Related to: 'Unforgettable Walks'

MacLehose Press

No Picnic on Mount Kenya

Felice Benuzzi
Authors:
Felice Benuzzi

In the shadow of Mount Kenya, surrounded by the forests and creatures of the savannah, life drags interminably for the inmates of P.O.W. Camp 354. Confined to an endless cycle of boredom and frustration, it is little wonder when one prisoner realises he can bear it no longer.When the clouds covering Mount Kenya part one morning to reveal its towering peaks for the first time, Felice Benuzzi is transfixed. The tedium of camp life is broken by the beginnings of a sudden idea - an outrageous, dangerous, brilliant idea.There are not many people who would break out of a P.O.W. camp, trek for days across perilous terrain before climbing the north face of Mount Kenya with improvised equipment, meagre rations, and with a picture of the mountain on a tin of beef among their more accurate guides. There are probably fewer still who would break back in to the camp on their return.This is the remarkable story of three such men. No Picnic on Mount Kenya is a powerful testament to the human spirit of revolt and adventure in even the darkest of places.

Quercus

The Food of Love

Prue Leith
Authors:
Prue Leith
Quercus

The Other Child

Lucy Atkins
Authors:
Lucy Atkins
MacLehose Press

The Heart of Man

Jón Kalman Stefánsson
Authors:
Jón Kalman Stefánsson

After coming through the blizzard that almost cost them everything, Jens and the boy are far from home, in a fishing community at the edge of the world. Taken in by the village doctor, the boy once again has the sense of being brought back from the grave. But this is a strange place, with otherworldly inhabitants, including flame-haired Álfheiður, who makes him wonder whether it is possible to love two women at once; he had believed his heart was lost to Ragnheiður, the daughter of the wealthy merchant in the village to which he must now inexorably return. Set in the awe-inspiring wilderness of the extreme north, The Heart of Man is a profound exploration of life, love and desire, written with a sublime simplicity. In this conclusion to an audacious trilogy, Stefánsson brings a poet's eye and a philosopher's insight to a tale worthy of the sagasmiths of old.

Quercus

The Visitors

Simon Sylvester
Authors:
Simon Sylvester
Jo Fletcher Books

Fearie Tales

Stephen Jones, Alan Lee
Contributors:
Stephen Jones, Alan Lee
Quercus

It's All About Treo

Damien Lewis, Damien Lewis, Dave Heyhoe
Authors:
Damien Lewis, Damien Lewis, Dave Heyhoe

Quercus

Mountain High

Daniel Friebe, Pete Goding
Authors:
Daniel Friebe, Pete Goding
Quercus

To Dream of the Dead

Phil Rickman
Authors:
Phil Rickman
riverrun

Lullabies for Little Criminals

Heather O'Neill
Authors:
Heather O'Neill

'Like Angela Carter, she is relentlessly inventive' Sunday Times'Full of pathos, spirit and iridescent innocence' Independent on SundayThe first novel by the author of The Lonely Hearts Hotel12-year-old Baby is used to turmoil in her life. Her mother is long dead, her father is a junkie and they shuttle between rotting apartments and decrepit downtown hotels. As her father's addiction and paranoia grow worse, she begins a journey that will lead her through chaos and hardship; but Baby's remarkable strength of spirit enables her to survive. Smart, funny and determined to lift herself off the city's dirty streets, she knows that the only person she can truly rely upon is herself.

Quercus

The Fabric of Sin

Phil Rickman
Authors:
Phil Rickman

NOW A MAJOR ITV DRAMAThe Master House, close to the Welsh border, is medieval and slowly falling into ruins. Now the house and its surrounding land have been sold to the Duchy of Cornwall. But the Duchy's plans to renovate the house and its outbuildings are frustrated when the specialist builder refuses to work there. 'This is a place,' he tells the Prince's land-steward, 'that doesn't want to be restored.'Directed by the Bishop of Hereford to investigate, deliverance consultant Merrily Watkins discovers ancient connections between the house and the nearby church, built by the Knights Templar whose shadow still envelopes isolated Garway Hill and its scattered communities. Why did all the local inns have astrological names? What deep history lies behind the vicious feud between two local families? And what happened here to intimidate even the great Edwardian ghost-story writer M R James? When Merrily learns that she - and even her daughter, Jane - are under surveillance by the security services, she's ready to quit. But a sudden death changes everything, and she returns to Garway to uncover fibres of fear and hatred stitched into history and now insidiously twisted in the corridors - and the cloisters - of power.

