By Mike Brearley
What is being on form? How does it relate to feeling 'in the zone'? Are these states in the lap of the gods, a matter of which side of the bed we got out of that morning? Or can we do something to make its arrival more likely? Mike Brearley describes some of the elements of being on form in many fields, not only in cricket and psychoanalysis, but also in drama, music, teaching and business. It includes a range of states of mind, conjoined with action, from the courage to face dangerous or difficult challenges to an almost spiritual state for which words like 'inspired' or 'spiritual' come to mind. Achieving it requires us to be able to hold different tendencies, different tensions in mind, to tolerate ambivalence and ambiguity. For example, there is the need for hard work, but hard work can be misguided or limiting; there is a need to let go of conscious control, and to allow things to come up involuntarily. It involves giving house-room to different aspects of the mind, finding a balance between doing and watching oneself, as indeed between work and play. He suggests that though one can't guarantee form, or creativity, in any area, we do have some understanding of how we might make it more likely. We have to give space to ourselves and our projects. We have to learn to tolerate emotions and work on them so that they don't inhibit our freedom to think and act. There is no easy recipe; but this book will help people in all walks of life to reflect on the kinds of conditions that can block us or free us.
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.
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.
By Robert Winder
The Open Championship has been a high point of the British sporting calendar for 150 years, but few have been so memorable as in 2009. After four heady days on the fabled Turnberry links (one day it went see, the next it went saw) Tom Watson, an all-time great but nearly 60 and with an artificial hip, faced an eight-foot putt to become not just the oldest but also the most successful (along with Harry Vardon) player in Open history. The golfing world held its breath. History hung on the roll of a small white ball. As drama it verged upon the magical. Surely he couldn't prevail; surely he couldn't falter. But this was only one of hundreds of such moments. Robert Winder followed them all, from the start of the qualifying process to the dramatic last gasp. Here he traces the thrills and spills of a resonant sporting drama, listens to the players and administrators, and describes the many ways in which the Open truly is open: the world, to the elements, and to the neverending outrages of fortune.
Our Man In Hibernia
By Charlie Connelly
If you think you know Ireland, this book will make you think again. Each year on St Patrick's Day the eighty million people around the world claiming Irish ancestry celebrate their spiritual homeland. Millions more don leprechaun hats and swallow pints of Guinness in an annual global high-fiving of all things Irish. Charlie Connelly was one of them. As a Londoner claiming Irish roots he thought he knew what Ireland was all about. Then, when he was least expecting it, he went to live there.Our Man In Hibernia follows Charlie's adventures living among the Irish. In an engaging and frequently hilarious tale - we learn how a tree stump can draw legions of visitors from across the land and why being on a pig's back is a desirable thing - Charlie contrasts the cliched shamrock-strewn image with the reality of life in modern Ireland.
By George Soros
George Soros is a legend in the world of finance. His Quantum Fund has been the best performing investment fund in history and his foundations have helped re-shape the post-Cold War world.In this thoroughly revised version of his international bestseller, George Soros reconsiders his analysis in the light of recent economic events. We need to improve our international arrangements to match our increasing economic interdependence. Soros proposes that the open societies of the world should form an alliance for the dual purpose of fostering the development of open society within individual countries, and to lay the groundwork for a global open society by strengthening international institutions and rules of behaviour. Whilst the hardback edition emphasised the financial side of the system, the paperback adds more weight to its political aspects. Offering brilliant solutions based on years of Soros's own experience as a financier and philanthropist, THE CRISIS OF GLOBAL CAPITALISM is essential reading for anyone involved with the new economy - that is, all of us.