By David Sedaris
'Unquestionably the king of comic writing . . . Calypso is both funnier and more heartbreaking than pretty much anything out there' Hadley Freeman, GuardianIf 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.
China's Great Wall of Debt
By Dinny McMahon
The world has long considered China a juggernaut of economic strength, but since the global financial crisis, the country's economy has ballooned in size, complexity, and risk. Once dominated by four state-owned banks, the nation's financial system is a tangle of shadow banking entities, informal financial institutions, and complex corporate funding arrangements that threaten growth, stability, and reform efforts. The country has accumulated so much debt so quickly that economists increasingly predict a financial crisis that could make 'Brexit' or Greece's economic ruin seem minor, and could undermine China's ascent as a superpower. Earlier this year, President Xi Jinping issued an urgent call for reform that gives the country until 2020 to transform its economy - a vaguely-defined objective that most economists agree is unrealistic. Whether or not China will be responsible for the next global recession, as some experts forecast, the fate of its economy will have far-reaching consequences for the rest of the world. Yet the inner workings of China's financial system are still very much a mystery to most outsiders. Now more than ever, as the country's slowing economy is being felt around the globe, it is essential to understand how China allowed its economy to become so mired in debt. China's Great Wall of Debt is a penetrating examination of the country's opaque financial system and the complex factors - demographic shifts; urbanization; industrialization; a pervasive over-reliance on debt-fueled investments - that have brought the country to the brink of crisis. Anchored by stories of China's cities and its people; from factory workers and displaced farmers to government officials and entrepreneurs, the narrative will take readers inside the country's ghost cities, zombie companies, start-ups, and regulatory institutions as McMahon explains how things got so bad, why fixing the problems is so hard, and what the economic outlook means for China and for the rest of us.
Coal Black Mornings
By Brett Anderson
Brett Anderson came from a world impossibly distant from rock star success, and in Coal Black Mornings he traces the journey that took him from a childhood as 'a snotty, sniffy, slightly maudlin sort of boy raised on Salad Cream and milky tea and cheap meat' to becoming founder and lead singer of Suede.Anderson grew up in Hayward's Heath on the grubby fringes of the Home Counties. As a teenager he clashed with his eccentric taxi-driving father (who would parade around their council house dressed as Lawrence of Arabia, air-conducting his favourite composers) and adored his beautiful, artistic mother. He brilliantly evokes the seventies, the suffocating discomfort of a very English kind of poverty and the burning need for escape that it breeds. Anderson charts the shabby romance of creativity as he travelled the tube in search of inspiration, fuelled by Marmite and nicotine, and Suede's rise from rehearsals in bedrooms, squats and pubs. And he catalogues the intense relationships that make and break bands as well as the devastating loss of his mother.Coal Black Mornings is profoundly moving, funny and intense - a book which stands alongside the most emotionally truthful of personal stories.
By Charles Allen
COROMANDEL. A name which has been long applied by Europeans to the Northern Tamil Country, or (more comprehensively) to the eastern coast of the Peninsula of India.This is the India highly acclaimed historian Charles Allen visits in this fascinating book. Coromandel journeys south, exploring the less well known, often neglected and very different history and identity of the pre-Aryan Dravidian south. During Allen's exploration of the Indian south he meets local historians, gurus and politicians and with their help uncovers some extraordinary stories about the past. His sweeping narrative takes in the archaeology, religion, linguistics and anthropology of the region - and how these have influenced contemporary politics. Known for his vivid storytelling, for decades Allen has travelled the length and breadth of India, revealing the spirit of the sub-continent through its history and people. In Coromandel, he moves through modern-day India, discovering as much about the present as he does about the past.
Cast No Shadow
By Mary S. Lovell
The legend of Betty Pack is simple enough. She was a beautiful American spy recruited first by the British Secret lntelligence Service in 1938 and later by the American OSS. Her method of obtaining information was singular: seduction. In Cast No Shadow Mary Lovell, author of Straight On Till Morning, the internationally acclaimed and best-selling biography of Beryl Markham, gives us for the first time the complete story behind the legend of this modern-day Mata Hari, a story more astounding than the legend.Betty Pack's milieu was the aristocratic world of international diplomatic society The wife of a career British diplomat-the marriage for both partners had quickly become an arrangement of convenience, not passion - Betty would be witness to and participant in many of the most intense historic moments of the twentieth century: in civil war-torn Madrid, besieged Warsaw occupied Paris, wartime Washington. In each locale, Betty's entrée into diplomatic circles and her own penchant for seeking out men at the center of conflict made her a spy whose love of adventure was matched only by her talent for uncovering the enemy's secrets. Betty often knew what information her spymasters wanted; more important, she knew whom to approach and seduce in order to obtain it.Relying on top-secret and heretofore unrevealed documents from British Intelligence as well as on Betty's own memoir written shortly before her death, Mary Lovell offers a remarkable portrait of a woman whose adeptness for intrigue in affairs of espionage and passion is astonishing. Cast No Shadow is a story of subterfuge and romantic expediency the exposes the hidden human intrigue of World War II and the life of a woman whose contribution to the Allied effort was invaluable and unique.
Curiosities from the College Museum
By Richard Thompson
The Royal College of Physicians celebrates its 500th anniversary in 2018, and to observe this landmark is publishing this series of ten books. Each of the books focuses on fifty themed elements that have contributed to making the RCP what it is today, together adding up to 500 reflections on 500 years. Some of the people, ideas, objects and manuscripts featured are directly connected to the College, while others have had an influence that can still be felt in its work.This fifth book in the series is a celebration of 50 fascinating objects in the Royal College's museum and collections.
By Trevor Royle
The Battle of Culloden has gone down in history as the last major battle fought on British soil: a vicious confrontation between Scottish forces supporting the Stuart claim to the throne and the English Royal Army. But this wasn't just a conflict between the Scots and the English, the battle was also part of a much larger campaign to protect the British Isles from the growing threat of a French invasion. In Trevor Royle's vivid and evocative narrative, we are drawn into the ranks, on both sides, alongside doomed Jacobites fighting fellow Scots dressed in the red coats of the Duke of Cumberland's Royal Army. And we meet the Duke himself, a skilled warrior who would gain notoriety due to the reprisals on Highland clans in the battle's aftermath. Royle also takes us beyond the battle as the men of the Royal Army, galvanized by its success at Culloden, expand dramatically and start to fight campaigns overseas in America and India in order to secure British interests; we see the revolutionary use of fighting techniques first implemented at Culloden; and the creation of professional fighting forces. Culloden changed the course of British history by ending all hope of the Stuarts reclaiming the throne, cementing Hanoverian rule and forming the bedrock for the creation of the British Empire. Royle's lively and provocative history looks afresh at the period and unveils its true significance, not only as the end of a struggle for the throne but the beginning of a new global power.
The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry
By Gabrielle Zevin
A.J. Fikry owns a failing bookshop. His wife has just died, in tragic circumstances. His rare and valuable first edition has been stolen. His life is a wreck. Amelia is a book rep, with a big heart, and a lonely life.Maya is the baby left on A.J.'s bookshop floor with a note. What happens in the bookshop that changes the lives of these seemingly normal but extraordinary characters?This is the story of how unexpected love can rescue you and bring you back to real life, in a world that you won't want to leave, with characters that you will come to love.
Cross and Burn
By Val McDermid
Someone is brutally killing women. Women who bear a striking resemblance to former DCI Carol Jordan. The connection is too strong to ignore and soon psychological profiler Tony Hill finds himself dangerously close to the investigation, just as the killer is closing in on his next target.This is a killer like no other, hell-bent on inflicting the most severe and grotesque punishment on his prey. As the case becomes ever-more complex and boundaries begin to blur, Tony and Carol must work together once more to try and save the victims, and themselves.Breathless, gripping and thrilling -- the Queen of the Psychological Thriller is back with her most spine-chilling novel to date. The perfect introduction to the unforgettable world of Tony Hill and Carol Jordan.
