The Paris Winter
Maud Heighton came to Lafond’s famous Academy to paint, and to flee the constraints of her small English town. It took all her courage to escape, but Paris eats money. While her fellow students enjoy the dazzling joys of the Belle Epoque, Maud slips into poverty.
Quietly starving, and dreading another cold Paris winter, Maud takes a job as companion to young, beautiful Sylvie Morel. But Sylvie has a secret: an addiction to opium. As Maud is drawn into the Morels’ world of elegant luxury, their secrets become hers. Before the New Year arrives, a greater deception will plunge her into the darkness that waits beneath this glittering city of light.
This is a wonderful book to read tucked up in the warmth of your home – preferably with hot chocolate and biscuits to hand!
- Aged thirteen, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to the thing that most reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld.
As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love – and his talisman, the painting, places him at the centre of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle. The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling power.
Combining unforgettably vivid characters and thrilling suspense, it is a beautiful, addictive triumph – a sweeping story of loss and obsession, of survival and self-invention, of the deepest mysteries of love, identity and fate.
It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk.
Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky. The Luminaries is an extraordinary piece of fiction. It is full of narrative, linguistic and psychological pleasures, and has a fiendishly clever and original structuring device.
The 2013 Booker Prize Winner is a thrilling achievement and will confirm for critics and readers that Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international writing firmament.
Dolly: A Ghost Story
Just in time for Halloween! From the greatest living writer of ghost stories, here is a perfect chiller: a story of two damaged children filled with unease, the supernatural and horror. The remoter parts of the English Fens are forlorn, lost and damp even in the height of summer. At Iyot Lock, a large decaying house, two young cousins, Leonora and Edward, are parked for the summer with their ageing spinster aunt and her cruel housekeeper.
At first the unpleasantness and petty meannesses appear simply spiteful, calculated to destroy Edward’s equanimity. But when spoilt Leonora is not given the birthday present of a specific dolly that she wants, affairs inexorably take a much darker turn with terrifying, life-destroying consequences for everyone.
1969. A veteran secret agent. A single mission. A licence to kill. James Bond returns.
William Boyd was asked by the Fleming Estate to write a new Bond book and this is it. Boyd promises all the fast-paced thrills and action of the originals with the self-advertised improvements of much better plotting and of course superior writing. We will see what the fans think ….Perhaps if it is as thrilling as the originals we will see it in the medium where Bond really excels – as a film with Daniel Craig in the near future. Meanwhile, perhaps an ideal gift for boys of almost all ages!
The Story of the Jews
Finding The Words: 1000BCE – 1492
It is a story like no other: an epic of endurance against destruction, of creativity in oppression, joy amidst grief, the affirmation of life against the steepest of odds. It spans the millennia and the continents – from India to Andalusia and from the bazaars of Cairo to the streets of Oxford. It takes you to unimagined places: to a Jewish kingdom in the mountains of southern Arabia; a Syrian synagogue glowing with radiant wall paintings; the palm groves of the Jewish dead in the Roman catacombs.
And its voices ring loud and clear, from the severities and ecstasies of the Bible writers to the love poems of wine bibbers in a garden in Muslim Spain. Within these pages, the Talmud burns in the streets of Paris, massed gibbets hang over the streets of medieval London, a Majorcan illuminator redraws the world; candles are lit, chants are sung, mules are packed, ships loaded with spice and gems founder at sea. And a great story unfolds.
Not – as often imagined – of a culture apart, but of a Jewish world immersed in and imprinted by the peoples among whom they have dwelled, from the Egyptians to the Greeks, from the Arabs to the Christians. Which makes the story of the Jews everyone’s story, too.
Numberland: The World in Numbers
The world is full of fascinating facts and statistics, but presented without context and in no particular order they can be overwhelming. Numberland: The World in Numbers interprets the world around us through numbers, breaking the most amazing and revealing of facts down to their bare bones. For example, did you know that the average eyelash lasts five months? That 400 quarter-pound hamburgers can be made out of one cow? Or that the average human will grow 590 miles of hair in their lifetime? Ordered in easily digestible sections such as ‘Around the World’, ‘the USA’, ‘Money’, ‘Religion’ and ‘History’, the book navigates an ordered path through a noisy world of information overload.
