The Shadow of the Wind
By Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The international bestseller and modern classic - over 20 million copies sold worldwide'Shadow is the real deal, a novel full of cheesy splendour and creaking trapdoors, a novel where even the subplots have subplots. One gorgeous read' STEPHEN KING'An instant classic' DAILY TELEGRAPHThe Shadow of the Wind is a stunning literary thriller in which the discovery of a forgotten book leads to a hunt for an elusive author who may or may not still be alive...Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the 'Cemetery of Lost Books', a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out 'The Shadow of the Wind' by Julian Carax.But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find. Then, one night, as he is wandering the old streets once more, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from the book, a character who turns out to be the devil. This man is tracking down every last copy of Carax's work in order to burn them. What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax and to save those he left behind...A SUNDAY TIMES bestseller and chosen for the Richard & Judy book club.'Part gothic mystery, past ribald comedy, part political thriller, part Borgesian parable, and all marvellous' SUNDAY TIMES'A hymn of praise to all the joys of reading' INDEPENDENT'A magical tale' CECILIA AHERN'One of those rare novels that combine brilliant plotting with sublime writing' SUNDAY TIMES'Gripping and instantly atmospheric' MAIL ON SUNDAY'A book lover's dream' THE TIMES'Irresistibly readable...Walk down any street in Zafon's Barcelona and you'll glimpse the shades of the past and the secrets of the present' GUARDIAN'Diabolically good' ELLE'This gripping novel has the feel of a gothic ghost story complete with crumbling, ivy-covered mansions, gargoyles and dank prison cells...this is just the sort of literary mystery that would have found favour with Wilkie Collins' DAILY MAIL'A deeply satisfying, rich, full read' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH'A page-turning exploration of obsession in literature and love' SUNDAY EXPRESS'An astounding critical success. There's an intricate plot, a gothic atmosphere and an elusive quest, as well as murders, intrigue and star-crossed lovers' GUARDIAN
Six Easy Pieces
By Walter Mosley
Easy should be living a contented life, with steady work as senior head custodian of Sojourner Truth High School, and a loving family. But happiness is as elusive for Easy as smoke in shadows. Easy's the man folks seek out when they can't take their problems to anyone else. Trading favors and investigating cases of arson, murder, missing persons, and false accusations, it's hard to steer clear of trouble. Easy walks the line in this must-have collection from bestselling, award-winning author Walter Mosley.
By Gillian Flynn
From the author of the No.1 bestseller and international phenomenon GONE GIRL. Now a major HBO/SKY ATLANTIC TV series starring Amy Adams, with the director of BIG LITTLE LIES, Jean-Marc Vallee.When two girls are abducted and killed in Missouri, journalist Camille Preaker is sent back to her home town to report on the crimes. Long-haunted by a childhood tragedy and estranged from her mother for years, Camille suddenly finds herself installed once again in her family's mansion, reacquainting herself with her distant mother and the half-sister she barely knows - a precocious 13-year-old who holds a disquieting grip on the town.As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims - a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.'To say this is a terrific debut novel is really too mild. I haven't read such a relentlessly creepy family saga since John Farris's ALL HEADS TURN AS THE HUNT GOES BY, and that was thirty years ago, give or take. SHARP OBJECTS isn't one of those scare-and-retreat books; its effect is cumulative. I found myself dreading the last thirty pages or so, but was helpless to stop turning them. Then, after the lights were out, the story just stayed there in my head, coiled and hissing, like a snake in a cave' STEPHEN KING'SHARP OBJECTS is a witty, stylish, and compelling debut. A real winner' HARLAN COBEN'Sharp, clean exciting writing that grabs you from the first page. A real pleasure' KATE ATKINSON'Sharp Objects is one of the freshest debut thrillers to come around in a long while. It's a gripping, substantive story, stripped of cliche, and crafted with great style. The characters are refreshingly real, burdened with psychological issues that enrich the story' AUGUSTEN BURROUGHS'With her blistering debut Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn hit the ground running.' VAL McDERMID 'Sharp Objects is creepy, claustrophobic and dark as all hell. With a gloriously twisted plot, a brooding atmosphere and a beautifully realised central character, this is easily the best debut novel I've read in a very long time.' MARK BILLINGHAM
The Story of Britain
By Roy Strong
THE CLASSIC HISTORY OF BRITAIN, FULLY UPDATEDRoy Strong has written an exemplary introduction to the history of Britain, as first designated by the Romans. It is a brilliant and balanced account of successive ages bound together by a compelling narrative which answers the questions: 'Where do we come from?' and 'Where are we going?'Beginning with the earliest recorded Celtic times, and ending with the present day of Brexit Britain, it is a remarkable achievement. With his passion, enthusiasm and wide-ranging knowledge, he is the ideal narrator. His book should be read by anyone, anywhere, who cares about Britain's national past, national identity and national prospects. Richly enjoyable, The Story of Britain will inform and enlighten readers as to how we arrived at where we are today - and why.
By Ben Ryan
The uplifting, feel-good autobiography of Ben Ryan, the coach of the Olympic gold-medal winning Fijian rugby team The incredible story of how one man inspired a nation of underdogs to achieve sporting greatness. It is late summer 2013. Ben Ryan, a red-haired, 40-something, spectacle-wearing Englishman, is given 20 minutes to decide whether he wants to coach Fiji's rugby sevens team, with the aim of taking them to the nation's first-ever Olympic medal. He has never been to Fiji. There has been no discussion of contracts or salary. But he knows that no one plays rugby like the men from these isolated Pacific islands, just as no one plays football like the kids from the Brazilian favelas, or no one runs as fast as the boys and girls from Jamaica's boondocks. He knows too that no other rugby nation has so little - no money and no resources, only basic equipment and a long, sad history of losing its most gifted players to richer, greedier nations.Ryan says yes. And with that simple word he sets in motion an extraordinary journey that will encompass witchdoctors and rugby-obsessed prime ministers, sun-smeared dawns and devastating cyclones, intense friendships and bitter rows, phone taps and wild nationwide parties. It will end in Rio with a performance that not only wins Olympic gold but reaches fresh heights for rugby union and makes Ben and his 12 players living legends back home.
By Geoffrey West
Geoffrey West's research centres on a quest to find unifying principles and patterns connecting everything, from cells and ecosystems to cities, social networks and businesses.Why do organisms and ecosystems scale with size in a remarkably universal and systematic fashion?Is there a maximum size of cities? Of animals and plants? What about companies?Can scale show us how to create a more sustainable future?By applying the rigour of physics to questions of biology, visionary physicist Geoffrey West found that despite the riotous diversity in the sizes of mammals, they are all, to a large degree, scaled versions of each other. This speaks to everything from how long we can expect to live to how many hours of sleep we need. He then made the even bolder move of exploring his work's applicability to cities and to the business world. These investigations have led to powerful insights about the elemental natural laws that bind us together in profound ways, and how all complex systems are dancing to the same simple tune, however diverse and unrelated they may seem.
The Small Pleasures Of Life
By Philippe Delerm
An enchanting celebration of life's small pleasures, this little book captures the French imagination and art of living a good life. Each chapter features a small pleasure that is both uniquely Gallic and universal. From the smell of apples maturing in a cellar to the gentle whir of a bicycle dynamo at dusk to turning the pages of a newspaper over breakfast, to the joy of a snowstorm inside a paperweight . . . Recounted with a lively, innocent curiosity about the little things that make life worthwhile, this is an unforgettable, absorbing read to be savoured at length by everyone looking to create more peace and joy in their lives.
Stiff Upper Lip
By Alex Renton
'A brave and necessary book' GUARDIAN'Shocking, gripping and sobering' SUNDAY TELEGRAPHNo other society sends its young boys and girls away to school to prepare them for a role in the ruling class.Beating, bullying, fagging, cold baths, vile food and paedophile teachers are just some of the features of this elite education, and, while some children loved boarding school, others now admit to suffering life-altering psychological damage. Stiff Upper Lip exposes the hypocrisy, cronyism and conspiracy that are key to understanding the scandals over abuse and neglect in institutions all over the world.Award-winning investigative journalist Alex Renton went to three traditional boarding schools. Drawing on those experiences, and the vivid testimony of hundreds of former pupils, he has put together a compelling history, important to anyone wondering what shaped the people who run Britain in the twenty-first century.
Scenes and Apparitions
By Roy Strong
'Viper wit from the gardener, writer and Knight of exquisite taste' DAILY TELEGRAPH'Funny, barbed and moving ... magnificently readable' THE TIMESScenes and Apparitions covers a period of Roy Strong's life from 1988 to 2003. A sequel to Splendours and Miseries, it is an unmissable record of how a citizen at the close of the second Elizabethan age observed and chronicled his own world at the turn of the century. Although it is not without tragedy - the murder of his friend Gianni Versace, and the death of his beloved wife Julia Trevelyan Oman - there is plenty to enjoy from his descriptions of Elton John's fiftieth birthday party, to a concert for the Queen Mother, and his portraits of marriage, friendship, work and his celebrated garden, The Laskett.
The Stolen Child
By Lisa Carey
'Some books set up house inside your soul. Utterly magnificent' - M. R. CareyA remote island off the west coast of Ireland, St Brigid's, is a barren landscape, its small community dwindling. But, according to rumour, it is a magical place, a home to a healing well. Rose and Emer have resisted the call to the mainland. They are sisters but opposites in every way. Rose, beautiful and blessed with a large family, dotes on the bitter and defiant Emer. When a stranger arrives in search of a miracle, the islanders are determined to keep their secrets close. Little do they realise that the stranger's quest will endanger the lives of all who remain on the island.
Some Fantastic Place
By Chris Difford
Chris Difford is a rare breed. As a member of one of London's best-loved bands, the Squeeze co-founder has made a lasting contribution to English music with hits such as 'Cool For Cats', 'Up The Junction', 'Labelled With Love', 'Hourglass' and 'Tempted'. Even before his first release in 1977, his love of writing lyrics has never wavered. Over the course of a thirteen-album career with Squeeze, it was clear from the very beginning that Difford has few peers when it comes to smart, pithy lyricism. His 'kitchen-sink drama' style has drawn plaudits from fans on both sides of the Atlantic, and his influence is keenly felt today. The likes of Lily Allen. Mark Ronson, Kasabian, Razorlight and many more have recognized the debt they owe to Squeeze's music and to Difford's way with words, while journalists were moved by his winning combination with Glenn Tilbrook to dub the pair 'The New Lennon and McCartney'.In Some Fantastic Place, Chris Difford charts his life from his early days as a dreaming boy in south London with a talent for poetry to becoming a member of one of Britain's greatest bands and beyond. Along the way he reveals the inspiration and stories behind Squeeze's best-known songs, and his greatest highs and lows from over four decades of making music.
Splendours and Miseries: The Roy Strong Diaries, 1967-87
By Roy Strong
'The Alan Clark diaries of cultural politics' Sunday Times'At every word a reputation dies' A. N. WilsonRoy Strong is best known as the flamboyant former director of two great cultural institutions - the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum. In his first volume of diaries, he takes the reader into the heart of his career, revealing himself to be not just a mercurial and brilliant administrator, but also a shrewd observer of the glittering and political milieu into which he was drawn.We encounter David Hockney in his studio, the poignant figure of Cecil Beaton in decline, Nureyev fizzing with ideas and the Philistine Mrs Thatcher among many others, including a bevy of the Royal Family. And throughout the diaries runs the thread of an exceptional marriage, following his elopement with the designer Julia Trevelyan Oman.Splendours and Miseries provides a unique panorama of the world of the arts, fashion and society, taking us from the outrageous Swinging Sixties to the hard-edged glitz of Thatcher's Britain.
By Pippa Malmgren
She predicted the financial crisis. She predicted Brexit. She predicted Trump. Now Dr Pippa Malmgren shares the signals that will protect you from the next surprise.Drawing on a wonderful range of examples - from magazine covers and supermarkets to public protests - SIGNALS is the fascinating story of the world economy told in the language of everyday objects, places and events. Malmgren explains why the size of chocolate bars, steaks and apartments are shrinking, and why the increasing near misses between America's spy planes and the fighter jets of China and Russia are no coincidence. Rising costs and inflation are breaking the social contract between citizens and their states, causing the rise of anti-establishment voting, the return of social unrest to emerging markets and resistance to mass immigration. If the only solution is innovation, then the key question is whether governments support efforts to invest in the economy of tomorrow. Written with refreshing clarity, SIGNALS shows us who is already building the future and how to be part of it.
By Dan Vyleta
Imagine a world in which every bad thought you had was made visible. Where anger, hatred and envy appeared as a thick, infectious smoke pouring from your body, leaving soot on your skin. A society controlled by an elite who have learned to master their darkest desires.Thomas and Charlie are friends at a boarding school near Oxford, where the children of the rich and powerful are trained to be future leaders. Charlie is naturally good, but Thomas's father was accused of a terrible crime, and Thomas fears that the same evil lies coiled inside him. Then, on a trip to London - a forbidden city shrouded in darkness - they learn all is not as it appears. So begins a quest to understand the truth about this world of smoke, soot and ash - and perhaps to change it.'Mesmerising and imaginative ... a novel that tackles the most fundamental question of good versus evil' Hannah Beckerman, Observer'Like an adult version of the Harry Potter books with a touch of Dickensian dystopia ...a sheer delight' Maxim Jakubowski, Lovereading'A novel that stays in the imagination long after it is read' Adam Roberts, Guardian
A Short History of the Motorcycle
By Richard Hammond
It's cold, wet and dangerous, so why do we do it? Richard Hammond's A SHORT HISTORY OF THE MOTORCYCLE attempts to explain what it is about bikes and biking that calls to some people, leaving them powerless to resist. This entertaining guide charts the history of the bike from its origins as a cheap and modest means of transport for the masses to its modern incarnations: a terrifying symbol of rebellion and menace, a high-tech racing machine and the rich kid's plaything. We look at the bikes that have propelled people across the world to work, to school and to their doom.As for the bikers ... Edwardian ladies did it, though not in large numbers. Young bucks desperate to prove their manhood did it, because it was the cheapest speed available. Hammond examines bikers of every type, from the happy farmer trundling through fields on their Honda Cub to the Hell's Angel terrorising Californian towns on their hog.Wittily written and lavishly illustrated, A SHORT HISTORY OF THE MOTORCYCLE is a thrilling ride for bikers and non-bikers alike.
Stranger Than We Can Imagine
By John Higgs
'An illuminating work of massive insight' Alan Moore'A sensational book. Heartily recommended' Rufus HoundIt is the century about which we know too much, yet understand too little. With disorientating ideas such as relativity, cubism, the id, existentialism, chaos mathematics and postmodernism to contend with, the twentieth century, John Higgs argues, cannot fit easily into a traditional historical narrative. Time, then, for a new perspective. Higgs takes us on a refreshingly eclectic journey through the knotty history of the strangest of centuries. In the company of radical artists, scientists, geniuses and eccentrics, he shows us how the elegant, clockwork universe of the Victorians became increasingly woozy and uncertain; and how in the twentieth century we discovered that our world is not just stranger than we imagine, but 'stranger than we can imagine'.
By Vikram Seth
'I have so carefully mapped the corners of my mindThat I am forever waking in a lost country...'SUMMER REQUIEM traces the immutable shifting of the seasons, the relentless rhythms of a great world that both 'gifts and harms'. Luminous, resonant and profound, these poems trace the dying days of summer, 'the hour of rust', when memory is haunted by loss and decay. But in the silence that follows, as the soul is cast adrift, there is also reconciliation with the transience of all things; the knowledge that there is a place, 'changeable, that will not betray'.
By Melanie Finn
A Tatler Sizzling Summer ReadSpectator Best Books of 2015 Shortlisted for the Guardian's Not the Booker Prize 'Intense, impressive... Told with force and bracing directness... It's a book that smashes into you' Guardian'Both disturbing and ultimately uplifting . . . the images she conjures up are so subversively creepy they haunt you for days' Spectator 'Deserves major attention' New York TimesPilgrim Jones doesn't belong here.She belongs in the cities of Europe, by her handsome husband's side. But here she is, in a village on the edge of Africa. No one knows why she is here and what she is hiding from. And she is not going to tell them - about her husband's betrayal, or the children she killed in a crash. But two men from Pilgrim's past are coming to find her - two men with very different motives.
By David Whitehouse
In The Sun, David Whitehouse takes us on a journey to the heart of our local star and beyond, relating how it was born, the many ways it influences life on Earth and how it will die. He recounts the many myths surrounding the Sun and the fascinating stories of scientists throughout history who have attempted to discover its secrets - occasionally at the price of their lives.The Sun explores the role of the sun for those on Earth, from the earliest civilizations that worshipped it, through its emulation in art and literature to the present day. He describes the inferno at its core, the magnetic chaos of its surface and the furthest reaches of its atmosphere that stretches beyond the planets out into the galaxy. Within our lifetimes he considers that changes in the sun will become noticeable, an issue that we ignore at our peril.Finally, David Whitehouse speculates on the future of life on Earth with a sun that must ultimately turn into a red giant. From its birth in a cloud of gas and dust, its long lifetime nurturing life on our own planet, to its death as a cosmic cinder, this is our Sun's story.
By Jeffrey A. Lieberman, Ogi Ogas
A world-renowned psychiatrist reveals the fascinating story of psychiatry's origins, demise and redemption. Psychiatry has come a long way since the days of chaining 'lunatics' in cold cells and parading them as freakish marvels before a gaping public. But, as Jeffrey Lieberman reveals in his extraordinary and eye-opening book, the path to legitimacy for 'the black sheep of medicine' has been anything but smooth. In SHRINKS, Dr Lieberman traces the field from its birth as a mystic pseudo-science through its adolescence as a cult of 'shrinks' to its late blooming maturity since the Second World War as a science-driven profession that saves lives. With fascinating case studies and portraits of the luminaries of the field, from Sigmund Freud to Eric Kandel, SHRINKS is a gripping and illuminating read. It is also an urgent call-to-arms to dispel the stigma surrounding mental illness and to start treating it as a disease rather than a state of mind.