By Adrian Goldsworthy
The Pax Romana is famous for having provided a remarkable period of peace and stability, rarely seen before or since. Yet the Romans were first and foremost conquerors, imperialists who took by force a vast empire stretching from the Euphrates in the east to the Atlantic coast in the west. Their peace meant Roman victory and was brought about by strength and dominance rather than co-existence with neighbours. The Romans were aggressive and ruthless, and during the creation of their empire millions died or were enslaved.But the Pax Romana was real, not merely the boast of emperors, and some of the regions in the Empire have never again lived for so many generations free from major wars. So what exactly was the Pax Romana and what did it mean for the people who found themselves brought under Roman rule?Acclaimed historian Adrian Goldsworthy tells the story of the creation of the Empire, revealing how and why the Romans came to control so much of the world and asking whether the favourable image of the Roman peace is a true one. He chronicles the many rebellions by the conquered, and describes why these broke out and why most failed. At the same time, he explains that hostility was only one reaction to the arrival of Rome, and from the start there was alliance, collaboration and even enthusiasm for joining the invaders, all of which increased as resistance movements faded away.A ground-breaking and comprehensive history of the Roman Peace, Pax Romana takes the reader on a journey from the bloody conquests of an aggressive Republic through the age of Caesar and Augustus to the golden age of peace and prosperity under diligent emperors like Marcus Aurelius, offering a balanced and nuanced reappraisal of life in the Roman Empire.
By Philip Norman
The first biography written with Paul McCartney's approval and with access to family members and friends closest to him.Superbly evoking half a century of popular music and culture, Paul McCartney is the definitive life of a long-misunderstood genius.In this masterly biography, history's most successful songwriter, a man of seemingly effortless talent, beauty and charm, is revealed as a complex, insecure workaholic who still feels as great a need to prove himself in his seventies as when he was a teenager.We learn how his boyhood was blighted by the death of his mother, Mary - later the inspiration for 'Let It Be' - but redeemed by his remarkable father, Jim, a Liverpool cotton-salesman who was his only music-teacher and whose influence has permeated his career.We understand as never before the creative symbiosis between John Lennon and himself that unlocked the extraordinary treasury of their songs for the Beatles when they were barely into their twenties, and the fierce rivalry which lasted beyond the band's break-up to the end of John's life - and still haunts and inspires Paul to this day.Here for the first time is the full story of Paul post-Beatles: his trauma after being brutally sidelined by John, George and Ringo over the appointment of their last manager, Allen Klein; his near-breakdown on his remote Scottish farm and dogged determination to build a new band, Wings, into as big a name in the 1970s as the Beatles had been in the 1960s.Here too is the first inside story of his marriage to Linda Eastman, much criticised at the outset but destined to become the longest and strongest in rock until her death from cancer. Here are the traumatic post-Linda years when his charmed life seemed temporarily to crack up: his whirlwind romance with Heather Mills ending after four years' marriage in one of the most expensive and rancorous divorces in British legal history. As richly fascinating and dramatic as its subject, Paul McCartney: The Biography is the last word on a man whose music has lit up the world.
By A.A. Gill
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2016 PEN ACKERLEY PRIZE'An intense, succulent read that's intermittently dazzling' THE TIMES'Chilling, exquisitely moving' DAILY TELEGRAPH'A superb memoir - and one of the best books on addiction I have ever read' EVENING STANDARDA. A. Gill's memoir begins in the dark of a dormitory with six strangers. He is an alcoholic, dying in the last-chance saloon. He tells the truth - as far as he can remember it - about drinking and about what it is like to be drunk. He recalls the lost days, lost friends, failed marriages ... But there was also an 'optimum inebriation, a time when it was all golden'.Sobriety regained, there are painterly descriptions of people and places, unforgettable musings about childhood and family, art and religion; and most movingly, the connections between his cooking, dyslexia and his missing brother. Full of raw and unvarnished truths, exquisitely written throughout, POUR ME is about lost time and self-discovery. Lacerating, unflinching, uplifting, it is a classic about drunken abandon.
By Craig Nelson
On 7 December 1941, an armada of 354 Japanese warplanes supported by aircraft carriers, destroyers and midget submarines launched a surprise attack on the United States, killing 2,403 people and forcing America's entry into the Second World War. Pearl Harbor: From Infamy to Greatness follows the sailors, soldiers, pilots, diplomats, admirals, generals, emperor and president as they engineer, fight and react to this stunningly dramatic moment in world history.In vivid prose Craig Nelson maps the road to war, beginning in 1914 with a young Franklin D. Roosevelt, the man who would become president, attending the laying of the keel of the USS Arizona at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He also traces Japan's leaders as they lurch into ultranationalist fascism, culminating in their insanely daring yet militarily brilliant scheme to terrify America with one of the boldest attacks ever waged.The result is a thrilling historical drama on the grandest scale. Nelson delivers all the terror, chaos, violence, tragedy and heroism of the attack in stunning detail, and offers surprising conclusions about the tragedy's unforeseen consequences that resonate even today.
