Related to: 'An Object of Beauty'


The Pleasure of my Company

Steve Martin
Steve Martin


Steve Martin
Steve Martin

A highly acclaimed L.A. fable by one of Hollywood's greatest comics'Is there no end to Steve Martin's talents? ... he has shown himself in recent years to be an accomplished writer, not least with this slickly written short novel... Martin's writing has real charm' THE TIMESMirabelle works as a shop assistant in the glove department at Niemans, LA's finest store; she also draws darkly gothic pictures at night. Adrift in the world and lonely, her situation is not improved by the fact that hardly anyone buys the kind of gloves that Niemans sell, so she spends most of her day leaning on the counter staring into empty space. There are two men in her life - Jeremy, a man who stencils amplifiers for a living, and Mr Ray Porter, an older man and millionaire who applies logic to relationships, and is serially confused and disappointed.In this exquisitely self-contained novel, Steve Martin touches on the surface horrors of LA - the false noses, lips, breasts and people - without exaggeration or explicitly playing for laughs. It's insightful, dark, funny and tender.


Pure Drivel

Steve Martin
Steve Martin

'A mix of urbane wit and surreal extrapolations - Douglas Adams meets Flann O'Brien' IndependentWho else but Steve Martin could combine irrefutable evidence that Mars is populated by kittens with a treatise on sledgehammers? In this brilliantly witty collection of pieces Steve Martin takes a subversive glimpse at the world and a sideways swipe at the conventional. From memory tips for the over-fifties to his insightful exposition of 'Wittgenstein's Banana', never has 'pure drivel' been so entertaining.

Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz is one of the UK's most prolific and successful writers. His novels The House of Silk and Moriarty were Sunday Times Top 10 bestsellers and sold in more than thirty-five countries around the world. His bestselling Alex Rider series for children has sold more than nineteen million copies worldwide. He is also the author of a James Bond novel, Trigger Mortis.As a TV screenwriter he created both Midsomer Murders and the BAFTA-winning Foyle's War; other TV work includes Poirot, the widely-acclaimed mini-series Collision and Injustice and most recently, New Blood for the BBC. Anthony sits on the board of the Old Vic and regularly contributes to a wide variety of national newspapers and magazines. In January 2014 he was awarded an OBE for services to literature. Anthony Horowitz lives in London. @AnthonyHorowitz

Arthur C. Clarke

Arthur C. Clarke was born in Minehead in 1917. During the Second World War he served as an RAF radar instructor, rising to the rank of Flight-Lieutenant. After the war he won a BSc in physics and mathematics with first class honours from King's College, London. One of the most respected of all science-fiction writers, he also won the KALINGA PRIZE, the AVIATION SPACE-WRITERS PRIZE,and the WESTINGHOUSE SCIENCE WRITING PRIZE. He also shared an OSCAR nomination with Stanley Kubrick for the screenplay of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, which was based on his story, 'The Sentinel'. He lived in Sri Lanka from 1956 until his death in 2008. To discover more about how the legacy of Sir Arthur is being honoured today, please visit

Belle de Jour

Belle de Jour is the nom de plume of a former London call girl. Find Belle online at

Brooke Magnanti

Brooke Magnanti received a Ph.D. in Forensic Pathology from the University of Sheffield, where she studied in the Medico Legal Centre and specialised in the identification of decomposed human remains. She later worked for the NHS in child health research and cancer epidemiology, before being revealed in 2009 as the anonymous author of the award-winning blog Belle de Jour and bestselling Secret Diary of a Call Girl series of books. She lives on the West Coast of Scotland with her husband and hardly ever sees dead people any more. Visit her website at, and follow her on Twitter @belledejour_uk

Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Carlos Ruiz Zafón is the author of six novels, including the international phenomenon The Shadow of the Wind, and The Angel's Game. His work has been published in more than forty different languages, and honoured with numerous international awards. He divides his time between Barcelona, Spain, and Los Angeles, California.

Ella Griffin

Ella Griffin was born in Dublin. She was an award-winning advertising copywriter before she took the leap into fiction. She has written three novels since 2011. She writes about love and loss and loves making readers laugh and cry (sometimes on the same page.) Ella lives with her husband in County Wicklow in Ireland.You can find Ella at, Facebook/EllaGriffinAuthor and @EllaGriffin1

Frank Herbert

Frank Herbert (1920-86) was born in Tacoma, Washington and worked as a reporter and later editor of a number of West Coast newspapers before becoming a full-time writer. His first SF story was published in 1952 but he achieved fame more than ten years later with the publication in Analog of 'Dune World' and 'The Prophet of Dune' that were amalgamated in the novel Dune in 1965.

Geoffrey Household

Geoffrey Household (1900-1988)Geoffrey Household was a prolific novelist of political thrillers and suspense stories, most notably the classic Rogue Male, which, The Times recently declared, 'remains as exciting and probing as ever'. He was as widely travelled as the settings of his books suggest: after graduating from Magdalen College, Oxford, with a first in English literature he worked abroad for 25 years, and served in British Intelligence during World War II in Greece and the Middle East. He married twice and eventually settled in the English countryside with his wife and three children.

Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben is an international No.1 bestselling thriller author. He is the winner of the EDGAR, SHAMUS and ANTHONY AWARDs - the first to receive all three. His books are published in 40 languages, with over 47 million copies in print worldwide. Both his standalone thrillers and series featuring the indomitable Myron Bolitar have been No.1 bestsellers in over a dozen countries, gracing the lists of the SUNDAY TIMES and the NEW YORK TIMES. His novel TELL NO ONE was turned into the smash hit French film of the same name, and received the highly coveted LUMIERE (French Golden Globe) for best picture as well as four CESARS (French Oscar). Harlan lives in New Jersey with his family. Find out more at or follow him on Twitter @HarlanCoben

Ian Rankin

Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature. His first Rebus novel was published in 1987, and the Rebus books are now translated into thirty-six languages and are bestsellers worldwide.Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He is the recipient of four Crime Writers' Association Dagger Awards including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. In 2004, Ian won America's celebrated Edgar Award for Resurrection Men. He has also been shortlisted for the Anthony Award in the USA, won Denmark's Palle Rosenkrantz Prize, the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir and the Deutscher Krimipreis. Ian Rankin is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Abertay, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Hull and the Open University.A contributor to BBC2's Newsnight Review, he also presented his own TV series, Ian Rankin's Evil Thoughts. Rankin is a number one bestseller in the UK and has received the OBE for services to literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh, where he lives with his partner and two sons. Twitter @Beathhigh

J.G. Farrell

J.G. Farrell was born in Liverpool in 1935 and spent a good deal of his life abroad, including periods in France and North America, and then settled in London where he wrote most of his novels.Among his novels, TROUBLES won the Faber Memorial Prize in 1970 and the Lost Man Booker prize in 2010 and THE SIEGE OF KRISHNAPUR won the Booker Prize in 1973.In April 1979 he went to live in County Cork where only four months later he was drowned in a fishing accident.

James Lee Burke

James Lee Burke is the author of many previous novels, many featuring Detective Dave Robicheaux. He won the EDGAR AWARD in 1998 for CIMARRON ROSE, while BLACK CHERRY BLUES won the EDGAR in 1990 and SUNSET LIMITED was awarded the CWA GOLD DAGGER in 1998. He lives with his wife, Pearl, in Missoula, Montana and New Iberia,

James Rollins

James Rollins is the author of several bestselling novels and series, including the SIGMA force series, a string of standalone thrillers and the novelisation of the cinema blockbuster INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL. His books are sold in more than 30 countries and have sold ten million copies worldwide. An amateur spelunker and scuba enthusiast, he also holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine. He currently lives and writes in Sacramento,

Jennifer Worth

Jennifer Worth trained as a nurse at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, and was later ward sister at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital in London, then the Marie Curie Hospital, also in London. Music had always been her passion, and in 1973 she left nursing in order to study music intensively, teaching piano and singing for about 25 years. Jennifer died in May 2011 after a short illness, leaving her husband Philip, two daughters and three grandchildren. Her books have all been bestsellers.

June Hampson

June Hampson was born in Gosport, Hampshire, where she still lives. She has had a variety of jobs including waitress, fruit picker, barmaid, shop assistant and market trader selling second-hand books.

Kate Mosse

Kate Mosse is an international bestselling author with sales of more than five million copies in 42 languages. Her fiction includes the novels Labyrinth (2005), Sepulchre (2007), The Winter Ghosts (2009), Citadel (2012), and The Taxidermist's Daughter (2015), as well as an acclaimed collection of short stories, The Mistletoe Bride & Other Haunting Tales (2013). Kate is the Co-Founder and Chair of the Board of the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction (previously the Orange Prize) and in June 2013, was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to literature. She lives in Sussex.

Kate Williams

Kate Williams is an author, social historian and broadcaster. The Storms of War, her first novel in the De Witt trilogy, was widely acclaimed, reviewed as 'spellbinding, gripping and beautiful'. She has always wanted to travel in time and wrote her first novel when she was seven (The Adventures of Maria) - it was rather short.Kate loves delving into archives, collections, diaries and letters. She has a DPhil from Oxford and is the author of the novel The Pleasures of Men and four historical biographies of Emma Hamilton, Queen Victoria, Elizabeth II and Empress Josephine - which is being made into a major TV series.She is Professor of Public History at the University of Reading. Kate is CNN's historian and royal expert, covers royal and national events on the BBC and other channels and regularly appears on other TV programmes, including BBC Breakfast, Restoration Home and The Great British Bake Off, discussing social and royal history, general politics and culture. She also loves quiz shows and is a regular on The Quizeum. She is the resident historian on Frank Skinner's BBC Radio 4 panel show The Rest is History, and writes features, reviews and comment pieces for various newspapers and magazines, including the Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent and Observer.Kate lives in London.Find out more at and follow her on Twitter @KateWilliamsme