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The Snow Leopard Project

By Alex Dehgan
Authors:
Alex Dehgan
Post-war Afghanistan is fragile, volatile, and perilous. It is also a place of extraordinary beauty. Evolutionary biologist Alex Deghan came to Afghanistan and created a startup, Conservation X Labs, to save Afghanistan's unique and extraordinary wildlife and natural landscape after decades of war. His workplace was so remote that roads themselves would disappear, and travel was by foot, yak, or mule, following ancient pathways for weeks into the mountain kingdoms and desolate landscapes.Conservation, it turned out, provided a common bond between Alex's team and the people of Afghanistan, where his international team worked unarmed in some of the most dangerous places in the country. They successfully built the country's first national park, completed the first wildlife survey in thirty years, and worked to stop the poaching of the country's iconic endangered animals, including the elusive snow leopard. In doing so, they restored a part of Afghan identity that is ineffably tied to the land itself. For a people who had spent decades as refugees or subject to the horrors and desolation of war, the quest to restore Afghanistan's wildlife became the restoration of Afghanistan's very culture and deep history.
  • The Skaar Invasion: Book Two of the Fall of Shannara

    By Terry Brooks
    Authors:
    Terry Brooks
    'TERRY'S PLACE IS AT THE HEAD OF THE FANTASY WORLD' Philip PullmanFollowing The Black Elfstone comes the second book in The Fall of Shannara - the epic four-part conclusion to the Shannara series from one of the all-time masters of the fantasy genre.Tensions in the Four Lands are high. The mysterious force that laid waste to Paranor has revealed a more human face. While some gain a new understanding of the invaders and what they are after, others continue their existing quests even as the peril rises. For what looked to be a formidable invading force proves only the forerunner of a much vaster army - one that is now marching against the Four Lands in all its fury.'I can't even begin to count how many of Terry Brooks's books I've read (and re-read) over the years' Patrick Rothfuss'I would not be writing epic fantasy today if not for Shannara' Peter V. Brett'A master of the craft . . . required reading' Brent Weeks
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    Something More

    By Siobhan Curham
    Authors:
    Siobhan Curham
    Have you ever wondered if there might be something more to life?When Siobhan Curham decided to write a book about happiness there was only one small problem, which became a massive problem as soon as she sat down to write - she wasn't truly happy.Not wanting to be a fraud, Siobhan set out to discover the secret to true and lasting happiness. Her quest took her on an unexpected path deep into the heart of the world's spiritual traditions.Something More is a funny and moving account of Siobhan's journey, as she found religion - and promptly lost it again - then went on to develop her own spiritual 'pick and mix' of practises from Buddhist chanting, Irish yoga, Jewish philosophy and Reiki healing, to connecting with her inner goddess and finding her shamanic spirit animal (who, it turns out, was a large, black, talking horse).Full of brutally honest anecdotes and age-old wisdom, Something More is for anyone who has ever thought about exploring their spiritual side, and those who might feel disillusioned by organised religion but still crave that elusive 'something more'. After all, who wouldn't want to find inner peace and everlasting happiness?
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  • The Sins of Lady Dacey

    By M.C. Beaton, Karen Cass
    Authors:
    M.C. Beaton
    Read by:
    Karen Cass
    The local society could only speculate how a pair of turtledoves would cope as the guests of the scandalous Lady Dacey. Surely she would attempt to corrupt them - an act that both Pamela Perryworth and Honoraria Goodham would see as welcome entertainment in their rigid, joyless lives.Though Mrs. Perryworth is married - most unhappily - and the young Honoraria has a cloying tendency to read too much scripture, the purity and loveliness of both ladies nonetheless inflames the senses of two notorious lords. Mr. Sean Delaney loses his heart at first sight of the fair Mrs. Perryworth while the disreputable Duke of Ware is quite disturbed by the innocent Honoraria, who unknowingly dares to tempt his jaded heart.
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    The Strange Case of the Moderate Extremists

