The Tuscan Year
By Elizabeth Romer
In 1972 Elizabeth Romer moved to a farmhouse in Tuscany, where she discovered a life moulded by the past and tasted the simple, sublime flavours of traditional Italian cooking for the first time. Here, she introduces the Cerotti family who farm one section of the valley, and vividly describes, month by month, the Tuscan year. From January's prosciutto and salame, to cheese-making in March, to threshing the corn in high summer, to the game and chanterelles of autumn, and the chestnut woods of November and December. In the heart of the Cerotti household wonderful meals are prepared using fresh and simple ingredients, governed by the rhythms of the changing seasons. Elizabeth Romer presents the fare for high days and holidays as well as every day, from fresh garlic and wild herbs to fried flowers and carnival cakes. This magical book reveals the secrets of an ancient way of life and cuisine, with dozens of delicious recipes to bring the flavour of Tuscany to any kitchen.
Travelling with Ghosts
By Shannon Leone Fowler
'A cross between H is for Hawk and Wild' Stylist 'A courageous memoir of love and loss . . . compelling' Sunday Express'Intimate and inspiring' Observer 'Rich and absorbing' Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love 'A brave and necessary record of love, as beautiful as it is heartbreaking' Ann Patchett, author of CommonwealthOn a warm evening on a beautiful beach in Thailand, Shannon Leone Fowler's life was shattered when a box jellyfish - the most venomous animal in the world - wrapped itself around her fiancé Sean's legs, stinging and killing him in minutes. Devastated by the tragedy, Shannon, a marine biologist, could not face returning to her home by the ocean. She had travelled the world with Sean, and to honour his memory set out on a new journey - this time alone, to make sense of her loss. From contemplating the silence of Auschwitz, to stumbling through poverty-stricken Romania and Bulgaria, to sitting shiva amid daily bombings in Israel, to finding humour and creativity in Sarajevo, a city still scarred by war, Shannon begins to chart a path through grief - learning to live with loss without letting it destroy her.New edition includes an interview between Shannon Leone Fowler and her mother, author of international bestseller The Jane Austen Book Club and Man Booker Prize shortlisted We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler.
Time is a Killer
By Michel Bussi
It is summer 1989 and fifteen-year-old Clotilde is on holiday with her parents in Corsica. On a twisty mountain road, their car comes off at a curve and plunges into a ravine. Only Clotilde survives.Twenty-seven years later, she returns to Corsica with her husband and their sulky teenage daughter. Clotilde wants the trip to do two things - to help exorcise her past, and to build a bridge between her and her daughter. But in the very place where she spent that summer all those years ago, she receives a letter. From her mother. As if she were still alive.As fragments of memory come back, Clotilde begins to question the past. And yet it all seems impossible - she saw the corpses of her mother, her father, her brother. She has lived with their ghosts. But then who sent this letter - and why?
A Twist of the Knife
By Becky Masterman
'Wow! Chilling, smart, funny, and what a voice she has' Gillian Flynn'A twisting, high-stakes story . . . Brilliant' Shari Lapena, author of The Couple Next DoorFormer FBI agent Brigid Quinn has seen it all, and survived. But nothing can cut her closer to the bone than family... When her father falls ill, Brigid returns to Florida. There, she meets up with former colleague Laura Coleman. Laura once saved Brigid's life, but now is working on an 'innocence project', investigating cold cases, and one in particular has caught her attention. Marcus Creighton was convicted of murdering his family fifteen years before, and has been sentenced to death. Worried that her friend is getting in too deep, and that there is more to this case than meets the eye, Brigid promises to help. But what if her instincts are betraying her?
By Edward Burman
Terracotta Warriors provides an intriguing, original and up-to-date account of one of the wonders of the ancient world. Illustrated with a wealth of original photographs, this is the first book available for the general reader which incorporates the most recent excavations, new theories and discoveries. In one of the most astounding archaeological discoveries of all time, the Terracotta Warriors were discovered by chance by farmers in 1974. We now understand that the excavated pits containing nearly eight thousand warriors and hundreds of horses are only part of a much grander mausoleum complex. There is a great deal still to be discovered and understood about the entire area whichis now thought to cover around 100 square kilometres. And there is the tantalising possibility of the opening of the imperial tomb.With unique access to the leading Chinese archaeologists and historians - including the full support of the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau, responsible for all archaeological sites and museums in the province - Burman is able to guide us through the ancient Chinese concept of longevity and the afterlife, essential to an understanding of the mausoleum. We can see as never before how the Terracotta Warriors strongly represent the fascinating circumstances in which they lived.
