New books

I Am Not Your Negro

James Baldwin (and others)

The New York Times bestseller based on the Oscar nominated documentary film

In June 1979, the writer and civil rights activist James Baldwin embarked on a project to tell the story of America through the lives of three of his murdered friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. He died before it could be completed. In his documentary film, I Am Not Your Negro, Raoul Peck imagines the book Baldwin never wrote, using his original words to create a radical, powerful and poetic work on race in the United States - then, and today.

'Thrilling . . . A portrait of one man's confrontation with a country that, murder by murder, as he once put it, "devastated my universe"' The New York Times

'Baldwin's voice speaks even more powerfully today . . . the prose-poet of our injustice and inhumanity . . . The times have caught up with his scalding eloquence' Variety

'A cinematic séance . . . One of the best movies about the civil rights era ever made' Guardian

'I Am Not Your Negro turns James Baldwin into a prophet' Rolling Stone

Nobody Leaves

Ryszard Kapuscinski

'A peculiar genius with no modern equivalent, except possibly Kafka' - Jonathan Miller

Regarded as a central part of Kapuscinski's work, these vivid portraits of life in the depths of Poland embody the young writer's mastery of literary reportage

When the great Ryszard Kapuscinski was a young journalist in the early 1960s, he was sent to the farthest reaches of his native Poland between foreign assignments. The resulting pieces brought together in this new collection, nearly all of which are translated into English for the first time, reveal a place just as strange as the distant lands he visited.

From forgotten villages to collective farms, Kapuscinski explores a Poland that is post-Stalinist but still Communist; a country on the edge of modernity. He encounters those for whom the promises of rising living standards never worked out as planned, those who would have been misfits under any political system, those tied to the land and those dreaming of escape.

In a Different Key

John Donvan (and others)

'A magnificent opus ... extraordinary, spellbinding ... this book does what no other on autism has done' Ann Bauer, Washington Post

The stunning history of autism as it has been discovered and felt by parents, children and doctors

Nearly seventy-five years ago, Donald Triplett of Forest, Mississippi became the first child diagnosed with autism. In a Different Key tells the extraordinary story of the world his diagnosis created - a riveting human drama that takes us across continents and through some of the great social movements of the twentieth century.

The history of autism is, above all, the story of families fighting for a place in the world for their children. It is the story of women like Ruth Sullivan, who rebelled against a medical establishment that blamed "refrigerator mothers" for causing autism, of fathers who pushed scientists to dig harder for treatments, of parents who forced schools to accept their children. But many others played starring roles too: doctors like Leo Kanner, who pioneered our understanding of autism, scientists who sparred over how to treat autism, and those with autism, like Temple Grandin and Ari Ne'eman, who explained their inner worlds and championed a philosophy of 'neurodiversity'.

This is also a story of fierce controversy: from the question of whether there is truly an autism 'epidemic', and whether vaccines played a part in it, to scandals involving 'facilitated communication', one of many treatments that have proved to be blind alleys. And there are dark turns too: we learn about experimenters feeding LSD to children with autism, or shocking them with electricity to change their behaviour; and the authors reveal, for the first time, that Hans Asperger, discoverer of the syndrome named after him, may have cooperated with the Nazis in sending disabled children to their deaths.

By turns intimate and panoramic, In a Different Key takes us on a journey from an era when families were shamed and children were condemned to institutions, to one in which parents and people with autism push not simply for inclusion, but for a new understanding of autism: as difference rather than disability.

Out of China

Robert Bickers

The extraordinary and essential story of how China became the powerful country it is today.

Even at the high noon of Europe's empires China managed to be one of the handful of countries not to succumb. Invaded, humiliated and looted, China nonetheless kept its sovereignty. Robert Bickers' major new book is the first to describe fully what has proved to be one of the modern era's most important stories: the long, often agonising process by which the Chinese had by the end of the 20th century regained control of their own country.