    By Alexander McCall Smith
    Authors:
    Alexander McCall Smith
    Detective Ulf Varg from the Department of Sensitive Crimes is often called upon to investigate unusual matters. But rarely is he asked to conduct an inquiry on behalf of his own family. Is such a thing ethical? Adding to Ulf's moral discomfort is the fact that he does not exactly see eye to eye with his younger brother Bjorn - a leading player in one of Sweden's right-wing parties, the Moderate Extremists. Still, family is family, so Ulf finds himself working to uncover the mole leaking secrets to a rival party, the Extreme Moderates. All of this in addition to his responsibilities to the Department, which include investigating a case of cat-related sabotage. As always, it's up to Ulf to close the case . . . even if he encounters unexpected resistance from the victims themselves.From literary master McCall Smith, this is a bewitching short foray, witty and warm, into Scandinavian mystery.Contains an exclusive extract from The Department of Sensitive Crimes, the first novel in the new Detective Varg series by Alexander McCall Smith

    Stubborn Archivist

    By Yara Rodrigues Fowler
    Authors:
    Yara Rodrigues Fowler
    'I read Stubborn Archivist in a ravenous gulp. It's stunning: so articulate about what it means to live between two languages and countries, tenderly unravelling the knots of unbelonging' Olivia Laing'My goodness. Yara Rodrigues-Fowler has conjured a work of rare power, startlingly original form, and devastating beauty. This novel is a triumph'Musa Okwonga'Stubborn Archivist is an intimate and wonderfully resourceful exploration of origins. In its quest to uncover what a person is made of it digs deeply into the living body, as well as tracing back through its tangled roots. Visceral and elegant, circumspect and vivid, Yara Rodrigues Fowler has a distinctly unhampered way of telling a story; I liked Stubborn Archivist very very much' Claire-Louise Bennett'Every page oozes with caustic wit, despair and self-awareness, creating a lyrical debut that pushes the novel form like no other in recent years. A talent to watch'Nikesh ShuklaWhen your mother considers another country home, it's hard to know where you belong. When the people you live among can't pronounce your name, it's hard to know exactly who you are. And when your body no longer feels like your own, it's hard to understand your place in the world. This is a novel of growing up between cultures, of finding your space within them and of learning to live in a traumatized body. Our stubborn archivist tells her story through history, through family conversations, through the eyes of her mother, her grandmother and her aunt and slowly she begins to emerge into the world, defining her own sense of identity.
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    Sword and Scimitar

    By Raymond Ibrahim, Victor Davis Hanson
    Authors:
    Raymond Ibrahim, Victor Davis Hanson
    The West and Islam--the sword and the scimitar--have clashed since the mid-seventh century, when, according to Muslim tradition, the Byzantine emperor rejected Prophet Muhammad's order to abandon Christianity and convert to Islam, unleashing a centuries-long jihad on Christendom.Sword and Scimitar chronicles the significant battles that arose from this ages-old Islamic jihad, beginning with the first major Islamic attack on Christian land in 636, through the occupation of the Middle East that prompted the Crusades and the far-flung conquests of the Ottoman Turks, to the European colonization of the Muslim world in the 1800s, when Islam largely went on the retreat--until its reemergence in recent times. Using original sources in Arabic, Greek, Latin, and Turkish, preeminent historian Raymond Ibrahim describes each battle in vivid detail and explains the effect the outcome had on larger historical currents of the age and how the military lessons of the battle reflect the cultural faultlines between Islam and the West.The majority of these landmark battles are now forgotten or considered inconsequential. Yet today, as the West faces a resurgence of this enduring Islamic jihad, Sword and Scimitar provides the needed historical context to understand the current relationship between the West and the Islamic world, and why the Islamic State is merely the latest chapter of an old history.