Titans of History
By Simon Sebag Montefiore
NEW EDITION - FEATURING UPDATED INTRODUCTION AND NEW CHAPTERS The giant characters of history - from Mozart to Michelangelo, Shakespeare to Einstein, Henry VIII to Hitler, Catherine the Great to Margaret Thatcher, Jesus Christ to Genghis Khan - lived lives of astonishing drama and adventure, debauchery and slaughter, but they also formed our world and will shape our future. In this eclectic and surprising collection of short and entertaining life stories, Simon Sebag Montefiore introduces his choice of kings, empresses, sultans and conquerors, as well as prophets, explorers, artists, actresses, courtesans and psychopaths. From the ancient times, via crusades and world wars, up to the 21st century, this accessible history introduces readers to the titans who changed the world: the characters we should all know, and the stories we should never forget.
Today Will Be Different
By Maria Semple
Eleanor Flood knows she's a mess. But today will be different. Today she will shower and put on real clothes. She will attend her yoga class after dropping her son, Timby, off at school. She'll see an old friend for lunch. She won't swear. She will initiate sex with her husband, Joe. But before she can put her modest plan into action - life happens.For today is the day Timby has decided to pretend to be ill to weasel his way into his mother's company. It's also the day surgeon Joe has chosen to tell his receptionist - but not Eleanor - that he's on vacation. And just when it seems that things can't go more awry, a former colleague produces a relic from the past - a graphic memoir with pages telling of family secrets long buried and a sister to whom Eleanor never speaks.
By David Render, Stuart Tootal
A gripping account of the Second World War, from the perspective of a young tank commander.In 1944, David Render was a nineteen-year-old second lieutenant fresh from Sandhurst when he was sent to France. Joining the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry five days after the D-Day landings, the combat-hardened men he was sent to command did not expect him to last long. However, in the following weeks of ferocious fighting in which more than 90 per cent of his fellow tank commanders became casualties, his ability to emerge unscathed from countless combat engagements earned him the nickname of the 'Inevitable Mr Render'.In Tank Action Render tells his remarkable story, spanning every major episode of the last year of the Second World War from the invasion of Normandy to the fall of Germany. Ultimately it is a story of survival, comradeship and the ability to stand up and be counted as a leader in combat.
Trenchard: Father of the Royal Air Force
By Russell Miller
'A magnetic and colourful portrait' Daily TelegraphHugh 'Boom' Trenchard was embarrassed by being described as 'The Father of the Royal Air Force' - he thought others were more deserving. But the reality was that no man did more to establish the world's first independent air force and ensure its survival in the teeth of fierce opposition from both the Admiralty and the War Office. Born in Taunton in 1873, Trenchard struggled at school, not helped by the shame of his solicitor father's bankruptcy when he was sixteen. He failed entrance examinations to both the Royal Navy and the Army several times, eventually obtaining a commission through the 'back door' of the militia. After service in India, South Africa - where he was seriously wounded - and Nigeria, he found his destiny when he joined the fledgling Royal Flying Corps in 1912, where he was soon known as 'Boom' thanks to his stentorian voice. Quick to recognise the huge potential aircraft offered in future conflicts, he rose rapidly to command the RFC in France during the First World War despite handicaps that would have blighted conventional military careers: he was obstinate, tactless, inarticulate and chronically unable to remember names - yet he was able to inspire unflagging loyalty among all ranks. Despite his conspicuous distrust of politicians, he served as a successful Chief of the Air Staff for a decade after the war and then, at the personal request of the King, took over as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, which he reorganised and reformed. He never wavered in his belief that mastery of the air could only be achieved by relentless offensive action, or in his determined advocacy of strategic bombing. His most enduring legacy was the creation of the finest air force in the world, engendered with the spirit that won the Battle of Britain.
