The Sea Queen
By Linnea Hartsuyker
Ragnvald Eysteinsson is now king of Sogn, but fighting battles for King Harald keeps him away from home, as he confronts treachery and navigates a political landscape that grows more dangerous the higher he rises.Ragnvald's sister Svanhild has found the freedom and adventure she craves at the side of the rebel explorer Solvi Hunthiofsson, though not without a cost. She longs for a home where her quiet son can grow strong, and a place where she can put down roots, even as Solvi's ambition draws him back to Norway's battles again and keeps her divided from her brother.As a growing rebellion unites King Harald's enemies, Ragnvald suspects that some Norse nobles are not loyal to Harald's dream of a unified Norway. He sets a plan in motion to defeat all of his enemies, and bring his sister back to his side, while Svanhild finds herself with no easy decisions, and no choices that will leave her truly free. Their actions will hold irrevocable repercussions for the fates of those they love and for Norway itself.The Sea Queen returns to the fjords and halls of Viking-Age Scandinavia, a world of violence and prophecy, where honor is challenged by shifting alliances, and vengeance is always a threat to peace.Praise for The Half-Drowned King: 'Suspenseful, intriguing, gripping' New York Journal of Books'An unusual Viking saga... creates a more nuanced and richer portrait of Viking society, with its complex web of rituals, laws and debts of honour, than the genre usually provides' Sunday Times 'Like Game of Thrones, only more unscrupulous' Wall St Journal
By Rowan Hooper
This is a book about what it feels like to be exceptional - and what it takes to get there. Why can some people achieve greatness when others can't, no matter how hard they try? What are the secrets of long life and happiness? Just how much potential does our species have?In this inspirational book, New Scientist Managing Editor Rowan Hooper takes us on a tour of the peaks of human achievement. We sit down with some of the world's finest minds, from a Nobel-prize winning scientist to a double Booker-prize winning author; we meet people whose power of focus has been the difference between a world record and death; we learn from international opera stars; we go back in time with memory champions, and we explore the transcendent experience of ultrarunners. We meet people who have rebounded from near-death, those who have demonstrated exceptional bravery, and those who have found happiness in the most unexpected ways.Drawing on interviews with a wide range of superhumans as well as those who study them, Hooper assesses the science of peak potential, reviewing the role of genetics alongside the famed 10,000 hours of practice.For anyone who ever felt that they might be able to do something extraordinary in life, for those who simply want to succeed, and for anyone interested in incredible human stories, Superhuman is a must-read.
Since We Fell
By Dennis Lehane
I LOVED YOUI HATED YOUI NEVER KNEW YOU...Rachel's husband adores her. When she hit rock bottom, he was there with her every step of the way as she slowly regained her confidence, and her sanity. But his mysterious behaviour forces her to probe for the truth about her beloved husband.How can she feel certain that she ever knew him?And was she right to ever trust him?Bringing together Dennis Lehane's trademark insightful and emphathetic characterisation, razor-sharp dialogue, stunning atmosphere and breakneck twists and turns, Since We Fell is a true masterpiece that will keep you in suspense until the very end.
The Stars are Fire
By Anita Shreve
The brilliantly gripping new novel from the New York Times best-selling author of The Pilot's Wife (an Oprah's Book Club selection).Hot breath on Grace's face. Claire is screaming, and Grace is on her feet. As she lifts her daughter, a wall of fire fills the window. Perhaps a quarter of a mile back, if even that. Where's Gene? Didn't he come home? 1947. Fires are racing along the coast of Maine after a summer-long drought, ravaging thousands of acres, causing unprecedented confusion and fear. Five months pregnant, Grace Holland is left alone to protect her two toddlers when her difficult and unpredictable husband Gene joins the volunteers fighting to bring the fire under control. Along with her best friend, Rosie, and Rosie's two young children, the women watch in horror as their houses go up in flames, then walk into the ocean as a last resort. They spend the night frantically trying to save their children. When dawn comes, they have miraculously survived, but their lives are forever changed: homeless, penniless, and left to face an uncertain future.As Grace awaits news of her husband's fate, she is thrust into a new world in which she must make a life on her own, beginning with absolutely nothing; she must find work, a home, a way to provide for her children. In the midst of devastating loss, Grace discovers glorious new freedoms - joys and triumphs she could never have expected her narrow life with Gene could contain - and her spirit soars. And then the unthinkable happens, and Grace's bravery is tested as never before.
By Christian Madsbjerg
We live in the age of algorithms and big data. But what happens when number crunching fails to solve a company's problems? Christian Madsbjerg argues that many of today's biggest success stories stem not from "quant" thinking, but rather from a company's deep, nuanced engagement with the culture, language, and history of its customers. Madsbjerg calls this technique "sensemaking," and through captivating stories, he illustrates how business leaders, entrepreneurs, and individuals can use human science tools to innovate and find solutions to their thorniest problems. In a time when liberal arts graduates fear for their prospects in a data-obsessed economy, SENSEMAKING is a welcome, transformative vision for business and success in the twenty-first century.
