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Search Results for: true story

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To the Greatest Heights

To the Greatest Heights

When Vanessa O’Brien was made redundant in 2008 as part of the recession, she moved to Hong Kong with her husband for his career and resigned herself to being ‘just the wife’. There she was, aged 46, bored, uninspired, unemployed. Was this going to be how she was going to live the rest of her life?

One night in the infamous Kee Club, over shots of tequila, a friend suggested O’Brien climb Everest, and that was the start of an epic journey she never looked back from as she climbed Everest, K2 and many other mountains.

This is her inspirational story. As O’Brien says, she couldn’t explain to her readers how she got to the top of K2 at the age of 52 without being honest about what came before. In To the Greatest Heights, she reveals the trials and tribulations of her difficult childhood, and the result is a life-affirming book that shows how she achieved these climbs in spite of and because of her past.

To read To the Greatest Heights is to know that there is a path to overcoming the worst of what happens to us, a path that helps us reach the summit of our lives too, whatever our age.
Wildeana (riverrun editions)

Wildeana (riverrun editions)

Oscar Wilde’s early fame ensured that throughout his short life he was written about by many of those he met. He was celebrated – or mocked – as the master of the ingenious epigram, the provocative paradox, the witty aside or the extravagant conceit.

In researching his monumental biography of Wilde Matthew Sturgis found, in every major archive, sheets of foolscap in Wilde’s distinctive handwriting, setting down a series of unfamiliar epigrams – unpublished try-outs. There were fascinating new discoveries.

He uncovered dozens of unfamiliar and previously ungathered anecdotes about Wilde: sidelights on his days in Oxford, London, America and Paris and beyond, by society hostesses, men-about-town, actors, lawyers, minor litterateurs, artists and politicians, diligently setting down his actions, his mannerisms and above all his sayings.

The items in this volume are all small additions to the Wilde story: some unfamiliar, others unexpected, they enrich and alter the picture of his life.
The Haunted Shore

The Haunted Shore

‘A spooky and unsettling tale about strangers, love and deceit’ Sunday Express

When Lizzy moves to a desolate shore to escape her past, she hopes to find sanctuary. But a mysterious stranger is waiting for her, her father’s carer, and when darkness falls, something roams this wild stretch of beach, urging Lizzy to investigate its past. The longer she stays, the more the shore’s secrets begin to stir. Secrets of a sea that burned, of bodies washed ashore — and a family’s buried past reaching into the present.

And when Lizzy begins to suspect that her father’s carer is a dangerous imposter with sinister motives, a new darkness rises. What happens next is everyone’s living nightmare . . .

From the bestselling author of The Ghost Hunters and The Lost Village, The Haunted Shore is a terrifying tale of suspense that does not let up until the last page is turned.

Praise for Neil Spring:


‘Neil Spring is a Agatha Christie meets James Herbert
Stephen Volk

‘A deft, spooky, psychological drama based on a true story
Daily Mail
When Lizzy moves to a desolate shore to escape her past, she hopes to find sanctuary. But a mysterious stranger is waiting for her, her father’s carer, and when darkness falls, something roams this wild stretch of beach, urging Lizzy to investigate its past. The longer she stays, the more the shore’s secrets begin to stir. Secrets of a sea that burned, of bodies washed ashore — and a family’s buried past reaching into the present.

And when Lizzy begins to suspect that her father’s carer is a dangerous imposter with sinister motives, a new darkness rises. What happens next is everyone’s living nightmare . . .

From the bestselling author of The Ghost Hunters and The Lost Village, The Haunted Shore is a terrifying tale of suspense that does not let up until the last page is turned.

Praise for Neil Spring:


‘Neil Spring is a Agatha Christie meets James Herbert
Stephen Volk

‘A deft, spooky, psychological drama based on a true story
Daily Mail
Journal 1887-1910 (riverrun editions)

Journal 1887-1910 (riverrun editions)

‘As a mayor, I am responsible for the upkeep of rural roads; as poet, I prefer to see them neglected.’

Jules Renard was a French literary figure of the late nineteenth century. Not a Parisian but a committed countryman, he was elected mayor in 1904 of the tiny village of Citry-le-Mines in a remote part of northern Burgundy. He had the soul of a rustic bourgeois but the ambition of a metropolitan, and his wife’s money allowed him to move in elevated circles, though he seemed an awkward customer, a badger, and looked like one. He wrote fiction, journalism and drama, very successfully, but the Journal is Renard’s masterpiece, the least categorizable work of the French fin de siècle.