By Johnny Shepherd
Johnny Shepherd is the artisan pudding master of The Pudding Stop and The Pudmobile in St Albans. He creates baking favourites using only the best local, seasonal and organic ingredients he can find. After competing on THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF, Johnny decided to pursue his passion and talent for baking by bringing his grandfather's old business back to life. Johnny now does a thriving trade and was shortlisted for the BBC's Food and Farming Awards in 2012. Food critic Charles Campion said that 'the pudmobile is a shrine to pudding' and chef Valentine Warner declared Johnny's custard tart was the best he'd ever eaten.This new cookbook is full of family favourites; delicious puddings to bring back fond memories and guarantee that someone will lick the baking bowl clean. Indulge yourself with Proper Custard and Sticky Toffee Pudding, delight in a Lemon and Polenta Cake and evoke the warm comforts of childhood with a homely Bread and Butter pudding. Inspired by generations of British family baking, this is the perfect book for all of those who crave the tradition and nostalgia of classic puddings.
The Perfect Kill
By Robert Baer
What is the definition of assassination? Robert Baer's boss at the CIA once told him, 'It's a bullet with a man's name on it.' Sometimes assassination is the senseless act of a psychotic, a bloodletting without social value. Other times, it can be the sanest and most humane way to change the course of conflict: one bullet, one death, case closed. Assassination has been dramatised by literature and politicised by infamous murders throughout history, and for Robert Baer, one of the most accomplished agents ever to work for the CIA, it's a source of endless fascination. Over several decades, Baer served as an operative, from Iraq to India and beyond. In THE PERFECT KILL, he takes us on a wildly entertaining narrative adventure through a history of political murder, interweaving his first-hand experience and his decades-long cat-and-mouse hunt for the greatest assassin of the modern age. A true maverick with an undeniably captivating personal story, Baer pulls back the curtain to give a glimpse of the underbelly of world politics, and the quiet murderers who operate on the fringe of our society.
By Antonia Fraser
Summoned by the wayward Lady Imogen Swain, Jemima is entrusted with the diaries she kept in 1964, diaries which contain an account of her passionate affair with Burgo Smyth MP; now Foreign Secretary but then a rising young Conservative politician.With the increasingly eccentric Lady Imogen threatening to reveal details about the affair, and of the subsequent disappearance of a young journalist, Jemima's meeting with Lady Imogen is the first step in a sinister series of events which leads to political scandal, blackmail and murder.
By Julian Fellowes
Damian Baxter is very, very rich - and he's dying. He lives alone in a big house in Surrey, looked after by a chauffeur, butler, cook and housemaid. He has but one concern: who should inherit his fortune...PAST IMPERFECT is the story of a quest. Damian Barker wishes to know if he has a living heir. By the time he married in his late thirties he was sterile (the result of adult mumps), but what about before that unfortunate illness? He was not a virgin. Had he sired a child? A letter from a girlfriend from these times suggests he did. But the letter is anonymous.Damian contacts someone he knew from their days at university. He gives him a list of girls he slept with and sets him a task: find his heir...
The Python Years
By Michael Palin
Michael Palin's bestselling diaries before, during and after Monty Python.Michael Palin's diaries begin when he was newly married and struggling to make a name for himself in the world of television comedy. But Monty Python was just around the corner . . .Enjoying an unlikely cult status early on, the Pythons then proceeded to tour the USA and Canada. As their popularity grew, so Palin relates how the group went their separate ways, later to re-form for stage shows and the celebrated films THE HOLY GRAIL and LIFE OF BRIAN. Living through the three-day week and the miners strike, and all the trials of a peripatetic life are also essential ingredients of these perceptive and funny diaries.
