By Patrick Hamilton
'I recommend Hamilton at every opportunity, because he was such a wonderful writer and yet is rather under-read today. All his novels are terrific' Sarah Waters'If you were looking to fly from Dickens to Martin Amis with just one overnight stop, then Hamilton is your man' Nick HornbyWest 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.
Theft by Finding
By David Sedaris
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 'He's like an American Alan Bennett, in that his own fastidiousness becomes the joke, as per the taxi encounter, or his diary entry about waiting interminably in a coffee-bar queue' Guardian review of An Evening with David Sedaris 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.
By Alastair Sawday
A charming and beautifully written account of the pleasures of slow travel - for readers of Patrick Leigh Fermor, Colin Thubron and Eric Newby.'Lawrence Sterne once suggested that we travel for one of just three reasons: imbecility of mind, infirmity of body or inevitable necessity. One might add to Sterne's little list: envy, curiosity - or just too much bloody rain at home. Escape, in other words.' Campaigner, publisher and wanderer Alastair Sawday has spent his life travelling. En route he has unearthed a multitude of stories - stories of people ploughing their own furrows, of travellers' tales, stories from the 'front line' of his publishing , ruminations and reflections about places, people and ideas. In this deeply charming, erudite and spirited book, he shares his experiences and explores the value of travel.'The richer our imaginations, the richer our travel experience. We British do things one way and the Spaniards another; there are unlimited ways of doing everything. Kindness is found in unexpected places, as is eccentricity. Eccentrics are an endangered species and need as much protection as does the house sparrow.'Travelling Light is a gradual awakening to the fragility of everything we love through contemplative, consciously slow journeying. Every visit uncovers difference - from France profonde to the darker side of Sicily, and to the woodland, flora, fauna, views and silence of rural Britain. Alastair Sawday gives voice to those of us who have climbed no mountains, discovered no rivers, created no great institutions, powered no legislation, changed very little - but who yearn to understand the world and make sense of its infinite variety.
Terms & Conditions
By Ysenda Maxtone Graham
When I asked a group of girls who had been at Hatherop Castle in the 1960s whether the school had had a lab in those days they gave me a blank look. 'A laboratory?' I expanded, hoping to jog their memories. 'Oh that kind of lab!' one of them said. 'I thought you meant a Labrador.''The cruel teachers. The pashes on other girls. The gossip. The giggles. The awful food. The homesickness. The friendships made for life. The shivering cold. Games of lacrosse, and cricket.'The girls' boarding school! What a ripe theme for the most observant verbal artist in our midst today - the absurdly undersung Ysenda Maxtone Graham, who has the beadiness and nosiness of the best investigative reporter, the wit of Jane Austen and a take on life which is like no one else's. This book has been my constant companion ever since it appeared'A. N. Wilson, Evening Standard'A wonderful book'Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday
Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky
By Patrick Hamilton
'I recommend Hamilton at every opportunity, because he was such a wonderful writer and yet is rather under-read today. All his novels are terrific' Sarah Waters'If you were looking to fly from Dickens to Martin Amis with just one overnight stop, then Hamilton is your man' Nick HornbyThe Midnight Bell, a pub on the Euston Road, is the pulse of this brilliant and compassionate trilogy. It is here where the barman, Bob, falls in love with Jenny, a West End prostitute who comes in off the streets for a gin and pep. Around his obsessions, and Ella the barmaid's secret love for him, swirls the sleazy life of London in the 1930s. This is a world where people emerge from cheap lodgings in Pimlico to pour out their passions, hopes and despair in pubs and bars - a world of twenty thousand streets full of cruelty and kindness, comedy and pathos, wasted dreams and lost desires.
The Three-Year Swim Club
By Julie Checkoway
In 1937 an ordinary school teacher on the island of Maui took a group of under privileged children, most of Japanese ancestry, and trained them to become Olympic swimmers. He called his plan the 'Three-Year Swim Club' and he succeeded in producing true American heroes whose story has never been told.None of the barefoot children had ever laid eyes on a pool. Their only experience in water was playing naked in the filthy irrigation ditches that snaked down from the mountains and into the sugar cane fields. And the coach knew nothing about coaching and couldn't swim a lap to save his life. But, against all odds, and during a period of history marked by virulent racism and the Second World War, the children embarked on an unlikely path that led them to become celebrated swimmers from LA to London, and real-life American heroes.
The Third Plate
By Dan Barber
'A must-read for anyone interested in food and the future' Yotam OttolenghiBased on ten years of surveying farming communities around the world, top New York chef Dan Barber's The Third Plate offers a radical new way of thinking about food that will heal the land and taste incredible. The 'first plate' was a classic meal centred on a large cut of meat with few vegetables. On the 'second plate', championed by the farm-to-table movement, meat is free-range and vegetables are locally sourced. It's better-tasting, and better for the planet, but the second plate's architecture is identical to that of the first. It, too, disrupts ecological balances, causing soil depletion and nutrient loss - it just isn't a sustainable way to farm or eat. The 'third plate' offers a solution: an integrated system of vegetable, cereal and livestock production that is fully supported - in fact, dictated - by what we choose to cook for dinner. The Third Plate is where good farming and good food intersect.
