The Old Man and the Knee
By Christopher Matthew
Although in his seventies, Christopher Matthew is convinced he is not yet old. No one one has ever stood up for him on a crowded bus or tube. He plays golf and walks the dog. He has all his own teeth, hair, and does not require a hearing aid. He is, in short, enjoying late middle age and is making the best of it while he still can. 'I know it can't last for ever, but while it does, it gives me the chance to look at life in the last lane, as I am now experiencing it, and to consider what might be to come.' Subjects range from what's the point of a grandparent; the perils and pleasures of replacing one's partner with a younger model; and acquiring new interests and hobbies (bridge? ocean cruising? ballet? marathon running?) to the arrival of old age and the last leg of all. How do we know when we are old? Does old age creep up slowly or arrive out of the blue? Will we be able to summon up some half-decent last words and what should they be? Witty, like Oscar Wilde's about the wallpaper, or helpful like the 1st Lord Grimthorpe's 'We are low on marmalade'?
The Other Hoffmann Sister
By Ben Fergusson
Shortlisted for The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year 2015, Ben Fergusson's critically acclaimed debut, The Spring of Kasper Meier, was the winner of the Betty Trask Prize 2015 and the HWA 2015 Debut Crown Award. The Other Hoffmann Sister is a gripping, evocative read about two sisters set in pre-WW1 Germany which will appeal to fans of The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry.For Ingrid Hoffmann the story of her sister's disappearance began in their first weeks in Southwest Africa...Ingrid Hoffmann has always felt responsible for her sister Margarete and when their family moves to German Southwest Africa in 1902, her anxieties only increase. The casual racism that pervades the German community, the strange relationship between her parents and Baron von Ketz, from whom they bought their land, and the tension with the local tribes all culminate in tragedy when Baron von Ketz is savagely murdered. Baroness von Ketz and their son, Emil, flee with the Hoffmanns as the Baron's attackers burn down the family's farm.Both families return to Berlin and Ingrid's concerns about Margarete are assuaged when she and Emil von Ketz become engaged on the eve of the First World War. But Margarete disappears on her wedding night at the von Ketz's country house. The mystery of what happened to her sister haunts Ingrid, but as Europe descends into chaos, her hope of discovering the truth becomes ever more distant.After the war, in the midst of the revolution that brings down the Kaiser and wipes out the aristocracy that her family married into, Ingrid returns to the von Ketzes' crumbling estate determined to find out what really happened to her sister.
The Other Side of You
By Amanda Craig
Will must run, or die. He's seen a murder, and the gang on his estate are after him.Hurt, hungry and afraid, he comes to an abandoned house in a different part of the city. Behind its high fences is a place of safety. Here, he can hide like a wounded beast. He can find food, and healing - and learn how to do more than survive.But when Will meets Padma, he must choose between his good side and his bad one. For the gang he left behind is still there. How can he live without becoming a killer? How can he love without being a thief?Exciting, fast-paced and different, this is a story that keeps you reading until the last line.
By Anthony Holden
It is just thirteen inches tall and weighs eight pounds, yet the Oscar has come to exert an hypnotic hold over film performers and audiences alike. This book uses the narrative story of an individual year as the basis of a much broader and historical canvas, to present a portrait of the film world today, and its personalities, finances and power-struggles. It also includes detailed lists of Oscar facts and figures, winners and losers. The author's other books include best-selling biographies of Prince Charles and Laurence Olivier.
By Anthony Holden
This is a biography of Laurence Olivier, the actor, director, impresario, founder of the National Theatre, Oscar-winning film star and the first peer in the history of the profession.
One More Thing
By B. J. Novak
A boy wins $100,000 in a box of Frosted Flakes - only to discover that claiming the winnings may unravel his family. An acclaimed ambulance driver seeks the courage to follow his heart and throw it all away to be a singer-songwriter. A school principal unveils a bold plan to permanently abolish arithmetic. A new arrival in heaven, overwhelmed by infinite options, procrastinates over his long-ago promise to visit his grandmother. We meet a vengeance-minded hare. We learn why wearing a red T-shirt is the key to finding love; how February got its name; and why the stock market is sometimes just . . . down.Finding inspiration in questions from the nature of perfection to the icing on carrot cake, from the deeply familiar to the intoxicatingly imaginative, ONE MORE THING finds its heart in the most human of phenomena: love, fear, family, ambition, and the inner stirring for the one elusive element that might make a person complete. The stories in this collection are like nothing else, but they have one thing in common: they share the playful humour, deep heart, inquisitive mind, and altogether electrifying spirit of a writer with a fierce devotion to the entertainment of the reader.
On Such A Full Sea
By Chang-Rae Lee
On Such a Full Sea takes Chang-rae Lee's elegance of prose, his masterly storytelling, and his long-standing interests in identity, culture, work, and love, and lifts them to a new plane. Stepping from the realistic and historical territories of his previous work, Lee brings us into a world created from scratch. Against a vividly imagined future America, Lee tells a stunning, surprising, and riveting story that will change the way readers think about the world they live in. In a future, long-declining America, society is strictly stratified by class. Long-abandoned urban neighbourhoods have been repurposed as highwalled, self-contained labour colonies. And the members of the labour class-descendants of those brought over en masse many years earlier from environmentally ruined provincial China-find purpose and identity in their work to provide pristine produce and fish to the small, elite, satellite charter villages that ring the labour settlement. In this world lives Fan, a female fish-tank diver, who leaves her home in the B-Mor settlement (once known as Baltimore), when the man she loves mysteriously disappears. Fan's journey to find him takes her out of the safety of B-Mor, through the anarchic Open Counties, where crime is rampant with scant governmental oversight, and to a faraway charter village, in a quest that will soon become legend to those she left behind.
By Jane Gardam
'It's a cliche to compare novelists to Jane Austen, but in the case of Jane Gardam it happens to be true. Her diamond-like prose, her understanding of the human heart, her formal inventiveness and her sense of what it is to be alive - young, old, lonely, in love - never fades' Amanda Craig'I love Jane Gardam, especially Old Filth' Nina Stibbe'Her work, like Sylvia Townsend Warner's, has that appealing combination of elegance, erudition and flinty wit' Patrick Gale'One of the finest writers around. Old Filth has stayed with me for years...Can't think of anyone who achieves so much with so few words' Sathnam SangheraSir Edward Feathers has had a brilliant career, from his early days as a lawyer in Southeast Asia, where he earned the nickname Old Filth (Failed In London, Try Hong Kong) to his final working days as a respected judge at the bar. Yet through it all he has carried with him the wounds of a difficult and emotionally hollow childhood. Now an eighty-year-old widower living in comfortable seclusion in Dorset, Feathers is finally free from the demands of his work and the sentimental scaffolding that has sustained him throughout his life. He slips back into the past with ever mounting frequency and intensity, and on the tide of these vivid, lyrical musings, Feathers approaches a reckoning with his own history. Not all the old filth, it seems, can be cleaned away.Jane Gardam has written a literary masterpiece that retraces much of the twentieth century's torrid and momentous history. Feathers' childhood in Malaya during the British Empire's heyday, his schooling in pre-war England, his professional success in Southeast Asia and his return to England toward the end of the millennium, are vantage points from which the reader can observe the march forward of an eventful era and the steady progress of that man, Sir Edward Feathers, Old Filth himself, who embodies the century's fate.
Orange Is the New Black
By Piper Kerman
With her career, live-in boyfriend and loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the rebellious young woman who got mixed up with drug runners and delivered a suitcase of drug money to Europe over a decade ago. But when she least expects it, her reckless past catches up with her; convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at an infamous women's prison in Connecticut, Piper becomes inmate #11187-424. From her first strip search to her final release, she learns to navigate this strange world with its arbitrary rules and codes, its unpredictable, even dangerous relationships. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with tokens of generosity, hard truths and simple acts of acceptance. Now an original comedy-drama series from Netflix, Piper's story is a fascinating, heartbreaking and often hilarious insight into life on the inside.
The Only Way Was Essex
By Spike Mays
In a remote corner of rural Essex, when ploughs were drawn by heavy horses and children walked shoeless to school, young Spike Mays lived with his family in a two-up, two-down cottage, where there was no electricity, no bathroom, no running water and just a shared privy in the back yard. Beset by poverty, this was an England in the shadow of the Great War. In this bittersweet memoir Mays recreates the village, its travelling parson, local poacher and even the local drunkard. And in the bustling backstairs world of the squire's house where Spike served his apprenticeship we see a more privileged side to life. This warm and nostalgic portrait of a very different Essex opens a door to a distant past.
By Michael Bloch
In this fascinating piece of historical detective work - the result of several years' research and the interrogation of numerous surviving witnesses - Michael Bloch has penetrated one of the great mysteries of the Second World War: the plot to bring the Duke of Windsor under German power on the eve of the Battle of Britain, a plot which the Duke himself is sometimes said to have given encouragement. A work of historical sleuthing in the classic tradition, combining powerful writing with scrupulous scholarship.
By Tom Holt
Two thousand, seven hundred and seventy-six years ago a group of men ran between two piles of stones, and invented sport. If, that is, its history can be believed.The first ever Olympic Games in 776BC were apparently so memorable that all Western chronology is based on them. All we know about them is the name of the man who won the race. Over two and a half millennia later, it's about time somebody told the story.OLYMPIAD is an enthralling and beguiling historical novel full of adventure and misadventure. It will confirm Tom Holt's place as an innovative, challenging and wonderfully entertaining writer of historical fiction. Essential reading for all fans of Tom Holt and historical fiction.
One Fifth Avenue
By Candace Bushnell
One Fifth Avenue, the Art Deco beauty towering over Manhattan's hippest neighbourhood, is a one-of-a-kind address, the sort of building you have to earn your way into - one way or another.For the women in Candace Bushnell's stellar new novel, One Fifth Avenue is at the heart of the lives they've carefully established, or hope to establish. There is Schiffer Diamond, a forty-something actress busily proving that women of style are truly ageless. There is spoiled, self-assured Lola, who is determined to launch herself into society and the arms of the right man by clawing a way into the building. Annalisa is the wife of a hedge fund manager and reluctant socialite, while bitter Mindy is married to an under-published writer and has been the family breadwinner for too long. And then there is Enid, the glamorous grande dame and gossip columnist, who has lived at One Fifth Avenue for decades, and sees everything there is to see from her penthouse view . . .
Old World, New World
By Kathleen Burk
In OLD WORLD, NEW WORLD Kathleen Burk sets out to tell the story of Britain and America across four hundred years, from colonisation to Iraq. There are two strands to this story. The first is the grand narrative that takes in the British colonisation of America and the American Revolutionary War, the American Civil War and the global conflicts of the twentieth century. This is the story of America's inevitable eclipse of its former colonial master as a Great Power, and of the enmities and sympathies, the confusions and understandings born along the way. The second strand is quieter but no less fascinating. Displaying a breathtaking command of her subject, Burk examines the relations between the two countries in many other spheres: economic, religious, cultural, social, even romantic. These two strands taken together make Old World, New World an unprecedented achievement. No one could hope to write the definitive story of these two countries and their relationship, but few will come closer than Kathleen Burk has in this brilliant book.
Otis Lee Crenshaw: I Blame Society
By Rich Hall
The memoir of Otis Lee Crenshaw, Rich Hall's Perrier Award-winning alter ego'My Old Man's name was Jack Daniels Crenshaw. No surprise what he liked to drink. As a very small child I remember teething - cryin' out savagely for relief. Eventually he would appear over my crib and rub Jack Daniels on his gums until he fell asleep.' Married six times, all to women named Brenda, Otis Lee Crenshaw's bourbon-fuelled odyssey takes him from the high mountains of East Tennessee to the bottom of the music charts. A man not above faking his own death to sell more records, this is his not quite true story of romance, recidivism, country music, and an unshakeable belief in Marriage at First Sight.
The Oxford Murders
By Guillermo Martinez
On a balmy summer's day in Oxford an old lady who once helped decipher the Enigma Code is killed. After receiving a cryptic anonymous note containing only the address and the symbol of a circle, Arthur Seldom, a leading mathematician, arrives to find the body. Then follow more murders - an elderly man on a life-support machine is found dead with needle marks in this throat; the percussionist of an orchestra at a concert at Blenheim Palace dies before the audience's very eyes - seemingly unconnected except for notes appearing in the maths department, for the attention of Seldom. Why is he being targeted as the recipient of these coded messages? All he can conjecture is that it might relate to his latest book, an unexpected bestseller about serial killers and the parallels between investigations into their crimes and certain mathematical theorems. It is left to Seldom and a postgraduate mathematics student to work out the key to the series of symbols before the killer strikes again.
By David Foster Wallace
A visionary, a craftsman, a comedian ... He can do anything with a piece of prose, and it is a humbling experience to see him go to work on what has passed up till now as 'modern fiction'. He's so modern he's in a different time-space continuum from the rest of us. Goddamn him' ZADIE SMITHA recognised master of form and a brilliant recorder of human behaviour, David Foster Wallace has been hailed as 'the most significant writer of his generation' (TLS). Each new book confirms and extends his genius, and this new short story collection is no exception. In the stories that make up OBLIVION, David Foster Wallace conjoins the rawest, most naked humanity with the infinite convolutions of self-consciousness - a combination that is dazzlingly, uniquely his.'Wallace's talent is such that you can't help wondering: how good can he get?' TIME OUT
By Philippe Legrain
Globalisation is one of the most controversial issues in the world today. While protestors take to the streets at international summits, it is becoming conventional wisdom that companies are taking over the world, that governments' ability to tax, spend and regulate is under threat from global competition, that globalisation harms the poor and that democracy is at risk.Not so. This tightly argued and fiercely intelligent book demolishes some of these myths and shows how, without globalisation, the poor are never going to get richer. It is simply the only way to give governments the means to combat poverty: money for schools, hospitals and welfare. Focusing on the history of world trade as well as topical issues such as the power of corporations, whether globalisation is bad for poor countries, whether it threatens the environment and Americanises indigenous cultures, Philippe Legrain shows why elected governments are still very much in control and why a more open world offers greater opportunity for everyone, rich and poor, to better their lives.
On The Brink
By Jonathan Fenby
When Le Pen won through to the second round of the presidential elections in April, the eyes of the world turned to France and wondered whether the forces of the extreme right were really alive in Europe again. In this timely book, Jonathan Fenby asks what the future really holds for our nearest neighbour. For centuries France has occupied a unique position in the British, and indeed European, psyche - sometimes as enemy, sometimes as collaborator, but always an object of fascination and opinion. Part of this interest is due to the problems we share - economically, culturally and politically - yet despite the common difficulties France is a country in crisis to a much greater extent than we realise.So argues Jonathan Fenby in this excellent survey of the state of modern France. Taking in all the major themes of French identity and exploring how they have been undermined - from agriculture to the motor industry, smoking to fashion - and with acute analysis of recent French political history, Fenby argues that France is a country without direction; a once-great power now unsure of itself and its place in the world.
One Palestine, Complete
By Tom Segev
Great Britain ruled Palestine from 1917 to 1948. The British presence replaced 500 years of Turkish control and led to the State of Israel, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1998. The British brought Palestine into the twentieth century. When they arrived the country lay in a Levantine nirvana; by the time they left it had become the arena for one of the century's major international conflicts. Among the personalities who shape this narrative are Lawrence of Arabia, Winston Churchill, the archaeologist Flinders Petrie, King Feisal, Chaim Weizmann and David Ben Gurion. One momentous consequence of these 30 years was that the Jewish population increased by a factor of ten.