Out of China uses a brilliant array of unusual, strange and vivid sources to recreate a now fantastically remote world: the corrupt, lurid modernity of pre-War Shanghai, the often tiny patches of 'extra-territorial' land controlled by European powers (one of which, unnoticed, had mostly toppled into a river), the entrepôts of Hong Kong and Macao, and the myriad means, through armed threats, technology and legal chicanery, by which China was kept subservient.

Today Chinese nationalism stays firmly rooted in memories of its degraded past - the quest for self-sufficiency, a determination both to assert China's standing in the world and its outstanding territorial claims, and never to be vulnerable to renewed attack. History matters deeply to Beijing's current rulers - and Out of China explains why.

The Zoo of the New

Don Paterson (and others)

'So open it anywhere, then anywhere, then anywhere again. We're sure it won't be long before you find a poem that brings you smack into the newness and strangeness of the living present'

In The Zoo of the New, poets Don Paterson and Nick Laird have cast a fresh eye over more than five centuries of verse, from the English language and beyond. Above all, they have sought poetry that retains, in one way or another, a powerful timelessness: words with the thrilling capacity to make the time and place in which they were written, however distant and however foreign they may be, feel utterly here and now in the 21st Century.

This book stretches as far back as Sappho and as far forward as the recent award-winning work of Denise Riley, taking in poets as varied as Thomas Wyatt, Sylvia Plath, William Shakespeare, T. S. Eliot, Frank O'Hara and Gwendolyn Brooks along the way. Here, the mournful rubs shoulders with the celebratory; the skulduggerous and the foolish with the highfalutin; and tales of love, loss and war with a menagerie of animals and objects, from bee boxes to rubber boots, a suit of armour and a microscope.

Teeming with old favourites and surprising discoveries, this lovingly selected compendium is sure to win lifelong readers.

Horrible Words

Rebecca Gowers

'Stuffed with entertaining detail ... Horrible Words is lively, provocative, witty and enlightening' The Times

Nothing inflames the language purists like an illogical irregardless or a hideous otherization. But is it enough simply to dismiss these words as vile and barbarous howlers? Taking a genial tour far and wide through our linguistic badlands, Rebecca Gowers finds answers that are helpful, surprising and often extremely funny.

'Exuberant, erudite, informative and fun ... a call on all English-speakers to trust their own feel for their language, to relish their verbal inventiveness and to do battle against the pedants who tell them they are wrong' Michael Skapinker, Financial Times

'A very useful book, packed with good historical sense' Lynne Truss, The Times

The Trainable Cat

John Bradshaw (and others)

'Amazing' Guardian

From the on-screen experts for BBC2's Cat Watch, and based on their groundbreaking research - this is the ultimate guide to making your cat a happier, more sociable animal.

The idea of a trained cat is a contradiction in terms, isn't it? Naturally solitary, wary, easily threatened by newcomers, they are attached to place rather than people, and much of their 'antisocial' behaviour arises in situations where that attachment is threatened. But, as cat experts Sarah Ellis and John Bradshaw argue, such stress-induced behaviour can be prevented, reduced, even eliminated, by training.

A comprehensive and engaging step-by-step guide, The Trainable Cat will help you to help your cat negotiate the complexities of everyday life: to enjoy living with humans - including new babies and lively toddlers - and other pets; to answer to their name; settle into a new home; and to overcome the anxiety of a visit to the vet. You can train your cat to do what is in its own best interests - even when its instincts tell it otherwise.

'I doubt you'll find a more well-informed or scientific book on cats that better shows you how feline thinking works' The Times

The Wealth of Humans

Ryan Avent

'Ryan Avent is a superb writer ... highly readable and lively' Thomas Piketty

'A pleasure to read. This is an important argument on a subject that will shape the coming decades' Duncan Weldon, Prospect

To work is human, yet the world of work is changing fast, and in unexpected ways. With rapid advances in information technology, huge swathes of the job market - from cleaners and drivers to journalists and doctors - are being automated: a staggering 47% of American employment is at risk of automation within the next two to three decades. At the same time, millions more jobs are being created. What does the future of work hold?

In this illuminating new investigation of what this means for us, Ryan Avent lays bare the contradictions in today's global labour market. From Volvo's operations in Sweden to the vast 'Factory Asia' hub in China, he offers the first clear explanation of the state we're in-and how we could get out of it.

