Related to: 'Fire on All Sides'

Quercus

How to Draw Anything

As children, when we learn to write, we gain an important life skill - a practical means of communicating that we end up using almost every day of our lives, if only to jot down a shopping list or dash out an email. As children, we also know instinctively that drawing is a great way to communicate, but later in life it isn't universally valued and nurtured in the way that writing is. It's not seen as a necessity, it's seen as a specialism. As a result, most of us are robbed of a powerful, rewarding and perfectly achievable skill by a set of assumptions that are just plain wrong. In the 18th and 19th centuries drawing was central to a good education, not because we were training future artists, but because we were training future doctors, nurses, scientists, engineers, builders, cartographers, carpenters, plumbers and gardeners. We recognised the power of drawing to reveal, explain and clarify where words alone fell short. Florence Nightingale's visualisations of mortality data in the Crimean War saved many lives. From the scruffy sketchbook pages of Alexander Graham Bell came the first telephone. Charles Darwin grabbed a scrap of paper and mapped out the tree of life. They all understood that a good drawing is not one that is beautiful but one that does its job. Not a work of art, but art that works.How to Draw Anything sets out to repair our broken relationship with drawing. Firstly, this book asks you to pick up that pencil from where you left it all those years ago and start making pictures again. It will give you back the confidence and joy in drawing you never should have lost. And secondly, How to Draw Anything will equip you with new means of solving problems, sharing ideas and telling stories. It will take drawing out of the art world and put it into your world, introducing you to drawing as a practical tool for everyday life that will change the way you work, think and communicate.

MacLehose Press

A Foolish Virgin

Ida Simons
Authors:
Ida Simons
Quercus

How to Play the Piano

James Rhodes
Authors:
James Rhodes

Learn to play one of Bach's most exquisite preludes in just 6 weeks, even if you have never played the piano before.An accessible and inspiring book by the pianist and international bestselling writer James Rhodes, who promises that it gives anyone with two hands, a piano or an electric keyboard and just 45 minutes a day the tools they need to learn to play Bach's Prelude No. 1 in C Major in 6 weeks, even if they know nothing about music and have never even touched a piano before.How often do we convince ourselves that it's just too late - too late to learn how to ride a bike, too late to know how to meditate, too late to travel the world... As we get older and time slips through our fingers like water, we become resigned, almost defeatist, about abandoning our dreams. For James Rhodes, after the inevitable "How many hours a day do you practice?" and "Show me your hands", the most common thing people say to him when they hear he's a pianist is "I used to play the piano as a kid. I really regret giving it up". Where does this mourned and misplaced creativity go? For Rhodes, it's still there to be tapped into by all of us, at any point. This inspirational book gives us the means to do this, by breaking up Bach's seminal Prelude No. 1 from the Well-Tempered Clavier into manageable segments, teaching us the basics of piano playing - how to read music, the difference between the treble and the bass clef, sharp and flat notes, how to practice etc.. - and encouraging personal interpretation in a way that is guaranteed to soothe the mind, feed the soul and unleash creative powers we didn't know we still had. All of this will culminate in an ability to perform one of Bach's masterpieces."If listening to music is soothing for the soul, then playing music is achieving enlightenment. It's going from kicking a ball around with a few pals to playing alongside Ronaldo."

Quercus

How to Play the Piano

James Rhodes
Authors:
James Rhodes

Learn to play one of Bach's most exquisite preludes in just 6 weeks, even if you have never played the piano before.An accessible and inspiring book by the pianist and international bestselling writer James Rhodes, who promises that it gives anyone with two hands, a piano or an electric keyboard and just 45 minutes a day the tools they need to learn to play Bach's Prelude No. 1 in C Major in 6 weeks, even if they know nothing about music and have never even touched a piano before.How often do we convince ourselves that it's just too late - too late to learn how to ride a bike, too late to know how to meditate, too late to travel the world... As we get older and time slips through our fingers like water, we become resigned, almost defeatist, about abandoning our dreams. For James Rhodes, after the inevitable "How many hours a day do you practice?" and "Show me your hands", the most common thing people say to him when they hear he's a pianist is "I used to play the piano as a kid. I really regret giving it up". Where does this mourned and misplaced creativity go? For Rhodes, it's still there to be tapped into by all of us, at any point. This inspirational book gives us the means to do this, by breaking up Bach's seminal Prelude No. 1 from the Well-Tempered Clavier into manageable segments, teaching us the basics of piano playing - how to read music, the difference between the treble and the bass clef, sharp and flat notes, how to practice etc.. - and encouraging personal interpretation in a way that is guaranteed to soothe the mind, feed the soul and unleash creative powers we didn't know we still had. All of this will culminate in an ability to perform one of Bach's masterpieces."If listening to music is soothing for the soul, then playing music is achieving enlightenment. It's going from kicking a ball around with a few pals to playing alongside Ronaldo."

