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Biography

No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison

No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison

Behrouz Boochani ,  Omid Tofighian

$32.99
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RELEASE DELAYED • DUE AUGUST

Where have I come from? From the land of rivers, the land of waterfalls, the land of ancient chants, the land of mountains...

Since 2013, Kurdish journalist Behrouz Boochani has been held in the Manus Island offshore processing centre.

People would run to the mountains to escape the warplanes and found asylum within their chestnut forests...

This book is the result. Laboriously tapped out on a mobile phone and translated from the Farsi. It is a voice of witness, an act of survival. A lyric first-hand account. A cry of resistance. A vivid portrait through five years of incarceration and exile.

Do Kurds have any friends other than the mountains?

'A chant, a cry from the heart, a lament, fuelled by a fierce urgency, written with the lyricism of a poet, the literary skills of a novelist, and the profound insights of an astute observer of human behaviour and the ruthless politics of a cruel and unjust imprisonment.' ARNOLD ZABLE
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The World in Thirty-Eight Chapters or Dr Johnson's Guide to Life

The World in Thirty-Eight Chapters or Dr Johnson's Guide to Life

Henry Hitchings

$34.99
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Samuel Johnson was a critic, an essayist, a poet and a biographer. He was also, famously, the compiler of the first good English dictionary, published in 1755. A polymath and a great conversationalist, his intellectual and social curiosity were boundless. Yet he was a deeply melancholy man, haunted by dark thoughts, sickness and a diseased imagination.

In his own life, both public and private, he sought to choose a virtuous and prudent path, negotiating everyday hazards and temptations. His writings and aphorisms illuminate what it means to lead a life of integrity, and his experience, abundantly documented by him and by others (such as James Boswell and Hester Thrale), is a lesson in the art of regulating the mind and the body.

Johnson’s story touches on many themes that have enduring significance. He was, and remains, a perceptive commentator on the vanity of human wishes, the rewards and dangers of charity, the need to cultivate kindness, the complexities of family life (especially marriage), the effects of boredom and the fleeting nature of pleasure. He writes and speaks incisively and humanely about the ego, ambition, hypocrisy, fallibility and disorders of the mind, as well as the corrosive effects of obsession, the precariousness of fame and the skulduggery of the literary world.

He is a source of profound good sense about what it means to teach, read, write and travel. More than that, though, he continually translates his experience of poverty, scorn, pain and madness into a rich understanding of how to be.
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Leonardo: A Restless Genius

Leonardo: A Restless Genius

Antonio Forcellino ,  Lucinda Byatt

$55.95
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A visionary scientist, a supreme painter, a man of eccentricity and ambition: Leonardo da Vinci had many lives. The child of a fleeting affair between a country girl and a young notary, Leonardo was never legitimized by his father and received no formal education. While this freedom from the routine of rigid and codified learning may have served to stimulate his natural creativity, it also caused many years of suffering and an insatiable need to prove his own worth. It was a striving for glory and obsessive thirst for knowledge that prompted Leonardo to seek the protection and favour of the most powerful figures of his day: from Lorenzo de' Medici to Ludovico Sforza, from the French governors of Milan to eventually the Papacy in Rome, where he could vie for renown with Michelangelo and Raphael.

In this revelatory account, Antonio Forcellino draws on his expertise as both an historian and a restorer of some of the world's greatest works of art to give us a more detailed view of Leonardo than ever before. Through careful analyses of his paintings and compositional technique, down to the very materials used, Forcellino offers new insight into Leonardo's artistic and intellectual development. He spans the great breadth of Leonardo's genius, discussing his contributions to mechanics, optics, anatomy, geology and metallurgy, as well as providing acute psychological observations and sketches about the political dynamics and social contexts in which Leonardo worked.

Forcellino throws brilliant light on a life all too often overshadowed and obscured by myth, providing us with a new perspective on the personality and motivations of one of the greatest geniuses of Western culture.
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Admissions: A Life in Brain Surgery

Admissions: A Life in Brain Surgery

Henry Marsh

$22.99
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Henry Marsh has spent four decades operating on the human brain. In this searing and provocative memoir following his retirement from the NHS, he reflects on the experiences that have shaped his career and life, gaining a deeper understanding of what matters to us all in the end.
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Calypso

Calypso

David Sedaris

$29.99
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If you've ever laughed your way through David Sedaris's cheerfully misanthropic stories, you might think you know what you're getting with Calypso. You'd be wrong.

When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games and lounging in the sun with those he loves most. And life at the Sea Section, as he names the vacation home, is exactly as idyllic as he imagined, except for one tiny, vexing realization: it's impossible to take a vacation from yourself.

With Calypso, Sedaris sets his formidable powers of observation toward middle age and mortality. Make no mistake: these stories are very, very funny - it's a book that can make you laugh 'til you snort, the way only family can. Sedaris's writing has never been sharper, and his ability to shock readers into laughter unparalleled. But much of the comedy here is born out of that vertiginous moment when your own body betrays you and you realize that the story of your life is made up of more past than future.

