By Mike Brearley
A TIMES SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR'A treasure of recollections and reactions, talking heroes, controversies and big themes' i paper'Brearley is at his best in these quirky, delightful essays when he is exploring the human qualities of humbler players . . . Brearley's admiration for his friends' decency, craftsmanship and modesty seems to recall a golden age of country cricket' The Times'Brearley has a knack for paying respect to the past without denigrating the present and for calmly considering the future' Mail on SundayMike Brearley was arguably one of England's finest cricket captains; not just for his outstanding record leading his country but also for the way he orchestrated, during the 1981 Ashes series, one of the most extraordinary reversals in sporting history.In this collection of sparkling essays, Brearley reflects on the game he has come to know so well. He ranges from the personal - the influence of his Yorkshire father and the idols of his youth - to controversial aspects of the professional game, including cheating, corruption, and innovation, the latter often being on a borderline between genius and rebellion.Brearley also evaluates his heroes (amongst them Viv Richards, Bishan Bedi and Dennis Lillee), the game changers, the outstanding wicketkeepers, the 'Indian-ness' of four generations of Indian batsmen and the important commentators (including Harold Pinter, John Arlott and Ian Chappell). The Ashes, the most sustained love-hate relationship in the history of sport and key to Brearley's test-playing career, are raked over. Central to the book is an important section on race and cricket, and the legacy of C. L. R. James.Insightful and humorous, On Cricket is an intelligent exposition of the game's idiosyncratic culture and its enduring appeal.
By Mike Brearley
THE TIMES BOOK OF THE YEARDAILY TELEGRAPH SPORTS BOOKS OF THE YEARLONGLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR 2017What 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 is there anything we can do to make their arrival more likely?In this fascinating book, former England cricket captain and psychoanalyst Mike Brearley draws on his own experiences, both on and off the field, and examines many of the elements of being in and out of form across a number of different disciplines - not only in cricket and psychoanalysis but also in finance, music, philosophy, medicine, teaching, tree surgery and drama.Perceptive and engaging, On Form is an exploration of the benefits and risks of being on form and can help us all reflect on the range of conditions that block or liberate us.
On Courage is a collection of twenty-eight moving and inspirational stories of valour displayed by recipients of the Victoria Cross and George Cross. *£2.70 of the publisher's RRP of all copies of this book sold in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland will be donated to Combat Stress.*WITH CONTRIBUTIONS FROM:Alexander Armstrong, Baroness Hale, Bear Grylls, Bill Beaumont, Bobby Charlton, Katherine Grainger, Kelly Holmes, Derek Jacobi, Eddie Redmayne, Frank Bruno, Geoffrey Palmer, Jeremy Irons, Joanna Kavenna, Joanna Lumley, John Simpson, Joseph Calleja, Julian Fellowes, Kate Adie, Ken Dodd, Margaret MacMillan, Mark Pougatch, Mary Berry, Michael Whitehall and Jack Whitehall, Miranda Hart, Richard Chartres, Tom Ward, Will Greenwood, and Willie Carson.From RAF flight engineer Norman Jackson, who climbed out onto the wing of a Lancaster bomber in flight to put out a fire, using a twisted parachute as a rope, on the night his first child was born; children's writer turned Assistant Section Officer Noor Inayat-Khan, who was the first female operator to infiltrate occupied France and refused to abandon what had become the most dangerous post in the country; to Irish seaman and Antarctic explorer Tom Crean, who struck out alone for a supply depot during Captain Scott's expedition to the South Pole to save the life of his ailing companion, these courageous men and women are an inspiration to us all. Written by leading historians and authors Tom Bromley, Saul David, Paul Garlington, James Holland and Dr Spencer Jones, these incredible accounts tell of the recipients' determination and selfless actions in times of war. Each story is introduced by a public figure, including Mary Berry, Bear Grylls, Sir Bobby Charlton, Joanna Lumley, Eddie Redmayne and the late Sir Ken Dodd.
Once A Saint
By Ian Ogilvy
'A wickedly entertaining new memoir' Daily MailAccording to the Daily Mail Ian Ogilvy was 'the undisputed star of 1970s TV as the dashing Simon Templar in Return Of The Saint'. The show turned him into a household name, causing him to be touted as the next James Bond. From a liberal upbringing in post-war Britain, boarding school escapades and life at RADA, Ogilvy enjoyed an acting career spanning more than fifty years, including TV show Upstairs, Downstairs and films Witchfinder General, No Sex Please: We're British and Death Becomes Her. His story plays host to a spectacular all-star cast including Boris Karloff, Hayley Mills, Penelope Keith, Derek Nimmo, Timothy Dalton, Derek Jacobi and Meryl Streep, and Ogilvy gives a vivid account from behind the scenes of the Golden Age of television and film.Once a Saint is an amusing and unvarnished story: a tremendously endearing tale from a working actor. His story is modest and endlessly charming, told in such a way that opens a reader's heart to him.