By Alan Weisman
Every four days there are a million more people on the planet. More people and fewer resources. In this timely work, Alan Weisman examines how we can shrink our collective human footprint so that we don't stomp any more species - including our own - out of existence. The answer: reducing gradually and non-violently the number of humans on the planet whose activities, industries and lifestyles are damaging the Earth. Defining an optimum human population for the Earth is an explosive concept. Weisman, one of the most brilliant environmental writers, will travel the globe, from the settlements of Israel and the plains of Mexico to the bustling streets of Pakistan and the teeming cities of the UK. In his search for answers, he will speak to religious leaders, demographers, ecologists, economists, engineers and agriculturalists in what promises to be an international classic.
The Casual Vacancy
By J.K. Rowling
When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war.Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils... Pagford is not what it first seems.And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?A big novel about a small town, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults. It is the work of a storyteller like no other.
By Mary S. Lovell
There never was a Churchill from John of Marlborough down who had either morals or principles', so said Gladstone. From the First Duke of Marlborough - soldier of genius, restless empire-builder and cuckolder of Charles II - onwards, the Churchills have been politicians, gamblers and profligates, heroes and womanisers.The Churchills is a richly layered portrait of an extraordinary set of men and women - grandly ambitious, regularly impecunious, impulsive, arrogant and brave. And towering above the Churchill clan is the figure of Winston - his failures and his triumphs shown in a new and revealing context - ultimately our 'greatest Briton'.
By James Harkin
Once there was no text messaging. No email and no social network sites like Facebook, Bebo and MySpace. The way we live has apparently been transformed by new ways of communicating. But where did these trends start? And if they can change our behaviour, can they also change the way we think?In Cyburbia James Harkin describes how the architecture of our digital lives was built over seventy years. In a brilliant narrative that encompasses the work of crackpots, inventors and visionaries, it shows how a concept that began with the need to shoot down German bombers has evolved to govern almost everything - from our lives online to modern films like Memento and 21 Grams, from TV shows and plays to military strategy. Gripping, revelatory and fiercely intelligent, this extraordinary book will change forever the way you think about everything you do.
The Comfort Of Saturdays
By Alexander McCall Smith
Isabel Dalhousie is a new mother and a connoisseur of philosophy; she'd rather not be a sleuth. But when a chance conversation at a dinner party draws her into the case of a doctor whose career has been ruined, she cannot ignore what may be a miscarriage of justice. Because for Isabel ethics are not theoretical at all, but an everyday matter of life and death. As she attempts to unravel the truth behind Dr Thompson's disgrace, Isabel's patient intelligence is also required to deal with challenges in her own life. There is her baby son Charlie; Cat's deli to look after, not to mention her vulnerable assistant Eddie; and a mysterious and unlikeable composer who has latched on to Jamie, making Isabel fear for the future of her new family. Isabel treads a difficult path between trust and gullibility, philanthropy and interference, while keeping in her sights the small but certain comforts of family, philosophy and a fine Saturday morning.
By Philip Shenon
In a work of history that will make headlines, NEW YORK TIMES reporter Philip Shenon investigates the investigation of 9/11 and tells the inside story of the most important federal commission since the Warren Commission. Shenon uncovers startling new information about the inner workings of the 9/11 commission and its relationship with the Bush White House. THE COMMISSION will change our understanding of the 9/11 investivation - and of the attacks themselves.
By Terry O'Neill, A. A. Gill
Celebrity' is often compared to fame but its linguistic roots also leave room for celebration and honour. In that sense celebrity is closer to star quality than to mere renown, the state of being famous. In this sumptuously illustrated book we find Tom Cruise, Brigitte Bardot, Elton John, Mick Jagger, Joan Collins, Michael Caine, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, Sean Connery and people who have superseded the fads of reputation and proved their celebrity longevity. The range of Terry O'Neill's celebrity portraits is incredible. From Audrey Hepburn to Naomi Campbell, from Frank Sinatra to Kate Moss - this is a true celebration of true celebrity. AA Gill's characteristically witty and insightful introduction to the book analyses what it is that allows these people to transcend their contemparies in the pantheon of the renowned; what makes some them true celebrities, whilst others are merely and briefly famous.