The Journal constitutes a profusion of entries, without stitching or pattern: mordant reflections on style, literature and theatre; portraits of family, friends and the Parisian literary scene; quasi-ethnographical observations on village life and notations of the natural world which are unlike anything except themselves.

Samuel Beckett spoke of Renard in the same breath as Proust and Celine, wrote of the Journal that ‘for me it is as inexhaustible as Boswell ‘ and believed his style was learnt from despair. Gide said the Journal was ‘not a river but a distillery’. Sartre wrote that ‘He invented the literature of silence’. But above all it is a moving and splintery piece of self-scrutiny.

Julian Barnes has admired the Journal for many years and has made this new selection from the twelve hundred page Pléiade edition. Theo Cuffe’s translation will help bring this fierce judge of human foibles to a new generation of readers.
Divine Heretic

Divine Heretic

Everyone knows the story of Joan of Arc, a peasant girl who put Charles VII on the throne before being burned by the English as a heretic and witch.

But things are not always as they appear.

Jeanne d’Arc was only five when three angels and saints first came to her. Shrouded by a halo of heavenly light, she believed their claim to be holy. The Archangel Michael and Saint Margaret told her she was the foretold Warrior Maid of Lorraine, fated to free France and put a king upon his throne.

Saint Catherine made her promise to obey their commands and embrace her destiny; the three saints would guide her every step. Jeanne bound herself to these creatures without knowing what she’d done. As she got older, Jeanne grew to mistrust and fear the voices, and they didn’t hesitate to punish her cruelly for disobedience. She quickly learned that their cherished prophecy was more important than the girl expected to make it come true.

Jeanne is only a shepherd’s daughter, not the Warrior Maid of the prophecy, but she is stubborn and rebellious, and finds ways to avoid doing – and being – what these creatures want. Resistance has a terrifying price, but Jeanne is determined to fight for the life she wants.

But when the cost grows too high, Jeanne will risk everything to save her brother, her one true friend and the man she loves.

Not everyone is destined to be a hero. Sometimes you have no choice.
The Organ Thieves

The Organ Thieves

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks meets Get Out in this landmark investigation of entrenched racism at the core of the heart transplant race.

In 1968, Bruce Tucker, a Black man, went into Virginia’s top research hospital with a head injury, only to have his heart stolen out of his body and put into the chest of a white businessman. Now, in The Organ Thieves, Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist Chip Jones exposes the horrifying racism surrounding Tucker’s death and how he was used as a human guinea pig without his family’s permission or knowledge. The circumstances surrounding his death reflect the long legacy of medical mistreatment of Black Americans that began more than a century before with cadaver harvesting and worse. It culminated in efforts to win the heart transplant race in the late 1960s.

Featuring years of research and fresh reporting, The Organ Thieves is a story that resonates now more than ever, when issues of race and healthcare are the stuff of headlines and horror stories.
The Home

The Home

Once inseparable, Joel and Nina haven’t spoken in twenty years.

When Joel’s mother Monika develops dementia, he has no choice but to return to his home town. Monika needs specialist care, and that means Pineshade – which also means Joel is going to have to deal with his one-time best friend, for Nina works there.

It’s not long before Monika’s health deteriorates – she starts having violent, terrifying outbursts, and worse, she appears to know things she couldn’t possibly know. It’s almost as if she isn’t herself any more . . . but of course, that’s true of most of the residents at Pineshade.

Only Nina and Joel know Monika well enough to see the signs; only by working together can they try to find answers to the inexplicable . . .

The Home is an eerie story about love, friendship and the greatest fear of all: losing control of ourselves . . .
True Story

True Story

Inventive, electrifying and daring, True Story is a novel like nothing you’ve ever read before.

*One of Entertainment Weekly’s top five reads of the summer*

A mind-blowing page-turning un-put-downable heartwarming empathetic formally inventive horror suspense thriller, with a life-affirming and timely feminist message‘ Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot

‘This debut novel unfolds like a mystery, flitting between genres to weave an inventive tale’ Buzzfeed (29 Summer books you wont be able to put down)


After a college party, two boys drive a girl home: drunk and passed out in the back seat. Rumours spread about what they did to her, but later they’ll tell the police a different version of events. Alice will never remember what truly happened. Her fracture runs deep, hidden beneath cleverness and wry humour. Nick – a sensitive, misguided boy who stood by – will never forget.

