“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.
£25.00This 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 Christmas 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.
£20.00Discover 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.
Rory has communicated his feelings of warmth for sport, for team morale and most of all his own appreciation for his achievements.
A great read for anyone interested in Irish and Ulster rugby.
Now available as 10.99 paperback, limited copies of £20 hardback may still be available.
£14.99A 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.
£9.99From the brilliant mind of the creator and star of I May Destroy You and Chewing Gum comes a passionate declaration against fitting in. Michaela Coel's MacTaggart Lecture touched a lot of people with her striking revelations about race, class and gender.
But in the end, the person most impacted was Coel herself. Building on this speech, Misfits immerses readers in her deeply personal vision through powerful allegory and anecdotes - from her East London upbringing to her discovery of theatre and love for storytelling. With inspiring insight and wit, she tells of her reckoning with trauma and metamorphosis into a champion for herself, inclusivity and radical honesty, and in telling her journey invites us to reflect on our own.
By embracing our differences, she says, we can transform our lives. An artist to her core, Coel holds up the path of the creative as an emblem of our need to regard one another with care and respect - and transparency. Misfits is a triumphant call for honesty, empathy and inclusion.
This timely, necessary book is a rousing coming-to-power manifesto dedicated to anyone who has ever worried about fitting in.
by Meriel Schindler (Author)
Kurt had made extravagant claims about their family history. Were they really related to Franz Kafka and Oscar Schindler, of Schindler's List fame? Or Hitler's Jewish doctor - Dr Bloch? What really happened on Kristallnacht, the night that Nazis beat Kurt's father half to death and ransacked the family home? When Kurt died in 2017, Meriel felt compelled to resolve her mixed feelings about him, and to solve the mysteries he had left behind. Starting with photos and papers found in Kurt's isolated cottage, Meriel embarked on a journey of discovery taking her to Austria, Italy and the USA.
She reconnected family members scattered by feuding and war. She pieced together an extraordinary story taking in two centuries, two world wars and a family business: the famous Cafe Schindler. Launched in 1922 as an antidote to the horrors of the First World War, this grand cafe became the whirling social centre of Innsbruck.
And then the Nazis arrived. Through the story of the Cafe Schindler and the threads that spool out from it, this moving book weaves together memoir, family history and an untold story of the Jews of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It explores the restorative power of writing, and offers readers a profound reflection on memory, truth, trauma and the importance of cake.
£9.99In 1939, five-year-old Jacques Austerlitz is sent to England on a Kindertransport and placed with foster parents. This childless couple promptly erase from the boy all knowledge of his identity and he grows up ignorant of his past. Later in life, after a career as an architectural historian, Austerlitz - having avoided all clues that might point to his origin - finds the past returning to haunt him and he is forced to explore what happened fifty years before.
Austerlitz is W.G. Sebald's melancholic masterpiece. 'Mesmeric, haunting and heartbreakingly tragic.
£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)
'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.
£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.
£8.99I 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)
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.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE FOR NATURE WRITING - HIGHLY COMMENDED'
Remarkable' Robert Macfarlane'Beautiful' Amy Liptrot'Powerful, unflinching . . .
Part hymn to nature, part Troubles memoir' Guardian Kerri ni Dochartaigh was born in Derry at the very height of the Troubles. One parent was Catholic, the other Protestant. In the space of a year Kerri's family were forced out of two homes and when she was eleven a homemade petrol bomb was thrown through her bedroom window.
For families like hers, terror was in the very fabric of the city. In Thin Places, Kerri explores how nature kept her sane and helped her heal, and how we are again allowing our borders to become hard and terror to creep back in. Kerri asks us to reclaim and rejoice in our landscape, and to remember that the land we fight over is much more than lines on a map.
£8.99Twelve early pieces never before collected that offer an illuminating glimpse into the mind and process of Joan Didion. Mostly drawn from the earliest part of her astonishing five-decade career, the wide-ranging pieces in this collection include Didion writing about a Gamblers Anonymous meeting, a visit to San Simeon, and a reunion of WWII veterans in Las Vegas, and about topics ranging from Nancy Reagan to Robert Mapplethorpe to Martha Stewart. Here are subjects Didion has long written about - the press, politics, California robber baronsac, women, the act of writing, and her own self-doubt.
