By Mark Mason
Which major UK retailer has the same name as Odysseus's dog in Greek mythology?In the original version of the Band Aid hit 'Do They Know It's Christmas?', who sang the opening line?Which is the only US state whose name can be typed on a single row of a QWERTY keyboard?Travel writer and quiz fan Mark Mason decided to combine two of his greatest loves by setting off on a tour of Britain's quizzes. From a pub quiz in Edinburgh to a charity quiz in Hampshire, from a corporate quiz in Birmingham to a journalists' quiz in Parliament, he finds answers aplenty while asking some questions of his own. Just what is it that attracts us to these tests of our knowledge? What are the ingredients of the perfect quiz question? And which is the only English city whose official name begins with H?The only travel book ever to discuss Winston Churchill's use of language and reveal Donald Duck's middle name, QUESTION TIME is an affectionate tribute to Britain and one of its most cherished institutions - the quiz.
The Queen's Gambit
By Walter Tevis
From the author of THE HUSTLER, THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT is a modern classic about a troubled chess prodigy and her battle to surviveWhen she is sent to an orphanage at the age of eight, Beth Harmon soon discovers two ways to escape her surroundings, albeit fleetingly: playing chess and taking the little green pills given to her and the other children to keep them subdued. Before long, it becomes apparent that hers is a prodigious talent, and as she progresses to the top of the US chess rankings she is able to forge a new life for herself. But she can never quite overcome her urge to self-destruct .For Beth, there's more at stake than merely winning and losing.
Quiet as a Nun
By Antonia Fraser
One of Lady Antonia Fraser's gripping Jemima Shore mysteries, set in a secluded nunnery.'I lit the candle and began rather gingerly to climb up the ladder. Then I heard a distinct sound above my head. A scrape on the floor, an irregular jarring on the floor above my head, like something rocking . . .'A nun is dead - her emaciated corpse has been discovered locked in the tower of Blessed Eleanor's Convent. The tragic consequence of a neurotic young woman committing to a life of isolation and piety, the inquest concludes. But this young woman held unusual power over the convent - power she was planning to use.Jemima Shore tries to keep her distance from the case, but when her lover cancels their holiday she finds herself reluctantly getting involved. A violent attack in the dead of night and another death convinces her that the convent is not the haven of peace it appears to be. Suspicion and fear hang heavy in the air but how do you solve a murder no-one will admit happened?
The Quest For God
By Paul Johnson
A leading historian examines his faith in God, in the light of the historical evidence and his own personal experiences.
The Quarrel Of The Age
By A.C. Grayling
The story of the life and work of England's greatest essayist and key figure in Regency England.William Hazlitt is England's greatest essayist. He was also a philosopher, a painter, a controversialist and a radical, whose critical writings about literature, the theatre and art were ardently admired in his day. He is the author of the first confessional autobiography of sexual passion, a biographer of Napoleon, a friend of, and profound influence upon, Keats, Stendhal, and Charles Lamb, a friend and later enemy of Coleridge, Wordsworth, and De Quincy, and a key figure in the intellectual life of Regency England. His life was lived against the backdrop of the French Revolution and subsequent Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, with their associated political and literary radicalism in England.
By Jim Al-Khalili
From Schrodinger's cat to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, this book untangles the weirdness of the quantum world.Quantum mechanics underpins modern science and provides us with a blueprint for reality itself. And yet it has been said that if you're not shocked by it, you don't understand it. But is quantum physics really so unknowable? Is reality really so strange? And just how can cats be half-alive and half-dead at the same time?Our journey into the quantum begins with nature's own conjuring trick, in which we discover that atoms -- contrary to the rules of everyday experience -- can exist in two locations at once. To understand this we travel back to the dawn of the twentieth century and witness the birth of quantum theory, which over the next one hundred years was to overthrow so many of our deeply held notions about the nature of our universe. Scientists and philosophers have been left grappling with its implications every since.
By Lisa Hilton
England from the perspective of its consort queens - a distaff history of the nation from 1066 to 1503.England's medieval queens were elemental in shaping the history of the nation. In an age where all politics were family politics, dynastic marriages placed English queens at the very centre of power - the king's bed. From Matilda of Flanders, the Conqueror's queen, to Elizabeth of York, the first Tudor consort, England's queens fashioned the nature of monarchy and influenced the direction of the state. Occupying a unique position in the mercurial, often violent world of medieval state-craft, English queens had to negotiate a role that combined tremendous influence with terrifying vulnerability.Lisa Hilton's meticulously researched new book explores the lives of the twenty women who were crowned queen between 1066 and 1503, reconsidering the fictions surrounding well-known figures like Eleanor of Aquitaine and illuminating the lives of forgotten figures such as Adeliza of Louvain. War, adultery, witchcraft, child abuse, murder - and occassionally even love - formed English queenship, but so too did patronage, learning and fashion. Lisa Hilton considers the evolution of the queenly office alongside intimate portraits of the individual women, dispelling the myth that medieval brides were no more than diplomatic pawns.