The Best of A. A. Gill
By A.A. Gill
For over twenty years, people turned to A. A. Gill's columns every Sunday - for his fearlessness, his perception, and the laughter-and-tear-provoking one-liners - but mostly because he was the best. 'By miles the most brilliant journalist of our age', as Lynn Barber put it. This is the definitive collection ofa voice that was silenced too early but that can still make us look at the world in new and surprising ways.In the words of Andrew Marr, A..A. Gill was 'a golden writer'. There was nothing that he couldn't illuminate with his dazzling prose. Wherever he was - at home or abroad - he found the human story, brought it to vivid life, and rendered it with fierce honesty and bracing compassion. And he was just as truthful about himself. There have been various collections of A. A. Gill's journalism - individual compilations of his restaurant and TV criticism, of his travel writing and his extraordinary feature articles. This book will collect examples of the very best of his work: the peerlessly funny criticism, the extraordinarily knowledgeable food writing, assignments throughout the world, and reflections on life, love, and death. Drawn from a range of publications, including the Sunday Times, Vanity Fair, Tatler and Australian Gourmet Traveller, The Ivy Cookbook and his books on England and America, it will be by turns hilarious, uplifting, controversial, unflinching, sad, funny and furious.
The Boy Made of Snow
By Chloe Mayer
'THE BOY MADE OF SNOW had me compulsively turning the pages to find out the fate of Daniel and his mother. A haunting and thrilling read. I absolutely loved it' Kate Hamer, author of THE GIRL IN THE RED COAT'An evocative and stunning debut' Jane Harris, author of GILLESPIE AND I'Original and unsettling - and just a little bit heartbreaking' Rachel Rhys, author of DANGEROUS CROSSING'A beautiful and evocative debut' STYLIST'Affecting' DAILY MAIL In a sleepy English village in 1944, Annabel and her son Daniel live in the shadow of war. With her husband away, an increasingly isolated Annabel begins to lose her grip on reality.When mother and son befriend Hans, a German PoW consigned to a nearby farm, their lives are suddenly filled with thrilling secrets. To Annabel, Hans is an awakening from the darkness that has engulfed her since Daniel's birth. To her son, a solitary boy caught up in the magical world of fairy tales, he is perhaps a prince in disguise. But Hans has plans of his own and will soon set them into motion with devastating consequences.
The Beatles Lyrics
By Hunter Davies, Beatles
Over 100 handwritten manuscripts of the Beatles' original lyrics, tracked down from friends of the band, museums, universities and collectors.Hunter Davies, author of the only authorised biography of the Beatles, worked with the band in their heyday. Here he reveals each song's context with vivid behind-the-scenes stories and gives a unique insight into the creative process of the world's greatest songwriters. From 'Yesterday' and 'Eleanor Rigby' to 'Yellow Submarine', The Beatles Lyrics is the definitive story of the band, uniquely told through their music.
Brave New World
By Guillem Balague
The exclusive behind-the-scenes story of the Mauricio Pochettino revolution at Spurs, told in his own wordsThe Sunday Times Bestseller'An unparalleled insight into one of the most exciting managers currently working in football' IndependentSince joining the club in 2014, Mauricio Pochettino has transformed Tottenham from underachievers into genuine title contenders. In the process, he has marked himself out as one of the best young managers in the world, more than holding his own against the Premier League's established heavyweights. He has done so by promoting an attacking, pressing style of football and by nurturing home-grown talent, fully endearing himself to the Spurs faithful along the way.Guillem Balagué was granted unprecedented access to Pochettino and his backroom staff for the duration of the 2016-17 season, and he has therefore been able to draw on extensive interview material with Pochettino, his family, his closest assistants, players such as Dele Alli and Harry Kane, and even a very rare conversation with Daniel Levy to tell the manager's story in his own words. From Pochettino's early years as a player and coach to his transformation of Tottenham into one of the best teams in England, the book uniquely reveals the inner workings of the man and of his footballing philosophy. It also lays bare what it takes to run a modern-day football team competing at the highest level over the course of a single campaign. The result is the most comprehensive and compelling portrait of a manager and of a club in the Premier League era.
