The King's City
By Don Jordan
'The cruelty and magnificence of Restoration London provides endless fascination . . . there's much to delight in this volume' The Times'Don Jordan's history captures the shifts [Charles II] engineered in trade and culture' NatureDuring the reign of Charles II, London was a city in flux. After years of civil war and political turmoil, England's capital became the centre for major advances in the sciences, the theatre, architecture, trade and ship-building that paved the way for the creation of the British Empire.At the heart of this activity was the King, whose return to power from exile in 1660 lit the fuse for an explosion in activity in all spheres of city life. London flourished, its wealth, vibrancy and success due to many figures famous today including Christopher Wren, Samuel Pepys and John Dryden - and others whom history has overlooked until now.Throughout the quarter-century Charles was on the throne, London suffered several serious reverses: the plague in 1665 and the Great Fire in 1666, and severe defeat in the Second Anglo-Dutch War, which brought about notable economic decline. But thanks to the genius and resilience of the people of London, and the occasionally wavering stewardship of the King, the city rose from the ashes to become the economic capital of Europe.The King's City tells the gripping story of a city that defined a nation and birthed modern Britain - and how the vision of great individuals helped to build the richly diverse place we know today.
Fifty Things that Made the Modern Economy
By Tim Harford
Based on the series produced for the BBC World ServiceWho thought up paper money? How did the contraceptive pill change the face of the legal profession? Why was the horse collar as important for human progress as the steam engine? How did the humble spreadsheet turn the world of finance upside-down?The world economy defies comprehension. A continuously-changing system of immense complexity, it offers over ten billion distinct products and services, doubles in size every fifteen years, and links almost every one of the planet's seven billion people. It delivers astonishing luxury to hundreds of millions. It also leaves hundreds of millions behind, puts tremendous strains on the ecosystem, and has an alarming habit of stalling. Nobody is in charge of it. Indeed, no individual understands more than a fraction of what's going on. How can we make sense of this bewildering system on which our lives depend?From the tally-stick to Bitcoin, the canal lock to the jumbo jet, each invention in Tim Harford's fascinating new book has its own curious, surprising and memorable story, a vignette against a grand backdrop. Step by step, readers will start to understand where we are, how we got here, and where we might be going next.Hidden connections will be laid bare: how the barcode undermined family corner shops; why the gramophone widened inequality; how barbed wire shaped America. We'll meet the characters who developed some of these inventions, profited from them, or were ruined by them. We'll trace the economic principles that help to explain their transformative effects. And we'll ask what lessons we can learn to make wise use of future inventions, in a world where the pace of innovation will only accelerate.
A Good Face for Radio
By Eddie Mair
Eddie Mair is, by his own account, one of Britain's most beloved broadcasters.Born in Dundee, Scotland, he has worked in radio all his adult life. From the foothills of commercial radio in his hometown, through the sunlit uplands of the BBC in Scotland, he has reached the peaks of his profession, with BBC network radio in London. And he's never afraid to work a metaphor beyond endurance.In addition he's appeared on most of the BBC's TV channels, including ones that are no longer on TV. He witnessed the handover of Hong Kong and once asked Arnold Schwarzenegger a question - though he takes no responsibility for either.For nearly twenty years he has been at the helm of Radio 4's PM: a nightly news round up that means Eddie works for just one hour a day, giving him plenty time to knock together these diaries.Whether he's interviewing politicians, getting people to share their personal experiences, or just imparting his favourite zesty chicken recipes, Eddie is never happier than when he is at the microphone. Except when he is at the microphone with a large martini.In truth, his neediness is an irritation to everyone who knows him and if you buy this book he might get out of their hair.Eddie's other work, as a humanitarian and tireless, secret worker for charity is not mentioned in these pages.
By Patrick Hamilton
'If you were looking to fly from Dickens to Martin Amis with just one overnight stop, then Hamilton is your man' Nick Hornby'Beyond the fact that it was, in face of a vivid and calamitous ending, to reveal from his own experience the ardent splendours of Youth's adventure, he didn't quite know what his novel was going to be about.'Monday Morning wryly tells the story of Anthony, a young man taking his passionate first steps in life, in London, and in love. Not yet worn down by the world, Anthony is determined to write the novel that will bring him fame and fortune - and to marry the beautiful Diane. Patrick Hamilton's witty, playful first novel introduces us to the grimy world of metropolitan boarding houses and provincial theatrical digs that would be the setting for his later masterpieces Hangover Square and The Slaves of Solitude, and the hopes, dreams and regrets those who live there.
The Influential Mind
By Tali Sharot
Selected as a best book of 2017 by Forbes, The Times, Huffington Post, Bloomberg, Greater Good Magazine, Stanford Business School and more.'A timely, intriguing book' Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take'This profound book will change your life. An instant classic' Cass R. Sunstein, bestselling co-author of NudgePart of our daily job as humans is to influence others; we teach our children, guide our patients, advise our clients, help our friends and inform our online followers. We do this because we each have unique experiences and knowledge that others may not. But how good are we at this role? It turns out we systematically fall back on suboptimal habits when trying to change other's beliefs and behaviors. Many of these instincts-from trying to scare people into action, to insisting the other is wrong or attempting to exert control-are ineffective, because they are incompatible with how the mind operates.
By Patrick Hamilton
West Kensington - grey area of rot, and caretaking, and cat-slinking basements. West Kensington - drab asylum for the driven and cast-off genteel!' Patrick Hamilton was acutely conscious that his third novel (first published in 1928) was longer and 'much grimmer' than his previous and well-received productions. Twopence Coloured is the story of nineteen-year-old Jackie Mortimer, who leaves Hove in search of a life on the London stage, only to become entangled in 'provincial theatre' and complex affairs of the heart with two brothers, Richard and Charles Gissing. The novel, unavailable for many years, is a gimlet-eyed portrait of the theatrical vocation, and fully exhibits Hamilton's celebrated gift for conjuring London - the 'vast, thronged, unknown, hooting, electric-lit, dark-rumbling metropolis.
