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.
Ladies in Waiting
By Anne Somerset
'Provides a wealth of juicy anecdotal material about five centuries of court life from Henry VIII to Elizabeth II' NEW YORK TIMESFor centuries the most beautiful, able and aristocratic women in England competed for positions at court. Some were drawn by the prospect of political power. Lucy, Countess of Carlisle, for instance, succeeded in acquiring the confidence of Charles I's French wife, Henrietta Maria, only to betray the Queen to her enemies in Parliament. Some ladies-in-waiting became royal mistresses, such as the rapacious Lady Castlemaine who amassed a fortune and flaunted her hold over Charles II. Others came to court to find husbands only to discover that they were denied permission to marry by their sovereign.Drawing on an enormous variety of sources including the diaries of such shrewd onlookers as Lady Anne Clifford, Lady Cowper and Fanny Burney, Anne Somerset provide a guide to the character, profligate or pious, of each court.
The Lightkeeper's Daughters
By Jean Pendziwol
The perfect holiday read; 'A beautiful novel...full of unexpected twists' DAILY MAILElizabeth's eyes have failed. She can no longer read the books she loves or see the paintings that move her, but her mind remains sharp and music fills the vacancy left by her blindness.When her father's journals are discovered on a shipwrecked boat, she enlists the help of a delinquent teen, Morgan, to read to her. As an unlikely friendship grows between them, Elizabeth is carried back to her childhood home - the isolated lighthouse on Porphyry Island, Lake Superior - and to the memory of her enigmatic twin sister Emily. But for Elizabeth, the faded pages of her father's journals reveal more secrets than she anticipates and provide the key to a moment she has never understood. The day when she found a grave, marked with her own name...
By Anne Sebba
WINNER OF THE FRANCO-BRITISH SOCIETY BOOK PRIZE 2016June, 1940. German troops enter Paris and hoist the swastika over the Arc de Triomphe. The dark days of Occupation begin. How would you have survived? By collaborating with the Nazis, or risking the lives of you and your loved ones to resist? The women of Paris faced this dilemma every day - whether choosing between rations and the black market, or travelling on the Metro, where a German soldier had priority for a seat. Between the extremes of defiance and collusion was a vast moral grey area which all Parisiennes had to navigate in order to survive.Anne Sebba has sought out and interviewed scores of women, and brings us their unforgettable testimonies. Her fascinating cast includes both native Parisiennes and temporary residents: American women and Nazi wives; spies, mothers, mistresses, artists, fashion designers and aristocrats. The result is an enthralling account of life during the Second World War and in the years of recovery and recrimination that followed the Liberation of Paris in 1944. It is a story of fear, deprivation and secrets - and, as ever in the French capital, glamour and determination.
The Love of the Game
By Mark Chapman
BBC sports presenter Mark Chapman is no longer in his physical prime. There is an argument to suggest he has never been in his physical prime. Now in his forties, he is facing a world of knee replacements and ever-expanding waistlines, whilst his children are thriving.There is huge pride that they are doing so well, mixed with a fair amount of jealousy that actually they are better at a wide range of sport than he ever was. He is passionate about sport and it has played a huge part in his life. His parents encouraged him from a very early age and he wants to pass the baton on to his son and daughters. Although there is every chance he might drop it and have a massive strop instead. He is also very aware of the huge changes in sport today compared to when he was growing up; and he is determined that his own attitude to his son and daughters' sport - be it football, netball, cricket or gymnastics - will be exactly the same. And he wants to shine a light on grass roots sports - the incredible and largely unsung contribution that volunteers make in the sporting commnity, without whom - for example - no professional footballer would be in the game today.Funny, touching, passionate about sport and parenthood, Mark Chapman paints sport as a touchstone for everything important: growing up, becoming a parent, enjoying family time, getting old, learning how to win (and how to lose gracefully), the legacy we all hope to leave our children; in short, life and all that goes into it.
