Related to: 'Sarah Knight'

Quercus

Calm the F**k Down

Sarah Knight
Authors:
Sarah Knight
Quercus

Reading Between the Lines

Emma Bache
Authors:
Emma Bache

Handwriting is something of a dying art nowadays, as we tap messages to each other day after day. But handwriting analysis can divulge everything from a person's timidity to their ambition, from their desire to please to their need to control. In fact, so revealing is your writing that in Japan all CVs are still written by hand.Written by the UK's leading handwriting expert, Reading Between the Lines will show you how to judge someone's handwriting as a whole and how to examine it in detail. Because every aspect of penmanship - the height of an 'h', the curliness of a 'g', the pressure of the pen on the paper - is a collection of signals that we are giving out without meaning to. The way we write can tell the world a huge amount; sometimes more than the things we write about. Our handwriting exposes how we interact with the world and the people around us, and also how we cope with stress and express emotions. It can help us make choices for our future, showing us what our desires are, and even what jobs and partners may suit us best.Using real-life examples, including celebrity samples, you will be challenged to put your new-found knowledge to the test. By the end of the book you will have amassed a wealth of knowledge that will help you understand human nature - including your own - in all its colours.

Quercus

Get Your Sh*t Together Journal

Sarah Knight
Authors:
Sarah Knight
Jo Fletcher Books

Corpselight

Angela Slatter
Authors:
Angela Slatter
Quercus

Poems for a world gone to sh*t

Quercus Poetry
Authors:
Quercus Poetry
Quercus

You Do You

Sarah Knight
Authors:
Sarah Knight

*From the 'anti-guru' author of the smash hit The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k and the New York Times bestseller Get Your Sh*t Together * In The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k, our favourite 'anti-guru' Sarah Knight unleashed the power of saying no. In Get Your Sh*t Together, she prioritised the sh*t you need and want to do so you can achieve your hopes and dreams. Now she's back, doubling down on your happiness with her latest message: You Do You. Being yourself should be the easiest thing in the world. Yet instead of leaning in to who we are, we fight it, listening too closely to what society tells us. You Do You helps you shake off those expectations, say f**k perfect, start looking out for number one and keep on with your badass self. From career and finances to relationships and family, lifestyle and health, Sarah Knight rips up the rulebook. Writing about her mistakes and embarrassments in her own personal quest to 'do me' - because nobody gets everything right all day, every day - Sarah Knight shows why you can and should f**k up and teaches you to let yourself off the hook, bounce back and keep standing tall.What everyone is saying about Sarah Knight:'The anti-guru' Observer'I love Knight' Sunday Times 'Life-affirming' Lucy Mangan, Guardian 'Genius' Vogue

Jo Fletcher Books

Rotherweird

Andrew Caldecott, Sasha Laika
Contributors:
Andrew Caldecott, Sasha Laika
Quercus

Get Your Sh*t Together

Sarah Knight
Authors:
Sarah Knight
Quercus

This Book Will Make You Successful

Jo Usmar
Authors:
Jo Usmar

'Take on January with new-found serenity with this series of self-help books' StylistFind success in both your professional and your personal life.Success means different things to different people, yet there are essential key skills and knowledge that will help you to achieve your goals, whatever they are - be it progressing in your career, getting a pay rise, setting up your own business or negotiating Christmas dinner arrangements with your in-laws. This Book Will Make You Successful is a straight-talking and practical guide to getting what you want out of life. Using extensive research, plus interviews with professionals across all fields of expertise, Jo Usmar delivers strategies for becoming successful in both your work and your day-to-day life. This little book covers everything from networking, conflict resolution, stress management, productivity and being more persuasive, to not feeling like a fraud and moving on from setbacks. Prepare to feel both motivated and motivational, confident, productive and courageous. So many other books on 'success' confine themselves to target-hitting and positive thinking. This is broader, hugely useful, and entertaining to read.Chapters include: goal-setting exercises, anti-procrastination techniques, stress management, persuasion strategies, negotiation tips, mistake management, productivity tools, creativity boosters, work-life balance, managing difficult conversations (and difficult people).Praise for the This Book Will series:'Top tips for making your life loads better.' Cosmo'The answer to all my problems.' Katie Piper

riverrun

Six Four

Hideo Yokoyama
Authors:
Hideo Yokoyama
Jo Fletcher Books

The Hidden People

Alison Littlewood
Authors:
Alison Littlewood
Jo Fletcher Books

Vigil

Angela Slatter
Authors:
Angela Slatter
Quercus

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k

Sarah Knight
Authors:
Sarah Knight
Jo Fletcher Books

Knight's Shadow

Sebastien de Castell
Authors:
Sebastien de Castell

'One hell of a good book' Conn Iggulden The Greatcoats have found the heir to the throne . . . but now they must keep her alive, against all the odds.Falcio Val Mond has completed the final task given to him by the late King Paelis: he has found the King's Charoites (well, one at least). But his task isn't over, and now he, Kest and Brasti must protect the girl from those her want her dead.That would be simple enough, if it weren't for the renegade Knights and legendary Dashini assassins, getting in their way, not to mention the Dukes, who are desperate to hold on to their power at any cost, or Trin, the merciless daughter of the ruthless Duke of Rijou and the cruel Duchess of Hervor, who is determined to be Queen of Tristia. Of course, the fact that the heir to the throne is thirteen years old doesn't help, nor the fact that every day brings Falcio closer to dying from the poison running through his veins.And then there is the Greatcoats Lament . . .