That’s just the beginning of this extraordinary journey into memory, fear and self-portrayal. Through university applications, a terrifying abusive relationship, a fateful reckoning with addiction and a final mind-bending twist, Alice and Nick will take on different roles to each other – some real, some invented – until finally, brought face to face once again, the secret of that night is revealed.

Startlingly relevant and enthralling in its brilliance, True Story is by turns a campus novel, psychological thriller, horror story and crime noir, each narrative frame stripping away the fictions we tell about women, men and the very nature of truth. It introduces Kate Reed Petty as a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction.
Latitudes of Longing

Latitudes of Longing

** The phenomenal Indian bestseller **
**Winner of the Tata Lit Live Best First Book of the Year Award **

‘Intense, lyrical, and powerful. This is a remarkable debut’ Jeet Thayil, author of Narcopolis and The Book of Chocolate Saints

‘Latitudes of Longing is a book to be savoured’ The Hindu

‘Bold and imaginative’ India Today


A prizewinning literary epic of the subcontinent, for readers of Yaa Gyasi’s HOMEGOING and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s HALF OF A YELLOW SUN

In the feverish tropics of the Andaman Islands, a young botanist tends to a fragile rose he has imported to welcome his bride. Hoping their marriage will bloom in this strange life, hundreds of miles from the east coast of India, he is entranced by Chanda Devi’s fierce nature and unusual gifts; speaking to trees and the ghosts of former colonialists. These islands, she tells her adoring husband, rest on a faultline, cracked so deep into the earth that spirits cross the boundary freely. But it is not this fracture that takes a tragic bite out of their happiness.

With the family riven by heartbreak, their maid takes the chance to resolve her own past mistakes. Having abandoned her son many years before, she now traces him to Myanmar, only to find him in prison – the enemy of a brutal regime. The faultline she followed over the Indian Ocean now cuts north into Nepal, where the prisoner’s ally, an itinerant drug dealer, tries to rescue a young woman from the dancing bars of Kathmandu. It shadows his footsteps into the Karakoram mountains, where a scientist looks deep into the abyss between India and Pakistan. It rises all the way to the snow deserts, beyond the reach of nation or war, where an elder of the village waits for the return of his true love, bringing all their journeys full circle.

A breathtaking epic, Latitudes of Longing possesses the reader with a blazing sense of wonder. Shubhangi Swarup’s vision goes deeper than the human stories of the subcontinent to reveal the conscious history of the earth itself. Tender in every detail, touched with humour and profound humanity, this is a novel brimming with life, an original masterpiece.
Hidden Valley Road

Hidden Valley Road

12 children.
6 of them diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Science’s greatest hope in understanding the disease.
___________

*New York Times bestseller*

*Selected as Oprah’s Book Club Pick*

‘Startlingly intimate’ – The Sunday Times

‘Grippingly told and brilliantly reported’Mail on Sunday

‘Unforgettable’ The Times

For fans of Educated, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and Three Identical Strangers

Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don’s work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those years, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins – aspiration, hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony – and they worked hard to play their parts. But behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after the other, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family?

What took place inside the house on Hidden Valley Road was so extraordinary that the Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institutes of Mental Health. Their story offers a shadow history of the science of schizophrenia, from the era of institutionalization, lobotomy, and the schizophrenogenic mother, to the search for genetic markers for the disease, always amidst profound disagreements about the nature of the illness itself. And unbeknownst to the Galvins, samples of their DNA informed decades of genetic research that continues today, offering paths to treatment, prediction, and even eradication of the disease for future generations.

With clarity and compassion, bestselling and award-winning author Robert Kolker uncovers one family’s unforgettable legacy of suffering, love and hope.

