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Biography

Rosie: Scenes from a Vanished Life

Rosie: Scenes from a Vanished Life

Rose Tremain

$32.99
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Rose Tremain grew up in post-war London, a city of grey austerity, still partly in ruins, where both food and affection were fiercely rationed. The girl known then as 'Rosie' and her sister Jo spent their days longing for their grandparents' farm, buried deep in the Hampshire countryside, a green paradise of feasts and freedom, where they could at last roam and dream.

But when Rosie is ten years old, everything changes. She and Jo lose their father, their London house, their school, their friends, and - most agonisingly of all - their beloved Nanny, Vera, the only adult to have shown them real love and affection.

Briskly dispatched to a freezing boarding-school in Hertfordshire, they once again feel like imprisoned castaways. But slowly the teenage Rosie escapes from the cold world of the Fifties, into a place of inspiration and mischief, of loving friendships and dedicated teachers, where a young writer is suddenly ready to be born.
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Theft by Finding: Diaries: Volume One

Theft by Finding: Diaries: Volume One

David Sedaris

$22.99
The point is to find out who you are and to be true to that person. Because so often you can't. Won't people turn away if they know the real me? you wonder. The me that hates my own child, that put my perfectly healthy dog to sleep? The me who thinks, deep down, that maybe The Wire was overrated?

For nearly four decades, David Sedaris has faithfully kept a diary in which he records his thoughts and observations on the odd and funny events he witnesses. Anyone who has attended a live Sedaris event knows that his diary readings are often among the most joyful parts of the evening. But never before have they been available in print. Now, in Theft by Finding, Sedaris brings us his favorite entries. From the family home in Ralegh, North Carolina, we follow Sedaris as he sets out to make his way in the world. As an art student and then teacher in Chicago he works at a succession of very odd jobs, meeting even odder people, before moving to New York to pursue a career as a writer - where instead he very quickly lands a job in Macy's department store as an elf in Santaland...

Tender, hilarious, illuminating, and endlessly captivating, Theft by Finding offers a rare look into the mind of one of our generation's greatest comic geniuses.
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My Ikaria: How the people from a small Mediterranean island inspired me to live a happier, healthier and longer life

My Ikaria: How the people from a small Mediterranean island inspired me to live a happier, healthier and longer life

Spiri Tsintziras

$29.99
Three years ago, Spiri Tsintziras found herself mentally, physically and spiritually depleted. She was stretched thin – raising kids, running a household and managing a business. She ate too much in order to keep going and then slumped in front of the telly at night, exhausted, asking herself ‘What is it all for?’

Spiri’s quest for a healthier, more nourishing life took her from her suburban home in Melbourne to her family’s homeland of Greece, and to the small Greek island of Ikaria. The people of Ikaria – part of the famous ‘Blue Zone’ – live happy, healthy and long lives. Inspired by their example, Spiri made some simple lifestyle changes and as a result lost weight, gained energy and deepened the connection to those closest to her. Best of all, she didn’t have to give up bread or wine!

Spiri’s heartwarming memoir, which includes delicious family recipes, will console and entertain all of us who are bogged down in the daily grind – encouraging us to put our health and happiness first.
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Rise Up Women!: The Remarkable Lives of the Suffragettes

Rise Up Women!: The Remarkable Lives of the Suffragettes

Diane Atkinson

$45.00
Marking the centenary of female suffrage, this definitive history charts women's fight for the vote through the lives of those who took part, in a timely celebration of an extraordinary struggle An Observer Pick of 2018 A New Statesman Book of 2018 Between the death of Queen Victoria and the outbreak of the First World War, while the patriarchs of the Liberal and Tory parties vied for supremacy in parliament, the campaign for women's suffrage was fought with great flair and imagination in the public arena.

Led by Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters Christabel and Sylvia, the suffragettes and their actions would come to define protest movements for generations to come. From their marches on Parliament and 10 Downing Street, to the selling of their paper, Votes for Women, through to the more militant activities of the Women's Social and Political Union, whose slogan `Deeds Not Words!' resided over bombed pillar-boxes, acts of arson and the slashing of great works of art, the women who participated in the movement endured police brutality, assault, imprisonment and force-feeding, all in the relentless pursuit of one goal: the right to vote.

