East West Street
By Philippe Sands
WINNER OF THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE AND THE JQ-WINGATE LITERARY PRIZE'A monumental achievement: profoundly personal, told with love, anger and great precision' - John le Carré'One of the most gripping and powerful books imaginable' - SUNDAY TIMES When he receives an invitation to deliver a lecture in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, international lawyer Philippe Sands begins a journey on the trail of his family's secret history. In doing so, he uncovers an astonishing series of coincidences that lead him halfway across the world, to the origins of international law at the Nuremberg trial. Interweaving the stories of the two Nuremberg prosecutors (Hersch Lauterpacht and Rafael Lemkin) who invented the crimes or genocide and crimes against humanity, the Nazi governor responsible for the murder of thousands in and around Lviv (Hans Frank), and incredible acts of wartime bravery, EAST WEST STREET is an unforgettable blend of memoir and historical detective story, and a powerful meditation on the way memory, crime and guilt leave scars across generations.
Edith & Oliver
By Michèle Forbes
Edith was born into a different world. But her rebellious nature brought her to the seedy glamour of the music hall, where she plays the piano by night. Oliver is an illusionist of moderate repute. But he is a man of ambition. He wants to tour the world, to pioneer ground-breaking illusions. History and fate have other ideas. When Edith and Oliver meet they fall headlong in love. But their children arrive as the world begins to change, as cinemas crowd the high street and the draw of the music hall wanes. What follows is a struggle: against the entropy of marriage, against the march of time, and against Oliver's flaws - flaws that may cost them everything.
Dolce Vita Confidential
By Shawn Levy
'A beautifully written walk on the wild side ... It oozes nostalgic glamour' THE TIMES'Uproariously readable ... Levy is a master of the group biography' SUNDAY TIMESFrom the ashes of the Second World War, Rome in the 1950s was reborn as the epicentre of film, fashion, tabloid media and bold-faced libertinism that made 'Italian' a global synonym for style and flair. A confluence of cultural contributions created a bright, burning moment in history: it was the heyday of fashion icons such as Pucci, whose superb craftsmanship set the standard for women's clothing for decades. Rome's huge movie studio, Cinecittà, also known as 'Hollywood on the Tiber', attracted a dizzying array of stars from Charlton Heston, Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra to that stunning and combustible couple, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who began their extramarital affair during the making of CLEOPATRA. And behind these stars trailed street photographers - Tazio Secchiaroli, Pierluigi Praturlon and Marcello Geppetti - who searched, waited and pounced on their subjects in pursuit of the most unflattering and dramatic portraits of fame. Fashionistas, exiles, moguls and martyrs flocked to Rome hoping for a chance to indulge in the glow of old money, new stars, fast cars, wanton libidos and brazen news photographers. The scene was captured nowhere better than in Federico Fellini's masterpiece, starring Marcello Mastroianni and the Swedish bombshell Anita Ekberg. LA DOLCE VITA was condemned for its licentiousness, when in fact Fellini was satirizing the decadence of Rome's bohemian scene. Colourful and richly informed, DOLCE VITA CONFIDENTIAL recreates Rome's stunning ascent with vivid and compelling tales of its glitterati and artists, down to every last outrageous detail of the city's magnificent transformation.
The Mountain Between Us
By Charles Martin
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Idris Elba and Kate WinsletOn a stormy winter night, two strangers wait for a flight at the Salt Lake City airport. Ashley Knox is an attractive, successful writer, who is flying East for her much anticipated wedding. Dr Ben Payne has just wrapped up a medical conference and is also eager to return home to Jacksonville, Florida for a slate of surgeries he has scheduled for the following day. When the last outgoing flight is cancelled due to a broken de-icer and a forthcoming storm, Ben finds a charter plane that can take him around the weather front. And when the pilot says the single engine prop plane can fit one more, Ben offers the seat to Ashley. Then the unthinkable happens. The pilot has a heart attack mid-flight and the plane crashes into the High Uintas Wilderness - one of the largest stretches of harsh and remote land in the United States. Ben, who has broken ribs, and Ashley, who suffers a terrible leg fracture, along with the pilot's dog, are faced with an incredibly harrowing battle to survive. Ben records messages to his beloved wife on a small tape recorder; seeing his devotion, Ashley wonders if she has rushed into her engagement. As the days on the mountains become weeks, their survival becomes increasingly perilous. How will they make it out of the wilderness and if they do, how will this experience change them?