riverrun

F

Daniel Kehlmann
Authors:
Daniel Kehlmann

'A comic tour de force, a biting satire on the hypnotized world of artificial wants and needs that Huxley predicted, a moving study of brotherhood and family failure, F is an astonishing book, a work of deeply satisfying (and never merely clever) complexity' - John Burnside Artful and subversive, F tells the story of the Friedland family - fakers, all of them - and the day when the fate in which they don't quite believe catches up with them. Having achieved nothing in life, Arthur Friedland is tricked on stage by a hypnotist and told to change everything. After he abandons his three young sons, they grow up to be a faithless priest, a broke financier and a forger. Each of them cultivates absence. One will be lost to it. A novel about the game of fate and the fetters of family, F never stops questioning, exploring and teasing at every twist and turn of its Rubik's Cube-like narrative.**Shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2015**

#AccordingtoG

WIN a signed copy of The World According to G and a signed 2015 Tour de France Race Number

My new book is all about my world of cycling - what I've experienced, what it means to me - but also what it means to be part of the brilliant cycling community. Here’s which sum it up for me and I want to see yours. Use the hashtag #AccordingtoG to share pictures / videos of what cycling means to you on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram by 8th November. My favourite will win a signed copy of The World According to G and a signed Tour de France race number. Good luck!

