'PHENOMENAL' - Michelle Obama, New York Times Book Review `An amazing story, and truly inspiring. The kind of book everyone will enjoy.
Tara Westover and her family grew up preparing for the End of Days but, according to the government, she didn't exist. She hadn't been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records because she'd never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn't believe in hospitals. As she grew older, her father became more radical and her brother more violent.
At sixteen, Tara knew she had to leave home. In doing so she discovered both the transformative power of education, and the price she had to pay for it.
“A fresh, opinionated history of all the brilliant women you should have learned about in school but didn’t”
Blending meticulous research with information gleaned from memoirs, diaries, letters, novels and other secondary sources, Bloody Brilliant Women uses the stories of some extraordinary lives to tell the tale of 20th and 21st century Britain.
Well researched and eloquently written, this is an original history book with something for everyone.
£15.99'Simply the best modern biography of Wilde ... A terrific achievement' Evening Standard.
Sturgis's account of the hearing at the Old Bailey is as gripping as it is grim' Guardian. Oscar Wilde's life - like his wit - was alive with paradox. He was both an early exponent and a victim of 'celebrity culture': famous for being famous, he was lauded and ridiculed in equal measure.
His achievements were frequently downplayed, his successes resented. He had a genius for comedy but strove to write tragedies. He was an unabashed snob who nevertheless delighted in exposing the faults of society.
Having delighted in fashionable throngs, Wilde died almost alone: barely a dozen people were at his graveside. Yet despite this ruinous end, Wilde's star continues to shine brightly. His was a life of quite extraordinary drama.
Above all, his flamboyant refusal to conform to the social and sexual orthodoxies of his day make him a hero and an inspiration to all who seek to challenge convention. In the first major biography of Oscar Wilde in thirty years, Matthew Sturgis draws on a wealth of new material and fresh research to place the man firmly in the context of his times. He brings alive the distinctive mood and characters of the fin de siecle in the richest and most compelling portrait of Wilde to date. Now in paperback at £15.99 for Christmas 2019
For those of who waiting eagerly for the new Hilary Mantel this Christmas perhaps? !
'This is the biography we have been awaiting for 400 years' Hilary Mantel'
Thomas Cromwell is one of the most famous - or notorious - figures in English history. Born in obscurity in Putney, he became a fixer for Cardinal Wolsey in the 1520s. After Wolsey's fall, Henry VIII promoted him to a series of ever greater offices, and by the end of the 1530s he was effectively running the country for the King.
That decade was one of the most momentous in English history: it saw a religious break with the Pope, unprecedented use of parliament, the dissolution of all monasteries. Cromwell was central to all this, but establishing his role with precision, at a distance of nearly five centuries and after the destruction of many of his papers at his own fall, has been notoriously difficult. Diarmaid MacCulloch's biography is much the most complete and persuasive life ever written of this elusive figure, a masterclass in historical detective work, making connections not previously seen.
Now out in paperback ( July 2019)
£18.99Stephen Hough is indisputably one of the world's leading pianists, winning global acclaim and numerous awards, both for his concerts and recordings. He is also a writer, composer and painter and was recently described by the Economist as one of '20 Living Polymaths'. As an international performer he spends much of his life at airports, on planes, and in hotel rooms - and this book expands notes he has made, in his words, 'during that dead time on the road'.
He writes about music and the life of a musician, from exploring the broader aspects of what it is to walk out on to a stage or to make a recording, to specialist tips from deep inside the practice room: how to trill, how to pedal, how to practise. He also writes vividly about people he's known, places he's travelled to, books he's read, paintings he's seen; and touches on more controversial subjects, such as assisted suicide and abortion. Even religion is there - the possibility of the existence of God, problems with some biblical texts and the challenge involved in being a gay Catholic.
An illuminating and absorbing introduction into the life and mind of one of our great cultural figures.
£16.99Casey Gerald's story begins at the end of the world: on New Year's Eve 1999, Casey gathers with the congregation of his grandfather's black evangelical church to witness the rapture. The journey that follows is a beautiful and moving story of a young man learning to question the dreams of success and prosperity that are the foundation of modern America. Growing up gay in an ordinary black neighbourhood in Dallas, his parents struggling with mental health problems and addiction, Casey finds himself on a remarkable path to a prestigious Ivy League college, to the inner sanctums of power on Wall Street and in Washington DC.
But even as he attains everything the American Dream promised him, Casey comes to see that salvation stories like his own are part of the plan to keep others from rising. Intense, incantatory, shot through with sly humour and quiet fury, There Will Be No Miracles Here is an extraordinary memoir that forces us to judge our society not on those who rise highest, but on those left behind along the way.
WINNER OF THE COSTA BIOGRAPHY Category Award 2018
'Superb. This is a necessary book - painful, harrowing, tragic, but also uplifting' Times
Little Lien wasn't taken from her Jewish parents - she was given away in the hope that she might be saved. Hidden and raised by a foster family in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation, she survived the war only to find that her real parents had not.
Much later, she fell out with her foster family, and Bart van Es - the grandson of Lien's foster parents - knew he needed to find out why. His account of tracing Lien and telling her story is a searing exploration of two lives and two families. It is a story about love and misunderstanding and about the ways that our most painful experiences - so crucial in defining us - can also be redefined.
'Luminous, elegant, haunting - I read it straight through' Philippe Sands, author of East West Street.
£9.99Sally Field is one of the most celebrated, beloved and enduring actors of our time, and now she tells her story for the first time in this intimate and haunting literary memoir. In her own words, she writes about a challenging and lonely chilhood, the craft that helped her find her voice, and a powerful emotional legacy that shaped her journey as a daughter and a mother. Sally Field has an infectious charm that has captivated audiences for more than five decades, beginning with her first television role at the age of 17.
£8.99In this first volume of her six books of autobiography, Maya Angelou beautifully evokes her childhood with her grandmother in the American south of the 1930s. She learns the power of the white folks at the other end of town and suffers the terrible trauma of rape by her mother's lover.
'I write about being a Black American woman, however, I am always talking about what it's like to be a human being. This is how we are, what makes us laugh, and this is how we fall and how we somehow, amazingly, stand up again' Maya Angelou
Born Lippy is a gathering of all the things Jo Brand wishes she'd known, all the things she's learnt, and all the things she hopes for the future. A century after women got the vote (albeit married women over the age of 28) it's time to take stock of exactly what it means to be female today. And if there's one thing women are entitled to, it's having a bloody good moan about things big and small - so here goes .
. . HOW TO MANAGE A BULLY * YOUR FAMILY AND HOW TO SURVIVE IT * WHAT NO-ONE TELLS YOU ABOUT THE FEMALE BODY * BEING DIFFERENT * SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT SOCIABLE * HOW NOT TO FALL IN LOVE * FEMINISM: A RE-BRANDING * ADVENTURES IN YOUR HEAD * HAVING FUN * NOT HAVING FUN: WHAT TO DO WHEN IT ALL GOES WRONG * STAYING SANE * YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU WEAR * MODERN MANNERS* HOW TO DO WHAT YOU WANT: OR NOT DO WHAT OTHERS WANT * BEING HEALTHY * GETTING ON A BIT * THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES: MORE DEADLY THAN THE MALE?
Paperback June 2019
£8.99I AM, I AM, I AM is a memoir with a difference - the unputdownable story of an extraordinary woman's life in near-death experiences. Insightful, inspirational, gorgeously written, it is a book to be read at a sitting, a story you finish newly conscious of life's fragility, determined to make every heartbeat count.
A childhood illness she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. A terrifying encounter on a remote path.
A mismanaged labour in an understaffed hospital. Shocking, electric, unforgettable, this is the extraordinary memoir from Costa Novel-Award winner and Sunday Times bestselling author Maggie O'Farrell ( The Hand that First Held Mine, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox)
Friedrich Nietzsche's work rocked the foundation of Western thinking and continues to permeate our culture, high and low - yet he is one of history's most misunderstood philosophers. Sue Prideaux's myth-shattering book brings readers into the world of a brilliant, eccentric and deeply troubled man, illuminating the events and people that shaped his life and work. I Am Dynamite! is the essential biography for anyone seeking to understand Nietzsche, the philosopher who foresaw - and sought solutions to - our own troubled times.
Some £25 hardback copies still available.
Jenni Murray gives the lie to Thomas Carlyle's infamous declaration that `the history of the world is but the biography of great men.' Women have played just as great a role in the story of humankind, only for their own tales to be marginalised, censored and forgotten. Their names should be shouted from the rooftops. Marie Curie discovered radium and revolutionised medical science.
Empress Cixi transformed China. Frida Kahlo turned an unflinching eye on life and death. In A History of the World in 21 Women, Jenni Murray celebrates the lives, struggles and achievements of some of the most extraordinary people to have ever walked the Earth.
They ruled empires, they led nations. They were pioneers in the arts and geniuses of science. They led while others followed, spoke truth to power and fought for change.. Illuminating and inspiring.
Now available ( Sept 2019) as £ 9.99 paperback
Shaun Bythell runs one of the second hand and antiquarian bookshops in Scotland’s ‘ special place ‘ for books, Wigtown. This diary style account of life behind the till is grumpy, cynical - and hilarious.
Sunday Times Bestseller, a memoir about nursing and a call for compassion and kindness. A moving and honest account of the care that hundreds of nurses provide day after day.
Now in paperback £8.99
* THE NO. 1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER *`
We watch Christie as she nurses a premature baby who has miraculously made it through the night, we stand by her side during her patient's agonising heart-lung transplant, and we hold our breath as she washes the hair of a child fatally injured in a fire, attempting to remove the toxic smell of smoke before the grieving family arrive. In our most extreme moments, when life is lived most intensely, Christie is with us. She is a guide, mentor and friend.
And in these dark days of division and isolationism, she encourages us all to stretch out a hand.