Viva la Revolucion
By Eric Hobsbawm
Eric Hobsbawm (1917-2012) wrote that Latin America was the only region of the world outside Europe which he felt he knew well and where he felt entirely at home. He claimed this was because it was the only part of the Third World whose two principal languages, Spanish and Portuguese, were within his reach. But he was also, of course, attracted by the potential for social revolution in Latin America. After the triumph of Fidel Castro in Cuba in January 1959, and even more after the defeat of the American attempt to overthrow him at the Bay of Pigs in April 1961, 'there was not an intellectual in Europe or the USA', he wrote, 'who was not under the spell of Latin America, a continent apparently bubbling with the lava of social revolutions'.'The Third World brought the hope of revolution back to the First in the 1960s'. The two great international inspirations were Cuba and Vietnam, 'triumphs not only of revolution, but of Davids against Goliaths, of the weak against the all-powerful'.
By Justin Hill
A Times Book of the Year 'A literary, intelligent read from a masterful storyteller'In 1035, a young fifteen year old Viking is dragged wounded from the battle. Left for dead, for the next twenty years his adventures lead him over mountains, down the length of Russia and ultimately to Constantinople and the Holy City of Jerusalem.Drawn into political intrigue he will be the lover of Empresses, the murderer of an emperor; he will hold the balance of power in the Byzantine Empire in his hands, and then give it all up for a Russian princess and the chance to return home and lead his own people, where he must fight the demons of his past, his family and his countrymen in a long and bitter war for revenge and power.Told in his own voice, this is the astonishing true story of the most famous warrior in all Christendom: Harald Hardrada, the last Viking.
The Vintage Springtime Club
By Beatrice Meier
Perfect for fans of A MAN CALLED OVE, THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL and THE LITTLE PARIS BOOKSHOP Newly retired Philip returns home to Cologne and is thrown into emotional turmoil upon bumping into his long-lost sweetheart. In the midst of a domestic crisis, Ricarda confides in Philip that she is looking for somewhere to live. And there and then, Philip suggests that she move in with him - he is setting up a flatshare. Will she join him with his mischievous dachshund named Ralf?To his surprise, Ricarda agrees, leaving Philip to scramble together a crew of retires in time for spring, for the most unlikely of social experiments. There's grumpy cigarette-smoking grandfather Harry; quiet and discreet Eckart, curiously carting around his late wife's headstone; Uschi, brimming with life, harbouring a passion for leotards and aerobics, along with sausages and outrageous knitting patterns; and then, ever-practical and warm-hearted Ricarda, towards whom Phillip is developing real feelings. Despite their differences, the flatmates thrive and embark on a series of new adventures. But when Uschi falls unwell, familiar cracks begin to show and this uniquely spirited club of friends must work together in order to survive - and truly blossom.Read what people are saying about The Vintage Springtime Club'Such a wonderful, uplifting story. When I finished I felt a warm frisson of emotion enveloping me. It's difficult to believe this is Beatrice's first novel' (Kraftireader) 'This gentle book is full of warmth and is an easy enjoyable read' (Portobello Book Blog)'A charming debut novel' (Alba Forcadell)'A wonderful tale of life, friendship and love that kept me hooked until the very end' (Reading Room With a View)
By Sally Beauman
Under the tablecloth, Frances's hand reached for mine and clasped it. I knew what it meant, that clasp and the mischievous grateful glance that accompanied it: it meant I was thanked, that there were secrets here. I could accept that. I too had secrets - who doesn't? Sent abroad to Egypt in 1922 to recover from the typhoid that killed her mother, eleven-year-old Lucy is caught up in the intrigue and excitement that surrounds the obsessive hunt for Tutankhamun's tomb. As she struggles to comprehend an adult world in which those closest to her are often cold and unpredictable, Lucy longs for a friend she can love. When she meets Frances, the daughter of an American archaeologist, her life is transformed. As the two girls spy on the grown-ups and try to understand the truth behind their evasions, a lifelong bond is formed.Haunted by the ghosts of her past, the mistakes she made and the secrets she kept, Lucy disinters her past, trying to make sense of what happened all those years ago in Cairo and the Valley of the Kings. And for the first time in her life, she comes to terms with what happened after Egypt, when Frances needed Lucy most.
The Vanished Ones
By Donato Carrisi
We call them the sleepers . . .At the elite Missing Persons bureau of the Federal Police, Mila Vasquez is tasked with finding the hundreds of lost people who vanished from their former lives. The longer they are gone, the more they are forgotten by the world.Now they are returning.Appearing at random and wielding devastation, they enact a horrifying pattern of murders, leaving Mila scrabbling to discover where they have come from and what they want. Yet the deeper into the case she gets, Mila begins to realise that her colleagues are hiding something from her - something which will jeopardise everything . . .Set in the world of Carrisi's record-breaking debut, The Whisperer, The Vanished Ones is intelligent, thrilling and incredibly compelling.
By Rupert Everett
Rupert Everett's first memoir - Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins - was an international bestseller and an instant classic on publication in 2006. Reviewers compared him to Evelyn Waugh, David Niven, Noel Coward and Lord Byron. But Rupert Everett is - of course - one of a kind.Mischievous, touching and nothing less than brilliant, this new memoir is filled with stories, from childhood to the present. Astonishing encounters; tragedy and comedy; vivid portraits of friends and rivals; razor-sharp observations of the celebrity circus from LA to London and beyond... there is something extraordinary on every page. A pilgrimage to Lourdes with his father is both hilarious and moving. A misguided step into reality TV goes horribly wrong. From New York to Moscow to Berlin to Phnom Penh, Vanished Years takes the reader on a wild and wonderful new journey with a charming (and rather disreputable) companion.
