Hear Me Out
By Armando Iannucci
A celebration of music from the creator of Alan Partridge, The Thick of It, Veep and The Death of Stalin.All my days, I've felt pressurized by the anonymous Keepers of the Cool who tell us what we should be wearing this year, what digital boxsets we should bunker ourselves in to enjoy, what amazing app is the only one we should be shrieking emotions at our recently acquired friends with. Thankfully, I have the one consolation that if I don't quite fit into all of this, everyone else probably feels the same way. So, I say defiantly, I get more moved and excited by classical music than by any other musical genre. I believe that it is there for us all, inviting us to reach out and touch it.In Hear Me Out Armando Iannucci brilliantly conveys the joy of his musical exploration, each discovery suggesting a fresh direction of travel, another piece, another composer, another time.
The House of Unexpected Sisters
By Alexander McCall Smith
Precious Ramotswe has always idolised her father, the late Obed Ramotswe. She feels that she knows all about his life - but does she? Sometimes our parents surprise us, and we discover that things were not quite what we thought them to be. And the same goes for Mma Makutsi, Mma Ramotswe's feisty assistant, who also makes certain discoveries about her own past that cause some surprise. The placid world of the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is further disturbed by the arrival in Gaborone of somebody whom Mma Ramotswe - and Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, for that matter - definitely do not want to see. Of course calm eventually prevails - as it always does in the timeless world of these remarkable ladies. Tea is served, and life continues.
The Half-Drowned King
By Linnea Hartsuyker
'Lovers of epic rejoice!...A vivid and gripping read' Madeline Miller, author of the Orange Prize Winner 2012 for The Song of Achilles'Linnea Hartsuyker brings myth and legend roaring to life in this superbly good page-turning saga of Viking-era Norway' Paula McClain, bestselling author of The Paris Wife and Circling the SunSince the death of Ragnvald Eysteinsson's father in battle, he has worked hard to protect his sister Svanhild and planned to inherit his family's land when he comes of age. But when the captain of his ship tries to kill him on the way home from a raiding excursion, he must confront his stepfather's betrayal, and find a way to protect his birthright. It is no easy feat in Viking-Age Norway, where a hundred petty rulers kill over parcels of land, and a prophesied high king is rising. But where Ragnvald is expected to bleed, and even die, for his honour, Svanhild is simply expected to marry well. It's not a fate she relishes, and when the chance to leave her stepfather's cruelty comes at the hand of her brother's arch-rival, Svanhild is forced to make the ultimate choice: family or freedom.Drawing from the Icelandic Sagas, The Half-Drowned King takes inspiration from the true story of Ragnvald of Maer, the right hand man of King Harald Fairhair, first king of all Norway, and his sister, Svanhild, as she tries to find freedom in a society where the higher her brother rises, the greater her worth as a political pawn.
Hamilton: The Revolution
By Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy McCarter
Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for DramaGoodreads best non-fiction book of 2016From Tony Award-winning composer-lyricist-star Lin-Manuel Miranda comes a backstage pass to his groundbreaking, hit musical Hamilton.Lin-Manuel Miranda's groundbreaking musical Hamilton is as revolutionary as its subject, the poor kid from the Caribbean who fought the British, defended the Constitution, and helped to found the United States. Fusing hip-hop, pop, R&B, and the best traditions of theater, this once-in-a-generation show broadens the sound of Broadway, reveals the storytelling power of rap, and claims the origins of the United States for a diverse new generation.HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION gives readers an unprecedented view of both revolutions, from the only two writers able to provide it. Miranda, along with Jeremy McCarter, a cultural critic and theater artist who was involved in the project from its earliest stages - "since before this was even a show," according to Miranda - traces its development from an improbable performance at the White House to its landmark opening night on Broadway six years later. In addition, Miranda has written more than 200 funny, revealing footnotes for his award-winning libretto, the full text of which is published here.Their account features photos by the renowned Frank Ockenfels and veteran Broadway photographer, Joan Marcus; exclusive looks at notebooks and emails; interviews with Questlove, Stephen Sondheim, leading political commentators, and more than 50 people involved with the production; and multiple appearances by President Obama himself. The book does more than tell the surprising story of how a Broadway musical became an international phenomenon: It demonstrates that America has always been renewed by the brash upstarts and brilliant outsiders, the men and women who don't throw away their shot.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Special Rehearsal Edition)
By J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London's West End on 30th July 2016.It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn't much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Café
By Alexander McCall Smith
Even the arrival of her baby can't hold Mma Makutsi back from success in the workplace, and so no sooner than she becomes a full partner in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (in spite of Mma Ramotswe's belated claims that she is only 'an assistant full partner'), she also launches a new enterprise of her own, the Handsome Man's De Luxe Café. Grace Makutsi is a lady with a business plan, but who could predict temperamental chefs, drunken waiters and more? Luckily, help is at hand, from the only person in Gaborone more gently determined than Mma Makutsi . . . Mma Ramotswe, of course.
Hockney On Art
By David Hockney
David Hockney is as fascinating as he is articulate on ways of seeing, and in this impressive book he leads us on an artistic journey where anything is possible. He considers the influence of Picasso and Rembrandt and speaks of Eastern conventions and perspective and of their relevance to his work. He points to Laurel and Hardy's lasting appeal in his conviction that popularity and art are not incompatible. Hockney and his work have long been the subjects of controversy; few twentieth century artists have so successfully surmounted their cult image for three decades, and he remains one of our most relentlessly dedicated, versatile and original painters.