Edith & Oliver
By Michèle Forbes
Edith and Oliver fell in love after meeting in the glitzy world of the music hall in its Edwardian heyday. Edith is a spirited young woman who plays the piano by night; Oliver is an illusionist who dreams of touring the world, of pioneering ground-breaking illusions that will bring him fame and fortune.But their children arrive as the world begins to change, as cinemas crowd the high street and the draw of the music hall wanes. Oliver - drinking too much and haunted by the death of his mother - becomes desperate for one final illusion that will put his name in lights. As he loses his grip on reality, will his family pay the ultimate price? 'Forbes imbues [Edith & Oliver] with such wit and tenderness . . . a pleasure to read' Sunday Times 'Engaging . . . astute . . . striking' Irish Times 'Forbes writes beautifully on the hard, peripatetic reality of theatre life behind the greasepaint and glamour. She is also particularly insightful on the internal torment of a man brought down by the slow growth of self-deception . . . shimmering' Daily Mail
Empires in the Sun
By Lawrence James
In this compelling history of the men and ideas that radically changed the course of world history, Lawrence James investigates how, within a hundred years, Europeans persuaded and coerced Africa into becoming a subordinate part of the modern world. The continent was a magnet for the high-minded, the philanthropic, the unscrupulous and the insane. Visionary pro-consuls rub shoulders with missionaries, explorers, soldiers, adventurers, engineers, big-game hunters, entrepreneurs and physicians.Eminent historian Lawrence James narrates how between 1830 and 1945, Britain, France, Belgium, Germany, Portugal and Italy exported their languages, laws, culture, religions, scientific and technical knowledge and economic systems to Africa. The colonial powers imposed administrations designed to bring stability and peace to a continent that seemed to lack both. The justification for emancipation from slavery (and occupation) was the common assumption that the late nineteenth-century Europe was the summit of civilization. This magnificent history also pauses to ask: what did not happen and why?
By Hugh Sebag-Montefiore
The complete story of how the German Enigma codes were broken. Perfect for fans of THE IMITATION GAME, the new film on Alan Turing's Enigma code, starring Benedict Cumberbatch.Breaking the German Enigma codes was not only about brilliant mathematicians and professors at Bletchley Park. There is another aspect of the story which it is only now possible to tell. It takes in the exploits of spies, naval officers and ordinary British seamen who risked, and in some cases lost, their lives snatching the vital Enigma codebooks from under the noses of Nazi officials and from sinking German ships and submarines. This book tells the whole Enigma story: its original invention and use by German forces and how it was the Poles who first cracked - and passed on to the British - the key to the German airforce Enigma. The more complicated German Navy Enigma appeared to them to be unbreakable.
The Eye of the Reindeer
By Eva Weaver
THE ALCHEMIST meets THE SNOW CHILD in this beautiful odyssey through the snowy landscapes of northern Finland.Shortly after her sixteenth birthday, Ritva is sent away to Seili - a remote island to the south of Finland. A former leper colony, Seili is now home to 'hopeless cases' - women who have been outcast from society. But Ritva can't understand why her father has allowed her to be taken there, and she longs to be reunited with her little sister.Hope arrives in the form of Martta, a headstrong girl who is a Sami, and who reminds Ritva of her lost mother and her tales - of Vaja the reindeer, the stolen sealskin, and of a sacred drum hidden long ago. When Ritva and Martta decide to escape, there is only one place that calls to them. And so they begin the long journey North, to the land of the Sami, in search of healing and forgiveness...Readers say:'Some books make a lasting impression and I think this is definitely one of them. .. It's a celebration of the human spirit and our connection to nature.' Rosie Evans, Good Reads, 5 stars'I love losing myself in a book & this one is one of those for me. I was transported to the land of the midnight sun.' Lynda, Good Reads 5 stars'It has been one of those books that I have felt I have escaped into, because the setting is so richly described and the story line sweeps you up and carries you along.' https://becomingfinnishsite.wordpress.com'The setting in Scandinavia and the lands at the top of the world was so well described as to almost be a character in itself and I was fascinated by the details relating to the indigenous people of this region - the Sami - and their way of life.' Bruce Gargoyle, Good Reads, 4 stars
By James Evans
AN EVENING STANDARD NO. 1 BESTSELLER'Marvellously engaging' THE TIMES'Brisk, informative and eye-opening' DAILY TELEGRAPHDuring the course of the seventeenth century nearly 400,000 people left Britain for the Americas, most of them from England. Crossing the Atlantic was a major undertaking, the voyage long and treacherous. There was little hope of returning to see the friends and family who stayed behind. Why did so many go? A significant number went for religious reasons, either on the Mayflower or as part of the mass migration to New England; some sought their fortunes in gold, fish or fur; some went to farm tobacco in Virginia, a booming trade which would enmesh Europe in a new addiction. Some went because they were loyal to the deposed Stuart king, while others yearned for an entirely new ambition - the freedom to think as they chose. Then there were the desperate: starving and impoverished people who went because things had not worked out in the Old World and there was little to lose from trying again in the New. EMIGRANTS casts light on this unprecedented population shift - a phenomenon that underpins the rise of modern America. Using contemporary sources including diaries, court hearings and letters, James Evans brings to light the extraordinary personal stories of the men and women who made the journey of a lifetime.
By Philip Eade
'Brisk, lively and wonderfully entertaining' John Banville'Excellent ... read this book' Literary Review'The best single-volume life of the author available' Irish TimesThe much mythologised author of Decline and Fall, A Handful of Dust and Brideshead Revisited was hailed by Graham Greene as 'the greatest novelist of my generation', yet reckoned by Hilaire Belloc to have been possessed by the devil. Evelyn Waugh's literary reputation has continued to rise since Greene's assessment in 1966. Fifty years after his death, Philip Eade draws on extensive unpublished sources to paint a fresh and compelling portrait of this endlessly fascinating man, telling the full story of his dramatic, colourful and frequently bizarre life.
East West Street
By Philippe Sands
THE BRITISH BOOK AWARDS NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 2017SUNDAY TIMES TOP 10 BESTSELLERWhen 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.* * * * * '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 TIMESWinner:Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-fictionJQ-Wingate Literary PrizeHay Festival Medal for Prose
By Lisa Hilton
A definitive portrait of one of the most compelling monarchs England has ever had: Elizabeth I.'We are a prince from a line of princes.'Lisa Hilton's majestic biography of Elizabeth I, 'The Virgin Queen', uses new research to present a fresh interpretation of Elizabeth as a queen who saw herself primarily as a Renaissance prince, delivering a very different perspective on her emotional and sexual life, and upon her attempts to mould England into a European state. Elizabeth was not an exceptional woman but an exceptional ruler, and this book challenges readers to reassess her reign, and the colourful drama, scandal and intrigue to which it is always linked.
Extremely Pale Rose
By Jamie Ivey
A chance conversation with a Provençal vigneron leads to the most unlikely of quests - a hunt to find France's palest rosé. Extremely Pale Rosé is a richly entertaining and informative account of the travels of Jamie, his wife Tanya and their ebullient friend Peter, as they take up this challenge. Giving up their lives in London, they quickly discover an unfortunate truth - the French won't treat rosé or their quest seriously. Rosé is seen as a poor cousin to red and white wine, drunk as an aperitif or to wash away the taste of spicy food. In bars, boulangeries and boucheries from Bordeaux to Bandol, Jamie, Tanya and Peter are recommended diverse vineyards to visit, and as they travel they encounter the beginnings of a rosé revolution - French attitudes to pale pink wine appear to be changing, but is it too little too late to help them succeed in their quest? With wit, candour and wonderful storytelling, Jamie Ivey maintains a tradition of excellence in food and travel writing. Readers are left with dreams of France, summer days, baguettes, and . . . extremely pale rosé.
By Blanche Vaughan
The simple egg is the starting point for some of the most delicious and inspiring dishes. Both simple and versatile, eggs are also incredibly nutritious, rich in protein, low in fat and essential for baking. Including all the basics for cooking the perfect poached, scrambled and fried egg, this cookbook will be a staple in every cook's kitchen.From easy and fuss-free pancakes, soufflé, tarts and omelettes to cakes, curds and puddings, the potential for this nourishing ingredient is endless. Classic recipes such as steamed pudding and Arnold Bennett are given a contemporary twist and there are also lighter, fresh egg-based dishes such as courgette fritters with dill and lemon and squash gnocchi with sage. Blanche Vaughan is a food writer with a passion for creating good-for-you and imaginative dishes from this glorious ingredient. Whether for breakfast, lunch, tea or supper, this book is a celebration of the egg in all its forms.
By Rene Denfeld
'THE ENCHANTED wrapped its beautiful and terrible fingers around me from the first page and refused to let go after the last. A wondrous book... so dark, yet so exquisite.' Erin Morgentern, author of The Night CircusA prisoner sits on death row in a maximum security prison. His only escape from his harsh existence is through the words he dreams about, the world he conjures around him using the power of language. For the reality of his world is brutal and stark. He is not named, nor do we know his crime. But he listens. He listens to the story of York, the prisoner in the cell next to him whose execution date has been set. He hears the lady, an investigator who is piecing together York's past. He watches as the lady falls in love with the priest and wonders if love is still possible here. He sees the corruption and the danger as tensions in 'this enchanted place' build. And he waits. Because every monster was once a child, and even monsters have a story . . .A powerful and hauntingly beautiful novel for fans of THE GREEN MILE and THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION.
By John David Morley
'This is a bold and fascinating mystery novel of ideas. John David Morley enfolds science and human loss with great fictional cunning' Ian McEwan on The Book of OppositesSpanning the decades from World War II to the Yugoslav conflict, Ella Morris is the story of a remarkable woman, and of the toll history takes on individual lives. Born in Berlin on the eve of Hitler's rise to power, Ella Andrzejewski escapes Soviet-occupied Europe and finds a safe haven in England. Here, she marries George Morris, but subsequently falls in love with Claude de Marsay, a French student ten years her junior. The intrusion of Claude upsets the balance of the Morris household, while the effects of Ella's traumatic past continue to be felt. As the decades pass and Europe lurches towards another conflict, Ella's children and grandchildren struggle to find their peace in a continent still reverberating with the echoes of war.
Empire of the Deep
By Ben Wilson
The bestselling complete history of the British Navy - our national story through a different prism.The story of our navy is nothing less than the story of Britain, our culture and our empire. Much more than a parade of admirals and their battles, this is the story of how an insignificant island nation conquered the world's oceans to become its greatest trading empire. Yet, as Ben Wilson shows, there was nothing inevitable about this rise to maritime domination, nor was it ever an easy path. EMPIRE OF THE DEEP: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE BRITISH NAVY also reveals how our naval history has shaped us in more subtle and surprising ways - our language, culture, politics and national character all owe a great debt to this conquest of the seas. This is a gripping, fresh take on our national story.
By A Cohen
"While there is now no lack of books which regale the English reader with selections from the Talmud, tales from the Talmud and wise sayings of the Rabbis, there is no work which attempts a comprehensive survey of the doctrine of this important branch of Jewish literature. To supply that want is the task undertaken in the present volume. Its aim is to provide a summary of the teachings of the Talmud on Religion, Ethics, Folk-lore, and Jurisprudence."The Rev. Dr. A. Cohen, 1931
By Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad
A magisterial overview of the philosophies of the East.'The time has come for global philosophy to move beyond the model where the West is at the centre of radiating spokes of comparison.' Challenging the notion that Western philosophy is the best or only yardstick against which to judge the so-called 'non-Western' philosophies, Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad sets up a lively debate in which the great thought systems of the East are engaged very much in their own terms. The author's impressive sweep takes him through South Asia east to China and Japan, encompassing 3000 years of philosophy and including the ancient philosophies of India, Jainism, Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism. At the same time, Ram-Prasad dispels the romantic illusion that there is some common mystical 'wisdom tradition' that binds together the cultures of the East. His aim is to give a sense of the diversity and depth of these philosophical cultures, as well as their sophistication and originality; and to make comparisons between them to illuminate their varied yet potentially universal appeal.
The Estate We're In
By Nicola Baird
An overview of car culture, addressing questions such as: what is Carhenge? Is the A13 Britain's Route 66? And why are we addicted to fast cars?Whether you are passionate about classic cars, suffer from road rage, know a boy racer or protested against the Newbury bypass, this book is for you. Focusing on the driving forces behind car culture - freedom, speed and the political clout of the motor lobby - it asks the million dollar question: if driving is so much fun, why do we hate every other driver on the road?
The Emperor Constantine
By Michael Grant
A study of one of the ancient world's most fascinating figures.Fascinating and readable biography by a great populariser of classical civilisation. Directly responsible for momentous transformations of the Imperial scene, Constantine will always be famous as the 1st Christian Emperor of Rome, and for refounding ancient Byzantium as Constantinople - events which rank amongst the most significant in history. In art, politics, economics and particularly in religion, the life of Constantine acts as a bridge between past and present. Was he the last notable Roman Emperor, or the first medieval monarch ? Was the Great convert a saint and hero, or should we regard him as a murderer who killed his wife, his eldest son , and many of his friends to further his own ambitions? These are just some of the issues that are raised in this stimulating biography.
The Evening of the World
By Allan Massie
First novel in the Dark Ages trilogyTHE EVENING OF THE WORLD is set in the period of the barbarian invasions. Its hero is a young Roman nobleman named Marcus. He undergoes extraordinary experiences as he searches for meaning and stability in a twilight world where the old gods are dead or dying, but their mysteries still attract, and the new religion is threatened by new barbarisms.Marcus's journeys take him over the empire, from Italy to Greece and Byzantium, to the camp of Alaric the Goth and the wastes of the northern forests, from a Christian monastery to the horde of Attila the Hun. His is a world where everything is possible and nothing solid, a world that is full of danger and mystery, of love and terror, of simple faith and abstruse philosophy, of cruelty, strange perversions, treachery and undaunted courage.
Errata: An Examined Life
By George Steiner
A fascinating insight into a piercingly intelligent mind.Steiner's brilliant and elegant new book draws on episodes from his life to explore the central themes and ideas of his thinking and writing over the course of much of our troubled century. An exploration of the ideas of the life of a major and brilliant thinker, the closest we will get to an autobiography.
The hitherto unpublished Dirk Bogarde - the best of his marvellous lettersThe success of John Coldstream's bestselling biography of Dirk Bogarde demonstrates that the interest in one of Britain's leading actors, memoirists and novelists does not diminish, even though it is a decade since his death. Bogarde was a secretive man, who destroyed many of his own papers and diaries. Fortunately, the recipients of his letters treasured them, enabling John Coldstream to bring together this fascinating collection of hitherto unpublished material.Bogarde wrote to each correspondent according to the nature of the friendship, but invariably he was frank, gossipy, funny and often malicious. The joy of writing, particularly as he grew older and chose to live in France, was never far away. The letters display the qualities familiar to those who knew the private Bogarde: acute observation, laser-like intelligence, impatience with the foolish, compassion for the needy, a relish for the witty metaphor, and a catastrophic disdain for correct spelling and punctuation. Above all, to read his letters is to hear him talk, and no conversation with Dirk Bogarde was dull. Recipients included the film director Joseph Losey, Bogarde's first publisher Norah Smallwood, the film critic Dilys Powell, and the novelist Penelope Mortimer.