Q&A with Andreas Norman

If there was a film of Into A Raging Blaze, who do you think would play the main characters of Bente Jensen, the Secret Service Head, and Carina Dymek, the civil servant on the run? Well, the Swedish original of Into A Raging Blaze (En rasande eld), is actually being adapted for bigscreen right now by a major Swedish film company. They are right now starting to cast it! But then of course, Bente and Carina will be played by Swedish actors. In a British remake I would love to see a character actress like Jodie Foster or Imelda Staunton play Bente, who could take on that utterly unsentimental, tough-minded, no-nonsense type of woman. Carina – I think Maggie Gyllenhaal, Emily Blunt or Sarah Solemani would be perfect for the role. Brainy actresses with a lot of energy. You worked in the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for ten years in Counter-terrorism and Security. Can you tell us anything about the kinds of projects you worked on, and what it was like? They were mainly projects launched to prevent further terrorism – in other words, the recruitment and radicalisation of individuals and groups in countries around the world. I can't tell you much more, it is all very classified information; other than that we worked in partnership with other countries on this, and their police forces, intelligence agencies as well as various local non-governmental organisations. Our main slogan was: counter-terrorism without the respect for human rights is counter-productive. That was a one-liner I came up with, actually, in order to easily convey the Swedish view on these matters. And I still believe that it is absolutely valid. If you violate people's basic rights, you will end up with more politically motivated violence, and that is unfortunately what is happening today in, for example, Pakistan and many other places around the world today. How much is the diplomatic service as portrayed in the novel based on your experience of that world? The descriptions of the Ministry’s interior and other places are absolutely authentic; you could use the book for a guided tour around the Swedish MFA and the Government offices! If you ever visit the pub Pickwick’s on the corner of Fredsgatan and Drottninggatan in Stockholm, where all the civil servants hang out after work, look out for the elk head hanging on the inner wall. You'll find that place, and all other locations in the book exactly as I describe them. It was great fun to portray my workplace and the people in it. There are such a wealth of stories and characters in the diplomatic and intelligence community, that for most of the time remain untold, unseen, due to the secrecy that surrounds the trade. At the same time, there’s a lot that is universal which every person who spends their days in an office can easily relate to: the struggle for having an office with a nice view, the byzantine procedure for requisitioning an ergonomic chair, the career angst, all that. You left the Ministry to become a full time writer. What do your former colleagues think of the novel? Were you worried about revealing any government secrets? They think it’s great! I was surprised and happy to get so many positive reactions from colleagues in the MFA. Dozens of ambassadors and desk officers from all over the world have emailed me to congratulate me on what they felt was both a very entertaining and wholly accurate panorama of the rather absurd everyday life in the foreign service. I think many felt that, for once, their profession and work life had been portrayed in an authentic way. I wasn't worried for a second that I would reveal any secrets. I'm so used to handling classified information, you know, and the people in the ministry knows that. But just to be sure, I actually read my first draft as if I were looking for intelligence, classified procedures, etc. In some cases I obscured one or two details to make sure that Into A Raging Blaze would be useless – as intelligence, I mean. Your novel has a plot point whereby British agencies and GCHQ use cyber-spying to access private communications in European countries, even from governments. Was this based on fact when you wrote it, and if so, how did you come across the information? Sure, this is common practice. Just look at what Snowden revealed: NSA tapping the mobile phones of Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. My book basically outlines GCHQ’s mass surveillance programme code-named Tempora. I was not aware of the code name at the time I wrote the book, but knew something like this existed. That was in 2009. It was also in this period that NSA got enormously enhanced capacities to collect and store data, and later, to mine them. They were building big new facilities in Utah for data storage. As part of my job in the Foreign Ministry, I had the opportunity to learn how the signals intelligence agencies were organised, their methods, their technology. It was top secret back then; now you can find all about it on Google in an instant. Since you wrote the novel and it was published in Sweden, the world woke up to the same reality when Julian Assange published Edward Snowden’s leaked documents. What was the reaction to your book when this happened? A lot of readers were surprised by how close to reality my book actually was. Everyone who read it reacted with, ‘Wow, did you know about all this?’ Especially since the depth of the partnerships between NSA, GCHQ and the Swedish signals intelligence agency FRA was revealed later that year. Then even political op ed's in the main Swedish papers started using my book as a starting point for discussing the surveillance scandal, which thrilled me. The Swedish agency took a lot of criticism for being mixed up in the mass surveillance revealed by Snowden, and my story pointed towards precisely this partnership. It´s called Five Eyes, by the way. Al Gore has now come out in support of Snowden. What do you think of Snowden’s and Assange’s actions, and the reaction to them? I completely agree with Al Gore's statement. Snowden has done everyone a great service. Leaking classified information is always damaging someone, and sure, if it’s being revealed to the public, there is a risk of jeopardizing national security or hampering operations that can save lives. But when state agencies like the NSA or GCHQ operate massive systems that violate the basic civil rights of millions of innocent people, and do so without any democratic control, you end up with a state within the state; an omnipotent machine working outside the boundaries of democratic society, and that is very dangerous. That cannot be tolerated in an open, democratic, rule of law-based society. Assange created the platform for leaks, and Snowden provided the content. How uncomfortable it ever may be for state agencies and corporate executives, I think society will always need whistle-blowers like them. That the intelligence community reacts with horror is no surprise. Disappointing, but not a surprise at all, is the way the Obama administration is pursuing whistle-blowers like Snowden and Manning, in spite of their rethoric about openness. What is most worrying is the complacency of the public. But I think this is due to the fact that we, the ordinary internet users, have no alternative to the internet. Even though our digital lives are being monitored we have no real way to protest, since you can't really say, ‘Hey, I'll stop using the internet and go buy some other product!’ In a way, it shows the limits of consumer power. What is needed are sound state policies that put citizen rights first. The leaked documents in your novel are plans for a Europe-wide intelligence service that would not only cross borders, but skirt national and international law in the name of counter-terrorism. Are there any signs that this is a real possibility, and what would you consider are the major risks of such an operation? The idea came to me when I learned about the US drone warfare in Pakistan. There you have exactly this situation. The US Air Force fly thousands of drone missions for the CIA over Pakistan every year. They fly wherever they want, target whomever they want, regardless of Pakistani law, and probably also in violation of international law. What if drone missions were carried out over UK soil, with the silent approval of the British government and the EU? That is the question I hope my book raises. Even more chilling is that the US administration also targets its own citizens, putting not only foreigners but Americans on so-called 'kill lists'. This practice not only violates basic rights of individuals, but weakens the judicial system, and corrodes the trust we put in our governments. It's a disturbing development. Your fictional ‘European Intelligence Service’ had a clause allowing American services to launch attacks within European borders if they could justify a potential threat. Your novel shows convincing ‘threats’ can easily be created from little evidence. Do you think that US intelligence services pushes the boundaries of acceptable strategy, and how much are European services in thrall to them? Yes, well, you know, intelligence services are masters of fabrication and betrayal. To fabricate ‘threats’ to support wars and other foreign policy adventures are textbook tactics. Just think of the introduction to the Iraqi war, and the massive fabrication of ‘threats’ back then. Or the last and current US administration's circumvention of international law, in order to justify huge counter-terrorism operations. Today, the Obama administration have moved more towards extrajudicial assinations, drones and special forces operations, and the CIA, together with parts of the US military, like the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) have turned into smooth war machines. What if it would lie in the interests of the US to launch the same counter-terrorism operations they carry out in Afghanistan or northern Pakistan in the heart of Europe, and the EU would condone it? That question lies at the core of my book. It's fiction, but at the same close to reality. Because all intelligence services depend more or less on each other. You trade intel, you build alliances. The US service is the most powerful player, simply on the strength of their vast capacities. They can push boundaries to fit their objectives and cooperate with European services when it serves their interests. The Brits have a privileged position in this business, being very close to the US system, whereas the Swedes are just a minor, but useful partner. As I put it in Into A Raging Blaze: the Brits and Americans create the weather of tomorrow, while the Swedes are forced to guess the forecast. In the novel, a young Egyptian-born civil servant in the Swedish Ministry of Justice is suspected of being linked to a terrorist cell. How much do you think immigrated Arabs, North Africans and people of Islamic origin are at risk of being unjustly persecuted? Or is paranoia justified in the face of a terrorist threat? Intelligence services nurture professional paranoia, and rightly so; it’s part of their job description to be suspicious. But in the today’s era of counter-terrorism, with its strong focus on Islamic fundamentalism, whole Muslim minorities run the risk of being regarded as a ‘problem’, or an environment conducive to political violence and terrorism. When a security service try to pin down someone who might pose a terrorist threat, a large number of people are screened, which is standard procedure for all investigations. The problem is, with the mass surveillance currently in use, it is possible to screen literally millions, which means that whole populations of Muslims or immigrants – for example, everyone in the UK with the surename ‘Mohammad’ – could be routinely monitored. This is a depressing reality, and adds to the strong islamophobic tendencies we witness in Europe today. In the UK, John Le Carré’s novels were instrumental in forming the spy compromised group in opposition to the realpolitik practices of ‘big brother’ CIA. In your novel there’s a similar relationship, but between the Swedish and British, relatively. Is this a realistic portrayal? Yes, absolutely! The only difference is, Swedes are nicer because they are weaker and further down the food chain in global politics. If Swedish services had the same spying capacity as the colleagues in Vauxhall, not to mention Langley, they would be meaner, I'm sure. But there are historic reasons as well to why Swedish services are less ruthless than their AngloSaxon counterparts: we have not been forced to fight for our survival in World War II or fight terrorism at home; we have no recent colonial history, no real ambition to dominate the world – other than perhaps through exports of pop music, cars and crime novels. Swedish intelligence services are just small, efficient sub-suppliers in the global security business. It’s funny you mention LeCarré, since his latest novel A Delicate Truth is quite a turnaround where he portrays the British government and the MI6 as the corrupt and morally rotten ones, don't you agree? I hope Mr LeCarré nods in approval of my portrayal of the Swedish-British relationship. The recent European elections saw a surge in extreme right-wing groups gaining votes. Why do you think this is, and how might it affect counter-terrorism and relationships between diplomatic services? Oh, I just get depressed when I think about the recent EU-parliament election . . .The reasons for this can probably be found in the recent economic recession that plagued many European countries since the Lehman Brothers crash in 2008. Europe is being strongly affected by globalization, and financial crises with immediate repercussions in national economies, resulting in redunduncies and harsher everyday lives for a lot of people. This generates fear and hatred. When citizens don't feel that there is a social contract anymore, that there is no state to provide them with basic services, there is always a temptation to join the populist chant. It’s easy to blame immigrants, or a weak minority with no voice, like the Roma. Fascism offers a tempting dream of unity and strength. It’s an enthusiastic ideology, selling easy solutions. Unfortunately, a lot of people are lost in this dream nowadays. To diplomats, the appearance of right-wing extremists in leading positions around Europe complicates bilateral relations. Some relations will become frosty, new alliances will be made. For example, a social liberal democracy like Sweden cannot rely on support from Hungary or Denmark in the EU-council for its view on migration. And so on. For professionals in the intelligence services, an increase of militant right-wing extremists of course means more work, and in the long-term perhaps also a shift towards monitoring right-wing terrorist networks more closely. After the Utöya massacre and the bombing of the Norwegian government offices in 2012, this has certainly been the case with Norwegian and Swedish security services. What are you writing next? I have a book out in autumn, 9,3 på Richterskalan (9,3 on the Richter scale). It's an eyewitness account of my days in Thailand after the tsunami on Boxing Day 2004. I was sent to Thailand as a member of some one the first response teams, being a young diplomat who just entered the service. My publisher calls it a harrowing read, I suppose it is. Right now, I'm writing the sequel to Into A Raging Blaze. You'll see more of Bente Jensen, this time in a family crisis with lethal consequences. Surveillance, counter-espionage, deadly lies and deception, all against the backdrop of the recent Crimea crisis. That’s about all I can tell you, the rest is classified!

His ideas and inspirations behind Into A Raging Blaze

Q&A with Andreas Norman

If there was a film of Into A Raging Blaze, who do you think would play the main characters of Bente Jensen, the Secret Service Head, and Carina Dymek, the civil servant on the run? Well, the Swedish original of Into A Raging Blaze (En rasande eld), is actually being adapted for bigscreen right now by a major Swedish film company. They are right now starting to cast it! But then of course, Bente and Carina will be played by Swedish actors. In a British remake I would love to see a character actress like Jodie Foster or Imelda Staunton play Bente, who could take on that utterly unsentimental, tough-minded, no-nonsense type of woman. Carina – I think Maggie Gyllenhaal, Emily Blunt or Sarah Solemani would be perfect for the role. Brainy actresses with a lot of energy. You worked in the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for ten years in Counter-terrorism and Security. Can you tell us anything about the kinds of projects you worked on, and what it was like? They were mainly projects launched to prevent further terrorism – in other words, the recruitment and radicalisation of individuals and groups in countries around the world. I can't tell you much more, it is all very classified information; other than that we worked in partnership with other countries on this, and their police forces, intelligence agencies as well as various local non-governmental organisations. Our main slogan was: counter-terrorism without the respect for human rights is counter-productive. That was a one-liner I came up with, actually, in order to easily convey the Swedish view on these matters. And I still believe that it is absolutely valid. If you violate people's basic rights, you will end up with more politically motivated violence, and that is unfortunately what is happening today in, for example, Pakistan and many other places around the world today. How much is the diplomatic service as portrayed in the novel based on your experience of that world? The descriptions of the Ministry’s interior and other places are absolutely authentic; you could use the book for a guided tour around the Swedish MFA and the Government offices! If you ever visit the pub Pickwick’s on the corner of Fredsgatan and Drottninggatan in Stockholm, where all the civil servants hang out after work, look out for the elk head hanging on the inner wall. You'll find that place, and all other locations in the book exactly as I describe them. It was great fun to portray my workplace and the people in it. There are such a wealth of stories and characters in the diplomatic and intelligence community, that for most of the time remain untold, unseen, due to the secrecy that surrounds the trade. At the same time, there’s a lot that is universal which every person who spends their days in an office can easily relate to: the struggle for having an office with a nice view, the byzantine procedure for requisitioning an ergonomic chair, the career angst, all that. You left the Ministry to become a full time writer. What do your former colleagues think of the novel? Were you worried about revealing any government secrets? They think it’s great! I was surprised and happy to get so many positive reactions from colleagues in the MFA. Dozens of ambassadors and desk officers from all over the world have emailed me to congratulate me on what they felt was both a very entertaining and wholly accurate panorama of the rather absurd everyday life in the foreign service. I think many felt that, for once, their profession and work life had been portrayed in an authentic way. I wasn't worried for a second that I would reveal any secrets. I'm so used to handling classified information, you know, and the people in the ministry knows that. But just to be sure, I actually read my first draft as if I were looking for intelligence, classified procedures, etc. In some cases I obscured one or two details to make sure that Into A Raging Blaze would be useless – as intelligence, I mean. Your novel has a plot point whereby British agencies and GCHQ use cyber-spying to access private communications in European countries, even from governments. Was this based on fact when you wrote it, and if so, how did you come across the information? Sure, this is common practice. Just look at what Snowden revealed: NSA tapping the mobile phones of Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. My book basically outlines GCHQ’s mass surveillance programme code-named Tempora. I was not aware of the code name at the time I wrote the book, but knew something like this existed. That was in 2009. It was also in this period that NSA got enormously enhanced capacities to collect and store data, and later, to mine them. They were building big new facilities in Utah for data storage. As part of my job in the Foreign Ministry, I had the opportunity to learn how the signals intelligence agencies were organised, their methods, their technology. It was top secret back then; now you can find all about it on Google in an instant. Since you wrote the novel and it was published in Sweden, the world woke up to the same reality when Julian Assange published Edward Snowden’s leaked documents. What was the reaction to your book when this happened? A lot of readers were surprised by how close to reality my book actually was. Everyone who read it reacted with, ‘Wow, did you know about all this?’ Especially since the depth of the partnerships between NSA, GCHQ and the Swedish signals intelligence agency FRA was revealed later that year. Then even political op ed's in the main Swedish papers started using my book as a starting point for discussing the surveillance scandal, which thrilled me. The Swedish agency took a lot of criticism for being mixed up in the mass surveillance revealed by Snowden, and my story pointed towards precisely this partnership. It´s called Five Eyes, by the way. Al Gore has now come out in support of Snowden. What do you think of Snowden’s and Assange’s actions, and the reaction to them? I completely agree with Al Gore's statement. Snowden has done everyone a great service. Leaking classified information is always damaging someone, and sure, if it’s being revealed to the public, there is a risk of jeopardizing national security or hampering operations that can save lives. But when state agencies like the NSA or GCHQ operate massive systems that violate the basic civil rights of millions of innocent people, and do so without any democratic control, you end up with a state within the state; an omnipotent machine working outside the boundaries of democratic society, and that is very dangerous. That cannot be tolerated in an open, democratic, rule of law-based society. Assange created the platform for leaks, and Snowden provided the content. How uncomfortable it ever may be for state agencies and corporate executives, I think society will always need whistle-blowers like them. That the intelligence community reacts with horror is no surprise. Disappointing, but not a surprise at all, is the way the Obama administration is pursuing whistle-blowers like Snowden and Manning, in spite of their rethoric about openness. What is most worrying is the complacency of the public. But I think this is due to the fact that we, the ordinary internet users, have no alternative to the internet. Even though our digital lives are being monitored we have no real way to protest, since you can't really say, ‘Hey, I'll stop using the internet and go buy some other product!’ In a way, it shows the limits of consumer power. What is needed are sound state policies that put citizen rights first. The leaked documents in your novel are plans for a Europe-wide intelligence service that would not only cross borders, but skirt national and international law in the name of counter-terrorism. Are there any signs that this is a real possibility, and what would you consider are the major risks of such an operation? The idea came to me when I learned about the US drone warfare in Pakistan. There you have exactly this situation. The US Air Force fly thousands of drone missions for the CIA over Pakistan every year. They fly wherever they want, target whomever they want, regardless of Pakistani law, and probably also in violation of international law. What if drone missions were carried out over UK soil, with the silent approval of the British government and the EU? That is the question I hope my book raises. Even more chilling is that the US administration also targets its own citizens, putting not only foreigners but Americans on so-called 'kill lists'. This practice not only violates basic rights of individuals, but weakens the judicial system, and corrodes the trust we put in our governments. It's a disturbing development. Your fictional ‘European Intelligence Service’ had a clause allowing American services to launch attacks within European borders if they could justify a potential threat. Your novel shows convincing ‘threats’ can easily be created from little evidence. Do you think that US intelligence services pushes the boundaries of acceptable strategy, and how much are European services in thrall to them? Yes, well, you know, intelligence services are masters of fabrication and betrayal. To fabricate ‘threats’ to support wars and other foreign policy adventures are textbook tactics. Just think of the introduction to the Iraqi war, and the massive fabrication of ‘threats’ back then. Or the last and current US administration's circumvention of international law, in order to justify huge counter-terrorism operations. Today, the Obama administration have moved more towards extrajudicial assinations, drones and special forces operations, and the CIA, together with parts of the US military, like the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) have turned into smooth war machines. What if it would lie in the interests of the US to launch the same counter-terrorism operations they carry out in Afghanistan or northern Pakistan in the heart of Europe, and the EU would condone it? That question lies at the core of my book. It's fiction, but at the same close to reality. Because all intelligence services depend more or less on each other. You trade intel, you build alliances. The US service is the most powerful player, simply on the strength of their vast capacities. They can push boundaries to fit their objectives and cooperate with European services when it serves their interests. The Brits have a privileged position in this business, being very close to the US system, whereas the Swedes are just a minor, but useful partner. As I put it in Into A Raging Blaze: the Brits and Americans create the weather of tomorrow, while the Swedes are forced to guess the forecast. In the novel, a young Egyptian-born civil servant in the Swedish Ministry of Justice is suspected of being linked to a terrorist cell. How much do you think immigrated Arabs, North Africans and people of Islamic origin are at risk of being unjustly persecuted? Or is paranoia justified in the face of a terrorist threat? Intelligence services nurture professional paranoia, and rightly so; it’s part of their job description to be suspicious. But in the today’s era of counter-terrorism, with its strong focus on Islamic fundamentalism, whole Muslim minorities run the risk of being regarded as a ‘problem’, or an environment conducive to political violence and terrorism. When a security service try to pin down someone who might pose a terrorist threat, a large number of people are screened, which is standard procedure for all investigations. The problem is, with the mass surveillance currently in use, it is possible to screen literally millions, which means that whole populations of Muslims or immigrants – for example, everyone in the UK with the surename ‘Mohammad’ – could be routinely monitored. This is a depressing reality, and adds to the strong islamophobic tendencies we witness in Europe today. In the UK, John Le Carré’s novels were instrumental in forming the spy compromised group in opposition to the realpolitik practices of ‘big brother’ CIA. In your novel there’s a similar relationship, but between the Swedish and British, relatively. Is this a realistic portrayal? Yes, absolutely! The only difference is, Swedes are nicer because they are weaker and further down the food chain in global politics. If Swedish services had the same spying capacity as the colleagues in Vauxhall, not to mention Langley, they would be meaner, I'm sure. But there are historic reasons as well to why Swedish services are less ruthless than their AngloSaxon counterparts: we have not been forced to fight for our survival in World War II or fight terrorism at home; we have no recent colonial history, no real ambition to dominate the world – other than perhaps through exports of pop music, cars and crime novels. Swedish intelligence services are just small, efficient sub-suppliers in the global security business. It’s funny you mention LeCarré, since his latest novel A Delicate Truth is quite a turnaround where he portrays the British government and the MI6 as the corrupt and morally rotten ones, don't you agree? I hope Mr LeCarré nods in approval of my portrayal of the Swedish-British relationship. The recent European elections saw a surge in extreme right-wing groups gaining votes. Why do you think this is, and how might it affect counter-terrorism and relationships between diplomatic services? Oh, I just get depressed when I think about the recent EU-parliament election . . .The reasons for this can probably be found in the recent economic recession that plagued many European countries since the Lehman Brothers crash in 2008. Europe is being strongly affected by globalization, and financial crises with immediate repercussions in national economies, resulting in redunduncies and harsher everyday lives for a lot of people. This generates fear and hatred. When citizens don't feel that there is a social contract anymore, that there is no state to provide them with basic services, there is always a temptation to join the populist chant. It’s easy to blame immigrants, or a weak minority with no voice, like the Roma. Fascism offers a tempting dream of unity and strength. It’s an enthusiastic ideology, selling easy solutions. Unfortunately, a lot of people are lost in this dream nowadays. To diplomats, the appearance of right-wing extremists in leading positions around Europe complicates bilateral relations. Some relations will become frosty, new alliances will be made. For example, a social liberal democracy like Sweden cannot rely on support from Hungary or Denmark in the EU-council for its view on migration. And so on. For professionals in the intelligence services, an increase of militant right-wing extremists of course means more work, and in the long-term perhaps also a shift towards monitoring right-wing terrorist networks more closely. After the Utöya massacre and the bombing of the Norwegian government offices in 2012, this has certainly been the case with Norwegian and Swedish security services. What are you writing next? I have a book out in autumn, 9,3 på Richterskalan (9,3 on the Richter scale). It's an eyewitness account of my days in Thailand after the tsunami on Boxing Day 2004. I was sent to Thailand as a member of some one the first response teams, being a young diplomat who just entered the service. My publisher calls it a harrowing read, I suppose it is. Right now, I'm writing the sequel to Into A Raging Blaze. You'll see more of Bente Jensen, this time in a family crisis with lethal consequences. Surveillance, counter-espionage, deadly lies and deception, all against the backdrop of the recent Crimea crisis. That’s about all I can tell you, the rest is classified!