This is beach reading for people who detest beaches, required reading for those who loathe small talk and love a good tumour joke. Calypso is simultaneously Sedaris's darkest and warmest book yet - and it just might be his very best.
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Be Like the Fox: Machiavelli's Lifelong Quest for Freedom

Be Like the Fox: Machiavelli's Lifelong Quest for Freedom

Erica Benner

$22.99
Was Niccolo Machiavelli really the cynical schemer of legend - or was he a profound ethical thinker, who tried to save the democratic freedom of Renaissance Florence as it was threatened by ruthless dynasties? This revelatory biography shows us a man of fox-like dissimulation: a master of disguise in dangerous times.

'A gripping portrait of a brilliant political thinker, who understood the dangers of authoritarianism and looked for ways to curb them' The New Yorker

'Compelling... this unconventional biography questions whether the philosopher deserves his reputation as an advocate for tyranny' Julian Baggini, Financial Times
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Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body

Roxane Gay

$22.99
'I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere... I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.'

New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and bodies, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health.

As a woman who describes her own body as "wildly undisciplined," Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In Hunger, she casts an insightful and critical eye on her childhood, teens, and twenties - including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life-and brings readers into the present and the realities, pains, and joys of her daily life.

With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and authority that have made her one of the most admired voices of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to be overweight in a time when the bigger you are, the less you are seen. Hunger is a deeply personal memoir from one of our finest writers, and tells a story that hasn't yet been told but needs to be.
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The Dead Still Cry Out: The Story of a Combat Cameraman

The Dead Still Cry Out: The Story of a Combat Cameraman

Helen Lewis

$32.99
Helen Lewis was just a child when she found an old suitcase hidden in a cupboard at home. Inside it were the most horrifying photographs she'd ever seen - a record of the atrocities committed at Bergen-Belsen. They belonged to her father, Mike, a British paratrooper and combat cameraman who had filmed the camp's liberation.

The child of Jewish refugees, Mike had grown up in London's East End and experienced anti-Semitism firsthand in the England of the 1930s. Those first images of the Nazi's crimes, shot by Mike Lewis and others like him, shocked the world. In The Dead Still Cry Out, his daughter Helen uses photographs and film stills to reconstruct Mike's early life and experience of the war, while exploring broader questions too- what it meant so belong; how history and memory are shaped - and how anyone can deny the Holocaust in the face of such powerful evidence.
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Duterte Harry: Fire and Fury in the Philippines

Duterte Harry: Fire and Fury in the Philippines

Jonathan Miller

$32.99
Rodrigo Duterte was elected President of the Philippines in 2016. In his first 18 months in office, 12,000 people were murdered on the streets, gunned down by police officers and vigilante citizens - all with his encouragement.

Duterte is a serial womaniser and a self-confessed killer, who has called both Barack Obama and Pope Francis 'sons of whores'. He is on record as saying he does not 'give a shit' about human rights. Yet he is beloved of the 16.6 million Filipinos who voted for him, seen as vulgar but honest, a breath of fresh air, and an iconoclastic, anti-imperialist rebel.

In this revelatory biography, Channel 4 News' Asia Correspondent Jonathan Miller charts Duterte's rise, and shows how this fascinating, fearsome man can be seen as the embodiment of populism in our time.
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The Wind in My Hair: My Fight for Freedom in Modern Iran

The Wind in My Hair: My Fight for Freedom in Modern Iran

Masih Alinejad

$32.99
This memoir is the extraordinary story of how one Iranian woman overcame enormous adversity to fight for what she truly believed and founded a major movement for women around the world with the simple removal of her hijab.

BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week.

This memoir is the extraordinary story of how one woman, Masih Alinejad, an awe-inspiring journalist and activist from a small village in Iran, overcame enormous adversity to fight for what she truly believed and founded a major movement for women around the world with the simple removal of her hijab.

It all started with a single photo, a bold statement on Masih's Facebook page: a woman standing proudly, her face bare, her beautiful, curly hair blowing in the wind. Her crime: simply removing her veil, or hijab, which is compulsory for women in Iran. This is the photo that sparked a social-media liberation movement, 'My Stealthy Freedom'. Across Iran, women started posting pictures of their uncovered hair on Masih's page in open defiance of the strict religious beliefs of their country (and often, their families) while sharing their personal stories about this powerful mode of expression.

With the creation of 'My Stealthy Freedom' Masih has gained over one million supporters around the world, and inspired Islamic women everywhere to take a stand for their basic human rights. She's been covered by the media from Vogue, to the Guardian, the New York Times and beyond. Last year she was the recipient of the Women's Rights Award from the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy.

But behind the scenes of this movement, Masih has been fighting a painful personal battle. She is a divorcee - a sin equivalent to prostitution in Iranian culture. As a reporter, Masih has been actively speaking out against the government's corrupt policies for more than a decade, and has faced abuse and slander at every turn.

In 2009 she went abroad during the Iranian presidential election with hopes of interviewing Barack Obama. Before the interview could take place, the elections were stolen, Masih's newspaper was shut down, and thousands of Iranians were arrested. She was expelled from her own country, and separated from her only son. Although she eventually was able to take her son abroad, she has not returned to Iran or seen her family in years. To this day, Masih has faith that one day she will be reunited with her homeland.