By Sara Sheridan
1955. When Mirabelle Bevan is rescued from a fire at her home on the Brighton seafront she's lucky to escape unharmed - but the blaze takes the life of her neighbour, Dougie Beaumont, a dashing and successful racing driver living in the flat above. It soon becomes clear that this was arson, raising questions about the young man's death that Mirabelle can't resist investigating further. With her curiosity piqued and on the trail of a potential killer she finds herself taking on the mysterious world of Fleet Street with its long lunches and dodgy deals as well as the glamorous motor racing world at Goodwood. It gradually becomes clear to Mirabelle that Dougie Beaumont's life was not as above-board as it first seemed and that this talented man had many secrets, hidden when he was alive by his international lifestyle where he was constantly on the move. Then, when a second shocking murder takes place, Mirabelle's pursuit is frustrated first by Dougie's well-connected and suspicious family and then by the official investigation - led by her would-be lover Superintendent McGregor. With the help of her colleague at McGuigan & McGuigan Debt Recovery, Vesta, and some of her ex-intelligence service connections, Mirabelle discovers the dark secrets of the glamorous racing driver have ramifications far beyond the English coastline.
By John Hughes-Wilson
This book is a professional military-intelligence officer's and a controversial insider's view of some of the greatest intelligence blunders of recent history. It includes the serious developments in government misuse of intelligence in the recent war with Iraq. Colonel John Hughes-Wilson analyses not just the events that conspire to cause disaster, but why crucial intelligence is so often ignored, misunderstood or spun by politicians and seasoned generals alike. This book analyses: how Hitler's intelligence staff misled him in a bid to outfox their Nazi Party rivals; the bureaucratic bungling behind Pearl Harbor; how in-fighting within American intelligence ensured they were taken off guard by the Viet Cong's 1968 Tet Offensive; how over confidence, political interference and deception facilitated Egypt and Syria's 1973 surprise attack on Israel; why a handful of marines and a London taxicab were all Britain had to defend the Falklands; the mistaken intelligence that allowed Saddam Hussein to remain in power until the second Iraq War of 2003; the truth behind the US failure to run a terrorist warning system before the 9/11 WTC bombing; and how governments are increasingly pressurising intelligence agencies to 'spin' the party-political line.
The Old Man and the Sea
By Anthony Smith
Octogenarian Anthony Smith's journey was originally inspired by both the Kontiki Expedition of Thor Heyerdahl (who he knew) and the incredible story of the survivors of a 1940 boat disaster, who spent 70 days adrift in the Atlantic, eventually reaching land emaciated and close to death. While this might sound like a voyage no-one would wish to emulate, to octogenarian Anthony Smith it sounded like an adventure, and he placed a typically straightforward advertisement in the Telegraph that read "Fancy rafting across the Atlantic? Famous traveller requires 3 crew. Must be OAP. Serious adventurers only." In his inimitable style, Smith details their voyage and the hardships they endured with a matter-of-fact air that makes his story seem all the more impressive. His advanced age allows him a wider perspective not only on the journey but on life itself, and his never-say-die attitude to the difficulty of the journey is inspirational. 'Old men ought to be explorers' said T.S. Eliot, and this book certainly gives a compelling argument in his favour. It is both a great story (a huge storm on the final night of the voyage almost wrecked them on a reef) and a call to action for the older generation - do not go quietly, says Anthony Smith, but seek out adventure as long as you are able.
Oh Danny Boy
By Rhys Bowen
Irish immigrant Molly Murphy is contemplating giving up PI work for something a little less.exciting. Molly has had quite enough excitement recently, thank you very much. Especially from the handsome but deceptive NYPD captain Daniel Sullivan. She wants him out of her life for good. But when Daniel is accused of accepting bribes and lands himself in the Tombs, the notorious city jail, he begs Molly to help prove he was framed. After everything they've been through together, how can she turn him down? As Molly finds herself drawn further into Daniel's case, Molly begins to fear that his trouble is related to one of his investigations: catching a serial killer who is targeting prostitutes, known to the locals as the East Side Ripper . . .
The Original Miss Honeyford
By M.C. Beaton
Miss Honeyford was sour on romance, but she had been duly dispatched to London to save the family fortune by hunting for (and securing) a wealthy husband - and thereby proving her role as a loving if not entirely dutiful daughter. Honoraria obeyed. But if she was reluctantly willing to surrender her hand, this beautiful young lady who could ride, shoot, and argue with any man was not about to lose her head or her heart to any of the dismal cads in lads of the Marriage Mart. First she met the arrogantly attractive Lord Alistair Stewart, who treated her infuriatingly like a little girl. And then she met the skillfully seductive Lord Channington, who treated her intoxicatingly like the desirable full-grown woman that she was. But now that she had a choice, which role would she choose and just how much risk was she willing to run?
