East West Street
By Philippe Sands
WINNER OF THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE AND THE JQ-WINGATE LITERARY PRIZE'A monumental achievement: profoundly personal, told with love, anger and great precision' - John le Carré'One of the most gripping and powerful books imaginable' - SUNDAY TIMES When he receives an invitation to deliver a lecture in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, international lawyer Philippe Sands begins a journey on the trail of his family's secret history. In doing so, he uncovers an astonishing series of coincidences that lead him halfway across the world, to the origins of international law at the Nuremberg trial. Interweaving the stories of the two Nuremberg prosecutors (Hersch Lauterpacht and Rafael Lemkin) who invented the crimes or genocide and crimes against humanity, the Nazi governor responsible for the murder of thousands in and around Lviv (Hans Frank), and incredible acts of wartime bravery, EAST WEST STREET is an unforgettable blend of memoir and historical detective story, and a powerful meditation on the way memory, crime and guilt leave scars across generations.
By Mick Wall
Prince was an icon. A man who defined an era of music and changed the shape of popular culture forever. There is no doubt that he was one of the most talented and influential artists of all time, and also one of the most mysterious. On 21st April 2016 the world lost its Prince; it was the day the music died.This book will open a door to Prince's world like never before - from his traumatic childhood and demonic pursuit of music as a means of escape, to his rise to superstardom, professional rivalries and marriages shrouded in tragedy, internationally bestselling music writer Mick Wall explores the historical, cultural and personal backdrop that gave rise to an artist the likes of which the world has never seen - and never will again.Mick, a lifelong Prince fan, was one of the first UK journalists to ever write about this enigmatic star, and it was his story that put Prince on the cover of Kerrang magazine in 1984 and inspired the biggest mailbag of letters the magazine has ever had. As Prince sang in '7', 'no one in the whole universe will ever compare', and this book is a shining tribute to the forever incomparable Prince.
Close But No Cigar
By Stephen Purvis
For over a decade Stephen Purvis had been a pillar of Havana's expat community, one of many foreign businessmen investing in Cuba's crawl from Cold War communism towards modernity. But for reasons unknown to him he was also under State Security's microscope. One morning during the height of President Raúl Castro's purges in 2012, while his family slept the unmarked Ladas of State Security arrived at his home and he was taken away into the absurd and brutal world of Cuban justice.In this engrossing memoir, Purvis recounts his fifteen-month ordeal. Accused at first of selling state secrets, he is taken to the notorious interrogation centre Villa Marista, where he endures brutal conditions designed by the KGB and Stasi to break the bodies and minds of spies and political prisoners, and resists the paranoia and incompetence of his jailers. Later, held in a maximum-security prison, he finds himself surrounded by a motley crew of convicts: people-smugglers and drug-runners together with a handful of confused businessmen also awaiting formal charges.From his arrest to his farcical secret trial and sudden release, Purvis exposes the madness of modern Cuba with wit, grit and a sharp eye for character. As tourists flock to Havana to marvel at a city frozen in time, he shows that despite reforms and international reconciliation the Castro regime remains a corrupt, dictatorial relic. CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR is part thriller, part comedy and part morality tale, but most of all a true story that takes the reader into a dark side of a sunny place that remains an enigma.
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
Trenchard: Father of the Royal Air Force
By Russell Miller
Hugh '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.
My Life with Wagner
By Christian Thielemann
'Idiosyncratic, humorous, enlightening and written by one of the finest conductors alive ... This is the book to buy if you are going to see Wagner or listen to him at home' LITERARY REVIEWOver a distinguished career conducting some of the world's finest orchestras, Christian Thielemann has earned a reputation as the leading modern interpreter of Richard Wagner. MY LIFE WITH WAGNER chronicles his ardent personal and professional engagement with the composer whose work has shaped his thinking and feeling from early childhood.Thielemann retraces his journey with Wagner - from Berlin to Bayreuth via Venice, Hamburg and Chicago. Next he takes each opera in turn, his appraisal illuminated by a deep affinity for the music, an intimate knowledge of the scores and the inside perspective of an outstanding practitioner. And yet for all the adulation Wagner's art inspires in him, Thielemann does not shy away from unpalatable truths about the man himself, explaining why today he is venerated and reviled in equal measure. The result is a richly rewarding read for admirers of a composer who continues to fascinate long after his death.
Traveling with Ghosts
By Shannon Leone Fowler
In the summer of 2002, Shannon Leone Fowler was backpacking with her fiancé Sean in Thailand. The couple were planning to return home after their excursion to the island of Koh Pha Ngan but their plans were devastated when a box jellyfish - the most venomous animal in the world - wrapped itself around Sean's legs, stinging and killing him in minutes. Rejecting the Thai authorities' attempt to label Sean's death as 'drunk drowning', Shannon accompanied his body home to his stunned family - a family to which she suddenly no longer belonged.Shattered, untethered and alone, Shannon set out on a journey to make sense of her loss. From contemplating the silence of Auschwitz to learning the rules for sitting shiva amid daily bombings in Israel, to finding humour and creativity in Sarajevo, a city still scarred by the recent war, Shannon charts a path through sorrow towards recovery. Traveling with Ghosts is a beautiful memorial to love and an intensely personal account of learning to live with grief. It is the story of a brave journey towards survival.
Lenin the Dictator
By Victor Sebestyen
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.
Jam Butties and a Pan of Scouse
By Maggie Clarke, Cathryn Kemp
JAM BUTTIES AND A PAN OF SCOUSE is a gritty yet heart-warming memoir set against the backdrop of Liverpool's tightknit working-class docklands community. The story covers Maggie Clarke's upbringing in the tenements close to the docks, the River Mersey and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal: an area notorious for having the worst slums in Britain, yet the closest community as well.At the tender age of 11, Maggie Clarke finds herself the matriarch of the family when her Irish mother runs off with another man. Leaving school at 14 to work at a local factory putting sticks into lollies, she is determined to make a better life for herself and her family - before starting her own family with her childhood sweetheart, who she marries at 19 after 'falling in the family way'. She has one night of married life with her husband before he is sent to India with the Navy and is devastated when she never hears from him again, presuming him a casualty of the war that is raging at home and abroad. Another tragedy strikes when Maggie's brother Tommy is also claimed by the war, leaving her father inconsolable, but Maggie knows life has to go on and falls in love with Joseph, an Irish settler who she has 8 children with. But her happiness is short-lived as her first husband suddenly appears out of the blue demanding a divorce, and her new husband drinks away what little money they have, returning in fits of rage that leave Maggie and her children hungry and afraid. Many times she is only able to feed her brood by the kindness of neighbours putting a 'pan of scouse' on the range for her, or feeding her kids jam butties to help out. Maggie's story sweeps across the changing face of Liverpool, from its squalid dock streets, the tenement blocks and cobbled roads to the decline of the docklands, new council housing, the rise of the Mersey beat, the Beatles and the energy and passion of a city that is home to a cast of colourful characters with the resilience to withstand the heartbreak and hardships that only the poorest can know.
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.
The Little Ghost Girl
By Maggie Hartley
Ruth was a ghost of a girl when she arrived into foster mother Maggie Hartley's care. Pale, frail and withdrawn, it was clear to Maggie that Ruth had seen and experienced things that no 11-year-old should have to, that she's been conditioned to 'see no evil, speak no evil'. Ruth is in desperate need of help, but can Maggie get through to her and unlock the harrowing secret she carries? Through love, reassurance and patience, Maggie starts to unravel Ruth's painful past - a past defined by cruelty and abuse by the very people who should have protected her. Raised by a cruel stepmother and her father after her own mum abandoned her, Ruth was abused, underfed and ignored, while her half-siblings lived a life of luxury. It's up to Maggie to help Ruth find her voice; to be a ghost no more, and bring those who've harmed her to justice.