By Walter Mosley
Winner of the 1996 Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary Award in FictionSoupspoon Wise is dying on the unforgiving streets of New York City, years and worlds away from the Mississippi delta, where he once jammed with blues legend Robert "RL" Johnson. It was an experience that burned indelibly into Soupspoon's soul - never mind that they said RL's gift came from the Devil himself. Now it's Soupspoon's turn to strike a deal with a stranger. An alcoholic angel of mercy, Kiki Waters isn't much better off than Soupspoon, but she too is a child of the South, and knows its pull. And she is determined to let Soupspoon ride out the final notes of his haunting blues dream, to pour out the remarkable tale of what he's seen, where he's been - and where he's going.
The Real Lolita
By Sarah Weinman
Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita is one of the most beloved and notorious novels of all time. And yet, very few of its readers know that the subject of the novel was inspired by a real-life case: the 1948 abduction of eleven-year-old Sally Horner.Weaving together suspenseful crime narrative, cultural and social history, and literary investigation, The Real Lolita tells Sally Horner's full story for the very first time. Drawing upon extensive investigations, legal documents, public records and interviews with remaining relatives, Sarah Weinman uncovers how much Nabokov knew of the Sally Horner case and the efforts he took to disguise that knowledge during the process of writing and publishing Lolita.Sally Horner's story echoes the stories of countless girls and women who never had the chance to speak for themselves. By diving deeper in the publication history of Lolita and restoring Sally to her rightful place in the lore of the novel's creation, The Real Lolita casts a new light on the dark inspiration for a modern classic.
By Ruth Cowen
Alexis Soyer (1810-1858) was a working-class Frenchman from an unremarkable town north-west of Paris, but his exceptional cooking skills and ebullient personality turned him into Britain's first true celebrity chef. He was the first to publish a succession of best-selling cookbooks - one selling more than a quarter of a million copies, an extraordinary figure for the mid-nineteenth century. He was also the first to produce branded merchandise, including a remarkably ingenious stove that fitted in the pocket and bottled sauces decorated with his recognisable portrait. Ahead of his time, he nurtured a flamboyant public profile through a combination of brilliant self-publicity and shameless press manipulation.But his life's purpose both came into focus and found its dramatic climax when he renounced his sybaritic lifestyle and elected to travel, for no pay and in the face of real danger, across Europe first to Scutari and later to Balaclava, where thousands of British troops had died of disease and malnutrition during the first long, bitter winter of the Crimean war. One of the first to understand fully the rudiments of good nutrition and mass catering, Soyer had already introduced new principles of large-scale cookery to Ireland during the potato famine of 1847, and he extend his expertise to the British army with spectacular results. Long overlooked by historians, Ruth Cowen vividly recounts the life of a unique personality with a scholarly slice of Victorian history.
A Red Death
By Walter Mosley
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 1992 GOLDEN DAGGER AWARD'This novel is so hot, it burns the fingers' Evening Standard'Mosley's second novel confirms him as one of crime writing's finds of the 1990s' Daily TelegraphIt's 1953 in Red-baiting, blacklisting Los Angeles, a moral tar pit ready to swallow Easy Rawlins. Easy is out of "the hurting business" and into the housing (and favor) business when a racist IRS agent nails him for tax evasion. Special Agent Darryl T. Craxton, FBI, offers to bail him out if he agrees to infiltrate the First American Baptist Church and spy on alleged communist organizer Chaim Wenzler. That's when the murders begin....
The Reading Cure
By Laura Freeman
Shortlisted for the Sunday Times/PFD Young Writer of the Year AwardAt the age of fourteen, Laura Freeman was diagnosed with anorexia. She had seized the one aspect of her life that she seemed able to control, and struck different foods from her diet one by one until she was starving. But even at her lowest point, the one appetite she never lost was her love of reading.As Laura battled her anorexia, she gradually re-discovered how to enjoy food - and life more broadly - through literature. Plum puddings and pottles of fruit in Dickens gave her courage to try new dishes; the wounded Robert Graves' appreciation of a pair of greengages changed the way she thought about plenty and choice; Virginia Woolf's painterly descriptions of bread, blackberries and biscuits were infinitely tempting. Book by book, meal by meal, Laura developed an appetite and discovered an entire library of reasons to live.The Reading Cure is a beautiful, inspiring account of hunger and happiness, about addiction, obsession and recovery, and about the way literature and food can restore appetite and renew hope.