When looking for that special someone, we've put in the extra effort so you don't have to!

Have a Classy Christmas

UNDER A POLE STAR Stef Penney returns to the wild Arctic landscape she portrayed so beautifully in her debut The Tenderness of Wolves, to bring us the story of ‘The Snow Queen’ Flora Mackie and her Geologist beau Jakob de Beyn. Their paths cross on the frozen landscape of Greenland whilst on opposing expeditions, yet they have an instant connection that has the power to transcend any distance between them. A passionate love affair, and a couple of trips back to the North later, and it seems nothing can tear Flora and Jakob apart. Until… Set against the stark, timeless beauty of northern Greenland, and fin-de-siècle New York and London, Under a Pole Star is a compelling look at the dark side of the ‘golden age’ of exploration, a study of the corrosive power of ambition, and an epic, incendiary love story. It shows that sometimes you have to travel to the furthest edge of the world in order to find your true place in it. Available to buy at Waterstones, Amazon, Hive and from your local indepdendent bookshop. THE BOOK OF TIDES An idiosyncratic, richly illustrated guide to Britain's rivers, seas and shores, for everyone who loves the water and the natural world - a Norwegian Wood for Britain's waters. Both graphically beautiful and lyrically written, The Book of Tides is a unique and essential book, ideal for anyone who knows and loves the British coast, and who wants to understand, discover, surf, or sail it better. Inspired by his own witnessing of the power of the sea through travelling around Britain's coastline in a panel van with his young family, William Thomson tells the story of the cycles of the sea. He combines a lyrical, passionate narrative with graphically beautiful renderings of the main forms of water which affect Britain: Rip, Rapids, Swell, Stream, Tide, Wave, Whirlpool, Tsunami. Available to buy at Waterstones, Hive, Amazon and from your local indepdent bookshop. (photo credit: West End Lane Books) BILL BAILEY'S REMARKABLE GUIDE TO BRITISH BIRDS Bill Bailey's Remarkable Guide to British Birds is all about comedian Bailey's love of birds. A visual feast - it is packed with illustrations, sketches and notes by Bailey - as well as informative, it is funny and insightful, and positively crackles with energy, knowledge and wit as he takes us on a journey around the British isles, zooming in on those birds that enthuse him the most. A beautifully and originally designed hardback, it will delight Bailey's fans as well as those who like a bit of armchair escapism. Available to buy at Waterstones, Amazon, Hive and from your local independent bookshop THE LIFE CHANGING MAGIC OF NOT GIVING A F**K: CHRISTMAS EDITION It was the 'self help with an edge' book of 2016 (Vogue said that, so you know this thing's legit) - and now it's back with a gorgeous new jacket to help you give fewer, better f**ks this Christmas! A genius parody of the bestselling The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Sarah Knight's no nonsense guide to focussing on the things in your life that make you happy, and giving way less of your time and energy to the things that don't, will help to revolutionalise your thinking. From family dramas to having a bikini body, the simple 'NotSorry Method' for mental decluttering will help you unleash the power of not giving a f**k and will free you to spend your time, energy and money on the things that really matter. This festive red edition will sit perfectly in any stocking, and would make an ideal office secret santa gift for that stressed colleague... Available to buy from Waterstones, Amazon and from your local indepdendent bookshop. NO PICNIC ON MOUNT KENYA A classic tale of derring-do: The Great Escape meets Touching the Void No Picnic on Mount Kenya is a rediscovered mountaineering classic and the extraordinary true story of a daring escape up Mount Kenya by three prisoners of war. It's a remarkable story of three incredibly brave men with an outrageous, dangerous, brilliant idea. It is also a powerful testament to the human spirit of revolt and adventure in even the darkest of places. A Waterstones non-fiction Book of the Month, No Picnic on Mount Kenya is a terrific gift for the adventurous type, yet equally for the armchair traveller! Available to buy from