A defiant, inspiring voice for women's rights, Masih Alinejad speaks for women everywhere.

'Intriguing and inspiring... her voice is so important to the Iranian people's struggles for freedom and democracy' Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran
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The Terrible

The Terrible

Yrsa Daley-Ward

$22.99
From an explosive new literary talent, a searing, moving memoir of family, adolescence and sexuality.

'You may not run away from the thing that you are because it comes and comes and comes as sure as you breathe.'

This is the story of Yrsa Daley-Ward, and all the things that happened - 'even the Terrible Things (and God, there were Terrible Things)'. It's about her childhood in the north-west of England with her beautiful, careworn mother Marcia, Linton (the man formerly known as Dad, 'half-fun, half-frightening') and her little brother Roo, who sees things written in the stars. It's about growing up and discovering the power and fear of her own sexuality, of pitch grey days of pills and powder and encounters. It's about damage and pain, but also joy.

Told with raw intensity, shocking honesty and the poetry of the darkest of fairy tales, The Terrible is a memoir of going under, losing yourself, and finding your voice.
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Nine Lives: My Time As MI6's Top Spy Inside al-Qaeda

Nine Lives: My Time As MI6's Top Spy Inside al-Qaeda

Aimen Dean ,  Paul Cruickshank ,  Tim Lister

$27.99
As one of al-Qaeda's most respected bomb-makers, Aimen Dean rubbed shoulders with the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and swore allegiance to Osama bin Laden himself.

As a double agent at the heart of al-Qaeda's chemical weapons programme, he foiled attacks on civilians and saved countless lives, brushing with death so often that his handlers began to call him their spy with nine lives.

This is the story of how a young Muslim, determined to defend his faith, found himself fighting on the wrong side - and his fateful decision to work undercover for his sworn enemy. From the killing fields of Bosnia to the training camps of Afghanistan, from running money and equipment in Britain to dodging barrel bombs in Syria, we discover what life is like inside the global jihad, and what it will take to stop it once and for all.
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My Girls: A Lifetime with Carrie and Debbie

My Girls: A Lifetime with Carrie and Debbie

Todd Fisher

$49.99
In December 2016, the world was shaken by the sudden deaths of Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds, two unspeakable losses that occurred in less than twenty-four hours of each other. In the aftermath, the stunned public sought solace from Debbie's only remaining child, Todd Fisher, who somehow managed to retain his grace and composure as he confronted his own overwhelming grief.

Now, in this poignant, lively, and uplifting book, Todd pays homage to these two unsinkable women who shaped him, celebrating their outspoken legacies with a candid yet uproarious glimpse at life in their one-of-a-kind family. The children of America's Sweethearts Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, Carrie and Todd grew up amid the glamorous wealth and pretense of Hollywood, and here he shares stories from that incredible childhood-from dazzling parties to the MGM back lot-as he and Carrie learned to navigate life against the backdrop of Debbie's remarkable career. Detailing how this precocious youth and life with Debbie, a tender, hardworking career woman, set the stage for Carrie's own budding career and meteoric ascent in Star Wars, Todd sheds new light on Carrie's uneasy connection to fame and life as Debbie Reynolds's daughter.

Despite the success that surrounded all three of them, their lives were not without challenges, and Todd does not shy away from the family's most difficult moments. Speaking openly about Carrie's struggles with substance abuse and bipolar disorder as well as Debbie's lifelong difficulties with men, he provides an honest look at some of their most challenging times together, illustrating the depth of the bonds that connected the three of them, even as they were tested time and time again. He also examines the unfailing bravery that Carrie and Debbie each displayed as they dealt with their demons, demonstrating how through it all, no amount of darkness ever diminished their humor, talent, or spirit.

Equal parts love letter and family portrait, the end result is a deeply felt journey through love, laughter, and life with Carrie and Debbie. With thirty-two pages of never-before-seen photos and memorabilia from his family's private archives, My Girls is a moving account of two extraordinary women whose connection to each other proved so powerful not even death could separate them for long.
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The Luck of Friendship: The Letters of Tennessee Williams and James Laughlin

The Luck of Friendship: The Letters of Tennessee Williams and James Laughlin

James Laughlin ,  Tennessee Williams ,  Peggy Fox ,  Thomas Keith

$56.95
Four decades of correspondence of Tennessee Williams's and James Laughlin's unlikely yet enduring literary and personal relationship.

In December 1942, two guests at a Lincoln Kirstein mixer bonded over their shared love of Hart Crane's poetry. Thomas Lanier Williams, who had just started to go by Tennessee, was a young playwright literally making a name for himself. James Laughlin had all of six years of publishing experience under his belt as the founder of New Directions. The deep friendship struck that evening would last for forty-one years, through critical acclaim and rejection, commercial success and failure, manic highs, bouts of depression, and serious and not-so-serious liaisons.