By Joe Ide
'Joe Ide is the best new discovery I've come across in a long time' Michael Connelly'One of the most remarkable debuts I've read...Deliciously quirky, written with exceptional panache and a fine ear for dialogue, it introduces the world to an LA private detective who might just become the Holmes of the 21st century' DAILY MAIL'In a way, the hate felt good. You were righteous, godlike, the dispenser of justice . . .'Super-smart sleuth Isaiah Quintabe - IQ to his friends - has built a mostly respectable life for himself, helping out friends and neighbours when he can and taking the occasional case to make ends meet. But there is one mystery that still haunts him almost ten years later - did his brother really die in a hit-and-run or was there more to the story behind his death? IQ has been approached by his brother's former girlfriend Sarita, whose younger sister, an erratic DJ and gambling addict, has gone missing in Las Vegas - with a frightening loan shark, Chinese Triad gangsters, and her own deadbeat boyfriend hot on her tail. Accompanied once more by his fast-talking, don't-call-me-a-sidekick partner Dodson, IQ heads off for the casinos and massage parlours of Las Vegas. His quest takes an unexpected turn when he meets a criminal mastermind who knows something about the murky circumstances that surrounded his brother's death. But when Isaiah learns the truth, what will he do with it?IQ was WINNER of the ANTHONY AWARD for Best Debut, the SHAMUS AWARD for BEST FIRST P.I. NOVEL. the MACAVITY AWARD for Best First Novel; SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 EDGAR AWARD and STRAND CRITICS AWARD.
By Dan Sheehan
'It never stops being a page-turner . . . a great debut' Colum McCann'A terrific debut novel, bold and wise, each page lit with wit and with feeling' Jonathan Lee'The funniest sad book I've read in a long time . . . A terrific debut from a dynamic new writer' J. Robert LennonTom, Karl and Baz grew up together in down-on-its-luck Dublin. Friends since childhood, their lives diverged when Tom left home to be a war correspondent. Now, after three years embedded in the Siege of Sarajevo, he returns a haunted shell of the lad who went away. Karl and Baz have no idea what they're doing but they are determined to see him through the darkness, even if it means travelling halfway around the world. Hearing about an unlikely cure - an experimental clinic called Restless Souls - they embark on a road trip across California. But as they try to save Tom from his memories, they must confront their own - of what happened to their childhood friend Gabriel. And in doing so, they must ask how their boisterous teenage souls became weighed down, and why life got so damn complicated and sad.
By Bernhard Schlink
For fifteen-year-old Michael Berg, a chance meeting with an older woman leads to far more than he ever imagined. The woman in question is Hanna, and before long they embark on a passionate, clandestine love affair which leaves Michael both euphoric and confused. For Hanna is not all she seems. Years later, as a law student observing a trial in Germany, Michael is shocked to realize that the person in the dock is Hanna. The woman he had loved is a criminal. Much about her behaviour during the trial does not make sense. But then suddenly, and terribly, it does - Hanna is not only obliged to answer for a horrible crime, she is also desperately concealing another deep secret.
By Chris Skidmore
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BEST NON-FICTION BOOK AT THE PARLIAMENTARY BOOK AWARDS'Fresh, gripping and vivid' Simon Sebag Montefiore 'Exhaustively researched and scrupulously even-handed' David Starkey 'A portrait that chills you to the bone' Leanda de Lisle, The TimesThe last Plantagenet king remains one of England's most famous and controversial monarchs. There are few parallels in English history that can match the drama of Richard III's reign, witnessed in its full bloody intensity.A dedicated brother and loyal stalwart to the Yorkist dynasty for most of his early life, Richard's personality was forged in the tribulation of exile and the brutality of combat. An ambitious nobleman and successful general with a loyal following, Richard was a man who could claim to have achieved every ambition in life, except one.Within months of his brother Edward IV's early death, Richard stunned the nation when he seized the throne and disinherited his nephews. Having put to death his rivals, Richard's two-year reign would become one of the most tumultuous in English history, ending in treachery and with his death on the battlefield at Bosworth.By stripping back the legends that surround Richard's life and reign, and returning to original manuscript evidence, Chris Skidmore rediscovers the man as contemporaries saw him. His compelling study presents every facet of Richard's personality as it deserves to be seen: as one of the most significant figures in medieval history, whose actions and behaviour underline the true nature of power in an age of great upheaval and instability.