By H.G. Wells
George Ponderevo, a student of science, is enlisted to help with the promotion of Tono-Bungay. Tono-Bungay is a harmful stimulant disguised as a miraculous cure-all, the creation of his ambitious uncle Edward. As the tonic prospers, George experiences a swift rise in social status, elevating him to riches and opportunities that he had never imagined, nor indeed desired. Meanwhile, George ricochets romantically between his unsuccessful marriage to Marion, his affair with the liberated Effie and his doomed relationship with the Hon. Beatrice Normandy, a childhood friend. But the Tono-Bungay empire eventually over-extends itself and George must try to prop up his uncle's finances by stealing the radioactive compound 'quap' from an island near Africa...
By Keith Lee Morris
The Addisons - Julia and Tonio, ten-year-old Dewey, and Uncle Robbie - are driving home after collecting Robbie from yet another trip to rehab. When a terrifying blizzard strikes outside the town of Good Night, Idaho, they seek refuge at the Travelers Rest, a formerly opulent but now crumbling hotel.With nowhere else to go, they decide to stay the night. But once inside, the family becomes separated and the hotel begins to work its eerie magic. As Julia and Tonio drift through the maze of the hotel's spectral interiors, Dewey ventures outside. Meanwhile, a desperate Robbie quickly succumbs to his old vices. As they desperately try to reach each other, they relive the same day over and over again. The mother, Julia, holds the key to their release - but can she save her family from the fate of becoming Souvenirs - those citizens trapped forever in Good Night-or, worse, from disappearing entirely?
By Elaine Feinstein
Ted Hughes is one of the greatest English poets of this century, yet his life was dogged by tragedy and controversy. His marriage to the American poet Sylvia Plath marked his whole life and he never entirely recovered from her suicide in 1963, though he chose to remain silent on the subject for more than 30 years. Many people, including his friend Al Alvarez, have held Hughes's adultery responsible for Plath's death. Elaine Feinstein first met Hughes in 1969, and she was a good friend of his and his sister Olwyn's, both of whom guarded the Plath estate. She knows many of the European and America poets who so influenced Hughes - Seamus Heaney, Thom Gunn, Miroslav Holub, and knows the world in which both he and Plath moved.
The Truth About Dogs
By Stephen Budiansky
Stephen Budiansky holds that virtually everything previously written about dogs is either wrong or misguided. Instead he maintains that to understand the true nature of dogs we need to stop interpreting their behaviour in the human terms of loyalty and betrayal. The truth is far more complex and surprising.The Dog Genome Project is currently laying the groundwork for identifying the genetic basis of why our dogs behave in the way they do. Other research investigates canine intelligence, and some remarkable experiments reveal what dogs can and cannot see. Budiansky brings together the disciplines of behavioural science, genetics, neuroscience and archaeology to show us how wrong we have been about man's best friend.
The Tipping Point
By J.G. Jurado
'I am no saint, no martyr, no terrorist, no madman and no murderer...I am a father. That's my story.'Dr David Evans, a top neurosurgeon at a hospital in Washington, faces the ultimate dilemma: if his next patient leaves the operating theatre alive, his daughter will die at the hands of a psychopath. He has 55 hours to save her. But Evans' patient is no ordinary man; he's the most important person in the US and what happens on the operating table may well change the course of history.
Travelling to Work
By Michael Palin
The third volume of Michael Palin's celebrated diaries.TRAVELLING TO WORK is a roller-coaster ride driven by the Palin hallmarks of curiosity and sense of adventure. Michael was not the BBC's first choice for the travel series AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, but after its success, the public naturally wanted more. Palin, however, had other plans. There was his film AMERICAN FRIENDS, a role in Alan Bleasdale's award-winning drama GBH, the staging of his West End play THE WEEKEND, a first novel, HEMINGWAY'S CHAIR, and a lead role in FIERCE CREATURES. He did find time for two more travel series, POLE TO POLE in 1991 and FULL CIRCLE in 1996, and wrote two bestselling books to accompany them. These ten years in different directions offer riches on every page.