Lenin the Dictator
By Victor Sebestyen
Victor Sebestyen's intimate biography is the first major work in English for nearly two decades on one of the most significant figures of the twentieth century. In Russia to this day Lenin inspires adulation. Everywhere, he continues to fascinate as a man who made history, and who created a new kind of state that would later be imitated by nearly half the countries in the world.Lenin believed that the 'the political is the personal', and while in no way ignoring his political life, Sebestyen's focus will be on Lenin the man - a man who loved nature almost as much as he loved making revolution, and whose closest ties and friendships were with women. The long-suppressed story of his ménage a trois with his wife, Nadezhda Krupskaya, and his mistress and comrade, Inessa Armand, reveals a different character to the coldly one-dimensional figure of legend.Told through the prism of Lenin's key relationships, Sebestyen's lively biography casts a new light the Russian Revolution, one of the great turning points of modern history.
Love And Mr Lewisham
By H.G. Wells
Mr Lewisham, a young and highly ambitious schoolmaster, falls in love with Ethel Henderson, a young lady visiting his Sussex village. When Ethel returns to London they promise to keep in touch but as time passes their letters go astray. A few years later, we are re-introduced to Mr Lewisham, now a student at the Normal School of Science in London. Having searched in vain for Ethel, his life revolves around study and a flirtation with fellow student Alice. But just as things are all set with Alice, he runs into Ethel at a séance he has attended out of curiosity. There he realises that Ethel is the niece of a charlatan 'medium', and closely involved in his dealings. His memories of their time in Sussex wrestle in his mind with his feelings of disgust for all things spiritual, as his love for Ethel forces him to reconsider his political and scientific beliefs.
The Letters of Ivor Punch
By Colin MacIntyre
All islands have their secrets. This one has more than most.When Fingal McMillan rows out into the Atlantic never to return, his grandson Alexander is left with questions. What really happened to Alexander's mother? Was his grandfather trying to reach The Looming, a rock of local myth? And why have mysterious words appeared on the cliff by the bay?Alexander is not the only local boy whose origins are clouded by mystery - a mystery which stretches back to Victorian times, when a pioneering travel writer alighted on Scottish shores. But will the island give up its secrets? Or will Ivor Punch - the man who links the past to the present - take them to the grave?
The Life and Death of Sophie Stark
By Anna North
'If The Girl on the Train was the woman of 2015, then Sophie Stark is this year's model. Anna North's novel, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark, has been a hit in America, with Lena Dunham describing its protagonist as a "totally unforgettable female antihero". Out now - soon every girl on every train will be reading it' Sunday TimesWho is the real Sophie Stark? The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is the story of an enigmatic film director, told by the six people who loved her most. Brilliant, infuriating, all-seeing and unknowable, Sophie Stark makes films said to be 'more like life than life itself'. But her genius comes at a terrible cost: to her husband, to the brother she left behind, and to an actress who knows too much. With shades of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, A Visit from the Goon Squad and Where'd You Go, Bernadette, it combines a uniquely appealing sensibility with a compulsively page-turning plot.'Thriller-paced, with mysteries revealed at every turn. The great mystery at the centre is Sophie Stark, a totally unforgettable female anti-hero who conforms to absolutely none of our expectations and suffers deeply for it' Lena Dunham'North is a natural, butter-smooth storyteller' Maggie Shipstead, author of SEATING ARRANGEMENTS'I read THE LIFE AND DEATH OF SOPHIE STARK with my heart in my mouth. Not only a dissection of genius and the havoc it can wreak, but also a thunderously good story' Emma Donoghue, author of ROME'Jennifer Egan, eat your heart out' Sam Baker'A captivating portrait of the artist as a young woman. It's a story that examines the notion of artistic legacy and meditates on the ethics involved in film-making and storytelling' THE INDEPENDENT'Gripping and graceful' THE GUARDIAN'The year's must read' GLAMOUR
The Life and Times of Herbert Chapman
By Patrick Barclay
The definitive story of the father of modern football, Herbert Chapman.Herbert Chapman, the boss of the all-conquering Arsenal team of the 1930s, was the father of modern football management. A relative journeyman as a player, he moved into the dugout aged 29 with Northampton Town, before building a multiple-title-winning team with Huddersfield in the 1920s. It was at Arsenal, however, where Chapman would leave an indelible mark on the landscape of football. Patrick Barclay's poignant and detailed biography weaves Chapman's story into the momentous times through which he lived, including the tragedy of the First World War, the subsequent Depression and the rise of fascism. Deeply influential on Arsenal successors such as George Graham and Arsène Wenger, he also pioneered changes in the game's scenery and tactical approaches. As Sir Matt Busby later remarked, Herbert Chapman changed the game of football.