MacLehose Press

Ladivine

Marie NDiaye
Authors:
Marie NDiaye
MacLehose Press

A Life Apart

Mariapia Veladiano
Authors:
Mariapia Veladiano

Rebecca's parents were born to very different families. One wealthy, one all but destitute, they were united only by their striking mutual beauty. But the sole child to bless their great romantic fairy tale is a daughter of startling ugliness. The shock of having given birth to such a monster leads the mother to withdraw both herself and her daughter from the world. Only by keeping her child indoors, away from strangers' eyes, can she protect her from their disgust. But against all odds, with a little help from some remarkable friends, Rebecca discovers a talent for music that proves that inner beauty can outshine any other. A Life Apart is an irresistible modern fable that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt that they don't belong.

Quercus

Play Better Guitar

David Black, David Black
Authors:
David Black, David Black
Quercus

Life in Five Seconds

Gianmarco Milesi, Matteo Civaschi
Authors:
Gianmarco Milesi, Matteo Civaschi
Quercus

The Big Questions: Mind

Richard M. Restak
Authors:
Richard M. Restak

'The Big Questions' series is designed to let renowned experts confront the 20 most fundamental and frequently asked questions of a major branch of science or philosophy. In 'The Big Questions: Mind' the explanations behind the 'mysteries' of our unique minds - including how they differ from our brains and how they create our awareness - are explored. Among the questions discussed are: How do brains come to exist? Is the mind more than the brain? What does it mean to be conscious? What is knowledge? Does the mind play tricks? What is the 'I' in our brain?

MacLehose Press

Three Strong Women

Marie NDiaye
Authors:
Marie NDiaye

Forty-year-old Norah leaves Paris, her family and her career as a lawyer to visit her father in Dakar. It is an uncomfortable reunion - she is asked to use her skills as a lawyer to get her brother out of prison - and ultimately the trip endangers her marriage and her relationship with her own daughter, and drives her to the very edge of madness. Fanta, on the other hand, leaves Dakar to follow her husband Rudy to rural France. And it is through Rudy's bitter and guilt-ridden perspective that we see Fanta stagnate with boredom in this alien, narrow environment. Khady is forced into exile from Senegal because of poverty, because her husband is dead, because she is lonely and in despair. With other illegal immigrants, she embarks on a journey which takes her nowhere, but from which she will never return.

David Black

David Black is a guitarist and teacher. He began playing the guitar at the age of 10 and studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the Royal College of Music, London. David regularly performs solo, as one half of the 'Albach Guitar Duo' and is a member of the contemporary music group 'rarescale'. He also teaches guitar at several schools in southeast London.

Ida Simons

Ida Simons (1911-1960) was a writer and a pianist, whose successful career came to an end with the German invasion. She was deported to Westerbork and Theresienstadt, along with her family. After the war, she gave more concerts, and then began to write. A Foolish Virgin was first published in 1959, and was highly regarded at the time. Unfortunately, her work sank into oblivion after her untimely death, but since its rediscovery in 2014 it has been translated into twenty-two languages and published widely.

James Rhodes

James Rhodes was born in London in 1975. A keen piano player, at eighteen he was offered a scholarship at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, but went to Edinburgh University instead. James stopped playing the piano entirely and dropped out after a year. He ended up working in the City for five years. After a devastating mental breakdown that led him to be institutionalised, he took the piano up again. He is now a professional and applauded concert pianist, writer and TV presenter. His memoir, Instrumental, was published to great critical acclaim and became an international bestseller, as did his short book How To Play the Piano.

Jordan Stump

Jordan Stump has translated many authors from the French including Marie Redonnet, Eric Chevillard, and Honoré de Balzac. His translation of Jardin des Plantes by Claude Simon won the 2001 French-American Foundation translation prize, and he was named a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Artes et des Lettres in 2006.

Mariapia Veladiano

Mariapia Veladiano's first novel A Life Apart was published after winning the Premio Calvino, a prize for unpublished writers. It went on to be shortlisted for the Premio Stega, the most prestigious of Italian literary prizes. Cristina Viti is a translator and poet whose published work includes translations of Guillaume Apollinaire and Elsa Morante.

Marie NDiaye

Marie NDiaye was born in France in 1967. She published her first novel at seventeen, and has won the Prix Femina (Rosie Carpe in 2001) and the Prix Goncourt (Three Strong Women, 2009). Her play Papa Doit Manger has been taken into the repertoire of the Comédie Française. In 2007, after the election of Nicolas Sarkozy, NDiaye left France with her family to live in Berlin.

Matteo Civaschi

H-57 is a design and advertising studio based in Milan. After fifteen years of experience working on big international advertising campaigns for print, TV, web and radio, Gianmarco Milesi and Matteo Civaschi reinvented themselves as a bespoke design agency, focusing on contemporary design, typography and illustration. They are also the brains behind the infographic 'History of...' series, which has amassed worldwide popularity online.