    Skymeadow

    By Charlie Hart
    Authors:
    Charlie Hart
    'A love letter to English horticulture written by a passionate gardener. A must-read for anyone who has dreamt of cultivating their own patch of land' Jane Perrone'Skymeadow is a fascinating book . . . Every flower, every passing bud, every change in the season is described with rapture' Jilly CooperWhen Charlie Hart first visited Peverels, a small farmhouse that sits lazily on the lip of a hill running down into the Peb Valley, he was at breaking point, grieving the loss of his father and anxious about the impending death of his mother. He and his wife Sybilla felt that their London life had been steadily growing in noise: the noise of grief, the noise of busyness, the noise that comes from the expectations of others and, for Charlie, the constant clamour of dissatisfaction at work. At Peverels, Charlie found an expanse of untouched meadowland, the perfect setting for an audacious garden. Charlie felt an unquenchable urge to dig, to create something. The days he spent wrestling with the soil in the rose garden were the days in which he mourned the loss of his parents. Gardening has taught him that you can dig for victory, but you can also dig for mental health. As the garden formed around Charlie, he buried his fears and anxieties within it. A garden that is now known as Skymeadow and grows with a lusty, almost biblical vigour.In Skymeadow, Charlie seamlessly weaves together his own memoir with that of his garden. The result is a lyrical and incisive story of mental health at an all-time low, the healing powers of digging and, ultimately, a celebration of nature.
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    Staring At The Light

    By Frances Fyfield
    Authors:
    Frances Fyfield
    Someone has stolen the only person John Smith has ever loved - his twin brother Cannon. Johnny will stop at nothing to get him back but Cannon doesn't feel the same way any more. He's married now, and he loves his wife. In a desperate effort to avoid Johnny's destructive brotherly affections, Cannon enlists the aid of Sarah Fortune, a lawyer who has turned helping the needy and eccentric into something of an art form.Sarah hides Cannon's wife for him, but she cannot quite trust Cannon's judgement. Is Johnny really intent on inflicting unendurable pain on the woman who has hi-jacked his brother's affections? Sarah doesn't really believe in evil, and it is that lack of faith which makes her shockingly vulnerable ...
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    Stranger in the Mirror

    By Robert Levine
    Authors:
    Robert Levine
    Who are we? Where is the boundary between us and everything else? Are we all multiple personalities? And how can we control who we become?From distinguished psychologist Robert Levine comes this provocative and entertaining scientific exploration of the most personal and important of all landscapes: the physical and psychological entity we call our self. Using a combination of case studies and cutting-edge research in psychology, biology, neuroscience, virtual reality and many other fields, Levine challenges cherished beliefs about the unity and stability of the self - but also suggests that we are more capable of change than we know. Transformation, Levine shows, is the human condition at virtually every level. Physically, our cells are unrecognizable from one moment to the next. Cognitively, our self-perceptions are equally changeable: A single glitch can make us lose track of a body part or our entire body, or to confuse our very self with that of another person. Psychologically, we switch back and forth like quicksilver between incongruent, sometimes adversarial sub-selves. Socially, we appear to be little more than an ever-changing troupe of actors. And, culturally, the boundaries of the self vary wildly around the world - from the confines of one's body to an entire village. The self, in short, is a fiction: vague, arbitrary, and utterly intangible. But it is also interminably fluid. And this unleashes a world of potential. Engaging, informative, and ultimately liberating, Stranger in the Mirror will change forever how you think about your self - and what you might become.
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    Shadows on the Mirror

    By Frances Fyfield
    Authors:
    Frances Fyfield
    Sarah Fortune is bored to death - but few know, and less would guess, how the beautiful and successful redheaded solicitor escapes the stultifying tedium of her career. Since the death of her unfaithful husband, Sarah has found a practical way of transforming the lives of lonely men that also suits her warm and defiant nature.Kind, witty and obese lawyer Malcolm Cook is the first to benefit from Sarah's generosity - he shrugs off years of weight and loneliness. But then she meets Charles Tysall, an important client of the firm, whose charisma and enormous wealth conceal an implacable will and a misogynist's mad obsession.
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    Sharp

    By Michelle Dean
    Authors:
    Michelle Dean
    A BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week'This is such a great idea for a book, and Michelle Dean carries it off, showing us the complexities of her fascinating, extraordinary subjects, in print and out in the world. Dean writes with vigor, depth, knowledge and absorption, and as a result Sharp is a real achievement' Meg Wolitzer, New York TimesDorothy Parker, Hannah Arendt, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Joan Didion, Nora Ephron and Janet Malcolm are just some of the women whose lives intertwined as they cut through twentieth-century cultural and intellectual life in the United States, arguing as fervently with each other as they did with the men who so often belittled their work as journalists, novelists, critics and poets. These women are united by their 'sharpness': an accuracy and precision of thought and wit, a claiming of power through their writing.Sharp is a rich and lively portrait of these women and their world, where Manhattan cocktail parties, fuelled by lethal quantities of both alcohol and gossip, could lead to high-stakes slanging matches in the Partisan Review or the New York Review of Books. It is fascinating and revealing on how these women came to be so influential in a climate in which they were routinely met with condescension and derision by their male counterparts.Michelle Dean mixes biography, criticism and cultural and social history to create an enthralling exploration of how a group of brilliant women became central figures in the world of letters, staked out territory for themselves and began to change the world.
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    Splinter in the Blood

