New books

Spencer's List

Lissa Evans

'Bloody funny, bloody moving - bloody buy it!' Meera Syal

Some people live life in the fast lane. Others have stalled and are waiting for assistance on the side of the road, sustained only by the piece of chewing gum they’ve just found in the glove compartment.

Spencer’s ex-lover has died, leaving him a lizard and a list of things to do before the end of the year.

Spencer’s friend Fran shares a house and a mortgage with her brother and his girlfriend, a woman with delicate wrists and a bloated cat.

Fran’s neighbour Iris is slave to the three men in her life: an aging father who likes the phone and two teenage sons who cannot fathom the washing machine.

Maybe it’s not about living life in the fast lane. It’s about learning to live at all.

Spencer’s List is a wonderfully funny tale of life lived on the edge – of reason, of failure and of (just possibly) a brighter future.

Odd One Out

Lissa Evans

'Evans is very funny . . . the Tom Sharpe for the next generation' Sunday Express

Some are born odd, some achieve oddness and some are just in the wrong place at the wrong time…

Netta Lee had always felt like the odd one out growing up. But when, as an adult, she returns to the Midlands to help her family move house, it becomes apparent that perhaps she isn’t the unusual one after all. A brother with a penchant for rubbish collection, a mother who seems to think she’s running the Bolshoi Ballet rather than the local junior dance school and a hoard of questionably competent friends challenge Netta’s ordered world.

Perhaps the life – and the people – she tried so hard to leave behind are not as distant as she thought.

Israel is Real

Rich Cohen

There are many books about Israel, but none like this. From Rich Cohen, the author of the acclaimed Tough Jews, The Avengers, and Sweet and Low, comes a new approach to a story we thought we knew. Breaking through the heated polemics and intractable politics, Israel Is Real is a fresh voice, a tale of people and ideas, of the background of present-day Israel.

Cohen relates Israel's story as that of a place long ago destroyed and transformed into an idea . . . and which, sixty years ago, was retransformed into a place, and therefore into something that can once again be destroyed. From the medieval false prophets, to the nineteenth-century Zionists, and on to present-day figures like Ariel Sharon, Cohen tells the stories of the people obsessed with this fine line between place and idea, creation and destruction. He reclaims from obscurity a multitude of figures marginalised by history, but whose lives are key to any real understanding of Israel.

Bleak Expectations

Mark Evans (and others)

The complete collected series 1-5 of the gloriously daft Victorian Romp, Bleak Expectations.

Gasp at the evil Mr Gently Benevolent, played by Mr Anthony Head! Weep at the trials of our young hero Pip Bin, played by Master Tom Allen! Be moved to joy and sorrow by the remarkable narration of Mr Richard Johnson! Swoon at the fragile beauty of Pip’s poor Mama, played by Miss Celia Imrie! Wonder at the thespian prowess of Mr Geoffrey Whitehead as six different siblings! Follow the remarkable adventures of young Pip Bin as he struggles to rescue himself and his sisters from the schemes of his evil and badly-named guardian Mr Gently Benevolent, and the blood-curdling Hardthrasher family.

Immerse yourself in a timeless epic featuring terrifying schools, even worse prisons, opium dens, disguises, court-cases, shipwrecks, underwater squirrels and swash-buckling long-lost aunts. Revel in the many fine quips, characters and scenarios written by Mr. Mark Evans and produced by Mr. Gareth Edwards, previously renowned for their craftsmanship on the works of Messrs. Mitchell and Webb.

Series 1: Televised as 'The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff' on the BBC. Episodes: A Childhood Cruelly Kippered, An Adolescence Utterly Trashed, A Youth Utterly Crocked, A Young Adult Bitterly Dismantled, A Young Love Mercilessly Dismembered, A Life Sadly Smashed then happily restored A Bit.

Series 2: A Happy Life Cruelly Re-Kippered, A Re-kippered Life Smashed Some More, A Recovery Made Miserable, A Restoration Re-Ruined Only Even Worse, An Already Bed Life Made Worse But Sort of on Purpose, A Happy Life Broken and then Mended A Bit.

Series 3: A Lovely Life Re-Kippered Again Once More, A Now Grim Life Yet More Grimmified, A Sort of Fine Life De-niced Completely, A Horrible Life Un-ruined and then Re-ruined Again, An Evil Life Sort of Explined, Lives Lost, Ruined Wrecked and Redeemed.