Have you ever seen something that wasn’t really there? Heard someone call your name in an empty house? Sensed someone following you and turned around to find nothing? Hallucinations don’t belong wholly to the insane. Much more commonly, they are linked to sensory deprivation, intoxication, illness, or injury. In some conditions, hallucinations can lead to religious epiphanies or even the feeling of leaving one’s own body. Humans have always sought such life-changing visions, and for thousands of years have used hallucinogenic compounds to achieve them. In this book, with his usual elegance, curiosity, and compassion, Dr Sacks weaves together stories of his patients and of his own mind-altering experiences to illuminate what hallucinations tell us about the organization and structure of our brains, how they have influenced every culture’s folklore and art, and why the potential for hallucination is present in us all, a vital part of the human conditio
Catastrophe: Europe Goes To War 1914
From the best-selling author of All Hell Let Loose comes a magisterial chronicle of the calamity that befell Europe in 1914 as the continent shifted from the glamour of the Edwardian era to the tragedy of total war. In 1914, Europe plunged into the 20th century’s first terrible act of self-immolation- what was then called The Great War. On the eve of its centenary, Max Hastings seeks to explain both how the conflict came about and what befell millions of men and women during the first months of strife.
He finds the evidence overwhelming, that Austria and Germany must accept principal blame for the outbreak. While what followed was a vast tragedy, he argues passionately against the ‘poets’ view’, that the war was not worth winning. It was vital to the freedom of Europe, he says, that the Kaiser’s Germany should be defeated.
His narrative of the early battles will astonish those whose images of the war are simply of mud, wire, trenches and steel helmets. Hastings describes how the French Army marched into action amid virgin rural landscapes, in uniforms of red and blue, led by mounted officers, with flags flying and bands playing. The bloodiest day of the entire Western war fell on 22 August 1914, when the French lost 27,000 dead. Four days later, at Le Cateau the British fought an extraordinary action against the oncoming Germans, one of the last of its kind in history. In October, at terrible cost they held the allied line against massive German assaults in the first battle of Ypres.
The author also describes the brutal struggles in Serbia, East Prussia and Galicia, where by Christmas the Germans, Austrians, Russians and Serbs had inflicted on each other three million casualties.
Norwegian by Night
Derek B. Miller
Perfect for Scandi crime fans! He will not admit it to Rhea and Lars – never, of course not – but Sheldon can’t help but wonder what it is he’s doing here…Eighty-two years old, and recently widowed, Sheldon Horowitz has grudgingly moved to Oslo, with his grand-daughter and her Norwegian husband. An ex-Marine, he talks often to the ghosts of his past – the friends he lost in the Pacific and the son who followed him into the US Army, and to his death in Vietnam. When Sheldon witnesses the murder of a woman in his apartment complex, he rescues her six-year-old son and decides to run. Pursued by both the Balkan gang responsible for the murder, and the Norwegian police, he has to rely on training from over half a century before to try and keep the boy safe. Against a strange and foreign landscape, this unlikely couple, who can’t speak the same language, start to form a bond that may just save them both. An extraordinary debut, featuring a memorable hero, Norwegian by Night is the last adventure of a man still trying to come to terms with the tragedies of his life. Compelling and sophisticated, it is both a chase through the woods thriller and an emotionally haunting novel about ageing and regret
1952. Twelve years have passed since Churchill lost to the appeasers and Britain surrendered to Nazi Germany after Dunkirk. As the long German war against Russia rages on in the east, the British people find themselves under dark authoritarian rule: the press, radio and television are controlled; the streets patrolled by violent auxiliary police and British Jews face ever greater constraints. There are terrible rumours too about what is happening in the basement of the German Embassy at Senate House. Defiance, though, is growing. In Britain, Winston Churchill’s Resistance organization is increasingly a thorn in the government’s side. And in a Birmingham mental hospital an incarcerated scientist, Frank Muncaster, may hold a secret that could change the balance of the world struggle for ever. Civil Servant David Fitzgerald, secretly acting as a spy for the Resistance, is given the mission by them to rescue his old friend Frank and get him out of the country. Before long he, together with a disparate group of Resistance activists, will find themselves fugitives in the midst of London’s Great Smog; as David’s wife Sarah finds herself drawn into a world more terrifying than she ever could have imagined.
A hilarious book about getting a little older by the very sharply observant and witty Times columnist. Clara Hutt is forty-six years old, and in pretty good nick, considering. She has kick-ass underwear, a large and loving family, and a healthy sense of what matters in life. Until Gaby moves in. Gaby’s an old school friend of Clara’s who has just returned from LA. She may be a yoga mogul who lives off kale, and speaks a made-up fantasy novel language, but Gaby’s no stranger to cosmetic surgery: she’s almost fifty, but looks thirty-six at most. What with Gaby, and Clara’s son’s leggy girlfriend, Sky, wafting around the house in her stripy pants, Clara starts to wonder if a little Botox, a little filler, a nip and a tuck, would be so very wrong. Should she ignore the fear? Or is there another way to grow old gracefully – and how far is she prepared to go to find out?