Quercus

Remains of an Altar

Phil Rickman
Authors:
Phil Rickman

NOW A MAJOR ITV DRAMAMerrily Watkins, parish priest, single mum and Deliverance Consultant to the Diocese of Hereford, heads for the Malvern Hills to investigate an alleged paranormal dimension to a spate of road accidents in the sleepy village of Wychehill. Merrily is called in when two people are killed in a head-on crash that is also linked to the revamped local pub which, it seems, has injected the valley with a shattering, strobing surge of inner-city nightlife... and drugs. When a dealer is found savagely murdered below the great earthen hillfort of Herefordshire Beacon, police ask: is it a ritual killing, a gangland disposal or a cry of outrage? As Merrily and the police follow separate paths towards the truth, Merrily's teenage daughter, Jane, faces the consequences of her own obsession with a possibly prehistoric site in their home village of Ledwardine. Until, on a night of frenzied violence, in a place at the centre of an ancient, universal mystery, the final, shocking connections are made.

Damien Lewis

Damien Lewis has spent twenty years reporting from war, disaster and conflict zones around the world. He has written a dozen non-fiction and fiction books, topping bestseller lists worldwide, and is published in some thirty languages. Two of his books are being made into feature films.

Dave Heyhoe

Dave and Treo have won numerous awards, including the Dickin Medal - more commonly known as 'the animal Victoria Cross' - and the Cruft's Friends for Life Award. Both Dave and Treo are now retired from the army and they share a home in rural Cheshire.

Felice Benuzzi

Felice Benuzzi was born in Vienna in 1910 and grew up in Trieste, doing his early mountaineering in the Julian Alps. He studied law at Rome University and represented Italy as an international swimmer in 1933-35. Following the conclusion of the war he worked as a diplomat, including with the United Nations. He died in Rome in 1988.

Julia Bradbury

Julia was born in Dublin to a Greek mother and a Derbyshire-born father. The family moved back to the UK in the early seventies and settled in Rutland (the smallest county in Britain).Business interests of both parents also took them to Sheffield where Julia went to school. Julia's first professional engagement was in the Crucible Theatre's stage production of Peter Pan, where she donned a fishtail and got afternoons off school playing a mermaid.After leaving school she moved to London and after a short spell of working in the family fashion business, she followed her dream of working in television. In Spring 2016, Julia presented an 8-part primetime ITV series, Best Walks With a View. She will be presenting a new series, Britain's Best Walks with Julia Bradbury for ITV in January 2017.

Phil Rickman

Phil Rickman lives on the Welsh border where he writes and presents the book programme Phil the Shelf on BBC Radio Wales. He is the author of seven previous Merrily Watkins' Mysteries, introducing the Reverend in The Wine of Angels, and charting her career as the diocesan exorcist with Midwinter of the Spirit, A Crown of Lights, The Cure of Souls, The Lamp of the Wicked, The Prayer of the Night Shepherd and The Smile of a Ghost.

Prue Leith

As a cook, restaurateur, food writer and business woman, Prue Leith has played a key role in the revolution of Britain's eating habits since the 1960s, and was recently announced as one of the judges on Channel 4's Great British Bake Off. With twelve cookery books under her belt, Prue gave up writing about food to concentrate on fiction. She has written five contemporary novels and a memoir, Relish. The Prodigal Daughter is the second novel in a trilogy that began with The Food of Love. All Prue's books are in print with Quercus. She lives in Oxfordshire. Follow her on on Twitter @PrueLeith

