By Steve Backshall
Steve Backshall's love affair with the mountains has taken him to some of the world's wildest places, environments that have the power to make a human being feel very small, very vulnerable and very alive. MOUNTAIN: A LIFE OF THE ROCKS is an account of his most breathtaking expeditions: heading into the 'Death Zone' on the roof of the world in the Himalayas, and picking a precarious route up hundreds of metres of rock in the Arctic and Alps. There are expeditions of exploration, as Steve makes the first ascent of jungle peaks and scales the tabletop mountains of the 'Lost World', Venezuela's Gran Sabana, in search of undiscovered animal species on their summits. Steve recalls his apprenticeship in the art of mountaineering with the Indian army, and the terror and near-disaster of some of his more ill-fated adventures, including the aftermath of the fall that should have ended his life.This is a tale of terror and ecstasy, a book that tries to get to the heart of why we risk our lives to climb and conquer. But most of all, MOUNTAIN is a love letter to the wilderness, from one of the world's most adventurous spirits.
By Anthony Horowitz
When editor Susan Ryeland is given the tattered manuscript of Alan Conway's latest novel, she has little idea it will change her life. She's worked with the revered crime writer for years and his detective, Atticus Pund, is renowned for solving crimes in the sleepy English villages of the 1950s. As Susan knows only too well, vintage crime sells handsomely. It's just a shame that it means dealing with an author like Alan Conway...But Conway's latest tale of murder at Pye Hall is not quite what it seems. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but hidden in the pages of the manuscript there lies another story: a tale written between the very words on the page, telling of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition and murder.From Sunday Times bestseller Anthony Horowitz comes Magpie Murders, his deliciously dark take on the cosy crime novel, brought bang- up-to-date with a fiendish modern twist.
By Mark Mason
'FASCINATING' Daily Mail'FULL OF AMAZING FACTS' The QI ElvesEach of the United Kingdom's 124 postcode areas has a story to tell, an unexpected nugget to dust off and treasure. Mark Mason has embarked on a tour of the country, immersing himself in Britain's history on a roundabout journey from AB to ZE. On the lookout for interesting place names and unusual monuments, along the way he discovers what the Queen keeps in her handbag, why the Jack Russell has a white coat and how Jimi Hendrix got confused by the M1. At the same time Mason paints an affectionate portrait of Britain in the 21st century, from aggressive seagulls in Blackpool to 'seasoned' drinkers in Surrey. And his travels offer the perfect opportunity to delve into the history of the Royal Mail, complete with pillar boxes, posties and Penny Reds - plus Oscar Wilde's unconventional method of posting a letter. A playful mix of fact, anecdote and overheard conversation, MAIL OBSESSION pays homage to Britain's wonderful past and its curious present.
The Midwich Cuckoos
By John Wyndham
In the sleepy English village of Midwich, a mysterious silver object appears and all the inhabitants fall unconscious. A day later the object is gone and everyone awakens unharmed - except that all the women in the village are discovered to be pregnant.The resultant children of Midwich do not belong to their parents: all are blonde, all are golden eyed. They grow up too fast and their minds exhibit frightening abilities that give them control over others and brings them into conflict with the villagers, just as a chilling realisation dawns on the world outside . . . The Midwich Cuckoos is the classic tale of aliens in our midst, exploring how we respond when confronted by those who are innately superior to us in every conceivable way.
By Michael Coveney
'Coveney is the only writer who could get under Smith's skin, capturing her steeliness and vulnerability' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAYFrom her days as a star of West End comedy and revue, Dame Maggie's path has led to international renown and numerous accolades including two Academy Awards. Recently she has been as prominent on our screens as ever, with high-profile roles as the formidable Dowager Countess of Grantham in DOWNTON ABBEY, as Professor Minerva McGonagall in the HARRY POTTER movie franchise and as the eccentric Miss Shepherd in the film version of THE LADY IN THE VAN by Alan Bennett. Paradoxically she remains an enigmatic figure, rarely appearing in public and carefully guarding her considerable talent. Drawing on personal archives, interviews and encounters with the actress, as well as conversations with immediate family and dear friends, Michael Coveney's biography is a captivating portrait of the real Maggie Smith.
Monday Starts on Saturday
By Arkady Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky
When young programmer Alexander Ivanovich Privalov picks up two hitchhikers while driving in Karelia, he is drawn into the mysterious world of the National Institute for the Technology of Witchcraft and Thaumaturgy, where research into magic is serious business. And where science, sorcery and socialism meet, can chaos be far behind?