A hundred years on, Diane Atkinson celebrates the lives of the women who answered the call to `Rise Up'; a richly diverse group that spanned the divides of class and country, women of all ages who were determined to fight for what had been so long denied. Actresses to mill-workers, teachers to doctors, seamstresses to scientists, clerks, boot-makers and sweated workers, Irish, Welsh, Scottish and English; a wealth of women's lives are brought together for the first time, in this meticulously researched, vividly rendered and truly defining biography of a movement.
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Eat the Apple

Eat the Apple

Matt Young

$24.99
A gut-wrenching, beautiful memoir which explores toxic masculinity and the devastating consequences of war on one impressionable young soldier Matt Young joined the Marine Corps aged eighteen, after a drunken night that culminated in him crashing his car into a fire hydrant. The teenage wasteland he fled followed him to the training bases of California. Young survived training and then three deployments to Iraq as an infantryman.

Eat the Apple is the searing and honest response to those years. Visceral, ironic, self-lacerating and ultimately redemptive, Young's story drops us unarmed into Marine Corps culture and lays bare the vulnerability of those on the front lines and the true, if often misguided, motivations that drove a young man to a life at war.

Tender and brilliantly written, Eat the Apple is a powerful coming-of-age story that explores toxic masculinity and maps the insane geography of our times.
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The Work I Did: A Memoir of the Secretary to Goebbels

The Work I Did: A Memoir of the Secretary to Goebbels

Brunhilde Pomsel ,  Thore D. Hansen ,  Shaun Whiteside

$27.99
`I know no one ever believes us nowadays - everyone thinks we knew everything. We knew nothing. It was all a well-kept secret. We believed it. We swallowed it. It seemed entirely plausible'

Brunhilde Pomsel described herself as an `apolitical girl' and a `figure on the margins'. How are we to reconcile this description with her chosen profession? Employed as a typist during the Second World War, she worked closely with one of the worst criminals in world history: Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. She was one of the oldest surviving eyewitnesses to the internal workings of the Nazi power apparatus until her death in 2017. Her life, mirroring all the major breaks and continuities of the twentieth century, illustrates how far-right politics, authoritarian regimes and dictatorships can rise, and how political apathy can erode democracy.

Compelling and unnerving, The Work I Did gives us intimate insight into political complexity at society's highest levels - at one of history's darkest moments.
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Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy: Ernest Hemingway's Secret Adventures, 1935-1961

Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy: Ernest Hemingway's Secret Adventures, 1935-1961

Nicholas Reynolds

$27.99
In 2010, while he was the historian at the esteemed CIA Museum, Nicholas Reynolds, a longtime American intelligence officer, former U.S. Marine colonel, and Oxford-trained historian, began to uncover clues suggesting Nobel Prize-winning novelist Ernest Hemingway was deeply involved in mid-twentieth-century spycraft - a mysterious and shocking relationship that was far more complex, sustained, and fraught with risks than has ever been previously supposed. Now Reynolds's meticulously researched and captivating narrative, Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy, "looks among the shadows and finds a Hemingway not seen before" (London Review of Books), revealing for the first time the whole story of this hidden side of Hemingway's life: his troubling recruitment by Soviet spies to work with the NKVD, the forerunner to the KGB, followed in short order by a complex set of secret relationships with American agencies, including the FBI, the Department of State, the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), and the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a precursor to the CIA.

Starting with Hemingway's sympathy to antifascist forces during the 1930s, Reynolds illuminates Hemingway's immersion in the life-and-death world of the revolutionary left, from his passionate commitment to the Spanish Republic; his successful pursuit by Soviet NKVD agents, who valued Hemingway's influence, access, and mobility; his wartime meeting in East Asia with communist leader Chou En-Lai, the future premier of the People's Republic of China; and finally to his undercover involvement with Cuban rebels in the late 1950s and his sympathy for Fidel Castro. Reynolds equally explores Hemingway's participation in various roles as an agent for the United States government, including hunting Nazi submarines with ONI-supplied munitions in the Caribbean on his boat, Pilar; his command of an informant ring in Cuba called the "Crook Factory" that reported to the American embassy in Havana; and his on-the-ground role in Europe, where he helped OSS gain key tactical intelligence for the liberation of Paris and fought alongside the U.S. infantry in the bloody endgame of World War II.

As he examines the links between Hemingway's work as an operative and as an author, Reynolds reveals how Hemingway's secret adventures influenced his literary output and contributed to the writer's block and mental decline (including paranoia) that plagued him during the postwar years - a period marked by the Red Scare and McCarthy hearings, which destroyed the life of anyone with Soviet connections. Reynolds also illuminates how those same experiences played a role in some of Hemingway's greatest works, including For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea, while also adding to the burden that he carried at the end of his life and perhaps contributing to his suicide.