Williams called Laughlin his literary conscience, and New Directions serves to this day as Williams's publisher, not only for The Glass Menagerie and his other plays but also for his highly acclaimed novels, short stories, and poetry. Their letters provide a window into the literary history of the mid-twentieth century and reveal the struggles of a great artist, supported by the publisher he considered his one true friend.
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The Collected Works

The Collected Works

Anne Frank

$120.00
Anne Frank's collected works contains all three versions of her famous diary, the stories and essays that Anne Frank wrote while hidden away in the secret annexe as well as all of her known letters, her collection of pleasing phrases from her favourite books, autograph album entries, a family tree and select bibliography.

The definitive guide to Anne Frank's work, The Collected Works includes fascinating introductions to Anne Frank's life and family history, as well as commentaries on the historical context of the diary and its enduring legacy worldwide.
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An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth: A Critical Edition

An Autobiography or The Story of My Experiments with Truth: A Critical Edition

M. K. Gandhi ,  Mahadev Desai ,  Tridip Suhrud

$69.99
The first critical, annotated edition of M. K. Gandhi’s most famous written work, published seventy years after his death

In the mid-1920s, prompted by a “small, still voice” that encouraged him to lay bare what was known only to him and his God, M. K. Gandhi began writing and publishing his autobiography. Drafted during a period of intensive fasting and “in-dwelling” at his ashram in Ahmedebad, his story of the soul portrayed the deeper, more inward experiences that made him externally an innovator in the struggles against violence, racism, and colonialism. The book, written in Gujarati and translated into English by Mahadev Desai, would become an international classic, hailed as one of the "100 Best Spiritual Books of the 20th Century."
 
This first critical edition of this seminal work by leading Gandhi scholar Tridip Suhrud offers an unprecedented window into the original Gujarati text. Including both alternative English translations and illuminating notes, as well as a deeply researched introduction, it will bring renewed critical attention to one of the world’s most widely read books.
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C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis

Stewart Goetz

$39.95
The definitive exploration of C.S. Lewis’s philosophical thought, and its connection with his theological and literary work

Arguably one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, C.S. Lewis is widely hailed as a literary giant, his seven-volume Chronicles of Narnia having sold over 65 million copies in print worldwide. A prolific author and scholar whose intellectual contributions transcend the realm of children’s fantasy literature, Lewis is commonly read and studied as a significant theological figure in his own right. What is often overlooked is that Lewis first loved and was academically trained in philosophy.

In this newest addition to the Blackwell Great Minds series, well-known philosopher and Lewis authority Stewart Goetz discusses Lewis’s philosophical thought and illustrates how it informs his theological and literary work. Drawing from Lewis’s published writing and private correspondence, including unpublished materials, C.S. Lewis is the first book to develop a cohesive and holistic understanding of Lewis as a philosopher. In this groundbreaking project, Goetz explores how Lewis’s views on topics of lasting interest such as happiness, morality, the soul, human freedom, reason, and imagination shape his understanding of myth and his use of it in his own stories, establishing new connections between Lewis’s philosophical convictions and his wider body of published work.

Written in a scholarly yet accessible style, this short, engaging book makes a significant contribution to Lewis scholarship while remaining suitable for readers who have only read his stories, offering new insight into the intellectual life of this figure of enduring popular interest.
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Vita and Virginia: The lives and love of Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West

Vita and Virginia: The lives and love of Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West

Sarah Gristwood

$34.99
A double biography of Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West, their friendship and love affair. Virginia Woolf is one of the world's most famous writers - a leading light of literary modernism and feminism - and a British icon. During the 1920s she had a passionate affair with a fellow author, Vita Sackville-West, and they remained friends until Virginia's death in 1941. The hero of Virginia's novel Orlando was modeled on Vita and the book has been described as 'one of the longest and most charming love letters in history'. That's on top of the more than 500 letters they wrote to each other.

Vita & Virginia is the extraordinary account of the work, friendship and love affair of two prolific novelists, who came to redefine conventions of femininity, sexuality, art and politics for the modern world. The cultural legacies of these formidable women, enduring icons of sexual equality and female emancipation, proliferate around us today - in fashion and television, film and literature. In this scrupulously researched examination of the pair's long friendship, the National Trust draws on their poetry and treasured correspondence to tell the story of this thoroughly modern affair.

Both novelists have become closely associated with the National Trust. Vita is most famous today as the co-creator of Sissinghurst, one of the most influential and visited gardens in the world, while Monk's House, Virginia's retreat and inspiration, was a celebrated haunt of the Bloomsbury Group, that influential set of artists, thinkers and writers who lived in squares and loved in triangles.
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The Anna Karenina Fix: Life Lessons from Russian Literature

The Anna Karenina Fix: Life Lessons from Russian Literature

Viv Groskop

$22.99
'Wonderfully entertaining, hilarious. Contains the distilled wisdom of some of the greatest writers who ever lived' Allison Pearson, Sunday Telegraph What should I do with my life?

What if my love is not returned?

Why do bad things happen?

The answers to some of life's biggest questions are found not in trite self-help manuals but in the tough-love lessons explored in Russian literature. Here, Viv Groskop delves into the novels of history's deepest thinkers to discover enduring truths about how we should live.