Each piece is classic Didion: incisive and, in new light, stunningly prescient.
£20.00Keith Earls started out in senior rugby as a teenage star and during the course of his long career has become one of the most admired and respected players of his generation. A British & Irish Lion at the age of 21, he is now closing in on his 34th birthday and still playing at the top of his game. He has won 93 caps for Ireland and played 179 times in the famous red of Munster.
He started every game of the 2018 Six Nations campaign that culminated in an Irish Grand Slam victory. A lethal finisher blessed with thoroughbred speed, Earls is the second-highest try scorer of all time for his country. With Munster he is one try short of the all-time total and looks set to break that record next season.
Behind the glittering success, there is another story to be told. He has achieved these milestones whilst being racked by private battles with his mental health for most of his career. A number of crises brought him to the brink of voluntary retirement from the game.
A long series of injuries have taken their psychological toll too. A native of Limerick city, Earls grew up in one of its most socially disadvantaged housing estates. Moyross was blighted by crime and violence and he did not escape unscathed from the surrounding fear and trauma visited upon his beloved community.
His natural sporting talent brought him into the privileged bastion of elite rugby union. His frank and fearless autobiography tells the story of his long struggle to reconcile the world whence he came with the world opened up by his brilliance with an oval ball. Earls has maintained a low profile throughout his career.
For the first time he will talk in depth and at length about the inner turmoil that went unseen by team-mates, friends and fans. It is a confessional, intimate and courageous story of the pain that was a constant companion to the glory.
This is a lovingly curated family archive of letters, from an American ( Colorado) girl who married into the Co Down Turtle family, and ended up with a literary and personal correspondence throughout all the war years between Ulster and the USA.
The result is a gossipy, insightful first person source history of living through war, with lots of local context which will be fascinating to Ulster people, particularly Co Down.
A lovely read.
Escape into nature with Matt Baker's fascinating journey through nature's year and family life on the farm.
Peppered with his hand drawn sketches and moments from his TV career throughout, this is a heartfelt and fascinating insight into Matt's life outside of our TV screens. Away from the bright lights of hosting our favourite television programmes, Countryfile, The One Show, Blue Peter and many more, he is often in the company of his family, dogs, array of sheep, Mediterranean miniature donkeys and a whole host of wildlife in the farm's ancient woodland. Now, following the ever-changing seasons, Matt takes us on a journey with his family on the farm.
We see woodland animals emerge after a long winter of hibernation, hear the dawn chorus in the height of summer and see the preparations unfold for the harsh and wild winter months. Peppered with hand drawn sketches, unforgettable moments from his TV career and stories of a landscape you'll fall in love with, Matt offers readers a touching insight into life on the farm, and how the power and beauty of the countryside can be an inspiration and source of joy for all of us. A celebration of the natural year, Matt Baker takes us on a journey through the seasons, his life on the farm and how the power and beauty of the countryside has made him who he is.
£9.99A devastating essay on loss and the people we love from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the bestselling author of Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun. 'Grief is a cruel kind of education. You learn how ungentle mourning can be, how full of anger.
You learn how glib condolences can feel. You learn how much grief is about language, the failure of language and the grasping for language' On 10 June 2020, the scholar James Nwoye Adichie died suddenly in Nigeria. In this tender and powerful essay, expanded from the original New Yorker text, his daughter, a self-confessed daddy's girl, remembers her beloved father.
Notes on Grief is at once a tribute to a long life of grace and wisdom, the story of a daughter's fierce love for a parent, and a revealing examination of the layers of loss and the nature of grief.
THE BIMINI BON BESTSELLER (Sunday Times official!)The perfect Christmas gift for RuPaul's Drag Race fans! A hilarious and inspiring guide to transforming your life through lessons from drag, by the UK's favourite drag queen and Drag Race UK star, Bimini Bon Boulash. '
MAGIC! A fun, fierce, honest origin story of how to drag yourself up out of trouble and become an icon' Katherine Ryan 'A triumph for UK queer culture' Travis
Bimini Bon Boulash is the nation's sweetheart, capturing hearts and minds as the gag-inducing, death-dropping, plant-based breakout star of RuPaul's Drag Race UK Season 2. Not only did she make us laugh and cry, she showed us how to develop a Positive Mental Attitude and live happily and healthily outside society's idea of 'normal'.