A literary biography with the soul of an espionage thriller, Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy is an essential contribution to our understanding of the life, work, and fate of one of America's most legendary authors.
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Rumi's Secret: The Life of the Sufi Poet of Love

Rumi's Secret: The Life of the Sufi Poet of Love

Brad Gooch

$29.99
The ecstatic love poems of Rumi, a Persian poet and Sufi mystic born more than eight centuries ago, are beloved by millions of readers in America as well as around the world. Rumi has been compared to Shakespeare for his outpouring of creativity and St. Francis of Assisi for his spiritual wisdom. Yet his life has long remained the stuff of legend rather than intimate knowledge.

In this breakthrough biography, Brad Gooch brilliantly brings to life the man and puts a face to the name Rumi, while at the same time vividly coloring in his time and place-a world as rife with conflict as our own. The map of Rumi's life stretched over 2,500 miles. Gooch retraces this epic journey from Central Asia, where Rumi was born in 1207, traveling with his family-who were displaced by Mongol terror-as they settle in Konya, Turkey. Pivotal was the disruptive appearance of Shams of Tabriz, who, in the 1240s, taught Rumi to whirl and transformed him from a respectable Muslim preacher into a poet and mystic. Their vital connection as teacher and pupil, friend and beloved, is one of the world's greatest spiritual love stories. When Shams disappeared, Rumi coped with the pain of separation by composing joyous poems of reunion, both human and divine.
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Unmasked

Unmasked

Andrew Lloyd Webber

$32.99
"You have the luck of Croesus on stilts (as my Auntie Vi would have said) if you've had the sort of career, ups and downs, warts and all that I have in that wondrous little corner of show business called musical theatre."

One of the most successful and distinguished artists of our time, Andrew Lloyd Webber has reigned over the musical theatre world for nearly five decades. The winner of numerous awards, including multiple Tonys and an Oscar, Lloyd Webber has enchanted millions worldwide with his music and numerous hit shows, including Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cats, The Phantom of the Opera-Broadway's longest running show-and most recently, School of Rock. In Unmasked, written in his own inimitable, quirky voice, the revered, award-winning composer takes stock of his achievements, the twists of fate and circumstance which brought him both success and disappointment, and the passions that inspire and sustain him.

The son of a music professor and a piano teacher, Lloyd Webber reveals his artistic influences, from his idols Rodgers and Hammerstein and the perfection of South Pacific's ‘Some Enchanted Evening,' to the pop and rock music of the 1960s and Puccini's Tosca, to P. G. Wodehouse and T. S. Eliot. Lloyd Webber recalls his bohemian London youth, reminiscing about the happiest place of his childhood, his homemade Harrington Pavilion-a make-believe world of musical theatre in which he created his earliest entertainments.

A record of several exciting and turbulent decades of British and American musical theatre and the transformation of popular music itself, Unmasked is ultimately a chronicle of artistic creation. Lloyd Webber looks back at the development of some of his most famous works and illuminates his collaborations with luminaries such as Tim Rice, Robert Stigwood, Harold Prince, Cameron Mackintosh, and Trevor Nunn. Taking us behind the scenes of his productions, Lloyd Webber reveals fascinating details about each show, including the rich cast of characters involved with making them, and the creative and logistical challenges and artistic political battles that ensued.

Lloyd Webber shares his recollections of the works that have become cultural touchstones for generations of fans: writings songs for a school production that would become his first hit, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; finding the coterie of performers for his classic rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar; developing his first mega-hit, Evita, which would win seven Tonys Awards, including Best Musical; staking his reputation and fortune on the groundbreaking Cats; and making history with the dazzling The Phantom of the Opera.

Reflecting a life that included many passions (from architecture to Turkish Swimming Cats), full of witty and revealing anecdotes, and featuring cameo appearances by numerous celebrities-Elaine Paige, Sarah Brightman, David Frost, Julie Covington, Judi Dench, Richard Branson, A.R. Rahman, Mandy Patinkin, Patti LuPone, Richard Rodgers, Norman Jewison, Milos Forman, Plácido Domingo, Barbra Streisand, Michael Crawford, Gillian Lynne, Betty Buckley, and more-Unmasked at last reveals the true face of the extraordinary man beneath the storied legend.
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A Dangerous Woman: American Beauty, Noted Philanthropist, Nazi Collaborator - The Life of Florence Gould

A Dangerous Woman: American Beauty, Noted Philanthropist, Nazi Collaborator - The Life of Florence Gould

Susan Ronald

$39.99
Born in turn-of-the-century San Francisco to French parents, Florence moved to Paris, aged eleven. Believing that only money brought respectability and happiness, she became the third wife of Frank Jay Gould, son of the railway millionaire Jay Gould. She guided Frank’s millions into hotels and casinos, creating a luxury hotel and casino empire. She entertained Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, Joseph Kennedy, and many Hollywood stars, like Charlie Chaplin, who became her lover.

