New books

Works and Days

Hesiod (and others)

A new verse translation of one of the foundational ancient Greek works by the award-winning poet Alicia Stallings.

The ancient Greeks revered Hesiod, believing he had beaten Homer in a singing contest and that after his dead body was thrown to sea, it was brought back by dolphins. His Works and Days is one of the most important early works of Greek poetry. Ostensibly written by the poet to chide his lazy brother, it recounts the story of Pandora's box and humanity's decline since the Golden Age, and can be read as a celebration of rural life and a hymn to work.

Turner

Franny Moyle

The man behind the paintings: the extraordinary life of J. M. W Turner, one of Britain's most admired, misunderstood and celebrated artists

J. M. W. Turner is Britain's most famous landscape painter. Yet beyond his artistic achievements, little is known of the man himself and the events of his life: the tragic committal of his mother to a lunatic asylum, the personal sacrifices he made to effect his stratospheric rise, and the bizarre double life he chose to lead in the last years of his life.

A near mythical figure in his own lifetime, Franny Moyle tells the story of the man who was considered visionary at best and ludicrous at worst. A resolute adventurer, he found new ways of revealing Britain to the British, astounding his audience with his invention and intelligence. Set against the backdrop of the finest homes in Britain, the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution, this is an astonishing portrait of one of the most important figures in Western art and a vivid evocation of Britain and Europe in flux.

Chronicles

Thomas Piketty

The return of the best-selling, award-winning economist extraordinaire

With the same powerful evidence, and range of reference, as his global bestseller Capital in the Twenty-First Century - and in columns of 700 words, rather than 700 pages - Chronicles sets out Thomas Piketty's analysis of the financial crisis, what has happened since and where we should go from here.

Tackling a wider range of subjects than in Capital, from productivity in Britain to Barack Obama, it comprises the very best of his writing for Liberation from the past ten years. Now, translated into English for the first time, it will further cement Piketty's reputation as the world's leading thinker today.

Leaders Eat Last

Simon Sinek

The New York Times bestseller by the acclaimed, bestselling author of Start With Why and Together is Better. Now with a new chapter on millennials in the workplace, based on Simon Sinek's viral video 'The Millennial Question' (180+ million views).

Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work. This is not a crazy, idealised notion. In many successful organisations, great leaders are creating environments in which teams trust each other so deeply that they would put their lives on the line for each other.

Yet other teams, no matter what incentives were offered, are doomed to infighting, fragmentation and failure. Why?

Today's workplaces tend to be full of cynicism, paranoia and self-interest. But the best organisations foster trust and cooperation because their leaders build what Sinek calls a Circle of Safety. It separates the security inside the team from the challenges outside. Everyone feels they belong and all energies are devoted to facing the common enemy and seizing big opportunities.

As in Start with Why, Sinek illustrates his ideas with fascinating true stories, from the military to manufacturing, from government to investment banking. He shows that leaders who are willing to eat last are rewarded with deeply loyal colleagues who will stop at nothing to advance their vision. It's amazing how well it works.

The House of the Dead

Daniel Beer

SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOLFSON HISTORY PRIZE, THE PUSHKIN HOUSE RUSSIAN BOOK PRIZE AND THE LONGMAN HISTORY TODAY PRIZE 2017
THE TIMES, BBC HISTORY and TLS BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2016

'Masterful, gripping ... filled with astonishing, vivid and heartbreaking stories of crime and punishment, of redemption, love and terrifying violence. It has an amazing cast of despots, murderers, whores and heroes. It's a wonderful read' Simon Sebag Montefiore

It was known as 'the vast prison without a roof'. From the beginning of the nineteenth century to the Russian Revolution, the tsarist regime exiled more than one million prisoners and their families beyond the Ural Mountains to Siberia.

The House of the Dead, brings to life both the brutal realities of an inhuman system and the tragic and inspiring fates of those who endured it. This is the vividly told history of common criminals and political radicals, the victims of serfdom and village politics, the wives and children who followed husbands and fathers, and of fugitives and bounty-hunters.

