and Muslim culture, and is essential reading for anyone engaged with the state of the world today.

 

It strikes a blow … for common humanity.”  Sunday Times
This book is an enlightenment in itself, and a salient one in this age when everyone seems to feel entitled to a firm opinion about Islam and Muslims.”        David Aaronovitch, The Times

A highly original and informative survey of the clashes between Islam and modernity in Istanbul, Cairo and Tehran in the last two hundred years. Brilliant.” (Orhan Pamuk)

A refreshingly optimistic counterpoint to the idea that Muslim and Western world-views are doomed to clash.”                          Economist

Timely, thoughtful and provocative.”           Peter Frankopan

A brilliantly learned and entertaining study of a topic that is of far more than merely antiquarian interest: the encounter between the Islamic world and the post-Enlightenment West.”              Tom Holland

 

Cleverlands: The Secret Behind the Success of the World’s Education Superpowers by Lucy Crehan

 
As a teacher in an inner-city school, Lucy Crehan was exasperated with ever-changing government policy claiming to be based on lessons from ‘top-performing’ education systems. She became curious about what was really going on in classrooms of the countries whose teenagers ranked top in the world in reading, maths and science.

Determined to dig deeper, Lucy set off on a personal educational odyssey through Finland, Japan, Singapore, Shanghai and Canada, teaching in schools, immersing herself in their very different cultures and discovering the surprising truths about school life that don’t appear in the charts and graphs.

Cleverlands documents her journey, weaving together her experiences with research on policy, history, psychology and culture to offer extensive new insights and provide answers to three fundamental questions:

How do these countries achieve their high scores? What can others learn from them? And what is the price of this success?

 

Lucy Crehan’s book is refreshingly fair-minded and makes a case that there is a lot to learn about how other countries learn.”                     Books of the Year, Economist

Audacious and important . . . Cleverlands is not just for specialists: it’s a wry and accessible narrative of personal enterprise.”                 Prospect

 

 

 

 
The Guptas rose to national infamy when a commercial airliner packed with guests for a family wedding was allowed to land at Air Force Base Waterkloof in 2013, sparking an onslaught of public outrage. Since then, they have become embroiled in allegations of state capture, of dishing out cabinet posts to officials who would do their bidding, and of benefiting from lucrative state contracts and dubious loans.

 

The Republic of Gupta  investigates what the Gupta brothers were up to during Thabo Mbeki’s presidency and how they got into the inner circle of President Jacob Zuma. It shines new light on their controversial ventures in computers, cricket, newspapers and TV news, and coal and uranium mining. And it explores their exposure by public protector Thuli Madonsela, their conflict with finance minister Pravin Gordhan, and the real reasons behind the cabinet reshuffle of March 2017.

 

Pieter-Louis Myburgh delves deeper than ever before into the Guptas’ business dealings and their links to prominent South African politicians, and explains how one family managed to transform an entire country into the Republic of Gupta.

 

 

 

Image result for Black Like You: An Autobiography by Herman MashabaHerman Mashaba rose from humble beginnings to become one of South Africa’s wealthiest and best-known entrepreneurs.

His remarkable story begins in a small village in Gauteng, where we meet the cocky youngster who refused to settle for a future that offered nothing. Forced to drop out of university, the determined young man fought to establish the first black-owned haircare company in South Africa. Mashaba struggled every day of his life – against apartheid, with its demeaning laws, and against his competitors to grab market share for his business. In the process, Mashaba learnt lessons that few business schools teach today.

This is a story of survival, and of determination in adversity. It is also a love story between Herman and Connie, his wife of 30 years, who embarked on this journey together. Mashaba shows the importance of having a vision, daring to dream it, and then making it happen.

This inspiring book will leave you with the question: “If he did it, why can’t I?”

The experiences reflected in this book are real and the manner in which he rose above the hurdles he faced is a reliable framework to self-actualisation and achievement.”                         Dr Thami Mazwai

After reading Black Like You … I appeal to the government to save taxpayers money and stop writing more reports and instead study Herman Mashaba’s autobiography.”                    Moeletsi Mbeki

A better role model, truer patriot and son of the soil I can hardly imagine. At a time when somewhat limited and even rapacious young business leaders descend on the trough of public tenders, our youth would do well to read Black Like You.”          Justice Dikgang Moseneke

He tells sometimes uncomfortable truths and shares moments of inspiration which have led to his becoming one of this country’s enduring role models. If this modest little book doesn’t inspire you, nothing will!”                       Jenny Crwy-Williams

 

 

 
A memoir of brutality, heroism and personal discovery from Europe’s dark heart, revealing one of the most extraordinary untold stories of the Second World War

In the spring of 1945, at Rechnitz on the Austrian-Hungarian border, not far from the front lines of the advancing Red Army, Countess Margit Batthyany gave a party in her mansion. The war was almost over, and the German aristocrats and SS officers dancing and drinking knew it was lost. Late that night, they walked down to the village, where 180 enslaved Jewish labourers waited, made them strip naked, and shot them all, before returning to the bright lights of the party. It remained a secret for decades, until Sacha Batthyany, who remembered his great-aunt Margit only vaguely from his childhood as a stern, distant woman, began to ask questions about it.

A Crime in the Family is Sacha Batthyany’s memoir of confronting these questions, and of the answers he found. It is one of the last untold stories of Europe’s nightmare century, spanning not just the massacre at Rechnitz, the inhumanity of Auschwitz, the chaos of wartime Budapest and the brutalities of Soviet occupation and Stalin’s gulags, but also the silent crimes of complicity and cover-up, and the damaged generations they leave behind.

Told partly through the surviving journals of others from the author’s family and the vanished world of Rechnitz, A Crime in the Family is a moving and revelatory memoir in the vein of The Hare with the Amber Eyes and The House by the Lake. It uncovers barbarity and tragedy but also a measure of peace and reconciliation. Ultimately, Batthyany discovers that although his inheritance might be that of monsters, he does not bear it alone.

 

 

 

Image result for What We Do Now: Standing Up For Your Values in Trump’s America edited by Dennis Johnson & Valerie MeriansThe election of Donald Trump to be the 45th President of the United States of America shocked and dismayed progressives across the country. What We Do Now, a collection of passionate manifestos by some of the country’s leading progressives, aims to provide a blueprint for how those stunned progressives can move forward. Its powerful contributions — from economists, environmentalists, activists, artists, politicians, and novelists — will offer encouragement and guidance to practicing constitutionally protected acts of resistance throughout the unprecedented upcoming administration.

Among the contributors are Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Gloria Steinem, Paul Krugman, Robert B. Reich, George Saunders and Dave Eggers as well the heads of the ACLU, the NAACP, the Sierra Club, the Arab American Association, the National GLBTQ Task Force, the Freedom of the Press Association, and other prominent activists.

 

Eloquent literary and political essays on propaganda and resistance… the collection’s most important function may be to simply remind readers that showing up has worked before.”      Economist

 

 

 
Riot police are shutting down borders, 800 lives are lost in a single shipwreck, a boy’s body washes up on a beach: this is the European Union in summer 2015. But how did a bloc founded upon the values of human rights and dignity for all reach this point? And what was driving millions of desperate people to risk their lives on the Mediterranean? Charlotte McDonald-Gibson has spent years reporting on every aspect of Europe’s refugee crisis, and Cast Away offers a vivid glimpse of the personal dilemmas, pressures, choices and hopes that lie beneath the headlines. We meet Majid, a Nigerian boy who exchanges the violence of his homeland for Libya, only to be driven onto a rickety boat during Colonel Gaddafi’s crackdown on migrants. Nart is an idealistic young lawyer who risks imprisonment and torture in Syria until it is no longer safe for him to stay. Sina has to leave her new husband behind and take their unborn son across three continents to try and escape the Eritrean dictatorship. Mohammed is a teenager who dreams of becoming the world’s best electrician until he is called to serve as a foot-soldier in the Syrian army. And Hanan watches in horror as the safe life she built for her four children in Damascus collapses, and she has to entrust their lives to people smugglers. While the politicians wrangle over responsibility, and the media talk in statistics, Cast Away brings to life the human consequences of the most urgent humanitarian issue of our time.

 

McDonald-Gibson’s gripping storytelling has a cinematic quality… At times it’s easy to forget that these are experiences of real people, not fictional characters, as the reader becomes immersed in harrowing stories of danger, deception and disillusionment. But McDonald-Gibson also balances individual stories with a wider historical sweep [and] offers insights into the extraordinary political and historical contexts of the migrants’ home countries… [One of] the most important books you will read this year.”                 Irish Times

A closely reported, passionately argued, often deeply moving account of five refugees’ journeys to Europe. The unapologetically narrative style creates an effect similar to that of the photograph of the corpse of three year old Alan Kurdi in his red T shirt in 2015. It yanks away the anonymous screen of numbers and brings you face to face with real people – people you can recognise, in situations you can’t. [Cast Away] start[s] to do for the refugees what British abolitionists did for the slave trade… mobilise eyewitness testimony to promote empathy, and through empathy, better policy.”                     Guardian

One hot August day a family drives to a mountain clearing to collect birch wood. Jenny, the mother, is in charge of lopping any small limbs off the logs with a hatchet. Wade, the father, does the stacking. The two daughters, June and May, aged nine and six, drink lemonade, swat away horseflies, bicker, sing snatches of songs as they while away the time.

But then something unimaginably shocking happens, an act so extreme it will scatter the family in every different direction.

In a story told from multiple perspectives and in razor-sharp prose, we gradually learn more about this act, and the way its violence, love and memory reverberate through the life of every character in Idaho.

 

Writing that has the cool sharpness of lemonade… Unflinching, unfrilly, multi-layered storytelling that is both beautiful and devastating”                 Rachel Joyce

“Idaho, Emily Ruskovich’s debut novel, is about not only loss, grief and redemption, but also, most interestingly, the brutal disruptions of memory… you’re in masterly hands here… will remind many of the great Idaho novel, Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping… wrenching and beautiful.”                           New York Times Book Review

Devastating… a textured, emotionally intricate story of deliverance… Ruskovich’s writing is a deft razor.”                    O, The Oprah Magazine

In this stunning debut novel, Emily Ruskovich introduces us to Ann and Wade, who have carved out a life for themselves from a rugged landscape in northern Idaho. But as Wade’s memory begins to fade, Ann becomes determined to learn more about her husband’s first wife, Jenny, and their daughters. What Ann discovers is a mysterious and shocking act that fractured Wade and Jenny’s lives. Hauntingly brilliant, this book will stay with you for days after you’ve put it down.”                 Evening Standard, 2017 Books of the Year

Haunting, propulsive and gorgeously written, this is a debut not to be missed.”                People Magazine

Riveting… exquisitely rendered with masterful language and imagery. You leave Idaho feeling as though you have been given a rare glimpse into the souls of genuinely surprising and convincing people, as E.M. Forster would have characterized the inhabitants of this world. Idaho is a powerful and deeply moving book, an impressive debut that portends good, even great, things to come”                          Washington Post

 

 

National Bestseller and a New York Times 2016 Notable Book
In these pages, Richard Russo returns to North Bath, the Rust Belt town first brought to unforgettable life in Nobody’s Fool. Now, ten years later, Doug Raymer has become the chief of police and is tormented by the improbable death of his wife–not to mention his suspicion that he was a failure of a husband. Meanwhile, the irrepressible Sully has come into a small fortune, but is suddenly faced with a VA cardiologist’s estimate that he only has a year or two left to live.
As Sully frantically works to keep the bad news from the important people in his life, we are reunited with his son and grandson . . . with Ruth, the married woman with whom he carried on for years . . . and with the hapless Rub Squeers, who worries that he and Sully aren’t still best friends. Filled with humor, heart, and hard-luck characters you can’t help but love, Everybody’s Fool is a crowning achievement from one of the great storytellers of our time.

 

Buoyantly unsentimental . . . You hold his books to your heart.”                Boston Globe

Elegiac but never sentimental. . . . Russo s compassionate heart is open to the sorrows, and yes, the foolishness of this lonely world, but also the humor, friendship and love that abide.”                   San Francisco Chronicle

A writer of great comedy and warmth, Russo is living proof that a book can be profound and wise without aiming straight into darkness. [His] voice can play in any register, any key, any style [in this] portrait of an entire community, in all its romance and all its grit.”                     USA Today

A delightful return . . . to a town where dishonesty abounds, everyone misapprehends everyone else and half the citizens are half-crazy. It’s a great place for a reader to visit, and it seems to be Russo s spiritual home.”                       New York Times

How could twenty-three years have slipped by since Nobody s Fool? . . . Russo is probably the best writer of physical comedy that we have [but] even the zaniest elements of the story are interspersed with episodes of wincing cruelty. . . . The abiding wonder [is that] Russo s novel bears down on two calamitous days and exploits the action in every single minute . . . mudslides, grave robbery, collapsing buildings, poisonous snakes, drug deals, arson, lightning strikes and toxic goo. North Bath is a sleepy little town that never sleeps [and] no tangent ever feels tangential. Ron Charles, The Washington Post

The Fool books represent an enormous achievement, creating a world as richly detailed as the one we step into each day of our lives. . . . Sully in particular emerges as one of the most credible and engaging heroes in recent American fiction. . . . Bath is real, Sully is real, and so is Hattie s and the White Horse Tavern and Miss Peoples s house on Main, and I can only hope we haven t seen the last of them. I’d love to see what Sully’s going to be up to at 80.”             T. Coraghessan Boyle,  New York Times Book Review

 

 

 

HISTORICAL FICTION BOOK OF THE MONTH – THE TIMES

One night in autumn 1944, a gunshot echoes through the alleyways of a small town in occupied Poland. An S.S. officer is shot dead by a young Polish Jew, Margarita Ejzenstain. In retaliation, his commander orders the execution of thirty-seven Poles – one for every year of the dead man’s life. First hidden by a German couple, Margarita must then flee the brutal advance of the Soviet army with her new-born baby. So begins a thrilling panorama of intermingled destinies and events that reverberate from that single act of defiance. Kingdom Of Twilight follows the lives of Jewish refugees and a German family resettled from Bukovina, as well as a former S.S. officer, chronicling the geographical and psychological dislocation generated by war. A quest for identity and truth takes them from Displaced Persons camps to Lübeck, Berlin, Tel Aviv and New York, as they try to make sense of a changed world, and of their place in it. Hypnotically lyrical and intensely moving, Steven Uhly’s epic novel is a finely nuanced and yet shattering exploration of universal themes: love, hatred, doubt, survival, guilt, humanity and redemption.

 

A novel about the aftermath of the war, the tribulations of uneasy peace and the violent birth of Israel . . . Kingdom Of Twilight is powerful and original.”                       Antonia Senior, The Times

Uhly skilfully unrolls an epic canvas yet rarely loses sight of the individual details that bring his characters to life.”                         Sunday Times
A gripping, thoroughly researched novel . . . Steven Uhly’s Kingdom of Twilight should be at the centre of literary debate.”                      Süddeutsche Zeitung

 

Paris, 1958. An Algerian waiter at the world famous restaurant, La Tour d’Argent, is arrested for the murder of two customers. As he awaits trial, his long-time friend, celebrated jazz musician and artist Jerry Moloto, is hounded by an opportunistic and ambitious journalist hoping to make a name for himself by being the first to reveal the real story behind the waiter’s sudden extreme act of violence. Culling details from memory and from the waiter’s own journals, the story emerges that he is actually Pitso Motaung, a mixed race South African who had volunteered to fight for the British army in the First World War. Through a tragic twist of fate, Pitso finds himself enlisted aboard the ill-fated SS Mendi the formidable warship sunk off the coast of the Isle of Wight, killing 646 people, including many black South African soldiers. Pitso witnesses many tragic events during the crossing and at the time of the sinking but one particularly cruel moment will stay with him for the rest of his life, resurfacing decades later to devastating effect. Commemorating the 100th year anniversary of the sinking of the SS Mendi, Dancing the Death Drill paints a brilliant picture of a moment in history and brings to life some of the stories from the many who perished as well as of those who survived.

 

 

 

Image result for dark circle linda grantThe Second World War is over, a new decade is beginning but for an East End teenage brother and sister living on the edge of the law, life has been suspended. Sent away to a tuberculosis sanatorium in Kent to learn the way of the patient, they find themselves in the company of army and air force officers, a car salesman, a young university graduate, a mysterious German woman, a member of the aristocracy and an American merchant seaman. They discover that a cure is tantalisingly just out of reach and only by inciting wholesale rebellion can freedom be snatched.

 

Exhilaratingly good . . . This is a novel whose engine is flesh and blood, not cold ideas . . . Grant brings the 1950s – that odd, downbeat, fertile decade between war and sexual liberation – into sharp, bright, heartbreaking focus.”                        Guardian

A writer whose language crackles with vitality and whose descriptive powers are working at such a high level.”                        Spectator

 

The Dark Circle is, beneath its narrative surface, fiercely political. She poses a large, naggingly relevant, question. What would (will?) privatisation of the NHS mean? Read this fine, persuasive, moving novel and contemplate – if you can dare to – that awful possibility.”                   The Times

Fascinating . . . a revealing insight: both funny and illuminating, it is a novel about what it means to treat people well, medically, emotionally and politically.”                        Observer

Contemporary issues linger ominously in Grant’s margins, silently enriching what’s already an astonishingly good period piece.”                Independent

 

When army officer Chike Ameobi is ordered to kill innocent civilians, he knows that it is time to leave. As he travels towards Lagos, he becomes the leader of a new platoon, a band of runaways who share his desire for a better life.

Their arrival in the city coincides with the eruption of a political scandal. The education minister, Chief Sandayo, has disappeared and is suspected of stealing millions of dollars from government funds.

After an unexpected encounter with the Chief, Chike and his companions must make a choice. Ahmed Bakare, editor of the failing Nigerian Journal, is desperate for information. But perhaps the situation is more complex than it appears.

As moving as it is mesmerising, Welcome to Lagos is a novel about the power of our dreams for the future and the place of morality in a sometimes hostile world.

 

“[A] fine novel … worlds―rich and poor, urban and rural, privileged and powerless, Muslim and Christian, Igbo and Yoruba―collide to spectacular effect as their paths cross and power shifts hands in surprising and unexpected ways, and then does so again, and again. It is an unlikely plot, but Ms Onuzo pulls it off, revealing the fault lines in her country’s society―or indeed those of any half-formed democracy. Though drenched in Lagosian atmosphere, the book wears its Nigerian setting lightly: it is clearly the work of a pan-African and an internationalist―and is all the better for it.”                    Economist

“[A] hugely accomplished tragicomic farce about life in Nigeria, written by one of the country’s brightest young stars. Nothing evades Onuzo’s biting prose and whipsmart humour. From the allegedly corrupt ministers who run the country, to the BBC journalists covering breaking news, and from the idealistic newspaper editor trying in vain to hold the country to account, to the beleaguered army officer who would rather be homeless than follow orders, all show the multifaceted shades of humanity that creates the kaleidoscope of Lagos.”                Herald

With Nollywood-like storylines and clever turns in plot, the book paints an entertaining and funny picture of Lagos life and Nigerian politics … impressive.”                   Guardian

“[H]ugely accomplished…Nothing evades Onuzo’s biting prose and whipsmart humour.”              Independent

 

 

New York, a small town on the tip of Manhattan Island, 1746. One rainy evening, a charming and handsome young stranger fresh off the boat from England pitches up to a counting house on Golden Hill Street, with a suspicious yet compelling proposition — he has an order for a thousand pounds in his pocket that he wishes to cash. But can he be trusted? This is New York in its infancy, a place where a young man with a fast tongue can invent himself afresh, fall in love, and find a world of trouble . . .

 

Golden Hill is a novel of gloriously capacious humanity, thick-woven with life in all its oddness and familiarity, a novel of such joy it leaves you beaming, and such seriousness that it asks to be read again and again … this novel is verifiable gold.”                       Sunday Telegraph

The intoxicating effect of Golden Hill is much more than an experiment in form. [Spufford] has created a complete world, employing his archivist skills to the great advantage of his novel … This is a book born of patience, of knowledge accrued and distilled over decades, a style honed by practice. There are single scenes here more illuminating, more lovingly wrought, than entire books.”                 Financial Times

A cunningly crafted narrative that, right up to its tour de force conclusion, is alive with tantalising twists and turns … This is a dazzlingly written novel. Little brilliances of metaphor and phrasing gleam everywhere.”                  Sunday Times

Like a newly discovered novel by Henry Fielding with extra material by Martin Scorsese. Why it works so well is largely down to Spufford’s superb re-creation of New York … His writing crackles with energy and glee, and when Smith’s secret is finally revealed it is hugely satisfying on every level. For its payoff alone Golden Hill deserves a big shiny star.”                                    The Times

Splendidly entertaining and ingenious … Throughout Golden Hill, Spufford creates vivid, painterly scenes of street and salon life, yet one never feels as though a historical detail has been inserted just because he knew about it. Here is deep research worn refreshingly lightly … a first-class period entertainment.”                  Guardian

Golden Hill shows a level of showmanship and skill which seems more like a crowning achievement than a debut … [Spufford] brings his people and situations to life with glancing ease … They all live and breathe with conviction … His descriptive powers are amazing … Spufford’s extraordinary visual imagination and brilliant pacing seems to owe more to the movies than anything else.”                       Evening Standard

The setting is a comedy club in a small Israeli town. An audience that has come expecting an evening of amusement instead sees a comedian falling apart on stage; an act of disintegration, a man crumbling, as a matter of choice, before their eyes. They could get up and leave, or boo and whistle and drive him from the stage, if they were not so drawn to glimpse his personal hell. Dovaleh G, a veteran stand-up comic – charming, erratic, repellent – exposes a wound he has been living with for years: a fateful and gruesome choice he had to make between the two people who were dearest to him.

A Horse Walks into a Bar is a shocking and breathtaking read. Betrayals between lovers, the treachery of friends, guilt demanding redress. Flaying alive both himself and the people watching him, Dovaleh G provokes both revulsion and empathy from an audience that doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry – and all this in the presence of a former childhood friend who is trying to understand why he’s been summoned to this performance.

 

This is a virtuoso piece of writing, a whirlwind of laughter and tears that sucks you in and makes you holds your breath.”                        Daily Mail

A writerly tour de force that would be unbearably painful, were it not also so generously humane.”                               New Statesman, Book of the Year

A short, shocking masterpiece.”                   Adam Lively, Sunday Times

David Grossman’s new novel runs on a high voltage line, operated by a frantic, mesmerising and almost unbearable energy. An ongoing feeling of astonishment accompanies you throughout the read, and it is linked to Grossman’s bravado and to his innovation as a storyteller… A Horse Walks into a Bar…is unlike anything Grossman has written, or anything I have read. It is a packed explosive, multi-resonant, daring and exciting.”                      Ha’aretz

A fine Israeli writer… It takes an author of Mr Grossman’s stature to channel not a failed stand-up but a shockingly effective one.”                    Economist

 

 

 


Troll Bridge, 
a tale from the mind of Sunday Times bestselling writer Neil Gaiman, has been beautifully adapted for the first time by Eisner Award-winning writer/artist Colleen Doran. This striking graphic novel will delight fans of Alan Moore, Dave McKean and beyond.

Young Jack’s world is full of ghosts and ghouls, but one monster – a ravenous and hideous troll – haunts him long into manhood. As the beast sups upon a lifetime of Jack’s fear and regret, Jack must find the courage within himself to face the fiend once and for all.

 

 

 


Kindred
, Octavia Butler’s literary science-fiction masterpiece first published in 1979, tells the story of Dana, a young black woman who is suddenly and mysteriously transported from her home in 1970s California to the antebellum South. Dana moves between worlds: one in which she is a free woman and another where she is part of a complicated familial history on a southern plantation, forced to interact with and save the life of Rufus, a conflicted white slaveholder and one of her ancestors. Frightening, compelling and richly detailed, Kindred takes an imagined yet unstinting look at our complicated social history. Adapted as a graphic novel by celebrated academics Damian Duffy and John Jennings with the full co-operation of the Butler estate, Kindred explores the violence, sexuality, loss of humanity and twisted relationships engendered by slavery, in a format that introduces the work to a new generation of readers.

 

Everything the literature of science fiction can be.”                       Walter Mosley

 

That rare magical artifact . . . the novel one returns to again and again.”                        Harlan Ellison

 

 

 

#1 New York Times Bestseller

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE – Oscar Nominated For Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay

 

Set amid the civil rights movement, the never-before-told true story of NASA’s African-American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America’s space program.

Before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as ‘Human Computers’, calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American women. Segregated from their white counterparts, these ‘colored computers’ used pencil and paper to write the equations that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

Moving from World War II through NASA’s golden age, touching on the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the women’s rights movement, Hidden Figures interweaves a rich history of mankind’s greatest adventure with the intimate stories of five courageous women whose work forever changed the world.

 

Clearly fueled by pride and admiration, a tender account of genuine transcendence and camaraderie. The story warmly conveys the dignity and refinements of these women.”                  New York Times Book Review

 

Much as Tom Wolfe did in ‘The Right Stuff’, Shetterly moves gracefully between the women’s lives and the broader sweep of history … Shetterly blends impressive research with an enormous amount of heart in telling these stories … Genuinely inspiring book.”                Boston Globe

 

Exploring the intimate relationships among blackness, womanhood, and 20th-century American technological development, Shetterly crafts a narrative that is crucial to understanding subsequent movements for civil rights.”                        Publishers Weekly

 

This an is incredibly powerful and complex story, and Shetterly has it down cold. The breadth of her well-documented research is immense, and her narrative compels on every level. The timing of this revelatory book could not be better, and book clubs will adore it.”                Booklist

 

 

Without much fanfare Ahmed Kathrada worked alongside Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and other giants in the struggle to end racial discrimination in South Africa. He faced house arrest and many court trials related to his activism until, finally, a trial for sabotage saw him sentenced to life imprisonment alongside Mandela and six others.

Conversations with a Gentle Soul has its origins in a series of discussions between Kathrada and Sahm Venter about his opinions, encounters and experiences. Throughout his life, Kathrada has refused to hang on to negative emotions such as hatred and bitterness. Instead, he radiates contentment and the openness of a man at peace with himself. His wisdom is packaged within layers of optimism, mischievousness and humour, and he provides insights that are of value to all South Africans.

 

 

 

The essays in this volume – all written between 2011 and 2015 – are in three parts. A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women brings together penetrating pieces on particular artists and writers such as Picasso, Kiefer and Susan Sontag as well as essays investigating the biases that affect how we judge art, literature, and the world in general. The Delusions of Certainty is an essay about the mind/body problem, showing how this age-old philosophical puzzle has shaped contemporary debates on many subjects and how every discipline is coloured by what lies beyond argument-desire, belief, and the imagination. The essays in the final section, What Are We? Lectures on the Human Condition, tackle such elusive neurological disorders as synesthesia and hysteria. Drawing on research in sociology, neurobiology, history, genetics, statistics, psychology and psychiatry, this section also contains a profound consideration of suicide and a towering reconsideration of Kierkegaard. Together they form an extremely stimulating, thoughtful, wide-ranging exploration of some of the fundamental questions about human beings and the human condition, delivered with Siri Hustvedt’s customary lucidity, vivacity and infectiously questioning intelligence.

 

It is obvious that hers is a great mind that is constantly exploring, searching, “becoming” . . . An impressive collection by a novelist who clearly loves the humanities, the sciences and the ancient art of storytelling. But Hustvedt is not only a writer. She is also a passionate reader and therein lies the secret of this book . . . Here is a great book that invites reading . . . not only to ‘look at a woman writer looking at men looking at women’, but also to look within, deep inside the recesses of our minds, so as to recognise the fascinating complexity but also the heartbreaking fragility of human existence.”                        Elif Shafak, Observer

“Few writers eviscerate bias and flawed logic as elegantly and ruthlessly as Hustvedt . . . she expertly flays assertions about biological and psychological sex differences . . . Hustvedt does not resolve her many questions, but her exhilarating conclusion testifies to the virtues of doubt . . . Her work is cerebral but also warm, deeply felt.”                Washington Post

 

 

The final work of Nobel Prize-winning writer Günter Grass – a witty and elegiac series of meditations on writing, growing old, and the world.

Suddenly, in spite of the trials of old age, and with the end in sight, everything seems possible again: love letters, soliloquies, scenes of jealousy, swan songs, social satire, and moments of happiness.

Only an ageing artist who had once more cheated death could get to work with such wisdom, defiance and wit. A wealth of touching stories is condensed into artful miniatures. In a striking interplay of poetry, lyric prose and drawings, Grass creates his final, major work of art.

A moving farewell gift, a sensual, melancholy summation of a life fully lived.

 

As subtle and as delicate as the many feathers depicted through its pages, Of All That Ends is a glorious gift, a final salute true to the singular creativity of the most human, and humane, of artists.”                 Irish Times

There is a lovely diversity to these pieces… His intelligence and intellectual engagement remain fiercely undimmed.”                 Financial Times

This beautiful, ironic and often funny final collage of asides and meditations sums up the fabulist’s genius.”                 Irish Times, Book of the Year

Autumnal, elegiac and tinged with a twilight charm.”                     Boyd Tonkin

 

 

 

There are five races of tiger on our planet and all but one live in tropical regions: the Siberian Tiger Panthera tigris altaica is the exception. Mysterious and elusive, and with only 350 remaining in the wild, the Siberian tiger remains a complete enigma. One man has set out to change this.

Sooyong Park has spent twenty years tracking and observing these elusive tigers. Each year he spends six months braving sub-zero temperatures, buried in grave-like underground bunkers, fearlessly immersing himself in the lives of Siberian tigers. As he watches the brutal, day-to-day struggle to survive the harsh landscape, threatened by poachers and the disappearance of the pristine habitat, Park becomes emotionally and spiritually attached to these beautiful and deadly predators. No one has ever been this close: as he comes face-to-face with one tiger, Bloody Mary, her fierce determination to protect her cubs nearly results in his own bloody demise.

Poignant, poetic and fiercely compassionate, The Great Soul of Siberia is the incredible story of Park’s unique obsession with these compelling creatures on the very brink of extinction, and his dangerous quest to seek them out to observe and study them. Eloquently told in Park’s distinctive voice, it is a personal account of one of the most extraordinary wildlife studies ever undertaken.

 

If you read one nature book this year, make it this one.”                Mark Cocker, Spectator

 

Wonderful … deserves to become a classic of wildlife literature.”             The Times

 

A wonderful evocation of the land and the habits of the desperately endangered Siberian tiger.”                       Independent

 

Subtly intense … Park has a deep sense of oneness with the world around him. His close engagement with the forest ecology is the most extraordinary element of this remarkable book.”                      New Statesman

 

It’s a masterpiece. One of the most moving outdoor texts I’ve read in years. This is a book about love – one exceptional human being’s love for the wild, beautiful and persecuted creatures to which his life is dedicated. It also comprehends a fortitude and hardihood so far beyond the everyday I was left shaking my head in astonished admiration.”               Great Outdoors

 

Sooyong’s magical prose led me into little-known and breathtakingly beautiful forests, exposed me to the bitter cold of long winter months, and revealed the secret life of that most mysterious of cats, the Siberian tiger.”                  Jane Goodall

 

The book is a love letter … To read it is to hear the voice of a remarkable man.”             Daily Telegraph

 

 

 

Our systems are failing. Old models – for education, healthcare and government, food production, energy supply – are creaking under the weight of modern challenges. As the world’s population heads towards 10 billion, it’s clear we need new approaches. Futurologist Mark Stevenson sets out to find them, across four continents.

From Brazilian favelas to high tech Boston, from rural India to a shed inventor in England’s home counties, We Do Things Differently travels the world to find the advance guard re-imagining our future. At each stop, he meets innovators who have already succeeded in challenging the status quo, pioneering new ways to make our world more sustainable, equitable and humane.

Populated by extraordinary characters, We Do Things Differently paints an enthralling picture of what can be done to address the world’s most pressing dilemmas, offering a much needed dose of down-to-earth optimism. It is a window on (and a roadmap to) a different and better future.

 

 

 

The events leading to the Marikana massacre not only shattered South Africa’s image of itself as a democracy in which workers had a respected place, but also the image of Cosatu and its largest affiliate at the time. Subsequent events confirm that South Africa’s pre-eminent trade union federation has lost its way. To understand why this has happened, Theron argues, it is necessary to understand the choices made by the trade unions that formed it in the 1980s.

The Food and Canning Workers’ Union (FCWU) was perhaps the most famous of these, and had produced some of the country’s most prominent labour leaders. But by 1976, when Theron became its general secretary, it was on its last legs and riddled with corruption. Solidarity Road is an uncompromising account of a struggle to overcome corruption, as well as to revive a tradition of non-racial solidarity. A demonstration of non-racial solidarity by the workforce of Fatti’s and Moni’s in Cape Town catapulted the union into national prominence, in the same week as government tabled its race-based labour “reforms” in Parliament.

FCWU’s unprecedented victory in this strike meant it was well-placed to initiate the talks that eventually led to the formation of Cosatu. This was to be an independent federation, allied to political organisations fighting to end apartheid. However, for FCWU the basis of independence was always financial self-sufficiency coupled with zero tolerance of corruption. In this regard it was unlike the other trade unions involved in these talks. This is a story about the values that shaped the trade union struggle and the decisions and practices which undermined them.

 

 

In the first half of the nineteenth century, Southern Africa was a jumble of British colonies, Boer republics and African chiefdoms, a troublesome region of little interest to the outside world. Into this frontier world came the Reitz family, Afrikaner gentry from the Cape, who settled in Bloemfontein and played a key role in the building of the Orange Free State.

Frank Reitz, successively chief justice and modernising president of the young republic, went on to serve as State Secretary of the Transvaal Republic. In 1899, he stood shoulder to shoulder with President Paul Kruger to resist Britain’s war of conquest in Southern Africa. At the heart of this tale is the extraordinary life of Deneys Reitz, third son of Frank Reitz and Bianca Thesen. The young Reitz’s account of his adventures in the field during the Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902), published as Commando, became a classic of irregular warfare. After a period of exile in Madagascar, he went on become one of South Africa’s most distinguished lawyers, statesmen and soldiers. Martin Meredith interweaves Reitz’s experiences, taken from his unpublished notebooks, with the wider story of Britain’s brutal suppression of Boer resistance.

Concise and readable, Afrikaner Odyssey is a wide-ranging portrait of an aristocratic Afrikaner family whose achievements run like fine thread through these turbulent times, and whose presence is still marked on the South African landscape.

 

 

 


The Princess Diarist
 is Carrie Fisher’s intimate, hilarious and revealing recollection of what happened behind the scenes on one of the most famous film sets of all time, the first Star Wars movie.

When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved―plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a (sort-of) regular teenager.

With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, The Princess Diarist is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time―and what developed behind the scenes. And today, as she reprises her most iconic role for the latest Star Wars trilogy, Fisher also ponders the joys and insanity of celebrity, and the absurdity of a life spawned by Hollywood royalty, only to be surpassed by her own outer-space royalty. Laugh-out-loud hilarious and endlessly quotable, The Princess Diarist brims with the candour and introspection of a diary while offering shrewd insight into the type of stardom that few will ever experience.

 

It’s an eye-opener for fans, but it also shows a gifted writer even at a young age. There was a lot going on between Princess Leia’s hair buns.”               USA Today

Smart and funny…the pages crackle with one-liners.”                     Guardian

Fisher offers a thoughtful, sardonic meditation on the price of fame, cost-of-living adjustments included.”                    New York Times Book Review

 


The Secret Lives of Colour 
tells the unusual stories of the 75 most fascinating shades, dyes and hues. From blonde to ginger, the brown that changed the way battles were fought to the white that protected against the plague, Picasso’s blue period to the charcoal on the cave walls at Lascaux, acid yellow to kelly green, and from scarlet women to imperial purple, these surprising stories run like a bright thread throughout history. In this book Kassia St Clair has turned her lifelong obsession with colours and where they come from (whether Van Gogh’s chrome yellow sunflowers or punk’s fluorescent pink) into a unique study of human civilisation. Across fashion and politics, art and war, The Secret Lives of Colour tell the vivid story of our culture.