Salvation of A Saint
When a man is discovered dead by poisoning in his empty home his beautiful wife, Ayane, immediately falls under suspicion. All clues point to Ayane being the logical suspect, but how could she have committed the crime when she was hundreds of miles away? As Tokyo police detective Kusanagi tries to unpick a seemingly unrelated sequence of events he finds himself falling for Ayane. When his judgement becomes dangerously clouded his assistant must call on an old friend for help; it will take a genius to unravel the most spectacular web of deceit they have ever faced…
A great read with a brilliant plot!
This is the fourth book in the Rivers of London series and like the predecessors it’s brilliant! This is a rich and satisfying stew of London lore, magic, fantasy and proper police procedural that works on many, many levels. The central character Peter Grant is a young black copper who accidentally discovers the magic and wizardry dept of the Met and finds he has a talent for sorcery and crime fighting. The London legend is fascinating, the plotting is great and the dialogue is sharp and funny. I hope I have persuaded you to try the first one: Rivers of London – you won’t regret it!
If you are a fan of Ben Aaronovitch’s London series (new one out July 27th!) I think you may like this too. The cover says:MI5 for Wizards – which is all you need to know really.
‘The body you are wearing used to be mine.’ So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her. She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Checquy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare and deadly supernatural ability of her own.
A Private Business
We love Barabara Nadel for her brilliant Inspector Ikmen series set in Istanbul but now she has started a new series set in London and featuring a great new pair of characters. It is 2012 and Stratford in the East End is at the centre of the world. But next to the Olympic Park are some of the poorest and most crime-ridden streets in the city. PI Lee Arnold and his assistant, Mumtaz Hakim, run a detective agency in a community fraught with conflict and tension. Approached by a frightened woman, they start to investigate her stalker. But soon their enquiries turn in a far more sinister direction. Great stuff and the first of many, we hope.
102 Things to Do in the Summer
Summer is here – hurray! School’s out and the kids are bored already – whatever are you going to do with them? 102 suggestions for fun activities for the whole family would help a lot. And here it is – with his trademark wit and charm, Quick takes the reader through a range of summery activities, ranging from a simple sand sculpture, to a more challenging tree house. Other activities and ideas include: punting, BBQ tips and techniques, making wine, creating a butterfly garden, and observing the Will o’ the Wisp. From your own garden, to the beach and out into the wilds of the countryside, there is lots to do to amaze and entertain the children – and yourselves!
Rice’s Church Primer
The countryside, towns and cities of Britain are full of churches. They represent some of the most iconic, beautiful and occasionally bizarre buildings in the country. They have a lot to say about our history, our art and our ideas. But how do you read them? Through charming illustrations, Rice’s Church Primer reveals the basic grammar and vocabulary of church architecture throughout the United Kingdom. The primer begins with an explanation of the basic ‘Grammar’ of churches: elevation, plan, fronts, vaults and towers. This allows the reader to easily understand what follows. Next comes the ‘Vocabulary’ of styles in chronological order, from ancient Saxon churches to modern cathedrals. Each period covers component parts like doors, windows, towers, pews, panelling and pulpits. Finally, there is a map pinpointing some of the best churches around the country, so you can practise your newfound fluency in real life. Suddenly you’ll understand why naves are necessary, why towers are built as tall as possible and why sometimes even the most respectable church needs a good flying buttress. A perfect guide for the holiday in the UK whether you are a visitor or a native.
£20 rrp £15.00 Summer Special!
This is a collection of mouth-watering recipes inspired by Anissa’s family and childhood in Beirut and Syria, and her travels around the exciting regions of the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.
‘This treasure trove of a book is all you need, really, to cook the food of the Levant. It is as comprehensive and conclusive as it gets, but it also tells charming personal stories and masterfully takes you on a journey to all those enchanted lands.’ so says Yotam Ottolenghi. And if it’s good enough for him…… and it’s on special price with us this summer!
At last – the latest book from the award winning Icelandic author and once again there is murder in Reykjavik… Detective Sigurdur Oli is in trouble. After a school reunion exposes the chasm between his life and those of his much more successful contemporaries, leaving him bitter and resentful, one of his old friends asks him to pay an unofficial visit to a couple of blackmailers. He readily agrees, only to arrive to find one of the pair lying in a pool of blood.
When the victim dies in hospital, Oli is faced with investigating a murder without revealing his own reasons for being present at the murder scene. Moving from the villas of Reykjavik’s banking elite to a sordid basement flat, this is a gripping story of greed, pride and murder from one of Europe’s most interesting crime writers.