The tsars looked on Siberia as creating the ultimate political quarantine from the contagions of revolution. Generations of rebels - republicans, nationalists and socialists - were condemned to oblivion thousands of kilometres from European Russia. Over the nineteenth century, however, these political exiles transformed Siberia's mines, prisons and remote settlements into an enormous laboratory of revolution.

This masterly work of original research taps a mass of almost unknown primary evidence held in Russian and Siberian archives to tell the epic story both of Russia's struggle to govern its monstrous penal colony and Siberia's ultimate, decisive impact on the political forces of the modern world.

'An absolutely fascinating book, rich in fact and anecdote.' - David Aaronovitch

'A splendid example of academic scholarship for a public audience. Yet even though he is an impressively calm and sober narrator, the injustices and atrocities pile up on every page.' - Dominic Sandbrook

'A superb, colourful history of Siberian exile under the tsars' - The Times

Livestock

Hannah Berry

Excitement is building for this year’s Twammies and Clementine Darling is hotly tipped to win Best Female Singer and Political Spokesperson!

The government is embarrassed about the leak of a confidential email exchange, but have you heard about Clementine’s new beau Devon Ayre? Yes, human cloning appears to have been legalised, but wasn’t Devon once together with Clementine’s arch rival Coral Jerome? And does it really matter what dubious corporate connections helped get this bill into place while Clementine and Coral are locking horns in a violent feud?

Livestock is a razor-sharp satire on our relationship with the media from critically acclaimed graphic novelist Hannah Berry. In the fight for the public’s attention, why let public interest get in the way?

The Meaning of Cricket

Jon Hotten

Cricket does strange things to you. It is a team game that is almost entirely dependent on individual performance. Its combination of time, opportunity and the constant threat of disaster can drive its participants to despair. To survive a single delivery propelled at almost 100 miles an hour takes the body and brain to the edges of their capabilities, yet its abiding image is of the gentle village green, and the glorious absurdities of the amateur game.

In The Meaning of Cricket, Jon Hotten attempts to understand this fascinating, frustrating and complex sport. Blending legendary players, from Vivian Richards to Mark Ramprakash, Kevin Pietersen to Ricky Ponting, with his own cricketing story, he explores the funny, moving and melancholic impact the game can have on an individual life.

The Penguin History of Modern Vietnam

Christopher Goscha

'This is the finest single-volume history of Vietnam in English. It challenges myths, and raises questions about the socialist republic's political future' Guardian

'Powerful and compelling. Vietnam will be of growing importance in the twenty-first-century world, particularly as China and the US rethink their roles in Asia. Christopher Goscha's book is a brilliant account of that country's history.' - Rana Mitter

'A vigorous, eye-opening account of a country of great importance to the world, past and future' - Kirkus Reviews

Over the centuries the Vietnamese have beenboth colonizers themselves and the victims of colonization by others. Their country expanded, shrunk, split and sometimes disappeared, often under circumstances far beyond their control. Despite these often overwhelming pressures, Vietnam has survived as one of Asia's most striking and complex cultures.

As more and more visitors come to this extraordinary country, there has been for some years a need for a major history - a book which allows the outsider to understand the many layers left by earlier emperors, rebels, priests and colonizers. Christopher Goscha's new work amply fills this role. Drawing on a lifetime of thinking about Indo-China, he has created a narrative which is consistently seen from 'inside' Vietnam but never loses sight of the connections to the 'outside'. As wave after wave of invaders - whether Chinese, French, Japanese or American - have been ultimately expelled, we see the terrible cost to the Vietnamese themselves. Vietnam's role in one of the Cold War's longest conflicts has meant that its past has been endlessly abused for propaganda purposes and it is perhaps only now that the events which created the modern state can be seen from a truly historical perspective.