Whether you're new to the Russian classics or returning to old favourites, The Anna Karenina Fix will help salve your heartache by exploring the torments of a host of famous and infamous literary heroes and heroines. Think of it like this: they have suffered so that you don't have to...

'Enchanting. Groskop falls in love with the literature, her impressive knowledge of which she conveys with a charmingly breezy tone' Observer 'A beguiling tasting menu of some of the finest reading experiences of my life. Witty, likeable, and lighthearted, Viv Groskop invites us to embrace the work of these august Russian dead souls as belonging to us all' Lionel Shriver
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Painting the Sand

Painting the Sand

Kim Hughes

$22.99
The Sunday Times Bestseller.

'Breathtaking. Kim Hughes is the man who stands between us and oblivion.' Andy McNab (author of Bravo Two Zero) 'An uplifting and enlightening account of the personal courage and dedication required to do a very lonely job in the most extreme of conditions'. John Nichol (The Mail On Sunday) This is a book about science, bombs, and what happens to the human psyche when every day you go to work might be your last.

Kim Hughes is the most highly decorated bomb disposal operator serving in the British Army. He was awarded the George Cross in 2009 following a grueling six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan during which he defused 119 improvised explosive devices, survived numerous Taliban ambushes and endured a close encounter with the Secretary of State for Defence. The back drop to Painting the Sand is the Afghan War, the conflict where the cold courage of the bomb disposal operator rose to national prominence. No other field of warfare offers the chance of a single individual to come so close to his enemy and fight out a battle of wits where losing can mean death. This is one of the best memoirs that will come out of a ten-year struggle to defeat a hidden, and enduring, enemy.
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No Way Out: The Searing True Story of Men Under Siege

No Way Out: The Searing True Story of Men Under Siege

Adam Jowett

$39.99
In Helmand province in July 2006, Major Adam Jowett was given command of Easy Company, a hastily assembled and under-strength unit of Paras and Royal Irish rangers. Their mission was to hold the District Centre of Musa Qala at any cost. Easy Company found themselves in a ramshackle compound, cut off and heavily outnumbered by the Taliban in the town.

In No Way Out, Adam evokes the heat and chaos of battle as the Taliban hit Easy Company with wave after wave of brutal attack. He describes what it was like to have responsibility for the lives of his men as they fought back heroically over twenty-one days and nights of relentless, nerve-shredding combat. Finally, as they came down to their last rounds and death stared Easy Company in the face, the siege took an extraordinary turn . . .

Powerful, highly-charged and moving, No Way Out is Adam's tribute to the men of Easy Company who paid a heavy price for serving their country.
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The Erratics

The Erratics

Vicki Laveau-Harvie

$27.99
The family secrets are only just beginning to unravel...

When her elderly mother is hospitalised unexpectedly, Vicki travels to her parents' isolated ranch home in Alberta, Canada, to help her father. She has been estranged from her parents for many years (the reasons for which rapidly become clear) and is horrified by what she discovers on her arrival.

Her mother has always been mentally unstable, but for years camouflaged her delusions and unpredictability. Over the decades she has managed to shut herself and her husband away from the outside world.

Vicki's father, who has been systematically starved and kept virtually a prisoner in his own home, begins to realise what has happened to him and embarks upon plans of his own to combat his wife.

Vicki quickly realises how dangerous, and potentially life-threatening, her mother's behaviour is. She fears for her father's life and her own safety if her mother returns home.

The power play between her parents takes a dramatic turn and leaves Vicki embroiled in situations that are ludicrous, heart-breaking, and frightening. All this makes for an intensely gripping, yet black-humoured family drama that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

'The Erratics grabbed me by the throat and never let go ... I loved it.' Caroline Baum, author of acclaimed memoir Only, literary critic, journalist and broadcaster 'An extraordinary read.' Candida Baker, author, journalist, literary critic, editor and Festival Director
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Churchill: Warrior: How a Military Life Guided Winston's Finest Hours

Churchill: Warrior: How a Military Life Guided Winston's Finest Hours

Brian Lavery

$65.00
Sunday Times bestelling author Brian Lavery writes on the unique 60-year military career of Winston Churchill, and how his experiences informed his strategy and leadership

On a typical day during the Second World War, Winston Churchill, as Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, issued numerous memos to the ministers and service commanders on many different subjects, on both the grand strategy and the detail of the war effort. It was not just his work rate and his self-confidence which allowed him to do this. He had a unique and intimate inside knowledge of all three services which allowed him to assess their real needs - a crucial task when money, material resources, and especially manpower, were reaching their limits. No defence minister in modern times has faced such severe problems. No-one else has ever been able to balance the needs of the services in such a way - most of them came from outside with little service experience, while for those trained inside one service it is almost impossible to gain inside knowledge at a lower level without a bias in favour of one service or another. But Churchill's knowledge of the three services was almost perfectly balanced by his experiences since he first joined the army in 1896. He made his share of mistakes as a war leader, but this unique balance served him, his cause and his country well.