 

A mind-expanding tour of the world without leaving your paintbox. Every colour has a story, and here are some of the most alluring, alarming, and thought-provoking. Very hard painting the hallway magnolia after this inspiring primer.”                      Simon Garfield

 

 

From the author of the bestselling Philomena, made into the award-winning film starring Steve Coogan and Judi Dench, comes the story of a young woman, born in Pakistan, living in Britain, whose life is thrown into desperate turmoil by the violent death of her father.  The Pakistani authorities talk of suicide, but why would Ayesha’s happy, gentle father kill himself?
Ayesha’s quest to find the truth takes her right away from her safe London existence.  She meets with threats, intimidation and smiling perjurers who resent her intrusion into their world. She is warned that her life is in danger; powerful, ruthless men have reasons to want her silenced.   But there are things she needs to know, that compel her to press on with her search for the truth.
Was her father an innocent victim?  Can she continue to revere the image of him she grew up with, that of a good, loving parent?  Or will she be forced to accept that her father was not the person she thought he was?
Ayesha decides that the only way forward is to fly to Pakistan and confront his killers.    When she goes, Martin Sixsmith goes with her.   The denouement of their journey together is extraordinarily moving, with unforeseen repercussions for them both.

 

Written at thriller pace, Ayesha’s Gift . . . exposes a terrifying web of gangsters and terrorists.”                         Telegraph

Martin Sixsmith, of Philomena fame, has done it again with a wonderful new book, Ayesha’s Gift, which mixes autobiography with the story of a hunt to reveal a dark mystery in Pakistan…  What I find so striking about Ayesha’s Gift is that it’s a book in which the writer is changed by the writing of the book. I’m trying to think of other examples of that but I can’t come up with any at all.”                      Andrew Marr

 

 

Sophia Klaase first used a camera in 1999, as a teenage participant in a photography project in Paulshoek, a village in Namaqualand. She continued with the project for the next sixteen years, chronicling her life in this arid northwest corner of South Africa. Her images are a frank exploration of her relationship to family, community and the landscape.

A foreword by Zoë Wicomb, and essays by Ben Cousins, Timm Hoffman, Siona O’connell, Virginia MacKenny and Rick Rohde describe the environmental, socio-economic and political contexts in which Klaase’s work was produced. Her photographs and this book demonstrate the intellectual and aesthetic rewards of true collaboration and sustained investigation, and introduce Sophia Klaase’s name into the tradition of South African documentary and vernacular photography.

 

Groundbreaking … You might have thought that we know everything there is to know about the Holocaust but this book proves there is much more.”                  Andrew Roberts, Mail on Sunday

 

By far the clearest book ever written about the Holocaust, and also the best at explaining its origins and grotesque mentality, as well as its chaotic development.”    Antony Beevor

 

This landmark work answers two of the most fundamental questions in history – how, and why, did the Holocaust happen?

Laurence Rees has spent twenty-five years meeting survivors and perpetrators of the Holocaust. Now, in his magnum opus, he combines their enthralling eyewitness testimony, a large amount of which has never been published before, with the latest academic research to create the first accessible and authoritative account of the Holocaust in more than three decades.

This is a new history of the Holocaust in three ways. First, and most importantly, Rees has created a gripping narrative that that contains a large amount of testimony that has never been published before. Second, he places this powerful interview material in the context of an examination of the decision making process of the Nazi state, and in the process reveals the series of escalations that cumulatively created the horror. Third, Rees covers all those across Europe who participated in the deaths, and he argues that whilst hatred of the Jews was always at the epicentre of Nazi thinking, what happened cannot be fully understood without considering the murder of the Jews alongside plans to kill millions of non-Jews, including homosexuals, ‘Gypsies’ and the disabled.

Through a chronological, intensely readable narrative, featuring enthralling eyewitness testimony and the latest academic research, this is a compelling new account of the worst crime in history.

 

Anyone wanting a compelling, highly readable explanation of how and why the Holocaust happened, drawing on recent scholarship and impressively incorporating moving and harrowing interviews need look no further than Laurence Rees’s brilliant book.”                     Professor Ian Kershaw

A fine book. Rees is a gifted educator, who can tell a complex story with compassion and clarity, without sacrificing all nuances…it comes alive through the voices of victims, killers and bystanders.”                   Guardian

Absorbing, heart-breaking…he has drawn skilfully on speeches, documents and diaries of the Third Reich, and on the vast library of secondary literature, to weave together a powerful, inevitably harrowing revelation of the 20th century’s greatest crime.”                  Sunday Times

Rees has distilled 25 years of research into this compelling study, the finest single-volume account of the Holocaust. It is not a book for the faint-hearted. Some of the first-hand testimony is both shocking and heart-rending. Yet it has important things to say about human nature – what our species is capable of doing if not prevented by civilized laws – and demands to be read.”                   Saul David, Telegraph

 

 

LGBTQ STATS chronicles the ongoing LGBTQ revolution, providing critical statistics, and draws upon and synthesizes newly collected data. Deschamps and Singer provide chapters on family and marriage, workplace discrimination, education, youth, criminal justice, and immigration, as well as evolving policies and laws affecting LGBTQ communities. A lively, accessible, and eye-opening snapshot, LGBTQ STATS offers an invaluable resource for activists, journalists, lawmakers, and general readers who want the facts and figures on LGBTQ lives in the twenty-first century.

 

 

The New York Times bestseller that reveals how investors can prepare for the next financial panic – and why it’s coming sooner than you think.

The global economy has made what seems like an incredible comeback after the financial crisis of 2008. Yet this comeback is artificial. Central banks have propped up markets by keeping interest rates low and the supply of money free-flowing. They won’t bail us out again next time. And there will be a next time – soon.

In The Road to Ruin, bestselling author James Rickards identifies how governments around the world are secretly preparing an alternative strategy for the next big crisis: a lockdown. Instead of printing money to reliquify markets and prop up assets, governments are preparing to close banks, shut down exchanges and order powerful asset managers not to sell. They’re putting provisions in place that will allow them to do so legally. What’s more, the global elite has already started making their own preparations, including hoarding cash and hard assets.

When the next one comes, it will be the average investor who suffers most – unless he or she heeds Rickards’ warning and prepares accordingly.

 

 

 

 

A slim volume it may be, but it is full of the life, experience and visions of African lesbians. These seven women take a chance on the reader, that we are curious about their journeys and are willing to engage with the lives they choose to share with us. Sometimes humorous, sometimes angry, they are defiant and resolute in defending themselves and their communities from violence, attack and marginalization. On these pages, I’ve met women who have loved, who have suffered but also women who have stood firm in their sexuality and activism. Freedom fighters. They are women who are living their lives and building a movement, they are women I want to know. Read this work and wake up to their world.

 

Fiction

Nutshell by Ian McEwan

Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She’s still in the marital home – a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse – but not with John. Instead, she’s with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month-old resident of Trudy’s womb.

Told from a perspective unlike any other, Nutshell is a classic tale of murder and deceit from one of the world’s master storytellers.

An astonishing act of literary ventriloquism unlike any in recent literature. A bravura performance, it is the finest recent work from a true master… Told from a perspective unlike any other, Nutshell is a shocking tale of murder and treachery from one of the world’s master storytellers.”      Telegraph

Ian McEwan’s embryonic spin on Hamlet is a virtuoso feat of wordplay … Virtuoso entertainment.”                    Observer

At once playful and deadly serious, delightful and frustrating it is one of McEwan’s hardest to categorise works, and all the more interesting for it.”             The Times

A fast, arch beach read… A psychological thriller with a bad marriage and murder at its centre… McEwan has thrown in Gone Girl intrigue with The Girl on the Train suspense and given us his take on how toxic a marriage can get when spliced with a Shakespearean cast. Who knew McEwan could mix high and low literary genres to create such a bizarrely readable mash-up?”                        Independent

 

Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer

Image result for Here I Am by Jonathan Safran FoerA monumental new novel about modern family lives from the bestselling author of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

God asked Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac, and Abraham replied obediently, ‘Here I am’.

This is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis. Over the course of three weeks in present-day Washington DC, three sons watch their parents’ marriage falter and their family home fall apart. Meanwhile, a larger catastrophe is engulfing another part of the world: a massive earthquake devastates the Middle East, sparking a pan-Arab invasion of Israel. With global upheaval in the background and domestic collapse in the foreground, Jonathan Safran Foer asks us – what is the true meaning of home? Can one man ever reconcile the conflicting duties of his many roles – husband, father, son? And how much of life can a person bear?

“[Here I Am is] an ambitious platter of intellection and emotion. Its observations are crisp; its intimations of doom resonate; its jokes are funny. Here I Am consistently lit up my pleasure centers . . . This is also Mr. Foer’s best and most caustic novel, filled with so much pain and regret that your heart sometimes struggles to hold it all.”                    New York Times

 “Here I Am is one of those books, like Middlemarch, or for that matter Gone Girl, which lays bare the interior of a marriage with such intelligence and deep feeling and pitiless clarity, it’s impossible to read it and not re-examine your own family, and your place in it.”                   Time

Brilliant, always original . . . Certain set pieces . . show a masterly sense of timing and structure and deep feeling . . . Foer strews small, semiprecious comic and gnomic gems all along the trail he is breaking . . Here I Am is not only the novel’s title but also, maybe, an announcement of its ambitious and crazy-talented author’s literary residence―an announcement that not only his location but his basic sensibility and very identity are to be found in this work.”                 New York Times Book Review

Lament for the Fallen by Gavin Chait

Image result for Lament for the Fallen by Gavin Chait‘Father, tell me a story?’ asks Isaiah, moments before a strange craft falls from the sky and smashes into the jungle near his isolated West African community. Inside the ruined vessel the villagers find the shattered body of a man. His name is Samara and he is a man unlike any the villagers have seen before – a man who is perhaps something more than human.

With his city home of Achenia hiding in the rubble left by a devastating war, Samara has fallen 35,000 km to earth in order to escape the automated hell of an orbiting prison called Tartarus. As he struggles to heal himself, he helps transform the lives of those who rescued him but in so doing attracts the attention of the brutal warlord who rules over this benighted, ravaged post-21st century land. He is not a man to be crossed, and now he threatens the very existence of the villagers themselves and the one, slim chance Samara has of finding his way home and to the woman – and the world – he loves.

And all the while – in the darkness above – waits the simmering fury that lies at the heart of Tartarus . . .

Refreshingly different . . . exhilarating . . . a compulsively readable, life-affirming tale told in direct, lambent prose, and Chait does a masterful job of juxtaposing a traditional African setting with a convincing depiction of a far-future alien society.”      Guardian

The Crime Writer by Jill Dawson

Image result for The Crime Writer by Jill DawsonIn 1964, the eccentric American novelist Patricia Highsmith is hiding out in a cottage in Suffolk, to concentrate on her writing and escape her fans. She has another motive too – a secret romance with a married lover based in London.

Unfortunately it soon becomes clear that all her demons have come with her. Prowlers, sexual obsessives, frauds, imposters, suicides and murderers: the tropes of her fictions clamour for her attention, rudely intruding on her peaceful Suffolk retreat. After the arrival of Ginny, an enigmatic young journalist bent on interviewing her, events take a catastrophic turn. Except, as always in Highsmith’s troubled life, matters are not quite as they first appear . . .

Masterfully recreating Highsmith’s much exercised fantasies of murder and madness, Jill Dawson probes the darkest reaches of the imagination in this novel – at once a brilliant portrait of a writer and an atmospheric, emotionally charged, riveting tale.

An ingenious concept . . . Dawson can be applauded for her passionate immersion in her subject, and for creating a novel as dark and odd as the subject herself.”                      Guardian

Dawson has drawn a witty, creepy plot as well as a convincing character sketch of a woman all too easy to caricature.”                        Daily Telegraph

Dawson skilfully constructs a dark tale that Highsmith fans will love.”                       Sunday Times

 

Underground Airlines by Ben H Winters

Image result for Underground Airlines by Ben H Winters“The most timely of alternate history novels. Ben Winters has created a spellbinding world that forces the reader to look around―and to look within. This is a thriller not to be missed and one that will not be easily forgotten.”                  Hugh Howey

It is the present-day, and the world is as we know it. Except for one thing: slavery still exists.

Victor has escaped his life as a slave, but his freedom came at a high price. Striking a bargain with the government, he has to live his life working as a bounty hunter. And he is the best they’ve ever trained.

A mystery to himself, Victor tries to suppress his memories of his own childhood and convinces himself that he is just a good man doing bad work, unwilling to give up the freedom he is desperate to preserve. But in tracking his latest target, he can sense that that something isn’t quite right.

For this fugitive is a runaway holding something extraordinary. Something that could change the state of the country forever.

And in his pursuit, Victor discovers secrets at the core of his country’s arrangement with the system that imprisoned him, secrets that will be preserved at any cost.

A rich noir in a terrifingly convincing alternate America. It’s both beautiful and brutal. The Handmaid’s Tale for Black Lives Matter.”                       Lauren Beukes

Winters has written a book that will make you see the world in a new light.”            Washington Post

Ben H. Winters new novel (Underground Airlines) makes the word ‘thrilling’ seem inadequate. Not only could I not stop reading it, it changed the way I looked at everything around me once I was finished.”             Observer

What distinguishes Underground Airlines as literature is the acuity and penetration of Winter’s moral vision – a perception that goes far beyond and specific historical injustices … Winters allows Victor to exquisitely express our own moral unease.” Financial Times

 

Field Service by Robert Edric

Morlancourt, Northern France, 1920

In the aftermath of the world’s bloodiest conflict, a small contingent of battle-worn soldiers remains in France. Captain James Reid and his men are tasked with the identification and burial of innumerable corpses as they come to terms with the events of the past four years.

The stark contrast between the realities of burying men in France and the reports of honouring the dead back in Britain is all too clear. But it is only when the daily routine is interrupted by a visit from two women, both seeking solace from their grief, that the men are forced to acknowledge the part they too have played.

With his trademark unerring precision, Robert Edric explores the emotional hinterland which lies behind the work done by the War Graves Commission in the wake of the First World War.

There has been a slew of novels commemorating the First World War’s anniversaries. Field Service will be judged one of the best.”                         The Times

A masterly analyst of human behaviour….Carefully nuanced and engaging…Puts the work of most other historical novelists in the shade”    Sunday Times

 

Arrowood by Lauren McHugh

I thought I knew who did it, but I was wrong – four times.”     Lee Child

Arrowood is the most ornate and beautiful of the grand historical houses that line the Mississippi river in southern Iowa where the days are long and humid and communities are small and closed.

It has its own secrets and ghostly presence: it’s where two small twin girls were abducted ten years previously – never to be seen again.

Now, Arden has inherited Arrowood, and she returns to her childhood home determined to establish what really happened to her sisters that traumatic summer. But the house and the surrounding town hold their secrets close – and the truth, when Arden finds it, is more devastating than she ever could have imagined.

Family lies, buried secrets and a terrifying truth lie at the heart of this brilliant and haunting crime novel.

A failed graduate student’s return to the family mansion she inherited from her grandfather touches off a maelstrom of emotion, regret and memories in McHugh’s poignant second novel . . . Lyrical prose and in-depth character studies examine the reliability of memory, punctuated by believable suspense and aided by a careful look at a small town.”                         Publishers Weekly

McHugh’s slow exposure of an old crime is a pitch-perfect example of a Southern gothic.”                      Sunday Times

 

I See You by Clare Mackintosh

Image result for I See You by Clare MackintoshWhen Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it’s there. There’s no explanation, no website: just a grainy image and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it’s just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.

Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make . . .

I See You is an edge-of-your-seat, page-turning psychological thriller from one of the most exciting and successful British debut talents of 2015

I See You stands out from the crowd with flawless plotting and an eye for detail which will send a satisfying chill through its readers. I loved it!”                           Renee Knight, number one bestselling author of Disclaimer

Compelling and suffused with menace.”             Sunday Mirror

 

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

Inspired by the life of a real World War II heroine, this powerful debut novel reveals an incredible story of love, redemption, and terrible secrets that were hidden for decades.

New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline s world is forever changed when Hitler s army invades Poland in September 1939 and then sets its sights on France.

An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.

For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.

The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.

A powerful story for readers everywhere . . . Martha Hall Kelly has brought readers a firsthand glimpse into one of history s most frightening memories. A novel that brings to life what these women and many others suffered. . . . I was moved to tears.”                       San Francisco Book Review”

“[A] compelling first novel . . . This is a page-turner demonstrating the tests and triumphs civilians faced during war, complemented by Kelly s vivid depiction of history and excellent characters.”                        Publishers Weekly

 

Dead Man’s Blues by Ray Celestin

Image result for Dead Man’s Blues by Ray CelestinDead Man’s Blues is the gripping historical crime novel from Ray Celestin, the author of The Axeman’s Jazz, winner of the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger for Best First Novel 2014.

Chicago, 1928. In the stifling summer heat three disturbing events take place. A clique of city leaders is poisoned in a fancy hotel. A white gangster is found mutilated in an alleyway in the Blackbelt. And a famous heiress vanishes without a trace.

Pinkerton detectives Michael Talbot and Ida Davis are hired to find the missing heiress by the girl’s troubled mother. But it proves harder than expected to find a face that is known across the city, and Ida must elicit the help of her friend Louis Armstrong.

While the police take little interest in the Blackbelt murder, Jacob Russo, crime scene photographer, can’t get the dead man’s image out of his head, and so he embarks on his own investigation.

And Dante Sanfelippo – rum-runner and fixer – is back in Chicago on the orders of Al Capone, who suspects there’s a traitor in the ranks and wants Dante to investigate. But Dante is struggling with his own problems as he is forced to return to the city he thought he’d never see again . . .

As the three parties edge closer to the truth, their paths cross and their lives are threatened. But will any of them find the answers they need in the capital of jazz, booze and corruption?

Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers

Image result for Heroes of the Frontier by Dave EggersFrom the bestselling author of The Circle comes a brilliant new black comedy about modern America.

A mother and her two young children rent a battered old RV (optimistically christened the ‘Chateau’) and embark upon a journey through the Alaskan wilderness. At first their trip feels like a vacation: they spot wild animals, build bonfires, enjoy the scenery. But as Josie drives her kids deeper into the forest, dodging wildfires and increasingly eccentric locals, we learn more of the events that forced her to escape her old life. Fraught with unexpected encounters from the sublime to the ridiculous, her tiny family must survive this surreal adventure at all costs, in order to finally discover something clean and redemptive out at the very edge of civilization.
Heroes of the Frontier is a captivating and hilarious novel about family, loss and recovery, and a powerful examination of contemporary American life.

This is a novel about America, about what forces people to leave the lower 48 to seek refuge in a forbidding, unpeopled landscape Eggers renders it with such passion and good humour, and describes the land of mountains and light in such stirring, lustrous prose There is a feeling of utopianism about the novel, a sense that, in Alaska, some original American dream slumbers just beneath the ice. Heroes of the Frontier acts on the reader like a breath of Alaskan air, cleansing the spirit and lifting the heart.”                  Alex Preston, Guardian 

The Hide by Matthew Griffin

Wendell Wilson, a taxidermist, and Frank Clifton, a veteran, meet after the Second World War. But, in this declining textile town in a southern US state, their love holds real danger. Severing nearly all ties with the rest of the world, they carve out a home for themselves on the outskirts of town. For decades, their routine of self-reliant domesticity – Wendell’s cooking, Frank’s care for a yard no one sees, and the vicarious drama of courtroom TV – seems to protect them.

But when Wendell finds Frank lying motionless outside at the age of eighty-three, their carefully crafted life together begins to unravel. As Frank’s memory and physical strength deteriorate, Wendell struggles in vain to hold on to the man he once knew. Faced with giving care beyond his capacity, he must come to terms with the consequences of half a century in seclusion: the different lives they might have lived – and the impending, inexorable loss of the one they had.

Tender, restrainedHide is the freshly imagined story of a gay male couple who decide to give up the world -friends, family, career – in order to live out their forbidden love in the decades before gay liberation. This is a great love story.”               Edmund White, author of A Boy’s Own Story

Graceful and understated.”                        New York Times Book Review

One of the best debut novels we’ve had the pleasure to read this year . A profoundly compassionate book about how we administer to those we love, the tender acrimony of intimacy and facing loss in a world dominated by threat. The story is understated, poignant, beautifully observed and lingers with you long after you’ve reluctantly read the final page.”                    Attitude

A tough, thoughtful story beautifully told.”                       Eithne Farry, Sunday Express

 

Infinite Ground by Martin MacInnes

A luminous debut novel of modern alienation, of the sinister beauty of the human body and of the enduring splendour of the natural world.

During a sweltering South American summer, a family convenes for dinner at a restaurant. Midway through the meal, Carlos disappears. An experienced, semi-retired inspector takes the case, but what should be a routine investigation becomes something strange, intangible, even sinister. The corporation for which Carlos worked seems to serve no purpose; the staff talk of their missing colleague’s alarming, shifting physical symptoms; a forensic scientist uncovers evidence of curious abnormalities in the thriving microorganisms that shared Carlos’s body. As the inspector relives and retraces the missing man’s footsteps, the trail leads him away from the city sprawl and deep into the country’s rainforest interior, where he encounters both horror and wonder.

Stunning – a totally original, surreal mystery shot through with hints of the best of César Aira, Vladimir Nabokov, Angela Carter, and Julio Cortázar. Smart, clever, and honest. I doubt you’ve read anything quite like it.”             Jeff VanderMeer, author of The Southern Reach trilogy

Weird, wonderful, totally indefinable… If not the Booker, then surely the Goldsmiths beckons.”                Guardian

A novel of intelligence, grace, cunning and warped imagination, one that melds and sometimes clashes styles and influences to create something original and unsettling. It is a bravura performance, and one that announces Martin McInnes as one of our most exciting new voices.”             Stuart Evers, author of Your Father Sends his Love

The Last Photograph by Emma Chapman

Image result for The Last Photograph by Emma ChapmanHe walks into the living room and June is dead.
He centres her, checking the light. Focusing, he clicks the shutter.
He’ll ask himself later, if he knew. It’s easy to say that he had acted without thinking, out of instinct.

Rook Henderson is an award-winning photographer, still carrying the hidden scars of war. Now, suddenly, he is also a widower. Leaving his son Ralph to pick up the pieces, Rook flies to Vietnam for the first time in fifty years, escaping to the landscape of a place he once knew so well.

But when Ralph follows him out there, seeking answers from the father he barely knows, Rook is forced to unwind his past: his childhood in Yorkshire, his life in London in the 1960s and his marriage to the unforgettable June – and to ask himself what price he has paid for a life behind the lens . . .

Gripping, evocative and unforgettable, The Last Photograph is a story of a life shaped by trauma and love – and the secrets that make us who we are.

Evocative, harrowing. . .Emma Chapman tackles the big subjects of love and war with aplomb.”                       Tatler

Non-fiction

Rogue: The Inside Story of SARS’ Elite Crime-Busting Unit by Johann van Loggerenberg with Adrian Lackey

The story of a ‘rogue unit’ operating within the South African Revenue Service (SARS) became entrenched in the public mind following a succession of sensational reports published by theSunday Times in 2014. The unit, the reports claimed, had carried out a series of illegal spook operations: they had spied on President Jacob Zuma, run a brothel, illegally bought spy ware and entered into unlawful tax settlements.

In a plot of Machiavellian proportions, head of the elite crime‐busting unit Johann van Loggerenberg and many of SARS’s top management were forced to resign. Van Loggerenberg’s select team of investigators, with their impeccable track record of busting high‐level financial fraudsters and nailing tax criminals, lost not only their careers but also their reputations.

Now, in this extraordinary account, they finally get to put the record straight and the rumours to rest: there was no ‘rogue unit’. The public had been deceived, seemingly by powers conspiring to capture SARS for their own ends. Shooting down the allegations he has faced one by one, Van Loggerenberg tells the story of what really happened inside SARS, revealing details of some of the unit’s actual investigations.

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Noah Yuval Harari


Homo Deus will shock you. It will entertain you. Above all, it will make you think in ways you had not thought before.’                     Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking Fast, and Slow

Yuval Noah Harari, author of the bestselling Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, envisions a not-too-distant world in which we face a new set of challenges. In Homo Deus, he examines our future with his trademark blend of science, history, philosophy and every discipline in between.

Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century – from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.

War is obsolete
You are more likely to commit suicide than be killed in conflict

Famine is disappearing
You are at more risk of obesity than starvation

Death is just a technical problem
Equality is out – but immortality is in

What does our future hold?

Spellbinding… This is a very intelligent book, full of sharp insights and mordant wit… It is a quirky and cool book, with a sliver of ice at its heart… It is hard to imagine anyone could read this book without getting an occasional, vertiginous thrill.”               Guardian

What elevates Harari above many chroniclers of our age is his exceptional clarity and focus.”                Sunday Times

I think the mark of a great book is that it not only alters the way you see the world after you’ve read it, it also casts the past in a different light. In Homo Deus, Yuval Noah Harari shows us where mankind is headed in an absolutely clear-sighted & accessible manner. I don’t normally ask for autographs but I got a bit starstruck & asked him to sign my copy of his book after we’d had a conversation for my show on BBC 6Music. His inscription reads: ‘The future is in your hands’ – a good thing to remember when such great changes are afoot.”              Jarvis Cocker

 

AB by AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers is one of the finest batsmen ever to play cricket, and yet his achievement extends beyond his outrageous armoury of drives, pulls, paddles, scoops and flicks.
Whether he is delighting home crowds at the Wanderers or Newlands or setting new records in Bengaluru or Sydney, he plays the game in a whole-hearted manner that projects a positive image of his country around the world and also makes millions of South Africans feel good about themselves.
This is AB’s story, in his own words … the story of the youngest of three talented, sports-mad brothers growing up in Warmbaths, of a boy who excelled at tennis, rugby and cricket, of a youngster who made his international debut at the age of 20 and was then selected in every single Test played by South Africa for the next 11 seasons, of a batsman who has started to redefine the art, being ranked among the world’s very best in Test, ODI and T20.
Through all the pyrotechnics and consistency, AB has remained a true sportsman – quick to deflect praise, swift to praise opponents, eager to work hard, to embrace the team’s next challenge and to relish what he still regards as the huge privilege of representing his country.
This is the story of a modern sporting phenomenon.

Under Nelson Mandela Boulevard: A Life Among the Stowaways by Sean Christie

Image result for Under Nelson Mandela Boulevard: A Life Among the Stowaways by Sean ChristiePart memoir, part ethnography, Under Nelson Mandela Boulevard is journalist Sean Hunter Christie’s account of time spent amongst the Tanzanian stowaways who live rough under the Nelson Mandela Boulevard flyover, at the foot of Cape Town.

After a year living in South Africa’s most unequal city, the young Zimbabwean is introduced to serial stowaway Adam Bashili, through the photographer David Southwood. This encounter changes everything. Adam introduces Christie to the extraordinary world of the “beachboys”, a multi-port, fourth generation sub-culture of young men from the slums of Dar es Salaam, who came to South Africa with the aim of stowing away on ships bound for other continents.

Under Nelson Mandela Boulevard presents Cape Town as it has not yet been seen: as a series of desperate social margents and cloying controls, but also of unbelievable and somehow hopeful beliefs and survival strategies.

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Make or Break by Richard Calland

In his new book, Richard Calland raises a compelling argument: South Africa is at a critical juncture, and events over the next three years are going to shape the country s next three decades. Jacob Zuma s term as president is due to end in 2019 and there are calls for him to resign; the ANC is declining in popularity and moral stature; opposition parties are gaining ground; the economy and the currency are in trouble; the Treasury has been racked by power struggles; the Public Protector s term ends later in 2016; the rule of law and judicial independence are under pressure. Looking at these and other issues, Calland explores possible futures for South Africa, showing how the next few years are the most critical since the 1990s, and how South Africa can set itself on a path to success or failure.

The Kingdom of Speech by Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe, whose legend began in journalism, takes us on an eye-opening journey that is sure to arouse widespread debate. The Kingdom of Speech is a captivating, paradigm-shifting argument that speech – not evolution – is responsible for humanity’s complex societies and achievements.

From Alfred Russel Wallace, the Englishman who beat Darwin to the theory of natural selection but later renounced it, and through the controversial work of modern-day anthropologist Daniel Everett, who defies the current wisdom that language is hard-wired in humans, Wolfe examines the solemn, long-faced, laugh-out-loud zig-zags of Darwinism, old and Neo, and finds it irrelevant here in our Kingdom of Speech.

A great journalist with a whip-like satirical prose style… Wolfe’s great gift is to make the heavy seem light and this book is such an entertaining polemic that I read it in a day and immediately wanted to read it again.”                        Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

It is clear how much we have missed him…. The wonder of his book is its point of view. He is a polemicist, a slayer of reputation and pretension… It is wonderful to have him back.”                     Financial Times

 

The Maverick Mountaineer: The Remarkable Life of George Ingle Finch – Climber, Scientist, Inventor by Robert Wainwright

Image result for The Maverick Mountaineer: The Remarkable Life of George Ingle Finch – Climber, Scientist, Inventor by Robert WainwrightIn the spring of 1901 a teenager stood on top of a hill, gazed out in wonderment at the Australian landscape and decided he wanted to be a mountaineer. Two decades later, the same man stood in a blizzard beneath the summit of Mount Everest, within sight of his goal to be the first to stand on the roof of the world. George Finch was at the highest point ever reached by a human being and only his decision to save the life of his stricken companion stopped him from reaching the summit.

George Finch was a rebel of the first order, a man who dared to challenge the British establishment who disliked his independence, background, long hair and lack of an Oxbridge education. Despite this, he not only became one of the world’s greatest alpinists, earning the grudging respect of his rival George Mallory, but pioneered the use of the artificial oxygen that enabled Everest to finally be conquered thirty years after his own attempt. A renowned scientist, a World War I hero and a Fellow of the Royal Society, involved in the development of some of the twentieth century’s most important inventions, his skills helped save London from burning to the ground during the Blitz. Finch’s public accomplishments, however, were shadowed by his complicated private life and his fraught relationship with his son, the actor Peter Finch.

Acclaimed biographer Robert Wainwright restores George Finch to his rightful place in history with this remarkable tribute to one of the twentieth century’s most eccentric anti-heroes.

“[A] compelling biography… As a study of a man whose greatness we would do well to remember and applaud, it sparkles.”                       Independent

James Connolly: My Search for the Man the Myth and his Legacy by Sean OÇallaghan


‘Very interesting on how fanaticism can develop within a community, and especially relevant today
.’                 Bob Geldof

By former member of the IRA and police informant, Sean O’Callaghan, the story of revolutionary James Connolly, his role in the 1916 Easter Rising, and his subsequent influence both on O’Callaghan himself, and on 20th century Irish politics.

Easter Monday, 24th April, 1916: James Connolly, a 48-year-old Edinburgh-born Marxist and former British soldier, stands at the top of the steps of Liberty Hall, Dublin.

‘We are going out to be slaughtered,’ Connolly told his comrades, and with this he set in train the Easter Rising of 1916.

Two weeks later, in a scene that has haunted Nationalist Ireland ever since, he was carried to his place of execution having been badly wounded. Placed on a chair, he was shot dead by soldiers of the army he had once served in.

This is not a traditional biography; it is a book about Sean O’Callaghan’s relationship with a man who was to deeply influence his formative years; it is about the politics of violent extremism that O’Callaghan subsequently became caught up in; and it’s about the kind of individuals who are willing to sacrifice everything, including their lives, for a holy cause.

 

Ottoman Endgame: War, Revolution and the Making of the Modern Middle East 1908-1923 by Sean McMeekin


‘An outstanding history … one of the best writers on the First World War
.’                  Simon Sebag Montefiore

The Ottoman Endgame is the first, and definitive, single-volume history of the Ottoman empire’s agonising war for survival. Beginning with Italy’s invasion of Ottoman Tripoli in September 1911, the Empire was in a permanent state of emergency, with hardly a frontier not under direct threat. Assailed by enemies on all sides, the Empire-which had for generations been assumed to be a rotten shell-proved to be strikingly resilient, beating off major attacks at Gallipoli and in Mesopotamia before finally being brought down in the general ruin of the Central Powers in 1918.

As the Europeans planned to partition all its lands between them and with even Istanbul seemingly helpless in the face of the triumphant Entente, an absolutely unexpected entity emerged: modern Turkey. Under the startling genius of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, a powerful new state emerged from the Empire’s fragments.

This is the first time an author has woven the entire epic together from start to finish – and it will cause many readers to fundamentally re-evaluate their understanding of the conflict. The consequences, well into the 21st century, could not have been more momentous – with countries as various as Serbia, Greece, Libya, Armenia, Iraq and Syria still living with them.

It is an enormous story, and McMeekin is a worthy chronicler of it … The Ottoman Endgame is the most satisfactory and thought-through of the recent books on the subject that I have seen.”                    Norman Stone)

Masterful and sympathetic … superb.”                 Literary Review

A marvellous exposition of the historian’s art.”                Guardian

 

The Caliphate: A Pelican Introduction by Hugh Kennedy

Image result for The Caliphate: A Pelican Introduction by Hugh KennedyWhat is a caliphate?
What is the history of the idea?
How is the term used and abused today?

In the first modern account of a subject of critical importance today, acclaimed historian Hugh Kennedy answers these questions by chronicling the rich history of the caliphate, from the death of Muhammad to the present. At its height, the caliphate stretched from Spain to the borders of China and was the most powerful political entity in western Eurasia. In an era when Paris and London boasted a few thousand inhabitants, Baghdad and Cairo were sophisticated centres of trade and culture, and the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates were distinguished by major advances in science, medicine and architecture. By ending with the recent re-emergence of caliphal ideology within fundamentalist Islam,The Caliphate underscores why it is crucial that we know about this form of Islamic government to understand the political ideas of the so-called Islamic State and other Islamist groups in the twenty first century.

Lab Girl: A Story of Trees, Science & Love by Hope Jahren

Image result for Lab Girl: A Story of Trees, Science & Love by Hope JahrenLab Girl is a book about work and about love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren’s remarkable stories: about the discoveries she has made in her lab, as well as her struggle to get there; about her childhood playing in her father’s laboratory; about how lab work became a sanctuary for both her heart and her hands; about Bill, the brilliant, wounded man who became her loyal colleague and best friend; about their field trips – sometimes authorised, sometimes very much not – that took them from the Midwest across the USA, to Norway and to Ireland, from the pale skies of North Pole to tropical Hawaii; and about her constant striving to do and be her best, and her unswerving dedication to her life’s work.

Visceral, intimate, gloriously candid and sometimes extremely funny, Jahren’s descriptions of her work, her intense relationship with the plants, seeds and soil she studies, and her insights on nature enliven every page of this thrilling book. In Lab Girl, we see anew the complicated power of the natural world, and the power that can come from facing with bravery and conviction the challenge of discovering who you are.

“[Lab Girl] does for botany what Oliver Sacks’s essays did for neurology.”                 Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

Some people are great writers, while other people live lives of adventure and importance. Almost no one does both. Hope Jahren does both. She makes me wish I’d been a scientist.”                     Ann Patchett, author of State of Wonder and Bel Canto (winner of the Orange Prize)

The Jane Goodall of botany . . . I am not sure which is more extraordinary, the plants or the woman who studies them. If the next generation of scientists have role models like Jahren, then the world of science will be better off indeed.”                 Science

This is an absolutely extraordinary book . . . By the end, I was babbling about it to complete strangers and determined to give a copy to just about everyone I know . . . Jahren is not just a scientist, though, but a poet who has given us insight into her mind and her passions, and I feel privileged to have been granted a glimpse.”                    Times Higher Education Supplement

 

Far and Away by Andrew Solomon

Image result for Far and Away: Essays from the Brink of Change by Andrew SolomonFrom the winner of the National Book Award and the National Books Critics Circle Award and one of the most original thinkers of our time Andrew Solomon s magisterial Far and Away collects a quarter-century of soul-shaking essays (Vanity Fair).
Far and Away chronicles Andrew Solomon’s writings about places undergoing seismic shifts political, cultural, and spiritual. From his stint on the barricades in Moscow in 1991, when he joined artists in resisting the coup whose failure ended the Soviet Union, his 2002 account of the rebirth of culture in Afghanistan following the fall of the Taliban, his insightful appraisal of a Myanmar seeped in contradictions as it slowly, fitfully pushes toward freedom, and many other stories of profound upheaval, this book provides a unique window onto the very idea of social change. With his signature brilliance and compassion, Solomon demonstrates both how history is altered by individuals, and how personal identities are altered when governments alter.

Far and Away takes a magnificent journey into the heart of extraordinarily diverse experiences: You will not only know the world better after having seen it through Solomon s eyes, you will also care about it more.”                        Elizabeth Gilbert

This is a beautiful book, inspired by love of away’ and uncertainty about home, ‘ a celebration of freedom which valuably warns that freedom must sometimes be learned. Much more than ‘travel writing, ‘ it’s a portrait of our world, made by someone who has been there.”             Salman Rushdie

The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Image result for The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha MukherjeeDramatic and precise… [A] thrilling and comprehensive account of what seems certain to be the most radical, controversial and, to borrow from the subtitle, intimate science of our time… He is a natural storyteller… A page-turner… Read this book and steel yourself for what comes next.’                    Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

The Gene is the story of one of the most powerful and dangerous ideas in our history, from bestselling, prize-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee.