Christopher Goscha draws on the latest research and discoveries in Vietnamese, French and English. His book is a major achievement, describing both the grand narrative of Vietnam's story but also the byways, curiosities, differences, cultures and peoples that have done so much over the centuries to define the many versions of Vietnam.

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Cigars: A Guide

Nicholas Foulkes

The story of cigars.

"The most futile and disastrous day seems well spent when it is reviewed through the blue, fragrant smoke of a Cigar." Evelyn Waugh

Exploring not just the extraordinary story of tobacco and cigars but also a history that has been instrumental in the foundations of societies and cultures, Cigars will take you on an astonishing journey through landscapes, scents and an incredible roll call of the great, the good and the not-so good. The cigar has provided solace and a chance for worldly contemplation to generations of thinkers, businessmen, writers, entrepreneurs and connoisseurs.

In this elegiac offering to the pinnacles of hand-rolled tobacco, world-renowned expert Nicholas Foulkes guides you through the myths, legends, nuances and delicious realities of the smoke-savouring universe, serving as an introduction for the neophyte and a reference for the connoisseur.

"A cigar ought not to be smoked solely with the mouth, but with the hand, the eyes, and with the spirit." Zino Davidoff

One Man and a Mule

Hugh Thomson

In the Middle Ages, mules were used to transport goods across Britain. Strong, sturdy and able to carry a good 160 lbs of weight, they made ideal walking companions (as long as you didn’t ask them to do anything they disapproved of).

Now Hugh Thomson has revived that ancient tradition.

Taking his cue from Robert Louis Stevenson's 19th-century bestseller Travels With a Donkey, Hugh leads his trusty mule Jethro across England from the Lake District to the Yorkshire Moors, using old drovers’ roads that have largely passed into disrepair.

His previous journeys have resulted in acclaimed books on Peru, Mexico and the Indian Himalaya, and more recently on southern England for the prize-winning The Green Road into the Trees.

As he crosses the north, he combines his trademark wit and insight with a lyrical intensity about the history and the landscape; and it is his encounters with the people he meets along the way which bring that landscape to life in a manner few other contemporary travel writers attempt.

“Everywhere Thomson goes, he finds good stories to tell.”
New York Times Book Review

The One Device

Brian Merchant

The secret history of the invention that changed everything-
and became the most profitable product in the world.

Odds are that as you read this, an iPhone is within reach. But before Steve Jobs introduced us to 'the one device', as he called it, a mobile phone was merely what you used to make calls on the go.

How did the iPhone transform our world and turn Apple into the most valuable company ever? Veteran technology journalist Brian Merchant reveals the inside story you won't hear from Cupertino - based on his exclusive interviews with the engineers, inventors and developers who guided every stage of the iPhone's creation.

This deep dive takes you from inside One Infinite Loop to nineteenth-century France to WWII America, from the driest place on earth to a Kenyan pit of toxic e-waste, and even deep inside Shenzhen's notorious 'suicide factories'. It's a first-hand look at how the cutting-edge tech that makes the world work - touch screens, motion trackers and even AI-made their way into our pockets.

The One Device is a road map for design and engineering genius, an anthropology of the modern age and an unprecedented view into one of the most secretive companies in history. This is the untold account, ten years in the making, of the device that changed everything.

The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!

Grayson Perry

There are some artists for whom 'popular' is a bit of a dirty word. Grayson Perry is not one of them. He thinks art shouldn't be an exclusive club for people who 'get' it, but for everyone - that's why his new show is called The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!

This accompanying book contains all his latest works, in full colour - including his much-discussed 'Leave' and 'Remain' pots, and creations inspired by his recent TV series All Man - along with an introduction by Grayson, his sketches and his commentary on each piece, explaining the thinking behind them.

The images and words here explore populism, celebrity, masculinity, identity, Britain today and Grayson himself. They invite us to look again at the things we think we know, and show us that nothing, not even Brexit, is black and white.

