From Here to Eternity
By Caitlin Doughty, Landis Blair
As a practising mortician, Caitlin Doughty has long been fascinated by our pervasive terror of dead bodies. In From Here to Eternity she sets out in search of cultures unburdened by such fears. In rural Indonesia, she observes a man clean and dress his grandfather's mummified body. She meets Bolivian ñatitas (cigarette-smoking, wish-granting human skulls), and discovers the Japanese ritual of kotsuage, in which relatives use chopsticks to pluck their loved-ones' bones from cremation ashes. With curiosity and morbid humour, Doughty introduces us to inspiring death-care innovators, participates in powerful death practices almost entirely unknown in the West and explores new spaces for mourning - including a futuristic glowing-Buddha columbarium in Japan, a candlelit Mexican cemetery, and America's only open-air pyre. In doing so she expands our sense of what it means to treat the dead with 'dignity' and reveals unexpected possibilities for our own death rituals.
By George East
In the bestselling tradition of Peter Mayle, the second hilarious instalment of George and Donella East's adventures in Normandy.In FRENCH KISSES the Easts continue their adventures in a land where time is cheap, good friends priceless, and reluctant tractors are brought to life on a frosty morning with a shot of moonshine brandy. During an eventful year at the Mill of the Flea, we encounter a host of new improbable characters including the moustache-growing champion of Northern France and the vegetarian couple who discover they have set up residence next to a veal farm.But the clock is ticking as the couple struggle to make ends meet at the Mill of the Flea and placate their ever despairing bank manager. A series of survival schemes are increasingly ill-fated, and a plan to set up a programme of exchange visits threatens to flood Britain with illegal immigrants. Soon it appears that the Mill of the Flea will be lost and George and Donella find themselves forced into leaving their small corner of Paradise. Will this spell the end of the couple's adventures in France, or will the Easts once again survive the casual backhands of cruel fate? If you're a fan of France, life and laughter, you cannot fail to be enchanted by FRENCH KISSES ...
By Michael Palin
Michael Palin's terrific account of his journey through 18 countries bordering the Pacific Ocean, published by Phoenix for the first time.For almost a year, Michael Palin travelled through 18 countries on the perimeter of the world's largest ocean, in a spectacular journey of contrasts, drama and beauty. From head-hunters in Borneo to a meal of maggots in Mexico, his route takes him to some of the most politically volatile and physically demanding places on Earth. Whether climbing the Exalted Mountains in China, dodging icebergs in Chile, or being taken short on the banks of the Amazon, Michael Palin paints a vivid picture of the people and places around him.'It was a journey of dazzling surprises and jarring extremes. Beauty and ugliness, sophistication and squalor, unceasing urban noise and monastic tranquility ... This is a record of a year of wonder' Michael Palin.