The Puppet Boy of Warsaw
By Eva Weaver
The story of Mika, a Jewish boy, who becomes a puppeteer in the Warsaw ghetto - a stunning debutI was twelve when the coat was made. Nathan, our tailor and dear friend, cut it for Grandfather in the first week of March 1938. It was the last week of freedom for Warsaw and for us...Even in the most difficult of lives, there is hope. And sometimes that hope comes in the form of a small boy, armed with a troupe of puppets - a prince, a girl, a fool, a crocodile with half-painted teeth....When Mika's grandfather dies in the Warsaw ghetto, he inherits not only his great coat, but its treasure trove of secrets. In one remote pocket, he finds a papier mache head, a scrap of cloth...the prince. And what better way to cheer the cousin who has lost her father, the little boy who his ill, the neighbours living in one cramped room, than a puppet show? Soon the whole ghetto is talking about the puppet boy - until the day when Mika is stopped by a German officer and is forced into a secret life...This is a story about survival. It is an epic journey, spanning continents and generations, from Warsaw to the gulags of Siberia, and two lives that intertwine amid the chaos of war. Because even in wartime, there is hope...
By Antonia Fraser
The two-year revolution that totally changed how Britain is governed.Internationally bestselling historian Antonia Fraser's new book brilliantly evokes one year of pre-Victorian political and social history - the passing of the Great Reform Bill of 1832. For our inconclusive times, there is an attractive resonance with 1832, with its 'rotten boroughs' of Old Sarum and the disappearing village of Dunwich, and its lines of most resistance to reform. This book is character-driven - on the one hand, the reforming heroes are the Whig aristocrats Lord Grey, Lord Althorp and Lord John Russell, and the Irish orator Daniel O'Connell. They included members of the richest and most landed Cabinet in history, yet they were determined to bring liberty, which whittled away their own power, to the country. The all-too-conservative opposition comprised Lord Londonderry, the Duke of Wellington, the intransigent Duchess of Kent and the consort of the Tory King William IV, Queen Adelaide. Finally, there were 'revolutionaries' and reformers, like William Cobbett, the author of RURAL RIDES.This is a book that features one eventful year, much of it violent. There were riots in Bristol, Manchester and Nottingham, and wider themes of Irish and 'negro emancipation' underscore the narrative. The time-span of the book is from Wellington's intractable declaration in November 1830 that 'The beginning of reform is the beginning of revolution', to 7th June 1832, the date of the extremely reluctant royal assent by William IV to the Great Reform Bill, under the double threat of the creation of 60 new peers in the House of Lords and the threat of revolution throughout the country. These events led to a total change in the way Britain was governed, a two-year revolution that Antonia Fraser brings to vivid dramatic life.
Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Dog
By Dylan Thomas
First the young schoolboy, gloriously immersed in make-believe in a shabby farmyard; then the budding poet with his thrilling friendships and dreams of fortune. Finally, the neophyte reporter roaming suburban Swansea for momentous material. In ten wonderfully evocative short stories, Dylan Thomas conveys the exuberance and enthusiasm of youth as he fictionalises events from his childhood. Adolescent sexuality and male friendship are two of the themes that pervade this collection, along with the more familiar topics of love, death and religion.Featuring a bold new livery in celebration of the Dylan Thomas centenary.
The Periodic Kingdom
By Peter Atkins
A 'travel guide' to the periodic table, explaining the history, geography and the rules of behaviour in this imagined land.The Periodic Kingdom is a journey of imagination in which Peter Atkins treats the periodic table of elements - the 109 chemical elements in the world, from which everything is made - as a country, a periodic kingdom, each region of which corresponds to an element. Arranged much like a travel guide, the book introduces the reader to the general features of the table, the history of the elements, and the underlying arrangement of the table in terms of the structure and properties of atoms.Atkins sees elements as finely balanced living personalities, with quirks of character and certain, not always outward, dispositions, and the kingdom is thus a land of intellectual satisfaction and infinite delight.
The Pattern On The Stone
By Daniel Hillis
Will computers become thinking machines? A scientist at the cutting-edge of current research gives his provocative analysis.The world was shocked when a computer, Deep Blue defeated Gary Kasparov, arguably the greatest human chess player ever to have lived. This remarkable victory, and other, more day-to-day innovations, beg serious questions: what are the limits of what computers can do? Can they think? Do they learn?Discussions of these questions tend to get muddled because most people have only the vaguest idea of how computers actually work. This book explains the inner workings of computers in a way that does not require a profound knowledge of mathematics nor an understanding of electrical engineering. Starting with an account of how computers are built and why they work, W. Daniel Hillis describes what they can and cannot do - at the present time - before explaining how a computer can surpass its programmer and, finally, where humanity has reached in its quest for a true Thinking Machine.