By John Fairfax
The last time Tess de Vere saw William Benson she was a law student on work experience. He was a twenty-one year old, led from the dock of the Old Bailey to begin a life sentence for murder. He'd said he was innocent. She'd believed him.Sixteen years later Tess overhears a couple of hacks mocking a newcomer to the London Bar, a no-hoper with a murder conviction, running his own show from an old fishmonger's in Spitalfields. That night she walks back into Benson's life. The price of his rehabilitation - and access to the Bar - is an admission of guilt to the killing of Paul Harbeton, whose family have vowed revenge. He's an outcast. The government wants to shut him down and no solicitor will instruct him. But he's subsidised by a mystery benefactor and a desperate woman has turned to him for help: Sarah Collingstone, mother of a child with special needs, accused of slaying her wealthy lover. It's a hopeless case and the murder trial, Benson's first, starts in four days. The evidence is overwhelming but like Benson long ago, she swears she's innocent. Tess joins the defence team, determined to help Benson survive. But as Benson follows the twists and turns in the courtroom, Tess embarks upon a secret investigation of her own, determined to uncover the truth behind the death of Paul Harbeton on a lonely night in Soho.True to life, fast-paced and absolutely compelling, Summary Justice introduces a new series of courtroom dramas featuring two maverick lawyers driven to fight injustice at any cost.
The Spectator Book of Wit, Humour and Mischief
By Marcus Berkmann
Approaching its 200th birthday in the rudest of health, the Spectator is known for the quality of its writing and the deep eccentricity of some of its writers. Given the freedom to say what they want, they take that freedom and more, and the result is original, provocative, often very funny, sometimes plain wrong. From Jeffrey Bernard's reports from the Soho frontline and Auberon Waugh fulminating about hamburger gases in the early 1990s, we encounter in turn the wild stream of consciousness of Deborah Ross's restaurant reviews, the pinpoint etiquette advice of Mary Killen, Rod Liddle's frothing but elegantly sculpted outrage and the magazine's secret weapon, low life adventurer Jeremy Clarke. This bumper selection, which also includes eminent diarists, mad letter-writers and Boris Johnson, amounts to a masterclass in comic writing, lovingly compiled and edited by Marcus Berkmann, who still can't believe he wrote a monthly pop column for the magazine for twenty-eight years without being fired.
Splinter the Silence
By Val McDermid
'That day, waiting had been almost unbearable. He wanted something more spectacular, something that couldn't be ignored. These deaths needed to make a mark . . .' Psychological profiler Tony Hill is trained to see patterns, to decode the mysteries of human behaviour, and when he comes across a series of suicides among women tormented by vicious online predators, he begins to wonder if there is more to these tragedies than meets the eye. Similar circumstances, different deaths. Could it be murder? But what kind of serial killer wants his crimes to stay hidden?Former DCI Carol Jordan has her own demons to confront, but with lives at stake, Tony and Carol begin the hunt for the most dangerous and terrifying kind of killer - someone who has nothing to fear and nothing to lose . . .
The Silent Ones
By William Brodrick
'All you have to do is find out why Harry is prepared to blame an innocent man. That's the thread. Follow it. You'll reach the Silent Ones. This is your way - our way - of making a difference.' With this challenge from Father Edmund Littlemore, Anselm returns to the Old Bailey to fight the most difficult and troubling case of his life. The man in the dock is Littlemore himself. He is charged with grave offences against Harry Brandwell who, it seems, is both a victim and a liar. But he's the only link to these others who've chosen silence over their right to justice. Unknown to Anselm, Robert Sambourne, a journalist, has been investigating Littlemore's background. And he's a man with a troubled past, always on the move, from Boston in the USA to Freetown in Sierra Leone, finally running from a London police station rather than explain himself. More disturbingly, Robert uncovers details of a carefully planned scheme to entice Anselm back into court, exploiting his reputation for honesty to secure a shock acquittal. Meanwhile Harry Brandwell - abused, abandoned and betrayed - has decided to take matters into his own hands. The Silent Ones examines the one crime that Church, State and Family thought they could hide in their own best interests; Anselm's return is a compelling novel about the anatomy of silence, the courage of victims and the redemptive power of public justice.
