Bill Bailey's Remarkable Guide to British Birds
By Bill Bailey
A humorous and very personal guide written by Bill Bailey about his favourite British birds, complete with drawings, notes and cartoons by the comedian himself.'When herons are spooked they have a habit of vomiting as a defence. Half-digested pieces of eel and water vole skull on your head is not a good look. Just so you know.'Bill Bailey's wonderfully charming and informative book on the birds he loves is now available as a handy, easy-to-carry pocket paperback. Packed with the comedian's observations, illustrations and sketches, this edition is perfect for birdwatching expeditions, with new information for proper twitchers, including:· A 'British Birds' checklist · A list of the best birdwatching sites in the UK· Suggestions of bird spotting equipment· Information about joining a birdwatching clubBailey takes us on a journey around the British Isles, zooming in on those birds that enthuse him the most. Whether it's what they eat, where they fly to or how they communicate, these birds are always fascinating, and he introduces us to their weird and wonderful ways in a manner that is always entertaining. If you're a parent who'd like to appear a bit clever when your child asks you the name of a bird; if you want to find a new and healthy hobby that takes you outdoors; or whether, quite simply, you want to understand a bit more about our natural environment and have a laugh at the same time, this is the companion book to have.Funny and insightful, and positively crackling with energy, knowledge and wit, this beautiful paperback will delight Bailey's fans, birds as well as those who fancy a bit of armchair escapism.Alongside music and stand-up, one of Bailey's favourite pastimes is birdwatching, which he has been doing since he was a child in the West Country. His fondest memories are of family outings with parents, grandparents and cousins, ticking the birds off in his little Observer's Book of Birds. As he has said about those formative years, 'birdwatching gave a purpose to the day and a love of the natural world which has carried on into my adult life'.
The Brain in Minutes
By Rita Carter
The brain is considered the most complex structure in all of creation. But recent discoveries in neuroscience are now revealing the inner secrets of the brain - how it works, why it makes us who we are and what happens when it goes wrong. This cutting-edge and comprehensive guide explains why the human brain became so clever; how it controls everything from breathing, sleeping and seeing to identity, imagination, pleasure and pain; and what will happen when the brain integrates with computers or the latest genetic discoveries. Award-winning science writer Rita Carter also demystifies amnesia, multiple personalities, psychopathy, dreaming, hallucinations, addiction, autism, dyslexia, schizophrenia, dementia, and numerous other conditions of the mind.The Brain in Minutes covers: the origin and anatomy of the brain; control of the body; mood and emotions; perception; consciousness; memory and learning; personality; intelligence and other higher functions; language; strange states of the mind; malfunctions, disease and treatments; and the future of the brain. It also includes 200 high-tech scans, images and diagrams that detail and explain the structure and workings of the amazing human brain.
The Blind Spot
By Javier Cercas
An essential collection of literary criticism by one of Spain's most acclaimed authorsJavier Cercas is one of the most enjoyable and innovative novelists at work today. Well known among English-language readers as the author of Soldiers of Salamis (winner of the Independent Foreign Fictio Prize), The Anatomy of a Moment and The Impostor, Cercas is also Professor of Spanish Literature at the University of Girona. In 2015, following in the footsteps of George Steiner, Mario Vargas Llosa and Umberto Eco, as Weidenfeld Visiting Professor in Comparative European Literature at St Anne's College, Oxford, Cercas gave a series of five lectures on the novel today, which have since been revised and are now published in English for the first time as The Blind Spot.Starting with Don Quixote and his own experience as a writer, Cercas launches out into a consideration of the most challenging fiction of the last hundred years, from Kafka, Borges, Perec, Calvino and Kundera, to Sebald, Coetzee, Barnes, Foster Wallace and Knausgård. First, he defines and celebrates certain aspects of the novel in the twenty-first century which are also features of Cervantes' masterpiece: its essential irony and ambiguity, its total commitment to innovation, its natural, joyful and omnivorous desire to cram the whole world within its pages, and its intricate concern with fiction and reality. Then he moves on to consider the actual meaning of the novel, the uncertain and discredited role of the writer as intellectual, and the role of the reader in the creation of a form whose aim is to tell the truth by telling lies.The result is a dazzling short book which provides a new interpretation of novel from Cervantes and Melville to the present, and which will be as stimulating for readers and writers of literature in the twenty-first century as E. M. Forster's Aspects of the Novel or Milan Kundera's The Art of the Novel were in the last.Translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean
By Anna Smith
They came for her family. Now she's coming for them. This nail-biting thriller introduces Glasgow's newest gangland mistress, Kerry Casey.'Martina Cole fans will love this fast-paced thriller that smacks you right between the eyes' Sunday MirrorKerry Casey thought she'd made a life away from the dirty dealings of her gangster family. Her father wanted to make them legit - her brother Mickey had other ideas, and now it's got him killed. When Mickey's funeral turns into a bloodbath at the hands of a group of anonymous shooters and Kerry's mother is killed in the crossfire, Kerry finds herself at the head of the Casey family, and desperate for revenge.Running a crime empire is not a job she ever asked for, and not one she wants, but Kerry is determined to fulfil her father's wishes and make the Caseys go straight. First, though, she will find the men who murdered her mother, and she will take them down, no matter what it costs.