By Patrick Hamilton
This classic Victorian thriller was first produced in 1935. Jack Manningham is slowly, deliberately driving his wife, Bella, insane. He has almost succeeded when help arrives in the form of a former detective, Rough, who believes Manningham to be a thief and murderer. Aided by Bella, Rough proves Manningham's true identity and finally Bella achieves a few moments of sweet revenge for the suffering inflicted on her.
By John Fairfax
'Vivid and exciting' The TimesWINNER OF THE PRIX DU MASQUEShe was found hanging in a dingy London bedsit with a blood orange in her mouth. Diane Heybridge, a young woman without a past or much of a future, has captured in death the compassion denied her in life. For the prosecution, this seeming suicide is nothing more than a bungled killing and a disgusted public looks to Court 2 of the Old Bailey for justice. Her callous, jilted partner Brent Stainsby stands accused of her murder and he's turned to the maverick legal team William Benson and Tess de Vere to defend him. However, as the trial unfolds it soon becomes clear that there is far more to Diane Heybridge than meets the eye. She wasn't the weak and downtrodden victim now being presented to the jury. She was capable of a sophisticated form of vengeance. By the same token, Brent Stainsby isn't who he seems to be either. He's hiding a motive for murder unknown to the police and may well be playing a deadly game of poker with the judicial process. What began as a simple trial rapidly turns into a complex search for the truth beyond the confines of the courtroom...
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
By Alexander McCall Smith
Fans around the world adore the best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series and its proprietor, Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's premier lady detective. In the first book of the bestselling series, Mma Ramotswe - with help from her loyal associate, Grace Makutsi - navigates her cases and her personal life with wisdom, good humour and the occasional cup of tea.Wayward daughters. Missing Husbands. Philandering partners. Curious conmen. If you've got a problem, and no one else can help you, then pay a visit to Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's only - and finest - female private detective.Her methods may not be conventional, and her manner not exactly Miss Marple, but she's got warmth, wit and canny intuition on her side, not to mention Mr J. L. B. Matekoni, the charming proprietor of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. And Precious is going to need them all as she sets out on the trail of a missing child, a case that tumbles our heroine into a hotbed of strange situations and more than a little danger . . .Delightfully different, THE NO.1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY offers a captivating glimpse of an unusual world.The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is the 1st book in the series, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order
Force of Nature
By Jane Harper
By Wallace J. Nichols
Why are we drawn to the ocean each summer? Why does being near water set our minds and bodies at ease? In Blue Mind, Wallace J. Nichols revolutionizes how we think about these questions, revealing the remarkable truth about the benefits of being in, on, under, or simply near water. Grounded in cutting-edge studies in neurobiology, cognitive psychology, economics, and medicine, and made real by stories of innovative scientists, doctors, athletes, artists, environmentalists, businesspeople and lovers of nature - stories that fascinate the mind and touch the heart - Blue Mind will awaken readers to the vital importance of water to the health and happiness of us all.
By Harry Pearson
Winner of the MCC Book of the Year AwardHis father was a first-class cricketer, his grandfather was a slave.Born in rural Trinidad in 1901, Learie Constantine was the most dynamic all-round cricketer of his age (1928-1939) when he played Test cricket for the West Indies and club cricket for Nelson. Few who saw Constantine in action would ever forget the experience. As well as the cricketing genius that led to Constantine being described as 'the most original cricketer of his time', Connie illuminates the world that he grew up in, a place where the memories of slavery were still fresh and where a peculiar, almost obsessive, devotion to 'Englishness' created a society that was often more British than Britain itself. Harry Pearson looks too at the society Constantine came to in England, which he would embrace as much as it embraced him: the narrow working-class world of the industrial North during a time of grave economic depression. Connie reveals how a flamboyant showman from the West Indies actually dovetailed rather well in a place where local music-hall stars such as George Formby, Frank Randle and Gracie Fields were fêted as heroes, and how Lancashire League cricket fitted into this world of popular entertainment.Connie tells an uplifting story about sport and prejudice, genius and human decency, and the unlikely cultural exchange between two very different places - the tropical island of Trinidad and the cloth-manufacturing towns of northern England - which shared the common language of cricket.
By Lesley Adkins, Roy Adkins
For over three and a half years, from 1779 to 1783, the tiny territory of Gibraltar was besieged and blockaded, on land and at sea, by the overwhelming forces of Spain and France. It became the longest siege in British history, and the obsession with saving Gibraltar was blamed for the loss of the American colonies in the War of Independence. Located between the Mediterranean and Atlantic, on the very edge of Europe, Gibraltar was a place of varied nationalities, languages, religions and social classes. During the siege, thousands of soldiers, civilians and their families withstood terrifying bombardments, starvation and diseases. Very ordinary people lived through extraordinary events, from shipwrecks and naval battles to an attempted invasion of England and a daring sortie out of Gibraltar into Spain. Deadly innovations included red-hot shot, shrapnel shells and a barrage from immense floating batteries.This is military and social history at its best, a story of soldiers, sailors and civilians, with royalty and rank-and-file, workmen and engineers, priests, prisoners-of-war, spies and surgeons, all caught up in a struggle for a fortress located on little more than two square miles of awe-inspiring rock. Gibraltar: The Greatest Siege in British History is an epic page-turner, rich in dramatic human detail - a tale of courage, endurance, intrigue, desperation, greed and humanity. The everyday experiences of all those involved are brought vividly to life with eyewitness accounts and expert research.