A Vicious Circle
By Amanda Craig
A Vicious Circle exposes the corruption of London's journalistic circuit, the horrors of our hospitals and slums, and the transformations caused by motherhood. Gripping, tender and fiercely funny, it has been instantly recognised as a modern classic about the way we live now.
By Elizabeth Longford
Queen Victoria, a woman of diminutive stature and superabundant temperament, gave her name to something more than an age.Using unrestricted access to material from the Royal Archives, including previously unpublished passages Queen Victoria's celebrated Journals, Elizabeth Longford's classic account remains the definitive biography of this extraordinary woman. She shows the queen tormented by an unhappy childhood; tantalised by an all-too-brief happy marriage; deeply shocked at the Prince Consort's death. She depicts the gradual emergence of the queen's renowned qualities, together with some surprising traits, presenting her in a fresh, affectionate and thoroughly human light.'Dazzlingly readable, and very enjoyable' Stella Gibbons
By Tom Holland
Infamous poet Lord Byron comes to life with incendiary brilliance in this spellbinding blend of gothic imagination and documented fact. Wandering in the mountains of Greece, the supreme sensualist is drawn to the beauty of a mysterious fugitive slave; soon he is utterly entranced, and his fate is sealed. He embarks on a life of adventure even his genius could not have foreseen; chosen to enjoy powers beyond those any vampire has ever known, Byron traverses the centuries and enters a dark, intoxicating world of long-lost secrets, ancient arts and scorching excesses of evil. But Byron's gift is also his torment: an all-consuming thirst that withers life at the root, damning all those he loves.With its impeccable scholarship and breathtaking storytelling, THE VAMPYRE is a wonderful combination of fact and fantasy.
The Voyage Home
By Jane Rogers
When Anne Harrington decides to return from her father's burial by boat, she is advised strongly against it. The journey from Nigeria back to England is too long, she is warned: far better to return to her old routine as quickly as possible. But Anne is not quite alone: she has her father's belongings, and more particularly, his diaries from his time in Africa. Many years earlier, Anne's parents had made the opposite journey, arriving in Nigeria to run a mission in the east of the country. It was a time of new beginnings for her father, David, and her mother, Miriam, but also of great tensions: Miriam found local attitudes towards women restricting her role and her freedom; while David's theological differences with his staff were to have wider and more serious repercussions. For Anne, meanwhile, the voyage home is not turning out to be the haven of solitude she is hoping for. Deep inside the ship, hidden among the containers, she discovers a pair of stowaways, desperate not to be discovered. And though Anne promises not to reveal their existence to the crew, if she does not find help, one of them may die ...
Vessel Of Sadness
By William Woodruff
Italy, 1944 - this is the setting of one of the most convincing and quietly magnificent stories about man and war that has ever been written. Here, (distilled from the experiences and observations of one who fought with them in the British infantry unit) is the mood of those who fought and died at Anzio. Their task - to seize the Alban Hills and then Rome forty miles away. Instead, for more than four months, they sank into the mud of the Anzio plain and fought for their lives. Nothing has appeared since Erich Maria Remarque's ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT that can compare with this book's ability to penetrate the minds of men at war. There are no heroes, no heroines, no victories. This is a faceless, nameless, fragmented war. Even national differences - Britain, Italian, German, American - merge and are forgotten in this larger story of humanity. This story, in fact, does not need to be Anzio; it could be any battlefield where man has faced death.
Valley Of The Casbahs
By Jeffrey Tayler
The four-hundred-and-fifty-mile long Draa River Valley in the Moroccan Sahara contains some of the most sumptuous oases and searing desert of the Arab world, starting in the moonscape gorges of the Anti Atlas Mountains through to a green sea of date palms over which rise the many-towered casbahs of ochre coloured clay, medieval in aspect and sheltering a life medieval in character. It is a region richer historically and ethnically than anywhere else in North Africa. The river stretches to the mosaic of dunes and parched land known as hammada - the domain of Bedouin and Blue Men and isolated Berber tribes - and pours through the desert into the Atlantic, where it ends its course. Jeffrey Tayler follows the Draa by foot and on camel, recounting stays in casbah homes, weddings, visits to mosques and marabouts and nights in hashish dens. It is a journey marked with extremes - of weather, as Tayler survives intense heat and sandstorms and potentially lethal local tribesmen - and one which he only narrowly escapes to tell this tale.
By Aiping Mu
Aiping Mu was born to parents prominent in the Communist hierarchy - her father was Political Commissar for the Beijing region and her mother ran one of the city's universities - and in her early years lived the pampered life of the Party elite: luxury housing, guards, servants and private schooling. Both parents were considered intellectuals within the Party and from the start experienced the factional infighting and periodic purges which culminated decades later in the Cultural Revolution and the break-up of the family. Aiping herself was one of the first Red Guards before being denounced as a bourgeois intellectual and exiled to a remote province. In the guise of following one family's rising and falling fortunes VERMILION GATE tells the story of modern China itself, written from the perspective of one who grew up close to the seat of power in history. With rare insights into the life of the political elite and the mechanics of power and patronage in Beijing, the focus is also upon more domestic issues such as the family and the role of women in this unique and powerfully moving book.