Catching a Serial Killer

Stephen Fulcher

On the evening of Saturday, 19 March 2011, D.S. Stephen Fulcher receives a life-changing call that thrusts him into a race against time to save missing 22-year-old Sian O’Callaghan, who was last seen at a nightclub in Swindon. Steve knows from experience that he has a small window of time to find Sian alive, but his hopes are quickly dashed when his investigation leads him to Christopher Halliwell.

Following the investigation as it develops hour-by-hour, Steve’s gripping inside story of the cat-and-mouse situation that ensues shows how he hunted down Halliwell – his number-one suspect – which led him to the discovery of Sian’s body and another victim, Becky Godden-Edwards, who had been missing since 2002.

Catching a Serial Killer is a thrilling, devastating and absorbing look at a real-life murder case and potentially one of the UK’s most prolific serial killers.

Stick With It

Sean Young

Learn how to make real, lasting changes in your life

We all have bad habits - whether it's a weakness for junk food, a smartphone addiction or a lack of exercise. But change is hard. Forty percent of dieters quit within a week. Eighty percent of New Year's resolutions don't last beyond January. How can we kick bad habits - and stick with it?

According to psychologist and behaviour researcher Dr Sean Young, the answer is to stop trying to change the person, and instead change the process. In Stick With It, Dr Young draws on his own research and that of other leading experts to explain how the mind often interferes with breaking bad habits, and how we can outsmart it, increasing the likelihood of lasting change by 300%.

Packed with practical exercises and real-life case studies, Stick With It shows that it is possible to control spending, stick to a diet, exercise regularly and overcome problem behaviours - forever.

A Crack in Creation

Jennifer Doudna (and others)

A handful of discoveries have changed the course of human history. This book is about the most recent and potentially the most powerful and dangerous of them all.

It is an invention that allows us to rewrite the genetic code that shapes and controls all living beings with astonishing accuracy and ease. Thanks to it, the dreams of genetic manipulation have become a stark reality: the power to cure disease and alleviate suffering, to create new sources of food and energy, as well as to re-design any species, including humans, for our own ends.

Jennifer Doudna is the co-inventor of this technology, known as CRISPR, and a scientist of worldwide renown. Writing with fellow researcher Samuel Sternberg, here she provides the definitive account of her discovery, explaining how this wondrous invention works and what it is capable of.

A Crack In Creation also asks us to consider what our new-found power means: how do we enjoy its unprecedented benefits while avoiding its equally unprecedented dangers? As Doudna argues, every member of our species is implicated in the answers to these questions. Somehow we must consider and act together.

The future of humankind – and of all life on Earth – is at stake. This book is an essential guide to the path that now lies ahead.

A Bold and Dangerous Family

Caroline Moorehead

Praise for A Train in Winter:
'A story of stunning courage, generosity and hope... In Moorehead's expert hands it is a triumphant one' Mail on Sunday

Praise for Village of Secrets:
'an uplifting tale of courage and morality' The Sunday Times

Mussolini was not only ruthless: he was subtle and manipulative. Black-shirted thugs did his dirty work for him: arson, murder, destruction of homes and offices, bribes, intimidation and the forcible administration of castor oil. His opponents – including editors, publishers, union representatives, lawyers and judges – were beaten into submission. But the tide turned in 1924 when his assassins went too far, horror spread across Italy and twenty years of struggle began. Antifascist resistance was born and it would end only with Mussolini's death in 1945. Among those whose disgust hardened into bold and uncompromising resistance was a family from Florence: Amelia, Carlo and Nello Rosselli.

Caroline Moorehead’s research into the Rossellis struck gold. She has drawn on letters and diaries never previously translated into English to reveal – in all its intimacy – a family driven by loyalty, duty and courage, yet susceptible to all the self-doubt and fear that humans are prey to. Readers are drawn into the lives of this remarkable family – and their loves, their loyalties, their laughter and their ultimate sacrifice.