This book looks at how Churchill gained his unique insight into war strategy and administration, and the effect this had on his thinking and leadership. Each period (before, during and after the First World War, and in the Second World War) is divided into four parts - land, sea and air warfare, and combined operations. The conclusion deals with the effect of these experiences on his wartime leadership.

Written in Brian Lavery's acclaimed, insightful and anecdotal style, Churchill: Warrior, relates a grand narrative starting with the Marlborough, toy soldiers and the army class at Eton, and leads us through those early military and journalistic experiences, the fascinating trials and lessons of the First World War, the criticism and tenacity but ultimate triumph of the key events in the Second. It explores how some of Churchill's earliest innovations were to bear fruit decades later, how his uncompromising, but uniquely informed, hands-on approach, and his absolute belief in combined force in Normandy, led to a systemic victory against the odds.
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Things I Don't Want to Know

Things I Don't Want to Know

Deborah Levy

$19.99
'Unmissable. Like chancing upon an oasis, you want to drink it slowly... Subtle, unpredictable, surprising' Guardian Things I Don't Want to Know is the first in Deborah Levy's essential three-part 'Living Autobiography' on writing and womanhood.

Taking George Orwell's famous essay, 'Why I Write', as a jumping-off point, Deborah Levy offers her own indispensable reflections of the writing life. With wit, clarity and calm brilliance, she considers how the writer must stake claim to that contested territory as a young woman and shape it to her need. Things I Don't Want to Know is a work of dazzling insight and deep psychological succour, from one of our most vital contemporary writers.

'Superb sharpness and originality of imagination. An inspiring work of writing' Marina Warner
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A World to Win: The Life and Works of Karl Marx

A World to Win: The Life and Works of Karl Marx

Sven-Eric Liedman

$59.99
The globalised world of the twenty-first century has many parallels with that of the period running up to the cataclysm of 1914, namely the world predicted by Karl Marx. Communications go that much faster, but this is a difference of degree, not type. People, messages, and ideas are flung around the globe. Money circulates in a never-ceasing torrent, poverty lives side by side with wealth, and capital exercises its impersonal power over each and every one of us.

In this world, Karl Marx – blunt and straightforward enough to inspire criticism of the latest exploits of capitalism, the failings of politics, and the genuflection of those in power before fetishes like 'The Market' – lives on. Despite nearly 200 years having passed since his birth, his burning condemnation of capitalism remains of immediate interest today.

The texts he left behind gave rise to what would come to be called Marxism, but that was a term he rejected. His approach – enormous amounts of reading and writing, integrating new discoveries from the various sciences into his analyses of society – was a far cry from how his theories would come to be used in states where only one, party-approved interpretation was allowed.

Now, more than ever before, these texts can be read for what they truly are. In addition to providing a living picture of Marx the man, his life, and his family and friends – as well as his lifelong collaboration with Friedrich Engels – Sweden's leading intellectual historian Sven-Eric Liedman, in this major new biography, shows what Karl Marx the thinker and researcher really wrote, demonstrating that this giant of the nineteenth century can still exert a powerful attraction for the inhabitants of the twenty-first.
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An Odyssey: A Father, A Son and an Epic

An Odyssey: A Father, A Son and an Epic

Daniel Mendelsohn

$19.99
From the award-winning, best-selling writer: a deeply moving tale of a father and son's transformative journey in reading – and reliving – Homer's epic masterpiece.

When eighty-one-year-old Jay Mendelsohn decides to enrol in the undergraduate seminar on the Odyssey that his son Daniel teaches at Bard College, the two find themselves on an adventure as profoundly emotional as it is intellectual. For Jay, a retired research scientist who sees the world through a mathematician’s unforgiving eyes, this return to the classroom is his ‘one last chance’ to learn about the great literature he’d neglected in his youth – and, even more, a final opportunity to understand his son.

But through the sometimes-uncomfortable months that follow, as the two men explore Homer’s great work together – first in the classroom, where Jay persistently challenges his son’s interpretations, and then during a surprise-filled Mediterranean journey retracing Odysseus’ legendary voyages – it becomes clear that Daniel has much to learn, too: for Jay’s responses to both the text and the travels gradually uncover long-buried secrets that allow the son to understand his difficult father at last. As this intricately woven memoir builds to its wrenching climax, Mendelsohn’s narrative comes to echo The Odyssey itself, with its timeless themes of deception and recognition, marriage and children, the pleasures of travel and the meaning of home.

Rich with literary and emotional insight, An Odyssey is a renowned author-scholar’s most revelatory entwining yet of personal narrative and literary exploration. 
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I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death

I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death

Maggie O'Farrell

$22.99
I AM, I AM, I AM is a memoir with a difference - the unputdownable story of an extraordinary woman's life in near-death experiences. Insightful, inspirational, intelligent, it is a book to be read at a sitting, a story you finish newly conscious of life's fragility, determined to make every heartbeat count.

A childhood illness she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. A terrifying encounter on a remote path. A mismanaged labour in an understaffed hospital. Shocking, electric, unforgettable, this is the extraordinary memoir from Costa Novel-Award winner and Sunday Timesbestselling author Maggie O'Farrell. It is a book to make you question yourself. What would you do if your life was in danger, and what would you stand to lose?