Telling the story of how drag took her from the brink of self-destruction to the mainstage, as well as life lessons drawing on convention-breaking icons from Kate Moss to Katie Price, in this book Bimini uses all her wit, charm and kindness to show us how to lead the lives we wish we could lead, through the life-changing magic of dragging up.
Discover 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 . . .
'THE definitive book on my hero Shackleton and no one could have done it better. "The Boss" would have heartily approved of such an authentic account by one of the few men who truly knows what it's like to challenge Antarctica' LORRAINE KELLY
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.
£14.99The powerful, urgent manifesto on never giving up from Booker prize-winning trailblazer, Bernardine Evaristo. In 2019, Bernardine Evaristo became the first black woman to win the Booker Prize since its inception fifty years earlier - a revolutionary landmark for Britain. Her journey was a long one, but she made it, and she made history. Manifesto is her intimate and fearless account of how she did it.
From a childhood steeped in racism from neighbours, priests and even some white members of her own family, to discovering the arts through her local youth theatre; from stuffing her belongings into bin bags, always on the move between temporary homes, to exploring many romantic partners both toxic and loving, male and female, and eventually finding her soulmate; from setting up Britain's first theatre company for Black women in the eighties to growing into the trailblazing writer, theatre-maker, teacher, mentor and activist we see today - Bernardine charts her rebellion against the mainstream and her life-long commitment to community and creativity. And, through the prism of her extraordinary experiences, she offers vital insights into the nature of race, class, feminism, sexuality and ageing in modern Britain. Bernardine Evaristo's life story is a manifesto for courage, integrity, optimism, resourcefulness and tenacity.
Bernardine Evaristo is one of Britain's best writers, an iconic and unique voice, filled with warmth, subtlety and humanity.
'A beautiful, searingly personal account of a world defined by money, full of courage and truth telling.' Owen Jones
In this unforgettable blend of memoir and cultural commentary, Otegha Uwagba explores her own complicated relationship with money, and what her wide-ranging experiences say about the world around us. An extraordinarily candid personal account of the ups and downs wrought by money, We Need To Talk About Money is a vital exploration of stories and issues that will be familiar to most. This is a book about toxic workplaces and misogynist men, about getting pay-rises and getting evicted.
About class and privilege and racism and beauty. In unpicking the shroud of secrecy surrounding money - who has it, how they got it, and how it shapes our lives - this boldly honest account of one woman's journey upturns countless social conventions, and uncovers some startling truths about our complex relationships with money in the process.
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
'An intoxicating mixture of poetry and prose, Slug is a taboo-busting delight' SCOTSMAN
From Finnish saunas and soppy otters to grief, grandparents and Kellogg's anti-masturbation pants, Slug is a book which holds a mirror lovingly up to the world, past and present, through Hollie's driving, funny, hopeful poetry and prose. Slug is about the human condition: of birth and death and how we manage the possibilities in between. 'The inimitable words of poet/goddess Hollie McNish once again hold up honest, damn funny and refreshing takes on the everydayness of our lives .
This book is an uplifting and outrageous delight. A great introduction to the joys of poetry too.
Agent Sonya : From the bestselling author of The Spy and The Traitor
by Ben MacIntyre (Author)
She eventually became a spymaster, saboteur, bomb-maker and secret agent. In Agent Sonya, Britain's most acclaimed historian vividly reveals the fascinating tale of a life that would change the course of history. Classic Ben Macintyre - a gripping ride, based on meticulous research, that reads like a novel - this is the greatest spy story never told.
'Exquisitely written... haunting... Few books, I think, capture so well the sense of a life broken for ever by trauma and guilt' - Sunday Times'
In 1965 the German journalist Horst Kruger attended the Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt, where 22 former camp guards were put on trial for the systematic murder of over 1 million men, women and children.
Twenty years after the end of the war, this was the first time that the German people were confronted with the horrific details of the Holocaust executed by 'ordinary men' still living in their midst. The trial sent Kruger back to his childhood in the 1930s, in an attempt to understand 'how it really was, that incomprehensible time'. He had grown up in a Berlin suburb, among a community of decent, lower-middle-class homeowners.