Beautiful fiction and bespoke non-fiction

Have a Classy Christmas

UNDER A POLE STAR Stef Penney returns to the wild Arctic landscape she portrayed so beautifully in her debut The Tenderness of Wolves, to bring us the story of ‘The Snow Queen’ Flora Mackie and her Geologist beau Jakob de Beyn. Their paths cross on the frozen landscape of Greenland whilst on opposing expeditions, yet they have an instant connection that has the power to transcend any distance between them. A passionate love affair, and a couple of trips back to the North later, and it seems nothing can tear Flora and Jakob apart. Until… Set against the stark, timeless beauty of northern Greenland, and fin-de-siècle New York and London, Under a Pole Star is a compelling look at the dark side of the ‘golden age’ of exploration, a study of the corrosive power of ambition, and an epic, incendiary love story. It shows that sometimes you have to travel to the furthest edge of the world in order to find your true place in it. Available to buy at Waterstones, Amazon, Hive and from your local indepdendent bookshop. THE BOOK OF TIDES An idiosyncratic, richly illustrated guide to Britain's rivers, seas and shores, for everyone who loves the water and the natural world - a Norwegian Wood for Britain's waters. Both graphically beautiful and lyrically written, The Book of Tides is a unique and essential book, ideal for anyone who knows and loves the British coast, and who wants to understand, discover, surf, or sail it better. Inspired by his own witnessing of the power of the sea through travelling around Britain's coastline in a panel van with his young family, William Thomson tells the story of the cycles of the sea. He combines a lyrical, passionate narrative with graphically beautiful renderings of the main forms of water which affect Britain: Rip, Rapids, Swell, Stream, Tide, Wave, Whirlpool, Tsunami. Available to buy at Waterstones, Hive, Amazon and from your local indepdent bookshop. (photo credit: West End Lane Books) BILL BAILEY'S REMARKABLE GUIDE TO BRITISH BIRDS Bill Bailey's Remarkable Guide to British Birds is all about comedian Bailey's love of birds. A visual feast - it is packed with illustrations, sketches and notes by Bailey - as well as informative, it is funny and insightful, and positively crackles with energy, knowledge and wit as he takes us on a journey around the British isles, zooming in on those birds that enthuse him the most. A beautifully and originally designed hardback, it will delight Bailey's fans as well as those who like a bit of armchair escapism. Available to buy at Waterstones, Amazon, Hive and from your local independent bookshop THE LIFE CHANGING MAGIC OF NOT GIVING A F**K: CHRISTMAS EDITION It was the 'self help with an edge' book of 2016 (Vogue said that, so you know this thing's legit) - and now it's back with a gorgeous new jacket to help you give fewer, better f**ks this Christmas! A genius parody of the bestselling The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Sarah Knight's no nonsense guide to focussing on the things in your life that make you happy, and giving way less of your time and energy to the things that don't, will help to revolutionalise your thinking. From family dramas to having a bikini body, the simple 'NotSorry Method' for mental decluttering will help you unleash the power of not giving a f**k and will free you to spend your time, energy and money on the things that really matter. This festive red edition will sit perfectly in any stocking, and would make an ideal office secret santa gift for that stressed colleague... Available to buy from Waterstones, Amazon and from your local indepdendent bookshop. NO PICNIC ON MOUNT KENYA A classic tale of derring-do: The Great Escape meets Touching the Void No Picnic on Mount Kenya is a rediscovered mountaineering classic and the extraordinary true story of a daring escape up Mount Kenya by three prisoners of war. It's a remarkable story of three incredibly brave men with an outrageous, dangerous, brilliant idea. It is also a powerful testament to the human spirit of revolt and adventure in even the darkest of places. A Waterstones non-fiction Book of the Month, No Picnic on Mount Kenya is a terrific gift for the adventurous type, yet equally for the armchair traveller! Available to buy from Waterstones, Hive, Amazon and from your local indepdendent bookshop. NORWEGIAN WOOD Whether you're a seasoned woodcutter, or your passion is yet to be kindled, Norwegian Wood is the perfect fireside read, and an ideal seasonal gift. Last year's runaway bestseller is back to take over Christmas once again! Teaching you everything you need to know about chopping, stacking and drying wood - the Scandinavian way - this is truly 'a how-to book with poetry at its heart'(TLS). For Lars Mytting, our relationship to fire is so ancient, so universal, it seems that in learning about wood, you can also learn about life. Available to but at Waterstones, Hive, Amazon and from your local independent bookshop. (photo credit: Abrams Books)