‘An extraordinary case study and tour de force of reporting’ Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind

‘This book tore my heart out. It is a revelation-about the history of mental health treatment, about trauma, foremost about family-and a more-than-worthy follow-up to Robert Kolker’s brilliant Lost Girls’
-Megan Abbott, Edgar Award-winning author of Dare Me and Give Me Your Hand

Hidden Valley Road contains everything: scientific intrigue, meticulous reporting, startling revelations, and, most of all, a profound sense of humanity. It is that rare book that can be read again and again’
-David Grann, author of Killers of the Flower Moon
The Quality of Madness

The Quality of Madness

Marcelo Bielsa is one of football’s greatest eccentrics and greatest enigmas. This will be the first English biography of one of football’s most contradictory characters.


He has coached some of the greatest names in world football – Gabriel Batistuta, Carlos Tevez, Javier Mascherano, Juan Sebastian Veron and Ander Herrera. He has been cited as a mentor by Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettino and Diego Simeone.

Yet Marcelo Bielsa remains one of the great enigmas of world football – a fabulously innovative and obsessive coach, who has transformed Leeds United, Marseille and Athletic Bilbao. He also lasted two days at Lazio and led Argentina to their greatest footballing disaster.

Featuring interviews from across South America, Europe and Yorkshire, The Quality of Madness is a comprehensive and compelling biography, tracing Bielsa’s story from growing up as a member of one of Argentina’s most remarkable families to his revival of Leeds.

Bielsa has long been known as ‘El Loco’ – the Madman – and yet as Tim Rich’s revelatory study reveals, there is mercurial method and audacious logic to the madness.
Broken Greek

Broken Greek

*AS READ ON BBC RADIO 4 ‘BOOK OF THE WEEK’*

‘Lip-lickingly, dance-around-the-living-room good… A smash hit’ Observer

‘Unflinching and heartwarming’Adam Kay

‘Tender, clever and as funny as it gets … a heart-piercing joy’ – Lauren Laverne

‘An exceptional coming-of-age story […] Pete Paphides may very well have the biggest heart in Britain’ – Marina Hyde

‘I ADORE this utterly wonderful coming-of-age memoir. Joyful, clever, and a bit heartbreaking’ – Nina Stibbe

‘Heartfelt, hilarious and beautifully written, Broken Greek is a childhood memoir like no other’ – Cathy Newman

‘So wonderfully written, such a light touch. Drenched in sentiment yet not in the least sentimental’ – John Niven

‘It’s brilliant. Sad, really funny and beautifully written … just fantastic’ – Alexis Petridis

‘A truly beautiful book’ – James O’Brien

‘Intoxicating’ – Kirsty Wark

‘Oh, how I love Pete Paphides and this book’ – Daniel Finkelstein

‘A balm in these times‘ David Nicholls

‘Fantastic … Can’t recommend it highly enough’ Tim Burgess
__________

‘Do you sometimes feel like the music you’re hearing is explaining your life to you?’

When Pete’s parents moved from Cyprus to Birmingham in the 1960s in the hope of a better life, they had no money and only a little bit of English. They opened a fish-and-chip shop in Acocks Green. The Great Western Fish Bar is where Pete learned about coin-operated machines, male banter and Britishness.

Shy and introverted, Pete stopped speaking from age 4 to 7, and found refuge instead in the bittersweet embrace of pop songs, thanks to Top of the Pops and Dial-A-Disc. From Brotherhood of Man to UB40, from ABBA to The Police, music provided the safety net he needed to protect him from the tensions of his home life. It also helped him navigate his way around the challenges surrounding school, friendships and phobias such as visits to the barber, standing near tall buildings and Rod Hull and Emu.

With every passing year, his guilty secret became more horrifying to him: his parents were Greek, but all the things that excited him were British. And the engine of that realisation? ‘Sugar Baby Love’, ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’, ‘Tragedy’, ‘Silly Games’, ‘Going Underground’, ‘Come On Eileen’, and every other irresistibly thrilling chart hit blaring out of the chip shop radio.

Never have the trials and tribulations of growing up and the human need for a sense of belonging been so heart-breakingly and humorously depicted.

*Listen along with Pete’s BROKEN GREEK playlist on Spotify!*
From Venice with Love

From Venice with Love

‘COMPLETELY BEGUILING AND BEAUTIFULLY TOLD’ Kate Furnival
‘A PERFECT SUMMER READ’ Rachel Hore
‘A GORGEOUS, MOUTH-WATERING DREAM OF A HOLIDAY READ’ Red
‘PERFECT HOLIDAY READING, WHEREVER YOU GO’ The Lady

The bestselling author of The Lemon Tree Hotel returns with an enchanting new summer read about family bonds and following your heart, wherever it might take you…

With her marriage in danger of falling apart, Joanna returns home to the beautiful but dilapidated Mulberry Farm Cottage in rural Dorset, where her sister Harriet is struggling to keep the Farm afloat and cope with their eccentric mother.