While the party ended for most Americans after the Crash of 1929, Frank and Florence refused to go home. During the Occupation, Florence took several German lovers and hosted a controversial salon. As the Allies closed in, the unscrupulous Florence became embroiled in a notorious money laundering operation for fleeing high-ranking Nazis.

Yet after the war, not only did she avoid prosecution, but her vast fortune bought her respectability as a significant contributor to the Metropolitan Museum, New York University, and Cornell Medical School, among many others. It also earned her friends like Estée Lauder who obligingly looked the other way. A seductive and utterly amoral woman who loved to say “money doesn’t care who owns it”, Florence’s life proved a strong argument that perhaps money can buy happiness after all.
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The Cost of Living

The Cost of Living

Deborah Levy

$29.99
The audacious and elegiac second installment in her 'living autobiography' on writing and womanhood, from the twice-Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author of Hot Milk and Swimming Home 'Extraordinary and beautiful, suffused with wit and razor sharp insights' Financial Times Following the acclaimed Things I Don't Want to Know, Deborah Levy returns to the subject of her life in letters. The Cost of Living reveals a writer in radical flux, considering what it means to live with value and meaning and pleasure. This perfectly crafted snapshot of a woman in the process of transformation is as distinctive, wide-ranging and original as Levy's acclaimed novels, an essential read for every Deborah Levy fan.

'Wise, subtle and ironic, Levy is a brilliant writer . . . Each sentence is a small masterpiece of clarity and poise' Telegraph 'This short, sensual, embattled memoir is not only about the painful landmarks in her life - the end of a marriage, the death of a mother - it is about what it is to be alive. I can't think of any other writer aside from Virginia Woolf who writes better about what it is to be a woman' Observer
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The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: A Memoir of Madness and Recovery

The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: A Memoir of Madness and Recovery

Barbara K. Lipska

$29.99
'Oliver Sacks-meets-When Breath Becomes Air ... Barbara Lipska's remarkable story illuminates the many mysteries of our fragile yet resilient brains.' LISA GENOVA, bestselling author of Still Alice and Every Note Played All we think, feel and dream, how we move, if we move, everything that makes us who we are, comes from the brain. We are the brain. So what happens when the brain fails? What happens when we lose our mind?

In January 2015 renowned neuroscientist Barbara Lipska's melanoma spread to her brain. It was, in effect, a death sentence. She had surgery, radiation treatments and entered an immunotherapy clinical trial. And then her brain started to play tricks on her. The expert on mental illness - who had spent a career trying to work out how the brain operates and what happens when it fails - experienced what it is like to go mad.

She began to exhibit paranoia and schizophrenia-like symptoms. She became disinhibited, completely unaware of her inappropriate behaviour. She got lost driving home from work, a journey she did every day. She couldn't remember things that had just happened to her. Small details like what she was having for breakfast became an obsession, but she ignored the fact that she was about to die. And she remembers every moment with absolute clarity.

Weaving the science of the mind and the biology of the brain into her deeply personal story, this is the dramatic account of Dr Lipska's own brilliant brain gone awry.
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In Byron's Wake

In Byron's Wake

Miranda Seymour

$45.00
In 1815, the clever, courted and cherished Annabella Milbanke married the notorious and brilliant Lord Byron. Just one year later, she fled, taking with her their baby daughter, the future Ada Lovelace. Byron himself escaped into exile and died as a revolutionary hero in 1824, aged 36. The one thing he had asked his wife to do was to make sure that their daughter never became a poet.

Ada didn't. Brought up by a mother who became one of the most progressive reformers of Victorian England, Byron's little girl was introduced to mathematics as a means of calming her wild spirits. Educated by some of the most learned minds in England, she combined that scholarly discipline with a rebellious heart and a visionary imagination.