Series 4: A Tolerable Life De-Happified, A New-Spoiled Life Smashed Some More, A Wretched Life Made Much Much Sadder, A Painful Life Re-Miserablised, A Now Tricky Life Woefully Miseried Up, A Life Destroyed then Repaired and Re-Happied.

Series 5: A Pleasant Yet Dull Life Re-Evilled, A Re-Excited Life Made Distinctly Dangerous, An Alrightish Life Savagely Frozen to Bits, A Writerly Life Made Dreadfully Different, A Terrifying Life Made Even Scarier a Bit Some More, A Loved-Up Life Potentially Totally Annihilated.

Dick Barton: Special Agent

Edward J. Mason (and others)

Set in an exciting world of criminal masterminds, espionage and adventure, the adventures of special agent Dick Barton and his friends Jock and Snowey were essential listening for an entire generation.

Originally running on the BBC Light Programme between 1946 and 1951, few of the BBC’s original recordings still survive. However, in 1949 a number of early Barton tales were re-recorded for transmission overseas starring Douglas Kelly. This collection contains 12 of the most recognisable dramas, as well as live performances, a profile of the character and interviews with the stars.

Episodes include; The Affair of the Black Panther, The Cabotolin Diamonds, The Case of Conrad Ruda, The Firefly Adventure, The Lily Chang Adventure, The Paris Adventure, The Tibetan Adventure, The Vulture and The Smash and Grab Raiders.

The collection also includes;

Dick Barton Special Agent; The first episode broadcast in 1972, read by Noël Johnson,
Dick Barton Live; A 2013, one-off show from Leicester’s Y Theatre using period equipment and scripts from 1951. The resulting adventure stars Tim Bentinck as Dick with Terry Molloy as his faithful companion Snowy White.
Dick Barton Still a Special Agent; A profile of radio’s greatest hero, presented by John Hosken.

The Vanquished

Robert Gerwarth

'A breathtaking, magisterial panorama, telling the epic story of post-war anarchy, dying empires and rising nation states. It makes us rethink our understanding of Europe's twentieth century' David Motadel, The Times Literary Supplement

For the Western allies 11 November 1918 has always been a solemn date - the end of fighting which had destroyed a generation, and also a vindication of a terrible sacrifice with the total collapse of their principal enemies: the German Empire, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. But for much of the rest of Europe this was a day with no meaning, as a continuing, nightmarish series of conflicts engulfed country after country. In this highly original, gripping book Robert Gerwarth asks us to think again about the true legacy of the First World War.

'Lucid, incisive and packed with fascinating details' Financial Times, Books of the Year

'Important and timely ... obliges us to reconsider a period and a battlefront that has too often been neglected' Margaret MacMillan, The New York Times Review of Books

'This narrative of continent-wide chaos performs a valuable service by chronicling the postwar turmoil of Europe ... helps us understand why few wars reach tidy conclusions' Max Hastings, Sunday Times

'Reminds us, in vivid and often shocking detail, that only some countries saw killing end on the 11th day of the 11th month ... leaves a sense of foreboding for our own time' Robert Tombs, The Times

Reach

Andy Molinsky

"Along with books like Grit, Mindset, Originals, and Peak, Reach takes its place on my shelf of favorite books about living more fully and effectively. I was stunned by how original and helpful it is."
-Doug Stone, New York Times Best Selling Co-Author of Difficult Conversations and Thanks for the Feedback

"Molinsky delivers an informative take on the subject of behavioral change. Readers will be inspired by his bumper crop of well-chosen stories about people overcoming their fear and reaching beyond the familiar. People interested in pursuing new ventures will find Molinsky's advice invaluable."
-Publishers Weekly

"We all have trouble reaching beyond our comfort zone, but this book shows you how. So many of our disappointments spring from our own unwillingness to stretch beyond what we feel comfortable doing. Reach will take you to the next level, where you really want to be."
-Jonah Berger, PhD, New York Times bestselling author of Contagious and Invisible Influence

"Molinsky's understanding of the power of purpose is spot-on, and his writing style is truly a joy to read. Here is a book that will get you unstuck, help you grow, and ultimately take you to another level. A true standout!"
-Olivia Fox Cabane, author of The Charisma Myth