By Alex Perry
Taking the Great Rift Valley - the geological fault that will eventually tear Africa in two - as his central metaphor, Alex Perry explores the split between a resurgent Africa and a world at odds with its rise. Africa has long been misunderstood - and abused - by outsiders. Perry travelled the continent for most of a decade, meeting with entrepreneurs and warlords, professors and cocaine smugglers, presidents and jihadis, among many others.Opening with a devastating investigation into a largely unreported war crime in Somalia in 2011, he finds Africa at a moment of furious self-assertion. This is a remade continent, defiantly rising from centuries of oppression to become an economic and political titan: where cash is becoming a thing of the past, where astronomers are unlocking the origin of life and where, twenty-five years after Live Aid, Ethiopia's first yuppies are traders on an electronic food exchange. Yet, as Africa finally wins the substance of its freedom, it must confront the three last false prophets of Islamists, dictators and aid workers, who would keep it in its bonds.
By Simon Sebag Montefiore
The Romanovs were the most successful dynasty of modern times, ruling a sixth of the world's surface. How did one family turn a war-ruined principality into the world's greatest empire? And how did they lose it all?This is the intimate story of twenty tsars and tsarinas, some touched by genius, some by madness, but all inspired by holy autocracy and imperial ambition. Montefiore's gripping chronicle reveals their secret world of unlimited power and ruthless empire-building, overshadowed by palace conspiracy, family rivalries, sexual decadence and wild extravagance, and peopled by a cast of adventurers, courtesans, revolutionaries and poets. Written with dazzling literary flair, drawing on new archival research, THE ROMANOVS is at once an enthralling chronicle of triumph and tragedy, love and death, a universal study of power, and an essential portrait of the empire that still defines Russia today.
By Sian Williams
'A week after my 50th birthday and just as our family was about to move home, something happened that changed the way I looked at life. I spoke to others about how they rebuilt their shattered worlds after very different personal traumas, emerging stronger than before. I hope our experiences, together with the latest science on resilience, will help guide all those going through tough times. This book says that it's possible not just to survive them, but to thrive. To rise.'Renowned as a much-loved and highly respected journalist and broadcaster with thirty years' experience, Sian Williams has studied the impact of acute stress for many years and is also a trained trauma assessor.In RISE, she explores the science of resilience and growth after trauma, offers advice from the experts, and learns from those who have emerged from horrific experiences, feeling changed yet stronger, with a new perspective on their life, their relationships and their work. She also documents her own path through breast cancer, with candid and unflinching honesty. Her story provides a narrative thread through a book designed to help others deal with all manner of adversity, including physical or mental ill health; loss of a loved one; abuse and post-traumatic stress.RISE is a deeply researched exploration of trauma, grief and illness, and most importantly resilience in the darkest of days. It is an inspiring and powerful piece of work, full of honesty, warmth and wisdom.
By Catriona Ward
Winner of BEST HORROR NOVEL (August Derleth Award) at British Fantasy Awards 2016She comes in the night. She looks into your eyes. One by one, she has taken us all.For generations they have died young, and now fifteen-year-old Iris and her father are the last of the Villarca line. Confined to their lonely mansion on Dartmoor, they suffer their disease in isolation. But Iris breaks her promise to hide from the world and dares to fall in love.It is only then that they understand the true horror of the Villarca curse, the curse of the bone-white woman who visits in the night, leaving death in her wake.'With a ghostly face at the window, inexplicable events and a sense of menace hanging over every page, this is one chilling gothic novel' Daily Mail
The Rivered Earth
By Vikram Seth
The Rivered Earth contains four libretti written by Vikram Seth to be set to music by Alec Roth - together with an account of the pleasures and pains of working with a composer.Entitled 'Songs in Time of War', 'Shared Ground', 'The Traveller' and 'Seven Elements', they take us all over the world - from Chinese and Indian poetry to the beauty and quietness of the Salisbury house where the poet George Herbert lived and died.Spanning centuries of creativity and humanity, these poems pulse with life, energy and inspired brilliance.They are accompanied by four pieces of calligraphy by the author.