Richard M. Restak

Dr Restak is a graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine. His post-graduate training included a rotating internship at St Vincent's Hospital in New York, psychiatric residencies at Mount Sinai Hospital and Georgetown University Hospital, and a residency in neurology at George Washington Hospital in Washington, DC. Concurrently, he is Clinical Professor of Neurology at George Washington Hospital University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He has written numerous books on the human brain.

how to enter the competition

LEARN HOW TO PLAY THE PIANO

Pianist and international bestselling writer James Rhodes, promises that How to Play the Piano gives anyone with two hands, a piano or an electric keyboard and just 45 minutes a day the tools they need to learn to play Bach's Prelude No. 1 in C Major in 6 weeks, even if they know nothing about music or playing the piano. Sound like a challenge you’d love to take up? Along with Waterstones, James is offering one person the chance to get an early copy of the book, along with a Casio CTK-6200 Full Size Piano Style Keyboard, complete with a stand, sustain pedal and stool. You’ll have everything you need to learn a wonderful new skill. Keep us and James up to date on how you’re doing through Facebook or Twitter – we’d love to know! Here’s James himself to tell you more: > To enter, just tweet @quercusbook or post on facebook.com/quercusbooks why you’d love to learn the piano using the hashtag #HowToPlaythePiano. Is it the chance to make good on those school day lessons? Or would you love to learn a new skill? Or would you just like to surprise everyone with your mastery of Bach’s Prelude No.1! Whatever the reason, let us know by 11.59pm on 17th September.

You want it - we've got it

Stocking Fillers

By George, these nifty little books have shot straight to the top of many-a-Christmas-list this year, and are guaranteed to go down well with a mince pie or two. Enid Blyton's books are beloved the world over and The Famous Five have been the perennial favourite of her fans. Now, in this new series of Enid Blyton for Grown-Ups, George, Dick, Anne, Julian and Timmy confront a number of new adult challenges, like finding a decent gluten-free cream tea, surviving an unbearable work strategy away day and navigating the murky waters of parenthood! The Five Go series is available to buy online at Waterstones, Hive, Amazon and from your local indepdendent bookshop. Next on the Chirstmas list we have the book that accompanies the hilarious, massively successful My Dad Wrote A Porno podcast: the ultimate, annotated edition of Belinda Blinked. Rocky Flintstone's now-legendary porno (sorry, erotic novel), became a sensation thanks to the outrageously funny podcast created by his son and two friends, who week on week read (and critiqued) chapters of the book. Adored by legions of fans, My Dad Wrote a Porno has been downloaded over ten million times - and we've made it into a steamy book once again. Available to buy at Waterstones, Amazon and from your local indepdendent bookshop. Up for a challenge in 2017? Why not learn to play the piano? We've got just the book you need - How to Play the Piano by James Rhodes. An accessible and inspiring guide by the pianist and international bestselling writer James Rhodes, who promises that this book gives anyone with two hands, a piano or an electric keyboard and just 45 minutes a day the tools they need to learn to play Bach's Prelude No. 1 in C Major in 6 weeks, even if they know nothing about music and have never even touched a piano before. Available at Waterstones, Hive, Amazon and from your local independent bookshop. Dust off your axes, it's back! The interactive follow up to last year's Christmas sensation Norwegian Wood is available to anyone looking ro get crafty this Christmas. An original gift for all seasons and the perfect fireside companion, The Norwegian Wood Activity Book, with it's bespoke wooden finish, will bring warmth and entertainment to armchair enthusiasts and active woodcutters alike. Available to buy at Waterstones, Hive, Amazon, Wordery and from your local indepdent bookshop. The Most Wondeful Time of the Year is a hilarious and heartwarming Christmas comedy from Joanna Bolouri, the bestselling author of The List. It's perfect for fans of Holly Martin, Kat French and Lindsey Kelk, and will have you laughing all the way to New Year! Available to buy at Waterstones, Hive, Amazon and from your local indepdendent bookshop. What is more irresistible than an adorable puppy looking for a home and a family to love him? NOT MUCH! The Christmas Guest is a touching story of Teddy, the little lost puppy who appears on a family's doorstep covered in snow just before Christmas. Turns out, the family need Teddy as much as he needs them,and they might just have made each others Christmas wishes come true. Available to buy at Waterstones, WHSmith, Amazon and from your local independent bookshop. Christmas just wouldn't be the same without a kitsch novelty knit - now you can make your own with these, fast, easy, no-knit ideas for one-of-a-kind Christmas jumpers. Make Your Own Christmas Jumper by super-crafter and blogger Nicolette Lafonseca is a wonderful gift for that crafty someone. With all styles covered - be it glitzy and glam, twee and tasteless, laugh-out-loud or cute as a button - you're sure to find your perfect Christmas look, not to mention all the sequins, pompoms and twinkly lights your heart could desire. Available to buy from Waterstones, WHSmith, Wordery, Amazon and from your local independent bookshop.