You're on an Airplane
By Parker Posey
Have you ever wondered what it would be like talk to Parker Posey? On an airplane, with Parker as your seat companion, perhaps? Parker's irreverent, hilarious, and enchanting memoir gives you the incredible opportunity. Full of personal stories, whimsical how-tos, recipes, and beautiful handmade collages created by the author herself, You're On an Airplane is a delight in every way.In her first book, actress and star of movies such as Dazed and Confused, Party Girl, You've Got Mail, The House of Yes, and so many more, Posey opens up about the art of acting, life on the set, and the realities of its accompanying fame. A funny and colorful southern childhood prepared Posey for a life of creating and entertaining, which not only extends to acting but to the craft of pottery, sewing, collage, yoga and cooking, all of which readers will find in this whimsical, hilarious, always entertaining book. Parker takes us into her childhood home, behind the scenes of the indie film revolution in the 90s, the delightful absurdity of the big-budget genre thrillers she's turned into art in a whole new way, and the creativity that will always be part of both her acting and her personal life.With Posey's memorable, hilarious and poignant voice, her book gives the reader a feeling of traveling through not only a memoir, but an exploration, meditation, and celebration of what it means to be an artist. Buckle up and enjoy the journey.
I Was Told To Come Alone
By Souad Mekhennet
I was told to come alone. I was not to carry any identification, and would have to leave my cell phone, audio recorder, watch, and purse at my hotel . . .For her whole life, Souad Mekhennet, a reporter for the Washington Post who was born and educated in Germany, has had to balance the two sides of her upbringing - Muslim and Western. She has also sought to provide a mediating voice between these cultures, which too often misunderstand each other.In this compelling and evocative memoir, we accompany Mekhennet as she journeys behind the lines of jihad, starting in the German neighbourhoods where the 9/11 plotters were radicalised and the Iraqi neighbourhoods where Sunnis and Shia turned against one another, and culminating on the Turkish/Syrian border region where ISIS is a daily presence. In her travels across the Middle East and North Africa, she documents her chilling run-ins with various intelligence services and shows why the Arab Spring never lived up to its promise. She then returns to Europe, first in London, where she uncovers the identity of the notorious ISIS executioner 'Jihadi John', and then in France, Belgium and her native Germany, where terror has come to the heart of Western civilisation.Mekhennet's background has given her unique access to some of the world's most wanted men, who generally refuse to speak to Western journalists. She is not afraid to face personal danger to reach out to individuals in the inner circles of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIS and their affiliates; when she is told to come alone to an interview, she never knows what awaits at her destination.Souad Mekhennet is an ideal guide to introduce us to the human beings behind the ominous headlines, as she shares her transformative journey with us. Hers is a story you will not soon forget.
By Noel Streatfeild
So your brother's a world-famous violinist? That's amazing! Or is it?The Forums are a musical family, and one child, Sebastian, shines out as a prodigy. He is a brilliant violinist and when his talent is recognised, he is wanted the world over. Myra, Wolfgang (named after Mozart) and Ettie thought it was wonderful at first, but after four years of touring the world with their brilliant brother they've changed their minds. Now, what they long for, is a home of their own, not a hotel in Vienna or Venice or Moscow. But to their mother and father, a life of travel is exciting - all any child could want. How can the children make the grown-ups see sense?Myra makes a plan - 'Operation Home' - and is determined to make it succeed.
By Noel Streatfeild
When their father is injured in an accident, life changes for the Johnstone family. Unable to afford their home, they have to move to a small London flat. Carol can no longer go to ballet school and Tim is heartbroken as he must leave his beloved dog, Jelly, behind. Then, it seems, their wishes are granted: in an extraordinary twist of fate, Tim inherits a dilapidated country house, Caldicott Place, where the family - including Jelly - can live together. But the house is badly in need of repair and they have no money, so a solution is found - the family start to look after wealthy children in the school holidays. Although they dread the prospect of sharing their newly found home with rich spoiled children, perhaps friendships can be found in the unlikeliest places.