This was not the world of torch-lit processions and endless ranks of marching SA men. Here, people lived ordinary, non-political lives, believed in God and obeyed the law, but were gradually seduced and intoxicated by the promises of Nazism. He had been, Kruger realised, 'the typical child of innocuous Germans who were never Nazis, and without whom the Nazis would never have been able to do their work'.
This world of respectability, order and duty began to crumble when tragedy struck. Kruger's older sister decided to take her own life, leaving the parents struggling to come to terms with the inexplicable. The author's teenage rebellion, his desire to escape the stifling conformity of family life, made him join an anti-Nazi resistance group.
He narrowly escaped imprisonment only to be sent to war as Hitler embarked on the conquest of Europe. Step by step, a family that had fallen under the spell of Nazism was being destroyed by it. Written in accomplished prose of lingering beauty, The Broken House is a moving coming-of-age story that provides an unforgettable portrait of life under the Nazis.
Yet the book's themes also chime with our own times - how the promise of an 'era of greatness' by a populist leader intoxicates an entire nation, how thin is the veneer of civilisation, and what makes one person a collaborator and another a resister.
'Extraordinary. Vivid, irreverent, heartbreaking.' NIGEL SLATER 'So funny and so delicious. I could eat it.' DAWN O'PORTER
From an early age, Grace Dent was hungry.
As a little girl growing up in Currock, Carlisle, she yearned to be something bigger, to go somewhere better. Hungry traces her story from growing up eating beige food to becoming one of Britain's best-loved food writers. It's also everyone's story - from cheese and pineapple hedgehogs and treats with your nan, to the exquisite joy of a chip butty covered in vinegar and too much salt in the school canteen on a grey day.
And the Cadbury's Fruit & Nut from a hospital vending machine that tells a loved one you really care. Grace's snapshot of how we have lived, laughed and eaten over the past 40 years reveals the central role food plays in either bringing us together or driving us apart - from toasting a large glass of warm Merlot to grimly polishing off a wilted salad. Heartfelt, witty and joyous, Hungry shows us what we've always known to be true.
Food, friends and family are the indispensable ingredients of a life well lived.
£9.99An exhilarating story of ambition, joy and failure in early manhood from the international phenomenon, Karl Ove Knausgaard As the youngest student to be admitted to Bergen's prestigious Writing Academy, Karl Ove arrives full of excitement and writerly aspirations. Soon though, he is stripped of his youthful illusions. His writing is revealed to be puerile and cliched, and his social efforts are a dismal failure.
He drowns his shame in drink and rock music. Then, little by little, things begin to change. He falls in love, gives up writing and the beginnings of an adult life take shape.
That is, until his self-destructive binges and the irresistible lure of the writer's struggle pull him back. 'Breathtaking... Knausgaard has a rare talent for making everyday life seem fascinating' The Times
£12.99A deeply moving story of what it means to care for those we love - by bestselling author Kate Mosse, writer of Labyrinth and The City of Tears
'A truly beautiful book, shot through with honesty, heartbreak and joy. I loved it' Adam Kay
As our population ages, more and more of us find ourselves caring for parents and loved ones - some 8.8 million people in the UK. An invisible army of carers holding families together.
Here, Kate Mosse tells her personal story of finding herself as a carer in middle age: first, helping her mother look after her beloved father through Parkinson's, then supporting her mother in widowhood, and finally as 'an extra pair of hands' for her 90-year-old mother-in-law.
This is a story about the gentle heroism of our carers, about small everyday acts of tenderness, and finding joy in times of crisis. It's about juggling priorities, mind-numbing repetition, about guilt and powerlessness, about grief, and the solace of nature when we're exhausted or at a loss. It is also about celebrating older people, about learning to live differently - and think differently about ageing.
But most of all, it's a story about love.
Anya Hindmarch is a mother of five, stepmother, entrepreneur and globally renowned businesswoman. In If In Doubt, Wash Your Hair, she shares what she has learned during her busy and eclectic life, what she still worries about, and what advice she has received along the way. From practical tips and quick fixes, to profound observations about confidence and creativity, this inspiring handbook will show you how to live a little better.