Close But No Cigar
By Stephen Purvis
For over a decade Stephen Purvis had been a pillar of Havana's expat community, one of many foreign businessmen investing in Cuba's crawl from Cold War communism towards modernity. But for reasons unknown to him he was also under State Security's microscope. One morning during the height of President Raúl Castro's purges in 2012, while his family slept the unmarked Ladas of State Security arrived at his home and he was taken away into the absurd and brutal world of Cuban justice.In this engrossing memoir, Purvis recounts his fifteen-month ordeal. Accused at first of selling state secrets, he is taken to the notorious interrogation centre Villa Marista, where he endures brutal conditions designed by the KGB and Stasi to break the bodies and minds of spies and political prisoners, and resists the paranoia and incompetence of his jailers. Later, held in a maximum-security prison, he finds himself surrounded by a motley crew of convicts: people-smugglers and drug-runners together with a handful of confused businessmen also awaiting formal charges.From his arrest to his farcical secret trial and sudden release, Purvis exposes the madness of modern Cuba with wit, grit and a sharp eye for character. As tourists flock to Havana to marvel at a city frozen in time, he shows that despite reforms and international reconciliation the Castro regime remains a corrupt, dictatorial relic. CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR is part thriller, part comedy and part morality tale, but most of all a true story that takes the reader into a dark side of a sunny place that remains an enigma.
By Lindy Woodhead
War Paint is the story of two extraordinary women, Miss Elizabeth Arden and Madame Helena Rubinstein, and the legacy they left: a story of feminine vanity and marketing genius. Behind the gloss and glamour lay obsession with business and rivalry with each other. Despite working for over six decades in the same business, these two geniuses never met face to face - until now. 'The definitive biography of women and their relationships to their faces in the twentieth century' Linda Grant, Guardian'I have seldom enjoyed a book so much . . . the research is staggering . . . a wonderful read' Lulu Guinness
Trenchard: Father of the Royal Air Force
By Russell Miller
Hugh 'Boom' Trenchard was embarrassed by being described as 'The Father of the Royal Air Force' - he thought others were more deserving. But the reality was that no man did more to establish the world's first independent air force and ensure its survival in the teeth of fierce opposition from both the Admiralty and the War Office. Born in Taunton in 1873, Trenchard struggled at school, not helped by the shame of his solicitor father's bankruptcy when he was sixteen. He failed entrance examinations to both the Royal Navy and the Army several times, eventually obtaining a commission through the 'back door' of the militia. After service in India, South Africa - where he was seriously wounded - and Nigeria, he found his destiny when he joined the fledgling Royal Flying Corps in 1912, where he was soon known as 'Boom' thanks to his stentorian voice. Quick to recognise the huge potential aircraft offered in future conflicts, he rose rapidly to command the RFC in France during the First World War despite handicaps that would have blighted conventional military careers: he was obstinate, tactless, inarticulate and chronically unable to remember names - yet he was able to inspire unflagging loyalty among all ranks. Despite his conspicuous distrust of politicians, he served as a successful Chief of the Air Staff for a decade after the war and then, at the personal request of the King, took over as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, which he reorganised and reformed. He never wavered in his belief that mastery of the air could only be achieved by relentless offensive action, or in his determined advocacy of strategic bombing. His most enduring legacy was the creation of the finest air force in the world, engendered with the spirit that won the Battle of Britain.
My Life with Wagner
By Christian Thielemann
'Idiosyncratic, humorous, enlightening and written by one of the finest conductors alive ... This is the book to buy if you are going to see Wagner or listen to him at home' LITERARY REVIEWOver a distinguished career conducting some of the world's finest orchestras, Christian Thielemann has earned a reputation as the leading modern interpreter of Richard Wagner. MY LIFE WITH WAGNER chronicles his ardent personal and professional engagement with the composer whose work has shaped his thinking and feeling from early childhood.Thielemann retraces his journey with Wagner - from Berlin to Bayreuth via Venice, Hamburg and Chicago. Next he takes each opera in turn, his appraisal illuminated by a deep affinity for the music, an intimate knowledge of the scores and the inside perspective of an outstanding practitioner. And yet for all the adulation Wagner's art inspires in him, Thielemann does not shy away from unpalatable truths about the man himself, explaining why today he is venerated and reviled in equal measure. The result is a richly rewarding read for admirers of a composer who continues to fascinate long after his death.