The Baltimore Boys
By Joël Dicker
Fresh from the staggering success of The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair, Marcus Goldman is struggling to write his third novel. A chance encounter in Florida throws him some inspiration from a surprising source: Alexandra Neville, the beautiful, phenomenally successful singer and Marcus's first love. All at once, memories of his childhood come flooding back. Memories of a family torn apart by tragedy, and a once glorious legacy reduced to shame and ruin.The Baltimore Boys. The Goldman Gang. That was what they called Marcus, and his cousins Hillel and Woody. Three brilliant young men with their whole lives ahead of them, before their kingdom crumbled beneath the weight of lies, jealousy and betrayal. For years, Marcus has struggled with the burdens of his past, but now, he must attempt to banish his demons and tell the real story of the Baltimore Boys.Translated from the French by Alison Anderson
By Blood Divided
By James Heneage
'Wonderful history, adventure and a heart-breaking love story are brought thrillingly to life' - Kate Mosse 'A dramatic read from the very outset' - Simon Scarrow DESTINY, INHERITANCE, THE WORLD SHIFTING FROM EAST TO WEST. THIS IS AN EPIC NOVEL SET IN AN AGE OF DRAMATIC CHANGE. Siward, scion of a great dynasty, commands the Varangian Guard and has vowed to defend the Roman Empire to the last. Makkim, renowned general to Ottoman rule, has vowed to destroy it.They are enemies in war, but unknown to them, they are also rivals to inherit one of Europe's greatest fortunes. Even worse, they are competing for the love of the same woman.Their vast inheritance lies in Venice, as does the famous courtesan they both love. She is the reason they will find themselves fighting on the walls of Constantinople, in one of the most dramatic sieges in history.
The Blood of the Hoopoe
By Naomi Foyle
Is Astra ready to accept her destiny? A gripping novel for 'Hunger Games fans of all ages' says Library Journal. War is breaking out in Kadingir. Still struggling to accept her role as a long prophesied icon of unification between Is-Land and Non-Land, Astra Ordott is on a journey across the wind sands to join her father and his people - the mystics of Shiimti, who claim to hold the secret of truly healing the damaged relationship between human beings and the Earth.Astra's desperate to get there quickly, but when her guide and companion, the shepherd Muzi, leads her off course into the path of a vicious sandstorm, she is forced to confront what the gods of their devastated world might be telling her: that there will be no refuge from her destiny.
Breen & Tozer Investigation Omnibus: A Song from Dead Lips, A House of Knives, A Book of Scars
By William Shaw
In the first three novels of the Breen & Tozer Investigations, an outcast detective fights crime and corruption in sixties London.'An outstanding storyteller' Peter MayWilliam Shaw grips the reader by the throat from page one, and never lets go' Independent'Superb crime novels . . . combines nostalgic period detail with an emotional intensity found only in the very best crime fiction' Sunday TimesA SONG FROM DEAD LIPSThe Runaway: A nameless young woman is found naked and strangled in an alley on Abbey Road.The Reject: DS Cathal Breen, an outcast in the Marylebone CID, struggles to make sense of the case. The Rookie: Until new recruit WPC Helen Tozer - the first woman to join the team - makes a breakthrough.And as hippies slam doors in their face, and locals suspect the new African neighbours, Breen and Tozer tread down a perilous path, closing in on a cruel conspiracy that goes far beyond class, colour and creed.A HOUSE OF KNIVESThe Black Sheep: The wayward son of a rising MP is mutilated and burnt in suspicious circumstances.The Honest Detective: DS Cathal Breen dodges political embargo and death threats to pursue the case.The Rolling Stone: Notorious art dealer Robert Fraser may provide the only clue - if only he will talk.And as Breen slips deeper into London's underground of hippies and heroin, he edges nearer to the secrets of those at the very top. Banished from a corrupt and fracturing system, he will finally be forced to fight fire with fire.A BOOK OF SCARSNever forgotten: Teenager Alexandra Tozer was murdered on her family's farm. Five years later, her sister Helen will return. Never suspected: As soon as DS Breen tracks down the original investigating sergeant, the man goes missing. And so does Helen. Never revealed: The only connection between the suspects is the Kenya Emergency - a nightmare that Englishmen prefer to forget. But others remember. Every bloody detail. And when another woman is taken, Breen fears that history - in all its shame and horror - is coming back to haunt them.