'Comforting, practical and beautifully personal. This book feels like your best friend telling you it's all going to be ok' Fearne Cotton'
Warm, friendly, and packed to the rafters with excellent advice - I loved it' India Knight
From the brilliantly original and critically acclaimed Sally Bayley, a literary story of working class childhood, absent or broken men and the power of literature to save and rebuild a world.
In Sally Bayley’s childhood, the men were often missing. Missing because they were drunk, or out of work, or in prison, or wandering. Or missing because their behaviour had provoked women to ban them from the house.
The man who was around for Sally was Shakespeare, and he brought men with him to fill the gaps. Sally grew up with a troupe of sad kings and lonely heroes. Her mind ran away from home with Falstaff and Prince Hal, with deceivers and mavericks and geniuses.
In her signature and extraordinary style, this is Sally’s story of her childhood – one lived with darkness snapping at heels, with real and imagined people passing through interchangeably, and with trauma a spiky memory to be skirted and avoided.
Inventive, literary and adventurous, this is a story of poverty, missing fathers, sons and a testament to the way that great literature and its characters can guard an imagination against the bad.
This is the tale of a devastating pandemic, of lives cut painfully short - it's also a love story. Derek, a distinguished designer, and J, a pioneering entrepreneur and creator of Heaven, the iconic gay dance club, met and fell in love more than 40 years ago. In the early 1980s their friends began to get sick and die - AIDS had arrived in their lives.
When they got tested, J received what was then a death sentence: he was HIV Positive. While the onset of AIDS strengthened stigma and fear globally, they confronted their crisis with courage, humour and an indomitable resolve to survive. J's battle lasted six long years.
Turning to spiritual reflection, yoga, nature - and always to love - Derek describes a transformation of the spirit, how compassion and empathy rose phoenix-like from the flames of sickness and death, and how he and J founded the charity Aids Ark, which has helped to save more than 1,000 HIV Positive lives. This is a story of joy and triumph, of facing universal challenges, of the great rewards that come from giving back. Derek speaks for a generation who lived through a global health crisis that many at the time refused even to acknowledge.
Linda says ... if you liked It's A Sin, the powerful BBC drama about coming of age in the 1980's, you will enjoy this. All the more resonant since living through the Covid pandemic.
Boy 11963, An Irish Industrial School Childhood and an Extraordinary Search for Home, by John Cameron (large paperback)
At only five months old, John Cameron was abandoned in a Dublin orphanage, and fostered out as a child labourer by age three. In 1944 when he turned eight, he was incarcerated in Artane Industrial School, where he became boy 11963. Now in his mid-eighties, John Cameron tells his shocking but inspirational story for the first time.
As a child, reduced to a number, he survived savage assaults, sexual abuse and the tragic deaths of children around him. Along with other forgotten boys, he battled for his life against the heartless adversity of the church and the Irish state. As a young man - a much-loved schoolteacher devoted to his growing family - John was haunted by his unknown past and embarked on a lifelong quest to unravel the truth about his origins.
Buried in a labyrinth of lies, he finally uncovered a story of forbidden love and passion that scandalised rural Ireland and made national headlines in the 1930s. Boy 11963 is a unique account of overcoming almost insurmountable obstacles to find out who you truly are.
This is quite simply the best book about motherhood I have ever read.' - Eleanor Mills in the Sunday Times
Mother to five children, Clover Stroud has navigated family life across two decades, both losing and finding herself. In her touching, provocative and profoundly insightful book, she captures a sense of what motherhood really feels like - how intense, sensuous, joyful, boring, profound and dark it can be. My Wild and Sleepless Nights examines what it means to be a mother, and reveals with unflinching honesty the many conflicting emotions that this entails: the joy and the wonder, the loneliness and despair.
For mothers and those even vaguely interested in family dynamics it is fascinating' - Alexandra Heminsley
Charting the course of one year, the first in her youngest child's life, Clover searches for answers to questions that many of us would be too afraid to admit to - not only about motherhood, but also about female sexuality and identity. Her story will speak to all mothers, and anyone about to embark on that journey.