“NW” is Zadie Smith’s latest novel about London life. A sharp mix of comedy and tragedy : a story that follows four Londoners – Leah, Natalie, Felix and Nathan – after they’ve left their childhood council estate, grown up and moved on to very different lives. From private houses to public parks, at work and at play, their city is brutal, beautiful and complicated. Yet after a chance encounter they each find that the choices they’ve made, the people they once were and are now, the lives they have built that seem so solid can suddenly, rapidly unravel. As a portrait of modern urban life, this is funny, sad and urgent – as brimming with vitality as the city itself.
The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul
In a little coffee shop in one of the most dangerous places on earth, five very different women come together. Sunny, the proud proprietor, who needs an ingenious plan – and fast – to keep her cafe and customers safe. Yazmina, a young pregnant woman stolen from her remote village and now abandoned on Kabul’s violent streets.
Candace, a wealthy American who has finally left her husband for her Afghan lover, the enigmatic Wakil. Isabel a determined journalist with a secret that might keep her from the biggest story of her life. And Halajan, the sixty-year-old den mother, whose long-hidden love affair breaks all the rules.
As these five women discover there’s more to one another than meets the eye, they form a unique bond that will for ever change their lives and the lives of many others. This is the heart-warming and life-affirming fiction debut from the author of the bestselling memoir The Kabul Beauty School.
The Very Embarrassing Book of Dad Jokes: Because Your Dad Thinks He’s Hilarious
Proving the age-old maxim that ‘it’s in the way that you tell them’, Dads – for the best part of forever – have always been renowned for being truly god-awful joke tellers. Whether it’s telling them at the wrong moment, misremembering the punchline or it just simply being one of those jokes that were terrible to begin with, that’s the Dads! This is full to the brim with jokes that only your dear old Dad would dare say – jokes that will make you groan, sigh …and then probably make you groan again.
If you liked High Fidelity then you will love this lovingly painted pop-culture epic. As summer in Oakland, California, draws to a close, Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe are hanging in there, co-regents of Brokeland Records. When former star quarterback Gibson Goode announces plans to dump his latest Dogpile music megastore on Telegraph Avenue, Nat and Archy fear the worst for their vulnerable little enterprise, as behind Goode’s proposal lurks a nefarious scheme. And while they struggle to mount a desperate defence, their personal lives take an explosive turn….
Made by Dad : 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff
Made by Dad” is chock full of 67 extraordinary, custom-designed how-to projects for DIY parents everywhere. The projects range from full-length, artfully illustrated creations to smaller, MacGyver-like challenges that can be whipped out at the coffee shop, plus “DIY Dad” tips sprinkled throughout and illustration templates to boost your project’s artistic appeal. All chapters, categorized by theme – Dangerous Decor, Gross Gadgets, Covert Creations, Crafty Disasters, Home Hacks, and more – include step-by-step project illustrations, complete with visual “status checks” (to help you keep up), and clever, playful games to incorporate the finished project. Brilliant fun!!!
Britain’s Best Real Heritage Pubs
A full-colour guide to over 260 pubs throughout the UK which have interiors of real historic significance – some of them stretching back a century or more. It is the first time ever that these pubs have been collected into a single volume. Illustrated with high quality photography, the guides extensive listings are the product of years of surveying and research by CAMRA volunteers dedicated to preserving and protecting our rich pub heritage.
Le Tour 100: The Definitive Guide to the Tour De France
Peter Cossins £25.00
Le tour 100 is a unique and stunning visual reference to the world’s greatest race. With 100 computer-generated artworks detailing the routes of the greatest stages, it relates the most dramatic moments with an exhaustively researched array of facts, figures and stories to give the reader the ultimate Tour de France book. Published to celebrate the 100th race, the 100 seminal moments of the Tour have been chosen by the panel of authors and each has been given its double-page spread showing the route, the story of the stages, the topography, pictures from the race, statistics and features. A complete gazetteer section details every route the tour took and the winners of all the jerseys, while a front section profiles the key characters that were instrumental in the Tour’s story. With a combination of stunning visuals, detailed facts and gripping stories, this is is a real celebration of the Tour and 110 years of racing.
Under The Radar
£14.99 rrp – £9.99 til Father’s Day!
Such a great gift for Dads we’ve made it a special offer!
1961. A squadron of Vulcan aircraft, Britain’s most lethal nuclear bomber, flies towards the east coast of the United States. Highly manoeuvrable, they are also equipped with electronic warfare devices that jam American radar systems. Evading the fighters scrambled to intercept them, the British aircraft target Washington and New York, reducing them to smoking ruins. They would have done, at least, if this were not an exercise. This extraordinary raid (which actually took place) opens James Hamilton-Paterson’s remarkable novel about the lives of British pilots at the height of the Cold War, when aircrew had to be on call 24 hours a day to fly their nuclear-armed V-bombers to the Western USSR and devastate the lives of millions. A thrilling novel that surely conveys the beauty and danger of flying better than any other in recent English literature.