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Penguin Modern Poets 4

Don Paterson (and others)

Other Ways to Leave the Room features the work of three of the most beloved and lauded poets currently at large. Between them, Kathleen Jamie, Don Paterson and Nick Laird write lyrical, luminous and often darkly witty poems about the rugged wildness of the Scottish landscape; about fatherhood; about whisky-drinking, alcohol abuse and tenement life; about sex, love and the pursuit of the spiritual; about childhood in the Ireland of the Troubles, and about the strange possibilities of the technological future. What all three have in common is an ability to combine observations of gritty real life with a sense of the mythical proportions always lurking just under the surface of the everyday.

The Penguin Modern Poets are succinct guides to the richness and diversity of contemporary poetry. Every volume brings together representative selections from the work of three poets now writing, allowing the curious reader and the seasoned lover of poetry to encounter the most exciting voices of our moment.

Incarnations

Sunil Khilnani

'Incarnations makes the mind fly across time, place and history. You may smile as, mentally, you walk alongside Khilnani up some flinty slope. You will keep thinking about what he said long after' Daily Telegraph

For all of India's myths, its sea of stories and moral epics, Indian history remains a curiously unpeopled place. Sunil Khilnani's Incarnations fills that space: recapturing the human dimension of how the world's largest democracy came to be. In this stunningly illustrated and deeply researched book, accompanying his major BBC Radio 4 series, Khilnani explores the lives of 50 Indians, from the spiritualist Buddha to the capitalist Dhirubhai Ambani - lives that light up India's rich, varied past and its continuous ferment of ideas. Khilnani's trenchant portraits of emperors, warriors, philosophers, poets, stars, and corporate titans - some famous, some unjustly forgotten - bring feeling, wry humour, and uncommon insight to social dilemmas that extend from ancient times to our own.

As he journeys across the country, and through its past, Khilnani uncovers more than just history. In rocket launches and ayurvedic call centres, in slum temples and Bollywood studios, in California communes and grimy ports, he examines the continued, and often surprising, relevance of the men and women who have made India - and the world - what it is. Their stories will inform, move and entertain this book's many readers.

Flavour

Bob Holmes

Why should you serve red wine with classical music and white wine with pop music?
What is it about a heavier bowl that makes your pudding taste better?
And how can you make your food taste saltier without adding more salt?

If any of these questions has sparked your appetite you need to read Flavour.

New Scientist correspondent Bob Holmes has tasted a lot of things in the name of flavour. He’s travelled all over the world, delved into cutting-edge scientific research, enlisted chefs, psychologists, molecular gastronomists, flavourists and farmers, attended the weirdest conventions, and even received very rare access to one of the world’s few highly secretive flavour houses.

For anyone who wants to be a better cook, get the best restaurant experience no matter where you go, or if you just want to make better decisions in the supermarket or about your diet. Flavour will help you discover a deeper appreciation of what’s on your plate and in your glass.

A fascinating and surprising exploration into a world of high-definition flavour.

The Talent Lab

Owen Slot (and others)

Simon Timson and Chelsea Warr were the Performance Directors of UK Sport, tasked with the outrageous objective of delivering even greater success to Team GB and Paralympic GB at Rio than in 2012. Something no other host nation had ever achieved in the next Games.

In The Talent Lab, Owen Slot brings unique access to Team GB’s intelligence, sharing for the first time the incredible breakthroughs and insights they discovered that often extend way beyond sport. Using lessons from organisations as far afield as the Yehudi Menuhin School of Music, the NFL Draft, the Royal College of Surgeons and the SAS, it shows how talent can be discovered, created, shaped and sustained.

Charting the success of the likes of Chris Hoy, Max Whitlock, Adam Peaty, Ed Clancy, Lizzy Yarnold, Dave Henson, Tom Daley, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Katherine Grainger, the Brownlee Brothers, Helen Glover, Anthony Joshua and the women’s hockey team, The Talent Lab tells just how it was done and how any team, business or individual might learn from it.

Good As You

Paul Flynn

In 1984 the pulsing electronics and soft vocals of Smalltown Boy would become an anthem uniting gay men. A month later, an aggressive virus, HIV, would be identified and a climate of panic and fear would spread across the nation, marginalising an already ostracised community. Yet, out of this terror would come tenderness and 30 years later, the long road to gay equality would climax with the passing of same sex marriage.

Paul Flynn charts this astonishing pop cultural and societal U-turn via the cultural milestones that effected change—from Manchester’s self-selection as Britain’s gay capital to the real-time romance of Elton John and David Furnish’s eventual marriage. Including candid interviews from major protagonists, such as Kylie, Russell T Davies, Will Young, Holly Johnson and Lord Chris Smith, as well as the relative unknowns crucial to the gay community, we see how an unlikely group of bedfellows fought for equality both front of stage and in the wings.

This is the story of Britain’s brothers, cousins and sons. Sometimes it is the story of their fathers and husbands. It is one of public outrage and personal loss, the (not always legal) highs and the desperate lows, and the final collective victory as gay men were final recognised, as Good As You.

Good People

Anthony Tjan

Most CEOs say the same thing: finding good people is difficult and a matter of luck rather than skill, as being great on paper doesn't always translate to being great in practice.

In Good People, venture capitalist Anthony Tjan explains the five tensions that make 'goodness' so uncommon in business, and features numerous profiles of 'good people' who are extraordinary leaders and motivators in their fields, including Dominic Barton, Managing Director of McKinsey & Co and Gary Knell, CEO of National Geographic.

Tjan offers practical advice for advancing the only durable competitive advantage for organizations: a set of values for developing oneself and others in both business and beyond.

The Man and His Bike

Wilfried de Jong

…The helicopter is hanging above our heads. A woman with a child waves up to the family watching at home. Motorcycles tear past, sirens wailing. And here they come, the riders. Like a vast chameleon the peloton continually changes shape and colour. Four hundred tyres sing to us. Music for a Sunday afternoon.

Here they come. Here they are. There they go. It’s all over, consigned to the past once more.

We can still see the mud-spattered backside of a straggler, sitting crooked on his bike after a fall. The skin of his elbow has been grazed raw, the dirt of the Tour ground into the wound. But he must go on. The Tour waits for no man…

Wilfried de Jong is a star of Dutch sports writing and broadcasting. In this award-winning collection of cycling tales, his comic, melancholic, existential charm unlocks a sport that involves so much pain, punishment, isolation and a high probability of failure. Whether he is describing being ejected from Paris-Roubaix, a terminal incident with a bird while out riding, painting the drama that unfolds in forgotten café as they wait for the Tour to pass, or explaining why he is standing stark naked on Belgian cobbles with a tyre in his hand in the morning mist, he always uncovers the true soul of cycling – why we do it, why we watch it, why we hate it, why we love it – stripped bare.

The Cartel

Stephen Breen (and others)

By the time the Kinahan cartel first shot to public attention in May 2010, Christy Kinahan and his sons Daniel and Christopher Jr were already among the richest men in Europe, with an estimated joint worth of €750m. Since then, the Kinahans have become household names. They were already familiar to European police forces for over a decade.

The Cartel is the definitive account of how a working class Dublin lad who failed his Leaving Cert rose to figure on Europol's top 10 list of criminal godfathers, employing language and networking skills to rival any CEO along the way. It outlines how Christy Kinahan crossed borders at will to send drugs and arms back to Ireland, dealing decisively and something lethally with anyone who got in his way, while remaining beyond the reach of the authorities.

The Cartel also explores the recent events that have brought the Kinahan gang centre stage. It explains how once-firm allies have now turned on each other in the most shocking criminal feud Ireland has ever seen. And it tells the behind-the-scenes story of how Spanish police tracked and listened in on the first-ever Irish-led international drugs cartel before launching an operation against them.

The authors have had exclusive access to the wiretaps that tracked the cartel for two years and analysis from key officers who investigated them. It explains the criminal clan's aims and actions in their own words and reveals the surprising truths behind how they built their empire.