The Rival Queens
By Nancy Goldstone
'A gripping tale of royal feuds and divided kingdoms' - AMANDA FOREMANParis, 1572. Catherine de' Medici, the infamous queen mother of France, is a consummate pragmatist and powerbroker who has dominated the throne for thirty years. Her youngest daughter, Marguerite, the glamorous 'Queen Margot', is a passionate free spirit, the only adversary whom her mother can neither intimidate nor fully control. When Catherine forces the Catholic Marguerite to marry the Protestant Henry of Navarre, she creates not only savage conflict within France but also a potent rival within her own family. Treacherous court politics, poisonings, international espionage and adultery form the background to a extraordinary story about two formidable queens, featuring a fascinating array of characters including such celebrated figures as Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots and Nostradamus.
Run Them Ashore
By Adrian Goldsworthy
It's autumn 1810, Napoleon's legions have overrun Spain, and it looks as if Britain is losing the war. Backed by the Royal Navy, the British and their Spanish allies are clinging on to a toe-hold at Cadiz. As the French press ever closer, Lieutenant Williams of His Majesty's 106th Foot joins the Spanish partisans fighting behind enemy lines. Embroiled in the merciless guerrilla war, he soon realises that the greatest dangers come from his own side. A traitor is at work, and Williams must try to reach the British lines and warn them before a surprise raid on the French turns into a disaster.
By Andrew Lycett
Paragon of English virtues or racist imperialist? Andrew Lycett (acclaimed biographer of Ian Fleming) has returned to primary sources to tell the intricate story of a misunderstood genius who became Britain's most famous and highest earning author. Among the many new sources, Lycett has discovered previously unpublished letters that illuminate Kipling's crucial years in India, his first girlfriend (the model for Mrs Hauksbee of Plain Tales from the Hills), his parents' decision to send him back to England to boarding school; and in his adult life his use of opium, his frustrating times in London and the brief peace he found in America before the devastating loss of both his young daughter and, in the First World War, his son. Lycett also uncovers the extraordinary story of Kipling's great love for Flo Garrard, daughter of the crown jeweller, and unravels the complicated yet enthralling saga of the American family the Balestiers, and of Carrie Balestier who became Kipling's wife. This biography is full of new material on Kipling's financial dealings with Lord Beaverbrook, his friendships with T.E. Lawrence, the painter Edward Burne-Jones and the Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin (who was his cousin).
By Jo Bloom
'Vivid, cinematic and exciting' Red'Conjures a great picture of Soho's early-Sixties jazz-and-caffeine buzz' Emerald Street'Thought-provoking' Independent on SundayA TALE OF LOVE AND MORALITY SET IN THE DARK SIDE OF THE SWINGING SIXTIESSUMMER, 1962. Twenty-year-old Vivien Epstein, a Jewish hairdresser from Manchester, arrives in London following the death of her father. She has travelled to the city to make a new start, and quickly finds herself swept up in a city buzzing with life. Landing a job at Oscar's salon, she thrives amid the vibrant café culture of Soho and the warm camaraderie of the other hairdressers. But beneath the surface, Vivien is desperate to find Jack Fox, a man she had a brief but intense romance with some months before. Her search leads to confront the dark resurgence of fascism, countered by the Jewish community in street battles around Ridley Road in the East End of London. Amid the growing tensions, can her love survive? AN EXPLOSIVE, HEART-BREAKING NOVEL FOR FANS OF MAGGIE O'FARRELL AND ZOE HELLERReaders LOVE Ridley Road:'Enthralling and captivating' Mrs T.'I read it in one sitting' Rebecca'Did not want to put it down' Eva'Fantastic!' Mrs S
By Walter Mosley
When four armed policemen turn up at Easy Rawlins's door, he thinks he's in trouble. He is. They want him to find Rosemary Goldsmith, the daughter of a millionaire arms dealer. And Easy can't afford to say no. The LAPD think she's with Bob Mantle, a black boxer turned radical. Has she been kidnapped? Is she colluding? When Easy is almost gunned down on his first day on the case, he realises he'll need more than wits to find Rose Gold.
Rose En Marche
By Jamie Ivey
Rosé en Marché, the third title in the 'rosé' series by Jamie Ivey, involves Tanya and Jamie selling rosé in French markets. They rent a flat in Saint Remy de Provence and work in the town's market as well as three or four other local markets. There is, of course, the odd flying visit from their old friend Peter. The Iveys decide to set up their own market stall in the exquisite Provencal town of Saint Remy. But they quickly uncover a battleground. Artisan traders fight competitors selling imports of lavender from Bulgaria, rip-off tableware from China and wholesale vegetables artificially smattered with dirt. Rumours of bribery and corruption are ever present as traders scramble for the best pitches. But can the Iveys make a go of their own stall . . .?