Spanning the globe and several centuries, The Gene is the story of the quest to decipher the master-code that makes and defines humans, that governs our form and function.

This is an epic, moving history of a scientific idea coming to life, by the author of The Emperor of All Maladies. But woven through The Gene, like a red line, is also an intimate history – the story of Mukherjee’s own family and its recurring pattern of mental illness, reminding us that genetics is vitally relevant to everyday lives. These concerns reverberate even more urgently today as we learn to “read” and “write” the human genome – unleashing the potential to change the fates and identities of our children.

The story of the gene begins in an obscure Augustinian abbey in Moravia in 1856 where a monk stumbles on the idea of a ‘unit of heredity’. It intersects with Darwin’s theory of evolution, and collides with the horrors of Nazi eugenics in the 1940s. The gene transforms post-war biology. It reorganizes our understanding of sexuality, temperament, choice and free will. This is a story driven by human ingenuity and obsessive minds – from Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel to Francis Crick, James Watson and Rosalind Franklin, and the thousands of scientists still working to understand the code of codes.

Majestic in its ambition, and unflinching in its honesty, The Gene gives us a definitive account of the fundamental unit of heredity – and a vision of both humanity’s past and future.

The Gene is prodigious, sweeping, and ultimately transcendent. If you’re interested in what it means to be human, today and in the tomorrows to come, you must read this book.”                    Anthony Doerr, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of All the Light We Cannot See

The story has been told, piecemeal, in different ways, but never before with the scope and grandeur that Siddhartha Mukherjee brings to his new history, The Gene. He fully justifies the claim that it is “one of the most powerful and dangerous ideas in the history of science. … Definitive.”                        James Gleick New York Times Book Review

The Rise & Fall of Nations: Ten Rules of Change in the Post-Crisis World by Ruchir Sharma

Image result for The Rise & Fall of Nations: Ten Rules of Change in the Post-Crisis World by Ruchir SharmaThe crisis of 2008 ended the illusion of a golden era in which many people imagined that prosperity and political calm would continue to spread indefinitely. In a world now racked by slowing growth and mounting unrest, how can we discern which nations will thrive and which will fail?

Shaped by prize-winning author Ruchir Sharma’s twenty-five years travelling the world, The Rise and Fall of Nations rethinks economics as a practical art. By narrowing down the thousands of factors that can shape a country’s future, it spells out ten clear rules for identifying the next big winners and losers in the global economy.

Each rule looks at a nation’s political, economic, and social conditions in real time to filter out the hype and noise. He shows, for example, how slow population growth is eroding economic growth, and ranks nations by how well they respond. He describes the way cycles of political complacency and revolt fuel economic booms and busts. Amid growing tensions over inequality, he demonstrates how billionaire lists yield clues to which economies are most or least threatened by extreme wealth. In a period when the world is struggling with trillions of dollars in new debt, he explains which nations are most likely to avert this threat or buckle under it. Sharma’s rules are based on the data he has collected over many years at Morgan Stanley Investment Management in New York, where he is now Head of Emerging Markets and Chief Global Strategist. This is a book of original research, not mere opinion.

The final chapter takes the reader on a surprising world tour of the likely winners and losers in the near future. The Rise and Fall of Nations is enlivened by Sharma’s stories from the road and his encounters with presidents, tycoons, and villagers from Rio to Beijing. It is a pioneering field guide to understanding our impermanent world.

Filled with amazing data … fascinating insights and revealing anecdotes, this is quite simply the best guide to the global economy today. Whether you are an observer or an investor, you cannot afford to ignore it.”                    Fareed Zakaria

If Mr Sharma is right that global capital flows will remain depressed, and that developing economies face a pedestrian future, then the hot money chasing them will recede-as, perhaps, will the influence of famous fund managers. Until then, Mr Sharma’s book is a fine guide to the great emerging market boom and bust.”              Economist

For sheer readability and insight on the developing world drama, I dare say you won’t find a better choice.”                      Wall Street Journal

 

Rendezvous at the Russian Tearooms: The Spyhunter, The Fashion Designer and the Man from Moscow by Paul Willetts


Rendezvous at the Russian Tea Rooms
 provides the first comprehensive account of what was once hailed by a leading American newspaper as the greatest spy story of World War II. This dramatic yet little-known saga, replete with telephone taps, kidnappings, and police surveillance, centres on the furtive escapades of Tyler Kent, a handsome, womanising 28-year-old Ivy League graduate, who doubles as a US Embassy code clerk and Soviet agent.

Against the backdrop of London high society during the so-called Phoney War, Kent’s life intersects with the lives of the book’s two other memorably flamboyant protagonists. One of those is Maxwell Knight, an urbane, endearingly eccentric MI5 spyhunter. The other is Anna Wolkoff, a White Russian fashion designer and Nazi spy whose outfits are worn by the Duchess of Windsor and whose parents are friends of the British royal family. Wolkoff belongs to a fascist secret society called the Right Club, which aims to overthrow the British government. Her romantic entanglement with Tyler Kent gives her access to a secret correspondence between President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, a correspondence that has the potential to transform the outcome of the war.

Max Perkins: Editor of Genius by A. Scott Berg

The talents Maxwell Perkins nurtured were known worldwide: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe among numerous others. But the man himself remained a mystery, a backstage presence who served these authors not only as editor but as critic, career manager, moneylender, psychoanalyst, confessor and friend. This outstanding biography, a winner of the National Book Award, is the first to explore the fascinating life of this editor extraordinaire in both professional and personal domains. It tells not only of Perkins’ stormy marriage and secret twenty-five-year romance with Elizabeth Lemmon, but also of his intensely intimate relationships with the leading literary lights of the twentieth century.

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Intercept: The Secret History of Computers and Spies by Gordon Corera

Image result for Intercept: The Secret History of Computers and Spies by Gordon CoreraThe computer was born to spy, and now computers are transforming espionage. But who are the spies and who is being spied on in today’s interconnected world?

This is the exhilarating secret history of the melding of technology and espionage. Gordon Corera’s compelling narrative, rich with historical details and characters, takes us from the Second World War to the internet age, revealing the astonishing extent of cyberespionage carried out today. Drawing on unique access to intelligence agencies, heads of state, hackers and spies of all stripes, INTERCEPT is a ground-breaking exploration of the new space in which the worlds of espionage, geopolitics, diplomacy, international business, science and technology collide. Together, computers and spies are shaping the future. What was once the preserve of a few intelligence agencies now matters for us all.

Riveting … Making use of excellent sources, Corera, the BBC’s security correspondent, has produced a highly relevant read that addresses the key debate in intelligence gathering – the balance between privacy and security.”                        Sunday Times

If you are looking for a clear and comprehensive guide to how communications have been intercepted, from cable-cutting in the First World War to bulk data collection exposed by Ed Snowden, this is it … A most readable account of how computers and the internet have transformed spying.”                    Guardian

 

Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: Churchill’s Mavericks – Plotting Hitler’s Defeat by Giles Milton

Image result for Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: Churchill’s Mavericks – Plotting Hitler’s Defeat by Giles MiltonSix gentlemen, one goal – the destruction of Hitler’s war machine

In the spring of 1939, a top secret organisation was founded in London: its purpose was to plot the destruction of Hitler’s war machine through spectacular acts of sabotage.

The guerrilla campaign that followed was to prove every bit as extraordinary as the six gentlemen who directed it. Winston Churchill selected them because they were wildly creative and thoroughly ungentlemanly. One of them, Cecil Clarke, was a maverick engineer who had spent the 1930s inventing futuristic caravans. Now, his talents were put to more devious use: he built the dirty bomb used to assassinate Hitler’s favourite, Reinhard Heydrich. Another member of the team, William Fairbairn, was a portly pensioner with an unusual passion: he was the world’s leading expert in silent killing. He was hired to train the guerrillas being parachuted behind enemy lines.

Led by dapper Scotsman Colin Gubbins, these men – along with three others – formed a secret inner circle that planned the most audacious sabotage attacks of the Second World War. Winston Churchill called it his Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. The six ‘ministers’, aided by a group of formidable ladies, were so effective that they single-handedly changed the course of the war.

Told with Giles Milton’s trademark verve and eye for detail, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is thoroughly researched and based on hitherto unknown archival material. It is a gripping and vivid narrative of adventure and derring-do and is also, perhaps, the last great untold story of the Second World War.

What sets Milton’s work apart from other recounting is his behind-the-scenes access to the stories of the small group of men who put their minds to creating new ways to wage war.”                        Spectator

A magnificent story, brilliantly told. Read it!”                  Anthony Horowitz

“[Giles Milton] writes with relish about the eccentrics who dreamed up the likes of anti-tank ‘sticky bombs’ while the adventures he describes could not be faster-moving or more exciting.”                Literary Review

 

War and Turpentine by Stefan Hertman

Image result for War & Turpentine by Stefan HertmansShortly before his death at the age of 90, Stefan Hertmans’ grandfather Urbain gave his grandson a set of notebooks.

As Stefan began to read, he found himself drawn into a conversation across the centuries, as Urbain – so quiet and reserved in life – revealed his eloquence and his private passions on the page. Gradually, as he learned of his grandfather’s heroics in the First World War, the loss of his great love, and his later years spent seeking solace in art and painting, a portrait emerged of the grandfather he had never fully known.

War and Turpentine is an exquisite, loving reconstruction of a man’s interior life, at once deeply personal and yet so evocative of many of his generation, affected by the long shadow of war. In beautiful, glimmering prose, Hertmans shows us how our experiences shape us all, and how, even in a life of sorrow and heartache, dignity can be found.

War and Turpentine is the astonishing result of Hertmans’ reckoning with his grandfather’s diaries. It is a book that lies at the crossroads of novel, biography, autobiography and history… It seems aching to be called “Sebaldian”, and earns the epithet glowingly… In McKay’s lyrical translation, every detail has the heightened luminosity of poetry… War and Turpentine has all the marking of a future classic.”   Neel Mukherjee, Guardian

Skilful and lyrical reconstruction of a life transformed by war, love and art… It is not often a book succeeds on many levels, but War and Turpentine manages to be a mesmerising portrait of an artist as a young man, a significant contribution to First World War literature and a brilliant evocation of a vanished world.”                        Herald

 

Broke and Broken: The Shameful Legacy of Gold Mining in South Africa by Lucas Ledwaba and Leon Sadiki

ZImage result for Broke and Broken: The Shameful Legacy of Gold Mining in South Africa by Lucas Ledwaba and Leon Sadikiwelendaba Mgidi is dying. He is a depressed, sickly man who cannot even leave his home or perform the simplest of duties such as gardening. He used to be a very fit man; a boxer and road runner full of life and energy. But the 28 years he spent working underground in the mines of South Africa’s Gold Fields in the Free State have left him a wreck. In 2008, aged 48, he received devastating news. The Medical Bureau for Occupational Diseases diagnosed him with silicosis, “an irreversible, progressive, incurable and at a later stage disabling and potentially fatal disease.”

Broke and Broken: The Shameful Legacy of Gold Mining in South Africa explores the exploitation, the blatant disregard for health and safety regulations whose implications continue to be felt in rural villages far away from the imposing mine shafts.

It examines how, following the deaths of their spouses, widows are left to live in deprivation and struggle to raise children on handouts, thus creating fertile ground for another generation of poor young men with no choice but to follow the same route followed by their fathers before them to the gold mines. It is a story of human tragedy, suffering and how in their quest for profit, the mining houses cared very little about the health and safety of the very men whose sweat made them millions in profit.

 

The Return by Hisham Matar

Image result for The Return: Fathers, Sons & the Land Inbetween by Hisham MatarThe Return is at once a universal and an intensely personal tale. It is an exquisite meditation on how history and politics can bear down on an individual life. And yet Hisham Matar’s memoir isn’t just about the burden of the past, but the consolation of love, literature and art. It is the story of what it is to be human.

Hisham Matar was nineteen when his father was kidnapped and taken to prison in Libya. He would never see him again. Twenty-two years later, the fall of Gaddafi meant he was finally able to return to his homeland. In this moving memoir, the author takes us on an illuminating journey, both physical and psychological; a journey to find his father and rediscover his country.

What a brilliant book. The Return reads as easily as a thriller, but is a story that will stick; a person is lost but gravity and resonance remain.”                       Hilary Mantel

A total work of art. It reminded me of Solzhenitsyn. It is of the same importance. I love it.”                        James Rebanks

Wise and agonizing and thrilling to read.”          Zadie Smith

 

White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World by Geoff Dyer

Image result for white sands dyerFrom one of Britain’s most original writers, White Sands is a creative exploration of why we travel.

Episodic, wide-ranging, funny and smart, the linked journeys recall the themes of Dyer’s Yoga for People Who Can’t Be Bothered to Do It – albeit with the wisdom of (middle) age.

From a trip to the Lightning Field in New Mexico, to chasing Gauguin’s ghost in French Polynesia, from falling for someone who may or may not be a tour guide in Beijing’s Forbidden City, to tracking down the house of an intellectual hero in Los Angeles, Dyer pursues all permutations of the peak experience including the trough experience.

In his trademark style he blends travel writing, essay, criticism and fiction with a smart and cantankerous wit that is unmatched. This is a book for armchair travellers and procrastinating philosophers everywhere.

Even Chekhov might have envied Geoff Dyer’s talent . . . Almost perfect.”              Jan Morris, Spectator

Reading Dyer is akin to the sudden elation and optimism you feel when you make a new friend, someone as silly as you but cleverer too, in whose company you know you will travel through life more vagrantly, intensely, joyfully.”                     Daily Telegraph

 

The War on Women: And the Brave Ones Who Fight Back by Sue Lloyd Roberts

In 1973, Sue Lloyd Roberts joined ITN as a news trainee and went on to be one of the UK’s first video-journalists to report from the bleak outposts of the Soviet Union. Travelling as a tourist, she also gained access to some of the world’s most impenetrable places like China, Tibet and Burma. During her 30-year-long career she witnessed the worst atrocities inflicted on women across the world. But in observing first-hand the war on the female race she also documented their incredible determination to fight back.

The War on Women brings to life the inconceivable and dangerous life Sue led. It tells the story of orphan Mary Merritt who, age sixteen, instead of being released from the care of nuns was interned by them in a Magdalen Laundry and forced to work twelve hours a day six days a week, without pay, for over a decade. She gives voice to Maimouna, the woman responsible for taking over her mother’s role as the village female circumciser in The Gambia and provides a platform for the 11-year-old Manemma, who was married off in Jaipur at the age of six. From the gender pay gap in Britain to forced marriage in Kashmir and from rape as a weapon of war to honour killings, Sue has examined humankind’s history and takes us on a journey to analyse the state of women’s lives today. Most importantly she acts as a mouthpiece for the brave ones; the ones who challenge wrongdoing; the ones who show courage no matter how afraid they are; the ones who are combatting violence across the globe; the ones who are fighting back.

Sue sadly died in 2015, shortly after writing this book, today she is widely recognised as one of the most acclaimed television journalists of her generation. This book is the small tribute to the full and incredible life she lived and through it these women’s voices are still being heard.

 

And finally…..

The Great South African Cookbook

Image result for The Great South African Cookbook67 South African chefs were honoured to contribute to The Great South African Cookbook and answer the question ‘What is the food you make for the people you love’? This cookbook has been created to honour of Madiba’s legacy in South Africa and the world. SA’s finest cooks, chefs, gardeners, bakers, farmers, foragers and local food heroes let us into their homes – and their hearts – as they share the recipes they make for the people they love. Each recipe is accompanied by stunning original photography that captures the essence of our beautiful country

The 150 recipes that went into the 372 pages cookbook were contributed by renowned chefs like Luke Dale-Roberts, Ina Paarman , Dorah Sitole and Siphokazi Mdlankomo.

Nelson Mandela gave 67 years of his life to the struggle for human rights and social justice. The Great South African Cookbook will be released in conjunction with Mandela Day in July 2016, and The Nelson Mandela Foundation will receive all royalties from sales of the book to develop and support community food and agricultural projects that will improve the lives of those who are in need of food and who need to be freed from poverty.

Simplissime: The Easiest French Cookbook by Jean-François Mallet

Image result for simplissime malletLearn to cook classic French cuisine the easy way with this French bestseller from professionally trained chef Jean-François Mallet.

Taking cooking back to basics, Simplissime is bursting with easy-to-follow and quick recipes for delicious French food. Discover how to make a mouth-watering Apple Tart with Cinnamon with just five ingredients, or Spaghetti with Asparagus and Orange in just three steps. For an impressive dish, whip up mouth-watering Mussels in Curry in a short 15 minutes.

Each of the 160 recipes in this book is made up of only 2-6 ingredients, and can be made in a short amount of time. Recipe steps are precise and simple, accompanied by clear photographs of each ingredient and finished dish.

Cooking has never been so easy! It’s no surprise that this book has been selling a copy every ten seconds in France.

Remarkable Birds by Mark Avery

Image result for Remarkable Birds by Mark AveryWe share the Earth with more than 10,000 species of birds and we have always been enchanted by them. Here, over 60 birds, organized thematically into eight sections, cover all aspects of our relationship with birds. ‘Songbirds’ celebrates the greatest bird virtuosi, such as the Nightingale, while ‘Birds of Prey’ include majestic hunters such as the Harpy Eagle, which catches prey as large as monkeys and sloths. ‘Feathered Travellers’ describes astounding journeys made by birds – even some tiny Hummingbirds migrate huge distances. ‘The Love Life of Birds’ can rival any soap opera and involves the most brilliant displays, notably the Birds of Paradise, with their extravagant feathers and dances. ‘Avian Cities’ explores species such as the Flamingo that live in spectacular large colonies. ‘Useful to Us’ examines the ways we find birds of value, such as the Turkey, but also the Canary. ‘Threatened and Extinct’ describes some no longer living and others that seem on the brink. Birds have also had great mystical significance, both for good and evil, and ‘Revered and Adored’ considers such species as the Sacred Ibis, believed by the ancient Egyptians to represent the god Thoth.
For anyone interested in the natural world and the wonderful variety of birds around us, this beautifully illustrated book is a visual treat that will inspire, inform and delight.

Yuge! 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump

Image result for Yuge! 30 Years of Doonesbury on TrumpDoonesbury is one of the most overrated strips out there. Mediocre at best.”                       Donald Trump, 1989

He tried to warn us. Ever since the release of the first Trump-for-President trial balloon in 1987, Doonesbury’s Garry Trudeau has tirelessly tracked and highlighted the unsavory career of the most unqualified candidate to ever aspire to the White House. It’s all there–the hilarious narcissism, the schoolyard bullying, the loathsome misogyny, the breathtaking ignorance; and a good portion of the Doonesbury cast has been tangled up in it.  Join Duke, Honey, Earl, J.J., Mike, Mark, Roland, Boopsie, B.D., Sal, Alice, Elmont, Sid, Zonker, Sam, Bernie, Rev. Sloan, and even the Red Rascal as they cross storylines with the big, orange airhorn who’s giving the GOP such fits.

Garry Trudeau is the “sleazeball” “third-rate talent” who draws the “overrated” comic strip Doonesbury, which “very few people read.” He lives in New York City with his wife Jane Pauley, who “has far more talent than he has.”

Trump and ‘Doonesbury’: The Comic Gift That Keeps On Giving”                New York Times

How Doonesbury predicted Donald Trump’s presidential run 29 years ago.”                      Washington Post

Why so surprised, America? Doonesbury has been preparing us for President Trump since 1987.”                  USA Today

If anybody thinks Trump can do a presidential pivot and change his personality “Yuge!” should be required reading.”                 Daily Kos

 

The Initiation by Mogorosi Motshumi

Image result for The Initiation by Mogorosi MotshumiThe First Graphic Autobiography by a black South African. An artist’s struggle for survival and redemption. Set against the turbulent backdrop of a nation in transition, the first book of Motshumi’s autobiography trilogy begins with his childhood in Batho township, Bloemfontein, i the early 60s, and runs thought to the late 1970s when he arrives in Johannesburg as a budding political cartoonist on the run from the security police.

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Angel Catbird Volume 1 by Margaret Atwood and Johnnie Christmas

Image result for Angel Catbird Volume 1 by Margaret Atwood and Johnnie ChristmasLauded novelist Margaret Atwood and acclaimed artist Johnnie Christmas collaborate on one of the most highly anticipated comic book and literary events of the year.

On a dark night, young genetic engineer Strig Feleedus is accidentally mutated by his own experiment and merges with the DNA of a cat and an owl. What follows is a humorous, action-driven, pulp-inspired superhero adventure with a lot of cat puns.

Published in over 35 countries, Margaret Atwood is one of the most important living writers of our day and is the author of more than 40 books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. Her work has won the Man Booker Prize, the Giller Prize, Premio Mondello and more. Angel Catbird is her first graphic novel series.

 

The Paper Girls Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang

From Brian K. Vaughan, #1 New York Times bestselling writer of SAGA, and Cliff Chiang, legendary artist of WONDER WOMAN, comes the first volume of an all-new ongoing adventure.

In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.

 

 

HAPPY READING!

Fiction

 

South by Frank Owen

The USA has been ravaged by Civil War. It’s thirty years since the first wind-borne viruses ended the war between North and South – and still they keep coming. Every wind brings a new and terrifying way to die. The few survivors live in constant fear, hiding from the wind – and from each other.

In this harsh Southern expanse, brothers Garrett and Dyce Jackson are on the run from brutal law-enforcers. They meet Vida, a lone traveller on a secret quest. Together, they will journey into the dark heart of a country riven by warfare and disease.

This is the story of Dyce and Vida.

This is the story of The Cure and how it came too late.

This is the story of South.

 

Dark and beautiful and surprising. I loved it.”                     -Lauren Beukes

 

South is an absolute blinder of a book. With its cracking pace, unforgettable characters, deliciously gruesome premise and you-won’t-see-them-coming twists, if this doesn’t make ‘book of the year’ shortlists, I will eat my Stetson. The Sisters Brothers meets The Stand, it’s a post-apocalyptic genre game changer.”                   Sarah Lotz

 

 

 

Outside the Lines by Ameera Patel

Image result for Outside the Lines by Ameera Patel

Outside the Lines is both a thriller and a family drama. It tells the story of two women: Cathleen, a troubled young woman living in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg; and Flora, who is the domestic worker at Cathleen’s house. Cathleen disappears – tensions and drama ensue.

 

 

The Printmaker by Bronwyn Law-Viljoen

When a reclusive printmaker dies, his friend inherits the thousands of etchings and drawings he has stored in his house over the years. Overwhelmed by the task of sorting and exhibiting this work, she seeks the advice of a curator.

What compulsion drove the printmaker to make art for four decades, and why did he so seldom show his prints?

When the curator discovers a single, sealed box addressed to a man in Zimbabwe, she feels compelled to go in search of him to present him with the package, hoping to find an answer to the enigma of the printmakers solitary life.

Bronwyn Law-Viljoen’s subtle and sophisticated novel reflects on one man’s obsessive need to make meaning through images and to find, in art, the traces of love and friendship.

 

 

Koors by Deon Meyer

Image result for Koors by Deon MeyerDie verhaal bly jou onthuts, verras en oorrompel. Die manier waarop die skrywer nooit die draad verloor nie, nooit die spanning laat verslap nie en oënskynlik moeiteloos landskappe, situasies en karakters optower. Dit alles terwyl die verhaal onstuitbaar voortstu. Die einde het niemand sien kom nie. Ek het absoluut geen kritiek te lewer nie, ek probeer nog om my bewondering te verteer.

Dis ’n inisiasie- en vormingsroman oor die dood van onskuld. Dis ’n verhaal oor die liefde in sy vele fasette en gedaantes. Die taal is soepel en gedienstig. Daar is niks oorbodig nie. Dis vaartbelyn, innoverend en briljant ontwerp. Die leser is ná die laaste bladsy nie meer dieselfde mens nie, soos dit hoort. Dis relevant en lewer ongesiens maatskaplike kommentaar. Dit preek nooit nie, gorrel nooit nie.

Koors pak jou beet en laat jou nie los voordat jy dit uitgesweet het en bewerig bly lê nie. Bravo!

 

 

Born on a Tuesday by Elnathan John

From one of Nigeria’s finest contemporary literary talents comes Elnathan John’s highly awaited debut novel. Told through the irresistible voice of a young boy, Dantala, Born on a Tuesday is a masterful and haunting coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of extremist politics and religion in Northern Nigeria. Dantala is a naive but bright Quranic student, who falls in with a gang of street boys, surviving on a regime of petty crime and violence. After being paid to set fire to the local headquarters of an opposition party, Dantala is forced to run for his life. Still reeling from the trauma of events, he stumbles into a Salafi mosque where he quickly becomes the favoured apprentice of the Sheikh and finds stability and friendship. From his place of refuge, Dantala confronts the hurdles of adolescence, first love and the splintering of family life – as his mother becomes increasingly unstable in the wake of a family tragedy and his brothers join a rival religious sect. But as political and religious tensions mount, he is torn between loyalty to his benefactor, Sheikh Jamal, and adherence to the Sheikh’s charismatic advisor, Malam Abdul-Nur.When bloodshed erupts around him, Dantala is tested to his limits. In this raw, authentic and deceptively simple novel, Elnathan John explores boyhood in the wake of extremism and fundamentalism. Born on a Tuesday delves behind the scenes of the media’s portrayal of Boko Haram bringing us a powerful and intensely personal picture of life in Northern Nigeria today.

With brave, unflinching candor expressed through spare, unadorned prose, Elnathan John considers the rise of Islamic extremism in Nigeria as experienced by one young man. Anyone seeking to peer beyond the media’s portrayals of Boko Haram must read this book, not because it offers a hopeful account but because it offers a human one.”               Taiye Selasi

 

What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell

On an unseasonably warm autumn day, an American teacher walks down a staircase beneath Sofia’s National Palace of Culture, looking for sex. Among the stalls of a public bathroom he encounters Mitko, a charismatic young hustler. He returns to Mitko again and again over the next few months, and their trysts grow increasingly intimate and unnerving as the enigma of this young man becomes inseparable from that of his homeland, Bulgaria, a country with a difficult past and an uncertain future.

Garth Greenwell’s What Belongs to You is a stunning debut about an American expat struggling with his own complicated inheritance while navigating a foreign culture. Lyrical and intense, it tells the story of a man caught between longing and resentment, unable to separate desire from danger, and faced with the impossibility of understanding those he most longs to know.

 

What Belongs to You stands naturally alongside the great works of compromised sexual obsession such as Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice . . . we are dealing with a writer who deserves his plaudits . . . I found myself unable to stop reading . . . Headily accomplished . . . an essential work of our time.”                        Daily Telegraph

Worthy of its comparisons to James Baldwin and Alan Hollinghurst as well as Virginia Woolf and W G Sebald . . . spellbinding . . . a novel of rejection and disgust, displacement and transcendence . . . I found myself trembling as I read it.”                       Evening Standard

Dead in the Water by Irna van Zyl

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Detective Storm van der Merwe is walking her dog on the beach when she makes a gruesome discovery: the body of a young journalist – missing a limb.
For the residents of Grootbaai, corpses are bad for business: thousands of tourists from all over the world flock to this coastal town to shark-cage dive with its famous great whites.
Storm is desperate to investigate the matter, but she’s been banished from the field to a dreary back office. She’s also carless after a tow-truck driver – an attractive one at that – crashed his truck into her Beetle.
Meanwhile, in Cape Town, Storm’s former colleague Andreas Moerdyk is having problems of his own while investigating the death of a famous Springbok rugby player whose car was also hit by a tow truck. Is Storm’s car accident in some way related to the sports star’s fatal collision? And is there a link between the journalist’s death and stories of abalone poaching in Grootbaai?
As Storm searches for answers, she realises that everyone’s a suspect and the stakes are deadly.

 

 

The Prophets of Eternal Fjord by Kim Leine

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Idealistic, misguided Morten Falck is a newly ordained priest sailing to Greenland in 1787 to convert the Inuit to the Danish church. A rugged outpost battered by harsh winters, Sukkertoppen is overshadowed by the threat of dissent; natives from neighboring villages have united to reject Danish rule and establish their own settlement atop Eternal Fjord. As Falck becomes involved with those in his care-his ambitious catechist, a lonely trader’s wife, and a fatalistic widow he comes to love-his faith and reputation are dangerously called into question.

 

An astonishing, hallucinatory journey into the frozen heart of Denmark’s colonial darkness… A fervid, exhilarating evocation of faith versus hypocrisy, empathy versus dislocation and desperate rebellion versus grim destiny, The Prophets of Eternal Fjord is a slow-release depth charge of a novel whose reverberations bear the terrible poignancy of global and timely relevance.”              Guardian

 

Superb… A raw, hugely powerful chronicle of lives lived on the edge… The Prophets of Eternal Fjord has a grandeur and a compass that few novels this year will match.”                   Sunday Times

 

 

The Safest Place You Know by Mark Winkler

After his father’s violent death on a hot November day in the droughtstricken Free State, a young man leaves the derelict family farm with no plan, and with no way of knowing that his life will soon be changed for ever by two strangers he encounters on his journey south: a mute little girl who bears a striking resemblance to his late niece, and a troubled lawyer who detests the Cape wine estate she’s inherited from a father she despised.

Set in South Africa against the backdrop of a country in flux, The Safest Place You Know is a powerful story, rendered in meticulously crafted, lyrical prose, about redemption and recovery, and what it means to carry the past with you.

 

 

 

The House Without Windows by Nadia Hashimi

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A vivid, unforgettable story of an unlikely sisterhood—an emotionally powerful and haunting tale of friendship that illuminates the plight of women in a traditional culture—from the author of the bestselling The Pearl That Broke Its Shell and When the Moon Is Low.

For two decades, Zeba was a loving wife, a patient mother, and a peaceful villager. But her quiet life is shattered when her husband, Kamal, is found brutally murdered with a hatchet in the courtyard of their home. Nearly catatonic with shock, Zeba is unable to account for her whereabouts at the time of his death. Her children swear their mother could not have committed such a heinous act. Kamal’s family is sure she did, and demands justice.

Barely escaping a vengeful mob, Zeba is arrested and jailed. As Zeba awaits trial, she meets a group of women whose own misfortunes have also led them to these bleak cells: thirty-year-old Nafisa, imprisoned to protect her from an honor killing; twenty-five-year-old Latifa, who ran away from home with her teenage sister but now stays in the prison because it is safe shelter; and nineteen-year-old Mezhgan, pregnant and unmarried, waiting for her lover’s family to ask for her hand in marriage. Is Zeba a cold-blooded killer, these young women wonder, or has she been imprisoned, as they have been, for breaking some social rule? For these women, the prison is both a haven and a punishment. Removed from the harsh and unforgiving world outside, they form a lively and indelible sisterhood.

Into this closed world comes Yusuf, Zeba’s Afghan-born, American-raised lawyer, whose commitment to human rights and desire to help his motherland have brought him back. With the fate of this seemingly ordinary housewife in his hands, Yusuf discovers that, like Afghanistan itself, his client may not be at all what he imagines.

A moving look at the lives of modern Afghan women, A House Without Windows is astonishing, frightening, and triumphant.

 

 

 

Poison City by Paul Crilley

The name’s Gideon Tau, but everyone just calls me London. I work for the Delphic Division, the occult investigative unit of the South African Police Service. My life revolves around two things – finding out who killed my daughter and imagining what I’m going to do to the bastard when I catch him.

I have two friends. The first is my boss, Armitage, a fifty-something DCI from Yorkshire who looks more like someone’s mother than a cop. Don’t let that fool you. The second is the dog, my magical spirit guide. He talks, he watches TV all day, and he’s a mean drunk.

Life is pretty routine – I solve crimes, I search for my daughter’s killer. Wash, rinse, repeat. Until the day I’m called out to the murder of a ramanga – a low-key vampire – basically, the tabloid journalist of the vampire world. It looks like an open and shut case. There’s even CCTV footage of the killer.

Except… the face on the CCTV footage? It’s the face of the man who killed my daughter. I’m about to face a tough choice. Catch her killer or save the world? I can’t do both.

It’s not looking good for the world.

Poison City is the first in a fantastical new series for fans of Ben Aaronovitch, Lauren Beukes, Sarah Lotz and Stephen King.

 

 

Zodiac by Sam Wilson

In a society divided along Zodiac lines, status is cast at birth – and binding for life. Who you are can be determined by a matter of days, hours, even minutes.

Even for the most experienced detectives, every once in a while a murder can shake them to the core. Like when the Chief of Police is killed in his own home.

For Detective Jerome Burton, catching the case will change his life forever.

Because this murder is only the first piece of a vast and twisted puzzle made of secrets, lies and tragedy.

The signs are everywhere. But is the truth written in the stars or hiding in the shadows?

 

A bold storyteller with an amazing mind.”               Lauren Beukes

 

A brilliant, original and gripping thriller. I’m struggling to think of a reader who won’t love this.”                      Sarah Lotz

 

 

Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa

  1. Victor, homeless after a family tragedy, finds himself pounding the streets of Seattle with little meaning or purpose. He is the estranged son of the police chief of the city, and today his father is in charge of one of the largest protests in the history of Western democracy.

But in a matter of hours reality will become a nightmare. Hordes of protesters – from all sections of society – will test the patience of the city’s police force, and lives will be altered forever: two armed police officers will struggle to keep calm amid the threat of violence; a protester with a murderous past will make an unforgivable mistake; and a delegate from Sri Lanka will do whatever it takes to make it through the crowd to a meeting – a meeting that could dramatically change the fate of his country. In amongst the fray, Victor and his father are heading for a collision too.

Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, set during the World Trade Organization protests, is a deeply charged novel showcasing a distinct and exciting new literary voice.

 

A gorgeous riot against injustice.”               Guardian

Yapa shines in the thickness of the here-and-now, amid the gas, fear, courage and flawed humanity of the street battle, in passages that are cinematic . . . moving.”             New York Times

Fast-paced and unflinching . . . As these characters encounter one another in a fog of tear gas and pepper spray, Yapa vividly evokes rage and compassion.”               New Yorker

 

Non-fiction

 

Holding My Breath by Ace Moloi

Dear Mama,

It is me, your broken son.

Although the earth’s sorrows dimmed your light from us, I trust heaven has bestowed upon you the glory and dignity you deserve. You and I last spoke in February 2005, five days before you passed away. When you succumbed to your illness – which remains a mystery to this day – I was a mere 13-year-old who not only had to adjust to a new school, but also get used to the reality that you would never live to tell intriguing tales of your childhood. A decade has since passed and as I write you this note I have only heard from you once. You appeared in a dream to reprimand us for the culture of begging which we had adopted shortly after we laid you to your final rest.

 

This is how Ace Moloi starts his book, a letter to his deceased mother. This book, this letter, is an important and necessary look at the state of our country 21 years into our democracy. It is the story of constantly holding your breath, hoping nothing else goes wrong.

In a searing and beautiful narrative, Moloi manages to take the reader through various South African issues like:

The trials of child-headed families in South Africa

The volatile issue of service delivery in townships

The story of broken families

Why Fees Must Fall

Racial division in universities

 

Funny in parts and tragic in others, this is the ultimate South African story.

 

 

 

Good Cop Bad Cop by Andrew Brown

Once an enemy of the apartheid police, Andrew Brown has worked as a police reservist for almost twenty years. In this book he takes the reader on patrol with him – into the ganglands of the Cape Flats, the townships of Masiphumelele and Nyanga, and the high-walled Southern Suburbs.

 

Good Cop, Bad Cop is a personal account of the perilous and often conflicting work of a SAPS officer. Brown describes being shot at, arresting suspects in a drug bust, chasing down leads in a homicide investigation and keeping the peace during the UCT student protests.

 

Brown illustrates how difficult the job of the police is, and how easy it is to react with undue force. Yet he argues passionately that the role of the police is to be a service to communities and not a force to suppress social discontent.

Gripping and thought-provoking, this is a fascinating insight into the social fabric of current South Africa.