Promising Young Women
By Caroline O'Donoghue
'I loved it. The writing is whipsmart and so witty. A fabulous and timely novel.' Marian Keyes'So brilliant ... Compelling and illuminating ... I highly recommend it.' Dolly Alderton'A future classic.' Jane CaseyJane Peters is an adrift twenty-something by day, and a world-weary agony aunt by night. But when an office party goes too far, Jane dissolves into the high-stakes world of being the Other Woman: a role she has the right advice for, but not the smarts to follow through on. What starts out as a drunken mistake quickly unravels as Jane discovers that sex and power go hand-in-hand, and that it's hard to keep your head when you've become someone else's dirty little secret. And soon, her friendships, her sanity and even her life are put into jeopardy... 'Sharp, pithy and engaging' Irish Times'Brilliant' Elle'Deeply relatable and darkly comic ... It'll have you nodding with familiarity, thinking, laughing - and crying - as you race towards the end' Grazia'I loved Promising Young Women. It's like Bluebeard crossed with The Yellow Wallpaper neck-deep in zeitgeist. If Angela Carter was stuck in a soulless corporate job this would be the dark, delicious result' Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti
By Hilary Cottam
How should we live: how should we care for one another; grow our capabilities to work, to learn, to love and fully realise our potential? This exciting and ambitious book shows how we can re-design the welfare state for this century. The welfare state was revolutionary: it lifted thousands out of poverty, provided decent homes, good education and security. But it is out of kilter now: an elaborate and expensive system of managing needs and risks. Today we face new challenges. Our resources have changed. Hilary Cottam takes us through five 'Experiments' to show us a new design. We start on a Swindon housing estate where families who have spent years revolving within our current welfare systems are supported to design their own way out. We spend time with young people who are helped to make new connections - with radical results. We turn to the question of good health care and then to the world of work and see what happens when people are given different tools to make change. Then we see those over sixty design a new and affordable system of support. At the heart of this way of working is human connection. Upending the current crisis of managing scarcity, we see instead that our capacities for the relationships that can make the changes are abundant. We must work with individuals, families and communities to grow the core capabilities we all need to flourish. Radical Help describes the principles behind the approach, the design process that makes the work possible and the challenges of transition. It is bold - and above all, practical. It is not a book of dreams. It is about concrete new ways of organising that already have been developing across Britain. Radical Help creates a new vision and a radically different approach that can take care of us once more, from cradle to grave.
The Wind in My Hair
By Masih Alinejad
'A must-read for anyone who cares about women's equality' Sheryl Sandberg'A flame-thrower for the rights of women who live under the thumb of repression and injustice' Tina BrownBBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEKThis memoir is the extraordinary story of how one woman, Masih Alinejad, an awe-inspiring journalist and activist from a small village in Iran, overcame enormous adversity to fight for what she truly believed and founded a major movement for women around the world with the simple removal of her hijab.It all started with a single photo, a bold statement on Masih's Facebook page: a woman standing proudly, her face bare, her beautiful, curly hair blowing in the wind. Her crime: simply removing her veil, or hijab, which is compulsory for women in Iran. This is the photo that sparked a social-media liberation movement, 'My Stealthy Freedom'. Across Iran, women started posting pictures of their uncovered hair on Masih's page in open defiance of the strict religious beliefs of their country (and often, their families) while sharing their personal stories about this powerful mode of expression. With the creation of 'My Stealthy Freedom' Masih has gained over one million supporters around the world, and inspired Islamic women everywhere to take a stand for their basic human rights. She's been covered by the media from Vogue, to the Guardian, the New York Times and beyond. Last year she was the recipient of the Women's Rights Award from the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. But behind the scenes of this movement, Masih has been fighting a painful personal battle. She is a divorcee -- a sin equivalent to prostitution in Iranian culture. As a reporter, Masih has been actively speaking out against the government's corrupt policies for more than a decade, and has faced abuse and slander at every turn. In 2009 she went abroad during the Iranian presidential election with hopes of interviewing Barack Obama. Before the interview could take place, the elections were stolen, Masih's newspaper was shut down, and thousands of Iranians were arrested. She was expelled from her own country, and separated from her only son. Although she eventually was able to take her son abroad, she has not returned to Iran or seen her family in years. To this day, Masih has faith that one day she will be reunited with her homeland.A defiant, inspiring voice for women's rights, Masih Alinejad speaks for women everywhere.'Intriguing and inspiring . . . her voice is so important to the Iranian people's struggles for freedom and democracy' Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran
The Seventh Cross
By Anna Seghers