By Simon Mawer
Marian Sutro has survived Ravensbruck and is back in dreary 1950s London trying to pick up the pieces of her pre-war life. Returned to an England she barely knows and a post-war world she doesn't understand Marian searches for something on which to ground the rest of her life. Family and friends surround her and a young RAF officer attempts to bring her the normalities of love and affection but she is haunted by her experiences and by the guilt of knowing that her contribution to the war effort helped lead to the development of the Atom Bomb. Where, in the complexities of peacetime, does her loyalty lie? When a mysterious Russian diplomat emerges from the shadows to draw her into the ambiguities and uncertainties of the Cold War she sees a way to make amends for the past and to renew the excitement of her double life. Simon Mawer's sense of time and place is perfect: Tightrope is a compelling novel about identity and deception which constantly surprises the reader.
The Third Reich in History and Memory
By Richard J. Evans
In this fascinating and enlightening collection of essays, one of the most important historians of our time reflects on the ways our understanding of Nazi Germany have been transformed in the twenty-first century. Richard Evans examines new historical perspectives on the Third Reich, such as showing how it is increasingly viewed in a broader international - even global - context, as part of the age of imperialism. He investigates how Nazi policies in Europe drew on Hitler's image of the American colonisation of the Great Plains, how companies like Volkswagen and Krupp operated on a global scale and - perhaps most controversial of all - how historians have come to see the Holocaust not as a unique historical event but as a genocide with parallels and similarities in other countries and at other times. THE THIRD REICH IN HISTORY AND MEMORY explores how these new perspectives have brought dividends, but also offers a critical perspective on the ways they are changing our perception of the period. THE THIRD REICH IN HISTORY AND MEMORY, in Richard Evans' characteristically compelling style, shows us that memory has to be subjected to the close scrutiny of history if it is to stand up to examination, while history's implications for collective cultural memories of Nazism must be spelled out with precision as well as with passion.
Tales From the Dark Continent
By Charles Allen
Charles Allen captures the vanished world of British Colonial Africa in the recollections of the pioneering men and women who lived and worked there.
By Harry Pearson
Some men are born medium-paced, some achieve medium-pace, and some have medium-pace thrust upon them.Bowlers who take wickets not with pace or spin, but - at speeds between 65 and 85mph - by nagging accuracy are the commonest in cricket. So far, however, nobody has paid them any attention. Yet seam bowling remains one of cricket's most mysterious arts. George Hirst, one of the best early exponents of swerve, was as puzzled by it as his opponents. 'Sometimes it works,' he said, 'and sometimes it doesn't.'Examining the history of medium-pace bowling, explaining how swing both normal and reverse actually works, and telling the story of some of the great and not-so-great dobbers such as Shackleton ('His bowling, like his hair, never less than immaculate,' noted Wisden approvingly), Trundlers will bring bread-and-butter bowlers who 'do a bit off the seam', 'wobble the odd one about' or simply 'nag away at off-stump' out into the limelight for the first time. Warm, affectionate and told with Harry Pearson's trademark humour, Trundlers celebrates dobbers in all their sleeves-rolled-up, uncomplaining workaday glory.
The Tank War
By Mark Urban
From the evacuation of France in 1940 to the final dash to Hamburg in 1945, the 5th Royal Tank Regiment were on the front line throughout the Second World War. Theirs was a war that saw them serve in Africa as part of the Desert Rats, before returning to Europe for the Normandy landings. Wherever they went, the notoriety of the 'Filthy Fifth' grew - they revelled in their reputation for fighting by their own rules.The Tank War explains how Britain, having lost its advantage in tank warfare by 1939, regained ground through shifts in tactics and leadership methods, as well as the daring and bravery of the crews themselves. Overturning the received wisdom of much Second World War history, Mark Urban shows how the tank regiments' advances were the equal of the feats of the German Panzer divisions.Drawing on a wealth of new material, from interviews with surviving soldiers to rarely seen archive material, this is an unflinchingly honest, unsentimental and often brutal account of the 5th RTR's wartime experiences. Capturing the characters in the crews and exploring the strategy behind their success, The Tank War is not just the story of an battle hardened unit, but something more extraordinary: the triumph of ordinary men, against long odds, in the darkest of times.
By Iain Banks
Imagine a world that is one of infinite parallel worlds, that hangs suspended between triumph and catastrophe, the dismantling of the Wall and the fall of the Twin Towers, in the shadow of suicide terrorism and global financial collapse. Presiding over this world is the Concern, an all-powerful organisation whose operatives possess extraordinary powers. There is Temudjin Oh, an unkillable assassin who journeys between the high passes of Nepal, a version of Victorian London and a wintry Venice; Adrian Cubbish, restlessly greedy City trader; and the Philosopher, a state-sponsored torturer who moves between the time zones with sinister ease. Transition is a high-definition, hyper-real apocalyptic fable for terrible times.