 

 

History Matters by Bill Nasson

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History Matters is an eloquent selection of writings over four decades by Bill Nasson, one of South Africa s most popular and highly respected historians. The pieces in this compendium are lively and entertaining, written with wit, humour and a finely tuned sense of irony. Chapters cover the Anglo-Boer War, the two World Wars, cricket, District Six, schooldays and education, Spike Lee, Hollywood and history, Mandela and other political biographies, and a great many other topics. Resembling a pudding of spicy plums, this is a perfect book for anyone interested in South Africa and its history, and in a broader appreciation of tweaking the tail of life in the past.

 

 

 

Relatively Public Life of Jules Browde by Daniel Browde

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I sat there divided. Though my grandfather was visibly shaken by the force of this memory, and I knew I was seeing him more vulnerable than I had ever seen him, I felt a bubbly thrill because this was such good stuff, and I remember turning my eyes away from his distressed face to make sure the wheels of the dictaphone were still turning.

 

When Daniel is tasked with writing the biography of his grandfather, Jules Browde – one of South Africa’s most celebrated advocates – he sharpens his pencil and gets to work. But the task that at first seems so simple comes to overwhelm him. As the book begins to recede – month after month, year after year – he must face the possibility of disappointing his grandfather, whose legacy now rests uncomfortably in his hands.

 

The troubled progress of Daniel’s book stands in sharp contrast to the clear-edged tales his grandfather tells him. Spanning almost a century, these gripping stories compellingly conjure other worlds: the streets of 1920s Yeoville, the battlefields of the Second World War, the courtrooms of apartheid South Africa.

 

The Relatively Public Life of Jules Browde turns the conventions of a biography inside out. It is more than the portrait of an unusual South African life, it is the moving tale of a complex and tender relationship between grandfather and grandson, and an exploration of how we are made and unmade in the stories we tell about our lives.

 

 

Blood on Their Hands by Jessica Pitchford

When Johan Booysen hears that the new Provincial Police Chief takes backhanders from a Durban businessman, he decides to give her the benefit of the doubt. But the evidence becomes impossible to ignore and he soon gets dragged down the corridors of power and politics into a web of intrigue, deceit and betrayal that, at times, he has trouble making sense of. Only when he is arrested, handcuffed and tossed into a cell does Booysen realise just how ruthless those opposed to him are – an opposition he comes to call the ‘cabal’ – and whom he believes have more blood on their hands than the so-called Cato Manor Death Squad with which he is closely associated.

Blood on their Hands traces Johan Booysen’s life and career – from patrolling the streets of Amanzimtoti in the 1970s to his rise in 2010 to major general and head of KZN’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation unit, the Hawks. But his tenure is short-lived. When Booysen decides to take on those so determined to be rid of him, each legal battle he wins is met by hostility and further efforts to shut him out of the of the criminal justice system. But capitulating is not in his DNA…

 

 

Hitler, Verwoerd, Mandela and Me by Marianne Thamm

Marianne Thamm delves into her own unconventional life story. Her German father fought for Hitler and made munitions for Verwoerd. He married her largely illiterate Portuguese mother who worked as a cleaner in England. Today Marianne is the proud mother of two (black) teenagers … Hers is the story of the last century, of the defeat of bigotry and a new era ushered in by Mandela. Sad at times, deeply moving and, like Marianne, hugely entertaining.

 

 

The Street: Exposing a World of Cops, Bribes and Drug Dealers by Paul McNally

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There are no villains here. Award-winning journalist Paul McNally finds corrupt cops, drug dealers, vigilante residents, addicts, torturers, murders and cops partnered to drug dealers. But no villains.

Raymond is a shop owner on Ontdekkers Road who takes a baseball bat to the dealers when they break his rules. He systematically records in his notebook the police officers who come – all day, every day – to collect their bribe money from the dealers, and is looking for someone to trust.

Khaba is a middle-aged police officer who wants a quiet life but whose demons will not leave him in peace. He is trying to regain his trust in what he once regarded as an honourable profession.

Wendy is a petite, ageing police reservist who can handle an R5 rifle with confidence, but not the sadness that accompanies her in her daily life – the loss of her police officer husband, brutally murdered by a drug lord, and the addiction that has her young son in its grip. She is looking for respect and affirmation and for her own life to have meaning.

Through different paths, the lives of Raymond, Khaba and Wendy intersect on the street as their attention is focused on the current power couple – a drug dealer named Obi and his police officer wife, Lerato. Seemingly untouchable, Obi and Lerato terrorise Ontdekkers, and in the process upset the balance of this already lawless world.

 

Under Nelson Mandela Boulevard by Sean Christie

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Beneath the Nelson Mandela Boulevard flyover on Cape Town’s foreshore live a community of stowaways, young Tanzanian men from the slums of Dar es Salaam. When journalist Sean Christie meets Adam Bashili, he comes to know the extraordinary world of the Beachboys, a multi-port, fourth-generation subculture that lives to stow away and stows away to survive. But as Sean starts to accompany the Beachboys on trips around their everyday Cape Town, he becomes more than a casual observer, serving as sometime moneylender, driver, confidant and scribe, and eventually joining Adam on an unprecedented tour of Dar es Salaam’s underworld and a reckless run down Africa’s east coast. Under Nelson Mandela Boulevard remaps both city and continent, introducing us to the places and people we so frequently overlook.

 

Sean Christie is wonderful. With his huge heart and his sharp eye, he has conjured a Cape Town you are unlikely to have imagined.”                  Jonny Steinberg

 

A genre-busting book, Under Nelson Mandela Boulevard does a rare thing – it is non-fiction that breaks the mould of works that look in on the continent from the outside. It shows the ancient andd complex connections that exist within and beyond African boders in emotional, historical, cultural and metaphysical ways that others shirk from.”                         Billy Kahora

 

 

 

Eyes in the Night Nomavenda Mathiane

1879, the year in which I grew up faster than I could shout my name. That year was the one in which we experienced events and encounters that no one, particularly a child, should ever witness. It was also the year my people lost everything – their land and fields – and were reduced to being vagrants and beggars in the land of their birth.

I am the daughter of Mqokotshwa Makhoba, one of King Cetshwayo’s generals of the iNgobamakhosi regiment, he named me Nombhosho, which means bullet. He said I would come out of any situation fast and unscathed, like a bullet…

 

Nomavenda Mathiane stumbled upon her grandmother’s story well over a century after the gruelling events of the Battle of Isandlwana that formed her life. Astounded to hear how her grandmother had survived the Anglo-Zulu War as a young girl, Mathiane spent hours with her elder sisters reconstructing the extraordinary life of their grandmother. The result is a sweeping epic of both personal and political battles.

 

Eyes in the Night is a young Zulu woman’s story of drama, regret, guilt and, ultimately, triumph – set against the backdrop of a Zululand changed beyond recognition. A true story almost lost, but for a chance remark at a family gathering.

 

 

Flame and Song: A Memoir by Philippa Kabali-Kagwa

Philippa Namutebi Kabali-Kagwa’s soul-warming memoir tells of a life enriched by song, literature, food and spirituality at the heart of a loving family. Born into a newly independent Uganda, she grew up in a volatile political landscape but never lacked the inspiration and protection of generations of friends and relatives. Her story travels from her expansive childhood homes in Uganda, to the novelties of living in Addis Ababa, before settling in Cape Town, her current home. But no matter how far her journeys take her, it’s clear that home is not only about places but people.

 

 

Safe House: Explorations in Creative Non-fiction edited by Ellah Wakatama Allfrey

Illuminating African narratives for readers both inside and outside the continent.

A Nigerian immigrant to Senegal explores the increasing influence of China across the region, a Kenyan student activist writes of exile in Kampala, a Liberian scientist shares her diary of the Ebola crisis, a Nigerian journalist travels to the north to meet a community at risk, a Kenyan author travels to Senegal to interview a gay rights activist, and a South African writer recounts a tale of family discord and murder in a remote seaside town.

In a collection that ranges from travel writing and memoir to reportage and meditative essays, editor Ellah Wakatama Allfrey has brought together some of the most talented writers of creative nonfiction from across Africa.

 

 

 

For Kids

 

Burger Boy by Alan Durant

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Benny liked burgers. Benny LOVED burgers.
Burgers were the only food that Benny would eat.
“You’ll turn into a burger one day,” his mum warned.
And one day, Benny did.

And that is just the start of a madcap chase in which the hapless Benny is pursued across the countryside by a mob of hungry dogs, boys and angry cows.

An hilarious cautionary tale with a twist from a winning author and artist team.

 

 

The Truth About My Unbelievable Summer by Benjamin Chaud

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Its a first-day-of-school moment of truth: What really happened over the summer break? A curious teacher wants to know. The epic explanation? What started out as a day at the beach turned into a globe-spanning treasure hunt with high-flying hijinks, an outrageous cast of characters, and one very mischievous bird! At least, thats what the student says. Is this yet another tall tale, or is the truth just waiting to be discovered?

 

See you at the festival!

 

 

 

Catch-22 meets The Brothers Karamazov in the last great satire of the Soviet Era

The Great Patriotic War is stumbling to a close, but a new darkness has fallen over Soviet Russia. And for a disparate, disconnected clutch of wanderers – many thousands of miles apart but linked by a common goal – four parallel journeys are just beginning.

Gorych and his driver, rolling through water, sand and snow on an empty petrol tank; the occupant of a black airship, looking down benevolently as he floats above his Fatherland; young Andrey, who leaves his religious community in search of a new life; and Kharitonov, who trudges from the Sea of Japan to Leningrad, carrying a fuse that, when lit, could blow all and sundry to smithereens.

Written in the final years of Communism, The Bickford Fuse is a satirical epic of the Soviet soul, exploring the origins and dead-ends of the Russian mentality from the end of World War Two to the Union’s collapse. Blending allegory and fable with real events, and as deliriously absurd as anything Kurkov has written, it is both an elegy for lost years and a song of hope for a future not yet set in stone.

Kurkov’s style is spare and effective, drawing us with deceptive ease into a dense, complex world full of wonderful characters.”               Michael Palin

Kurkov is the real thing . . . Comparisons with Bulgakov’s zany Moscow are not far-fetched.”                          Guardian

His bestselling novels are known for their surreal touches, but Andrey Kurkov, the Ukrainian novelist hailed as a post-Soviet Kafka, also has an uncanny ability to predict events in the real world around him.”                      Daily Telegraph

Beguiling … frequently funny … completely its own thing. it may even be a little bit of a masterpiece.”                     Sam Leith, Financial Times

What is the difference between friendship and love? Or between neutrality and commitment? Gustav Perle grows up in a small town in ‘neutral’ Switzerland, where the horrors of the Second World War seem a distant echo. But Gustav’s father has mysteriously died, and his adored mother Emilie is strangely cold and indifferent to him. Gustav’s childhood is spent in lonely isolation, his only toy a tin train with painted passengers staring blankly from the carriage windows.

As time goes on, an intense friendship with a boy of his own age, Anton Zwiebel, begins to define Gustav’s life. Jewish and mercurial, a talented pianist tortured by nerves when he has to play in public, Anton fails to understand how deeply and irrevocably his life and Gustav’s are entwined.

Fierce, astringent, profoundly tender, Rose Tremain’s beautifully orchestrated novel asks the question, what does it do to a person, or to a country, to pursue an eternal quest for neutrality, and self-mastery, while all life’s hopes and passions continually press upon the borders and beat upon the gate.

This is a perfect novel about life’s imperfection… Tremain is writing at the height of her inimitable powers… Remarkable and moving novel.”                   Kate Kellaway, Observer

“The Gustav Sonata is a magnificent novel, heartbreaking, unsentimental and beautifully written, and it reinforces my opinion that there are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain.”                     John Boyne, Irish Times
Tremain has the painterly genius of an Old Master, and she uses it to stunning effect… Glorious.”                         Melissa Katsoulis, The Times

“The Gustav Sonata is a work of extreme and painful beauty, the story of one profound love amid many failed relationships, and of the conflict between passion and self-control. Rose Tremain is one of the very finest British novelists”                       Salman Rushdie

Spare, deeply imagined and full of small gestures that draw the reader in towards deeper mysteries… Tremain is a writer of exemplary vision and particularity.”                       Marcel Theroux, Guardian

California. The summer of 1969. In the dying days of a floundering counter-culture a young girl is unwittingly caught up in unthinkable violence, and a decision made at this moment, on the cusp of adulthood, will shape her life….

‘This book will break your heart and blow your mind.’ Lena Dunham

Evie Boyd is desperate to be noticed. In the summer of 1969, empty days stretch out under the California sun. The smell of honeysuckle thickens the air and the sidewalks radiate heat.

Until she sees them. The snatch of cold laughter. Hair, long and uncombed. Dirty dresses skimming the tops of thighs. Cheap rings like a second set of knuckles. The girls.

And at the centre, Russell. Russell and the ranch, down a long dirt track and deep in the hills. Incense and clumsily strummed chords. Rumours of sex, frenzied gatherings, teen runaways.

Was there a warning, a sign of things to come? Or is Evie already too enthralled by the girls to see that her life is about to be changed forever?

“The Girls is a brilliant and intensely consuming novel — imposing not just for a writer so young, but for any writer, any time.”                Richard Ford

I don’t know which is more amazing, Emma Cline’s understanding of human beings or her mastery of language.”                 Mark Haddon

Emma Cline’s first novel positively hums with fresh, startling, luminous prose. The Girls announces the arrival of a thrilling new voice in American fiction.”     Jennifer Egan

a song of innocence and experience…Finely intelligent, often superbly written, with flashingly brilliant sentences.”                      James Wood, New Yorker

With the maturity of a writer twice her age, Cline has written a wise novel that’s never showy: a quiet, seething confession of yearning and terror… Debut novels like this are rare, indeed.”                  Washington Post

Jeffrey Lockhart’s father, Ross, is a billionaire in his sixties, with a younger wife, Artis Martineau, whose health is failing. Ross is the primary investor in a remote and secret compound where death is exquisitely controlled and bodies are preserved until a future time when biomedical advances and new technologies can return them to a life of transcendent promise. Jeff joins Ross and Artis at the compound to say “an uncertain farewell” to her as she surrenders her body.

We are born without choosing to be. Should we have to die in the same manner? Isn’t it a human glory to refuse to accept a certain fate?”

These are the questions that haunt the novel and its memorable characters, and it is Ross Lockhart, most particularly, who feels a deep need to enter another dimension and awake to a new world. For his son, this is indefensible. Jeff, the book’s narrator, is committed to living, to experiencing “the mingled astonishments of our time, here, on earth.”

Don DeLillo’s seductive, spectacularly observed and brilliant novel Zero K weighs the darkness of the world -terrorism, floods, fires, famine, plague – against the beauty and humanity of everyday life; love, awe, “the intimate touch of earth and sun.”

Mr. DeLillo’s haunting new novel, Zero K — his most persuasive since his astonishing 1997 masterpiece, Underworld — is a kind of bookend to White Noise: somber and coolly futuristic, where that earlier book was satirical and darkly comic. . . . . All the themes that have animated Mr. DeLillo’s novels over the years are threaded through Zero K — from the seduction of technology and mass media to the power of money and the fear of chaos. . . . like a chamber music piece. . . . reminds us of his almost Day-Glo powers as a writer and his understanding of the strange, contorted shapes that eternal human concerns (with mortality and time) can take in the new millennium.”              Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

One of the most mysterious, emotionally moving and formally rewarding books of DeLillo’s long carer… Unexpectedly touching… [DeLillo offers] consolation simply by enacting so well the mystery and awe of the real world… I finished it stunned and grateful.”                    Joshua Ferris, New York Times Book Review

Brilliant and astonishing… a masterpiece… full of DeLillo’s amazing inimitable scalpel perceptions, fluent in the ideas we’ll be talking about 20 years from now… ZERO K somehow manages to renew DeLillo’s longstanding obsessions while also striking deeply and swiftly at the reader’s emotions….The effect is transcendent.”                 Chicago Tribune

Daring… provocative… exquisite… captures the swelling fears of our age.”           Washington Post

Shriver’s intelligence, mordant humour and vicious leaps of imagination all combine to make this a novel that is as unsettling as it is entertaining.”                    Financial Times

It is 2029.

The Mandibles have been counting on a sizable fortune filtering down when their 97-year-old patriarch dies. Yet America’s soaring national debt has grown so enormous that it can never be repaid. Under siege from an upstart international currency, the dollar is in meltdown. A bloodless world war will wipe out the savings of millions of American families.

Their inheritance turned to ash, each family member must contend with disappointment, but also – as the effects of the downturn start to hit – the challenge of sheer survival.
Recently affluent Avery is petulant that she can’t buy olive oil, while her sister Florence is forced to absorb strays into her increasingly cramped household. As their father Carter fumes at having to care for his demented stepmother now that a nursing home is too expensive, his sister Nollie, an expat author, returns from abroad at 73 to a country that’s unrecognizable.

Perhaps only Florence’s oddball teenage son Willing, an economics autodidact, can save this formerly august American family from the streets.

This is not science fiction. This is a frightening, fascinating, scabrously funny glimpse into the decline that may await the United States all too soon, from the pen of perhaps the most consistently perceptive and topical author of our times.

As ever, Shriver cuts close to the bone! . . . Distinctly chilling.”             Independent

A tale that fizzes with ideas and jokes . . . the comedy is pitch black.”                        The Times

All too chillingly plausible…a profoundly frightening portrait of how quickly the agreed rules of society can fall apart without money to grease the wheels.”                  Observer

A powerful work investigating the fragility of the financial world. Prescient, imaginative and funny, it also asks deep questions.”                 Economist

Impressively sweeping… Shriver’s intelligence, mordant humour and vicious leaps of imagination all combine to make this a novel that is as unsettling as it is entertaining in its portrait of the cataclysmic unravelling of the American dream.”              Financial Times

A scary, depressing and convincing horror story, akin to reading about teetering on the edge of a precipice while actually teetering on the edge of a precipice.”                        Spectator

To the world he is Sri Ramakrishna – godly avatar, esteemed spiritual master, beloved guru. To Rani Rashmoni, he is the Brahmin fated to defy tradition. But to Hriday, his nephew and long-time caretaker, he is just Uncle – maddening, bewildering Uncle, prone to entering trances at the most inconvenient of times, known to perform dangerous acts of self-effacement, who must be vigilantly safeguarded not only against jealous enemies but also against that most treasured yet insidious of sulphur-rich vegetables: the cauliflower.

Rather than puzzling the shards of history and legend together, Barker shatters the mirror again and rearranges the pieces. The result is a biographical novel viewed through a kaleidoscope. Dazzlingly inventive and brilliantly comic, irreverent and mischievous, The Cauliflower® delivers us into the divine playfulness of ‘one of the most exhilarating, audacious, and . . . ballsy writers of her generation.”                Observer
What makes [The Cauliflower] distinctively Barkeresque is that she throws a literary hand grenade into the form of the historical novel as we know it … Barker not only refuses to switch off, but spirals and giddies and churns relentlessly. The result is typically atypical, expectedly unexpected and inexplicably good. She really is a genius.”                      Guardian

“[A] complex, funny book … Strange, febrile and utterly unique … A story packed with vitality, wit, sly charm and astonishing energy.”                    Justin Cartwright, Spectator

Lively . . . a joy to read.”                        The Times

North London in the twenty-first century: a place where a son will swiftly adopt an old lady and take her home from hospital to impersonate his dear departed mother, rather than lose the council flat.

A time of golden job opportunities, though you might have to dress up as a coffee bean or work as an intern at an undertaker or put up with champagne and posh French dinners while your boss hits on you.

A place rich in language – whether it’s Romanian, Ukrainian, Russian, Swahili or buxom housing officers talking managementese.

A place where husbands go absent without leave and councillors sacrifice cherry orchards at the altar of new builds.

Marina Lewycka is back in this hilarious, farcical, tender novel of modern issues and manners.
Loved it to bits – it’s so big-hearted, filled with such great characters and such cracking jokes, and, underneath it all, so very angry about the state of Britain today.”                      Deborah Moggach

Backdrops vary in this collection of stories from the author of The Northern Clemency – from turmoil in Sudan following the death of a politician in a plane crash, to southern India where a Soho hedonist starts to envisage the crump and soar of munitions. Each story, regardless of location, reveals a great writer at the peak of his powers.

As a fiction writer, Hensher has virtuosity on tap, so every page delivers something enjoyable and even eye-popping; a vibrant exchange, a spry description, a tickling bit of indirect speech.”                        New Statesman

Entertainingly varied stories … Hensher sneaks into a life like a cat burglar, pads around to survey the scene and slips out again, leaving everything quietly disturbed.”             Literary Review

Michael is John and Margaret’s eldest son. He’s a precocious kid, smart and funny, obsessed with books and music. Even while he’s still very young, he finds himself at odds with his father in ways neither one quite understands.

His sister Celia is the sensible one in the family: tougher than the boys, unshakeably certain about how the world works, desperate to impress her dad.

And then there’s Alec, the youngest, the most ambitious and also the most sensitive. He grows up in the shadow of Michael’s distant coolness and Celia’s pragmatic confidence, never quite understanding his father’s strange games or keeping up with the others.

The children are still living at home when their brilliant, beloved father walks into the woods by their house and take his own life. Years later, when they are adults, one of them will follow him.

How are we damaged by what we are born into – by those we love or who have loved us? How much can any family give to save one of its own? And how can you tell the difference between what is passed on and what is simply imitated or learned by habit – between the truly inherited flaw and the self-fulfilling prophecy?

Weaving together the voices of five family members, Adam Haslett imagines how a single isolated tragedy can become the event that defines many lives, unfolding a rich and painful novel that has all the makings of an American classic.

“Imagine Me Gone is an extraordinary work of art. The family Adam Haslett has created feels as true and as complex as our own actual families are, and somehow lays as deep a claim upon our love and loyalty. The eldest son, Michael, is simply one of the finest characters I’ve ever come across in fiction. This beautiful, tragic novel will haunt you for the rest of your life and you will be all the more human for it.”                     Paul Harding, Pulitzer Prize winner for Tinkers

Imagine Me Gone is literature of the highest order. It manages to be both dreadfully sad and hilariously funny all at once. It is luminous with love.”                  Peter Carey,

Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader’s wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel – the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itself.

Epic in its canvas and intimate in its portraits, Homegoing is a searing and profound debut from a masterly new writer.

Shows the unmistakable touch of a gifted writer.”                       New Yorker

Homegoing is one hell of a book… I recommend Homegoing without reservation. Definitely a must read for 2016.”                    Roxane Gay

What is uniquely Gyasi’s is her ability to connect it so explicitly to the present day: No novel has better illustrated the way in which racism became institutionalized in this country.”                      Vogue

[A] commanding debut . . . will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading. When people talk about all the things fiction can teach its readers, they’re talking about books like this.”                    Marie Claire

Gyasi gives voice, and an empathetic ear, to the ensuing seven generations of flawed and deeply human descendants, creating a patchwork mastery of historical fiction.”               Elle

Furo Wariboko, a young Nigerian, awakes the morning before a job interview to find that he’s been transformed into a white man. In this condition he plunges into the bustle of Lagos to make his fortune. With his red hair, green eyes, and pale skin, it seems he’s been completely changed. Well, almost. There is the matter of his family, his accent, his name. Oh, and his black ass. Furo must quickly learn to navigate a world made unfamiliar and deal with those who would use him for their own purposes. Taken in by a young woman called Syreeta and pursued by a writer named Igoni, Furo lands his first-ever job, adopts a new name, and soon finds himself evolving in unanticipated ways.

  1. Igoni Barrett’s “Blackass” is a fierce comic satire that touches on everything from race to social media while at the same time questioning the values society places on us simply by virtue of the way we look. As he did in “Love Is Power, or Something Like That,” Barrett brilliantly depicts life in contemporary Nigeria and details the double-dealing and code-switching that are implicit in everyday business. But it’s Furo’s search for an identity–one deeper than skin–that leads to the final unraveling of his own carefully constructed story.

“Blackass vividly captures the frenetic energy of one of the world’s fastest-growing cities and provides a perceptive and engaging meditation on the mutability and the stubborn persistence of identity. ”                 New York Times Book Review

In a sharp twist on Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Barrett s novel opens with the protagonist waking up one morning in Lagos to realize he s been transformed into a white man. A searing, provocative satire ensues.”                    Huffington Post

Brilliant . . .Blackass is an insightful commentary on race, identity, and modern-day Nigeria.”             Buzzfeed”

By the time it comes to its unsettling conclusion, Blackass has itself metamorphosed into an . . . affecting social novel, yes, but also set of fateful contradictions about a mad world forcefully and originally seen through to the end.”                Flavorwire”

A dazzling literary debut about three lives colliding in 80s downtown New York

On the eve of 1980, downtown New York is the centre of the universe. Here are the artistes and the socialites, the dealers, bartenders, party-goers and hangers-on — all trying to make it in the big city, teetering on the brink of selling out, searching for something to save them.

Among them is painter Raul Engales, in exile from Argentina’s Dirty War and his own past. Fresh on the downtown scene and posing as an art student, he has just caught the eye of New York’s most infamous art critic: James Bennett.

James has synaesthesia, experiencing life and art in wild, magical ways. He sees pictures as starbursts and fireworks, smells citrus when he says ‘mother’, and hears songs when he looks at sculptures. Art is James’s gateway to endless new sensations, the secret to his success. In this city, his name is a byword for good taste — until the day his gift deserts him.

And then there’s Lucy: Raul’s eager blonde muse. Newly escaped from the suburban nothingness of Idaho, impossibly young and still untouched by urban ennui, she is drawn like a firefly to the electric brilliance of the city-and especially to its artists…

Over the course of one year, these three lives will collide and be transformed. A brand new decade has just begun and New York is a crucible brimming with the energy of a million secret metamorphoses, poised to spill forth art, destruction and life itself into the waiting world.

The Thabo Mbeki I Know is a collection that celebrates one of South Africa’s most exceptional thought leaders. The contributors include those who first got to know Thabo Mbeki as a young man, in South Africa and in exile, and those who encountered him as a statesman and worked alongside him as an African leader. In The Thabo Mbeki I Know, these friends, comrades, statesmen, politicians and business associates provide insights that challenge the prevailing academic narrative and present fresh perspectives on the former president’s time in office and on his legacy – a vital undertaking as we approach a decade since an embattled Thabo Mbeki left office.

Edited by Sifiso Mxolisi Ndlovu and Miranda Strydom, The Thabo Mbeki I Know provides readers with an opportunity to reassess Thabo Mbeki’s contribution to post-apartheid South Africa, as both deputy president and president; to the African continent and diaspora, as a highly respected state leader; and to the international community as a whole.

A book that set out to honour Thabo Mbeki in fact unveils some quite remarkable women and men who make this collection absorbing reading. Presidents, bodyguards, busy mothers, passionate economists, judges, lawyers, insurgent diplomats, tenacious politicians and many others who have come into his orbit share stories of the Thabo Mbeki they know. This is no anthology of praise songs. Here you will find affection but also candid portraits of the man who detests personality cults.”                       Barney Afako

This collection presents a combination of personal and political accounts of Thabo Mbeki, his passage from youth to manhood, from political apprenticeship under Oliver Tambo to the presidency of South Africa, and his fall from that dizzy height.”                        Mahmood Mamdani

I come from a culture where camping is purely for white people. Even if black people were to camp, they would not enjoy it because it is reminiscent of how many of us used to live; in fact, a lot of black people still live like that today – cooking on a fire, using communal toilets, with access to little or no technology – I thought there was no way I would agree to this camping expedition.”

Blacks Do Caravan tells the story of a young South African family’s caravan journey, and the everlasting memories created along the way included amazing adventures and wonderful experiences. The book aims to inspire South Africans to take time out of their busy schedules and spend that valuable time with their families to discover the beauty of our country.

Fikile’s trip began on 15 September 2014 and during the journey she came to the realisation that South Africa is still a divided nation. Over twenty years into democracy, boundaries still divide us. Fikile aims to break those boundaries created by the past regime and contribute to the unity that is needed for all South Africans to move forward and experience this country equally. What better way to do it than caravanning? Fikile and her family visited over 60 caravan parks and extended their travels to the Kingdom of Swaziland, which became an eye opening, mind changing trip of a lifetime.

South Africa is a dishevelled society in which two groups with disparate goals share one geographical space. It is a country where forgiveness is overrated and justice underrated. For these reasons, South Africans are perhaps as far from being a nation in 2016 as they were in 1994.

In this incisive look at issues that are both topical and intractable – the resolution of which is essential for South Africa – Christine Qunta demonstrates why we struggle to be a nation. In the title essay she examines a series of high-profile case studies that highlight what she calls ‘markers of disparateness’. In another she looks at the politics of hair, drawing parallels between the fate of Sarah Baartman and the wearing of weaves in contemporary society. Finally she offers a sometimes light-hearted account of her experiences of running a legal practice at the dawn of democracy, and having to overcome barriers of race & gender.

Thought-provoking, well-argued and sometimes trenchant, these essays make for compelling reading. No reader will walk away with a neutral view.

Did you know the term ‘roughing it’ comes from the tent city at Algoa Bay? Or that one 1820 settler called her new home ‘the most miserable country in the world’? This is the tale of the settlers’ dramatic first three years in their own words – their letters, journals and diaries that tell of the dangerous sea voyage and setting up of farms in a difficult environment. An engaging read with a delightful narrative touch.

The Soweto Student Uprising of 1976 was a decisive moment in the struggle against apartheid. It marked the expansion of political activism to a new generation of young activists, but beyond that it inscribed the role that young people of subsequent generations could play in their country’s future. Since that momentous time students have held a special place in the collective imaginary of South African history.

Drawing on research and writing by leading scholars and prominent activists, Students Must Rise takes Soweto ’76 as its pivot point, but looks at student and youth activism in South Africa more broadly by considering what happened before and beyond the Soweto moment. Early chapters assess the impact of the anti-pass campaigns of the 1950s, of political ideologies like Black Consciousness as well as of religion and culture in fostering political consciousness and organisation among youth and students in townships and rural areas.

Later chapters explore the wide-reaching impact of June 16th itself for student organisation over the next two decades across the country. Two final chapters consider contemporary student-based political movements, including #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall, and historically root these in the long and rich tradition of student activism in South Africa.

2016 marks the 40th anniversary of the 1976 June 16th uprisings. This book rethinks the conventional narrative of youth and student activism in South Africa by placing that most famous of moments – the 1976 students’ uprising in Soweto – in a deeper historical and geographic context.

Too much of South Africa’s history has been lost and suppressed, leaving a void for many South Africans. Sylvia Vollenhoven brings together her life and that of a long-ago ancestor, //Kabbo, a respected Khoisan storyteller. She writes of her experience as being “too black” for her coloured schoolmates, working as one of the early female journalists in the misogynistic environment of the 70s, and of the constant impact on her life of her background – including her ancestors.

The present is a contest between the bright and dark sides of discovery. To avoid being torn apart by its stresses, we need to recognize the fact and gain courage and wisdom from the past.

Now is the best moment in history to be alive, but we have never felt more anxious or divided. Human health, aggregate wealth and education are flourishing. Scientific discovery is racing forward. But the same global flows of trade, capital, people and ideas that make gains possible for some people deliver big losses to others and make us all more vulnerable to one another.

Business and science are working giant revolutions upon our societies, but our politics and institutions evolve at a much slower pace. That’s why, in a moment when everyone ought to be celebrating giant global gains, many of us are righteously angry at being left out and stressed about where we’re headed.

To make sense of present shocks, we need to step back and recognize: we’ve been here before. The first Renaissance, the time of Columbus, Copernicus, Gutenberg and others, likewise redrew all maps of the world, democratized communication and sparked a flourishing of creative achievement. But their world also grappled with the same dark side of rapid change: social division, political extremism, insecurity, pandemics and other unintended consequences of discovery.

“An essential guide—and a superb ride—through our current stormy moment.”                 Arianna Huffington, Editor-in-Chief, Huffington Post

A powerful journey…This book will help the world.”                    Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group

This fascinating book…should interest all who care about the future of humanity.”                     Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal & past President of the Royal Society

An education and a great read in one.”                   AC Grayling, Philosopher

The highly anticipated follow-up to the sensational bestseller Quiet – empowering introverted children, teens and young adults

Susan Cain sparked a worldwide conversation with Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. She inspired millions of people, and permanently changed the way we see introverts – and the way introverts see themselves. Now she takes the Quiet Revolution to a younger audience.

Childhood, adolescence and your early twenties are times wrought with insecurity and self-doubt. Your search for your place in the world can seem daunting. Focusing on the strengths and challenges of being introverted, Quiet Power is full of examples from school, family life and friendship, applying the breakthrough discoveries of Quiet to readers that so badly need them.

This insightful, accessible and empowering book is eye-opening to extroverts and introverts alike. Unlock your hidden superpower and give yourself the tools to make a mark – in your own quiet way.

Children and teenagers of distinctly non-volcanic natures will rejoice to meet their champion in Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts. (Cain’s) narrative voice is kind and understanding as, with anecdotes, social science and practical advice, she extols the qualities of introverts in a culture that prizes noise and flash.”             Wall Street Journal

Highly accessible … gives a voice to a group of people who are often made to feel unappreciated. Many will find value in this title that emphasizes that being an introvert is not a blemish on one’s personality but a benefit.”             School Library Journal

The Blitz of 1940-41 is one of the most iconic periods in modern British history – and one of the most misunderstood. The ‘Blitz spirit’ is celebrated by some, whereas others dismiss it as a myth. Joshua Levine’s thrilling biography rejects the tired arguments and reveals the human truth: the Blitz was a time of extremes of experience and behaviour. People were pulling together and helping strangers, but they were also breaking rules and exploiting each other. Life during wartime, the author reveals, was complex and messy and real.

From the first page readers will discover a different story to the one they thought they knew – from the sacrifices made by ordinary people to a sudden surge in the popularity of nightclubs; from secret criminal trials at the Old Bailey to a Columbine-style murder in an Oxford college. There were new working opportunities for women and the appearance of unfamiliar cultures: whilst prayers were offered up in a south London mosque, Jamaican sailors were struggling to cross the country. nlikely friendships were fostered and surprising sexualities explored – these years saw a boom in prostitution and even the emergence of a popular weekly magazine for fetishists. On the darker side, racketeers and spivs made money out of the chaos, and looters prowled the night to prey on bomb victims.

From the lack of cheese to the decreased suicide rate, this astonishing and entertaining book takes the true pulse of a ‘blitzed nation’. And it shows how social change during this time led to political change – which in turn has built the Britain we know today.

“…a first-class portrait of that traumatic and tragic time, conveyed largely through the worlds of those who experienced it. Spiced with sexual and criminal statistics, Levine reveals a Britain of loose morals, opportunistic pilfering and cheating, and hedonistic pleasure, alongside the more familiar virtues of courage and community.”                       Sunday Telegraph

 

Inspired by classic illustrated botanical volumes, this is a modern celebration of wild, garden and exotic flowers. A single photographic image captures the intricate detail, form, texture and colour of each flower. The hauntingly beautiful photographs – as beautiful as the most captivating still-life painting – pay respect to classic Victorian botanical illustrations but they are paired, for a younger audience, with succinct, quirky text about the culture and historical interest of each variety of plant.

Every example is the most perfect representation of a flower and, thanks to its composition and detail, it will trigger in everyone a fresh desire to look around and feel enriched by the beauty in our world – in our gardens, window boxes, flower shops and parks. Broken down into chapters based on floral characteristics or symbolism, this is a stunning gift book that taps into the growing interest in the natural world around us – its flora and fauna – and the associated benefits on our well-being, and the powerful pursuit of quiet, mindful activities. Whether for dipping into, or poring over, these pages will bring pleasure to anyone who loves the beauty of flowers, art, design, contemplation or reading.

Botanica is the universal standard work for garden enthusiasts and botanists alike. The collaboration of a team of international experts has resulted in a reference work that illustrates the rich diversity of our flora with a myriad of indigenous and exotic plants. More than 10,000 genera and species – from A for Abelia to Z for Zygopetalum – are clearly presented in a well-organized manner. Richly illustrated with color detail and large-format images, this botanical alphabet offers all kinds of information about starting, caring for, reproducing and propagating plants as well as their appearance and special qualities. A glossary and an index of the English names and various synonyms allow you easy access to species and families. This book is not only addressed to seasoned botanists in search of a reliable companion, but also to hobby gardeners and interested readers who want to spruce up their own gardens or deepen their botanical knowledge.

Two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo returns to her roots with a moving, masterful story of an unforgettable summer friendship.