Bringing in the Sheaves
By Richard Coles
After a life of sex, drugs and the Communards, recounted in his acclaimed memoir Fathomless Riches, the Reverend Richard Coles devoted himself to God and Christianity. So what is life like for the parson in Britain today? From his ordination, through Advent and Christmas to Lent and Easter, Reverend Coles gives us a unique insight into his daily experience in the ministry, with all the joy, hope, drama and difficulty that entails. Written with extraordinary charm and compassion, Bringing in the Sheaves will inspire and inform all who read it.'All the humour, quirky characters and incidents that life - and death- serve up' Mail on Sunday
A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived
By Adam Rutherford
'A brilliant, authoritative, surprising, captivating introduction to human genetics. You'll be spellbound' Brian CoxThis is a story about you. It is the history of who you are and how you came to be. It is unique to you, as it is to each of the 100 billion modern humans who have ever drawn breath. But it is also our collective story, because in every one of our genomes we each carry the history of our species - births, deaths, disease, war, famine, migration and a lot of sex. In this captivating journey through the expanding landscape of genetics, Adam Rutherford reveals what our genes now tell us about human history, and what history can now tell us about our genes. From Neanderthals to murder, from redheads to race, dead kings to plague, evolution to epigenetics, this is a demystifying and illuminating new portrait of who we are and how we came to be.'A thoroughly entertaining history of Homo sapiens and its DNA in a manner that displays popular science writing at its best' Observer 'Magisterial, informative and delightful' Peter Frankopan'An extraordinary adventure...From the Neanderthals to the Vikings, from the Queen of Sheba to Richard III, Rutherford goes in search of our ancestors, tracing the genetic clues deep into the past' Alice Roberts
The Book of Emma Reyes
By Emma Reyes
'The moment I finished this memoir I read it again. No other book I've ever read has left me so deeply involved with its author' DIANA ATHILL'Astonishing - I read it in a single gulp' DEBORAH MOGGACH'A jewel of a book' NINA STIBBE'Emma's letters remind me what reading and writing are for' LOUISA YOUNG* * * * This astonishing memoir of a childhood lived in extreme poverty in Latin America was hailed as an instant classic when first published in Colombia in 2012, nine years after the death of its author, who was encouraged in her writing by Gabriel García Márquez. Comprised of letters written over the course of thirty years, it describes in vivid, painterly detail the remarkable courage and limitless imagination of a young girl growing up with nothing. Emma was an illegitimate child, raised in a windowless room in Bogotá with no water or toilet and only ingenuity to keep her and her sister alive. Abandoned by their mother, she and her sister moved to a convent housing 150 orphan girls, where they washed pots, ironed and mended laundry, scrubbed floors, cleaned bathrooms, and sewed garments and decorative cloths for church. Illiterate and knowing nothing of the outside world, Emma escaped at age nineteen, eventually coming to have a career as an artist and to befriend the likes of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Far from self-pitying, the portrait that emerges from this clear-eyed account inspires awe at the stunning early life of a gifted writer whose talent remained hidden for far too long.
By Ray Connolly
What was it like to be Elvis Presley? What did it feel like when impossible fame made him its prisoner? As the world's first rock star there was no one to tell him what to expect, no one with whom he could share the burden of being himself - of being Elvis.On the outside he was all charm, sex appeal, outrageously confident on stage and stunningly gifted in the recording studio. To his fans he seemed to have it all. He was Elvis. With his voice and style influencing succeeding generations of musicians, he should have been free to sing any song he liked, to star in any film he was offered, and to tour in any country he chose. But he wasn't free. The circumstances of his poor beginnings in the American South, which, as he blended gospel music with black rhythm and blues and white country songs, helped him create rock and roll, had left him with a lifelong vulnerability. Made rich and famous beyond his wildest imaginings when he mortgaged his talent to the machinations of his manager, 'Colonel' Tom Parker, there would be an inevitable price to pay. Though he daydreamed of becoming a serious film actor, instead he grew to despise his own movies and many of the songs he had to sing in them. He could have rebelled. But he didn't. Why? In the Seventies, as the hits rolled in again, and millions of fans saw him in a second career as he sang his way across America, he talked of wanting to tour the world. But he never did. What was stopping him?BEING ELVIS takes a clear-eyed look at the most-loved entertainer ever, and finds an unusual boy with a dazzling talent who grew up to change popular culture; a man who sold a billion records and had more hits than any other singer, but who became trapped by his own frailties in the loneliness of fame.