Time To Start Thinking
By Edward Luce
On its present course, the US faces a world of rising new countries that will compete with it ever more fiecely as its own power is declining. In order to slow and improve this steady leakage of power, the US must change course internationally, economically and domestically. It must also restructure to remain the world's most competitive economy. And it must address quality of life issues and fairness at home. But American politics is broken - competing forces and interests have led to stasis. With change so tough, where now for a country where the middle classes are suffering as they have never suffered before, the pensions crisis is growing, the deficit out of sight, and radicalism waiting in the wings?
By Christopher Moore
For Chris Moore, the Great War has developed from a childhood fascination to a full-blown obsession, both for the actuality, of the war - its archives and its archaeology - as well as its abiding influence on English language, manners and customs.Exasperated with the emphasis most war literature places on the officers, generals and political leaders, Chris Moore decided to trace the war-time experiences of one man, one personal history among the six million voiceless ranks of Britons in uniform. He chose Private Walter Butterworth, Fifth Battalion, the Leicestershire Regiment, an obscure infantryman in a disparaged outfit of amateurs that somehow managed to win one of the greatest battles of history - who also happened to be Chris Moore's grandfather.In TRENCH FEVER, Chris Moore retrieves his grandfather's war-song by following (with reluctant family in tow) the three year march of the Fifth Leicesters through France and Flanders.
By Christy Campbell
During the darkest days of the Second World War, the Allies listened intently to the messages of the enemy. Every whisper built a picture of the threat to come - weapons that were terrifying in their murderous capabilities. Target London is the dramatic tale of the inception of the German V-weapons, the Allies' epic race to discover the truth about them and the rockets' effects on the streets of London. Investigative historian Christy Campbell brilliantly interweaves the many strands of this gripping episode. At the heart of this tale is London - the target of Nazi Germany's plan to crush British morale.
Towards The True Kinship Of Faiths
By The Dalai Lama
No country, no culture, no person today is untouched by what happens in the rest of the world, and globalization presents many challenges. The Dalai Lama understands that the essential task of humanity in the twenty-first century must be to cultivate peaceful coexistence. In this book the Dalai Lama shows how in our globalized world, nations, cultures and individuals can find opportunities to connect through their shared human nature. All faiths turn to compassion as a guiding principle for living a good life. It is the responsibility of all people with an aspiration to spiritual perfection to help develop a deep recognition of the value of other faiths, and it is on that basis alone that we can cultivate genuine respect and cooperation.Towards the True Kinship of Faiths is a hopeful yet realistic look at how humanity can embrace a harmonious future.
That Used To Be Us
By Thomas Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum
America has a huge problem. It faces four major challenges, on which its future depends, and it is failing to meet them. In What's Wrong with America?, Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum analyze those challenges - globalization, the revolution in information technology, the nation's chronic deficits, and its pattern of energy consumption - and spell out what needs to be done now to rediscover America's power and prowess.They explain how the end of the cold war blinded the nation to the need to address these issues seriously. They show how America's history, when properly understood, provides the key to coping successfully and explain how the paralysis of the US political system and the erosion of key American values have made it impossible to carry out the policies the country needs. What's Wrong with America? is both a searching exploration of the American condition today and a rousing manifesto for American renewal.
To Be Sung Underwater
By Tom McNeal
For you, I was a chapter-a good chapter maybe, or even your favorite chapter, but, still, just a chapter-and for me, you were the book.' Judith Whitman believes in the sort of love that 'picks you up in Akron, Ohio, and sets you down in Rio de Janeiro'. But she married more pragmatically.Before her marriage to a banker, before her career as a film editor in Los Angeles, Judith was 17 and living in Nebraska, where she met Willy Blunt, a carpenter whose pale blue eyes and easy smile awakened in Judith the reckless girl he alone imagined her to be. Marrying Willy seemed a natural thing to promise. But a violent episode followed by acceptance to a prestigious university carried Judith away. Twenty years later, Judith's sturdy-seeming marriage is suddenly hazy with secrets, and her thoughts drift back to the time when she and Willy had escaped to a small world where sunlight seemed always to fall from a softer angle. What happens now when she holds in her hand the number for the man who believed it, long ago, when she declared her love?
Them And Us
By Will Hutton
The suddenness and depth of the recession has raised questions about the workability of capitalism not seen since the 1930s. One of the constraints on recovery is the growing belief that if the old model did not work there is no new one on offer. This book sets out to provide one, arguing that reconstructing a bust financial system is not just a technical question. It cannot be done without a wholescale revision of the wider system and values on which it is based. And fairness must be placed at the heart of the new capitalism if our society is to recover its values.Will Hutton's new book musters brilliant, convincing arguments which will lend favour on both right and left. It is set to be a book which captures the mood of the moment in the same way that THE STATE WE'RE IN did.