Mistborn: A Secret History
By Brandon Sanderson
Mistborn: Secret History is a companion story to the original Mistborn trilogy. As such, it contains HUGE SPOILERS for the books Mistborn (The Final Empire), The Well of Ascension, and The Hero of Ages. It also contains very minor spoilers for the book The Bands of Mourning. Mistborn: Secret History builds upon the characterization, events, and worldbuilding of the original trilogy. Reading it without that background will be a confusing process at best. In short, this isn't the place to start your journey into Mistborn (though if you have read the trilogy - but it has been a while - you should be just fine, so long as you remember the characters and the general plot of the books). Saying anything more here risks revealing too much. Even knowledge of this story's existence is, in a way, a spoiler. There's always another secret.
Mistress of Mistresses
By E. R. Eddison
Edward Lessingham of England is dead, the last chapter of his extraordinary life written.Edward Lessingham of Zimiamvia is alive: now Lord Lessingham, cousin to the villainous Vicar of Rerek, scourge of King Mezentius in that fabled land. But the king is dead and his passing has left a dangerous power vacuum and the fate of the three kingdoms in the balance. Lord Lessingham makes valiant attempts to bring peace to the land but is stalled by the vicar's treachery and the strange ties that bind him to his cousin. Ties that may yet lead to bloody conflict in the three kingdoms . . .
Mystery in the Village
By Rebecca Shaw
It's a time of turmoil for the village of Turnham Malpas...Peter and Caroline Harris live a comfortable life at the rectory, but their cosy world is shaken up when Caroline's old flame Morgan Jefferson appears. He's intent on convincing her to pursue a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - in America. What's more, it looks like Caroline's career isn't the only thing Morgan is interested in.Newlyweds Chris and Deborah Templeton seem to be the perfect union. The old, unpredictable Chris has been replaced by a kinder and gentler man, yet he's still plagued by doubt. Where does Deborah disappear to for days on end? Why won't she tell her husband? After the tragic death of his young grandson, Ron Bissett is further devastated when he loses his wife. Sheila Bissett has taken her own life, and no one can fathom why. But when an unexpected letter is received, it soon becomes clear that Sheila was hiding far darker secrets than anyone ever knew.
Mist on the Saltings
By Henry Wade
Hilary and John Pansel have muddled along in their cottage in the small community of Bryde-by-the-Sea for ten years, hopeful that John's paintings will ignite a flame of interest in the art world.Now Hilary is being pursued by a successful writer from London, Dallas Fiennes, who has retreated to Norfolk to write another bestseller to replenish his bank account. For Dallas, Hilary is no more than an amusement - one of many - but when John becomes jealous of Dallas's attentions, Hilary is driven into the writer's arms.Then Fiennes is found dead, and John Pansel is the prime suspect . . .
The Missing Partners
By Henry Wade
Cousins James and Charles Morden run a shipping company in Liverpool that is, in the wake of the Great War, struggling. It appears there have been financial irregularities, and then James Morden's body is washed up on a bank of the Mersey. Evidence points to Charles Morden, after burning a lot of papers, having fled to New York.It turns out there's an illicit side to the business - and that James Morden's wife, Lilith, is a major player.The strands of the plot seem past untangling, but the family solicitor, William Turnbull, grasps every thread and draws them all together . . .
Master of Shadows
By Neil Oliver
In fifteenth-century Constantinople, Prince Constantine saves the life of a broken-hearted girl. But the price of his valour is high.John Grant is a young man on the edge of the world. His unique abilities carry him from his home in Scotland to the heart of the Byzantine Empire in search of a girl and the chance to fulfil a death-bed promise.Lena has remained hidden from the men who have been searching for her for many years. When she's hunted down, at last she knows what she must do.With an army amassing beyond the city's ancient walls, the fates of these three will intertwine. As the Siege of Constantinople reaches its climax, each must make a choice between head and heart, duty and destiny.
By Michael Moorcock
Shortlisted for the Whitbread prize, MOTHER LONDON is a dazzling journey through the heart of a city that the author loved. Spanning generations of characters across a variety of boroughs from the Blitz to the mid-eighties, this is a book about the real London that tourists will never find, a London which is being erased by the spread of high-rise flats and shining skyscrapers.Following a group of released mental patients across the years and streets of London, Moorcock creates a vivid impressionistic portrait of the city, from its downtrodden pubs to its green parks. All of the lead characters hear voices - but are they the murmurings of their damaged minds, or the true voice of the city?