A rediscovered German classic novel from 1942, never before published in the UK, The Seventh Cross is both a gripping escape story and a powerful novel of resistance. 'At once a suspenseful manhunt story and a knowing portrait of the perils of ordinary life in Hitler's Germany, The Seventh Cross is not only an important novel, but an important historical document. This new, unabridged translation is a genuine publishing event' JOSEPH KANON, author of The Good German and Leaving Berlin'A masterpiece. Written in the midst of terror, but with such clarity, such acuity; Seghers is a writer of rare insight' Rachel Seiffert, author of A Boy in WinterSeven prisoners escape from Westhofen concentration camp. Seven crosses are erected in the grounds and the commandant vows to capture the fugitives within a week. Six men are caught quickly, but George Heisler slips through his pursuers' fingers and it becomes a matter of pride to track him down, at whatever cost.Who can George trust? Who will betray him? The years of fear have changed those he knew best: his brother is now an SS officer; his lover turns him away. Hunted, injured and desperate, time is running out for George, and whoever is caught aiding his escape will pay with their life.The Seventh Cross powerfully documents the insidious rise of a fascist regime - the seething paranoia, the sudden arrests, the silence and fear.'A fascinating insight into life in pre-war Nazi Germany just as the horrors of the Nazi regime were beginning to unfold. This is an important novel, as much for its picture of German society as for its insight into the psyche of ordinary people confronting their personal fears and mixed loyalties' Simon Mawer, author of The Glass Room'It was [Seghers] who taught my generation and anyone who had an ear to listen after that not-to-be-forgotten war to distinguish right from wrong. The Seventh Cross shaped me; it sharpened my vision' - Gunter GrassThe Seventh Cross was written by one of the most important German writers of the twentieth century. Her aim was to write, 'A tale that makes it possible to get to know the many layers of fascist Germany through the fortunes of a single man.' She had four copies of the manuscript: one was destroyed in an air raid; a friend lost the second copy while fleeing the Nazis; another was found by the Gestapo; only the fourth copy survived, which, fortunately, she sent to her publisher in America just before she escaped Nazi-occupied France. Published in 1942, The Seventh Cross was an immediate bestseller and was the basis for an MGM film starring Spencer Tracy in 1944. It has been translated into more than 40 languages.
By Lyndall Gordon
Outsiders tells the stories of five novelists - Mary Shelley, Emily Brontë, George Eliot, Olive Schreiner, Virginia Woolf - and their famous novels.We have long known their individual greatness but in linking their creativity to their lives as outsiders, this group biography throws new light on the genius they share. 'Outsider', 'outlaw', 'outcast': a woman's reputation was her security and each of these five lost it. As writers, they made these identities their own, taking advantage of their separation from the dominant order to write their novels.All five were motherless. With no female model at hand, they learnt from books; and if lucky, from an enlightened man; and crucially each had to imagine what a woman could be in order to invent a voice of their own. They understood female desire: the passion and sexual bravery in their own lives infused their fictions.What they have in common also is the way they inform one another, and us, across the generations. Even today we do more than read them; we listen and live with them.Lyndall Gordon's biographies have always shown the indelible connection between life and art: an intuitive, exciting and revealing approach that has been highly praised and much read and enjoyed. She names each of these five as prodigy, visionary, outlaw, orator and explorer and shows how they came, they saw and left us changed.
Love & Fame
By Susie Boyt
Susie Boyt's sixth novel is the story of the first year of a marriage. Eve a nervous young actress from a powerful theatrical dynasty has found herself married to an international expert on anxiety called Jim. Could it work? Should it work? Must the show always go on? This is a highly-strung comedy about love, fame, grief, showbusiness and the depths of the gutter press. Its witty and sincere tone - familiar to fans of Susie's newspaper column - will delight and unnerve in equal measure.
Testament Of Youth
By Vera Brittain
Their Eyes Were Watching God
By Zora Neale Hurston
She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking in the alto chant of the visiting bees, the gold of the sun and the panting breath of the breeze when the inaudible voice of it all came to her . . .When sixteen-year-old Janie is caught kissing shiftless Johnny Taylor, her grandmother swiftly marries her off to an old man with sixty acres. Janie endures two stifling marriages before she finally meets the man of her dreams - who offers not diamonds, but a packet of flowering seeds.'Their Eyes Were Watching God is one of the very greatest American novels of the 20th century. It is so lyrical it should be sentimental; it is so passionate it should be overwrought, but it is instead a rigorous, convincing and dazzling piece of prose, as emotionally satisfying as it is impressive. There is no novel I love more' - Zadie Smith Books included in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor; and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame
The Magic Toyshop
By Angela Carter
This crazy world whirled around her, men and women dwarfed by toys and puppets, where even the birds are mechanical and the few human figures went masked . . . She was in the night once again, and the doll was herself.One night Melanie walks through the garden in her mother's wedding dress. The next morning her world is shattered. Forced to leave the home of her childhood, she is sent to live with relatives she has never met: gentle Aunt Margaret, mute since her wedding day; and her brothers, Francie and Finn. Brooding over all is Uncle Philip, who loves only the toys he makes in his workshop: clockwork roses and puppets that are life-size - and uncannily life-like.Books included in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor; and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame