$15.00Discover the story Ernest Shackleton's legendary Antarctic expedition through the words of the world's greatest living explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes - one of the only men to understand his experience first-hand . . .
To write about Hell, it helps if you have been there. _________In 1915, Sir Ernest Shackleton's attempt to traverse the Antarctic was cut short when his ship, Endurance, became trapped in ice. What followed became legend.
Throughout the long, dark Antarctic winter, Shackleton fights for his life and the lives of his men - enduring freezing temperatures, a perilous lifeboat journey through the ice-strewn sea, and a punishing march across the South Georgia glaciers to seek the one slim chance they have of rescue. Their survival would become history's most enthralling adventure. No previous biographer has experienced even a tiny taste of the polar hell on earth endured by Shackleton and his men.
That cannot be said of Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who has been described as 'our greatest living explorer'. From Shackleton's pursuit of adventure as a young merchant seaman, through his rivalry with Captain Scott, to the two remarkable expeditions to Antarctica that revealed his unrivalled leadership and courage, Fiennes brings the story vividly to life in a book that is part celebration, part vindication and all adventure.
$39.00This is a scholarly and yet intensely readable book. It takes female writers who were largely born in the 1950's and asks each one to reflect on her experience of being published, read and taken seriously as a writer in Ireland. The vast majority of these women do so, against a backdrop of raising families, holding down 'proper' jobs and generally swimming against the tide of what is expected from them. I found it inspiring, and humbling. In the words of Mark Twain, many of us might say "I'm writing a novel" to which his sharp reply was "Neither am I". These pioneers demonstrated through sheer will and dedication , to actually follow through. Some are more personal, some more academic, but an essential read for anyone interested in gender studies, writing in Ireland and creative endeavour.
What could be a more tempting gift than a compendium of David Sedaris's best stories, selected by the author himself? From a spectacular career spanning almost three decades, these stories have become modern classics and are now for the first time collected in one volume. For more than twenty-five years, David Sedaris has been carving out a unique literary space, virtually creating his own genre. A Sedaris story may seem confessional, but is also highly attuned to the world outside.
It opens our eyes to what is at absurd and moving about our daily existence. And it is almost impossible to read without laughing. Now, for the first time collected in one volume, the author brings us his funniest and most memorable work.
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.
$13.00A hilarious memoir about growing up in Northern Ireland in the 90s towards the end of the Troubles and a brilliantly propelling narrative of the extraordinary background story of her mother. Her mother's vivid personality and witty colloquialisms dominate the book and help to give a social history of life in Belfast from the 1950s onwards. Growing up on the Falls Road in 1990s Belfast, Alix O'Neill has seen it all - burnt-out buses blocking the route to school, the police mistaking her father for a leading terrorist and a classmate playing hide and seek with her dad's prosthetic hand (blown off making a device for the IRA).
Not that she or her friends are up to speed with the goings-on of the resistance. They're too preoccupied with the obsessions of every teenage girl - booze, boys and Boyzone - to worry about the violence on their doorstep. Besides, the odd coffee jar bomb is nothing compared to the drama about to explode in Alix's personal life.
Desperate to leave Northern Ireland and the trials of her mother's unorthodox family - a loving yet eccentric band of misfits - behind, she makes grand plans for the next stage. But it's through these relationships and their gradual unravelling that Alix begins to appreciate not only the troubled history of where she comes from, but the strength of its women. Warm, embarrassing and full of love and insight, The Troubles with Us is a hilarious and moving account of the madness and mundanities of life in Northern Ireland during the thirty-year conflict.
It's a story of mothers and daughters, the fallout from things left unsaid and the lengths a girl will go to for fake tan.
A brilliant, very funny, very revealing autobiography-through-music. Maybe the best book ever written about being a rockstar' CAITLIN MORAN
Bono - artist, activist and the lead singer of Irish rock band U2 - has written his autobiography: honest and irreverent, intimate and profound, Surrender is the story of the remarkable life he's lived, the challenges he's faced and the friends and family who have shaped and sustained him. 'When I started to write this book I was hoping to draw in detail what I'd previously only sketched in songs.
The people, places, and possibilities in my life. Surrender is a word freighted with meaning for me. Growing up in Ireland in the seventies with my fists up (musically speaking), it was not a natural concept.
A word I only circled until I gathered my thoughts for the book. I am still grappling with this most humbling of commands. In the band, in my marriage, in my faith, in my life as an activist.
Surrender is the story of one pilgrim's lack of progress ... With a fair amount of fun along the way.' - Bono,As one of the music world's most iconic artists and the cofounder of organizations ONE and (RED), Bono's career has been written about extensively. But in Surrender, Bono's autobiography, he picks up the pen, writing for the first time about his remarkable life and those he has shared it with.
In his unique voice, Bono takes us from his early days growing up in Dublin, including the sudden loss of his mother when he was 14, to U2's unlikely journey to become one of the world's most influential rock bands, to his more than 20 years of activism dedicated to the fight against AIDS and extreme poverty. Writing with candour, self-reflection, and humour, Bono opens the aperture on his life - and the family, friends and faith that have sustained, challenged and shaped him. Surrender's subtitle, "40 Songs, One Story," is a nod to the book's 40 chapters, which are each named after a U2 song.
Bono has also created 40 original drawings for Surrender which will appear throughout the book.
Paperback coming SEPTEMBER 2024!
The inspirational story of how the love a Belfast Doctor had for his Gaeltacht sweetheart prevailed despite the horrors of captivity in Japanese POW camps during World War Two.
Frank Murray and Eileen O'Kane met in Donegal and struck up a friendship. Frank later joined the British army as a medic and was deployed to Singapore. He and teacher Eileen wrote extensively to each other, and it is through these letters and Frank's journals that we gain a remarkable insight into life during these times.
From the description of the BBC I Player documentary - search Litir Grea Dara ...
Scéal inspioráideach an dochtúra as Béal Feirste a thit i ngrá le bean agus é tréimhse sa Ghaeltacht, agus an bealach ar tháinig sé slán as campaí géibhinn na Seapánach le linn an Dara Chogaidh Dhomhanda. Casadh Frank Murray agus Eileen O’Kane ar a chéile i Rann na Feirste ar chúrsa Gaeilge. Cháiligh seisean mar dhochtúir agus liostáil sé in Arm na Breataine. Cuireadh go Singeapór ansin é mar dhochtúir leis an Arm. Thosaigh sé féin agus Eileen comhfhreagras litreach. Bhí sise ina múinteoir faoin am seo.
Tugann na litreacha agus an dialann a choinnigh Frank an-léargas ar an saol mar a bhí le linn an chogaidh. Ó am go ham, scríobhadh sé giotaí i nGaeilge. Bhí sé ina Cheann Feadhna ar an champa géibhinn a raibh sé féin ina phríosúnach ann i dtuaisceart na Seapáine.
Ní fios cén bhrúidiúlacht nó cén chiapadh a chonaic Frank agus a chuid comrádaithe sa phríosún. Tháinig sé slán as an uafás. Sheas Eileen leis ar feadh 42 mí go dtí gur ghéill an tSeapáin, tír a bhí briste, brúite ar deireadh, i mí Lúnasa, 1945. Tháinig sé abhaile agus trí mhí ina dhiaidh sin, phós an bheirt acu.
Insítear an scéal trína gcuid litreacha, trí chuntas an teaghlaigh agus le hionchur ó staraithe, iarshaighdiúirí agus síceolaithe.
The Ponies At The Edge Of The World : A story of hope and belonging in Shetland.
A meditation on connection between humans and animals, and the homes we make in wild places. I was completely immersed' Katherine May, bestselling author of Wintering
Catherine Munro transforms her life when she moves to Shetland to study the hardy ponies who call this archipelago home. Over the course of her first year, she is welcomed into the rhythms and routines that characterise life at the edge of the world.
When faced with personal loss, Catherine finds comfort and connection in the shared lives of the people, animals and wild landscapes of Shetland. Ponies at the Edge of the World is a heartfelt love letter to the beauty and resilience of these magical ponies and their native land. This is a stunning book on community, hope and finding home.
OLIVE & MABEL: two of the internet's favourite dogs!
ANDREW COTTER: one of our best-loved commentators.
In a year like no other, the antics of two beautiful Labradors, Olive and Mabel - along with hilarious commentaries by Andrew Cotter - lightened the darkest days of lockdown. With nearly 90 million views on social media, Olive and Mabel’s videos have resonated with dog lovers around the world.
Now, OLIVE, MABEL & ME tells the heart-warming story of Andrew's two famous Labradors. Olive - sensible, measured but always keen to roll in something she shouldn't. Mabel - endearing, slightly scatty but game for any adventure. Their star quality has taken the internet by storm and continues to give us all a much-needed treat in tough times.
Beautifully written, touching and laugh-out-loud funny, this is not only the story of Olive and Mabel but also the story of the love we have for our dogs and the boundless joy they bring us each and every day.
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)
'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.
$13.00I 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)
A unique look into the mind and craft of a master storyteller. Haruki Murakami's myriad fans will be delighted by this unique look into the mind of a master storyteller. In this engaging book, the internationally best-selling author and famously reclusive writer shares with readers what he thinks about being a novelist; his thoughts on the role of the novel in our society; his own origins as a writer; and his musings on the sparks of creativity that inspire other writers, artists, and musicians.
Readers who have long wondered where the mysterious novelist gets his ideas and what inspires his strangely surreal worlds will be fascinated by this highly personal look at the craft of writing. 'The world's most popular cult novelist' Guardian'A master storyteller' Sunday Times'Murakami is like a magician who explains what he's doing as he performs the trick and still makes you believe he has supernatural powers' New York Times Book Review
Paperback October 2023 at £10.99
Secrecy came naturally to John le Carre, and there were some secrets that he fought fiercely to keep. Nowhere was this more so than in his private life. Apparently content in his marriage, the novelist conducted a string of love affairs over four decades.
To keep these relationships secret, he made use of tradecraft that he had learned as a spy: code names and cover stories, cut outs, safe houses and dead letter boxes. Such affairs introduced both jeopardy and excitement into what was otherwise a quiet, ordered life. Le Carre seemed to require the stimulus they provided in order to write, though this meant deceiving those closest to him.
It is no coincidence that betrayal became a recurrent theme in his work. Adam Sisman's definitive biography, published in 2015, revealed much about the elusive spy-turned-novelist; yet le Carre was adamant that some subjects should remain hidden, at least during his lifetime. The Secret Life of John le Carre is the story of what was left out, and offers reflections on the difficult relationship between biographer and subject.
Not merely the conclusive homage to a compulsively fascinating character, but an insightful study into the biographical process itself' Nicholas Shakespeare'Now that he is dead, we can know him better.
An exceptional book. Sailing Alone belongs on the very small shelf of the true classics of the sea' Peter Nichols, author of Sea Change and A Voyage for Madmen'
Sailing on a boat by yourself out at sea and out of sight of land can be exhilarating or terrifying, compelling or tedious - sometimes it can be all of these things just in one morning. It is an adventure at odds with our normal, sociable lives, carried out floating on a medium wholly inimical to our existence.
But the deep ocean is also a remarkable place on which to think. Richard King's enormously engaging and curious new book is about the debt we owe to solo sailors: women and men, young and old, who have set out alone. Spending weeks and months alone, slowly, quietly and close to the ocean surface is to create the world's largest laboratory: an endlessly changing, capricious and startling place in which to observe oneself, the weather, the stars and myriad sea creatures, from the tiniest to the most massive and threatening.
This is a book for anyone who is fascinated by sailing, solitude and the vast seas that cover so much of our planet.
$26.00The seven rules to follow to realise your true purpose in life-distilled by Arnold Schwarzenegger from his own journey of ceaseless reinvention and extraordinary achievement, and available for absolutely anyone. The world's greatest bodybuilder. The world's highest paid movie star.This is Arnold Schwarzenegger. And this did not happen by accident. Arnold's stratospheric success happened as part of a process.
As the result of clear vision, big thinking, hard work, direct communication, resilient problem-solving, open-minded curiosity, and a commitment to giving back. All of it guided by the one lesson Arnold's father hammered into him above all: be useful. As Arnold conquered every realm he entered, he kept his father's adage close to his heart.
Written with his uniquely earnest, blunt, powerful voice, BE USEFUL takes readers on an inspirational tour through Arnold's toolkit for a meaningful life. Arnold shows us how to put those tools to work, in service of whatever fulfilling future we can dream up for ourselves. He brings his insights to vivid life with compelling personal stories, life-changing successes and life-threatening failures alike--some of them famous, some told here for the first time ever.
Too many of us struggle to disconnect from our self-pity and connect to our purpose. At an early age, Arnold forged the mental tools to build the ladder out of the poverty and narrow-mindedness of his rural Austrian hometown, tools he used to add rung after rung from there. Now he has shared that wisdom with all of us.
Belfast’s Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton MBE is no ordinary boxer. One of only three fighters from the British Isles to be named the Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year, he has headlined multiple sell-out world championship bouts on both sides of the Atlantic, winning multiple world titles in the process. His dedicated army of fans have traversed the globe to be ringside throughout it all.
But Frampton’s popularity far exceeds the traditional adulation for a sporting icon; he is regarded as a symbol of hope and unity by both sides of the sectarian divide in Northern Ireland.
In this captivating autobiography, Frampton reveals the most personal aspects of being a fighter; of fears and doubts, of exhilaration and devastation, of friendship and animosity. He also recounts for the first time his high-profile, acrimonious split with Barry McGuigan, in devastating and revealing detail.
Frampton speaks openly and passionately, not only about boxing, but about his country, how far it has come and the problems it faces. This is a uniquely intimate account of a true modern-day sporting great and a local hero like no other.
Peacemaker, politician, Nobel laureate: John Hume was a titan of Irish political history and a key architect of the Good Friday Agreement, bringing peace to Northern Ireland after decades of conflict.
But who was the real John Hume? What motivated the former history teacher to reach beyond political lines? What sustained him during the bloody years of violence and how did he convince the IRA to end its long-running campaign? How did he persuade presidents and prime ministers to take risks and back his vision for Northern Ireland?
How should John Hume be remembered? Stephen Walker combines over 100 interviews with many of Hume's colleagues, critics and family members, with never-before-published interviews with Hume himself to present a comprehensive portrait of one of the most significant political figures in Northern Ireland and around the world.
Outside my work the thing I care most about is gardening - George Orwell
Inspired by her encounter with the surviving roses that Orwell is said to have planted in his cottage in Hertfordshire, Rebecca Solnit explores how his involvement with plants, particularly flowers, illuminates his other commitments as a writer and antifascist, and the intertwined politics of nature and power. Following his journey from the coal mines of England to taking up arms in the Spanish Civil War; from his prescient critique of Stalin to his analysis of the relationship between lies and authoritarianism, Solnit finds a more hopeful Orwell, whose love of nature pulses through his work and actions.
And in her dialogue with the author, she makes fascinating forays into colonial legacies in the flower garden, discovers photographer Tina Modotti's roses, reveals Stalin's obsession with growing lemons in impossibly cold conditions, and exposes the brutal rose industry in Colombia. A fresh reading of a towering figure of the 20th century which finds solace and solutions for the political and environmental challenges we face today, Orwell's Roses is a remarkable reflection on pleasure, beauty, and joy as acts of resistance.
Laura Thompson explores the phenomenon of the heiress from the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries. Take Mary Davies, a child bride at the age of twelve, and her thousand-acre dowry of today's Mayfair and Belgravia, which gave the Grosvenors their stupendous wealth.
Or Consuelo Vanderbilt, Duchess of Marlborough, whose American railroad fortune helped sustain Blenheim Palace. Winnaretta Singer showcased the work of Debussy in her Parisian salon; Daisy Fellowes enjoyed parties, fashion - and other people's husbands - without shame or conscience. Alice de Janze shot one of her lovers and was suspected of murdering a second; Woolworth heiress, Barbara Hutton, married seven times.
Money should mean power and opportunity, but in the hands of these women it was so often absent. Why did so many struggle to live with so much? Did the removal of need render their life meaningless? Were they riven with guilt at all they had, knowing they really should be happy? With her signature intelligence and wit, Laura Thompson tells these women's stories - glittering and fascinating but often sad and scandalous - on a gripping search for the answer.
'Witty, insightful, deliciously gossip-laden and slightly scandalous... Heiresses makes for an entertaining, occasionally sad and never less than gripping read' Anne Sebba
The Chief : The Life of Lord Northcliffe Britain's Greatest Press Baron
A definitive and compelling biography of Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe (1865-1922), the greatest press magnate in history, the genius who invented modern popular journalism, and against whom all the other great newspaper proprietors must be measured. By the time of his tragically early death at 57 in August 1922, Northcliffe had founded the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror, and had also owned The Times and the Observer. At one point he owned two-thirds of all the titles on Fleet Street.
He laid down the essential features of British popular journalism that we see now. He was a tough and uncompromising businessman, but in The Chief Andrew Roberts puts his ruthlessness and wilfulness in the overall context of a life of visionary business skill, journalistic brilliance, distinguished wartime public service and heartfelt patriotism. From a modest background, growing up on the outskirts of Dublin, by 27 he presided over a magazine empire with the largest circulation in the world.
He wanted his readers to know that he was on their side, which they instinctively did. He was proud of his populist approach, saw the importance of appealing to both sexes in his pages, and allowed his editors leeway so long as they understood and followed his vision.
The Art of Winning : Ten Lessons in Leadership, Purpose and Potential
Ten timeless truths on leadership, purpose and potential - from the unique culture of the All Blacks, and the mind of a living legend. You might think success at the highest level insulates you from self-doubt. But nothing could be further from the truth.
In this book, I take you inside a journey that has forced me to look inwardly in a way I've never had to before. It's been challenging, frustrating, rewarding and left me full of gratitude. Whether you're a leader on a steep learning curve, a person navigating change in their life or just someone of any age trying to get that little bit better every day, I hope that my experience can spur you on to greater heights.
For the first time, sporting legend Dan Carter distils his two decades at the frontiers of high-performance into his 'perfect ten' lessons. You won't find conventional wisdom here, but hard-learned truths, including:- Why great leaders are made, not born, and why they must constantly evolve- How to forge a winning team culture- Why embracing your past can be every bit as important as looking towards your future- Why empowering others leads to the best decisions- Why confidence and self-belief are nothing without humility and a beginner's mindsetHonest, surprising and inspiring, The Art of Winning converts a legendary career into timeless lessons for readers in any walk of life. Step inside the unique culture of the All Blacks - and inside the mind of a legend.
The Tennis Champion Who Escaped the Nazis : Liesl Herbst's Journey, from Vienna to Wimbledon.
A fabulous story guaranteed to capture people's imagination' - Mail on SundayIn 1930, at the age of twenty-seven, Liesl Herbst was the Austrian National Tennis Champion, a celebrity in Vienna. Liesl, her husband David and their daughter Dorli came to Britain after escaping the Nazis.
In London, though initially stripped of their Austrian passports and rendered stateless aliens, both Liesl and her daughter Dorli competed at Wimbledon. They remain the only mother and daughter ever to have played doubles together at Wimbledon. This moving story of escape and survival is told by Liesl's grand-daughter.
It is as much a search for the author's own identity as for her own children and grandchildren to ensure that their remarkable family history is never lost again. Illustrated throughout with family photographs and original documents, this is a story of survival against terrible odds, an inspiring tale of resilience and hope.
$15.00Wishing to leave behind the quiet isolation of her Orkney island life, Amy Liptrot books a one-way flight to Berlin. Searching for new experiences, inspiration and love, she rents a loftbed in a shared flat and looks for work. She explores the streets, nightclubs and parks and seeks out the city's wildlife - goshawks, raccoons and hooded crows.
She looks for love through the screen of her laptop. Over the course of a year Amy makes space hoping for the unexpected. And it comes with an erotic jolt, in the form of a love affair that obsesses her.
The Instant is an unapologetic look at the addictive power of love and lust. It is also an exploration of the cycles of the moon, the flight paths of migratory birds, the mesmerising power of Neolithic stonework and the trails followed by a generation who exist online.
$33.00This could be heaven or this could be hell...'So sings Don Henley on their biggest hit, 'Hotel California', and it is true that the Eagles story was one that blurred the ultimate Hollywood highs and subterranean LA lows beyond recognition. The band that embodied the American dream with globe-straddling success, impossibly luxurious lives, almost supernatural talent also descended into nightmare with bloodletting betrayal, hate-filled hubris, the skeletons of perceived enemies, brutally discarded lovers and former band mates left unburied on the road behind them. The story of the Eagles is a truly gothic American fable: one of ultimate power and rivers of money; of sex and drugs at a time when both were the lingua-franca of sophisticated So-Cal living; of a band who sang of peaceful easy feelings in public while threatening to kill each other in private.
Now, for the first time, esteemed music biographer Mick Wall will provide the definitive insight into America's bestselling band of all time, a band who have sold more records than Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones combined, exploring their meteoric rise to fame and the hedonistic days of the 70s music scene in LA, when American music was taking over the world.
$15.00In Happy-Go-Lucky, David Sedaris once again captures what is most unexpected, hilarious, and poignant about recent upheavals, personal and public, and expresses in precise language both the misanthropy and desire for connection that drive us all. If we must live in interesting times, there is no one better to chronicle them than the incomparable David Sedaris. 'Unquestionably the king of comic writing' HADLEY FREEMAN, Guardian
The Young Alexander : The Making of Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great's story often reads like fiction: son to a snake-loving mother and a battle-scarred father; tutored by Aristotle; a youth from the periphery of the Greek world who took part in his first campaign aged sixteen, becoming king of Macedon at twenty and king of Asia by twenty-five; leading his armies into battle like a Homeric figure.
Each generation has peered through the frosted glass of history and come to their own conclusion about Alexander, be it enlightened ruler, military genius, megalomaniac, drunkard or despot. Yet the first two decades of his life have until now been a mystery - a matter of legend and myth. This extraordinary history draws on new discoveries in archaeology to tell the early story of Alexander and his rise - including detail on the tempestuous relationship between Alexander's parents, Philip and the Molossian princess Olympias, his education by Aristotle and the strict military training which would serve him so well in later years.
And more than ever, it emerges, the story of Alexander's reign confronts us with difficult questions that are still relevant today - of the relationship between East and West, the legacy of colonialism and the impacts of authoritarian rule.
John Donne lived myriad lives. Sometime religious outsider and social disaster, sometime celebrity preacher and establishment darling, Donne was incapable of being just one thing. He was a scholar of law, a sea adventurer, an MP, a priest, the Dean of St Paul's Cathedral - and perhaps the greatest love poet in the history of the English language.
In Super-Infinite, Katherine Rundell shows us the many sides of Donne's extraordinary life, his obsessions, his blazing words, and his tempestuous Elizabethan times - unveiling Donne as the most remarkable mind and as a lesson in living.
Reviews for Katherine Rundell are outstanding : -
*A Sunday Times top ten bestseller****Winner Baillie Gifford Prize 2022****Shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize for Non-Fiction 2023****Shortlisted for the Slightly Foxed First Biography Prize 2023**'Masterly.' Observer 'Wonderful, joyous.' Maggie O'Farrell' Frankly brilliant.' Sunday Times' Unmissable.' Simon Jenkins'Every page sparkles.' Claire Tomalin.
Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize ( Best British Non Fiction)
If you want to read a book that moves you both at the level of sentence and the quality of language and with the emotional depth of its subject matter, then A Fortunate Woman is definitely the book you should be reading' - Samanth Subramanian, Baillie Gifford judge.
When Polly Morland is clearing out her mother's house she finds a book that will lead her to a remarkable figure living on her own doorstep: the country doctor who works in the same remote, wooded valley she has lived in for many years. This doctor is a rarity in contemporary medicine - she knows her patients inside out, and their stories are deeply entwined with her own. In A Fortunate Woman, with its beautiful photographs by Richard Baker, Polly Morland has written a profoundly moving love letter to a landscape, a community and, above all, to what it means to be a good doctor.
'Morland writes about nature and the changing landscape with such lyrical precision that her prose sometimes seems close to poetry' - Christina Patterson, The Sunday Times'
$13.00The popular broadcaster and columnist sets out to discover the unsung pleasures of drinking in moderation. The recommended alcohol limit is 14 units a week. Adrian Chiles used to put away almost 100.
Ever since he was a teenager, drinking was his idea of a good time - and not just his, but seemingly the whole nation's. Still, it wasn't very good for him: the doctor made that clear. If you lined them up, Adrian must have knocked back three miles of drinks.
How many of them had he genuinely wanted? A mile?There's an awful lot of advice out there on how to quit booze completely. If you just want to drink a bit less, the pickings are slim. Yet while the alcohol industry depends on a minority of problem drinkers, the majority really do enjoy in moderation.
What's their secret? Join the inimitable Chiles as he sets out around Britain and plumbs his only slightly fuzzy memories of a lifetime in pubs in a quest to find the good drinker within.
'Completely original, full of surprise, humour, grief, and wisdom.' Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
If you like Elizabeth Strout / Anne Tyler.....
Meet Gloria, Gam Gam, Darkness, Miss Hennepin County, and their unlikely owner. Over the course of a single year, our nameless narrator heroically tries to keep her small brood of four chickens alive despite the seemingly endless challenges that caring for another creature entails. From the freezing nights of a brutal winter to a sweltering summer which brings a surprise tornado, she battles predators, bad luck, and the uncertainty of a future that may not look anything like the one she always imagined.
Brood by Jackie Polzin is a darkly witty, deeply moving and startling original debut novel of motherhood and grief, full of sorrow, joy and unrelenting hope.
$24.00At a time when the values of Catholic Ireland are so often viewed in a negative, even hostile, light, Mary Kenny's approach is a balanced and measured recollection of the Ireland of our times - and of times past, since the foundation of the Irish state a hundred years ago. She focuses on the people and personalities involved in our social history, seeing Ireland from 1922 to 2022 through their stories, and the events in which they were involved. Yes, there have been stark failings in Irish society, involving the position and power of the Catholic church, and these must be honestly described.Yet our values, our heritage, our own family members also included many kind, intelligent and patriotic people doing their best, who built up the Irish state from a fragile beginning.
$15.00During certain hours, at certain years in our lives, we see ourselves as remnants from the earlier generations that were destroyed... I think all of our lives have been terribly shaped by what went on before us.'Twenty-five years after leaving his native Sri Lanka for the cool winters of Ontario, a chaotic dream of tropical heat and barking dogs pushes Michael Ondaatje to travel back home and revisit a childhood and a family he never fully understood. Along with his siblings and children, Ondaatje gathers rumours, anecdotes, poems, records and memories to piece together this fragmented portrayal of his family's past, his father's destructive alcoholism and the colourful stories and secrets of ancestors both disgraced and adored throughout centuries of Sri Lankan society.
In an exotic, evocative portrait of the heat, wildlife, sounds and silences of the Sri Lankan landscape, Ondaatje combines vivid recreations of a privileged, eccentric older generation with a deeply personal reconciliatory journey in which he explores his own ghosts, and how his family's extraordinary history continues to influence his life.
Kathryn Scanlan’s Kick the Latch vividly captures the arc of one woman’s life at the racetrack – the flat land and ramshackle backstretch; the bad feelings and friction; the winner’s circle and the racetrack bar; the fancy suits and fancy boots; and the ‘particular language’ of ‘grooms, jockeys, trainers, racing secretaries, stewards, pony people, hotwalkers, everybody’ – with economy and integrity.
Based on transcribed interviews with Sonia, a horse trainer, the novel investigates form and authenticity in a feat of synthesis reminiscent of Charles Reznikoff’s Testimony. As Scanlan puts it, ‘I wanted to preserve – amplify, exaggerate – Sonia’s idiosyncratic speech, her bluntness, her flair as a storyteller. I arrived at what you could call a composite portrait of a self.’ Whittled down with a fiercely singular artistry, Kick the Latch bangs out of the starting gate and carries the reader on a careening joyride around the inside track.
‘Terrific . . . Kathryn Scanlan makes the mundane details of everyday life hum with electricity.’ 5 stars, Telegraph
‘A series of taut, electrifying vignettes . . . by turns exultant and brutal.’ LA Review of Books
From a very early age I loved the countryside as much as any garden and was fascinated by the life that I saw all around me from trees, wildflowers, birds, insects and mammals. In a sense this book has been over sixty years in gestation. I have kept notebooks and journals ever since I could write and I have drawn upon these as well as the events of the past year.'
My Garden World by Monty Don is a celebration of every living creature that we all share.
This year has given us the enforced opportunity to learn more about the fascinating natural world around us. Whether you live in the countryside or the town, Monty's observations and insights are relevant to each and every one of us. My Garden World is Monty Don's personal journey through the natural year, month by month, season by season, observed from the immediate world around him.
'Wildlife is not something that we watch happening in remote and exotic parts of the world on our screens, but right here in our own back yards and the more that we encourage it and learn to live with it, the more rewarding it becomes. If, in our own modest back yards, we can help preserve and treasure our natural world then we will make the world a better place -- not just for ourselves but for every living creature.'
$11.00n twenty years behind the till in The Bookshop, Wigtown, Shaun Bythell has met pretty much every kind of customer there is - from the charming, erudite and deep-pocketed to the eccentric, flatulent and possibly larcenous. In Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops he distils the essence of his experience into a warm, witty and quirky taxonomy of the book-loving public. So, step inside to meet the crafty Antiquarian, the shy and retiring Erotica Browser and gormless yet strangely likeable shop assistant Student Hugo - along with much loved bookseller favourites like the passionate Sci-Fi Fan, the voracious Railway Collector and the ever-elusive Perfect Customer.
$15.00Martin O'Neill is one of the most fascinating and respected figures in football. On Days Like These tells the story of his remarkable career. For the first time, Martin O'Neill reflects on one of the most varied and successful football careers in the British Isles.
He made his breakthrough playing for Distillery in Northern Ireland before joining Brian Clough's legendary Nottingham Forest team, becoming one of the few players who made the epic journey from the Second Division to the glory years: winning the First Division championship, two League Cups and back-to-back European Cups. O'Neill represented Northern Ireland over sixty times, playing alongside George Best and captaining the side at the 1982 World Cup, where they reached the quarter-finals. As a manager, O'Neill's celebrated leadership of Celtic saw them win seven trophies, including three Scottish Premier League titles; and in England he successfully led Leicester City to two League Cups and Aston Villa to an unprecedented three consecutive top six Premier League finishes.
He oversaw the Republic of Ireland reaching the Euros in 2016, when they made it to the second round for the first time in their history. With a career spanning over fifty years, Martin tells of his exhilarating highs and painful lows; from the joys of winning trophies, promotion and fighting for World Cups to being harangued by fans, boardroom drama, relegation scraps and being fired.
$20.00An immersive memoir about a groundbreaking surfing career, and a stunning portrait of Ireland as one of the world's most captivating big-wave surfing destinations. "A brilliant story" - Ray D'Arcy Born and raised in Bundoran, with the waves of the west coast of Ireland breaking at his doorstep, Richie Fitzgerald was moulded by his environment - from his initiation to surfing at the age of 9 in the cold Atlantic water to becoming Ireland's first ever pro surfer and competing on a global scale. But learning to surf in 1980s Ireland wasn't without its challenges.
With little to no equipment, Richie duct-taped Marigolds over woollen gloves to protect his hands from the freezing water and even melted Christening candles to pour on his board in place of surf wax. Yet the west of Ireland boasts waves of size and quality to rival those in California and Hawaii, attracting surfers from all over the world who want to test their mettle, and Richie has surfed the biggest, and most dangerous, of them. Cold-Water Eden is not just a captivating memoir about a transcendent sport: it is at its heart a coming-of-age story about one man's pursuit of big waves and the dawn of Ireland as a singular destination on the global surf scene.
Our Daily Bread : From Argos to the Altar - a Priest's Story, Father Alex Frost ( paperback July 2023)
$13.00A warmly funny, intensely moving and startlingly personal account of the lives of an urban parish priest and his parishioners. Father Alex Frost was not always a man of the cloth. He found his calling while running an Argos store in his native Burnley, moonlighting as a stand-up comedian and die-hard fan of The Clarets and Depeche Mode.
But having achieved his profession, Fr Alex quickly recognised the 17,000 inhabitants of his new parish were in dire need of help. Burnley is typical of many towns across Britain: a place of run-down council estates, severe poverty litter, crime and drugs, but also a place where the sacred sits alongside the secular in an intimate and personal way. And so it was that he found himself running a food bank from a car park, helping the desperate amid his flock as the pandemic raged.
Fr Alex's down-to-earth style of ministry struck a chord with people of all faiths, cultures and class at a time when the divide between rich and poor is widening cataclysmically. But amid the tragedy, addiction, appalling loss, illness and neglect, there also lies hope, joy and moments of comedy. Our Daily Bread is as much the story of the rich cast of characters that cross the threshold of any church as it is our vicar's.
Through them it shows the continued relevance of the church for those in peril: the poor and the marginalised. This heartfelt and moving book seeks to give a voice to the voiceless, charting the tragedy and pain, humour and hope which are ever-present in his community. It is ultimately about modern poverty - and how we all can, and should, espouse Christian virtues of love, kindness, tolerance.
The first full account of a truly remarkable life. When Jan Morris passed away in 2020, she was considered one of Britain's best-loved writers. The author of Venice, Pax Britannica, Conundrum, and more than fifty other books, her work was known for its observational genius, lyricism, and humour, and had earned her a passionate readership around the world.
Morris's life was no less fascinating than her oeuvre. Born in 1926, she spent her childhood amidst Oxford's Gothic beauty and later participated in military service in Italy and the Middle East, before embarking on a career as an internationally feted foreign correspondent. From being the only journalist to join the first ascent of Mount Everest in 1953 to covering the trial of Adolf Eichmann, Morris's reportage spanned many of the twentieth century's defining moments.
However, public success masked a private dilemma that was only resolved when she transitioned genders in the late sixties, becoming renowned as a transgender pioneer. She went on to live happily with her wife Elizabeth in Wales for another five decades, and never stopped writing and publishing. Here, for the first time, the many strands of Morris's rich and at times paradoxical life are brought together.
Based on a wealth of interviews, archival material, and hitherto unpublished documents, Jan Morris: life from both sides portrays a person of extraordinary talent, curiosity, and joie de vivre.
Written by Northern Ireland's own Paul Clements ( Shannon Country, Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way)