    By Ashley Dyer
    Authors:
    Ashley Dyer
    'Compelling, clever. Packed with macabre and fascinating forensic details. A stunning debut' Mo Hayder After months of hunting a ruthless murderer that the press has dubbed the Thorn Killer, Detective Carver is shot in his own home. His trusted partner, Ruth Lake, is alone with him. Yet instead of calling for help, she wipes the room clean of prints.But Carver isn't dead. Awakening in hospital, he has no memory of being shot, but is certain that his assailant is the Thorn Killer. Though there's no evidence to support his claim, Carver insists the attack is an attempt to scare him off the psychopath's scent. One person knows the truth and she's not talking. She's also now leading the Thorn Killer investigation while Carver recuperates. But Ruth is keeping a deadly secret, and she'll cross every line - sacrificing her colleagues, her career, and maybe even her own life - to keep it from surfacing.'A taut and compelling thriller, as sharp as the thorns that feature in the plot' Ann Cleeves
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  • The Sinners

    By Ace Atkins
    Authors:
    Ace Atkins
    'Atkins's Quinn Colson series is, quite simply, the best in crime fiction today - and also so much more . . . unforgettable' Megan Abbott The Pritchards had never been worth a damn - an evil, greedy family who made their living dealing drugs and committing mayhem. Years ago, Colson's late uncle had put the clan's patriarch in prison, but now he's getting out, with revenge, power, and family business on his mind. To make matters worse, a shady trucking firm with possible ties to the Gulf Coast syndicate has moved into Tibbehah, and they have their own methods of intimidation.With his longtime deputy Lillie Virgil now working up in Memphis, Quinn Colson finds himself having to fall back on some brand-new deputies to help him out, but with Old West-style violence breaking out, and his own wedding on the horizon, this is without a doubt Colson's most trying time as sheriff. Cracks are opening up all over the county, and shadowy figures are crawling out through them - and they're all heading directly for him.
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    Stop Feeling So Damn Depressed

    By Jonas A Horwitz
    Authors:
    Jonas A Horwitz
    Don't feed The Beast. In this no-nonsense guide for men, psychologist Jonas Horwitz presents straightforward, jargon-free strategies to help you identify and overcome depression, once and for all.The damned thing about severe depression is that it takes over your brain, body, and spirit. It wants you to say to yourself, "There is nothing I can do to make myself feel better. I am helpless in the face of my problems." Even at this very moment as you read these words, your severe depression is whispering in your ear, "This is all bulls@#t." Your depression has lived with you for a long time, and has seldom left your side. It's relentlessly pessimistic, and wants you to believe that your misery will never end. In a nutshell-your severe depression is The Beast that you just can't seem to escape.With this unique guide, you'll learn why it's so important to take your severe depression seriously-just as you would if you had cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or any other life-threatening illness. In addition, by anthropomorphizing your depression into a separate entity-The Beast-you'll discover what makes it tick, as well as the unhealthy behaviors that can feed it and make it stronger, such as drinking or watching too much television. Most importantly, you'll find actionable solutions to put The Beast in its place so you can start focusing on the things that matter.In order to overcome your depression, you must understand its nature. This book will help you understand The Beast, stop feeding it, and take back your life.

    The Story of Easter

    By Helen Dardik
    Authors:
    Helen Dardik
    God's love for his followers culminates in the Easter story, beginning with Jesus's last supper with his disciples and ending with his ascension into Heaven. Jesus's love and faith in God is unshaken in this story of his death and resurrection, and his promise of everlasting life is finally fulfilled.Share the classic, powerful Easter story with young ones in the fourth book of this delightful series. With stunning art by Helen Dardik and simplified text for little readers, The Story of Easter is sure to become a perennial favorite for families.