As a child invalid, Ada dreamed of building a steam-driven flying horse. As an exuberant and boldly unconventional young woman, she amplified her explanations of Charles Babbage's unbuilt calculating engine to predict, as nobody would do for another century, the dawn today of our modern computer age. When Ada died - like her father, she was only 36 - great things seemed still to lie ahead for her as a passionate astronomer. Even while mired in debt from gambling and crippled by cancer, she was frenetically employing Faraday's experiments with light refraction to explore the analysis of distant stars.

Drawing on fascinating new material, Seymour reveals the ways in which Byron, long after his death, continued to shape the lives and reputations both of his wife and his daughter. During her life, Lady Byron was praised as a paragon of virtue; within ten years of her death, she was vilified as a disgrace to her sex. Well over a hundred years later, Annabella Milbanke is still perceived as a prudish wife and cruelly controlling mother. But her hidden devotion to Byron and her tender ambitions for his mercurial, brilliant daughter reveal a deeply complex but unsuspectedly sympathetic personality.

Miranda Seymour has written a masterful portrait of two remarkable women, revealing how two turbulent lives were often governed and always haunted by the dangerously enchanting, quicksilver spirit of that extraordinary father whom Ada never knew.
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In Exile from St Petersburg

In Exile from St Petersburg

Anatol Kagan

$29.95
With a passport stamped 'never to return', St Petersburg intellectual and publisher Abram Kagan was expelled by Lenin in 1922, ending up in Berlin, where his young son Anatol would read the proofs of Leon Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution.

But these were dangerous times for people of Jewish origins and soviet passports, witnessing and opposing the Nazis coming to power.
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Hemingway at War: Ernest Hemingway's Adventures as a World War II Correspondent

Hemingway at War: Ernest Hemingway's Adventures as a World War II Correspondent

Terry Mort

$22.95
From Omaha Beach on D-Day and the French Resistance to the tragedy of Huertgen Forest and the Liberation of Paris, this is the story of Ernest Hemingway's adventures in journalism during World War II.

In the spring of 1944, Hemingway traveled to London and then to France to cover World War II for Colliers Magazine.

Obviously he was a little late in arriving. Why did he go? He had resisted this kind of journalism for much of the early period of the war, but when he finally decided to go, he threw himself into the thick of events and so became a conduit to understanding some of the major events and characters of the war.

He flew missions with the RAF (in part to gather material for a novel); he went on a landing craft on Omaha Beach on D-Day; he went on to involve himself in the French Resistance forces in France and famously rode into the still dangerous streets of liberated Paris. And he was at the German Siegfried line for the horrendous killing ground of the Huertgen Forest, in which his favored 22nd Regiment lost nearly man they sent into the fight. After that tragedy, it came to be argued, he was never the same.

This invigorating narrative is also, in a parallel fashion, an investigation into Hemingway's subsequent work-much of it stemming from his wartime experience-which shaped the latter stages of his career in dramatic fashion.
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It's All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World's Family Tree

It's All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World's Family Tree

A. J. Jacobs

$24.99
A.J. Jacobs has received some strange emails over the years, but this note was perhaps the strangest: You don't know me, but I'm your eighth cousin. And we have over 80,000 relatives of yours in our database. And so begins A.J. Jacobs's quest to build the biggest family tree in history. In an era of us-versus-them thinking, this book is a hilarious, heartfelt and profound exploration of what binds us all - where family begins, how far it goes, and the science that is revolutionizing the way we think about ethnicity, history and the human species. This book is about A.J. Jacobs's family. But it's also about your family. Because it is the same family.
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Meghan: A Hollywood Princess

Meghan: A Hollywood Princess

Andrew Morton

$29.99
Meghan Markle, the star of the long-running TV show Suits, is set to refashion the House of Windsor. Her marriage to Prince Harry in May at Windsor Castle is already the most anticipated event of 2018. The warmth and affection Meghan and Harry displayed during their engagement interview is light years away from the stilted 'whatever love means' conversation with Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. In Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, #1 New York Times bestselling author Andrew Morton tells her compelling story and places her life in context with other American women who have had a dramatic impact on royalty as she forges her way as a truly modern princess.

Written as only Morton can, Meghan will delve into:

The dramatic and fascinating story of her family lineage, with a branch from the royal bloodline. The challenges of being bi-racial at the Catholic school she attended growing up. Meghan's thwarted ambitions and rise to stardom, including her stint as a suitcase girl on Deal or No Deal. Her fractured love life - a failed marriage to a fellow actor and the celebrity chef she left him for. The blind date that led to her destiny...