The Boys: Triumph Over Adversity
By Martin Gilbert
In August 1945, the first of 732 child survivors of the Holocaust reached Britain. First settled in the Lake District, they formed a tightly knit group of friends whose terrible shared experience is almost beyond imagining. This is their story, which begins in the lost communities of pre-World War II central Europe, moves through ghetto, concentration camp and death march, to liberation, survival, and finally, fifty years later, a deeply moving reunion. Martin Gilbert has brought together the recollections of this remarkable group of survivors. With magisterial narration, he tells their astonishing stories. The Boys bears witness to the human spirit, enduring the depths, and bearing hopefully the burden and challenge of survival.'Martin Gilbert is to be congratulated on producing a masterly and deeply moving tribute to those who had the courage and luck to survive' Literary Review
By John McEnroe
He is one of the most controversial sportsmen in history and a legend of Open Era tennis. But after reaching the top of his game - what came next? A decade after his international number-one bestseller SERIOUS, John McEnroe is back and ready to talk.Now the undisputed elder statesman of tennis, McEnroe has won over his critics as a matchless commentator and analyst at Wimbledon and other Grand Slam tournaments - with outspoken views on the modern game and its top players. He has continued to compete on the court, winning the ATP Champions Tour a record six times, and has travelled the globe to play in charity events. More surprising have been the calls from TV producers, inviting John to riff on his famous hot temper in cult shows such as 30 ROCK and CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM. And then there is his long-standing passion for American contemporary art.In BUT SERIOUSLY John McEnroe confronts his demons and reveals his struggle to reinvent himself from ex-champion to father, broadcaster and author. The result is a richly personal account, blending anecdote and reflection in an inspirational re-evaluation of what it means to be - and stay - successful.
Blood and Silk
By Michael Vatikiotis
'A lively and learned guide to the politics, personalities and conflicts that are shaping a dynamic group of countries' FINANCIAL TIMES'A fascinating and many-layered portrait of Southeast Asia' THANT MYINT-UThought-provoking and eye-opening, BLOOD AND SILK is an accessible, personal look at modern Southeast Asia, written by one of the region's most experienced outside observers. This is a first-hand account of what it's like to sit at the table with deadly Thai Muslim insurgents, mediate between warring clans in the Southern Philippines and console the victims of political violence in Indonesia - all in an effort to negotiate peace, and understand the reasons behind endemic violence.Peering beyond brand new shopping malls and shiny glass towers in Bangkok and Jakarta, Michael Vatikiotis probes the heart of modern Southeast Asia. Why are the region's richest countries such as Malaysia riddled with corruption? Why do Myanmar, Thailand and the Philippines harbour unresolved violent insurgencies? How do deepening religious divisions in Indonesia and Malaysia and China's growing influence affect the region and the rest of the world?Vatikiotis tells the story of modern Southeast Asia using vivid portraits of the personalities who pull the strings, mixed with revealing analysis that is underpinned by decades of experience in the countries involved, from their silk-sheathed salons to blood-spattered streets. The result is a fascinating study of the dynamics of power and conflict in one of the world's fastest growing regions.
Blood and Fears
By Kevin Wilson
How America's bomber boys and girls in England won their war, and how their English allies responded to them.In this comprehensive history, Kevin Wilson allows the young men of the US 8th Air Force based in Britain during the Second World War to tell their stories of blood and heroism in their own words. He also reveals the lives of the Women's Army Corps and Red Cross girls who served in England with them. Drawing on first-hand accounts, Wilson brings to life the ebullient Americans' interactions with their British counterparts, and unveils surprising stories of humanity and heartbreak.Thanks to America's bomber boys and girls, life in Britain would never be the same again.
The Broken Ladder
By Keith Payne
Inequality is at a level that has not been seen in our lifetimes, yet the disparity between rich and poor has ramifications that extend far beyond mere financial means. THE BROKEN LADDER tells the story of inequality and its impact on everything from our thinking to our mood and our health.Feeling poor matters - not just being poor. It affects how we make decisions, how our immune systems function and even how we view moral concepts like justice and fairness. Regardless of their average incomes, countries or states with greater levels of income inequality have much higher rates of all the social maladies we associate with poverty: lower than average life expectancy, mental illness and crime.Using groundbreaking research in psychology and neuroscience, Keith Payne explores such issues as why women in poor societies often have more children and why they have them at a younger age; why people's perception of their social status affects their political beliefs; how poverty raises stress levels as much as physical threats; how inequality in the workplace affects performance; and why unequal societies tend to become more religious. Replete with insights and illuminating examples, THE BROKEN LADDER outlines the steps we can take to get off the endless treadmill of social comparison.