By Jane Gardam
Throughout her career, prize-winning novelist Jane Gardam has been writing glorious short stories, each one hallmarked with all the originality, poignancy, wry comedy and narrative brilliance of her longer fiction. Passion and longing, metamorphosis and enchantment are Gardam's themes, and like a magician she plucks them from the quietest of corners: from Wimbledon gardens and cold churches, from London buses and industrial backstreets. A mother watching her children on the beach dreams of a long-lost lover, an abandoned army wife sees a ghost at a moorland gate, a translator adrift in Geneva is haunted by the unspeakable manifestation of her own fears, and a colonial servant wreaks a delicious revenge on her monstrous masters. Gardam's cast is wide and wonderful, saints and mystics, trollops and curmudgeons, yearning mothers and lost children, beloved figures such as Old Filth and less familiar - but equally unforgettable - characters like Signor Settimo, the sad-eyed provincial photographer marooned in Shipley or Florrie Ironside, the ferocious matron he seduces. With a mischievous ear for dialogue, a glittering eye for detail and a capacious understanding of the vagaries of the human heart, Jane Gardam's stories will captivate, sadden and delight.
The Secret History
By Donna Tartt
Truly deserving of the accolade 'modern classic', Donna Tartt's novel is a remarkable achievement - compelling and elegant, dramatic and playful.Under the influence of their charismatic Classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality, their lives are changed profoundly and for ever.
The Savage Storm
By David Andress
Britain's defeat of Napoleon is one the great accomplishments in our history. And yet it was by no means certain that Britain itself would survive the revolutionary fervour of the age, let alone emerge victorious from such a vast conflict. From the late 1790s, the country was stricken by naval mutinies, rebellion in Ireland, and riots born of hunger, poverty and grinding injustice. As the new century opened, with republican graffiti on the walls of the cities, and revolutionary secret societies reportedly widespread, King George III only narrowly escaped assassination. Jacobin forces seemed to threaten a dissolution of the social order. Above all, the threat of French invasion was ever-present. Yet, despite all this, and new threats from royal madness and rampant corruption, Britain did not become a revolutionary republic. Her elites proved remarkably resilient, and drew on the power of an already-global empire to find the strength to defeat Napoleon abroad, and continued popular unrest at home. In this brilliant, sweeping history of the period, David Andress fuses two hitherto separate historical perspectives - the military and the social - to provide a vivid portrait of the age. From the conditions of warfare faced by the British soldier and the great battles in which they fought, to the literary and artistic culture of the time, The Savage Storm is at once a searing narrative of dramatic events and an important reassessment of one of the most significant turning points in our history.
By Walter Isaacson
From bestselling author Walter Isaacson comes the landmark biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. In Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, Isaacson provides an extraordinary account of Jobs' professional and personal life. Drawn from three years of exclusive and unprecedented interviews Isaacson has conducted with Jobs as well as extensive interviews with Jobs' family members, key colleagues from Apple and its competitors, Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography is the definitive portrait of the greatest innovator of his generation.
The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party
By Alexander McCall Smith
As the countdown to Mma Makutsi's wedding begins, all is not as it should be at the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency. While investigating unpleasant occurrences on a southern cattle-post, Mma Ramotswe, always on the side of the weak against the strong, has reason to reflect on Rule No.3 of The Principles of Private Detection: never lie to the client. Apprentice mechanic Charlie seems to be avoiding certain important responsibilities. And as Mma Makutsi's big day approaches, her nemesis Violet Sephotho is casting her net wider: by standing for election which could spell trouble for the entire nation. But as friends and family gather under starry African night skies, it turns out that even the most perplexing of apparitions - and the most shocking of crimes - may yield to rational explanation. And, of course, to Mma Ramotswe's inimitable way with love, intuition and redbush tea.
By Patricia Cornwell
Leaving behind her forensic pathology practice in South Carolina, Kay Scarpetta takes up an assignment in New York City, where the NYPD has asked her to examine an injured patient in a psychiatric ward.The handcuffed and chained patient, Oscar Bane, has specifically asked for her, and when she literally has her gloved hands on him, he begins to talk - and the story he has to tell turns out to be one of the most bizarre she has ever heard.He says his injuries were sustained in the course of a murder ... that he did not commit. Is Bane a criminally insane stalker who has fixed on Scarpetta? Or is his paranoid tale true, and it is he who is being spied on, followed and stalked by the actual killer? The only thing Scarpetta knows for certain is that a woman has been tortured and murdered - and that more violent deaths will follow...
Springtime For Germany
By Ben Donald
With no apparent sense of humour and their excessive speed when securing sunloungers, the German people and their country have had a terrible reputation among the British since time immemorial (or 1914). So, going where very few travel-writers and holidaymakers have gone before, Ben Donald has visited Germany in order to overturn stereotypes and, at the same time, fall back in love with travel. From the massed ranks on the nudist beaches of Germany's north coast (they have a reputation for liking uniform, but they'd much rather be naked), via intimate encounters in the steam-rooms of Baden-Baden and the brothels of Hamburg (where he makes his excuses and leaves), to the rite of passage that is wearing Lederhosen to the Oktoberfest (which takes place in September), the author has put his body and his dignity on the line to get beneath the skin of this most maligned of countries. He even goes to see a German stand-up comedian. In - where else? - England. And what emerges is a Germany that will surprise many who thought they knew the country and its people; an eye-opener in other words - especially those nudist beaches.