Black Water Lilies
By Michel Bussi
'Ends with one of the most reverberating shocks in modern crime fiction' Sunday TimesThis is the story of a mystery, of thirteen days that begin with one murder and end with another. Jérôme Morval, a man whose passion for art was matched only by his passion for women, has been found dead in the stream that runs through the gardens at Giverny, where Monet did his famous paintings. In Jérôme's pocket is a postcard of Monet's Water Lilies with the words: Eleven years old. Happy Birthday. Entangled in the mystery are three women: a young painting prodigy, the seductive village schoolteacher and an old widow who watches over the village from a mill by the stream. All three of them share a secret. But what do they know about the discovery of Jérôme Morval's corpse? And what is the connection to the mysterious Black Water Lilies, a rumoured masterpiece by Monet that has never been found...'This elegant crime mystery shimmers as delicately as the paintings of Claude Monet that lie at its heart . . . A bestseller in France, it is a dazzling, unexpected and haunting masterpiece' Daily Mail'An enchanting tale that kept me absolutely hooked as Bussi cleverly breaks all the perceived rules of plotting in a story containing riddles within riddles . . . stunning' Daily Express
History of Wolves
By Emily Fridlund
How far would you go to belong?Fourteen-year-old Linda lives with her parents in an ex-commune beside a lake in the beautiful, austere backwoods of northern Minnesota. The other girls at school call Linda 'Freak', or 'Commie'. Her parents mostly leave her to her own devices, whilst the other inhabitants have grown up and moved on. So when the perfect family - mother, father and their little boy, Paul - move into the cabin across the lake, Linda insinuates her way into their orbit. She begins to babysit Paul and feels welcome, that she finally has a place to belong. Yet something isn't right. Drawn into secrets she doesn't understand, Linda must make a choice. But how can a girl with no real knowledge of the world understand what the consequences will be?
Traveling with Ghosts
By Shannon Leone Fowler
In the summer of 2002, Shannon Leone Fowler was backpacking with her fiancé Sean in Thailand. The couple were planning to return home after their excursion to the island of Koh Pha Ngan but their plans were devastated when a box jellyfish - the most venomous animal in the world - wrapped itself around Sean's legs, stinging and killing him in minutes. Rejecting the Thai authorities' attempt to label Sean's death as 'drunk drowning', Shannon accompanied his body home to his stunned family - a family to which she suddenly no longer belonged.Shattered, untethered and alone, Shannon set out on a journey to make sense of her loss. From contemplating the silence of Auschwitz to learning the rules for sitting shiva amid daily bombings in Israel, to finding humour and creativity in Sarajevo, a city still scarred by the recent war, Shannon charts a path through sorrow towards recovery. Traveling with Ghosts is a beautiful memorial to love and an intensely personal account of learning to live with grief. It is the story of a brave journey towards survival.
Lenin the Dictator
By Victor Sebestyen
Lines in the Sand
By A.A. Gill
'By miles the most brilliant journalist of our age' Lynn Barber'A golden writer' Andrew MarrA. A. Gill was rightly hailed as one of the greatest journalists of our time. This selection of some of his recent pieces, which he made himself before his untimely death, spans the last five years from all corners of the world. It shows him at his most perceptive, brilliant and funny.His subjects range from the controversial - fur - to the heartfelt - a fantastic crystallisation of what it means to be European. He tackles life drawing, designs his own tweed, considers boyhood through the prism of the Museum of Childhood, and spends a day at Donald Trump's university. In his final two articles he wrote with characteristic wit and courage about his cancer diagnosis - 'the full English - and the limits of the NHS. But more than any other subject, a recurring theme emerges in the overwhelming story of our times: the refugee crisis. In the last few years A. A. Gill wrote with compassion and anger about the refugees' story, giving us both its human face and its appalling context. The resulting articles are journalism at its finest and fiercest.