    Songs of a War Boy

    By Deng Thiak Adut, Ben Mckelvey
    Authors:
    Deng Thiak Adut, Ben Mckelvey
    Deng Adut was six years old when war came to his village in South Sudan. Taken from his mother, he was conscripted into the Sudan People's Liberation Army. He was taught to use an AK-47 then sent into battle.Shot in the back, dealing with illness and the relentless brutality of war, Deng's future was bleak. A child soldier must kill or be killed. But, after five years, he was rescued by his brother John and smuggled into a Kenyan refugee camp. With the support of the UN and help from an Australian couple, Deng and John became the third Sudanese family resettled in Australia.Despite physical injuries and ongoing mental trauma, Deng seized the chance he'd been given. Deng taught himself to read and, in 2005, he enrolled in a Bachelor of Laws at Western Sydney University.Songs of a War Boy is the inspirational story of a young man who has overcome unthinkable adversity to become a lawyer, refugee advocate and NSW Australian of the Year. Deng's memoir is an important reminder of the power of compassion and the benefit to us all when we open our doors and our hearts to those fleeing war, persecution and pain.
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    The Setpoint Diet

    By Jonathan Bailor
    Authors:
    Jonathan Bailor
    Your body fights to keep you within a range of about 10 pounds, also known as your "set point weight." While approximately 50% of your set point is affected by genetics, the rest is up to you, and with The Setpoint Diet, you can put the latest in data science to personal use, reprogramming your body from the inside out, lowering your set point, and ending that battle for good. In the New York Times bestseller The Calorie Myth, former Microsoft programmer turned wellness expert Jonathan Bailor explained a radically different approach to weight loss and health, focused on food and exercise quality rather than calorie quantity to burn fat and boost health more easily. Since that book's publication, Bailor founded the SANESolution, a weight loss company that has reached millions of people. With the benefit of data from more than 15,000 people who have already achieved dramatic weight loss results through Bailor's personalized programs, he has created a 21-day, step-by-step program to get started with the set point way of eating and exercising.

    Saving You

    By Charlotte Nash
    Authors:
    Charlotte Nash
    One single mother. Three escaped pensioners. An unforgettable road tripIn their tiny, pale green cottage under the trees, Mallory Cook and her five-year-old son, Harry, are a little family unit who weather the storms of life together. Money is tight after Harry's unreliable and impulsive father, Duncan, abandoned them to expand his business in New York. So when Duncan fails to return Harry after a visit, Mallory sets off, determined to bring her son home any way she can.A chance encounter with three retirees on the run leaves Mallory leading an unlikely group road trip across the United States. Zadie, Ernie and Jock each have their own reasons for making the journey and along the way the four of them will learn not only the lengths they will travel to save each other, but that it's never too late to change the path you're on . . .'I was enthralled... Nash's skilled storytelling will keep you turning pages until the very end.' Fleur MacDonald

    Survival Tails

    By Katrina Charman
    Authors:
    Katrina Charman
    Sled dog Samson wants nothing more than to be part of Ernest Shackleton's historic voyage to Antarctica. He wants to feel the snow under his paws and the wind on his face as he races across the ice fields, and most of all he wants to help his humans find eternal glory as they chart the last unexplored continent. His fellow sled dog, Bummer, just wants to get through the voyage in one piece. Why would he want to face down a dangerous, icy wasteland when he could stay inside his kennel, warm and safe?Treacherous seas and dangerous ice packs are not the only threat they'll face on their voyage, however. Not every dog on Shackleton's team is willing to put the expedition before themselves. Amundsen, a wolf dog with a grudge against Samson, will stop at nothing to ensure he's the best dog on the expedition...even if it means sabotaging Samson and his friends.When their ship, the Endurance, becomes trapped in the sea ice, leaving the dogs and men with no way home, their journey becomes not about personal glory, but about survival. Samson, Bummer, and the other dogs will have to put aside their differences and band together to rescue their humans...and themselves.With engaging nonfiction back matter that delves into the fascinating true story behind the book, Survival Tails: Endurance in Antarctica is sure to keep readers entertained as the second entry in this series of action-packed animal adventures.