La Vie en Rose
By Jamie Ivey
In Jamie Ivey's sequel to Extremely Pale Rosé, he finds out whether it is possible to run a successful rosé bar in France. French friends think it's a crazy idea: bar customers are largely men and rosé is seen as a woman's drink; rosé is a seasonal drink and Jamie's trade will vanish come September - and rosé isn't supposed to accompany food. Yet France seems to be on the brink of a rosé revolution: rosé sales are booming. If Jamie can find a small bar in a pretty square and chalk up a selection of different rosés, a rosé bar could be a great success. Bars in Uzes, Aix en Provence and Nimes agree to help Jamie sell some rosé, and he discovers what the French attitude to rosé really is. Are gnarled old men discarding their pastis and sipping pale rosé? Is it just a myth that the French don't drink rosé with food? Are the young the real reason for booming sales? For readers who enjoyed Extremely Pale Rosé, and envied Jamie and Tanya Ivey's researches, La Vie En Rose is the perfect second glass.
By Eric Hobsbawm
The topics covered in this book can be divided into four broad groups: studies of labour conditions up to the middle of the nineteenth century; studies in the 'new trade unionism' of 1889 to 1914; studies in the late nineteenth-century revival of Socialism in Britain; and more general topics covering a wider chronological span. The common factor in this wide-ranging work is that, unlike much other work of labour history, it concentrates on the working classes as such, and on the economic and technical conditions which allowed labour movements to be effective or which prevented their effectiveness.This work is notable not only for its clarity and incisiveness, but also for the richness and variety of the material, which ranges from Marx to Methodism and from labour traditions to the machine breakers.
Lady Bette and the Murder of Mr Thynn
By Nigel Pickford
The true story of a sensational marriage and murder in 17th-century London. For fans of WEDLOCK, THE SUSPICIONS OF MR WHICHER and GEORGIANA: DUCHESS OF DEVONSHIRE.Lady Bette, the 14-year-old heiress to the vast Northumberland estates, becomes the victim of a plot by her grandmother, the Countess Howard, to marry her to the dissolute fortune-hunter Thomas Thynn, a man three times her age with an evil reputation. Revolted by her new husband, Lady Bette flees to Holland. Within weeks, Thynn is gunned down in the street by three hired assassins.Who is behind the contract killing? Is it the Swedish Count Coningsmark, young and glamorous with blond hair down to his waist? Or is it a political assassination as the anti-Catholic press maintains? Thynn was, after all, a key player in the Protestant faction to exclude the Catholic James, Duke of York, as his brother Charles II's successor.Nigel Pickford creates a world of tension and insecurity, of constant plotting and counter-plotting and of rabid anti-Catholicism, where massive street demonstrations and public Papal burnings are weekly events. The action moves from the great landed estates of Syon and Petworth to the cheap taverns and brothels of London, and finally to Newgate and the gallows - the sporting spectacle of the day. In the process, the book gives us a vivid and deeply researched portrait of Restoration society.