"When we need the strength to tackle a stressful situation that takes us beyond our comfort zone, most of the advice we get boils down to bumper stickers like 'Feel the fear and do it anyway.' Fortunately, Andy Molinsky has brought fresh insights from social science to bear on this problem. Reach provides a practical approach to pushing the boundaries while remaining true to our authentic selves."
-Matthew Kohut, co-author of Compelling People

"We're often encouraged to step outside our comfort zones, but rarely know where to begin. This book shows us the way. Andy Molinsky is an expert on navigating the challenges of unfamiliar situations, and you can put his advice into action right away."
-Adam Grant, PhD, New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take

"If you want to rise to the next level in whatever you do, you must read this book. Andy Molinsky gives truly invaluable advice for getting unstuck and out of your comfort zone so that you can reach for the stars. Essential reading!"
-Tom Doctoroff, CEO of J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, Bestselling Author of What Chinese Want, Billions and Twitter is Not a Strategy

"Reach is an exciting contribution to the discussion of why and how to get out of our comfort zones. Molinsky is a great storyteller, has done terrific research, and perhaps most importantly, is an academic who writes/speaks like a real person, making his wisdom accessible and actionable. This smart and compassionate book will guide you to to reach beyond the safety of your own status quo, enabling you to discover and create new possibilities for you in your work and life."
-Cathy Salit, CEO, Performance of a Lifetime and Author of Performance Breakthrough: A Radical Approach to Success at Work

"In this insightful and highly practical book, Andy Molinsky draws on a wealth of research to identify what stops people from stepping outside their comfort zone and the key practices through which they can overcome those obstacles. Packed with compelling examples and presenting a powerful set of tools to help diagnose and tackle the challenges, Reach is an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to move past the self-limiting thoughts and feelings that get in the way of achieving important goals."
-Sally Maitlis, Professor of Organizational Behaviour & Leadership, Said Business School, Oxford University, and Executive Coach

Mysteries of the Quantum Universe

Thibault Damour (and others)

The bestselling French graphic novel about the mind-bending world of quantum physics

Famous explorer Bob and his dog Rick have been around the world and even to the Moon, but their travels through the quantum universe show them the greatest wonders they've ever seen. As they follow their tour guide, the giddy letter h (also known as the Planck constant), Bob and Rick have crepes with Max Planck, talk to Einstein about atoms, visit Louis de Broglie in his castle, and hang out with Heisenberg on Heligoland.

On the way, we find out that a dog - much like a cat - can be both dead and alive, the gaze of a mouse can change the universe, and a comic book can actually make quantum physics fun, easy to understand and downright enchanting.

Gifts for dads

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Coming soon

Hey Duggee: Book of Badges

Hey Duggee

Would you like to earn your Squirrel Club badges? Duggee's Book of Badges is packed full of them! Just follow Duggee's instructions, play and have fun. Inside, you'll find lots of brilliant things to do, colourful badge stickers and a special reward chart with a poster on the back. A-woof!

The House of Fiction

Phyllis Richardson

Houses in literature have captured readers’ imaginations for centuries, from Gothic castles to Georgian stately homes, Bloomsbury townhouses and high-rise penthouses. Step on to a tour of real and imagined houses that great English writers have used to reflect the themes of their novels… houses that became like characters themselves, embodiments of the social and historical currents of their time.

Phyllis Richardson takes us on a journey through history to discover how authors’ personal experiences in their homes helped to shape the imaginative dwellings that have become icons of English literature:
Virginia Woolf’s love of Talland House in Cornwall is palpable in To the Lighthouse, just as London’s Bloomsbury is ever-present in Mrs Dalloway. E.M. Forster’s childhood home at Rook’s Nest mirrors the idyllic charm of Howards End. Evelyn Waugh plotted Charles Ryder’s return to Brideshead while a guest at Madresfield. Jane Austen was no stranger to a manor house or a good ballroom. And Horace Walpole’s ‘little Gothic castle’ in Twickenham inspired him to write the first English Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto.

But the English country house, from the idyllic to the unloved, is also viewed through a modern lens – Kazuo Ishiguro’s Darlington Hall, Ian McEwan’s Tallis House, Alan Hollinghurts’s Two Acres.

