By John Higgs
A journey along one of Britain's oldest roads, from Dover to Anglesey, in search of the hidden history that makes us who we are today.'A bravura piece of writing - Bill Bryson on acid' Tom HollandWinding its way from the White Cliffs of Dover to the Druid groves of Anglesey, the ancient road of Watling Street has gone by many different names. It is a road of witches and ghosts, of queens and highwaymen, of history and myth, of Bletchley Park codebreakers, Chaucer, Boudicca, Dickens and James Bond. But Watling Street is not just the story of a route across our island. It is an acutely observed exploration of Britain and who we are today, told with wit and an unerring eye for the curious and surprising.
The White Devil
By Domenic Stansberry
'EXCELLENT' Marcel Berlins,The Times'A GLITTERING NOIR TRIUMPH... IMPOSSIBLE TO RESIST' The Irish TimesWelcome to the dark side of the dolce vitaIn the hot, shadowy streets of Rome, Vicki Wilson's lovers keep turning up dead. Vittoria, as she's known in Italy, is a small-time actress who left behind a dark past in her native Texas and followed her fading writer husband to the Eternal City. Guided by her controlling, obsessive brother Johnny, Vittoria soon enters the upper circles of Roman society, becoming a paparazzi darling and mingling with shady cardinals and corrupt senators. Among them is Paolo Orsini, who quickly falls prey to Vittoria's charms. Too bad he's married; too bad his wife, an aging film icon, is murdered. From the ravishing beauty of Rome - a city of dark secrets held within the frescoed walls of glamorous palazzos - to the pristine beaches of Malibu and the dangerous alleys of a mysterious South American city, Vittoria finds herself at the heart of a lethal chase, spiralling dangerously out of control... Winner of the Hammett Prize for Best Crime Fiction An irresistible page-turner loved by readers: 'My, my, my, what a dark and sordid tale of jealousy, desire, and cold-blooded murder... I absolutely loved it' Goodreads review *****'Excellent read, it was tough to put this down... The writing and the tension in the story were phenomenal' Goodreads review ***** 'I couldn't put it down... Just incredible' Goodreads review ***** 'Modern noir as good as it gets' Goodreads review *****
By Jardine Libaire
'A love story of equal parts grit and glamour' Vanessa Diffenbaugh, author of The Language of FlowersFor Elise and Jamey, real love is not all hearts and flowers. It's gritty, transgressive, and infuriating. Jamey belongs to New York's elegant, ferocious elite, and feels 'owned' by his privileged background; Elise is from a mixed-race family and is uncensored, brave, idiosyncratic. They meet by chance and the bond is instant, but the situation quickly spins out of control. Set against the technicolour landscape of mid-80s New York, White Fur is a tale of money, class, sex and family; it questions what we will do to be free, and what it means to love like we might die tomorrow. 'Brilliantly written and deeply felt' Philipp Meyer, author of The Son '[The] poet laureate of late nights and young love' Ada Calhoun, author of St Marks is Dead
Waiting For Monsieur Bellivier
By Britta Rostlund
'Are you waiting for Monsieur Bellivier, madame?' Helena should of course say no. She doesn't know the man talking to her, she doesn't know Monsieur Bellivier, and she certainly isn't waiting for him. But, bored of life, and sparked by a whim, she says yes. Mancebo, a Tunisian shopkeeper, lives a quiet life manning his grocery near the Sacré-Cour. But one day he is approached by a woman asking whether he will spy on her boyfriend, who lives in the apartment across the street. To his surprise, Mancebo agrees. As Helena and Mancebo's missions overlap, they realise that the City of Light harbours more secrets in its cafés and courtyards than its inhabitants and visitors could possibly suspect . . .'An intriguing little mystery' Books on the 747 'An absolute delight to read . . . Paris is brought to life on the pages of this exquisite book about identity, finding yourself and the importance of taking a chance on life' Brew and Books Review
Welcome to Hell?
By John McManus
Ask a British football fan what they know about Turkish football, and they are unlikely to describe scenes of camaraderie, hospitality and humour. They are more likely to mention banners proclaiming 'Welcome to hell'. Or Leeds United supporters stabbed to death on an Istanbul street. Frustrated by the game's distorted image back home, John McManus set out to show the Turkish football that he knew - the rich, funny, obsessive, fan culture that he had encountered on the terraces. But he hadn't accounted for the politics. His voyage began at the start of one of the darkest periods in Turkey's modern history, marred by bombings, armed conflict and an attempted coup d'état. Football, he would soon discover, could not help but get dragged in. Travelling from the elite training facilities of Istanbul to dusty pitches on the Syrian border, taking in visits to far-flung clubs, encounters with characterful players and experiences at riotous matches along the way, Welcome to Hell? offers a unique perspective on an alluring yet troubled football culture, at once both familiar and miles apart from the game in Britain.
Waiting for the Albino Dunnock
By Rosamond Richardson
'A beautiful book' Tim Birkhead, author of Bird Sense'The prose is sublime, and so is the intelligence behind it' Bel Mooney, Daily MailThe extraordinary world of birds has the power to change lives, as it did the author's. The pleasure and fascination of bird-watching, together with the silence and stillness involved, can play a part in changing the way that we live our lives - and can help us when we have to deal with adversity.Personal and elegiac, Waiting for the Albino Dunnock shows us how beauty is central to our emotional wellbeing, and reminds us of the careless damage we are inflicting on the natural world. This glorious pilgrimage into the soaring world of birds opens our eyes afresh to the beauty which surrounds us.
By Walter Mosley
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 1993 GOLDEN DAGGER AWARD'In the crime field this is unquestionably the novel of the year' Literary Review'Perhaps the most important black literary figure to appear on the scene since James Baldwin's death' GuardianThe police don't show up on Easy Rawlins's doorstep until the third girl dies. It's Los Angeles, 1956, and it takes more than one murdered black girl before the cops get interested. Now they need Easy. As he says: "I was worth a precinct full of detectives when the cops needed the word in the ghetto." But Easy turns them down. He's married now, a father -- and his detective days are over. Then a white college coed dies the same brutal death, and the cops put the heat on Easy: If he doesn't help, his best friend is headed for jail. So Easy's back, walking the midnight streets of Watts and the darker, twisted avenues of a cunning killer's mind...
White Hart Lane
By Martin Lipton
For a football supporter, a real fan, there is nothing more evocative and emotional than the journey to their home ground, a place where they have experienced the highs and lows that the game brings - delight, despair, hope, pain and, occasionally, pure joy. But while those stadiums seem permanent and concrete, they are not.In May 2017, White Hart Lane, the backdrop to more than a century of Spurs history, staged its final game before the club was due to make the short - very short - journey to Tottenham's new home.With the active support and endorsement of the club, who have granted him exclusive access to senior figures, current employees at all levels and historical documents, Martin Lipton pays fitting tribute to the glory days at the Lane. He has talked to, among others, Jimmy Greaves, Martin Chivers, Pat Jennings, Glenn Hoddle, Ossie Ardiles, Chris Waddle, Teddy Sheringham, Jurgen Klinsmann, David Ginola, Gareth Bale and Harry Kane. And he has also interviewed fans, support staff, managers and board members in order to provide the complete and definitive story of White Hart Lane.
Where Poppies Blow
By John Lewis-Stempel
Winner of the 2017 Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize for nature writingThe natural history of the Western Front during the First World War'If it weren't for the birds, what a hell it would be.'During the Great War, soldiers lived inside the ground, closer to nature than many humans had lived for centuries. Animals provided comfort and interest to fill the blank hours in the trenches - bird-watching, for instance, was probably the single most popular hobby among officers. Soldiers went fishing in flooded shell holes, shot hares in no-man's land for the pot, and planted gardens in their trenches and billets. Nature was also sometimes a curse - rats, spiders and lice abounded, and disease could be biblical.But above all, nature healed, and, despite the bullets and blood, it inspired men to endure. Where Poppies Blow is the unique story of how nature gave the British soldiers of the Great War a reason to fight, and the will to go on.
The Woman on the Stairs
By Bernhard Schlink
For decades the painting was believed to be lost. But, just as mysteriously as it disappeared, it reappears, an anonymous donation to a gallery in Sydney. The art world is stunned but so are the three men who loved the woman in the painting, the woman on the stairs. One by one they track her down to an isolated cottage in Australia. Here they must try to untangle the lies and betrayals of their shared past - but time is running out. The Woman on the Stairs is an intricately-crafted, poignant and beguiling novel about creativity and love, about the effects of time passing and the regrets that haunt us all.
What I Learnt
By Jeremy Vine
'Full of glorious examples of caller wisdom [with] laugh-out-loud anecdotes' Sunday TelegraphJeremy Vine has been presenting his BBC Radio 2 show since 2003 - it now attracts more than seven million listeners. He calculates he has taken more than 25,000 calls from his listeners on issues big and small: life, love, lollipop ladies and poisonous plants.But what have the callers told him? If you listen to Radio 4, Brexit was a shock. If you are on Radio 2 it would not have surprised you at all. Where Jeremy's callers once expressed a kind of resignation ('But what can you do?') or a gloomy rejoinder ('You have to laugh'), now they give him their views expecting to be heeded.Listener wisdom is far more valuable than most of what we hear from appointed spokespeople. What was the response when Jeremy asked: 'Have you ever been pecked in the eye by a gannet?' Which subjects are most likely to start pitched warfare between different sections of the audience? (Answer: old people using buses, old people NOT using buses, cellophane, or Tony Blair saying anything.)In a book punctuated by his own vivid stories and laugh-out-loud moments, Jeremy Vine explains what it's like to hit a button and hear - totally unvarnished and unspun - the voice of the so-called 'ordinary' person. And why we should take notice.
By Robert Twigger
Home to mythical kingdoms, wars and expeditions, and strange and magical beasts, the Himalayas have always loomed tall in our imagination. Overrun at different times by Buddhism, Taoism, shamanism, Islam and Christianity, they are a grand central station of the world's religions. They are also a plant hunter's paradise, a climber's challenge, and a traveller's dream.In his quest to explore the region's seismic history, Twigger seeks out the Nagas, who helped his grandfather build a camp for Allied soldiers near Imphal during the Second World War and takes the most scenic bike ride in the world from Lhasa to Kathmandu. The result is a sweeping, fascinating and surprising journey through the history of the world's greatest mountain range.
We Only Saw Happiness
By Gregoire Delacourt
There is nothing like the love of a parent for a child. But what happens when that love falters?Deprived of his parents' love as a child, Antoine is determined to give his son and daughter the perfect childhood he never had. He is a dreamer, an optimist, a man who fell in love at first sight and who believes that he has found the secret to living a happy life. But when tragedy strikes he becomes someone even he does not recognise. Taken to his lowest point, he performs an act of desperation. But can he find a way back? And what does happiness actually mean?Provocative, unpredictable, heartbreaking and heartwarming, We Only Saw Happiness is a story about families, the choices we make, and the people we become.
Who Killed Piet Barol?
By Richard Mason
A Book of the Year - The TimesA Book of the Year - Observer A Book of the Year - Mail on SundayAvoiding the chaos of the First World War, Piet Barol leaves the bustle of civilization and heads into Africa's greatest forest. With a business to build and secrets to escape, his only weapons are courage and intuition. His African guides have their own reasons for taking him to their ancestral lands. What he finds there changes him forever, and unleashes a chain of events he can neither predict nor control... This "gorgeous treat of a novel" (The Times, Book of the Month) is a funny, sexy, irreverent, and intensely moving portrait of what unites human beings when their sacred mysteries are blown apart.
By Lindy Woodhead
War Paint is the story of two extraordinary women, Miss Elizabeth Arden and Madame Helena Rubinstein, and the legacy they left: a story of feminine vanity and marketing genius. Behind the gloss and glamour lay obsession with business and rivalry with each other. Despite working for over six decades in the same business, these two geniuses never met face to face - until now. 'The definitive biography of women and their relationships to their faces in the twentieth century' Linda Grant, Guardian'I have seldom enjoyed a book so much . . . the research is staggering . . . a wonderful read' Lulu Guinness
The World According to Anna
By Jostein Gaarder
When fifteen-year-old Anna begins receiving messages from another time, her parents take her to the doctor. But he can find nothing wrong; in fact he believes there may be some truth to what she is seeing. Anna is haunted by visions of the desolate world of 2082. She sees her great-granddaughter, Nova, roaming through wasteland with a band of survivors, after animals and plants have died out. The more Anna sees, the more she realises she must act to prevent the future in her visions becoming real. But can she act quickly enough?'Compelling' Sunday Times
By Stacy Schiff
'An oppressive, forensic, psychological thriller: J.K. Rowling meets Antony Beevor, Stephen King and Marina Warner ... Schiff's writing is to die for' THE TIMESIt began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister's niece started to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before panic had infected the entire colony, nineteen men and women had been hanged, and a band of adolescent girls had brought Massachusetts to its knees.Vividly capturing the dark, unsettled atmosphere of seventeenth-century America, Stacy Schiff's magisterial history draws us into this anxious time. She shows us how quickly the epidemic of accusations, trials, and executions span out of control. Above all, Schiff's astonishing research reveals details and complexity that few other historians have seen.
Whose Business is to Die
By Adrian Goldsworthy
It's 1811. Wellington has finally driven Napoleon's armies from Portugal, but the cost has been high. Fearing a French counter-attack, the British must rally their tired men and go on the offensive. Lieutenant Hamish Williams of the 106th Foot relishes the call to action. Spurred on by the prospect of at last redeeming himself in the eyes of Jane McAndrews, he hopes for a battlefield promotion. But Williams is marching into the bloodiest battle of the war - Albuera. As entire regiments are destroyed in the desperate pursuit of victory, the fate of Williams and his comrades hangs in the balance . . .
Woman of the Dead
By Bernhard Aichner
How far would you go to avenge the one you love?Blum has a secret buried deep in her past.She thought she'd left the past behind.But then Mark, the man she loves, dies.His death looks like a hit-and-run. It isn't a hit-and-run. Mark has been killed by the men he was investigating. And then, suddenly, Blum rediscovers what she's capable of...KILL BILL meets DEXTER via THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, WOMAN OF THE DEAD is a wild ride of a thriller where the first stage of grief is revenge. And revenge is a dish best served bloody.