By Bram Stoker, Colm Toibin
No book since Mrs Shelley's Frankenstein, or indeed any other at all has come near yours in originality, or terror - Poe is nowhere..."-Charlotte Stoker (Mother of Bram Stoker).Originally published in 1897, Bram Stoker's Dracula has spawned countless new editions, inspired over fifty films, and hundreds of reimaginings. The iconic and terrifying character of Stoker's imagination has permeated our conciousness in such away that Dracula is the seminal vampire of popular culture.Set across London and into the darkest corners of Eastern Europe, Dracula is told through the journal entries and letters of its protagonists as they strive to survive the presence of Count Dracula in their lives. Young lawyer Jonathan Harker travels to Transylvania to assist in a land transaction, but finds himself trapped in the Count's castle, tormented by strange and unearthly occurrences. After a miraculous escape, he returns to England, only to find that the Count has followed him to London and has begun tracking his fiancé, Mina...Reprinted in its original form, this edition of Dracula is perfect for a first time reader, or as a classic to keep forever.
Outside of a Dog
By Rick Gekoski
Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho MarxOutside of a Dog is the captivating account of twenty-five books drawn from the fields of literature, psychology and philosophy, and a memoir of a reading self.Tracing the formative role books have played in his life, Rick Gekoski trains the same ironic and analytic eye on these books and their authors as he does on himself. The result is unique: a sustained, witty book dedicated to the proposition that we are what we read. Outside of A Dog might be described as an intellectual bibliomemoir, except that the author regards the noun 'intellectual' as a term of abuse.Gekoski's twenty-five include: Dr. Seuss, Horton Hatches the Egg; Magnus Hirschfeld Sexual Anomalies and Perversions; Allen Ginsberg, Howl; J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye; T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land; Descartes, Meditations; David Hume, An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding; W.B. Yeats, The Collected Poems; F.R. Leavis, The Common Pursuit; Matthew Arnold, Culture and Anarchy; Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test; Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations; R.D. Laing, The Divided Self; Germaine Greer, The Female Eunuch; D.H. Lawrence, Women in Love; A.S. Neill, Summerhill; Roald Dahl, Matilda; Alice Miller, Pictures of a Childhood; A.J. Ayer, Language, Truth, and Logic; Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams; Carl Hiaasen, Double Whammy; Peter Wright, Spycatcher; and Rick Gekoski, Staying Up.
Once a Land Girl
By Angela Huth
Disasters, disappointments, dashed hopes ... Doesn't seem that easy, just to find a good man, love him and be loved back. But I shan't give up trying.The war is over, but life goes on for Land Girls Prue, Stella and Ag. While two of the girls are married, Prue, the incorrigible flirt, has no one and is engaged in a quest for a man to provide her with security and gold taps.A year after the girls leave Hallows Farm, Prue finds just such a man and a marriage that protects her from the hardships of post-war Manchester. But she still hankers for the life she so loved as a Land Girl, though it's hard to get work on the sort of farm that provided unimaginable happiness during the war. The lives of her two old friends, Stella and Ag, have moved on and neither visit her. Additionally Prue finds that her newly wedded state and fresh horizons fail to supply the answers she seeks. Yet, in the puzzling world beyond the fields, Prue, in her indomitable way, open as ever to each chance encounter, remains buoyant, optimistic and quite sure that the life she imagines is just round yet another corner.Praise for Land Girls:'A first-class writer' Sunday Telegraph'Riveting ... evocative and entertaining' Daily Mail'Huth's controlled, eloquent style has been compared to Jane Austen's, but her talent is entirely original' The Times'Piquant, witty and entertaining' Tatler'Huth is a master of this sort of novel, steeped in period atmosphere and gentle irony' Daily Telegraph'A good story, told with wit and a keen observation of detail' Times Literary Supplement
On the Front Line
By Jon E. Lewis
In 1930, the editor of Everyman Magazine requested entries for a new anthology of Great War accounts. The result was a revolutionary book unlike any other of the period; for as Malcolm Brown notes in his introduction 'I believe it might fairly be described as a rediscovered classic'. It was the very first collection to reveal the many dimensions of the war through the eyes of the ordinary soldier and offers heart-stopping renditions of the very first gas attack; aerial dogfights above the trenches; the moment of going over the top. Told chronologically, from the first scrambles of 1914, the drudgery of the war of attrition once the trenches had been dug, to the final joy of Armistice.
By Jonathan Harris, Phillippe Julian
'..a biographer of supreme intelligence and industry, since the bibliography is immense and he has delved into it with extraordinary taste and imagination.' - The Spectator'An excellent book, detailed where detail was still needed, sensibly perfunctory where almost everything possible has already been told and said.' - The Observer'M. Jullian's book succeeds in keeping the reader's interest unflaggingly alive.' - The Economist