Raymie Clarke has come to realize that everything, absolutely everything, depends on her. And she has a plan. If Raymie can win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, then her father, who left town two days ago with a dental hygienist, will see Raymie’s picture in the paper and (maybe) come home. To win, not only does Raymie have to do good deeds and learn how to twirl a baton; she also has to contend with the wispy, frequently fainting Louisiana Elefante, who has a show-business background, and the fiery, stubborn Beverly Tapinski, who’s determined to sabotage the contest. But as the competition approaches, loneliness, loss, and unanswerable questions draw the three girls into an unlikely friendship — and challenge each of them to come to the rescue in unexpected ways.

With its short, vibrant chapters and clear, gentle prose, this triumphant and necessary book conjures the enchantments of childhood without shying away from the fraught realities of abandonment, abuse and neglect…Twirling a baton requires flair and confidence, in addition to an understanding that the baton is always balanced just a tiny bit off-center. There is something wonderfully off-balance, too, about ¬DiCamillo’s storytelling. It allows her characters to sparkle and soar. DiCamillo has called this novel, based partly on her own fatherless Florida childhood, “the absolutely true story of my heart.” What a beautiful and generous heart it is.”                      New York Times Book Review

You would like being friends with Leo. He likes to draw, he makes delicious snacks, and most people can’t even see him. Because Leo is also a ghost. When a new family moves into his home and Leo’s efforts to welcome them are misunderstood, Leo decides it is time to leave and see the world. That is how he meets Jane, a kid with a tremendous imagination and an open position for a worthy knight. That is how Leo and Jane become friends. And that is when their adventures begin. This charming tale of friendship—from two of the best young minds in picture books: the author of the Caldecott Honor–winning Extra Yarn and the illustrator of the Bologna Ragazzi Award–winning Josephine—is destined to become a modern classic that will delight readers for years to come.

Defends the joy of invisible playfellows with captivating artwork and text that is a pleasure to read aloud.”                        Wall Street Journal

An enchanting tale that will linger in the memories of all who read (or hear) it.”               Books4YourKids

This gentle tale of friendship and acceptance is feather-light yet enchanting enough to be read over and over.”                  Washington Post

Did you ever want to waddle with a colony of penguins? Wriggle with an army of caterpillars? Or march with a troop of monkeys?

Legendary illustrator Lane Smith takes us on a colourful adventure through the natural world, following a child as he weaves through the jungle, dives under the ocean and soars into the sky. Along the way he makes friends and causes mischief with a dazzling array of creatures both large and small – but can he find a tribe of his own? Full of warmth and humour, There Is a Tribe of Kids is a sumptuously detailed portrayal of wild childhood to be pored over for hours on end.

A witty and playful exploration of curiosity, discovery and what it means to belong, ideal for sharing with children of all ages. With a beautiful jacket glinting with gold foil, this gorgeous book makes the perfect gift for any occasion.

A beautifully illustrated and poetic journey through the natural world, to discover groups of animals in oceans, rain forests and jungles. Mesmeric.”               Huffington Post

This engaging and attractive exploration of collective nouns weaves a lovely story about a boy who wants to belong. It follows his journey through a truly beautiful series of illustrations, reminiscent of Where the Wild Things Are.”              Book Trust

From masterful storyteller Sean Taylor and exciting, celebrated graphic artist Jean Jullien, comes the laugh-out-loud tale of Hoot Owl. Hoot Owl is no ordinary owl – oh no! – he’s a master of disguise! And he will use his expert camouflage powers to trick his unsuspecting prey into succumbing to him! Tiny animals of the night … beware! But, somehow, Hoot Owl’s prey keeps escaping… Hmmm, perhaps he isn’t quite as masterful as he believes. Will he ever succeed in catching himself some dinner? Hilarity, ridiculousness and very bad costume changes abound in this wildly inventive new title.

Even though Nombulelo loves her Gogo’s stories about the animals that live in the forest, she’s too scared to go there. When Gogo dies, Numbulelo must summon her courage and take Gogo’s magical moth on a journey through the forest. This is a story of love, loss and the discovery of inner strength

Fangirls get a bad rap all the time – people say we’re weird, hysterical, obsessed, certifiable. But those people don’t understand.

Just because we’re fangirls, doesn’t mean we’re crazy.

It’s important you know that up front. Because everything I’m about to tell you is going to seem . . . well, crazy.

From thrilling debut author Goldy Moldavsky comes Kill The Boy Band, a pitch-black, hilarious take on modern fandom and the badass girls who have the power to make – or break – the people we call ‘celebrities’.

A wealthy family. A deadly secret. A young woman with more to lose than she knows.

Josephine Montfort is from one of New York’s oldest, most respected, and wealthiest families. Like most well-off girls of the Gilded Age, her future looks set – after a finishing school education, she will be favourably married off to a handsome gentleman, after which she’ll want for nothing. But Jo has other dreams and desires that make her long for a very different kind of future. She wants a more meaningful and exciting life: she wants to be an investigative journalist like her heroine Nellie Bly.

But when Jo’s father is found dead in his study after an alleged accident, her life becomes far more exciting than even Jo would wish. Unable to accept that her father could have been so careless, she begins to investigate his death with the help of a young reporter, Eddie Gallagher. It quickly becomes clear he was murdered, and in their race against time to discover the culprit and his motive, Jo and Eddie find themselves not only battling dark characters on the violent and gritty streets of New York, but also their growing feelings for each other.

Murder, morgues, asylums, dirty secrets and a slow-burning romance in this epic historical thriller.”                    Editor’s Choice, The Bookseller

This powerful debut novel delicately blurs the line between truth and fiction as Carol unravels the fantastical stories of her mentally ill grandfather. When she and her family move to his deserted ranch in order to transfer him to a care home, Carol struggles to cope with the suffocating heat and the effects of her grandfather’s dementia. Bees seem to be following her around, but the drought means this is impossible. She must be imagining things. Yet when her grandfather chooses her as the subject for his stories – tales of a magical healing tree, a lake, and the grandmother she never knew – Carol sees glimmers of something special in what her parents dismiss as Serge’s madness. As she rethinks her roots and what she thought she knew about her family, Carol comes to the realization that Serge’s past is quickly catching up with her present. A stunning coming-of-age story.

“[Hour of the Bees] transforms when it shifts a gear into magical realism […] gradually we are drawn in to the arid beauty of the dessert landscape […] And when you are wiping away the tears, you can take comfort in Serge’s words: ‘Stories don’t end… they just turn into new beginnings.'”                        Daily Telegraph

 

 

 

 

It’s not possible to undo what happened in 1976.

In rural South Africa a family massacre takes place; a bloodbath whose only witness is the family’s black maid. Hendrik Deyer is the principal of a state-run school camp who lives nearby with his wife and their two sons, Werner and Marius. As Hendrik becomes obsessed with uncovering what happened, his wife worries about her neighbours, a poor white family whose malign influence on her son Werner is – she believes – making his behaviour inexplicably strange and hostile. One night another tragedy changes each of their lives, irrevocably.

Two decades later, Werner is living with his mother and invalid father in a small Pretoria flat. South Africa is a changed place. Werner holds a tedious job in the administration department of the local university and dreams of owning his own gallery. His father is bedridden, hovering on the edge of death, and furious, as he has been for twenty years. As Werner feels his own life slip away, his thoughts turn to murder as a means to correct the course of all their futures. He can’t undo the past, but Werner’s desperation to change his own his fate will threaten not only his own family but also those still living in the aftermath of what happened all those years ago.

 

With its forcefully characterised anti-hero Werner, this is a book that will conjure favourable comparisons with other South African literary masters.”                             Barry Forshaw, Independent

Murder is everywhere you look in this dark and gripping novel, but it’s often achingly funny.”                   Kate Saunders, The Times

Strauss mixes two narratives together with ease, and comes up with a novel that sparkles.”                      Book Munch

“The Curator is a very interesting and compelling read.”                                Savidge Reads

 

 

 

Some memories are too powerful to live only in the past.

During a ferocious storm, a red-haired stranger appears in the garden of a small farming cottage. Eliza and her parents take him in. But very soon, it’s clear he has no intention of leaving.

A century later, Mary and Graham have experienced every parent’s worst nightmare. Now, escaping the memories and the headlines, they have found an idyllic new home in rural Suffolk. A cottage, a beautiful garden. The perfect place to forget. To move on. But life doesn’t always work that way.
A devastating depiction of profound loss, sexual longing, love and true evil, The Stopped Heart is the finest novel to date from this most fearless and original of writers.

This is a book that you will turn through the night to reach its conclusion ― Myerson has you dying for the end and even surer that you will do just that when you get there. Spoiler alert: don’t expect roses around the door.”                   The Times

It’s the sort of book you cannot put down, partly because it is so addictive and partly because if you do put it down, you know you will spend the next few hours startling at every creaking door… It really is unremittingly, heart-stoppingly dark.”                                 Viv Groskop, Observer

Filled with darkness… An unsettling and disturbing tale.”                            Beth Jones, Sunday Telegraph

Myerson evokes mystery and madness, with glimpses into devastating events, the full extent of which are slowly and skilfully uncovered.”                       Vogue

I raced through this compelling story of parental heartbreak interspersed with the unravelling a century-old crime.”                      Cathy Rentenbrink, Bookseller

 

 

Part whodunnit, part coming of age, this is a gripping debut about the secrets behind every door’ Rachel Joyce

A very special book’ Nathan Filer
An utter delight’ Sarah Winman
A delight’ Paula Hawkins
A treasure chest of a novel’ Julie Cohen
One of the standout novels of the year’ Hannah Beckerman
I didn’t want the book to end’ Carys Bray
An excellent debut’ James Hannah
Grace and Tilly are my new heroes’ Kate Hamer
A wonderful debut’ Jill Mansell
A modern classic in the making’ Sarah Hilary
A stunning debut’ Katie Fforde
Phenomenal’ Miranda Dickinson

England,1976.

Mrs Creasy is missing and The Avenue is alive with whispers. As the summer shimmers endlessly on, ten-year-olds Grace and Tilly decide to take matters into their own hands.

And as the cul-de-sac starts giving up its secrets, the amateur detectives will find much more than they imagined…

 

A splendid debut …Forensic period detail and pithy exchanges between characters give the novel the feel of a Seventies sitcom …a wonderful achievement.’        Daily Mail

 

Cannon specialises, beautifully, in making concrete the abstract … a superior debut.’                     Sunday Times

 

Vibrant and funny…imagine Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, set in 1970s English suburbia.’                     Guardian

 

Successfully capturing the claustrophobia of suburban life… Cannon paints a sympathetic and nuanced portrait of society’s misfits.’                               Independent

 

Fresh and vivid, this intriguing debut is a perceptive coming-of-age Tale.’ Sunday Express

 

A quirky, moving and beautifully written tale of suburban life in 1970s Britain, The Trouble with Goats and Sheep is a delight from start to finish.’                        Paula Hawkins

 

 

 

 

‘A gripping, subtle, emotional novel.’                      Sadie Jones, author of The Outcast

By the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Lie. Forbidden love, intimate betrayal and the devastating power of exposure drive Helen Dunmore’s remarkable new novel.

London, November, 1960: the Cold War is at its height. Spy fever fills the newspapers, and the political establishment knows how and where to bury its secrets.

When a highly sensitive file goes missing, Simon Callington is accused of passing information to the Soviets, and arrested.

His wife, Lily, suspects that his imprisonment is part of a cover-up, and that more powerful men than Simon will do anything to prevent their own downfall.

She knows that she too is in danger, and must fight to protect her children. But what she does not realise is that Simon has hidden vital truths about his past, and may be found guilty of another crime that carries with it an even greater penalty.

 

Helen Dunmore delivers a deceptively simple masterpiece, a new take on the lives of the men and –particularly – the women caught up in the cold war … Exposure is magnificent.”                   Independent on Sunday

Exposure is the sort of winter read you hanker for…the period is so meticulously re-created that you almost hear the hiss of the gas streetlamps.”                                      The Times

Dunmore packs an impressive amount on to a compact canvas. Full of convincing detail, the novel is as much about sexuality in the age of the Chatterley ban as about Whitehall skulduggery … A dramatic mix of domesticity and derring-do … Like many of the best spy novels, Exposure sets out to unsettle Britain’s view of itself.”                              Sunday Telegraph

Under its smooth, naturalistic surfaces, Exposure has a tightly wrought plot gripping as any thriller. But it is the union of this plot with complex, challenging characters that makes the book such a surprising and fulfilling read…will haunt you for months, if not years.”                    Kate Clanchy, Guardian

It is an intriguing set-up, and with Dunmore at its helm this tale of divided loyalties never lets up for a minute … Dunmore is such a class act … she sticks to the human essentials of her story, does not over-complicate things, and comes up trumps yet again.”                          Mail on Sunday

Exposure succeeds as a Cold War thriller as well as a psychological drama. It deals with some lurid events, but evokes the texture of time … It offers in fact what Dunmore does best: a story of “desperate urgency, cloaked in the everyday.”                       David Grylls, Sunday Times

The danger with ‘literary thrillers’ is simple: the more literary a story is, the less thrilling it can be. There’s a balance to be found, and Dunmore expertly weights both sides. She revels in layers of concealment. Beautiful poetic phrases, quite startling at times, enliven the eye and the mind.”                              Spectator

One of our most outstanding writers, Helen Dunmore has drawn inspiration from the classic spy novel for her latest book … While it has all the thrill and menace of a John Le Carré novel, Dunmore is more interested in the personal … An atmospheric read full of vivid characters – if you only buy one book this month make it this one.”                             Good Housekeeping, Book of the Month

Helen Dunmore’s subtle tale of espionage and fear has a refreshingly human scale… It is, in many ways, a romance where salvation comes through a late, unexpected and generous act of love.”                                 Independent

Dunmore’s treatment is distinctive. Her work as both a poet and a novelist, is characterised by its rich sensuality and the stark emotional truths at its core. This sensibility, along with the small domestic and personal details at which she excels, transcend genre…”                          Financial Times

 

 

Lucie Henebelle and Inspector Sharko take on the case of the brutal murder of Eva Louts, a promising graduate student who was killed while working at a primate research centre outside Paris. But what first appears to be a vicious animal attack soon proves to be something more sinister. What was Eva secretly researching? Could she be on the track of three fanatical scientists who control a 30-thousand-year-old virus with plans to unleash it into the world?

 

Crichton fuses with True Detective’ in a hammering hard-science thriller where the heart of darkness lies not in the soul, but in the genes. Thilliez engineers a winner.”                             Scott Sigler, New York Times

 

 

 

The path to true love rarely runs smoothly…

Teo, a medical student, meets Clarice at a party. Teo doesn’t really like people, they’re too messy, but he immediately realises that he and Clarice are meant to be together.  And if Clarice doesn’t accept that? Well, they just need to spend some time together, and she’ll come to realise that too.

And yes, he has bought handcuffs and yes, he has taken her prisoner and yes, he is lying to her mother and to his mother and to the people at the hotel he’s keeping her at, but it’s all for her own good.

She’ll understand. She’ll fall in love. She’ll settle down and be his loving wife.

Won’t she?

 

A chilling, twisty exposed nerve of a novel. Even creepier than Gone Girl. I loved it”                         Lauren Beukes

A gripping debut. Raphael Montes is a writer to watch – he will do great things!”                             Sophie Hannah

A superb achievement! I was gripped from the very beginning by this, yes, perfect novel, which showcases the author’s unparalleled skills in merging literary sensibilities, psychological insight and breath-taking suspense. To top it all off, Montes brings Rio de Janeiro and Brazil to life as few authors, even the best travel writers, could do. Raphael Montes is a must-read!”                   Jeffery Deaver

A seriously spooky thriller that is, at times, every bit as creepy as Psycho.”                          Bookmunch

A black comedy-cum-road thriller.”                       John O’Connell, Guardian

 

 

 

Permanent Removal is a beautifully written political thriller focusing on the nature of justice, truth, betrayal, socio-political and ethical quandaries, complicity and moral agency. The novel introduces readers to a cast of players whose destinies intertwine in a particularly gruesome murder.

The novel is set in apartheid South Africa and the start of the Rainbow Nation. South African security forces set up a roadblock to intercept a car near the city of Port Elizabeth. Two of the four anti-apartheid activists in the car were secretly targeted for assassination. The police abducted the four and murdered them in cold blood. Their burnt bodies were found later near the Port Elizabeth suburb of Bluewater Bay. These murders are one of apartheid’s murkiest episodes.

On the day of the funeral, President PW Botha declared a State of Emergency. It was the beginning of the end.

Works such as Jacob Dlamini’s penetrating and discursive Askari and the recent publication on Eugene de Kock as state sanctioned perpetrator of various evils will be complemented in no small measure by this intriguing fictionalised exploration of political executions and culpability/loss during the apartheid heyday.

 

 

 

An international crime adventure with a South African twist; a stylistic cross between Ian Fleming’s James Bond and Deon Meyer’s more local crime scene: fast-paced, high-flying, gritty, glamorous and violent.’                                  Alex Smith

Who can stop a maniacal Russian and his private army? Surely not a handful of Cape Town gangsters and an investment banker/ex-scuba diving instructor.
Unemployed Economics graduate Leon Jacobs rescues Sophia Popova, a beautiful but troubled Russian heiress, during a high-risk scuba dive at one of the deep dive-sites of the Red Sea. Subsequently, he joins Sophia’s father’s corrupt investment bank in London. The love-sick and gullible Leon soon starts drowning in the international syndicated crime world of Bogdan Popov, famous for the innovative ways he gets rid of his competitors. Meanwhile, after a series of shocking events disrupt the solitude of ex-gangster Franklin Benjamin’s existence in a small fishing village off the West Coast of South Africa, he has to make the impossible decision: to rise up from his hibernation and mobilise his gang.
Will Leon escape with his life from the global-reaching claws of Popov? And where will Sophia find the courage and strength to slay the inner demons ruling her existence? Submerged is an international thriller traversing the buzzing financial hub of London, the beautiful City of Cape Town with its adjacent Cape Flats ganglands, the pirate-infested waters off the horn of Africa, and the rhino-slaughter fields of South Africa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Unconventional, highly readable, often very funny and strangely touching … it’s the kind of book you can’t stop reading but don’t want to finish.’                              Sue Gaisford, Financial Times

The new novel from Mick Jackson, Booker Prize-shortlisted author of The Underground Man and Ten Sorry Tales

‘They both stop and stare for a moment. Yuki feels she’s spent about half her adult life thinking about snow, but when it starts, even now, it’s always arresting, bewildering. Each snowflake skating along some invisible plane. Always circuitous, as if looking for the best place to land…’

 

Yukiko tragically lost her mother ten years ago. After visiting her sister in London, she goes on the run, and heads for Haworth, West Yorkshire, the last place her mother visited before her death.

Against a cold, winter, Yorkshire landscape, Yuki has to tackle the mystery of her mother’s death, her burgeoning friendship with a local girl, the allure of the Brontes and her own sister’s wrath.
Jackson is a superb writer with a gift for dialogue.”                         Paula Byrne, The Times

“There are some lovely ideas in Mick Jackson’s latest novel, befitting the mercurial, fretful nature of its narrator.”                            Eithne Farry, Mail on Sunday

The psychic detective story soon becomes an engrossing one of a motherless young girl finding her way in the world and dealing with her grief.”                  Big Issue

Yuki Chan in Bronte Country is spot on in its rendering of the round and roundness of grief … a quietly devastating study of loss that sneaks up on you – a cupcake with something unbearable beneath the frosting.”                      Country Life

A charming and utterly absorbing meditation on grieving and identity.”                              The Lady

 

 

 

 

Set in present-day Hong Kong, The Expatriates follows the lives of three women. An unspeakable tragedy leaves twenty-something Mercy with a crippling personal inertia, and Margaret, a mother of three, numb and unable to heal. In the same small expatriate community, Hilary tries to distract herself from a marriage gone stale by providing piano lessons for a local orphan, only to find her actions openly criticised on an anonymous online forum.

The individual, sometimes overlapping perspectives of Mercy, Margaret and Hilary are woven together, exposing the insularity and complex privilege of the expatriate world, whilst also revealing the fragility of a woman’s position in the world. When the women are struck by tragedy, each of them realises how shockingly dependent they were upon conforming to the unspoken rules of their milieu. In Hong Kong, without speaking Cantonese or having a job (it is almost always the husband who precipitates the move), these women find themselves, almost unexpectedly, stripped of their former identities and living in a land of country clubs and housemaids. Cut off from family, friends, and jobs, they find themselves in a world where the old rules no longer apply.

The Expatriates is a novel about overpowering grief, the transformative power of forgiveness and how finding oneself in a strange land can be the best way to find one’s true self.

 

Gorgeously wrought . . . The first must-read of 2016.”                  Marie Claire

Brilliantly plotted and written, utterly absorbing, often heartbreaking, The Expatriates looks set to be one of the books of the year.”                            Daily Mail

Lee excels at conveying the claustrophobic atmosphere of expat life. Despite their various degrees of privilege and wealth, Hilary, Margaret and Mercy are all forced to operate within a tight framework of expectations . . . One of the novel’s strengths is Lee’s exploration of the sometimes subtle interplay between different layers and types of privilege; another is her empathy for the loneliness that her characters must endure . . . shrewd and moving.”                             Financial Times

A female, funny Henry James in Asia, Janice Y. K. Lee is vividly good on the subject of Americans abroad…vibrant social satire: Inside these dark materials lies the sharpness of a comic novelist, and Lee’s eye for the nuance and clash of culture, class, race and sex is subtle and shrewd.”                             New York Times Book Review

Lee has written a book that manages to shine a penetrating light on both the ups and downs of the expat experience and the resilience of human spirit…A perceptive and compelling tale. By laying bare three lives and dishing out a series of hard knocks, Janice Lee expertly demonstrates how “small decisions lead to big effects.”                          Literary Review

 

 

I was dead for 13 minutes.

I don’t remember how I ended up in the icy water but I do know this – it wasn’t an accident and I wasn’t suicidal.

They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but when you’re a teenage girl, it’s hard to tell them apart. My friends love me, I’m sure of it. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t try to kill me. Does it?

13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough is a gripping psychological thriller about people, fears, manuiplation and the power of the truth. A stunning read, it questions our relationships – and what we really know about the people closest to us . . .

 

An unsettling psychological thriller, the book plunges you into the frankly scary world of teenage girls.”                               Fabulous, Sun on Sunday

A highly dramatic and convincing thriller.”                         Book Bag

“13 Minutes is another fantastic demonstration of Sarah Pinborough’s gifts for telling an enthralling tale.”                                          Sci-Fi Bulletin

 

 

 

 

In 2010, bestselling author Kathleen Winter took a journey across the legendary Northwest Passage. From Greenland to Baffin Island and all along this arctic passage, Winter witnesses the new mathematics of the melting North – where polar bears mate with grizzlies, creating a new hybrid species; where the earth is on the cusp of yielding so much buried treasure that five nations stand poised to claim sovereignty of the land; and where the local Inuit population struggles to navigate the tension between taking their part in the new global economy and defending their traditional way of life. In breathtaking prose charged with vivid descriptions of the land and its people, Kathleen Winter’s Boundless is a haunting and powerful story: a homage to the ever-evolving and magnetic power of the North.

 

Absorbing.”                      Michael Kerr, Daily Telegraph

A lively interactive account [of] the native culture of Greenland, the human pathos of small mementoes of failed polar expeditions and the larger, legendary Arctic landscape in meltdown.”                     The Times

“[Winter’s] keen novelist’s eye brings immediacy and vibrancy… An unusual and original take on the travel memoir, by the end there is a real sense of an epic journey having been taken, by both the writer and the reader.”                           Observer

Compulsively readable… it both heightens life and plumbs its deepest mysteries, laying bare the beauty of both the world and the soul.”                    Globe and Mail

Ultimately, the journey that Kathleen Winter takes on a last-minute whim is transformative. Her precise and vivid prose allows the reader to share in that transformation. For the many readers who admired Annabel and want to get to know its author better, Boundless is a tremendous gift.”                                                 Quill & Quire

 

 

 

‘I’ve lived through ten iOS upgrades on my Mac – and that’s just something I use to muck about on Twitter. Surely capitalism is due an upgrade or two?’

When Caitlin Moran sat down to choose her favourite pieces for her new book she realised that they all seemed to join up. Turns out, it’s the same old problems and the same old ass-hats.

Then she thought of the word ‘Moranifesto’, and she knew what she had to do…

This is Caitlin’s engaging and amusing rallying call for our times. Combining the best of her recent columns with lots of new writing unique to this book, Caitlin deals with topics as pressing and diverse as 1980s swearing, benefits, boarding schools, and why the internet is like a drunken toddler.

And whilst never afraid to address the big issues of the day – such as Benedict Cumberbatch and duffel coats – Caitlin also makes a passionate effort to understand our 21st century society and presents us with her ‘Moranifesto’ for making the world a better place.

The polite revolution starts here! Please.

 

She is one of the most astute social commentators hitting a keyboard today … guaranteed to brighten up anyone’s life”                                 Independent

The joy of Moran’s writing lies in how she combines thoughtfulness and intelligence with proper belly laughs.”                                Independent on Sunday

 

The joy of Moran’s writing lies in how she combines thoughtfulness and intelligence with proper belly laughs…. It’s this clarity about how the world can be improved, how we can all be better at life, that lies at the heart of Moran’s writing. She may be funny, but she’s also right.”                        Independent

Having conquered feminism, Caitlin Moran is ready to solve the problems of the world…. We’re in.”                       Marie Claire

Brilliant…. If you like Caitlin Moran you will love how Moranifesto… feels as though she has plonked herself down next to you in the pub and is knocking back gin while holding forth.”                      Sunday Times

“[Moran] describes the book as ‘detailing how I would solve the problems of the Earth.’ You wouldn’t bet against her.”                                 Glamour

When she writes on politics Moran is predictably brilliant… full of great ideas…. Reading Moranifesto I thought how much I’d like to live in the world Moran is arguing for — a kinder, fairer, more equal place.”                     Evening Standard

 

 

 

To the charity workers, Dadaab refugee camp is a humanitarian crisis; to the Kenyan government, it is a ‘nursery for terrorists’; to the western media, it is a dangerous no-go area; but to its half a million residents, it is their last resort.Situated hundreds of miles from any other settlement, in the midst of the inhospitable desert of northern Kenya where only thorn bushes grow, Dadaab is a city like no other. Its buildings are made from mud, sticks or plastic, its entire economy is grey, and its citizens survive on rations and luck. Over the course of four years, Ben Rawlence became a first-hand witness to a strange and desperate limbo-land, getting to know many of those who have come there seeking sanctuary. Among them are Guled, a former child soldier who lives for football; Nisho, who scrapes an existence by pushing a wheelbarrow and dreaming of riches; Tawane, the indomitable youth leader; and schoolgirl Kheyro, whose future hangs upon her education.In City of Thorns, Rawlence interweaves the stories of nine individuals to show what life is like in the camp and to sketch the wider political forces that keep the refugees trapped there. Lucid, vivid and illuminating, City of Thorns is an urgent human story with deep international repercussions, brought to life through the people who call Dadaab home.

 

A superb work that highlights the essential humanity of those faceless masses buffeted by events and desperately seeking salvation in one of the world’s most troubled spots, [and offers an] outstanding glimpse into the shattered and insecure lives of those on the frontline of the global migration crisis… This is a highly readable book. It is also a damning indictment of the hypocrisy behind camps, which offer such pat solution to refugee crises for aid agencies and politicians… These are stories that need to be heard.”                  Observer
‘A great read …stunning.’                            Andrew Marr, BBC Start the Week

‘Rawlence provides an intricate portrait of this sprawling settlement.’                     Radio Times

‘An absorbing book, full of heart… [a] thoughtful portrait.’                         New Statesman

‘[This] remarkable book comes as a timely reminder that the vast majority of the world’s refugee population will never see European shores… Rawlence is brilliant on Dadaab’s complex material life and what seems like a huge experiment in a mixed economy… [a] timely, disturbing and compelling book.’   Guardian

‘Rawlence can write with beauty […] but the lyricism never distracts from the precision of his reporting… Rawlence’s aim is to make distant lives matter, and in that he succeeds. [He] teases out a narrative that, like Dadaab, pulsates with life.’                   The Times

‘This is a book that bristles with anger and despair, but is also full of compassion and dignity. Rawlence offers no solutions, no policy prescriptions. He simply lays out these people’s lives and asks us to notice them – and to care.’                 Daily Telegraph

‘Rawlence vividly conveys the strain of living in the camp, always hungry, just waiting: [a] masterful account. Next time someone refers derisorily to a ‘bunch of migrants’, get them to read this book.’                 Christine Lamb, Sunday Times

 

 

 

In To Explain the World, pre-eminent theoretical physicist Steven Weinberg offers a rich and irreverent history of science from a unique perspective – that of a scientist. Moving from ancient Miletus to medieval Baghdad to Oxford, and from the Museum of Alexandria to the Royal Society of London, he shows that the scientists of the past not only did not understand what we understand about the world – they did not understand what there is to understand. Yet eventually, through the struggle to solve such mysteries as the backward movement of the planets and the rise and fall of tides, the modern discipline of science emerged.

 

A great book, a necessary book for our time.”                  Independent)

I read To Explain the World completely enthralled. It transmutes the base metal of a mere history of science into pure gold-into a magisterial celebration of a long and heroic struggle, still incomplete, to understand nature. Only a committed scientist of Steven Weinberg’s brilliance, experience and breadth of insight could have accomplished this. I ended the book exhilarated.”                      Ian McEwan

In this masterful, entertainingly ‘irreverent’ book, Weinberg explains the rise of science from ancient Greeks to modern geeks in terms that his students and the rest of us will understand.”                        Iain Finlayson, The Times

It would be putting it mildly to say that Weinberg triumphantly lives up to what it says on the Nobel tin: a true intellectual as well as a brilliant theoretical physicist.”                            Richard Dawkins

Regarded as the pre-eminent theoretical physicist alive today… Weinberg is also a fine writer and communicator about ideas beyond his own field… Weinberg has clearly carried out extensive scholarly investigation for To Explain the World, and the book works as history. But what makes it tand out is his perspective as a top scientist working today.”                  Financial Times

Weinberg has reached the pinnacle of scientific success – the Nobel Prize – he writes clearly and with confidence, imbuing the reader with an irresistible sense that one is in the hands of a master physicist at play.”                            Sunday Times

An absolute delight.”                   Times Higher Education Supplement

A refreshing contrast to other tomes on the topic… Weinberg reminds us to be humble not only about what we know, but how we know it.”                             Guardian
An enlightening read that does not demand specialist knowledge to enjoy.”                      Sunday Times

The book is a magnificent contribution to the history and philosophy of science…Weinberg writes with great verve and clarity.”                                Times Literary Supplement

 

 

 

In Other Words is a revelation. It is at heart a love story of a long and sometimes difficult courtship, and a passion that verges on obsession: that of a writer for another language. For Jhumpa Lahiri, that love was for Italian, which first captivated and capsized her during a trip to Florence after college. Although Lahiri studied Italian for many years afterwards, true mastery had always eluded her.

Seeking full immersion, she decided to move to Rome with her family, for ‘a trial by fire, a sort of baptism’ into a new language and world. There, she began to read and to write – initially in her journal – solely in Italian. In Other Words, an autobiographical work written in Italian, investigates the process of learning to express oneself in another language, and describes the journey of a writer seeking a new voice.

Presented in a dual-language format, this is a wholly original book about exile, linguistic and otherwise, written with an intensity and clarity not seen since Vladimir Nabokov: a startling act of self-reflection and a provocative exploration of belonging and reinvention.
Deeply pleasurable. In Other Words gives off the intoxication of metamorphosis; it puts one in the company of a beautiful mind engaged in a sustaining and bracing discipline. The reader who takes it up holds an appealing, missal-sized text, with the Italian printed on the left and English on the right. It is Lahiri’s first book of nonfiction, yet it contains two short stories. In introducing one, Lahiri tells us the symbolism of a missing black sweater in the story—it is language. In this diverting way, a reader bobs in the wake of Lahiri’s grand experiment.  The cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker notes that ‘language comes so naturally to us that we’re apt to forget what a strange and miraculous gift it is.’ On every page—including the half that monolinguists can’t fathom—Lahiri’s magnificent book reminds us.”                        Karen Long, Los Angeles Times

Urgent and raw . . . In her critically praised works of fiction, Lahiri drew on the experience of her parents, who clung to the traditions of India long after coming to the U.S.  But her new book reveals how deeply Lahiri has felt displacement and alienation herself, and the thrilling distance she’ll go to make sense of it. The memoir chronicles her obsession with Italian, which leads her to take on the radical experiment of writing this book in a language she’s still trying to master. The process is like a love affair . . . Through this linguistic autobiography, Lahiri appears to forge a new sense of belonging. Using discomfort to shatter her own status quo, she produces a startlingly different voice—still Lahiri’s, but stripped down to its essence.”                             Leigh Haber, O, The Oprah Magazine

Dazzling . . . Lahiri’s fascination with the beauty of language now has produced an affecting account, written in Italian, of her effort to master that language . . . She reflects on everything from the challenges of thought and expression in a foreign tongue to the mystery of creativity.”                       Harvey Freedenberg, Shelf Awareness

 

One of the most impressive writers in the U.S.”                                Daily Mail

A writer of uncommon elegance and poise.”                     New York Times

A writer of formidable powers and great depth of feeling.”                        Observer

Her Italian writing is personal, inward-looking, exploring identity and alienation, anatomising the state of mind of a writer who has more than one “mother tongue” … This is essentially a literary memoir, a passionate love letter to language and to Italy … This is a study of transformation – of a writer, and a woman who has forever been trying to improve herself … For anyone remotely interested in grammar, the chapter on the minefield of Italian prepositions and the past imperfect makes entertaining reading. And there’s no academic aridity; the spare, limpid prose of Lahiri’s fiction permeates a bold and quirkily engaging self-portrait.”                                Lee Langley, Spectator

 

 

 

The day that 12-year-old James Doty walked in to his local magic shop is the day that changed his life. Once the neglected son of an alcoholic father and a mother with chronic depression, he has gone on to become a leading neurosurgeon, based at Stanford University. He credits Ruth for this incredible turnaround: the remarkable woman who devoted the summer to transforming his mind and opening his heart.

In this uplifting memoir, Jim explains the visualisation techniques Ruth taught him that gave him the self-esteem to imagine a new future for himself. He examines the science behind mindfulness and why the skills he learned – of focus and attention – now help him to think fast and keep calm in the operating theatre. And he shows us what is possible when you start to change your brain and your heart.

Into the Magic Shop imparts some powerful life lessons about how to live better, and inspires us to believe that we all have inside us the capacity to change our own destiny.

 

‘This book tells the remarkable story of a neurosurgeon’s quest to unravel the mystery of the link between our brains and our hearts. From the moment in his childhood when a simple act of kindness changed the course of his own life to his founding a center to study compassion at Stanford University. Jim Doty’s life illustrates how each of us can make a difference. We can make the world a more compassionate place. I’m sure many readers will be moved by this inspiring story to open their hearts and see what they too can do for others.’                   His Holiness the Dalai Lama

‘Into the Magic Shop offers a gripping, well-told journey into the mysteries of the human mind and brain. Neurosurgeon James Doty has written a heartwarming tale of courage and compassion.’                          Daniel Goleman author of Emotional Intelligence
‘In this profound and beautiful book, Dr Doty teaches us with his life, and the lessons he imparts are some of the most important of all: that happiness cannot be without suffering, that compassion is born from understanding our own suffering and the suffering of those around us, and that only when we have compassion in our hearts can we be truly happy.’                 Thich Nhat Hanh
‘Once in a generation, someone is able to articulate the compelling mystery within his or her life story in such a way that it captures the imagination of others and inspires them to align with what is deepest and best in themselves and allow it to manifest and flower. There is plenty of magic in this book, but the deepest magic of all is that Jim was openheartedly guided to start practising that aligning when he was twelve and trusted it enough to never lose the thread completely, even in the hardest of times. Behold what is emerging now.’                  Jon Kabat-Zinn

 

This is the new London: an immigrant city. Over one-third of Londoners were born abroad, with half arriving since the millennium. This has utterly transformed the capital, for better and for worse.

Ben Judah is an acclaimed foreign correspondent, but here he turns his reporter’s gaze on home, immersing himself in the hidden world of London’s immigrants to reveal the city in the eyes of its beggars, bankers, coppers, gangsters, carers and witch-doctors. From the backrooms of its mosques, Tube tunnels and nightclubs to the frontlines of its streets, Judah has supped with oligarchs and spent nights sleeping rough, worked on building sites and talked business with prostitutes; he’s heard stories of heartbreaking failure, but also witnessed extraordinary acts of compassion.