By John Sutherland
A Sunday Times top-five bestsellerA searingly honest memoir of life, policing and falling apart'Every contact leaves a trace'John Sutherland joined the Met in 1992, having dreamed of being a police officer since his teens. Rising quickly through the ranks, and compelled by the opportunity to make a real difference to people's lives, he worked across the capital, experiencing first-hand the enormous satisfaction as well as the endless trauma that a life in blue can bring.There were remarkable, career-defining moments: commanding armed sieges, saving lives and helping to take dangerous people off the streets. But for every case with a happy ending, there were others that ended in desperate sadness.In early 2013, John suffered a major breakdown and consequent battle with crippling depression. After a career spent racing to be the first at the scene of crimes and catastrophes, he found himself in pieces, unable to put one foot in front of the other.Blue is a memoir of crime and calamity, of adventure and achievement, of friendship and failure, of laughter and loss, of the best and the worst of humanity, of serious illness and slow recovery. With searing honesty, it offers an immensely moving and personal insight into what it is to be a police officer in Britain today.
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
Benjamin Franklin in London
By George Goodwin
For the great majority of his long life, Benjamin Franklin was a loyal British royalist. In 1757, having made his fortune in Philadelphia and established his fame as a renowned experimental scientist, he crossed the Atlantic to live as a gentleman in the heaving metropolis of London. With just a brief interlude, a house in Craven Street was to be his home until 1775. From there he mixed with both the brilliant and the powerful, whether in London coffee house clubs, at the Royal Society, or on his summer travels around the British Isles and continental Europe. He counted David Hume, Matthew Boulton, Joseph Priestley, Edmund Burke and Erasmus Darwin among his friends, and as an American colonial representative he had access to successive Prime Ministers and even the King.The early 1760s saw Britain's elevation to global superpower status with victory in the Seven Years War and the succession of the young, active George III. These two events brought a sharp new edge to political competition in London and redefined the relationship between Britain and its colonies. They would profoundly affect Franklin himself, eventually placing him in opposition with his ambitious son William. Though Franklin long sought to prevent the break with Great Britain, his own actions would finally help cause that very event. On the eve of the American War of Independence, Franklin fled arrest and escaped by sea. He would never return to London. With his unique focus on the fullness of Benjamin Franklin's life in London, George Goodwin has created an enthralling portrait of the man, the city and the age.
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.
The Burning Answer
By Keith Barnham
Our civilisation stands on the brink of catastrophe. Our thirst for energy has led to threats from global warming, nuclear disaster and conflict in oil-rich countries. We are running out of options.Solar power, Keith Barnham argues, is the answer. In this eye-opening book, he shows how a solar revolution is developing based on one of Einstein's lesser known discoveries, one that gave us laptop computers and mobile phones. An accessible guide to renewable technology and a hard-hitting critique of the arguments of solar sceptics, The Burning Answer outlines a future in which the fuel for electric cars will be generated on our rooftops. It is, above all, an impassioned call to arms to join the solar revolution before it's too late.
By Anna Reid
A classic and vivid history of Ukraine, fully updated to cover the Euromaidan Revolution in 2014 and ongoing crisis in the Donbass.Centre of the first great Slav civilisation in the tenth century, then divided between warring neighbours for a millennium, Ukraine finally won independence with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Tiring of their own corrupt governments, Ukrainians have since mounted two popular revolutions, taking to the streets to demand fair elections and closer ties to Europe. In the spring of 2014, Russia responded by invading Crimea and sponsoring a civil war in the Russian-speaking Donbass. Threatened by Moscow, misunderstood in the West, Ukraine hangs once more in the balance. Speaking to pro-democracy activists and pro-Russia militiamen, peasants and miners, survivors of Hitler's Holocaust and Stalin's famine, Anna Reid combines history and travel-writing to unpick the past and present of this bloody and complex borderland.
By Rory MacLean
The first single-volume biography of Berlin, one of the world's great cities - told via twenty-one portraits, from medieval times to the twenty-first century.A city devastated by Allied bombs, divided by a Wall, then reunited and reborn, Berlin today resonates with the echo of lives lived, dreams realised and evils executed. No other city has repeatedly been so powerful and fallen so low. And few other cities have been so shaped and defined by individual imaginations.Through vivid portraits spanning five centuries, Rory MacLean reveals the varied and rich history of Berlin, from its brightest to its darkest moments. We encounter an ambitious prostitute refashioning herself as a princess, a Scottish mercenary fighting for the Prussian Army, Marlene Dietrich flaunting her sexuality and Hitler fantasising about the mega-city Germania. The result is a uniquely imaginative biography of one of the world's most volatile yet creative cities.