When Joanna discovers a bundle of love letters in the attic, written by a watercolourist named Emmy, she is intrigued and sets out to discover Emmy’s true story. Emmy’s letters take Joanna to the picturesque alleyways and bridges of Lisbon, Prague, and the most romantic place of all: Venice – where a whole new magical world seems to unfold in front of her.

Meanwhile, back at Mulberry Farm Cottage, a mysterious prowler adds to Harriet’s problems and interrupts her search for a perfect partner. Will she ever find true love? Where will Emmy’s mesmerising pathway lead? And more importantly, will Joanna and Harriet be able to rescue the cottage and finally be able to re-discover their sisterly bond?

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT FROM VENICE WITH LOVE

‘Romantic and magical’ *****
‘The escapism we all need’ *****
‘A love story with a difference’ *****
Rust

Rust

”[a] memoir of modern American industrial life, written by the insider who got away – or got away enough to reflect intelligently on where they came from. Think JD Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy and even Tara Westover’s Educated . . . We could all learn from her example.’ New York Times Book Review

Eliese wasn’t supposed to be a steelworker. Raised by staunchly Republican and Catholic parents, Eliese dreamed of escaping Cleveland and achieving greatness in the convent as a nun. Full of promise and burgeoning ideals, she leaves her hometown, but one night her life’s course is violently altered. A night that sets her mind reeling and her dreams waning. A cycle of mania and depression sinks in where once there were miracles and prayers, and upon returning home she is diagnosed with mixed-state bipolar disorder.

Set on a path she doesn’t recognize as her own, Eliese finds herself under the orange flame of Cleveland’s notorious steel mill, applying for a job that could be her ticket to regaining stability and salvation. In Rust, Eliese invites the reader inside the belly of the mill. Steel is the only thing that shines amid the molten iron, towering cranes, and churning mills. Dust settles on everything – on forklifts and hard hats, on men with forgotten hopes and lives cut short by harsh working conditions, on a dismissed blue-collar living and on what’s left of the American dream.

But Eliese discovers solace in the tumultuous world of steel, unearthing a love and a need for her hometown she didn’t know existed. This is the story of the humanity Eliese finds in the most unlikely of places and the wisdom that comes from the very things we try to run away from most. A reclamation of roots, Rust is a shining debut memoir of grit and tenacity and the hope that therefore begins to grow.
Can You Hear Me?

Can You Hear Me?

A RICHARD AND JUDY BOOK CLUB PICK

‘With poignancy, humour and compassion, Jones invites us into “the invigorating chaos of pre-hospital care” . . . a panorama of experiences: the mundane, the ridiculous, the heartbreaking and the tragic’ – The Guardian

‘This beautifully written book, punctuated with wry humour, is a sobering portrayal of the ailing, the distressed and the lonely… Yet it’s also an uplifting read which will make you thankful that should your hour of need arrive, so will someone like Jones’ – Daily Express

A memoir of the chaos, intensity and occasional beauty of life as a paramedic.

A young man has stopped breathing in a supermarket toilet. A pedestrian with a nasty head injury won’t let the crew near him on a busy road. A newborn baby is worryingly silent. An addict urinates on the ambulance floor when denied a fix.This is the life of an NHS ambulance paramedic.

Jake Jones has worked in the UK ambulance service for ten years: every day, he sees a dozen of the scenes we hope to see only once in a lifetime. Can You Hear Me? – the first thing he says when he arrives on the scene – is a memoir of the chaos, intensity and occasional beauty of life on the front-lines of medicine in the UK.

As well as a look into dozens of extraordinary scenes – the hoarder who won’t move his collection to let his ailing father leave the house, the blood-soaked man who tries to escape from the ambulance, the life saved by a lucky crew who had been called to see someone else entirely – Can You Hear Me? is an honest examination of the strains and challenges of one of the most demanding and important jobs anyone can do.

“One hell of a ride” – Saga magazine
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