I AM, I AM, I AM will speak to readers who loved Cheryl Strayed's WILD or Max Porter's GRIEF IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS.
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Loulou and Yves: The Untold Story of Loulou de La Falaise and the House of Saint Laurent

Loulou and Yves: The Untold Story of Loulou de La Falaise and the House of Saint Laurent

Christopher Petkanas

$59.99
No one interested in fashion, style, or the high-flying intrigues of cafe society will want to miss the exuberantly entertaining oral biography Loulou & Yves: The Untold Story of Loulou de La Falaise and the House of Saint Laurent, by Christopher Petkanas.

On the theory that everyone loves a cocktail party, Loulou & Yves traces her life chronologically through the charming literary device of oral biography, in which the spoken memories of more than two hundred "voices"-husbands, lovers, extended family, friends, enemies, slightly less bitter detractors, colleagues, groupies, pundits, and hangers-on-are seamlessly interwoven with those of Yves and Loulou themselves. Readers mingle at the party as invited guests, listening in on Andy Warhol and Karl Lagerfeld and collecting clues from Mick Jagger and Tom Ford as the narrative unfolds. Topping the A-list of figures who tell Loulou's story in their own words, uncensored, are Cecil Beaton, Diana Vreeland, Thadee Klossowski, Robert Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton, Hubert de Givenchy, Manolo Blahnik, Diane von Furstenberg, Elsa Peretti, Betty Catroux, John Richardson, Alber Elbaz, Christian Louboutin, Grace Coddington, Ben Brantley, Bruce Chatwin, Lady Annabel Goldsmith, Andre Leon Talley, and Pierre Berge. In a fluent round of sparkling conversation, author Christopher Petkanas brings them all together for a party that swirls around one of the most scintillating women the fashion world has ever known.

"She's the sounding board," Yves rhapsodizes of his second self in Loulou & Yves, a sweeping, waspish work of fashion and social history. "She's never wrong."
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In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein

In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein

Fiona Sampson

$53.95
Coinciding with the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein in 1818, a prize-winning poet delivers a major new biography of Mary Shelley - as she has never been seen before.

We know the facts of Mary Shelley’s life in some detail - the death of her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, within days of her birth; the upbringing in the house of her father, William Godwin, in a house full of radical thinkers, poets, philosophers, and writers; her elopement, at the age of seventeen, with Percy Shelley; the years of peripatetic travel across Europe that followed. But there has been no literary biography written this century, and previous books have ignored the real person - what she actually thought and felt and why she did what she did - despite the fact that Mary and her group of second-generation Romantics were extremely interested in the psychological aspect of life.

In this probing narrative, Fiona Sampson pursues Mary Shelley through her turbulent life, much as Victor Frankenstein tracked his monster across the arctic wastes. Sampson has written a book that finally answers the question of how it was that a nineteen-year-old came to write a novel so dark, mysterious, anguished, and psychologically astute that it continues to resonate two centuries later. No previous biographer has ever truly considered this question, let alone answered it.
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Quirky: The Remarkable Story of the Traits, Foibles, and Genius of Breakthrough Innovators Who Changed the World

Quirky: The Remarkable Story of the Traits, Foibles, and Genius of Breakthrough Innovators Who Changed the World

Melissa A Schilling

$22.99
From historical figures such as Marie Curie to contemporaries such as Steve Jobs, a handful of innovators have changed the world. What made them so spectacularly inventive? Melissa A. Schilling, one of the world's leading experts on innovation, looks at the lives of seven creative geniuses - Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Elon Musk, Dean Kamen, Nicola Tesla, Curie, and Jobs - to identify the traits and quirks that led them to become breakthrough innovators.

Though all innovators possess incredible intellect, intellect alone does not create a serial innovator. There are other very strong commonalities: for instance, nearly all exhibit very high levels of social detachment. They all have extreme, almost maniacal, faith in their ability to overcome obstacles. And they have a passionate idealism that pushes them to work with intensity even in the face of criticism or failure. These individual traits would be unlikely to work in isolation - being unconventional without having high levels of confidence and direction, for example, might result in rebellious behavior that does not lead to meaningful innovation.

Schilling reveals the science behind the convergence of traits that increases the likelihood of success, and shows us how to nurture and facilitate breakthrough innovation in our own lives.
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Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley

Miranda Seymour

$22.99
The definitive and richly woven biography of Mary Shelley, in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein

The creator of the world’s most famous outsider became one herself...

There is no more dramatic scene in literary history than the stormy night by Lake Geneva when Byron, Claire Clairmont, Polidori and the Shelleys met to talk of horror and the unexplained. From that emerged Frankenstein, a monster who has haunted imaginations for two hundred years.

Miranda Seymour illustrates the rich and unexplored life of Mary Shelley. Everything from her childhood to her tempestuous relationship with Percy Shelley; Seymour brings to life the brilliant mind that created Frankenstein through unexplored and intriguing sources.