A Million Years in a Day
By Greg Jenner
'A wonderful idea, gloriously put into practice. Greg Jenner is as witty as he is knowledgeable' - Tom Holland'You will love Greg Jenner's jolly account of how we have more in common with our ancestors than we might think ... all human life is here, amusingly conveyed in intriguing nuggets of gossipy historical anecdote' - Daily MailEvery day, from the moment our alarm clock wakes us in the morning until our head hits our pillow at night, we all take part in rituals that are millennia old. In this gloriously entertaining romp through human history - featuring new updates for the paperback edition - BBC Horrible Histories consultant Greg Jenner explores the hidden stories behind these daily routines.This is not a story of politics, wars or great events, instead Greg Jenner has scoured Roman rubbish bins, Egyptian tombs and Victorian sewers to bring us the most intriguing, surprising and sometimes downright silly nuggets from our past.It is a history of all those things you always wondered - and many you have never considered. It is the story of our lives, one million years in the making.
The Man Who Fell to Earth
By Walter Tevis
Thomas Jerome Newton is an extraterrestrial from the planet Anthea, which has been devastated by a series of nuclear wars, and whose inhabitants are twice as intelligent as human beings. When he lands on Earth - in Kentucky, disguised as a human - it's with the intention of saving his own people from extinction. Newton patents some very advanced Anthean technology, which he uses to amass a fortune. He begins to build a spaceship to help the last 300 Antheans migrate to Earth. Meanwhile, Nathan Bryce, a chemistry professor in Iowa, is intrigued by some of the new products Newton's company brings to the market, and already suspects Newton of being an alien. As Bryce and the FBI close in, Newton finds his own clarity and sense of purpose diminishing.
Merry Christmas Ms Minerva
By Edmund Cooper
This powerful and horrific novel is set in England in the early part of the 21st century. It tells of the tragic and terrifying events that occur on one day - Christmas Eve - in the life of Maggie Minerva, the attractive widow of a Trade Union boss. These events have startling repercussions not only for the people involved but also for the social structure of Britain.
The Murder in the Stork Club and Other Stories
By Vera Caspary
Contains four novellas: Stranger in the House; Sugar and Spice; The Murder in the Stork Club; Ruth.In these deftly woven noir novellas, Vera Caspary draws on her own rich, independent life as a woman at a time of great social change, including her own experience of Manhattan's Stork Club, which, from 1929 to 1965, was one of the most prestigious nightclubs in the world.The title novella The Murder in the Stork Club features working-class detective Joe Collins, who is married to Sara Haworth, a writer of radio mysteries who belongs in Stork Club café society. Joe has to try to clear Sara's name when an ex-lover is murdered shortly after she has dinner with him.
By Ping Coombes
Malaysian food has long been the hidden jewel of South-east Asian cookery - it's a fusion of the Chinese, Malay and Indian cultures that make up Malaysia itself. In her debut book Malaysia Ping Coombes shares all the secrets and delights of this extraordinary cuisine.Drawing inspiration from her mother and from the late-night stalls and street markets in her hometown of Ipoh, Ping has put together over 100 delicious recipes that serve as a perfect introduction to the tastes and textures of Malaysian cooking. Chilli crab and caramel pork, spicy laksas and rendangs, satays and tangy sambals: these classic dishes are intensely satisfying to make, share and devour!Welcome to Ping's family table - and as Ping's mother would say, 'sek fan la!': come and eat!
By R.J. Ellory
Prison changes a man. Sometimes in ways you can see. Usually in ways you can't.Henry Quinn only survived three years inside because of Evan Riggs, a one-time country singer, one-time killer, now serving a life sentence, no parole. On the day he gets out, Henry promises Evan he will find his daughter, the daughter he never met, and deliver a letter. A free man, Henry heads to the small Texan town where Evan grew up and where his brother Carson is Sheriff. There's no sign of the girl, and her uncle claims to know nothing of her whereabouts. But Henry isn't about to give up. Carson's behaviour towards him grows threatening, and Henry realises that there are dark secrets buried at the heart of this quiet town. What terrible thing drove the brothers apart, and what happened to Evan's daughter?
By Richard A. Lupoff
Marblehead encompasses all of 1927, a year in which H.P. Lovecraft, researching a book he'd been hired to write for the Nazis, travels the East Coast in the company of Charles Sylvester Viereck.