A Tuscan Childhood
By Kinta Beevor
'Wonderful ... I fell immediately into her world' Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan SunKinta Beevor was five years old when she fell in love with her parents' castle facing the Carrara mountains. She and her brother ran barefoot, exploring an enchanted world. They searched for wild mushrooms in the hills with Fiore the stonemason, and learned how to tickle trout. The freedom and beauty of life at the castle attracted poets, writers and painters, including D.H. Lawrence and Rex Whistler. The other side to Kinta's childhood was very different, for it was spent with her formidable great aunt, Janet Ross, in a grand villa outside Florence. But soon the old way of life and Kinta's idyllic world were threatened by war.Nostalgic, yet unsentimental and funny, A TUSCAN CHILDHOOD is a book which transports the reader to bohemian, aristocratic Italy and the sound of bells from a distant campanile.
By Antonia Fraser
An atmospheric and gripping mystery set in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland from Lady Antonia Fraser's Jemima Shore series.'I warned you, Jemima Shore, things up here are seldom all they seem . . .'The body of a young man has been found floating in a pool on a remote island in the Scottish Highlands. It just happens to be the island that TV reporter Jemima Shore has rented for a holiday - a holiday that is rapidly falling apart. Confronted with a foreboding stone house, a bitter family feud and cryptic warnings from locals Jemima begins to regret her choice.It is only when another body is found tangled in weeds in the river she begins to realize she has become caught up in something very dark indeed. As she tries to fight her attraction to a suspect, Jemima struggles to work out just who she can trust. In this lonely spot it seems that nobody is quite as they first appear...
Two Eerie Tales of Suspense
By Paul Torday
In BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL DÉJÀ VU, Bobby Clarke arrives at a hotel on the Mediterranean shore. A former MP, unseated by the expenses scandal, he is spending time abroad to recover from a major illness. The other purpose of his stay is to write his memoirs in order to demonstrate that he was unfairly treated, having valiantly served his country for 30 years. He settles into his new surroundings but it soon becomes clear that all is not as it seems. For a start Bobby seems to have no memory of the immediate past. Each time he sits down to continue his memoirs he finds only a blank page. Every morning as he comes downstairs the same scene replays itself in front of him: a young woman and her son pass him on the stairs. And what has become of his wife?In THEO, John Elliott is the recently appointed vicar of St Joseph's - a dilapidated church with a congregation of 16 and a leaky roof. Having entered the Church more by default than through any great calling, he struggles to inject some life into his ailing parish. His wife Christine longs for them to escape the endless rounds of coffee mornings and cake sales. Then Theo, a child at her school, starts to exhibit strange marks on his hands and feet that vanish almost as soon as they have appeared. What has produced these marks - is it physical violence or something stranger? And what really did happen to the previous vicar of St Joseph's...
This One Is Mine
By Maria Semple
The sparkling debut novel of Maria Semple, author of the WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION-shortlisted WHERE'D YOU GO, BERNADETTE, including reading group notes.Violet Parry is living the quintessential life of luxury in the Hollywood Hills with David, her rock-and-roll manager husband, and her darling toddler, Dot. She has the perfect life - but she's deeply unhappy. David expects the world of Violet but gives little of himself in return. When she meets Teddy, a roguish small-time bass player, Violet comes alive, and soon she's risking everything for the chance to find herself again. Also in the picture are David's hilariously high-strung sister, Sally, on the prowl for a successful husband, and Jeremy, the sportscaster savant who falls into her trap.
Testament of Youth
By Vera Brittain
This classic memoir of the First World War is now a major motion picture starring Alicia Vikander and Kit Harington. Includes an afterword by Kate Mosse OBE.In 1914 Vera Brittain was 20, and as war was declared she was preparing to study at Oxford. Four years later her life - and the life of her whole generation - had changed in a way that would have been unimaginable in the tranquil pre-war era.TESTAMENT OF YOUTH, one of the most famous autobiographies of the First World War, is Brittain's account of how she survived those agonising years; how she lost the man she loved; how she nursed the wounded and how she emerged into an altered world. A passionate record of a lost generation, it made Vera Brittain one of the best-loved writers of her time, and has lost none of its power to shock, move and enthral readers since its first publication in 1933.