Meghan Markle, the girl from Woodland Hills, has climbed a social mountain to become a royal princess. Little did she know when she posed for pictures outside Buckingham Palace that one day she would be meeting the Queen and marrying her grandson. This is truly a modern day fairy tale.
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Riot Days

Riot Days

Maria Alyokhina

$22.99
From activist, Pussy Riot member and freedom fighter Maria Alyokhina, a raw, hallucinatory, passionate account of her arrest, trial and imprisonment in Siberian jail for standing up for what she believed in.

'One of the most brilliant and inspiring things I've read in years. Couldn't put it down. This book is freedom' Chris Kraus, author of I Love Dick 'A women's prison memoir like no other! One tough cookie!' @MargaretAtwood 'Once you begin reading, you are completely disarmed, unable to put it down until the last page' Marina Abramovic People who believe in freedom and democracy think it will exist forever.

That is a mistake. What happened in Russia - what happened to me - could happen anywhere.

When I was jailed for political protest, I learned that prison doesn't just teach you to follow the rules. It teaches you to think that you can never break them.

It's inevitable that the prison gates will open at some point. But this doesn't mean that you leave the 'prisoner' category and go straight into the category of 'the free'.

Freedom does not exist unless you fight for it every day.

This is the story about how I made a choice.
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The Unmapped Mind: A Memoir of Neurology, Incurable Disease and Learning How to Live

The Unmapped Mind: A Memoir of Neurology, Incurable Disease and Learning How to Live

Christian Donlan

$35.00
My daughter took her first steps on the day I was diagnosed - a juxtaposition so perfect, so trite, so filled with the tacky artifice of real life that I am generally too embarrassed to tell anybody about it.

Shortly after his daughter Leontine was born, Christian Donlan's world shifted an inch to the left. He started to miss light switches and door handles when reachingfor them. He would injure himself in a hundred stupid ways every day. First playful and then maddening, these strange experiences were the early symptoms of multiple sclerosis, an incurable and degenerative neurological disease.

Ashis young daughter starts to investigate the world around her, he too finds himself exploring a new landscape - the shifting and bewildering territory ofthe brain. He is a tourist in his own body, a stranger in a place that plays bizarre tricks on him, from dizzying double vision to mystifying memory loss. Determined to master his new environment, Christian takes us on a fascinating and illuminating journey: through the history of neurology, the joys andanxieties of parenthood, and the ultimate realisation of what, after everything you take for granted has been stripped away from you, is truly important in life.

An Unmapped Mind is a profoundly personal, uplifting and enriching memoir that will change the way you see your body, your mind, and the world around you.
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Once Upon A Time in the East: A Story of Growing up

Once Upon A Time in the East: A Story of Growing up

Xiaolu Guo

$19.99
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award 2017
Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award 2017
Shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize 2018
Selected as a 2017 Book of the Year in the Sunday Times

Xiaolu Guo meets her parents for the first time when she is almost seven. They are strangers to her.

When she is born in 1973, her parents hand her over to a childless peasant couple in the mountains. Aged two, and suffering from malnutrition on a diet of yam leaves, they leave Xiaolu with her illiterate grandparents in a fishing village on the East China Sea.

Once Upon a Time in the East takes Xiaolu from a run-down shack to film school in a rapidly changing Beijing, navigating the everyday peculiarity of modern China- censorship, underground art, Western boyfriends. In 2002 she leaves Beijing on a scholarship to study in Britain. Now, after a decade in Europe, her tale of East to West resonates with the insight that can only come from someone who is both an outsider and at home.
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Am I There Yet?: The Loop-De-Loop, Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood

Am I There Yet?: The Loop-De-Loop, Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood

Mari Andrew

$24.99
This on-point guide to growing up by Instagram sensation Mari Andrew captures the feelings and comical complexities of millennials and adulthood with essays and illustrations. In the journey toward adulthood, it is easy to find yourself treading the path of those who came before you; the path often appears straight and narrow, with a few bumps in the road and a little scenery to keep you inspired. But what if you don't want to walk a worn path? What if you want to wander? What if there is no map to guide you through the detours life throws your way? From creating a home in a new city to understanding the link between a good hair dryer and good self-esteem to dealing with the depths of heartache and loss, these tales of the twenty-something document a road less travelled - a road that sometimes is just the way you're meant to go.
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Man of Iron: Thomas Telford and the Building of Britain

Man of Iron: Thomas Telford and the Building of Britain

Julian Glover

$19.99
The enthralling Sunday Times-bestselling biography of the shepherd boy who changed the world with his revolutionary engineering and whose genius we still benefit from today Thomas Telford's name is familiar; his story less so. Born in 1757 in the Scottish Borders, his father died in his infancy, plunging the family into poverty. Telford's life soared to span almost eight decades of gloriously obsessive, prodigiously productive energy. Few people have done more to shape our nation.