The Berlin Noir Series
By Philip Kerr
Berlin Noir: the first three thrillers in the internationally acclaimed and bestselling Bernie Gunther series. Ex-policeman Bernie Gunther thought he'd seen everything on the streets of 1930s Berlin. But then the Nazis came to power, and Bernie realised the most dangerous criminals were the ones in charge.'The greatest anti-hero ever written' - Lee ChildMARCH VIOLETSHired by a wealthy industrialist to investigate the murder of his daughter and her husband, Bernie finds himself drawn into the lethal internal politics of the Nazi party. When Hermann Goering himself calls Bernie in with a task for him that throws his existing case into a whole new light, he must weigh up his hatred of the Nazis against his desire to live.THE PALE CRIMINALFive German schoolgirls are missing. Four have been found dead, victims of horrific ritual murders. Bernie Gunther is reluctant to investigate, but when Reynhard Heydrich gives you an order, you obey it if you want to stay alive. What Bernie discovers is far worse than a lone madman: an occult conspiracy at the very heart of the Nazi Party.A GERMAN REQUIEMPostwar Vienna was supposed to be somewhere quiet for Bernie to lie low. Then he is asked to clear an old Kripo colleague's name of murder. This man belonged to a secret society of Nazi hunters, and before he knows it Bernie is face to face with men who have been presumed dead for years. They got away with their crimes once. Bernie will see it doesn't happen again.
Bruno, Chief of Police: The Early Cases
By Martin Walker
The first three cases for Bruno, Chief of Police of St Denis in the Dordogne. The perfect escapist read for a winter's night. 'The Maigret of the Dordogne' - Antony BeevorDEATH IN THE DORDOGNEBruno investigates the death of a local North African patriarch, in a case whose solution may lie in that most fraught part of recent French history: the Second World War. St Denis was part of Vichy France, with a strong Resistance movement. Will the people of St Denis allow Bruno to dig up their past in order to find the killer?THE DARK VINEYARDA Californian wine producer is planning to set up a wine-making business in the St Denis valley. The locals aren't happy, and when a violent death occurs at the vineyard, Bruno will have to draw on all his local knowledge to reach the truth.BLACK DIAMONDThe black truffles of the Dordogne are world-famous and extremely valuable. But their price is being driven down by cheaper, adulterated truffles from China, and it seems Chinese organised crime is behind the fraud. A vicious murder in St Denis points Bruno in the direction of the scam. Will he be able to sniff out the culprit, and find the killer?'A satisfyingly intriguing, wish-you-were-here read' Guardian
The Blood Card
By Elly Griffiths
On the eve of the Queen's coronation, DI Stephens and Max Mephisto uncover an anarchist plot and a ticking bomb at the same time as solving the murder of a man close to them - from the author of the bestselling Dr Ruth Galloway mysteries.'Mixes cosiness and sharpness in a way that recalls the best of Agatha Christie' Sunday Express (on Smoke and Mirrors)Elizabeth II's coronation is looming, but the murder of their wartime commander, Colonel Cartwright, spoils the happy mood for DI Edgar Stephens and magician Max Mephisto. A playbill featuring another deceased comrade is found in Colonel Cartwright's possession, and a playing card, the ace of hearts: the blood card. The wartime connection and the suggestion of magic are for Stephens and Mephisto to be summoned to the case.Edgar's ongoing investigation into the death of Brighton fortune-teller Madame Zabini is put on hold. Max is busy rehearsing for a spectacular Coronation Day variety show - and his television debut - so it's Edgar who is sent to New York, a land of plenty worlds away from still-rationed England. He's on the trail of a small-town mesmerist who may provide the key, but someone silences him first. It's Edgar's colleague, DS Emma Holmes, who finds the clue, buried in the files of the Zabini case, that leads them to an anarchist group intent on providing an explosive finale to Coronation Day.Now it's up to Edgar, Max and Emma to foil the plot, and find out who it is who's been dealing the cards . . .
The Black Family Series
By Elizabeth Gill
From the bestselling author of Miss Appleby's Academy, is the Black Family trilogy - available in omnibus form for the first time. Perfect for fans of Nadine Dorries, Donna Douglas and Diney Costeloe.Swan IslandWhen Ella's father dies, leaving the family bankrupt, she must go and live with her grandmother, leaving everyone she knows - and loves - behind her. She eventually settles into a life of domesticity with a local businessman, David Black, but Ella can never quite forget her first love. Will she find the home she's always been looking for?Silver StreetWhen Iris Black falls deeply for the handsome Johnny Fenwick, she is devastated to learn about his family's shocking secret and immediately leaves to train as a nurse. Her absence casts a dark shadow on the Black household, and as much as he tries to move on, will Johnny forever be plagued by the memory of the girl who left him behind?Sweet WellsAfter the death of her father, Maddy Grant learns that the home she has always known has been sold to a local businessman, Jonas Ward, who evicts Maddy and her mother. As they scrape to make ends meet and try as she might, she can't keep away from the influence of Jonas and finds herself falling for his handsome nephew. Can she ever come to terms with the ill his family has brought to hers?
The Burnt-Out Town of Miracles
By Roy Jacobsen
'A compact and compelling novel by an iconic Norwegian writer...[and] thanks to Don Bartlett and Don Shaw's crisp translation, we see it obliquely' - IndependentSet in Finland in 1939, this is the story of one man who remains in his home town when everyone else has fled, burning down their houses in their wake, before the invading Russians arrive. Timo remains behind because he can't imagine life anywhere else, doing anything else besides felling the trees near his home. This is a novel about belonging - a tale of powerful and forbidden friendships forged during a war, of unexpected bravery and astonishing survival instincts. The Burnt-Out Town of Miracles is not a novel about war, but about the lives of ordinary people dragged into war, each of whom only wants to find the path back home. Roy Jacobsen uses the dramatic natural landscape of light and darkness, fire-blazing heat and life-robbing cold to spectacular effect.
The Book of Forgotten Authors
By Christopher Fowler
A 2017 GUARDIAN BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR'Joyous . . . Readers will love this fascinating book' Cathy Rentzenbrink'A godsend with the present season approaching' Irish Independent'The perfect gift for a book-obsessed friend' Stylist, 50 Unmissable Books for Autumn 2017Absence doesn't make the heart grow fonder. It makes people think you're dead.So begins Christopher Fowler's foray into the back catalogues and backstories of 99 authors who, once hugely popular, have all but disappeared from our shelves.Whether male or female, domestic or international, flash-in-the-pan or prolific, mega-seller or prize-winner - no author, it seems, can ever be fully immune from the fate of being forgotten. And Fowler, as well as remembering their careers, lifts the lid on their lives, and why they often stopped writing or disappeared from the public eye.These 99 journeys are punctuated by 12 short essays about faded once-favourites: including the now-vanished novels Walt Disney brought to the screen, the contemporary rivals of Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie who did not stand the test of time, and the women who introduced us to psychological suspense many decades before it conquered the world.This is a book about books and their authors. It is for book lovers, and is written by one who could not be a more enthusiastic, enlightening and entertaining guide.'A bibliophile's dream' Financial Times'Excellent . . . Should be read by anyone who loves books' Evening Standard'Will have readers scurrying into secondhand bookshops' Guardian
Between the Wars
By Philip Ziegler
At the end of 1918 one prescient American historian began to write a history of the Great War. "What will you call it?" he was asked. "The First World War," was his bleak response.In Between the Wars Philip Ziegler examines the major international turning points - cultural and social as well as political and military - that led the world from one war to another. His approach is panoramic, touching on all parts of the world where history was being made, examining Gandhi's March to the Sea and the Chaco War in South America alongside Hitler's rise to power.It is the tragic story of a world determined that the horrors of the First World War would never be repeated, yet committed to a path which in hindsight was inevitably destined to end in a second, even more devastating conflict.Each chapter bears the unmistakable stamp of Ziegler's scholarship: a keen eye for the telling anecdote, elegant and fluid prose, and calm and fair judgments. In a world that grows ever more uncertain, its perspective on how hopes of peace can dissolve into the promise of war becomes more relevant with each passing day.