Using historic sources, authors’ biographies, letters, news accounts, and the novels themselves, The House of Fiction presents some of the most influential houses in Britain through the stories they inspired, while offering candid glimpses of the writers who brought them to life.

El Infierno: Drugs, Gangs, Riots and Murder

Pieter Tritton

“Gato’s head snapped back… We could make out the shots of several 9mms, a couple of 38s and one or two 45s. I hurled myself through the doorway and into the room. I didn’t look back.”

Caught in an Ecuador hotel room with 8kg of cocaine, Pieter Tritton was no mule or dupe. He had planned and organised everything. The consequence: a 12-year sentence inside one of the world’s deadliest prison systems, where gun fights, executions and riots are a part of everyday life. As a Brit banged up abroad, Pieter had to learn how to survive – and fast – because one wrong move would mean death.

This is the insider account of what it’s like to live in a place worse than hell and come out a changed man on the other side.

I Too Had a Love Story

Ravinder Singh

Not all love stories are meant to have a happy ending . . .

I TOO HAD A LOVE STORY is the tender and heartfelt tale of Ravin and Khushi - two people who found each other on a dating website and fell in love . . . until life put their love to the ultimate test.

Do love stories ever die? How would you react if a beautiful person came into your life, and then leaves it, forever?

Romantic, emotional and sincere, this heartbreaking true story has already touched a million hearts. This is a must-read for anyone who believes in the magic of love.

Live Lagom: Balanced Living, The Swedish Way

Anna Brones

Lagom has been described by Elle as ‘the more sustainable and enjoyable lifestyle we’ll all be wanting in 2017’.

Live Lagom is a practical lifestyle guide based on the Swedish philosophy of Lagom. Meaning "just the right amount", the concept can be applied to every aspect of your life and promotes balance.

At a time when we are all concerned with saving money, feeling less stressed, acting more consciously towards our environment as well as creating our ideal homes and careers, Lagom offers an insight into how one of the happiest and most satisfied countries and cultures achieves this balance in day to day life.

With chapters covering Home, Work and Health, the practice of Lagom is explained in traditional and practical terms, and includes advice and tips on how to find your happy medium.

This is the book to make you enjoy the moment, and not only accept what you already have but also to make the most of it.

Leviathan

Thomas Hobbes (and others)

This new Penguin Classics edition of one of the great masterpieces of seventeenth-century English prose is based on a thoroughly corrected text and includes a major new introduction.

Thomas Hobbes lived through the Thirty Years War and Britain's civil wars, and the trauma of these events led to his great masterpiece of political thought, Leviathan. How could humankind rescue itself from life in the natural state, which was 'poor, nasty, brutish and short'? What form of politics would provide the security that he and his contemporaries craved?

Vilified and scorned from the moment it was published, Leviathan was publicly burnt for sedition, but ever since it has exercised a unique fascination on its readers, both for its ideas and its remarkable prose. Its concepts helped to drag Europe into a new world - one in which we still live today.

Jenny Sparrow Knows the Future

Melissa Pimentel

Everything is going to plan - until she marries the wrong man . . .

'Perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella . . . the feel-good book of the summer' Cathy Kelly, Number One bestselling author

Jenny Sparrow can tell you her future:

1. Meet soulmate at 25
2. Move in with him
3. Marry him this year . . .


According to the plan Jenny made at thirteen, it's time for her to get married. But when her boyfriend proposes a break instead of a wedding, a girls' weekend in Vegas is the only solution . . . until she wakes up in a stranger's bed, and discovers that this is the year she gets married - to the wrong man.

Jenny wants a quick divorce and her old boyfriend back.

But what if her accidental husband has other ideas?

Operation Ouch!: The HuManual

Ben Elcomb (and others)

Take a tour of one of the most complex, diverse and downright unusual places on the entire planet - the human body! Find out all about what makes YOU tick, from the wonders of the human brain to the tingling in your ticklish toes. From crazy bodily functions to bizarre real-life medical cases, this is the ultimate guide to getting to know yourself, inside and out!

Operation Ouch! is a BAFTA-winning CBBC series, from the makers of Embarrassing Bodies and 10 Years Younger. It's presented by real-life doctors (and twin brothers) Chris and Xand van Tulleken.