Pure Package The Balance Diet
By Jennifer Irvine
Quick, easy and deliciously healthy recipes to make you feel great.From the founder of The Pure Package, the gourmet diet food delivery service, and author of the hugely successful THE DIET FOR FOOD LOVERS, comes this delicious collection of recipes designed to be healthy, nutritious and quick. Ideal for people who lead busy lives but still want to eat and feel healthy, this book will provide all the tips, tricks and know-how needed to whip up meal after meal with minimal fuss.Jennifer Irvine launched The Pure Package in 2003 from her kitchen, and the concept has grown to become an award-winning business while still maintaining the personal touch, which ensures its recipes are developed with real people in mind. Jennifer grew up on her parents' farm in Ireland where she developed her passion for food, by cooking and growing fresh produce. Jennifer believes that you can reach your health goals while indulging in delicious, convenient food, and in this book she tells you how.
The Pocket Bakery
By Rose Prince
Beginning as an idea to get her children to earn their pocket money and gain a lifelong skill, Rose Prince, along with daughter Lara and son Jack, began opening up their Battersea home every Saturday morning to sell freshly made bread. Trained in the art of sourdough by guru Giuseppe Mascoli, owner of the famous Franco Manca in Brixton market, the Pocket Bakery has gone from strength to strength, awakening a passion for all things baking-based in Rose and her teenage children. Today, it is a thriving local bakery with a big future that produces quality and delicious artisan baking from brioche loaves in flower pots to scrumptious teatime cakes. In this book they share their easy-to-follow techniques, secrets, and recipes to get everyone baking.Rose Prince started her career working as a chef in the test kitchen of Notting Hill's 'Books for Cooks' alongside Clarissa Dixon Wright. She moved on to report for BBC Radio 4's FOOD PROGRAMME. She is now a respected journalist, with a two food columns in the DAILY TELEGRAPH and has written five best-selling cookery books.
A Perfect Mess
By Eric Abrahamson, David H. Freedman
How Crammed Cupboards, Cluttered Offices, and Off-the-Cuff Planning make the World a Better Place.Like the bestselling Freakonomics or Blink, here is a book that combines a professor's expertise with stories from everyday life to provide a striking new view of how our world works. Ever since Einstein's study of Brownian Motion, scientists have understood that a little disorder actually makes systems more effective. But most people still shun disorder, or suffer guilt over the mess they can't avoid. No longer! With a spectacular array of anecdotes and case studies of the useful role mess can play, here is an antidote to the accepted wisdom that tight schedules, neatness and consistency are the keys to success. Drawing on examples from business, parenting, cooking, the war on terrorism, retail and even the meteoric career of Arnold Schwarzenegger, co-authors Abrahamson and Freedman demonstrate that moderately messy systems use resources more efficiently, yield better solutions and are harder to break than neat ones. A PERFECT MESS will help readers assess what the right amount of disorder is for a given system, and how to apply these ideas on to a large scale - government or society - and on a small scale - in your attic, kitchen or office. A PERFECT MESS will forever change the way we think about those unruly heaps of paper on our desks.
The Prisoner of Heaven
By Carlos Ruiz Zafon
THE PRISONER OF HEAVEN returns to the world of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and the Sempere & Sons bookshop.It begins just before Christmas in Barcelona in 1957, one year after Daniel and Bea from THE SHADOW OF THE WIND have married. They now have a son, Julian, and are living with Daniel's father at Sempere & Sons. Fermin still works with them and is busy preparing for his wedding to Bernarda in the New Year. However something appears to be bothering him.Daniel is alone in the shop one morning when a mysterious figure with a pronounced limp enters. He spots one of their most precious volumes that is kept locked in a glass cabinet, a beautiful and unique illustrated edition of THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. Despite the fact that the stranger seems to care little for books, he wants to buy this expensive edition. Then, to Daniel's surprise, the man inscribes the book with the words 'To Fermin Romero de Torres, who came back from the dead and who holds the key to the future'. This visit leads back to a story of imprisonment, betrayal and the return of a deadly rival ...
The Pursuit of Oblivion
By Richard Davenport-Hines
'The most important study on this subject in years, perhaps ever' Phillip Knightley, SUNDAY TIMESA history of drug-taking, telling the story across five centuries of addicts and users: monarchs, prime ministers, great writers and composers, wounded soldiers, overworked physicians, oppressed housewives, exhausted labourers, high-powered businessmen, playboys, sex workers, pop stars, seedy losers, stressed adolescents, defiant schoolchildren, the victims of the ghetto, and happy young people on a spree.It is also the history of one bad idea, prohibition.'You'll find almost everything you ever wanted to know about drugs in this work, except how to get hold of them'Simon Garfield, FINANCIAL TIMES'Everyone with any influence on government policy should read this book and wake up before it is too late'Phillip Knightley, SUNDAY TIMES
Pope: Everyman's Poetry
By Alexander Pope
Chief satirist of the Augustan age, as seen in The rape of the Lock, Pope spoke out against society and his profession, in poetry of bitter invective and biting humour.