The Mary Shelley we meet here is a woman we can engage with and understand. Her world, so rich in its settings and its cast of characters, seems drawn from a novel. She, at its centre, is flawed, brave, generous, and impetuous, a woman whose dark and brilliant imagination gave us a myth which seems ever more potent in our own era.
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On Leopard Rock: A Life of Adventures

On Leopard Rock: A Life of Adventures

Wilbur Smith

$39.99
Wilbur Smith has lived an incredible life of adventure, and now he shares the extraordinary true stories that have inspired his fiction.

I've been writing novels for over fifty years. I was lucky enough to miss the big wars and not get shot, but lucky enough to grow up among the heroes who had served in them and learn from their example. I have lucked into things continuously. I have done things which have seemed appalling at the time, disastrous even, but out of them have come another story or a deeper knowledge of human character and the ability to express myself better on paper, write books which people enjoy reading.

Along the way, I have lived a life that I could never have imagined. I have been privileged to meet people from all corners of the globe, I have been wherever my heart has desired and in the process my books have taken readers to many, many places. I always say I've started wars, I've burned down cities, and I've killed hundreds of thousands of people - but only in my imagination!

From being attacked by lions to close encounters with deadly reef sharks, from getting lost in the African bush without water to crawling the precarious tunnels of gold mines, from marlin fishing with Lee Marvin to near death from crash-landing a Cessna airplane, from brutal school days to redemption through writing and falling in love, Wilbur Smith tells us the intimate stories of his life that have been the raw material for his fiction. Always candid, sometimes hilarious, and never less than thrillingly entertaining, On Leopard Rock is testament to a writer whose life is as rich and eventful as his novels are compellingly unputdownable.
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Rooms of their Own

Rooms of their Own

Nino Strachey

$28.99
In the deep blue Turret Room at Knole sits a battered tin trunk inscribed "Edward Sackville-West: Various Papers". Hoarded inside were the intimate records of lives lived at the heart of 1920s literary Bloomsbury. Lytton Strachey, James Strachey, Alix Strachey, Duncan Grant, Bunny Garnett and Stephen Tomlin all stayed with Eddy at Knole. Two of these friends - Duncan Grant and Stephen Tomlin - became lovers, filling his rooms with the vibrant outpourings of Bloomsbury creativity. Living in an England where homosexuality was illegal until 1967, Eddy's design choices were boldly counter-cultural.

Eddy's first cousin, Vita Sackville-West, and her lover, Virginia Woolf, were equally at home in this world, their names permanently associated through the publication of Orlando in 1928. Set at Knole, Woolf's tribute to Vita created a hero/heroine who evaded categorisations of sex and time, changing as the centuries progress.

Linked by an intimate web of relationships, Eddy, Virginia and Vita created homes in Kent and East Sussex which challenged contemporary conventions. While Virginia Woolf and Eddy Sackville-West favoured the bright colours and bold patterns of Bloomsbury, Vita Sackville-West looked backwards to the Elizabethan age, filling her rooms with the romantic relics of past lovers.

Evocative, engaging and filled with vivid details, Rooms of their Own explores the homes of these three writers linked to the Bloomsbury Group. Bringing together stories of love, desire and intimacy, of evolving relationships and erotic encounters, with vivid accounts of the settings in which they took place, it offers fresh insights into their complicated, interlocking lives. Complete with first-hand accounts, this book illuminates shifting social and moral attitudes towards sexuality and gender in the 1920s and 30s.
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The Incurable Romantic: and Other Unsettling Revelations

The Incurable Romantic: and Other Unsettling Revelations

Frank Tallis

$32.99
A fascinating account of a life investigating obsessive love, packed with intriguing true stories.

'Frank Tallis brings a lifetime's clinical experience and wise reflection to a condition that, by its own strange routes, leads us into the very heart of love itself. This is a brilliant, compelling book' Ian McEwan

Love defines us. It shapes the individual, ensures the preservation of the species, and is the principal subject we - as a culture - choose to examine in our art forms. The experience of being in love is powerful and it inevitably changes how we feel and how we behave. Even when love is normal it is so intense that for thousands of years doctors and poets have described love as a kind of madness; however, love can also go wrong.

When this happens the consequences for the individual and those around them can be far reaching and in some instances truly astonishing. Lovesickness is not a trivial matter. Unrequited love is a frequent cause of suicide (particularly among the young) and over ten percent of murders are connected with sexual jealousy. In the course of his career, Frank Tallis has treated many fascinating patients, and their stories, told here, are dramatic, bizarre and revealing.

From flagship NHS hospitals to luxury apartments, as well as notorious council estates Tallis has treated aristocrats, billionaires, film stars, middle managers and people in unspeakable poverty. The jilted Lord is just as vulnerable to the maladies of love as the jilted bus driver.

Love is a great leveller. Everyone wants love, everyone falls in love, everyone loses love, and everyone knows something of love's madness. And when love goes wrong, wealth, education and status count for nothing. In this astonishing, honest book, we learn of love's myriad maladies, and witness first-hand the ways they can drive us to madness.
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