Rosanna Ley on landscape and creativity

What is the relationship between landscape and creativity? There are little hotspots all over the world to which groups of creative people are drawn. But why? Surely it’s not simply a question of contacts and existing artistic infrastructure – though clearly this helps. Is it something to do with landscape? And if some landscapes provoke more creative responses than others, which kind does it for you? In the west country of the UK we can do wild and bleak or cute and scenic. We get a lot of rain – but this is why the grass is always greener… There are more writers, musicians, potters, artists, weavers, sculptors and glass blowers here, than anywhere else in the UK. And tourists of all nationalities brave our English weather and come in their thousands to visit our galleries, exhibitions, mills, shops and craft centres. But what is it about the landscape that inspires creativity? Is it perhaps the sense of history? In ‘Bay of Secrets,’ artist Andres and his famous father are inspired by the landscape of Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. It is ancient and volcanic, rather like a lunar landscape with rolling pink-brown hills, craters and giant sand dunes cradling turquoise lagoons studded by black rocky outcrops. Age can certainly give a landscape a vibe – Lyme Regis, Charmouth and the Jurassic Coast of Dorset have a sense of history which literally clings to the fossilized rocks, the cliffs and the beaches. Roman roads and ancient forts abound. In the novels of Thomas Hardy, Dorchester provides an artistic legacy too – of the writerly kind. When Andres comes to Dorset in ‘Bay’, he is equally inspired by the golden sandstone cliffs of West Bay – as recently featured in ITV’s crime drama ‘Broadchurch’. Following ‘Broadchurch,’ visitors (known locally as ‘Broadies’!) have flocked to West Bay to see for themselves those amazing, towering honey-bricked cliffs. Or is it perhaps the tranquillity of a natural landscape – be it coastal, woodland, upland or riverside – which appeals to the creative mind and feeds our desire to get back to nature and away from the noise, turmoil and stress of busy city life? Sometimes, walking along the vastness of Chesil Beach, you feel solitary, humble, affected by Nature. It’s liberating. There again, the drama of a steep gorge or a rocky headland can also be inspiring – as Sister Julia experiences in ‘Bay of Secrets’; the sea’s turbulence echoing her own inner turmoil. Her landscape on the Island has both complexity and emotional depth. She has a spiritual response to it; she imagines that it helps her to hear her God’s guidance and voice. Artists here in Dorset often talk about the quality of the light for painting. The rocks range from the orange sandstone of West Bay through to the Blue Lias of Lyme; where there is light there is always shadow. As for Fuerteventura… There is a late-afternoon light that tints the landscape with a deep yellow and turns the sand (and blonde hair!) an unearthly golden green. Whatever the personal response to landscape, it seems that this is a relationship and a dialogue between individual and place. Landscape brings out the creativity in us all. It encourages us to reflect, express ourselves and even to change our thinking. Landscape might offer a glimpse of memory and the past – as it does for Ruby in ‘Bay’ when she first sees the turquoise lagoon in Fuerteventura, otherwise known as the ‘Bay of Secrets’. It might even offer a glimpse of the future. I always felt I belonged to West Dorset. It’s my ‘soul home’. And I’m always happiest writing where there is a sea view. It may be in my local cafe in West Bay with the high bank of ginger pebbles and the waves right beside me, the harbour and the sandstone cliffs beyond. Or in Fuerteventura on the Playa de Castillo watching the surfers ride the wild waves. It might be a tranquil summer day or bleak mid-winter. The sea lets me dream – it does it for me every time. – Rosanna Ley

Paul Engles: MacLehose Editor in the hot seat

Quercus Summer Quiz

What would you pick as your perfect poolside read? I might go nuts and re-read Game of Thrones or Conn Iggulden's War of the Roses series. Though last time I was away I read a submission that ended up being too good to turn down: The President's Gardens by Muhsin Al-Ramli, out in April. What five items would you take with you to a desert island? A drum kit, a kindle, an ice cream van, a Blackadder Boxset and a football (and 9 other people to play with if possible). If you could travel for 6 months with a fictional character, who would that be? Oedipa Maas from The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon. We'd be guaranteed crazy adventures. Describe the best meal you’ve had while on holiday Fresh fish from the sea in Sri Lanka -- but bear in mind that was the most recent holiday. What’s your favourite setting in a book that you’ve read? The world building in A Song of Fire and Ice is the most convincing I've ever come across. Jurassic Park would be fun to visit, of course. Quick fire round Beach break or city break? City Hot climate or cold climate? Hot Plane or boat? Boat Scuba dive or pedalo? Pedalo Sandcastle or bat and ball? Sandcastle UK or abroad? Abroad Pool or beach? Beach Have you ever had a nightmare holiday? I went one too many times to celebrate King's Day in Amstersdam. And the vibe is changing there, seems more narrow-minded to me. If you could do any job in the world, what would it be? I'm not falling for that one!