Basket of Deplorables
By Tom Rachman
Almost-true stories for a post-truth worldWrong! Not Nice! Sad!A Manhattan party on election night. Liberal media types gather with big grins and high-end canapés to watch the Trump-Clinton results come in, expecting a smooth victory for Hillary. As the outcome shifts and they descend into panic, the host stands abruptly before her guests, confessing a shocking crime of years before. What follows is a series of witty, cutting, addictive tales of Trump times, portraying Democrats and Republicans in a divided America, from powerful to powerless, angry to thwarted, from a Starbucks barista who dreams of making it on the stage, to a couple whose online date goes bitterly awry, to a charmingly wicked U.S. businessman living undercover in rural Italy. Basket of Deplorables is a timely take on the craziness of today: almost-true fiction for a post-truth world.
The Black Friar
By S. G. MacLean
Rebellion in the city, and a Royalist spy in his own ranks - Damian Seeker, Captain of Oliver Cromwell's guard, must eradicate both in this twisty, action-packed historical thriller for fans of CJ Sansom, Rory Clements and The Three Musketeers. 'MacLean skilfully weaves together the disparate threads of her plot to create a gripping tale of crime and sedition in an unsettled city' Sunday TimesLondon, 1655, and Cromwell's regime is under threat from all sides. Damian Seeker, Captain of Cromwell's Guard, is all too aware of the danger facing Cromwell. Parliament resents his control of the Army while the Army resents his absolute power. In the east end of London, a group of religious fanatics plots rebellion. In the midst of all this, a stonemason uncovers a perfectly preserved body dressed in the robes of a Dominican friar, bricked up in a wall in the crumbling Black Friars. Ill-informed rumours and speculation abound, but Seeker instantly recognises the dead man. What he must discover is why he met such a hideous end, and what his connection was to the children who have started to disappear from around the city. Unravelling these mysteries is challenging enough, and made still harder by the activities of dissenters at home, Royalist plotters abroad and individuals who are not what they seem...
By Ian Leslie
We all do it - how to be a better liar, spot a charlatan and tell the difference between truth and fictionIn Born Liars, Ian Leslie takes the reader on an exhilarating tour of ideas that brings the latest news about deception back from the frontiers of psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy, and explores the role played by lies - both black and white - in our childhoods, our careers, and our health, as well as in advertising, politics, sport and war. Drawing on thinkers as varied as Augustine, Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud and Joni Mitchell, the author argues that, far from being a bug in the human software, lying is central to who we are; that we cannot understand ourselves without first understanding the dynamics of deceit. After reading Born Liars you'll never think about lies - or life - in quite the same way again.
By Sue Tingey
Get lost in the Underlands in this 'gripping and tantalisingly sexy read.' Holdfast Magazine on Marked. Perfect for fans of Deborah Harkness, Laini Taylor and Anne Bishop.Lucky de Salle was dragged into the Underlands against her will, but there she found a whole new world - and a whole new life. She always knew she was psychic, but discovering her ghostly best friend was in fact her demon half-sister - and she herself is half-demon - came as a shock. Falling in love with two men wasn't in her game plan either, but that's working out brilliantly. Or it was . . . but now Jinx the Deathbringer has been kidnapped by Lucky's enemies, who intend to use his powers to destroy the worlds above and below. And Jamie has tried to use his own powers to control her, destroying her trust in him. Now Jamie and his fellow Guardians have been ordered to bring Jinx back in - dead or alive - before he can rain destruction down upon the earth. If Lucky is to save him, and forgive Jamie, she'll have to learn to use her own burgeoning powers - and fast!Bound is the third and final book in the Soulseer Chronicles by Sue Tingey.
The Bickford Fuse
By Andrey Kurkov
Catch-22 meets The Brothers Karamazov in the last great satire of the Soviet EraThe Great Patriotic War is stumbling to a close, but a new darkness has fallen over Soviet Russia. And for a disparate, disconnected clutch of wanderers - many thousands of miles apart but linked by a common goal - four parallel journeys are just beginning.Gorych and his driver, rolling through water, sand and snow on an empty petrol tank; the occupant of a black airship, looking down benevolently as he floats above his Fatherland; young Andrey, who leaves his religious community in search of a new life; and Kharitonov, who trudges from the Sea of Japan to Leningrad, carrying a fuse that, when lit, could blow all and sundry to smithereens.Written in the final years of Communism, The Bickford Fuse is a satirical epic of the Soviet soul, exploring the origins and dead-ends of the Russian mentality from the end of World War Two to the Union's collapse. Blending allegory and fable with real events, and as deliriously absurd as anything Kurkov has written, it is both an elegy for lost years and a song of hope for a future not yet set in stone.Translated from the Russian by Boris Dralyuk