John Le Carre
£18.99rrp- £12.00 til Father’s Day !
Such a great gift for Dads we’ve made it a special offer!
Le Carre’s latest book is a furiously paced story of moral dilemma, bold action and unexpected love. Gibraltar, 2008. A counter-terror operation, codenamed Wildlife, is being mounted in Britain’s most precious colony. Its purpose: to capture and abduct a high-value jihadist arms-buyer. Its authors: an ambitious Foreign Office Minister, and a private defence contractor who is also his close friend. So delicate is the operation that even the Minister’s private secretary, Toby Bell, is not cleared for it. Cornwall, UK, 2011. A disgraced Special Forces soldier delivers a message from the dead. Was Operation Wildlife the success it was cracked up to be – or a human tragedy that was ruthlessly covered up? Summoned by Sir Christopher Probyn, retired British diplomat, to his decaying Cornish manor house, and closely observed by Probyn’s beautiful daughter, Emily, Toby must choose between his conscience and duty to his Service.
A Possible Life
Hardback Fiction £18.99
Terrified, a young prisoner in the Second World War closes his eyes and pictures himself going out to bat on a sunlit cricket ground in Hampshire. Across the courtyard in a Victorian workhouse, a father too ashamed to acknowledge his son. A skinny girl steps out of a Chevy with a guitar; her voice sends shivers through the skull.
Soldiers and lovers, parents and children, scientists and musicians risk their bodies and hearts in search of connection – some key to understanding what makes us the people we become. Provocative and profound, this dazzling novel journeys across continents and time to explore the chaos created by love, separation and missed opportunities. From the pain and drama of these highly particular lives emerges a mysterious consolation: the chance to feel your heart beat in someone else’s life.
The Invisible Ones
Paperback Fiction £7.99
Rose Janko is missing. It has been seven years since she disappeared, and nobody said a word. Now, following the death of his wife, her father Leon feels compelled to find her.
Rumour had it she ran off when her baby boy was born with the family’s genetic disorder. Leon is not so sure. He wants to know the truth and he hires a private investigator to discover it – Ray Lovell.
Ray starts to delve deeper, but his investigation is hampered by the very people who ought to be helping him – the Jankos. He cannot understand their reluctance to help. Why don’t they want to find Rose Janko?
Recipes from My Mother to My Daughter
Hardback Non-Fiction £20.00
When Lisa Faulkner won Celebrity MasterChef it was the culmination of an emotional journey that began with her mother’s death from cancer when Lisa was 16. Lisa’s clearest memories of her mum are of her cooking delicious meals for the family, and in recreating her recipes in this book Lisa is not just keeping her mother’s memory alive – she is also able to pass on to her own daughter, Billie, the love of cookery she inherited from her mum. With evocative photographs and easy-to-follow recipes, you too can tempt family and friends with fabulous home cooking all year round.
With anecdotal snippets from Lisa’s life as well as invaluable personal tips, the recipes include dishes suitable for entertaining – My MasterChef Fish Stew, Pan Fried Scallops with Pea and Mint, Lemon Mascarpone Tart and Pistachio Biscottii – alongside failsafe family fare: The Best Fish Pie, The Perfect Roast, Nanna’s Bread and Mummy’s Christmas Cake.
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
Paperback Non-Fiction £ 8.99
In 1985 Jeanette Winterson’s first novel, “Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit”, was published. It was Jeanette’s version of the story of a terraced house in Accrington, an adopted child, and the thwarted giantess Mrs Winterson. It was a cover story, a painful past written over and repainted.
It was a story of survival. This book is that story’s the silent twin. It is full of hurt and humour and a fierce love of life.
It is about the pursuit of happiness, about lessons in love, the search for a mother and a journey into madness and out again. It is generous, honest and true.
This is the latest in McDermid’s groundbreaking series featuring psychological profiler Tony Hill.
‘ There is one serial killer who has shaped and defined police profiler Tony Hill’s life. One serial killer whose evil surpasses all others. One serial killer who has the power to chill him to the bone: Jacko Vance. And now Jacko is back in Tony’s life. Even more twisted and cunning than ever before, he is focused on wreaking revenge on Tony – and DCI Carol Jordan – for the years he has spent in prison. Tony doesn’t know when Jacko will strike, or where. All he knows is that Jacko will cause him to feel fear like he has never known before – and devastate his life in ways he cannot imagine…’