This is London explodes fossilised myths and offers a fresh, exciting portrait of what it’s like to live, work, fall in love, raise children, grow old and die in London now. Simultaneously intimate and epic, here is a compulsive and deeply sympathetic book on this dizzying world city from one of our brightest new writers.

 

It is hard to overstate the value of what Judah has done . . . This is London is an important and impressive book.”                           Sunday Telegraph

An eye-opening investigation into the hidden immigrant life of the city . . . You won’t read a more succinct analysis.”                     Sunday Times

A revelatory work, full of nuggets of unexpected information about the lives of others . . . [Judah] is a fine, intrepid reporter.”                            Financial Times

Judah has succeeded in opening reader’s eyes to the hardships experienced by many and ignored by most.”                     Independent

Having spent the last year meeting people along several of the world’s busiest migration trails, it is fascinating to read Ben Judah’s powerful account of where some of them end up. Judah has created an alternative and essential guide to London, and Londoners, in 2015.”                              Guardian

Judah travels through the city, coaxing astonishing interviews from a wide range of migrants . . . He captures the different voices with great skill . . . His observations are acute . . . His interviews are always psychologically telling . . . Most remarkable is Judah’s obvious compassion, to which his subjects respond, opening their hearts and letting their voices “tumble” into his tape recorder . . . London emerges from this book as a disturbing, dramatically changing city . . . It is an extraordinary portrait of a city and a rare treat to come across a book in which the ideas are as compelling and fresh as the writing. This is London is a game changer. No longer can we stroll past villages of sleeping Roma and pretend they do not exist. This is London today and Ben Judah is its chronicler.”                          Literary Review

 

 

 

Published to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the death of T. S. Eliot, this major biography traces the life of the twentieth century’s most important poet from his childhood in the ragtime city of St Louis right up to the publication of his most famous poem, The Waste Land. Meticulously detailed and incisively written, Young Eliot portrays a brilliant, shy and wounded American who defied his parents’ wishes and committed himself to life as an immigrant in England, authoring work astonishing in its scope and hurt.

 

“Young Eliot marks both a milestone and a turning point… [It] is judicious, sympathetic, meticulous…. The story it tells of a great poet’s early life is enthralling.”                       Robert McCrum, Observer

This is an exemplary book… I look forward to the second volume eagerly.”                         Stuart Kelly, Scotsman

A masterful biography of the canonical modernist… Drawing on sources not available to previous biographers, the author fashions an authoritative, nuanced portrait… Although Crawford modestly claims that his biography is neither “official” nor definitive, it is unlikely to be surpassed.”                        Kirkus

Crawford’s superb biography, of which this is the first of two volumes, must now be regarded as the standard work. It does not diminish or tarnish Eliot’s reputation. On the contrary, it makes one want to return to the poems and read them again and again.”                           Alan Taylor, Herald

Crawford’s case is sensitive and compelling, and his account – especially of Eliot’s childhood and student years – is more richly detailed than any previous biographer’s…. A powerful and enlightening book.”                     John Carey, Sunday Times

 

 

 

 

In January 2014 I was informed that I had cancer.

However, Quicksand is not a book about death and destruction, but about what it means to be human. I have undertaken a journey from my childhood to the man I am today, writing about the key events in my life, and about the people who have given me new perspectives. About men and women I have never met, but wish I had.

I write about love and jealousy, about courage and fear. And about what it is like to live with a potentially fatal illness.

This book is also about why the cave painters 40,000 years ago chose the very darkest places for their fascinating pictures. And about the dreadful troll that we are trying to lock away inside the bedrock of a Swedish mountain for the next 100,000 years.

It is a book about how humanity has lived and continues to live, and about how I have lived and continue to live my own life.

And, not least, about the great zest for life, which came back when I managed to drag myself out of the quicksand that threatened to suck me down into the abyss.”

 

An extraordinarily moving book… The chief strength of this book – and what makes it such a beautiful, moving document – is in the descriptions that Mankell gives of the joy and suffering he has seen, especially in Africa… Throughout Quicksand, there are scenes [of] joy and triumph in the midst of suffering and loss. This grave book, intensely beautiful in spirit, takes us to these places in the thoughtful company of a great soul.”                   Alexander McCall Smith, New Statesman

Potent and evocative.”                                Nick Rennison, Sunday Times

A deeply sombre book… Fans of Mankell’s magnificently gloomy fiction will have no difficulty in recognising the blueprint for his literary alter ego, Kurt Wallander… Compelling.”                  Daisy Goodwin, The Times

Quicksand, a hybrid of essay and memoir, reflects knowledgeably on art, religion, childhood and the “final insensibility” that is our dying. Rarely has a writer contemplated the mystery of the end of life with such a wide-ranging curiosity.” (Ian Thomson Evening Standard)

 

 

 

‘Powerful and sometimes shocking…‘ Sunday Times

In this powerful book, Dr Shirin Ebadi, Iranian human rights lawyer and activist, tells of her fight for reform inside Iran, and the devastating backlash she faced after winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

Having fought tirelessly for democracy, equality before the law and freedom of speech, Ebadi became a global voice of inspiration. Yet, inside her own country, her life has been plagued by surveillance, intimidation and violence.

Until We Are Free tells shocking stories of how the Iranian authorities eventually forced her into exile. Her sister and daughter were detained, her husband was enmeshed in an espionage plot with another woman, her Nobel medal was stolen from her safety deposit box, and her offices in Tehran were ransacked.

An illuminating depiction of life in Iran today as well as the account of Ebadi’s personal struggle to uphold her work and keep her family together, Until We Are Free is ultimately a work of hope and perseverance under circumstances of exceptional difficulty.

 

Fascinating…[shows how] Dr Shirin Ebadi has been affected positively and negatively by her Nobel prize…A must read.”                                 Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Powerful and sometimes shocking…[Ebadi], who is an emblem of her country…has paid a high price.”                  Sunday Times

Compelling.”                    Washington Post

One of the most remarkable resistance heroines of our dangerous times.”                          Daily Telegraph

A force of nature in and out of the courtroom. Shirin Ebadi is a one-woman human-rights machine….formidable.”                         Observer

 

 

Genius.”   Cosmopolitan

Self-help with an edge.”    Vogue

The surprising art of caring less and getting more

Are you stressed out, overbooked and underwhelmed by life? Fed up with pleasing everyone else before you please yourself? Then it’s time to stop giving a fk.

This irreverent and practical book explains how to rid yourself of unwanted obligations, shame, and guilt – and give your fks instead to people and things that make you happy.

From family dramas to having a bikini body, the simple ‘NotSorry Method’ for mental decluttering will help you unleash the power of not giving a fk and will free you to spend your time, energy and money on the things that really matter.

 

After reading this book cover-to-cover and compiling a list of ten things I don’t give a f about (Kanye West and exfoliation figured pretty highly), I realise how wonderfully liberating it is to stop apologising for things I’m not sorry about.”                                Red

Hilarious.”                         Psychologies

The self-help equivalent of a Weird Al parody song. (That’s a compliment.)”                      New York Times Book Review

This kind-of-genius parody of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up might actually change your life.”                  Women’s Health

A funny take on that very popular cleaning up book, but so much more. It’s about taking care of yourself and not giving a fck what people think of your choices (but without being an ahole). This book is kicking ass all over bestseller lists. Buy it. You won’t be disappointed.”                  Jen Kirkman

 

 

The British codebreakers at Bletchley Park are now believed to have shortened the duration of the Second World War by up to two years. During the dark days of 1941, as Britain stood almost alone against the the Nazis, this remarkable achievement seemed impossible. This extraordinary book, originally published as Action This Day, includes descriptions by some of Britain’s foremost historians of the work of Bletchley Park, from the breaking of Enigma and other wartime codes to the invention of modern computing, and its influence on Cold War codebreaking. Crucially, it features personal reminiscences and very human stories of wartime codebreaking from former Bletchley Park codebreakers themselves. This edition includes new material from one of those who was there, making The Bletchley Park Codebreakers compulsive reading. All royalties from this book will go to the Bletchley Park trust

 

Absolutely the best book ever written about codebreaking at Bletchley Park.”                   Louis Kruh, Editor, Cryptologia

“(A) remarkable collection of essays. Leaves one in awe of the complexity of Bletchley Park and its impact on both the world war and our postwar world. “                    Times Higher Educational Supplement

 

 

 

In the 1930s, as the world hurtled towards terrible global conflict, speed was all the rage. It was described by Aldous Huxley as ‘the one genuinely modern pleasure’, and one of the fastest and most thrilling ways to attain it was through the new sport of bobsledding. Exotic, exciting and above all dangerous, it was by far the most popular event at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics. It required an abundance of skill and bravery. And the four men who triumphed at those Games lived the most extraordinary lives.

Billy Fiske was an infamous daredevil, blessed with a natural talent for driving. He would later become the first American airman to die in the war – flying for the RAF. Clifford Gray was a notorious playboy and a player on both Broadway and Hollywood. Or was he? His identity was a mystery for decades. Jay O’Brien was a gambler and a rogue who, according to one ex-wife, forced women to marry him at gunpoint. And Eddie Eagan, a heavyweight boxer and brilliant lawyer, remains the only man to win gold at both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

This is their story, of loose living, risk-taking and hell-raising in an age of decadence, and of their race against the odds to become the fastest men on ice. We will never see their like again. Especially after the world did descend into that second, terrible global conflict.

 

Written with great pace and lightness, Speed Kings will enthral anyone who loved Seabiscuit and The Boys in the Boat.”                                Times, Books of the Year

A tale of exceptional sporting bravery… genuinely thrilling. A gripping yarn.”                    Observer

A wonderful story, told in marvellous style.”                      Literary Review

A rich slice of history about courage and nobility… irresistible personalities. Unlike so many of his peers Fiske saw Nazism early for what it was. He became the first American to join the RAF, flying in the Battle of Britain. This is what makes him worthy of Bull’s affectionate attention. It’s also what gives the book its cohesion and its last act, which is far more moving than you have a right to expect given all the fun that precedes it. Fiske stays with you. He’s the superhero you wish you’d been.”                   The Times

If there’s any justice, the winner of the 2015 William Hill Sports Book of the Year will be Andy Bull’s Speed Kings which tells the story of the four larger-than-life characters who won bobsleigh Olympic gold at Lake Placid in 1932. The enormous research needed to bring to life the quartet has been a remarkable feat.”                             Daily Mail

 

SHORTLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR

 

 

 

WINNER OF THE 800-CEO-READ BUSINESS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2015

In the vein of Susan Cain’s Quiet and Malcolm Gladwell’s David And Goliath, How To Fly A Horse is a smart, empowering book that dispels the myths around genius and creativity.

There is a myth about how something new comes to be; that geniuses have dramatic moments of insight where great things and thoughts are born whole. Symphonies are composed complete. Science is accomplished with eureka shrieks. Businesses are built by magic touch.

The myth is wrong. Anyone can create.

Acclaimed technology pioneer Kevin Ashton takes us behind the scenes of creation to reveal the true process of discovery and how ‘new’ comes to be. From Archimedes to Apple, from Kandinsky to the Coke can, from the Wright brothers – who set out to ‘fly a horse’ – to Woody Allen, he exposes the seemingly unremarkable individuals, gradual steps, multiple failures and countless ordinary and often uncredited acts that led to our most astounding breakthroughs.

 

Ashton is persuasive … His well-chosen examples reinforce the idea that there is no magic or myth to creation or discovery, making this an approachable, thought-provoking book that encourages everyone to be as good as they can be.”                            Observer

An inspiring vision of creativity that’s littered with practical advice, and is a cracking read to boot.”                        BBC Focus

Many of these anecdotes are rather lovely – a chapter on the credit denied female scientists is fascinating.”                      Daily Telegraph

 

Entertaining. . . . [E]nlightening. . . . Might be the genre’s be all and end all. . . . If you want to tap your creative potential, buy this book. It’s the last one you’ll ever need to read.”                                Toronto Star

One of the most creative books on creativity I have ever read, a genuinely inspiring journey through the worlds of art, science, business and culture that will forever change how you think about where new ideas come from.”                            William C. Taylor, cofounder and editor of Fast Company and author of Practically Radical

“[Ashton’s] is a democratic idea—a scientific version of the American dream. . . . [A]n approachable, thought-provoking book that encourages everyone to be the best they can be.”                       Guardian

“[How to Fly a Horse] takes on creation’s most pernicious clichés. . . . [Ashton] arrives at his theories by dint of his own hard work. . . . Being a genius is hard work. But that spark is in all of us.”                         Washington Post

An inspiring vision of creativity that’s littered with practical advice, and is a cracking read to boot.”                        BBC Focus

If you have ever wondered what it takes to create something, read this inspiring and insightful book. Using examples ranging from Mozart to the Muppets, Kevin Ashton shows how to tap the creative abilities that lurk in us all. There are no secrets, no shortcuts; just ordinary steps we can all take to bring something new into the world. Ashton’s message is direct and hopeful: creativity isn’t just for geniuses—it’s for everybody.”                           Joseph T. Hallinan, author of Why We Make Mistakes

 

 

 

From Kinshasha to Karachi and India to Iraq, from remote rural villages to the bright lights of some of the world’s slickest conferences, from beers overlooking the Lusaka Inter-Continental’s unlikely crocodile-stocked Koi pond to pre-dawn single-malts with Mark Shuttleworth high in the Swiss Alps, Cash in, Cash Out tracks the stellar growth of one of Africa’s most successful tech start-ups, culminating in its 2011 acquisition by financial services giant Visa Inc.

While it shares a wealth of knowledge for the entrepreneur, it is, first and foremost, a uniquely humanising, compelling and inspiring story about perserverance in the face of mighty personal and professional odds.

Hannes van Rensburg, the founder of Fundamo is often seen as the father of mobile payments. Voted as one of the hundred most influential people in telecommunication three years in a row, he has lived through the initial years of the creation of the mobile banking industry. Not only as founder and CEO of Fundamo, but also playing an active role in industry bodies, he played an important role in growing the industry. He is a popular speaker on technology innovation, the challenges of starting a new company and motivating small teams. He has been the key note speaker at a number of conferences on the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship.

He is passionate about creating a better world for millions of people in emerging markets, especially using technology and has travelled widely in Africa and Asia. In the process he has made many friends and learned to respect and embrace the diversity of people and cultures.

 

 

The armed struggle waged by the ANC’s military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), was the longest sustained insurgency in South African history. This book offers the first full account of the rebellion in its entirety, from its early days in the 1950s to the inauguration of Nelson Mandela asSouth African president in 1994.

 

Vast in scope, this story traverses every corner of South Africa and extends throughout southern Africa, where MK’s largest campaigns and heaviest engagements occurred, as well as to the solidarity networks that the rebellion mobilised around the world.

 

Drawing principally from previously unpublished writings and testimonies by the men and women who fought the armed struggle, this book recreates the drama, heroism and tragedy of their experiences. It tells the story of leaders like Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Joe Slovo and Chris Hani, whose reputations were forged in the crucible of the armed struggle, but it is also a tale of martyrs such as Looksmart Ngudle, Ashley Kriel and Phila Ndwandwe, as well as of MK cadres such as Leonard Nkosi and Glory Sedibe, who would ultimately turn against the ANC and collaborate with the state in hunting down their former comrades.

 

Written in a fresh, immediate style, Umkhonto we Sizwe is an honest account of the armed struggle and a fascinating chronicle of events that changed South African history.

 

 

 

On 16 August 2012, a contingent of the South African Police Service opened fire with R5 assault rifles on a group of striking miners on and around Wonderkop near the Marikana platinum mine in South Africa’s North West province. By the time the dust settled, 34 miners were dead and 78 more were wounded. Footage of the massacre travelled around the globe, causing public outrage.
The news footage, however, captured only a dozen or so of the dead. A number of those who died were killed beyond the view of cameras at a nondescript collection of boulders known as Small Koppie, some 300 metres behind Wonderkop. Many of these men had been shot in cold blood at close range.
In Murder at Small Koppie, renowned photojournalist Greg Marinovich explores the truth behind the Marikana massacre, looking specifically at the largely untold slaughter at Small Koppie. Drawing on his own meticulous investigations, eyewitness accounts and the findings of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry set up by President Jacob Zuma following the massacre, Marinovich accurately reconstructs that fateful day as well as the events leading up to the strike,and looks at the subsequent denials, obfuscation and buck-passing that characterised Lonmin’s, the SAPS’ and the government’s response.
This is the definitive account of the Marikana massacre from the journalist whose award-winning investigation into the tragedy was called the most important piece of South African journalism post apartheid.

 

 

 

 

The End of Whiteness aims to reveal the pathological, paranoid and bizarre consequences that the looming end of apartheid had on white culture in South Africa, and overall to show that whiteness is a deeply problematic category that needs to be deconstructed and thoughtfully considered.

This book uses contemporary media material to investigate two symptoms of this late apartheid cultural hysteria that appeared throughout the contemporary media and in popular literature during the 1980s and 1990s, showing their relation to white anxieties about social change, the potential loss of privilege and the destabilisation of the country that were imagined to be an inevitable consequence of majority rule.

The ‘Satanic panic’ revolved around the apparent threat posed by a cult of white Satanists that was never proven to exist but was nonetheless repeatedly accused of conspiracy, murder, rape, drug-dealing, cannibalism and bestiality, and blamed for the imminent destruction of white Christian civilisation in South Africa.

During the same period an unusually high number of domestic murder-suicides occurred, with parents killing themselves and their children or other family members by gunshot, fire, poison, gas, even crossbows and drownings. This so-called epidemic of family murder was treated by police, press and social scientists as a plague that specifically affected white Afrikaans families. These double monsters, both fantastic and real, helped to disembowel the clarities of whiteness even as they were born out of threats to it. Deep within its self-regarding modernity and renegotiation of identity, contemporary white South Africa still wears those scars of cultural pathology.

 

 

 

Exit! is the story of Grizelda Grootboom life of prostitution and her ultimate escape from it all.

Grizelda’s life was dramatically changed when she was gang raped at the age of nine by teenagers in her township. Her story starts there. It is a story about the cycle of poverty, family abandonment, dislocation and survival in the streets of Cape Town. She reveals the seedy and often demonised life of a prostitute; she describes the clubs and beds of the prostitution and drug industry over a twelve-year period.

She moves to Johannesburg at the age of 18 in an attempt to start a new life, but instead she is trafficked on arrival in Yeoville, tied in a room for two weeks and forced to work as a sex slave. What follows is a life of living hand-to-mouth, from one street corner to another, being pimped, being taught how to strip, and acquiring and using a variety of drugs – from buttons, ecstasy and cannabis to cocaine – to sustain herself. She speaks of how her prostitution gains momentum in city strip clubs and the sometimes tragic pregnancies that would follow.

Grizelda’s harrowing tale ends with reconciliation with her family, while raising her six-year-old son. In writing this story she hopes to open a window on the hidden and often misunderstood world of prostitution, thereby raising better awareness and understanding about its harms and the horrors of trafficking and prostitution of women and children, and drug abuse. She hopes to heal and to set an example for others to follow.

 

 

 

This incredibly wide-ranging collection of maps—all inspired by literary classics—offers readers a new way of looking at their favorite fictional worlds. Andrew DeGraff’s stunningly detailed artwork takes readers deep into the landscapes from The Odyssey, Hamlet, Pride and Prejudice, Invisible Man, A Wrinkle in Time, Watership Down, A Christmas Carol, and more. Sure to reignite a love for old favorites and spark fresh interest in more recent works as well, Plotted provides a unique new way of appreciating the lands of the human imagination.

 

A map is worth a thousand words. San Francisco-based illustrator Andrew DeGraff has created 19 idiosyncratic and highly detailed maps based on the landscapes and locales in popular literature, from Odysseus’ punishingly circuitous route to the time continuum of ‘A Wrinkle in Time.’”                  Wall Street Journal

Plotted, at first glance, is merely beautiful—gorgeous multipage maps, drawn by DeGraff, of Frederick Douglass’ Eastern Shore and the rabbits’ warrens of Watership Down. But as you read DeGraff’s clever accompanying essays, you realize that what you’re holding is actually quite an innovative work of literary criticism, offering new ways of looking at books and stories that seemed entirely familiar.”                    Slate

“[A] stunningly illustrated collection of maps. . . allows readers a unique look at their favorite fictional worlds. . . The perfect package for you, or the perfect gift for that literature lover in your life.”                 A.V. Club

These brilliant literary maps will help you understand your favorite book.”                          Smithsonian.com

“[B]eautiful maps that enhance classic works like Hamlet, Pride and Prejudice, Invisible Man, A Wrinkle in Time, Watership Down, A Christmas Carol, among others, while standing on their own as storytelling pieces.”                                      Tor.com

This is a rewarding excursion across the literary landscape that will be cherished by map enthusiasts as well as bibliophiles.”                      Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Playing with aerial perspectives, proportions, and cut-away views, DeGraff fits a stunning amount of narrative and atmospheric information into his spirited, detailed visualizations, each in a style        perfectly, if completely unexpectedly, suited to the tale. . . A unique, display-ready volume of great  allure and pleasure.”                          Booklist (starred review)

Andrew DeGraff . . . has created a book of literary maps that any book addict will love.”                             Buzzfeed

Andrew DeGraff combines imaginative artistic skill and a cartographer’s ability to visualize space in a stunning series of book-based maps.”                        MentalFloss

“[DeGraff] will take you on an adventure worthy of Bilbo Baggins and mesmerize you with the detail and imagination put into his literary maps. DeGraff approaches each story differently and crafts maps that truly tell stories. . . [L]iterary fans need to put this on your shopping list and soon.”                              Nerdist

 

 

 

 

In 1845, a Reading bookseller named John Snare came across the dirt-blackened portrait of a prince at a country house auction. Suspecting that it might be a long-lost Velázquez, he bought the picture and set out to discover its strange history. When Laura Cumming stumbled on a startling trial involving John Snare, it sent her on a search of her own. At first she was pursuing the picture, and the life and work of the elusive painter, but then she found herself following the bookseller’s fortunes too – from London to Edinburgh to nineteenth-century New York, from fame to ruin and exile.

An innovative fusion of detection and biography, this book shows how and why great works of art can affect us, even to the point of mania. And on the trail of John Snare, Cumming makes a surprising discovery of her own. But most movingly, The Vanishing Man is an eloquent and passionate homage to the Spanish master Velázquez, bringing us closer to the creation and appreciation of his works than ever before.

“The Vanishing Man is a riveting detective story and a brilliant reconstruction of an art controversy, but it is also a homage to the art of Velázquez, written by a critic who remains spellbound by his genius, as readers will be spellbound by this book.”                  Colm Tóibín

An extraordinary story … This terrific book is many things, a study in obsession, a paean of praise to an artist of genius, a detective story and, for the author, an exorcism of grief. Writing like Helen Macdonald in H is for Hawk, in the wake of the death of her father, Cumming pours heart and soul in The Vanishing Man and she has produced something of which her artist father, James Cumming, would be more than proud.”                        The Spectator

Having persuasively sustained the connection between Snare and Velázquez, Cumming constructs a narrative that plays on their startling contrasts … It seems extraordinary that these two worlds should ever have touched. But Cumming brings them together with exactly the kind of ease that made Velázquez the subject of such envy in his own time, indeed in all times … In the same way, you put down The Vanishing Man not quite sure how Cumming has been able to bring off this particular magic trick, but happy and grateful that she has.”                      Kathryn Hughes, Guardian

In this superb and original book, Cumming interweaves the gripping […] story of Snare with that of Diego Velázquez himself, painting at the court in Madrid in the 17th century. Sometimes, dual biographies can be a contrivance, but here the two stories enhance each other. Like Donna Tartt’s novel The Goldfinch, this is about the particular forms of obsession that only art can generate. Cumming uses Snare’s story as a way to explore the extraordinary personal connection Velázquez’s art creates with its audience … This enthralling book is about what it means to create art so luminous that others would fight just to get close to it.”                         Bee Wilson, The Sunday Times

A real-life detective story involving an Old Master portrait of an ill-fated English king and an art obsession that would lead to the ruin of one of the book’s two mysterious protagonists: one a humble 19th-century printer and bookseller from Reading, John Snare; the other the great 17th-century Spanish court painter named in the title … Interwoven into the narrative of Snare’s tribulations, and of beautifully compelling accounts of Velázquez’s paintings, are moving snippets of biography that reveal Cumming’s own relationship to the great Spanish master.”                             Independent

Ingenious … intriguing … [Cumming] subtly interweaves the two narratives – that of Snare and that of Velázquez – so that they illuminate each other in surprising ways.”                   Mark Hudson, Daily Telegraph

This is an absorbing dual biography inspired by the author’s passion for Velázquez … Cumming brings her subject alive and writes with empathy and insight.”                  Tatler

The painter, writes Cumming, allowed every sitter ‘his privacy, his secrecy, his full mystery’ even when revealing them for all to see and in this accomplished and touching book she allows her two subjects theirs”                              Michael Prodger, Evening Standard

The book is so carefully made that each part seems to reflect and light up the rest … This is a cultural whodunnit, and the skill is in making the pursuit as engaging as the dénouement.”                   The Oldie

 

 

 

What is it like to try to heal the body when the mind is under attack? In this gripping and illuminating book, Dr Allan Ropper reveals the extraordinary stories behind some of the life-altering afflictions that he and his staff are confronted with at the Neurology Unit of Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Neurologists diagnose and treat serious illnesses of the brain by combining the hard science of medical knowledge with the art of intuitive reasoning. The unique challenge they face is that their primary sources of information – the patients’ brains – are quite often altered, sometimes bizarrely, as a result of disease. Like Alice in Wonderland, Dr Ropper inhabits a place where absurdities abound: a sportsman who starts spouting gibberish; an undergraduate who suddenly becomes psychotic; a salesman who drives around and around a roundabout, unable to get off; a mother who has to decide whether a life locked inside her own head is worth living. How does one begin to treat such cases, to counsel people whose lives may be changed forever? How does one train the next generation of clinicians to deal with the moral and medical aspects of brain disease? Dr Ropper answers these questions by taking the reader into a world where lives and minds hang in the balance.

 

Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole tells it like it is on the front line of clinical neurology. Engagingly written, informative, often funny, it also manages to be moving without slipping into the sentimentality that too often infests medical writing… If ever anything goes wrong with my brain, I’d like a doctor like Ropper to help sort me out.”                     Daily Telegraph

Ropper charts his 40-year career using dozens of case histories: think Oliver Sacks meets Gregory House, with a sprinkling of a hypochondriac’s worst nightmare. Each tale illuminates the remarkable way, not just in which the brain works, but how Ropper diagnoses what is going on. “                           Sunday Times

Told in a breezy style through a series of real-life case studies, Ropper’s book offers a fascinating glimpse of the ways in which our brain can go wrong.”                                Financial Times

Allan Ropper’s new memoir, Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole, has the hard-boiled style of a Raymond Chandler novel. Like a real-life Dr House, Ropper follows hunches and has sudden startling insights.”                                The Times

Peppered with insights into the scientific method, emphasizing that it’s not the cold, rational, Sherlock Holmes-like deductive process it’s often portrayed to be. Medical writing at its best.”                               V. S. Ramachandran, bestselling author of The Tell-Tale Brain

An in-the-trenches exploration of the challenging world of the clinical neurologist. From the quotidian to the exotic, from the heart-breaking to the humorous, the authors present an honest and compelling look at one of medicine’s most fascinating specialties. “                               Dr Michael Collins, author of Hot Lights, Cold Steel

 

 

 

Named one of the best books of the year by Slate, Chicago Tribune, Entropy Magazine, and named one of the top 10 memoirs by Library Journal

Into the Wild meets Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man a lyrical memoir of a life changed in an instant and of the perilous beauty of searching for identity in solitude
 
On a clear May afternoon at the end of his junior year at Harvard, Howard Axelrod played a pick-up game of basketball. In a skirmish for a loose ball, a boy s finger hooked behind Axelrod s eyeball and left him permanently blinded in his right eye. A week later, he returned to the same dorm room, but to a different world. A world where nothing looked solid, where the distance between how people saw him and how he saw had widened into a gulf. Desperate for a sense of orientation he could trust, he retreated to a jerry-rigged house in the Vermont woods, where he lived without a computer or television, and largely without human contact, for two years. He needed to find, away from society’s pressures and rush, a sense of meaning that couldn t be changed in an instant.

 

Axelrod lyrically captures the essence of nature as he ponders his own self-worth and purpose in life. . . . In his first book, the author pushes beyond the boundaries and safety nets of the modern world and opens a doorway to feelings and experiences many long for but never encounter. His writing is a balm for world-weary souls. A vibrant, honest, and poetic account of how two years of solitude surrounded by nature changed a man forever.”                    Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

This elegant, questioning memoir details that moment and events prior to it, but mostly it achingly limns Axelrod’s two years living alone in a ramshackle cabin in the Vermont woods. His writing—whether describing an aspect of the wilderness around him or noting the “first lesson of solitude: everything really is your fault”—is lush and savory, exact in its intent to document just how Axelrod regained the ability to feel “that quiet of already belonging.” That he allows the reader to participate in this journey, from whatever distance, is more than a pleasure—it’s an honor. . . . Axelrod so adroitly and wisely re-creates the youngster he was that readers forget the passing of time, hearing only the voice of sorrow, longing, and determination. This memoir is a keeper, touching and eloquent, full of hard lessons learned. Readers will hope for more from first-time-author Axelrod.”                               Booklist, Starred Review

A deeply felt and moving journey into no longer taking life, or the world around us, for granted.”                           Library Journal

Mr. Axelrod is clearly a gifted writer…The best thing about Mr. Axelrod’s frequently absorbing book is how idiosyncratic it feels; he is a unique presence on the page.”                         New York Times Daily Review

What makes his book completely mesmerizing—besides his lovely prose, that is—is how exquisitely it balances between the poles of revelation and disintegration. Yet, refreshingly, he never repudiates the extremity of what he’s done. He’s come in from the woods with a strange tale to tell, but what makes you want to stop whatever you’re doing and listen to him is the frosty breath of the wild that still clings to his coat.”                                Slate Book Review

Axelrod is a master of metaphor, presenting familiar sights and sounds in unforgettable new ways. His writing is propulsive, unabashedly visionary, and strikingly fresh. This book will have you turning down pages, returning to sentences just to savor them, and reading passages aloud to anyone who will listen…The Point of Vanishing is a profoundly immersive narrative. One is struck again and again by the quality of the writing: by the vividness of its characters, by the accomplished lyricism of its language, by the brilliant acuity of its observations, and by the wisdom and humor that permeate its pages. What lingers most of all are Axelrod’s sharply wrought landscape descriptions. Setting is definitely an active character in this story…This memoir feels like a gift in a way that few books do…If you read it with an open heart, it has the power to change your life.”                         The Rumpus

Beautiful in its intensity, searing in its pain. It’s a breathtaking read.”                    Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Deeply alive and exciting and nuanced . . . all about what it means to see, and how we might ask ourselves to see differently—to live differently in our own bodies, and in the world . . . Powerful and ineffable, it feels like a blessing.”                      Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams

A sensitive and sensual book about seeing and feeling deeply; witty, wise, and beautifully written from beginning to end.”                                Geraldine Brooks, author of March

Out of sudden and profound loss, Axelrod has drawn a haunting, tender memoir that grips like an emotional thriller. The Point of Vanishing is raw, exquisitely written, and full of poetic insights. This is a big book about big truths that matter to us all. It delivers a message of hope and strength, and reveals what is most human in our most unspoken yearning for something real, something true. In its subtle, deeply moving way, it will have you peering beneath the various faces you present to the world and encourage you to ask the most fundamental of questions: who am I alone?”                   Bella Pollen, author of The Summer of the Bear

 

 

 

Rural escapes for those yearning for a simpler existence, by the creators of the wildly popular tumblr Cabin Porn.

 

Created by a group of friends who preserve 55 acres of hidden forest in Upstate New York-Cabin Porn began as a scrapbook to collect inspiration for their building projects. As the collection grew, the site attracted a following, which is now a huge and obsessive audience.

The site features photos of the most remarkable handmade homes in the backcountry of America and all over the world. It has had over 10 million unique visitors, with 350,000 followers on Tumblr. Now Zach Klein, the creator of the site (and a co-founder of Vimeo) goes further into the most alluring images from the site and new getaways, including more interior photography and how-to advice for setting up a quiet place somewhere.

With their idyllic settings, unique architecture and cozy interiors, the Cabin Porn photographs, are an invitation to slow down, take a deep breath, and feel the beauty and serenity that nature and simple construction can create.

 

The greatest collection of cabin inspiration ever assembled.”                     Outside

The world-weary urbanite not quite ready to leave civilization behind can live vicariously through these sumptuous photos of simple structures from around the globe that prove small is beautiful.”                             O, The Oprah Magazine

 

 

 

The book Usakos: Photographs Beyond Ruins focuses on a central Namibian town, Usakos. The town’s history is linked to the development of the South African railway system in Namibia, which brought remarkable prosperity to Usakos in the 1940s and 1950s but which caused a major socio-economic decline in the early 1960s. During this time, the South African apartheid administration decided to transform the town according to racial segregation and apartheid urban planning by moving the African population out of their residential area into newly built, racially and ethnically segregated townships which were situated on the town’s outskirts.

The book chooses a particular point in the history of colonialism and apartheid and of community building and forced removals. It places at its centre stage three private archives of photographic collections assembled over several decades by four women residents of Usakos. These photographs constitute personal albums, subjective narratives and aesthetic interventions in the course of a history that denied them visibility and voice as women, residents, citizens and human beings.
Representing the social, cultural and aesthetic variety of life in the ‘old location’ (‘ou lokasie’), the photographs inform the ways in which people relate to them today: with pride and a deep sense of nostalgia and loss. It is this reflection of the past in the present that characterises Paul Grendon’s photographs and which complements the display of the Usakos old location albums. Here, Usakos’ landscape emerges as a palimpsest of scar tissue: a place and space of colonial ruination, interwoven with histories and memories, silences and voices, absences and presences of those who lived and those who continue to make a living there.

 

 

 

 

The story of one of America’s most notorious wrongful convictions, that of Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man who spent eighteen years in prison for a crime he did not commit and now the subject of the hit series Making a Murderer. But two years after he was exonerated of that crime and poised to reap millions in his wrongful conviction lawsuit, Steven Avery was arrested for the exceptionally brutal murder of Teresa Halbach, a freelance photographer who had gone missing several days earlier. The “Innocent Man” had turned into a cold blooded killer. Or had he? This is narrative non-fiction at its finest and the perfect companion read for fans of Making a Murderer.

 

An instant true-crime classic.”                  Burl Barer, Edgar Award winning true crime author

A shocking example of what can happen when our justice system fails.”                             Barry Scheck, Co-founder of the National Innocence Project

 

 

 

Why are ladies like arrows?

When is a bird not a bird?

What do you call a nun with a washing machine on her head?

Welcome to the weird new word adventure from David Astle, plunging into the realm of riddles, chasing down and prising open 101 curious questions from around the planet. A mindtrip across time and place, Riddledom uncovers relics from over 50 cultures, delving into language and deception, sampling Pompeii walls and Dothraki warriors. Readers can unravel each mini-chapter, wrestling with riddles from Wonderland or Zanzibar, Oedipus Rex or Harry Potter. Come meet French acrobats, coffee slaves, lusty maids and many more along the way. Riddledom is your chance to roam Tasmania and Mongolia, Fiji and Peru, seeking riddles on clay tablets and Popsicle sticks.

As David opens Riddledom: ‘If you think riddles are solely the stuff of schoolyards and Christmas crackers, you’re about to have your head refurbished.’

 

 

 

Hearing a blast, journalist Anjan Sundaram headed uphill towards the sound. Grenade explosions are not entirely unusual in the city of Kigali; dissidents throw them in public areas to try and destabilise the government and, since moving to Rwanda, he had observed an increasing number of them.

What was unusual about this one, however, was that when Sundaram arrived, it was as though nothing had happened. Traffic circulated as normal, there was no debris on the streets and the policeman on duty denied any event whatsoever. This was evidence of a clean-up, a cloaking of the discontent in Rwanda and a desire to silence the media in a country most of whose citizens were without internet. This was the first of many ominous events.

Bad News is the extraordinary account of the battle for free speech in modern-day Rwanda. Following not only those journalists who stayed, despite fearing torture or even death from a ruthless government, but also those reporting from exile, it is the story of papers being shut down, of lies told to please foreign delegates, of the unshakeable loyalty that can be bred by terror, of history being retold, of constant surveillance, of corrupted elections and of great courage.

It tells the true narrative of Rwandan society today and, in the face of powerful forces, of the fight to make explosions heard.

 

“Few people have suffered the hideous fate of Rwandans in the modern era. It is shocking, painful beyond words, to see the darkness settling again in a dystopia that is crushing free expression and individual lives. This searing, evocative account provides insights about the human condition that reach far beyond the tragic story of Rwanda.”                            Noam Chomsky

Here is a commanding new writer who comes to us with the honesty, the intensity, and the discerning curiosity of the young Naipaul.”                               Pico Iyer

A sensitive writer. He feels deeply and expresses himself richly … a powerful evocation of the foreign correspondent’s experience.”                       The Times

In this thoughtful and evocative book, Anjan Sundaram takes us into the lives of those living under a dictatorship. He chronicles the sacrifices of the brave journalists who try to speak the truth about their own country, the damage those truths inflict on those who bear witness, and the horrors of silence for those who cannot speak. His clipped and lucid prose offers an illuminating look into a place too often ignored by the rest of the world.”                           Graeme Smith, author of The Dogs Are Eating Them Now

Anjan Sundaram is a keen observer and a fine writer. In Bad News, he has rendered a chilling chronicle of the creeping totalitarianism taking hold in Rwanda that is as disturbing as it is unforgettable.”                            Jon Lee Anderson

Required reading . A superb exposé of a dictatorship as he observes how the tentacles of totalitarianism squeeze the life from a society. Bad News is an important book that should shatter any lingering faith people might hold in Kagame’s hideous regime . This is a desolate work, taut prose describing the stifling atmosphere of a nation trapped in fear.”                         Guardian

Powerful and shocking.”                            Sunday Times

 

 

 

 

Should you finish every book you start?

How has your family influenced the way you read?

What is literary style?

How is the Nobel Prize like the World Cup?

Why do you hate the book your friend likes?

Is writing really just like any other job?

What happens to your brain when you read a good book?

As a novelist, translator and critic, Tim Parks is well-placed to investigate any questions we have about books and reading. In this collection of lively and provocative pieces he talks about what readers want from books and how to look at the literature we encounter in a new light.

 

A book about reading that only makes you want to read more and a book about writing that needs to be read.”                            Tim Adams, Observer

Long overdue, challenging and absorbing.”                       Alan Taylor, Herald

Parks has the ability to make other writers seem not just enriching but exciting as well.”                              Independent

Insightful, provocative, funny and frightening, this wry, fast-paced and passionate series of essays encourages us to re-evaluate our perception of reading and books.”                                Good Book Guide

 

 

 

 

From baby boomers with ‘groovy’ and ‘yuppie’ to Generation X with ‘whatever’ and ‘like,’ each generation inevitably generates original words that come out of its social and historical context. Those words not only tell us a great deal about the people in those generations, but also highlight the differences between them and other generations.

In this book, Allan Metcalf, author of OK, uses a special framework of defining American generations to show that each generation of those born within a particular 20-year time period can be identified and characterized by words it chooses to use. By sampling from as far back as the American Revolution, Metcalf carefully constructs a comprehensive account of the history and usage of words associated with each generation in the American language. With special attention to the differences in vocabulary among the generations currently living-the sometimes awkward Millennials, the grunge music of Generation X, hippies among the Boomers, and bobbysoxers among the Silents – From Skeddadle to Selfie compiles dozens of words we have come to recognize or use and tells the unheard stories of each in its role of accompanying its generation through the times.

 

A fun-sized contribution to the pop-etymology shelves.”                             Sam Leith, Guardian

A sprightly history of American slang.”                                Sam Kitchener, Sunday Telegraph

 

 

A riotously funny and deeply insightful adventure through capitalism, the medical industry, family, love, war and wedding-planning – from an electrically entertaining new voice

Meet Veblen: a passionate defender of the anti-consumerist views of her name-sake, the iconoclastic economist Thorstein Veblen. She’s an experienced cheerer-upper (mainly of her narcissistic, hypochondriac, controlling mother), an amateur translator of Norwegian, and a firm believer in the distinct possibility that the plucky grey squirrel following her around can understand more than it lets on.

Meet her fiancé, Paul: the son of good hippies who were bad parents, a no-nonsense, high-flying neuroscientist with no time for squirrels. His recent work on a device to minimize battlefield trauma has led him dangerously close to the seductive Cloris Hutmacher, heiress to a pharmaceuticals empire, who is promising him fame and fortune through a shady-sounding deal with the Department of Defence.

What could possibly go wrong?

 

The squirreliest novel I ever read. I enjoyed it completely.”                          Ursula K. Le Guin

 

Raw and weird and hilarious . . . very entertaining.”                      Scarlett Thomas, Guardian

 

Ambitious, spirited, funny, daring.” Financial Times

 

Man oh man, do I love this book! Audacious, imaginative and totally wonderful.”                          Karen Joy Fowler

 

A touching, wildly funny and peculiarly elegant look at the travails of love of all kinds.”                                Sunday Express

 

Utterly charming. A true joy of a book.”                              Irish Examiner

 

Full of life and humour and compassion.”                           Times Literary Supplement

 

Witty and sharp.”                          Irish Times

 

Offbeat, thoughtful, mischievous . . . McKenzie [has] a pin-sharp eye for the tragic-comic, and for dialogue.”                  Herald

 

McKenzie has a wonderful eye – and a relishing appetite – for the craziness that is everywhere in ordinary life if you know how to look.”                     Tessa Hadley

 

A novel of festive originality.”                   New York Times

 

Unforgettable. A wild ride that you will not want to miss.”                         San Francisco Chronicle

 

Oddball characters and plot turns abound, including talking squirrels and bureaucratic ironies worthy of Catch-22. But a sober question occupies its core: Do our parents’ best intentions do us harm?”                   Minneapolis Star Tribune

 

“Accurately and funnily capture[s] the complexities of modern families . . . The Corrections meets The Wallcreeper.”                    Huffington Post

 

 

 

 

 

A heart-stopping debut about protest and riot . . .

  1. Victor, homeless after a family tragedy, finds himself pounding the streets of Seattle with little meaning or purpose. He is the estranged son of the police chief of the city, and today his father is in charge of one of the largest protests in the history of Western democracy.

But in a matter of hours reality will become a nightmare. Hordes of protesters – from all sections of society – will test the patience of the city’s police force, and lives will be altered forever: two armed police officers will struggle to keep calm amid the threat of violence; a protester with a murderous past will make an unforgivable mistake; and a delegate from Sri Lanka will do whatever it takes to make it through the crowd to a meeting – a meeting that could dramatically change the fate of his country. In amongst the fray, Victor and his father are heading for a collision too.

Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, set during the World Trade Organization protests, is a deeply charged novel showcasing a distinct and exciting new literary voice.

 

Huge ambition . . . impressive.”                               Sunday Times

Yapa shines in the thickness of the here-and-now, amid the gas, fear, courage and flawed humanity of the street battle, in passages that are cinematic . . . moving.”                             New York Times

Fast-paced and unflinching . . . As these characters encounter one another in a fog of tear gas and pepper spray, Yapa vividly evokes rage and compassion.”                    New Yorker

A vital, powerful read, Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist is an absorbing, multifaceted, acutely hopeful novel.”                     Patrick deWitt, author of The Sisters Brothers, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize

A symphony of a novel. In the contemporary tradition of Aleksandar Hemon and Philipp Meyer, with echoes of Michael Ondaatje and Arundhati Roy, Yapa strides forward with a literary molotov cocktail to light up the dark.”                              Colum McCann, National Book Award-winning author of Let the Great World Spin

“Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist is a stunningly orchestrated work of narrative power. This novel marshals all the vital forces of our existence – from the domestic to the political – and offers them to the reader with equal doses of compassion and beauty.”                            Dinaw Mengestu, author of All Our Names

Chilling . . . A memorable, pulse-pounding literary experience.”                                Publisher’s Weekly

A fantastic debut novel . . . What is so enthralling about this novel is its syncopated riff of empathy as the perspective jumps around these participants – some peaceful, some violent, some determined, some incredulous . . . Yapa creates a fluid sense of the riot as it washes over the city. Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist ultimately does for WTO protests what Norman Mailer’s Armies of the Night did for the 1967 March on the Pentagon, gathering that confrontation in competing visions of what happened and what it meant.”                           Ron Charles, Washington Post

In this beautifully written, kaleidoscopically shifting novel . . . Yapa penetrates to the human connections and disconnections at play between the lines of history in the era of the global village.”                          Chicago Tribune

It’s not often that a novel takes a fraught event from the recent past, one that most of us only experienced in the flash of the cable news cycle or the static of print headlines, and imbues it with so much heart and soul that we do something we almost never do in the constant crush forward and faster – we pause and reconsider. That is the power of literature. Sunil Yapa’s Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist does just this for the momentous protests of the 1999 World Trade Organization’s (WTO) . . . Yapa does a heroic job of journeying into the heart of this complex set of events, illustrating how they grow out of and impact the character’s lives. And while the heart may be the size of a fist, here it paradoxically seems to encompass the whole world and all of its citizens, who pulse with its every beat.”                        The Rumpus

 

 

 

 

The Addisons – Julia and Tonio, ten-year-old Dewey, and Uncle Robbie – are driving home after collecting Robbie from yet another trip to rehab. When a terrifying blizzard strikes outside the town of Good Night, Idaho, they seek refuge at the Travelers Rest, a formerly opulent but now crumbling hotel.
With nowhere else to go, they decide to stay the night. But once inside, the family becomes separated and the hotel begins to work its eerie magic. As Julia and Tonio drift through the maze of the hotel’s spectral interiors, Dewey ventures outside. Meanwhile, a desperate Robbie quickly succumbs to his old vices. As they desperately try to reach each other, they relive the same day over and over again. The mother, Julia, holds the key to their release – but can she save her family from the fate of becoming Souvenirs – those citizens trapped forever in Good Night – or, worse, from disappearing entirely?

 

Echoing the fantastic work of Shirley Jackson and Stephen King, Travelers Rest is both fiercely gripping and deeply unsettling, a perfect mixture of horror and fairy tale held together by Keith Lee Morris’s unique ability to look beyond the imposing hotel and take us inside the hearts and minds of this trapped family, a feat that makes this story all the more frightening and moving. This is a novel that pulls you in immediately and refuses to let you go.”                                Kevin Wilson, author of the New York Times bestseller The Family Fang

It won’t take long – a page, maybe two – before you feel wondrously disquieted by Keith Lee Morris’s Travelers Rest. The novel traps its characters in the town of Good Night, Idaho, and the reader in its shaken snow globe of a world. The language dazzles and the circumstances chill and put this story in the good company of Stephen King’s The Shining, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, and David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. This book will earn Morris the wide readership he richly deserves.”                           Benjamin Percy, author of The Dead Lands and Red Moon

Morris handles the spooky materials deftly but his writing is what makes the story really scary: quiet and languorous, sweeping steadily and inexorably along like a curtain of drifting snow identified too late as an avalanche.”                          Publishers Weekly

Alice in Wonderland meets The Shiningweighty, suspenseful, and even wistful .”                         Kirkus Reviews

A fine addition to the creepy hotel thriller genre…It says much of Morris’s skill that he’s able to keep us bewitched and beguiled in a topsy-turvy world with endless corridors, twisting stairs and Esher-like surroundings. The novel culminates in an almost operatic grand finale where past and present meet in a satisfying conclusion.”                             Independent

A subtle, meticulous examination of strained relationships, the effects of isolation on the mind, and the persistent hold memory has over us…it exerts a powerful hold.”                               Financial Times

 

 

 

A stand-alone prequel to the leading Monogatari (Kodansha) series by the 33-year-old novelist whose first printings are now second only to Haruki Murakami’s, this story about a blond female vampire on a ‘tourist visit’ to the country is being adapted into an animated feature for Japanese theatrical release in late 2015/early 2016. High schooler Koyomi, encountering a dying vampire on his way home from purchasing age-restricted magazines, offers his blood and must face the three vampire hunters who have stolen his mistress’s limbs.

Around midnight, under a lonely street lamp in a provincial town in Japan, lies a white woman, a blonde, alone, robbed of all four limbs, yet undead. Indeed, a rumor’s been circulating among the local girls that a vampire has come to their backwater, of all places.
Koyomi Araragi, who prefers to avoid having friends because they’d lower his “intensity as a human,” is naturally skeptical. Yet it is to him that the bloodsucking demon, a concept “dated twice over,” beckons on the first day of spring break as he makes his way home with a fresh loot of morally compromising periodicals.

 

 

 

Inside the walls of the Automobile Club of Egypt two very different worlds collide – Cairo’s European elite and the Egyptian staff who wait on them.

The servants, a squabbling, humorous and deeply human group, live in a perpetual state of fear under the tyrannical rule of Alku. When Abd el-Aziz Gaafar becomes the target of Alku’s cruelty and his pride gets the better of him, a devastating act sends ripples through his family. Soon, the Gaafars are drawn into the turbulent politics of the club – both public and private – and servants and masters are subsumed by Egypt’s social upheaval.

Egyptians both inside and outside the Automobile Club will all face a stark choice: to live safely without dignity, or to fight for their rights and risk everything. From the author of The Yacoubian Building.

 

 

 

It took 15 years to fully restore the impressive Château de la Creuzette to her former glory. She continues to rest in her shaded park, surrounded by centuries-old trees, and welcomes her expectant guests with open arms.

The highly successful Festive France caused great excitement among Francophiles, who loved the stories and delicious recipes from the French countryside. Now, the wealth of culinary delights that emerge from the new summer kitchen at La Creuzette are enough to make any gourmand’s mouth water. Apart from the almost 90 new recipes, which the authors have categorised according to five (yes, five!) seasons, there is an additional Crookbook in which the two hosts share their easy shortcut recipes and tips – how to conjure and connive when immediate action is needed. Here, every meal is transformed into a feast. Take a seat a beautifully set table and drink from fine crystal.

The Story of a House is not only two cookbooks in one, but also a richly adorned reading book that traces the history of a manor house and follows the story of its people. Come inside, the doors are open…

 

 

 

From the author of What to Eat and Shopped, a revelatory investigation into what really goes into the food we eat.

Even with 25 years experience as a journalist and investigator of the food chain, Joanna Blythman still felt she had unanswered questions about the food we consume every day. How ‘natural’ is the process for making a ‘natural’ flavouring? What, exactly, is modified starch, and why is it an ingredient in so many foods? What is done to pitta bread to make it stay ‘fresh’ for six months? And why, when you eat a supermarket salad, does the taste linger in your mouth for several hours after?

Swallow This is a fascinating exploration of the food processing industry and its products – not just the more obvious ready meals, chicken nuggets and tinned soups, but the less overtly industrial – washed salads, smoothies, yoghurts, cereal bars, bread, fruit juice, prepared vegetables. Forget illegal, horse-meat-scandal processes, every step in the production of these is legal, but practised by a strange and inaccessible industry, with methods a world-away from our idea of domestic food preparation, and obscured by technical speak, unintelligible ingredients manuals, and clever labelling practices.

Determined to get to the bottom of the impact the industry has on our food, Joanna Blythman has gained unprecedented access to factories, suppliers and industry insiders, to give an utterly eye-opening account of what we’re really swallowing.

 

In this fine book, Blythman uses a long spoon to sup with the devils of our daily diet.”                   The Times

 

Outstanding … Blythman is never holier than thou – she recognises that people, herself included, need and want convenience food. Her argument is simply that we have a right to know what’s really in it, right down to the minor chemical processes that have known toxic properties … Food for thought.”                             Observer

 

I whole-heartedly applaud her achievement. This is an important book which should be required reading for anyone who eats processed food, whether that’s organic pork chops or sausage rolls from the petrol station.”                            Literary Review

 

Riveting.”                          Daily Telegraph

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hierdie humoristiese spanningsvolle stories kop af met die wetenskaptaak wat die Graad vyvs moet doen oor sonsverduistering. Marais en Riaan is boesemvriende and doen alles saam. Marias is die leier van die twee. Hy oortuig dan ook vir Riaan dat hulle in die rivier moet gaan swem eerder as ome die wetensaptaak to doen. Daar maak hulle kennis met pers gedrogtes wat ook in die rivier swem en moontlik in ‘n ondergrondse skip woon. Die gegrogtes het met hulle fiets gepeuter en nou kan die fiets soms self ry met pers wiele.

Marais en sy vriende slag daarin om deur die tonnel te ontsnap. Gelukkig vir hulle kan nou net skoolgaan en hoef hulle nie ondergrondse kabels vir die gedrogtes te gaan lê nie.

 

 

 

Mr. and Mrs. Eiffel are a happy couple enjoying living in the most romantic city in the world, Paris. Until one day, Mrs. Eiffel begins to feel desperately unwell. The experts are unanimous: the only thing that can save her is fresh air. Her husband, a bright engineer, decides he will take matters into his own hands and build a tower that will reach the clouds in an attempt to restore her health. Csil s poetically minimal illustrations in black, white, and pink are incredibly evocative, and Alice Brière-Haquet s words are a delight to read aloud.

 

 

 

A wonderful holiday story about a small bird named Arthur, who lives in New York City.

After a fine, green summer in Central Park, all the birds are preparing to fly south. Except for Arthur, that is. Arthur is off playing, gazing into a lake, dreaming of wider seas. And so Arthur is left behind. It begins to get cold. The trees are losing their leaves. Arthur feels uneasy and lonely, especially after his nest is scattered to the winds. Arthur must find a new home, and after he does—he settles down in a statue’s open book—he discovers a new city, where he can play hide-and-seek in the steam from a manhole cover and feast with the pigeons on crumbs, and which soon brings other delightful surprises (and challenges): icicles, a great big sweet-smelling evergreen tree that is all lit up with people gathered around it to sing “Gloria” in the cold night, and snow—a whole winter wonderland! And then the trees begin to bud; the birds come back….

With Arthur as their guide through the city, children will find new poetry and beauty on every corner.

 

 

 

Hilda is a little girl with the uncanny ability to befriend even the most peculiar of house guests. But when an army of little creatures bombard her living room with stones and eviction notices, she has to think twice before making the acquaintance of these diminutive creatures. After sunset, even stranger things start happening. Who is this giant who only appears at midnight, and why is Hilda the only person who can see him? Under duress and in growing fear of losing her beloved family home, Hilda sets off an adventure to secure her birth right and find out who, if he even exists, is the mysterious Midnight Giant.

 

“[Hilda’s world] is… a glorious, exciting if also rather menacing place one children will be eager to enter. It’s also visually arresting: exuberant and lively and faintly Miyazakian.”                               New York Times

For adults … Pearson’s measured storytelling … and detailed, imaginative artwork make Hilda and the Midnight Garden an absolute treat to dive into. It’s hard to imagine a better all-ages comic will be published this year.”                     Slate

 

 

 

Enormous Smallness is a nonfiction picture book about the poet E.E. cummings. Here E.E.’s life is presented in a way that will make children curious about him and will lead them to play with words and ask plenty of questions as well. Lively and informative, the book also presents some of Cummings’s most wonderful poems, integrating them seamlessly into the story to give the reader the music of his voice and a spirited, sensitive introduction to his poetry.

In keeping with the epigraph of the book — “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are,” Matthew Burgess’s narrative emphasizes the bravery it takes to follow one’s own vision and the encouragement E.E. received to do just that.

 

The title of this book (Enormous Smallness) is perfect. Many of us think of poems as small things, but as much as anyone, E. E. Cummings showed us that even the smallest stanza could hold enormous meaning. Lovingly written (Burgess is himself a poet) and ingeniously illustrated, this book is a treasure for both fans of Cummings, as well as those discovering his poetry for the first time.”                       Huffington Post

Di Giacomo’s capricious collages create a lively interplay between pictures and words, and visual motifs such as birds and elephants intermingle with samples of Cummings’s work. Burgess delivers a thorough and lovingly crafted homage to a writer whose poems ‘were alive with experimentation and surprise.'”                      Publishers Weekly

The author includes major life events and poems, always circling back to a playfulness born in the poet’s childhood and carried through his entire life, nurtured by parents and teachers. What makes this such a successful children’s book is the author and artist’s focus on Cummings’s ability to channel and hold onto the inventiveness of childhood.”                           Shelf Awareness

Plus it’s beautiful. Each page is a collage of words and visual elements that work in the manner of a Cummings poem. Letters fall from his mouth during graduation, and the more he writes, the more letters make up parts of the background colors of the pages.”                      Unshelved

An uncommonly delightful picture-book celebration of Cummings’s life.”                            Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

 

 

Do you dream of seeing some real, live bears? Then this essential guide to bear spotting, filled with offbeat humor and quirky illustrations, is for you!

In this perfect read-aloud, sure to delight kids and parents alike, a young aspiring bear spotter ventures into bear country . . . But coming face-to-face with the furry creatures themselves, whether black or brown, can be dangerous, and our protagonist–accompanied by a trusty teddy bear–might need to use some unconventional means to stay out of trouble and avoid being (gulp!) eaten.

This laugh-out-loud, how-to guide–brilliantly brought to life by New York Times bestselling illustrator David Roberts’ expressive art–is a must-read for fans of I Want My Hat Back and Secret Pizza Party.

 

Roberts’s . . . artwork is exquisitely inked and textured, and there’s subversive comedy on every page.”                               Publishers Weekly

 

Robinson’s chatty, conspiratorial style addresses the reader directly . . . Roberts enhances the text with whimsy . . . The British duo’s clever creation travels well across the pond and will produce plenty of raucous laughter.”                   Booklist

 

 

Is it the funniest travel book I’ve read all year? Of course it is.”              Daily Telegraph

 

Twenty years ago, Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to celebrate the green and kindly island that had become his adopted country. The hilarious book that resulted, Notes from a Small Island, was taken to the nation’s heart and became the bestselling travel book ever, and was also voted in a BBC poll the book that best represents Britain.Now, to mark the twentieth anniversary of that modern classic, Bryson makes a brand-new journey round Britain to see what has changed.

Following (but not too closely) a route he dubs the Bryson Line, from Bognor Regis to Cape Wrath, by way of places that many people never get to at all, Bryson sets out to rediscover the wondrously beautiful, magnificently eccentric, endearingly unique country that he thought he knew but doesn’t altogether recognise any more. Yet, despite Britain’s occasional failings and more or less eternal bewilderments, Bill Bryson is still pleased to call our rainy island home. And not just because of the cream teas, a noble history, and an extra day off at Christmas.

Once again, with his matchless homing instinct for the funniest and quirkiest, his unerring eye for the idiotic, the endearing, the ridiculous and the scandalous, Bryson gives us an acute and perceptive insight into all that is best and worst about Britain today.

Bill Bryson’s new book The Road to Little Dribbling is warm, funny, thoughtful, sometimes grumpy. An absolute joy.”                 Clare Balding

Fans should expect to chuckle, snort, snigger, grunt, laugh out loud and shake with recognition…a clotted cream and homemade jam scone of a treat.”                      Sunday Times

There were moments when I snorted out loud with laughter while reading this book in public…He can be as gloriously silly as ever.”                      The Times

Bryson has no equal. He combines the charm and humour of Michael Palin with the cantankerousness of Victor Meldrew and the result is a benign intolerance that makes for a gloriously funny read.”              Daily Express

At its best as the history of a love affair, the very special relationship between Bryson and Britain. We remain lucky to have him.”                 Financial Times

The truly great thing about Bryson is that he really cares and is insanely curious… Reading his work is like going on holiday with the members of Monty Python.”                  Mashable
 
The observation, the wit, the geniality of Bryson’s inimitable words illuminate ever chapter.”                Terry Wogan, Irish Times
 
Everybody loves Bill Bryson, don’t they? He’s clever, witty, entertaining, a great companion… his research is on show here, producing insight, wisdom and startling nuggets of information… Bill Bryson and his new book are the dog’s bollocks.”                       Independent on Sunday

Stuffed with eye-opening facts and statistics….. Bryson’s charm and wit continue to float off the page….Recognising oneself is part of the pleasure of reading Bryson’s mostly affable rants about Britain and Britishness.”                Daily Mail

From the acclaimed author of An Instance of the Fingerpost comes a dazzling new novel which weaves together Oxford in 1960, a pastoral fantasy world, and a dystopian future.

In 1960, Henry Lytten is an Oxford don who dabbles in espionage and fiction writing. Rosie Wilson is the quick-witted, curious fifteen-year-old girl who feeds Professor Lytten’s cat. Several hundred years in the future, living in a dystopian society on the Island of Mull, Angela Meerson is a psychomathematician who has discovered the world-changing potential of a powerful new machine. Somewhere, sometime, Jay is a scholar’s apprentice in an idyllic, pastoral land. Who these people really are, and how their stories come together, will be revealed in Iain Pears’s fascinating puzzle of a novel.

 “The finest pure storyteller working in popular fiction.”       Malcolm Gladwell

Hugely entertaining.”                       Independent

Ambitious, amusing and very readable.”                 Spectator

A Strangeness in My Mind is a novel Orhan Pamuk has worked on for six years. It is the story of boza seller Mevlut, the woman to whom he wrote three years’ worth of love letters, and their life in Istanbul.

In the four decades between 1969 and 2012, Mevlut works a number of different jobs on the streets of Istanbul, from selling yoghurt and cooked rice, to guarding a car park. He observes many different kinds of people thronging the streets, he watches most of the city get demolished and re-built, and he sees migrants from Anatolia making a fortune; at the same time, he witnesses all of the transformative moments, political clashes, and military coups that shape the country. He always wonders what it is that separates him from everyone else – the source of that strangeness in his mind. But he never stops selling boza during winter evenings and trying to understand who his beloved really is.

What matters more in love: what we wish for, or what our fate has in store? Do our choices dictate whether we will be happy or not, or are these things determined by forces beyond our control?

A Strangeness In My Mind tries to answer these questions while portraying the tensions between urban life and family life, and the fury and helplessness of women inside their homes.

A complex psychological drama . . . [and] a tremendous concatenation of voices and places and politics and culture, gathered around a melancholy hero . . . [written with] virtuosic craft, intellectual richness, emotional subtlety and a feeling of freedom that comes from a narrative that finds its most meaningful moments in the side streets of storytelling . ..”                   Martin Riker,  New York Times Book Review

One of Pamuk’s most enjoyable novels and an ideal place to begin for readers who want to get to know him…Pamuk does for Istanbul something like what James Joyce did for Dublin …He captures not just the look and feel of the city, but its culture, its beliefs and traditions, its people and their values …A love letter to modern Turkey.”                      Washington Post
 
Magnificent . . . [a] sprawling story that Pamuk tells, and Ekin Oklap translates, with panache . . . At the same time as posing philosophical questions about the importance of intentions over outcomes, Pamuk celebrates marriage, parenthood and even quarrelsome extended family…[He] is becoming that rare author who writes his best books after winning the Nobel Prize for Literature.”                 Independent

Warm and gently engrossing . . . the story of modern Istanbul, of how a decaying, mixed, cosmopolitan city has been massively expanded and transformed by poor migrants from Anatolia. It has a political dimension . . . but at its heart, this is a novel about work, love and family.”                      Sunday Times

Young Pip Tyler doesn’t know who she is. She knows that her real name is Purity, that she’s saddled with 0,000 in student debt, that she’s squatting with anarchists in Oakland, and that her relationship with her mother–her only family–is hazardous. But she doesn’t have a clue who her father is, why her mother chose to live as a recluse with an invented name, or how she’ll ever have a normal life.

Enter the Germans. A glancing encounter with a German peace activist leads Pip to an internship in South America with The Sunlight Project, an organisation that traffics in all the secrets of the world – including, Pip hopes, the secret of her origins. TSP is the brainchild of Andreas Wolf, a charismatic provocateur who rose to fame in the chaos following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now on the lam in Bolivia, Andreas is drawn to Pip for reasons she doesn’t understand, and the intensity of her response to him upends her conventional ideas of right and wrong.

Purity is a grand story of youthful idealism, extreme fidelity, and murder. The author of The Corrections and Freedom has imagined a world of vividly original characters – Californians and East Germans, good parents and bad parents, journalists and leakers – and he follows their intertwining paths through landscapes as contemporary as the omnipresent Internet and as ancient as the war between the sexes. Purity is the most daring and penetrating book yet by one of the major writers of our time.

Mr. Franzen’s most fleet-footed, least self-conscious and most intimate novel yet . . . The stories of the characters in Purity zip forward aggressively in time, but open inward, burrowing into their psyches and underscoring what seems like Mr. Franzen’s determination to build on the steps he took in Freedom to create people capable of change, perhaps even transcendence . . . Mr. Franzen adroitly dovetails these story lines, using large dollops of Dickensian coincidence and multiple plot twists to construct suspense and to entertain . . . Mr. Franzen has added a new octave to his voice.”                     Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

“Purity comes five years after Freedom and 14 years after The Corrections. Both earlier novels were called masterpieces of American fiction; to say the same of Purity might be true but misses the point. Magisterial sweep is now just what Franzen does, and his new novel appears . . . as a simple, enjoyable reminder of his sharp-eyed presence.”                   Time

“Purity demonstrates Franzen’s ingenious plotting, his ability to steer the chaos of real life toward moments that feel utterly surprising yet inevitable . . . In Purity Franzen writes with a perfectly balanced fluency . . . From its tossed-off observations . . . to its thoughtful reflections on the moral compromises of journalism, Purity offers a constantly provocative series of insights.”                 Washington Post

Literary legend James Bond returns to his 1950s heyday in this exhilarating thriller by Sunday Times bestselling author Anthony Horowitz.

It’s 1957 and James Bond (agent 007) has only just survived his showdown with Auric Goldfinger at Fort Knox. By his side is Pussy Galore, who was with him at the end.

Unknown to either of them, the USSR and the West are in a deadly struggle for technological superiority. And SMERSH is back.

The Soviet counter-intelligence agency plans to sabotage a Grand Prix race at the most dangerous track in Europe. But it’s Bond who finds himself in the driving seat and events take an unexpected turn when he observes a suspicious meeting between SMERSH’s driver and a sinister Korean millionaire, Jai Seong Sin.

Soon Bond is pitched into an entirely different race with implications that could change the world. Thrown together with American agent, Jeopardy Lane, Bond uncovers a plan that will bring the West to its knees in a heart-stopping climax.

Welcoming back familiar faces, including M and Miss Moneypenny, international bestselling author Anthony Horowitz ticks all the boxes: speed, danger, strong women and fiendish villains, to reinvent the golden age of Bond in this brilliantly gripping adventure. TRIGGER MORTIS is also the first James Bond novel to feature previously unseen Ian Fleming material.

This is James Bond as Fleming imagined him.

A humdinger of a Bond story, so cunningly crafted and thrillingly placed that OO7’s creator would have been happy to own it…. The book is the best Bond movie you’ll ever see without actually having to see the movie.”                Simon Schama, Financial Times

“Trigger Mortis is a blast. Set two weeks after the end of the novel Goldfinger in 1957, it has a superb plot based around the early space race and features the return of the best Bond girl of them all, Pussy Galore.”                 Mail on Sunday

Almost too good.”                 Evening Standard

Horowitz is doing something both clever and audacious…a clever and enjoyable pastiche, which manages to press many of the buttons that were the purview of 007’s creator.”                     Independent

There is a delicate line separating imitation from parody and Horowitz stays on the right side of it to perfection.”                        Daily Express

“Laws are silent in times of war.”                  Cicero

There was a time when Cicero held Caesar’s life in the palm of his hand. But now Caesar is the dominant figure and Cicero’s life is in ruins.

Exiled, separated from his wife and children, his possessions confiscated, his life constantly in danger, Cicero is tormented by the knowledge that he has sacrificed power for the sake of his principles.

His comeback requires wit, skill and courage – and for a brief and glorious period, the legendary orator is once more the supreme senator in Rome.

But politics is never static and no statesman, however cunning, can safeguard against the ambition and corruption of others.

Riveting and tumultuous, Dictator encompasses some of the most epic events in human history yet is also an intimate portrait of a brilliant, flawed, frequently fearful yet ultimately brave man – a hero for his time and for ours. This is an unforgettable tour de force from a master storyteller.

Superb…confirms Harris’s undisputed place as our leading master of both the historical and contemporary thriller.”                      Daily Mail

The book works…more than that; at times it sings… Thrillers are supposed to thrill, but few really do raise your heart rate and short-circuit your critical faculties…Exhilarating…This trilogy deserves the highest compliment that can be paid to a work of historical fiction.”               Times

Harris is brilliant at the political then-as-now, giving Caesar with a hint of Blair – and also of Thatcher.”                       Spectator

Staying close to the sources, Harris picks his way masterfully through Cicero’s personal and political dilemmas…superb…does full justice to one of Rome’s most interesting complex and humane statesmen, whose pragmatic political treatises proved so influential during the renaissance and enlightenment.”                Evening Standard

Harris’ version of Cicero is a tremendous creation.”                       Independent

Amory’s first memory is of her father doing a handstand. She has memories of him returning on leave during the First World War. But his absences, both actual and emotional, are what she chiefly remembers. It is her photographer uncle Greville who supplies the emotional bond she needs, and, when he gives her a camera and some rudimentary lessons in photography, unleashes a passion that will irrevocably shape her future.

A spell at boarding school ends abruptly and Amory begins an apprenticeship with Greville in London, living in his flat in Kensington, earning two pounds a week photographing socialites for fashionable magazines. But Amory is hungry for more and her search for life, love and artistic expression will take her to the demi monde of Berlin of the late 1920s, to New York of the 1930s, to the Blackshirt riots in London and to France in the Second World War where she becomes one of the first women war photographers. Her desire for experience will lead Amory to further wars, to lovers, husbands and children as she continues to pursue her dreams and battle her demons.

In this enthralling story of a life fully lived, William Boyd has created a sweeping panorama of some of the most defining moments of modern history, told through the camera lens of one unforgettable woman, Amory Clay.

An utterly compelling read . The effect of Amory is that of an interesting woman with a life well-lived, who is not content to sit back and be beautiful as an adored wife or mistress. She grasps every opportunity with both hands, wherever it leads her. Not a bad epitaph, and a tribute to Boyd’s skill that we miss her like a friend when we, and she, reach the end.”                           Independent

“Sweet Caress is a rattling good “what will happen next?” story and, on another level, a meditation, in fiction, on women and the lens.”Caress” is just the right word for the feel of this novel. Boyd deals with heavy themes with the lightest touch. We’re lucky to have him writing for us.”                   Times

Boyd is as good as ever at capturing time and place, and at blurring the line between fact and fiction . A highly enjoyable read.”         Daily Telegraph

One of Britain’s best and best-loved storytellers . A skilfully plotted, cleverly constructed and highly entertaining novel. It’s a book crying out for screen adaptation.”             Sunday Express

Witty and resourceful, Boyd’s heroine immediately appeals . This is the story of a life shaped and scarred by war and also by those accidents of fate over which none of us can exert power.”                     Daily Mail

Boyd is a gifted and intelligent story-teller, who possesses the charm to beguile us through a tale which, like all his novels, bears testimony to the damage inflicted on the human psyche by love and war.”                    Independent on Sunday

Boyd is a brilliant novelist. Sweet Caress is an audacious, sweeping, rich layer cake of a novel, at once a textual hall of mirrors and a brilliant tale of a life well lived.”                     Observer

Clever and compelling . A thrilling piece of craft, a meditation on work and life and everything in between.”               Guardian

Boyd is an inventive writer, excelling at the minutiae of event and place that enable him to locate an individual in a particular era . Sweet Caress is a darker, more disturbing exploration of a woman’s experience of damage and survival.”                     Literary Review

I enjoyed this book very much indeed . It has an unobtrusively elegant prose style coupled to propulsive plot momentum; deft characterisation and intelligent commentary . supremely accomplished.”                     Scotland on Sunday

Boyd’s representation of a certain sort of female voice is pitch-perfect, chiefly because he is not trying too hard to signal Amory’s femininity . The opening chapters of Amory’s life are reminiscent of Doris Lessing’s account of her parents, who were both damaged by the war . For those who appreciate a novel in which emotional life is sensed at the edges of what is said, this is a masterly portrait. And the final chapters, in which Amory tries, with typical courage, to take ultimate control of her life, and then finds further courage to recognise the limitations of control, are superbly written and desperately moving.”                   Spectator

He reached down, softly laid a hand on the swaddling and said, ‘Here’s Shumikazi, Miseka.’ In that moment of sacred oneness, he beheld the dead-lips, bent down to her ear, and whispered, ‘Miseka … here is Shumikazi.”

This is the story of Shumikazi, the only surviving child of Jojo and Miseka. She grows up in a small village in the remote Eastern Cape during the days of white rule – from the outside, an apparently unremarkable life. And yet Shumi is marked for extraordinary things from the moment of her birth.

Wry, tragic, funny, scathing, with a Greek chorus of villagers’ voices, this rich new novel from one of South Africa’s most beloved storytellers underscores the dignity of those often rendered invisible – poor, rural women, their families and communities. These marginal characters crackle with life and verve as they step into the centre of the national narrative in Magona’s skilled hands. A powerful meditation on the vulnerability of rural women, it is also a series of overlapping love stories – above all, the love a father has for his daughter.

“Chasing the Tails of My Father’s Cattle is not like anything else I have seen. Such a little story, about such little, invisible people. Such a huge story, about such timeless, recognisable people. It has the feel of a Greek tragedy, complete with clucking chorus, but with more optimism. And what an extraordinary tale of the vast majority of women’s lives in this country. What a powerful, non-preachy meditation on the vulnerability of rural women in traditional cultures.”              Helen Moffett

Like No Country for Old Men and Snow Falling on Cedars, a haunting and suspenseful novel of secrets, corruption, tragedy, and vengeance from the author of Crazy Heart—the basis of the 2009 Academy Award-winning film—an electrifying crime drama and psychological thriller in which a young cop becomes the focal point for a community’s grief and rage in the aftermath of a tragic accident.

Out on a rural highway on a cold, icy night, Patrolman Ronny Forbert sits in his cruiser trying to keep warm and make time pass until his shift ends. Then a familiar beater Jeep Cherokee comes speeding over a hill, forcing the rookie cop to chase after it. The driver is his old friend turned nemesis, Matt Laferiere, the rogue son of a man as beaten down as the town itself.

Within minutes, what begins as a clear-cut arrest for drunk driving spirals out of control into a heated argument between two young men with a troubled past and ends in a fatal hit and run on an icy stretch of blacktop.

As the news spreads around town, Police Chief Gordy Hawkins remains certain that Ronny Forbert followed the rules, at least most of them, and he’s willing to stand by the young cop. But a few manipulative people in town see opportunity in the tragedy. As uneasy relationships, dark secrets, and old grievances reveal themselves, the people of this small, tightly woven community decide that a crime must have been committed, and someone—Officer Ronny Forbert—must pay a price, a choice that will hold devastating consequences for them all.

Tense, impeccably rendered.”                      Kirkus

A powerful, poignant novel exploring how grief and anger can too often bury justice.”               Sentinel

Gritty and tense, Cobb’s novel… has undeniable power.”                Publishers Weekly

Sweet Medicine takes place in Harare at the height of Zimbabwe’s economic woes in 2008. Tsitsi, a young woman, raised by her strict, devout Catholic mother, believes that hard work, prayer and an education will ensure a prosperous and happy future. She does well at her mission boarding school, and goes on to obtain a scholarship to attend university, but the change in the economic situation in Zimbabwe destroys the old system where hard work and a degree guaranteed a good life. Out of university, Tsitsi finds herself in a position

much lower than she had set her sights on, working as a clerk in the office of the local politician, Zvobgo. With a salary that barely provides her a means to survive, she finds herself increasingly compromising her Christian values to negotiate ways to get ahead.

Sweet Medicine is a thorough and evocative attempt at grappling with a variety of important issues in the postcolonial context: tradition and modernity; feminism and patriarchy; spiritual and political freedoms and responsibilities; poverty and desperation; and wealth and abundance.

“You are a prophet and seer with the brightest mind in an age. Your blood is that of the man who should have been king …That’s what the king and his lords see. And they will kill you, one day.”

Britain in the seventh century – and the world is changing. Small kingdoms are merging, frequently and violently. Edwin, King of Northumbria, plots his rise to overking of all the Angles. Ruthless and unforgiving, he is prepared to use every tool at his disposal: blood, bribery, belief. Into this brutal, vibrant court steps Hild – Edwin’s youngest niece.

With her glittering mind and powerful curiosity, Hild has a unique way of reading the world. By studying nature, observing human behavior and matching cause with effect, she has developed the ability to make startlingly accurate predictions. It is a gift that can seem uncanny, even supernatural, to those around her.

It is also a valuable weapon. Hild is indispensable to Edwin – unless she should ever lead him astray. The stakes are life and death: for Hild, for her family, for her loved ones, and for the increasing numbers who seek the protection of the strange girl who can see the future and lead men like a warrior.

In this vivid, compelling novel, Nicola Griffith has brought the Early Middle Ages to life in an extraordinary act of alchemy. Drawn from the story of St Hilda of Whitby – one of the most fascinating and pivotal figures of the age – Hild transports the reader into a mesmerising, unforgettable world.

Harare, Zimbabwe, 2011

This is a story of five marriages and one gun.

A British couple wonder at the unknowable city beyond their guarded compound while they build walls between themselves.

An American begins to suspect his new home is having an insidious effect on his ‘African queen’ and their young daughter.

An enthusiastic young intellectual follows his wife and his dreams to the city and finds only disillusion.

An Intelligence Officer loses a crucial piece of evidence. It will cost him his marriage and his girlfriend; maybe even his life.

A taxi driver and his wife, living on the knife-edge of poverty, find a gun in the cab. From this point on, all their lives are tied to the trigger.

C.B. George’s Zimbabwe is a personal portrait, both tender and brutal. The betrayals and conspiracies of the corrupt world are nothing compared to those of marriage; in which husband and wife love and leave, fight and flee, recant and reconcile, with outcomes that are by turns shocking, heartbreaking and, ultimately, full of hope.

A terrific novel – absolutely compelling and chilling. A wonderfully astute and forensic blend of fact and fiction, lies and truth.”                        William Boyd

This is a brilliantly unsettling book; its shrewd, measured, darkly atmospheric prose describes the societal, familial and psychological conditions that make it possible to find burnt corpses in fire-proof houses.”                Helen Oyeyemi

Muscular, confident… C . B. George’s account of that strained relationship is horribly convincing . . . As the characters stumble into each others’ trajectories, the author pulls off the feat of being both forensic and forgiving.”                   Spectator

This debut is well worth reading…George offers a range of keenly observed representations, from expatriate malaise to the sheer difficulty of poverty; his psychologies are subtle and wry, his honesties amuse as much as they wound and he displays a ventriloquist’s talent for voices as various as the black American and white Zimbabwean.”                        Literary Review

Compelling . . . Political instability registers as a quiet quake beneath the feet of ordinary people, tilting them this way and that, as they attempt to navigate everyday matters of family, love and betrayal . . . Intimate and revealing.”                  Guardian

Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.

At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed. With stunning revelations and multiple threads, and in prose that is vibrantly alive and original, Groff delivers a deeply satisfying novel about love, art, creativity and power that is unlike anything that has come before it. Profound, surprising, propulsive and emotionally riveting, it stirs both the mind and the heart.

“Fates and Furies, Lauren Groff’s remarkable new novel, explodes and rages past any such preconceptions, insisting that the examination of a long-term relationship can be a perfect vehicle for exploring no less than the nature of existence – the domestic a doorway to the philosophical…The deepest satisfaction gained by reading “Furies” after “Fates” lies less in admiring how tidily the puzzle pieces snap together – though they do – than in experiencing one’s own kaleidoscopic shift of emotions and concerns…Rare and impressive…The aforementioned wordplay evokes Nabokov…Groff has created a novel of extraordinary and genuine complexity…The word “ambitious” is often used as code for “overly ambitious”, a signal that an author’s execution has fallen short. No such hidden message here. Lauren Groff is a writer of rare gifts, and Fates and Furies is an unabashedly ambitious novel that delivers – with comedy, tragedy, well-deployed erudition and unmistakable glimmers of brilliance throughout.”                New York Times

Even from her impossibly high starting point, Lauren Groff just keeps getting better and better…But her new novel, Fates and Furies, is a clear-the-ground triumph … Not yet 40, Groff nonetheless captures the complicated ways love blesses, transforms and, yes, deceives us over many years…Groff writes in prose that seems to sigh with both adoration and exasperation. There’s a touch of F. Scott Fitzgerald in this glamorous story… Halfway through, Groff leverages her story in a remarkable and transformative way … A vertiginous ride that will shake your confidence in what you think you know about your spouse ― and yourself … Swelling with a contrapuntal symphony of passions, Fates and Furies is that daring novel that seems to reach too high ― and then somehow, miraculously, exceeds its own ambitions.”                Washington Post

“[A] stunning achievement. The plotting is elegant, intricate and assured. And Groff writes with an imaginative compassion and intellectual force that lends her account of marriage real philosophical weight . . . it will give you much to savour.”                     Independent

Groff is an original writer, whose books are daringly nonconformist; she has a sharp gift for mimesis…Admirably, she writes inside and outside history at once, refusing to play safe by merely contouring the known…Fates and Furies refuses to be a conventional domestic novel…[The language is] thrillingly good – precise, lyrical, rich, both worldly and epically transfiguring…The prose is not only beautiful and vigorously alert; it insists on its own heroic registration, and lifts this story of a modern marriage out of the mundane. Even Lotto and Mathilde’s sex is grand and yet wittily figured.”                      James Wood, The New Yorker

Groff’s lush writing has a compelling awareness of what is unsaid.”                      The Times

Her final novel.

When Carl sells a packet of slimming pills to his close friend, Stacey, inadvertently causing her death, he sets in train a sequence of catastrophic events which begins with subterfuge, extends to lies, and culminates in murder.

In Rendell’s dark and atmospheric tale of psychological suspense, we encounter mistaken identity, kidnap, blackmail, and a cast of characters who are so real that we come to know them better than we know ourselves.

Infused with her distinctive blend of wry humour, acute observation and deep humanity, this is Rendell at her most memorable and best.

 

Dark Corners is written in a deceptively simple manner, and at times it reads like a twisted fairytale.It leaves an uneasiness behind like a dark stain on the consciousness …The violence of Dark Corners is the violence that stems from the mundane and the ordinary, and it is all the more frightening because of that”               Independent

“Another of Rendell’s penetrating studies of ordinary people trapped in extraordinary circumstances…her countless admirers will seize on it with delight”                    Literary Review

“From the impressive variety of tones and styles to which she had access as a writer, Rendell chose for
Dark Corners black comedy that echoes Muriel Spark…[Dark Corners] enjoyably and honourably concludes Rendell’s six decades of exploring the death force that, as her last book demonstrates, may be triggered in unexpected people and places”                 Guardian

“The late Ruth Rendell put a permanent stamp on crime fiction with 65 novels of screw-twisting suspense, written under both her own name and the pseudonym Barbara Vine. The posthumously published Dark Corners is a worthy final entry in her body of work”                     Wall Street Journal

“A gripping story…You will feel the authentic Rendell prickle of fear as you realise how easily a mis-step could plunge you into a situation like [the protagonist’s]”              Daily Telegraph

“Not once does Rendell let up on the tension. This, her last book, is a triumph”                 
Daily Mail

 

Winner of Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books 2015

This is an underreported area of science and a truly original story. We were all humbled by Vince’s commitment to this book – she quit her job and spent 800 days on the global road to gather her evidence. She has captured the issue of the day in a way that is ultimately empowering without ever being complacent.”                        Ian Stewart, Chair of judges, Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books 2015

We live in epoch-making times. Literally. The changes we humans have made in recent decades have altered our world beyond anything it has experienced in its 4.5 billion-year history — we have become a force on a par with earth-shattering asteroids and planet-cloaking volcanoes.

As a result, our planet is said to be crossing a geological boundary – from the Holocene into the Anthropocene, or Age of Man.

Gaia Vince decided to quit her job at science journal Nature, and travel the world at the start of this new age to explore what all these changes really mean – especially for the people living on the frontline of the planet we’ve made.

She found ordinary people solving severe crises in ingenious, effective ways. Take the retired railway worker who’s building artificial glaciers in the Himalayas, for example, or the Peruvian painting mountains white to retain snowfall. Meet the villagers in India using satellite technology to glean water; and the women farmers in Africa combining the latest genetic discoveries with ancient irrigation techniques; witness the electrified reefs in the Maldives and the man who’s making islands out of rubbish in the Caribbean.

Alongside these extraordinary – and inspiring – stories, Gaia looks at how humanity’s changes are reshaping our living planet, transforming our relationship with the natural world, and explores how we might engineer Earth for our future.

An excellent book… Vince writes with great freshness and vigour, and her stories are hard to stop reading”                 Daily Telegraph

It holds a mirror up to humanity and says: look what you have done to the world, the only world you will ever have… in every sense a good book, as well as a compelling read.” Guardian

A heroic and important work with a happy ending.”                        Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

A masterpiece… a wondrous, remarkable, but heart-rending story.”         Ecologist

Ambitious and provocative… brilliant.”                    Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan and The Sea Inside, Literary Review

A story of optimism about how 10 billion people can in future live together and prosper… Fresh and unencumbered. Vince glides from ecology to economics, politics to philosophy, seeing it all through the people she meets.”                                    New Scientist

A beautifully human and optimistic book filled with stories of ordinary people who simply refuse to give up.”                           BBC Focus

Ms Vince’s focus on individuals and places helps ground the science in reality… [her] case studies are fascinating.”                         Economist

A fine and timely book. Gaia Vince shows us how to stay steady and cheerful despite the ever intensifying drama of the Anthropocene.”                        James Lovelock

Gaia’s remarkable journey is a unique inventory of life on earth, both wild and human, at this important moment in our history.”                        Bill Oddie

In The Dirty Game, investigative reporter and BBC Panorama presenter Andrew Jennings, who has been heralded around the world for his decade-long pursuit of this story, uncovers the eye-watering level of fraud and criminal activity at the heart of FIFA, which has been described as the biggest sporting scandal of the century.

From Blatter to Blazer, from bribery to embezzlement, Jennings reveals the key protagonists, crimes and evidence he handed to the FBI which led to the arrests of FIFA executive and the resignation of Sepp Blatter. Written in a gripping narrative, and based on years of research and never-before-seen documents, this is the definitive portrait of the downfall of FIFA, and the men who stole football.

Andrew Jennings gave his journalistic life to the story of FIFA corruption. Now as much as ever, we are all in his debt. Thank you Andrew.”                              Sunday Times

The reporter behind the biggest sports scandal of the century .”                Washington Post

Credit in this saga should go to the dogged obsession of a single reporter, Andrew Jennings, 71, who has traced Sepp Blatter’s footsteps for more than a decade. Jennings worked for the Sunday Times and BBC’s Panorama. His BBC film about Fifa corruption, ‘The Beautiful Bung’, appeared as long ago as 2006. Since then he, and subsequently the Sunday Times, have been merciless in pursuit of the story.”                    Guardian

From Paul Mason, the award-winning Channel 4 presenter, Postcapitalism is a guide to our era of seismic economic change, and how we can build a more equal society.

Over the past two centuries or so, capitalism has undergone continual change – economic cycles that lurch from boom to bust – and has always emerged transformed and strengthened. Surveying this turbulent history, Paul Mason wonders whether today we are on the brink of a change so big, so profound, that this time capitalism itself, the immensely complex system by which entire societies function, has reached its limits and is changing into something wholly new.

At the heart of this change is information technology: a revolution that, as Mason shows, has the potential to reshape utterly our familiar notions of work, production and value; and to destroy an economy based on markets and private ownership – in fact, he contends, it is already doing so. Almost unnoticed, in the niches and hollows of the market system, whole swathes of economic life are changing. Goods and services that no longer respond to the dictates of neoliberalism are appearing, from parallel currencies and time banks, to cooperatives and self-managed online spaces. Vast numbers of people are changing their behaviour, discovering new forms of ownership, lending and doing business that are distinct from, and contrary to, the current system of state-backed corporate capitalism.

In this groundbreaking book Mason shows how, from the ashes of the recent financial crisis, we have the chance to create a more socially just and sustainable global economy. Moving beyond capitalism, he shows, is no longer a utopian dream. This is the first time in human history in which, equipped with an understanding of what is happening around us, we can predict and shape, rather than simply react to, seismic change.

Ecological crisis signals the death knell for an economic system that was already profoundly failing us, as Paul Mason mercilessly illustrates in these pages. Building on a remarkable career’s worth of reporting on the frontlines of global capitalism and worker resistance, this book is an original, engaging, and bracingly-articulated vision of real alternatives. It is sure to many spark vigorous debates, and they are precisely the ones we should be having.”                       Naomi Klein

Mason weaves together varied intellectual threads to produce a fascinating set of ideas… the thesis about “postcapitalism” deserves a wide readership among right and left alike… Politicians of all stripes should take note. And so should the people who vote for them.”                      Financial Times

“Deeply engaging… Mason is asking the most interesting questions, unafraid of where they might lead. What’s more, he writes with freshness and insight on almost every page… I can’t remember the last book I read that managed to carve its way through the forest of political and economic ideas with such brio… as a spark to the imagination, with frequent x-ray flashes of insight into the way we live now, it is hard to beat. In that sense, Mason is a worthy successor to Marx.”                                 Guardian

“After postmodernism and all other fashionable post-trends, Mason fearlessly confronts the only true post-, postcapitalism. While we can see all around us ominous signs of the impasses of global capitalism, it is perhaps more than ever difficult to imagine a feasible alternative to it. How are we to deal with this frustrating situation? Although Mason’s book is irresistibly readable, this clarity should not deceive us: it is a book which compels us to think!”             Slavoj Žižek

Postcapitalism is a groundbreaking book, both staggering in its ambition, and brilliantly executed… It’s both a visionary and landmark work, and the most important book about our economy and society to be published in my lifetime.”                     Irvine Welsh

‘”As gripping as any spy thriller … Hastings’s achievement is especially impressive, for he has produced the best single volume yet written on the subject.”    Sunday Times

 “Authoritative, exciting and notably well written.”               Daily Telegraph

 “A serious work of rigourous and comprehensive history … royally entertaining and readable.”               Mail on Sunday

 Spies, codes and guerrillas played critical roles in the Second World War, exploited by every nation in the struggle to gain secret knowledge of its foes, and to sow havoc behind the fronts. In The Secret War, Max Hastings presents a worldwide cast of characters and some extraordinary sagas of intelligence and Resistance, to create a new perspective on the greatest conflict in history.

Here are not only Alan Turing and the codebreaking geniuses of Bletchley Park, but also their German counterparts, who achieved their own triumphs against the Allies. Hastings plots the fabulous espionage networks created by the Soviet Union in Germany and Japan, Britain and America, and explores the puzzle of why Stalin so often spurned his agents, who reported from the heart of the Axis war machine.

The role of SOE and American’s OSS as sponsors of guerrilla war are examined, and the book tells the almost unknown story of Ronald Seth, an SOE agent who was ‘turned’ by the Germans, walked the streets of Paris in a Luftwaffe uniform, and baffled MI5, MI6 and the Abwehr as to his true loyalty. Also described is the brilliantly ruthless Russian deception operation which helped to secure the Red Army’s victory at Stalingrad, a ruse that cost 70,000 lives.

The Secret War links tales of high courage ashore, at sea and in the air to the work of the brilliant ‘boffins’ at home, battling the enemy’s technology. Most of the strivings, adventures and sacrifices of spies, Resistance, Special Forces and even of the codebreakers were wasted, Hastings says, but a fraction was so priceless that no nation grudged lives and treasure spent in the pursuit of jewels of knowledge. The book tells stories of high policy and human drama, mingled in the fashion that has made international bestsellers of Max Hastings’ previous histories, this time illuminating the fantastic machinations of secret war.

Lively and entertaining … a rich gallery of rogues, eccentrics and brainstorming professors which … Hastings can manipulate with wonderful deftness.”                       Observer

A compendious, crisply argued and witty assessment of the intelligence operations of the major powers.”                    Financial Times

‘Our relationship with nature has changed . . . radically, irreversibly, but by no means all for the bad. Our new epoch is laced with invention. Our mistakes are legion, but our talent is immeasurable.’

In The Human Age award-winning nature writer Diane Ackerman confronts the fact that the human race is now the single dominant force of change on the planet. Humans have ‘subdued 75 per cent of the land surface, concocted a wizardry of industrial and medical marvels, strung lights all across the darkness’. We now collect the DNA of vanishing species in a ‘frozen ark’, equip orang-utans with iPads, create wearable technologies and synthetic species that might one day outsmart us. Ackerman takes us on an exciting journey to understand this bewildering new reality, introducing us to many of the people and ideas now creating – perhaps saving – the future.

The Human Age is a surprising, optimistic engagement with the dramatic transformations that have shaped, and continue to alter, our world, our relationship with nature and our prospects for the future. Diane Ackerman is one of our most lyrical, insightful and compelling writers on the natural world and The Human Age is a landmark book.

A dazzling achievement: immensely readable, lively, polymathic, audacious.”                 New York Times

An ode to the planet we’ve created for ourselves… Rarely grim, and the overwhelming spirit is one of relentless optimism.”                  Nathanial Rich, New York Times

Diane Ackerman’s vivid writing, inexhaustible stock of insights, and unquenchable optimism have established her as a national treasure, and as one of our great authors. You’re now about to become addicted to Diane Ackerman.”                 Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel

In this amazingly illuminating book, Diane Ackerman explains our future with her typically intoxicating blend of scholarship, wisdom, grace and humor.”                   Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies

Fascinating… Ackerman offers a cross-cultural tour of human ingenuity … Her words invite us to feel the hope she feels.”              Washington Post

Ackerman is a gorgeous writer and perceptive observer. Here she writes with great empathy about the human plight.”                        Boston Globe

Exquisite and startling.”                    Tim Flannery – Harper’s Magazine

Howard Marks is the most famous drug smuggler of his age, and a hero to a generation. On his release from one of America’s toughest prisons, Howard made a promise to himself to go straight. No more drugs, no more smuggling, no more fake passports. He would retire to a quiet life with his family in the Balearic Islands of Spain. It didn’t quite work out that way.

This was the mid-nineties, the height of the ecstasy and clubbing boom, and Ibiza was at the very centre of the vortex for the ‘E generation’. Pills had taken the place of marijuana, Paul Oakenfold had replaced The Rolling Stones as the music of the masses, but some people are just born for life on the other side of the law.

It wasn’t long before Howard found himself trying pure ecstasy and rubbing shoulders with some of the king-pins of the pill trade. These included some of Britain’s most notorious gangsters, who were laundering millions of pounds of gold stolen from the legendary Brink’s-Mat bullion raid. As Britons descended on Ibiza ahead of one of the greatest summers of the nineties, Howard was preparing for his most outrageous operation yet.
Incredibly funny, moving and scabrous, Howard Marks’ Mr Smiley follows a journey to the heartland of the clubbing and British crime scene. It is also a fitting last word from one of Britain’s best loved bad boys.

A memoir of childhood and adolescence from one of our finest writers, as we’ve never seen her before.

In The Lost Landscape, Joyce Carol Oates vividly recreates the early years of her life in western New York State, powerfully evoking the romance of childhood and the way it colours everything that comes after. From early memories of her relatives to remembrances of a particularly poignant friendship with a red hen, from her first friendships to her first experiences with death, The Lost Landscape is an arresting account of the ways in which Oates’s life (and her life as a writer) was shaped by early childhood and how her later work was influenced by a hard-scrabble rural upbringing.

In this exceptionally candid, moving, and richly reflective recounting of her early years, Oates explores the world through the eyes of her younger self and reveals her nascent experiences of wanting to tell stories about the world and the people she meets. If Alice in Wonderland was the book that changed a young Joyce forever and inspired her to look at life as offering endless adventures, she describes just as unforgettably the harsh lessons of growing up on a farm. With an acutely perceptive eye, Oates renders her memories and emotions with exquisite precision to truly transport the reader to a bygone place and time, the lost landscape of the writer’s past but also to the lost landscapes of our own earliest, and most essential, lives.

A compelling and at times mysterious testimony to a life of letters like no other I know.”                       Richard Ford

Every piece merits re-issue … works effectively as a continuous memoir … here and there we glimpse the gothic seam Oates has since mined in her fiction.”             Suzi Feay, Financial Times

Oates is an inspired writer, and a formidable psychologist. She has a thrilling way of grasping an emotion, wasting no time and launching herself straight at the aching heart of the matter.”                       Independent

Alex Perry’s lyrical exploration of the new Africa reveals the continent at a time of extraordinary change.

Taking the Great Rift Valley – the geological fault that will eventually tear Africa in two – as his central metaphor, Perry explores the split between a resurgent Africa and a world at odds with its rise. Africa has long been misunderstood – and abused – by outsiders. Perry travelled the continent for most of a decade, meeting with entrepreneurs and warlords, professors and cocaine smugglers, presidents and jihadis, among many others.

Opening with a devastating investigation into a largely unreported war crime in Somalia in 2011, he finds Africa at a moment of furious self-assertion. This is a remade continent, defiantly rising from centuries of oppression to become an economic and political titan: where cash is becoming a thing of the past, where astronomers are unlocking the origin of life and where, twenty-five years after Live Aid, Ethiopia’s first yuppies are traders on an electronic food exchange. Yet, as Africa finally wins the substance of its freedom, it must confront the three last false prophets of Islamists, dictators and aid workers, who would keep it in its bonds.

Beautifully written, intimately reported and passionately argued, THE RIFT is a vivid and provocative look at how the world gets Africa wrong, and how a resurgent Africa is forcing us to think again.

An epic, rich, endlessly surprising narrative of a fast-changing Africa by one of the few Western journalists to have spent enough time there to understand it. Calls to mind the best African writing of Ryszard Kapuscinski.”              Douglas Rogers author of The Last Resort

In this stunning book about the past, present, and future of Africa, foreign correspondent Perry (who’s written for Time and Newsweek) achieves the seemingly impossible: he writes about the continent from a Western perspective without trying to define Africa to the West. The stories he tells, of average Africans trying to carve out a better life, have the vividness of fiction. Candid, smart, and self-aware, this work is an impressive accomplishment that does more to give Western readers context for Africa’s current condition than any book in recent memory.”                    Publisher’s Weekly

One of the most influential, admired, and innovative women of our time: fashion designer, philanthropist, wife, mother, and grandmother, Diane von Furstenberg offers a book about becoming the woman she wanted to be.

Diane von Furstenberg started out with a suitcase full of jersey dresses and an idea of who she wanted to be-in her words, “the kind of woman who is independent and who doesn’t rely on a man to pay her bills.” She has since become that woman, establishing herself as a global brand and a major force in the fashion industry, all the while raising a family and maintaining “my children are my greatest creation.”

In The Woman I Wanted to Be, von Furstenberg reflects on her extraordinary life-from childhood in Brussels to her days as a young, jet-set princess, to creating the dress that came to symbolise independence and power for an entire generation of women. With remarkable honesty and wisdom, von Furstenberg mines the rich territory of what it means to be a woman. She opens up about her family and career, overcoming cancer, building a global brand, and devoting herself to empowering other women, writing, “I want every woman to know that she can be the woman she wants to be.”

“’My birth was her triumph,’ Diane, 67, writes in her new book The Woman I Wanted To Be.’She was not supposed to survive. I was not supposed to be born. We proved them wrong. We both won the day I was born.’ In her book…Diane refers to her mother’s diminutive stature – she beautifully describes holding this tiny woman’s hand throughout many of the more poignant and painful episodes in both their lives.”              Elle

In this lively memoir, the designer covers the most important aspects of her life, including Love, Beauty and the American Dream.”                 The Lady

In the past, culture was a kind of vital consciousness that constantly rejuvenated and revivified everyday reality. Now it is largely a mechanism of distraction and entertainment. Notes on the Death of Culture is an examination and indictment of this transformation – penned by none other than the Nobel winner Mario Vargas Llosa, who is not only one of our finest novelists but one of the keenest social critics at work today.

Taking his cues from T. S. Eliot – whose treatise Notes Towards the Definition of Culture is a touchstone precisely because the culture Eliot aimed to describe has since vanished – Vargas Llosa traces a decline whose ill effects have only just begun to be felt. He mourns, in particular, the figure of the intellectual: for most of the twentieth century, men and women of letters drove political, aesthetic, and moral conversations; today they have all but disappeared from public debate.

But Vargas Llosa stubbornly refuses to fade into the background. He is not content to merely sign a petition; he will not bite his tongue. A necessary provocateur, here vividly translated by John King, provides an impassioned and essential critique of our time and culture.

‘I was hoping against hope that the penguin would survive because as of that instant he had a name, and with his name came the beginning of a bond which would last a life-time’

 Tom Michell is in his roaring twenties: single, free-spirited and seeking adventure. He has a plane ticket to South America, a teaching position in a prestigious Argentine boarding school, and endless summer holidays. He even has a motorbike, Che Guevara style. What he doesn’t need is a pet. What he really doesn’t need is a pet penguin.

Set against Argentina’s turbulent years following the collapse of the corrupt Perónist regime, this is the heart-warming story of Juan Salvador the penguin, rescued by Tom from an oil slick in Uruguay just days before a new term. When the bird refuses to leave Tom’s side, the young teacher has no choice but to smuggle it across the border, through customs, and back to school. Whether it’s as the rugby team’s mascot, the housekeeper’s confidant, the host at Tom’s parties or the most flamboyant swimming coach in world history, Juan Salvador transforms the lives of all he meets – in particular one homesick school boy. And as for Tom, he discovers in Juan Salvador a compadre like no other…

The Penguin Lessons is a unique and moving true story which has captured imaginations around the globe – for all those who dreamed as a child they might one day talk to the animals.

Surfing only looks like a sport. To devotees, it is something else entirely: a beautiful addiction, a mental and physical study, a passionate way of life.

William Finnegan first started surfing as a young boy in California and Hawaii. Barbarian Days is his immersive memoir of a life spent travelling the world chasing waves through the South Pacific, Australia, Asia, Africa, Peru and beyond. Finnegan describes the edgy yet enduring brotherhood forged among the swell of the surf; and recalling his own apprenticeship to the world’s most famous and challenging waves, he considers the intense relationship formed between man, board and water.

Barbarian Days is an old-school adventure story, a social history, an extraordinary exploration of one man’s gradual mastering of an exacting and little-understood art. It is a memoir of dangerous obsession and enchantment.

There are too many breathtaking, original things in Barbarian Days to do more than mention here – observations about surfing that have simply never been made before, or certainly never so well. But a particularly remarkable feature of Barbarian Days is the generous yet unsparing portraits of competitive surf friendships that make up a major share of the narrative.”                       New York Times

Nothing I’ve read so accurately describes the feeling of being stoked or the despair of being held under. But also because while it is a book about “A Surfing Life” – as the subtitle states – it’s also about a writer’s life and, even more generally, a quester’s life, more carefully observed and precisely rendered than any I’ve read in a long time.”              LA Times

Surfing is Topic A here, but it inevitably connects with politics (when Mr. Finnegan taught in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1981, students boycotted his classes to protest apartheid), environmental issues (he sees great surf spots both created and destroyed by human enterprise) and much more. “                     New York Times, Cool Beach Books for Hot Summer Days

Terrific…Elegantly written and structured, it’s a riveting adventure story, an intellectual autobiography, and a restless, searching meditation on love, friendship and family…A writer of rare subtlety and observational gifts, Finnegan explores every aspect of the sport — its mechanics and intoxicating thrills, its culture and arcane tribal codes — in a way that should resonate with surfers and non-surfers alike. His descriptions of some of the world’s most powerful and unforgiving waves are hauntingly beautiful…Finnegan displays an honesty that is evident throughout the book, parts of which have a searing, unvarnished intensity that reminded me of ‘Stop Time,’ the classic coming-of-age memoir by Frank Conroy.”                 Washington Post

The kind of book that makes you squirm in your seat on the subway, gaze out the window at work, and Google Map the quickest route to the beach. In other words, it is, like Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, a semi-dangerous book, one that persuades young men…to trade in their office jobs in order to roam the world, to feel the ocean’s power, and chase the waves.”                        Paris Review Daily 

Without a doubt, the finest surf book I’ve ever read… All this technical mastery and precise description goes hand in hand with an unabashed, infectious earnestness. Finnegan has certainly written a surfing book for surfers, but on a more fundamental level, ‘Barbarian Days’ offers a cleareyed vision of American boyhood. Like Jon Krakauer’s ‘Into the Wild,’ it is a sympathetic examination of what happens when literary ideas of freedom and purity take hold of a young mind and fling his body out into the far reaches of the world.”                  New York Times Magazine

Finnegan is an excellent surfer; at some point he became an even better writer. That pairing makes Barbarian Days exceptional in the notoriously foamy genre of surf lit: a hefty, heavyweight tour de force, overbrimming with sublime lyrical passages that Finnegan drops as effortlessly as he executed his signature ‘drop-knee cutback’ in the breaks off Waikiki…Reading this guy on the subject of waves and water is like reading Hemingway on bullfighting; William Burroughs on controlled substances; Updike on adultery…Finnegan is a virtuoso wordsmith, but the juice propelling this memoir is wrung from the quest that shaped him…A piscine, picaresque coming-of-age story, seen through the gloss resin coat of a surfboard.”                        Sports Illustrated

Gorgeously written and intensely felt…With Mr. Finnegan’s bravura memoir, the surfing bookshelf is dramatically enriched. It’s not only a volume for followers of the sport. Non-surfers, too, will be treated to a travelogue head-scratchingly rich in obscure, sharply observed destinations…Dare I say that we all need Mr. Finnegan…as a role model for a life fully, thrillingly, lived.”                     Wall Street Journal

Anyone who has read Jon Krakauer’s famous account of the 1996 Everest disaster, Into Thin Air, will remember the story of Beck Weathers: the gregarious Texan climber who went snow-blind in the Death Zone below the summit and who spent a night out in the open during a blizzard that took the lives of a dozen colleagues and friends.

Even as he staggered back into Camp 4 the next morning, Beck’s condition was such that the other survivors assumed he would not make it back down the mountain. He was effectively left for dead, but drawing upon reserves of determination and courage he didn’t know he had – as well as the extraordinary selflessness and bravery of a Nepalese helicopter pilot he’d never met – he finally made it to safety. Only then could a new battle begin: to rebuild his life with a family he’d taken for granted for too long.

An engaging memoir . . . Candid [and] moving . . . Weather s’ upbeat attitude perhaps yields the biggest clue about how he got home from Everest.”                   New York Times Book Review

In An Appetite for Wonder Richard Dawkins brought us his engaging memoir of his first 35 years. In Brief Candle in the Dark he continues his autobiography, following the threads that have run through the second half of his life so far.

He paints a vivid picture, coloured with wit, anecdote and digression, of the twenty-five postgraduate years he spent teaching at Oxford. He pays affectionate tribute to past colleagues and students, recalling with characteristic wry humour the idiosyncrasies of an establishment steeped in tradition and ritual. He invites us to share the life of a travelling scientist, from fieldwork on the Panama Canal to conferences in the company of some of the most prominent – and most eccentric – of the world’s scientific luminaries.

Most important of all, for the first time he reviews with fresh and stimulating insights the evolving narrative of his ideas about science over the course of his highly distinguished career as thinker, teacher and writer.

Readers of Brief Candle are in for many treats: lively prose from one of our greatest living writers; stimulating ideas on the nature of life and the human condition; and the opportunity to eavesdrop on the workings of an extraordinary mind, intellectually fierce yet personally generous.”                         Steven Pinker

“[Dawkins] is a thunderously gifted science writer.”                         The Times

Dawkins’s greatest gift has been as a lyricist … His writing can still sparkle. He excels at capturing the scenes behind a scene, deftly explaining a scientific principle, capping a story with an amusing anecdote … At such moments, one feels transported to a tweedy evening at Oxford, pouring the sherry as a charming senior faculty member holds court.”                         Nature

Dawkins has written with passion, urgency and clarity.”                 Guardian

A timely intervention on climate change from the author of the hugely influential The Weather Makers.

 Is there anything we can really do about climate change? Have we left it too late? Or is there still hope?

Internationally acclaimed scientist and world-renowned climate expert Professor Tim Flannery, author of The Weather Makers, shows that there is. Atmosphere of Hope lays out in plain terms everything we need to know about our current predicament, and describes the revolutionary new tools that could help avoid disaster. Cutting through the debates and noise to acknowledge that humans are not capable of perfection, Flannery offers real-world solutions – and shows us where hope has already started to spring around the globe.

Think Indiana Jones crossed with Charles Darwin.”             Financial Times

A wonderful writer, an original scientist, and a gifted populariser.”                      Martin Woollacott, Guardian

If you’re not already addicted to Tim Flannery’s writing, discover him now.”                    Jared Diamond



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