A stonemason turned architect turned engineer, Telford invented the modern road, built churches, harbours, canals, docks, the famously vertiginous Pontcysyllte aqueduct in Wales and the dramatic Menai Bridge. His constructions were the greatest in Europe for a thousand years, and - astonishingly - almost everything he ever built remains in use today.

Intimate, expansive and drawing on contemporary accounts, Man of Iron is the first full modern biography of Telford. It is a book of roads and landscapes, waterways and bridges, but above all, of how one man transformed himself into the greatest engineer Britain has ever produced.
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Evolution of Desire: A Life of Ren� Girard

Evolution of Desire: A Life of Ren� Girard

Cynthia L. Haven

$55.95
René Girard (1923–2015) was one of the leading thinkers of our era - a provocative sage who offered a bold, sweeping vision of human nature, human history, and human destiny. In this first-ever biographical study, Cynthia L. Haven traces the evolution of Girard’s thought in parallel with his life and times, and reveals his insights into the collective delusions of our technological world and the changing nature of warfare. Evolution of Desire: A Life of René Girard provides an essential introduction to one of the twentieth century’s most controversial and original minds.
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The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir

The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir

Thi Bui

$24.99
Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family's daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.

At the heart of Sui's story is a universal struggle: While adjusting to life as a first- time mother, she ultimately discovers what it means to be a parent-the endless sacrifices, the unnoticed gestures, and the depths of unspoken love. Despite how impossible it seems to take on the simultaneous roles of both parent and child, Bui pushes through.

With haunting, poetic writing and breathtaking art, she examines the strength of family, the importance of identity, and the meaning of home. In what Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen calls "a book to break your heart and heal it, The Best We Could Do brings to life Thi Sui's journey of understanding, and provides inspiration to all of those who search for a better future while longing for a simpler past.
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A Man for All Markets: From Las Vegas to Wall Street, How I Beat the Dealer and the Market

A Man for All Markets: From Las Vegas to Wall Street, How I Beat the Dealer and the Market

Edward O. Thorp ,  Nassim Nicholas Taleb

$33.95  $30.55
The incredible true story of the card-counting mathematics professor who taught the world how to beat the dealer and, as the first of the great quantitative investors, ushered in a revolution on Wall Street.

A child of the Great Depression, legendary mathematician Edward O. Thorp invented card counting, proving the seemingly impossible: that you could beat the dealer at the blackjack table. As a result he launched a gambling renaissance. His remarkable success - and mathematically unassailable method - caused such an uproar that casinos altered the rules of the game to thwart him and the legions he inspired. They barred him from their premises, even put his life in jeopardy. Nonetheless, gambling was forever changed.

Thereafter, Thorp shifted his sights to “the biggest casino in the world”: Wall Street. Devising and then deploying mathematical formulas to beat the market, Thorp ushered in the era of quantitative finance we live in today. Along the way, the so-called godfather of the quants played bridge with Warren Buffett, crossed swords with a young Rudy Giuliani, detected the Bernie Madoff scheme, and, to beat the game of roulette, invented, with Claude Shannon, the world’s first wearable computer.

Here, for the first time, Thorp tells the story of what he did, how he did it, his passions and motivations, and the curiosity that has always driven him to disregard conventional wisdom and devise game-changing solutions to seemingly insoluble problems. An intellectual thrill ride, replete with practical wisdom that can guide us all in uncertain financial waters, A Man for All Markets is an instant classic - a book that challenges its readers to think logically about a seemingly irrational world.
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Your Life In My Hands: A Junior Doctor's Story

Your Life In My Hands: A Junior Doctor's Story

Rachel Clarke

$16.99
This extraordinary memoir offers a glimpse into a life spent between the operating room and the bedside, the mortuary and the doctors' mess, telling powerful truths about today's NHS UK frontline.

'I am a junior doctor. It is 4 a.m. I have run arrest calls, treated life threatening bleeding, held the hand of a young woman dying of cancer, scuttled down miles of dim corridors wanting to sob with sheer exhaustion, forgotten to eat, forgotten to drink, drawn on every fibre of strength that I possess to keep my patients safe from harm.'