Letters to the Midwife
By Jennifer Worth
Letters to the Midwife is a wonderful collection of correspondence received by Jennifer Worth, offering a fascinating glimpse into a long-lost world.Along with readers' responses and personal histories, it is filled with all sorts of heart-warming gems. There are stories from other midwives, lorry drivers, even a seamstress, all with tales to tell.Containing previously unpublished material describing her time spent in Paris and some journal entries, this is also a portrait of Jennifer herself, complete with a moving introduction by her family about the woman they knew and loved.
By Walter Mosley
We thought we'd seen the last of Easy Rawlins at the end of BLONDE FAITH. But it takes more than an oncoming car to stop LA's finest PI.As Easy wakes from his coma, the last thing he needs is an investigation. But a friend's son is in trouble and old habits die hard. So Easy wades into the squats, clubs and LSD dens of Sunset Boulevard, trying to find the missing boy, Evander. What he discovers will take him on a journey into the dark underbelly of 1960s culture, where Evander's disappearance is only one piece of a far larger puzzle... LITTLE GREEN is Mosley's finest work since DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS - a brilliant novel showing a world-class author reunited with his most beloved protagonist.
By Max Arthur
The 'Forgotten Voices' of the First World War speak for the final time.LAST POST is very consciously the last word from the handful of First World War survivors who were left alive in 2004. Now they have passed away, our final human connection with the First World War has been broken.Max Arthur, a skilled interviewer, took the very last chance we had to ask questions of those who were there. Now updated to include a new introduction by the author for the centenary of the First World War.
By Sven Hassel
LIQUIDATE PARIS shows the eruption of the Second World War in its most brutal and cruel phase, as allied troops advance upon Paris and the penal regiment retreat.I had a grenade in my hand. So, no doubt, did the English private. I tore out the pin with my teeth. Lay there and counted. Twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four...It is Hitler's last chance to save the Third Reich...Millions of Allied troops have landed in Normandy.The orders are clear: Sven and his comrades, hardened by a savage war that has led them from the bloody steppes of the Russian Front, to the slopes of Monte Cassino, are ordered to withdraw to Strasbourg and destroy Paris on the way...
Legion of the Damned
By Sven Hassel
Sven Hassel's iconic war novel about the Russian Front.'An extraordinary book, which has captured the attention of all of Europe' - NEW YORK TIMES'LEGION OF THE DAMNED is an incredible picture of totalitarianism, of stupefying injustice ... He is graphic, at times brilliantly so, but never brutal or bitter. He is, too, a first-rate storyteller' - WASHINGTON POSTConvicted of deserting the German army, Sven Hassel is sent to a penal regiment on the Russian Front. He and his comrades are regarded as expendable, cannon fodder in the battle against the implacable Red Army. Outnumbered and outgunned, they fight their way across the frozen steppe...This iconic anti-war novel is a testament to the atrocities suffered by the lone soldier in the fight for survival.Sven Hassel's unflinching narrative is based on his own experiences in the German Army. He began writing his first novel, LEGION OF THE DAMNED in a prisoner of war camp at the end of the Second World War.
The Love Letters of Dylan Thomas
By Dylan Thomas
Fascinating insight into the tempestuous life of one of our great poets through his letters, including those to the two great loves of his life. Featuring a bold new livery in celebration of the Dylan Thomas centenary.Dylan Thomas' letters to the many women in his life are among the mst emotive, lyrical and beautiful that he wrote. Full of humour, longing and uninhibited honesty, these letters include those written to his wife Caitlin and his childhood sweetheart, Vera Philips.
The List of my Desires
By Gregoire Delacourt
Money can buy you freedom. But what about happiness?When Jocelyne looks at herself in the mirror, she sees a middle-aged, married woman who runs a dressmaking shop in a small provincial French town and lives a very ordinary existence. But what happened to all those dreams she had when she was 17?Then she wins millions on the lottery and has the chance to change her life for ever. So why does she find herself reluctant to accept the money? To help her decide what to do, she begins to compile a list of her heart's desires, never suspecting for one moment that the decision might be taken out of her hands ...