How does it feel to be spat out of medical school into a world of pain, loss and trauma that you feel wholly ill-equipped to handle? To be a medical novice who makes decisions which - if you get them wrong - might forever alter, or end, a person's life?

In Your Life in My Hands, television journalist turned junior doctor Rachel Clarke captures the extraordinary realities of life on the NHS frontline. During 2016's historic junior doctor strikes, Rachel was at the forefront of the campaign against the government's imposed contract upon young doctors. Her heartfelt, deeply personal account of life as a junior doctor in today's NHS is both a powerful polemic on the degradation of Britain's most vital public institution and a love letter of optimism and hope to that same health service.
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After Kathy Acker: A Biography

After Kathy Acker: A Biography

Chris Kraus

$22.99
Rich girl, street punk, lost girl and icon ... scholar, stripper, victim and media-whore: The late Kathy Acker's legend and writings are wrapped in mythologies, created mostly by Acker herself. In this first, fully authorized biography, Kraus approaches Acker both as a writer, and as a member of the artistic communities from which she emerged. At once forensic and intimate, After Kathy Acker traces the extreme discipline and literary strategies Acker used to develop her work, and the contradictions she longed to embody. Using exhaustive archival research and ongoing conversations with mutual colleagues and friends, Kraus charts Acker's movement through some of the late 20th century's most significant artistic enterprises.
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Historical Heroines: 100 Women You Should Know About

Historical Heroines: 100 Women You Should Know About

Michelle Rosenberg ,  Sonia D. Picker

$32.95
Keeping it to just 100 was a struggle. But we figured that any more miscast, missing and misunderstood women in one sitting would push you over the edge in your righteous, indignant fury. So actually, we re thinking of you. (You're welcome). It s a broad mix as we have delved into the growing pile of women's histories and selected those gals we felt were interesting, compelling or just fun. Many will be familiar in their native countries and celebrated in folklore legend but we believe they deserve a wider audience. There are thousands more that could have been included but it s a short book and we could only pick 100\. What unites our cast of characters is that they have all suffered being miscast, type cast or simply cast aside. So, sit back. Read. Enjoy. And kick some butt in solidarity.
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In the Land of Pain

In the Land of Pain

Alphonse Daudet

$19.99
Alphonse Daudet was a highly popular nineteenth-century French novelist, whose work radiated humour and good cheer. Few knew that for his entire adult life he suffered from syphilis, a disease both unmentionable and incurable at the time. What even fewer realised was that he kept an intimate notebook in which he recorded the development and terrifying effects of the disease. Describing a life in pain, and the sometimes alarming treatments he underwent, Daudet's journal is unique for its comic zest, lucid self-examination and stoicism.

Translated by the Booker Prize-winning writer Julian Barnes.
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Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

Jeff Benedict ,  Armen Keteyian

$35.00
Based on three years of extensive research and reporting, two of today's most acclaimed investigative journalists, Jeff Benedict of Sports Illustrated and eleven-time Emmy Award winner Armen Keteyian, deliver the first major biography of Tiger Woods - sweeping in scope and packed with groundbreaking, behind-the-scenes details of the Shakespearean rise and epic fall of a global icon.

In 2009, Tiger Woods was the most famous athlete on the planet, a transcendent star of almost unfathomable fame and fortune living what appeared to be the perfect life - married to a Swedish beauty and the father of two young children. Winner of fourteen major golf championships and seventy-nine PGA Tour events, Woods was the first billion-dollar athlete, earning more than $100 million a year in endorsements from the likes of Nike, Gillette, AT&T and Gatorade. But it was all a carefully crafted illusion.

As it turned out, Woods had been living a double life for years - one that exploded in the aftermath of a late-night crash that exposed his serial infidelity and sent his personal and professional life off a cliff.

In Tiger Woods, Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian dig deep behind the headlines to produce a richly reported answer to the question that has mystified millions of sports fans for nearly a decade: who is Tiger Woods? Drawing on more than four hundred interviews with people from every corner of Woods's life - friends, family members, teachers, romantic partners, swing coaches, business associates, Tour pros and members of Woods's inner circle - Benedict and Keteyian construct a captivating psychological profile of an African-American child programmed by an attention-grabbing father and the original Tiger Mom to be the 'chosen one', to change not just the game of golf, but the world as well. But at what cost?

Benedict and Keteyian provide the startling answers in a biography destined to make headlines and linger in the minds of readers for years to come.
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