New and forthcoming

Follow This Thread

Henry Eliot (and others)

As a rule, we take care not to get lost, so why should we willingly enter a maze? Illustrated with a single red line, Follow This Thread traces dozens of real and historical mazes, and their uses in literature, art and film, from Pac-Man and Picasso to Kubrick and Kafka.

Henry Eliot reveals our abiding, ancient relationship with mazes and labyrinths, and unpicks the paradoxical psychology involved in walking them, combining the myth of the Minotaur with a quest for the legendary Maze King, who disappeared in 1979. The text coils around the pages, recreating the experience of walking a labyrinth, with its twists and turns, frights and fantasies.

Joseph Gray’s Camouflage

Mary Horlock

'Art? What has art ever done for us as a family?'

In the First World War, artist-soldier Joseph Gray drew and painted scenes of battle, his illustrations appearing in the popular press and his canvases sold to museums. But after struggling through the next decade and facing the threat of another war, Joseph had found a secret new calling: the art of camouflage.

As he went from representing reality to disguising it, Joseph’s growing interest in camouflage concealed another, deeper subterfuge. He was leading a double life, and would eventually leave his family for the woman that he loved.

Joseph Gray’s Camouflage is a multi-layered story of art, war, love and deception. Beyond attempting to pin down the image of a man who eludes us at every turn, it also traces the development of camouflage between the two wars and shines a light on the unlikely band of artists who made it happen.

Though private letters, diaries, archives and interviews Joseph's great-granddaughter Mary Horlock pieces together the truth that was once lost, and brings his far-from-ordinary life back into focus.

The Age of Spectacle

Tom Dyckhoff

'A great storyteller . . . you would be hard pushed to find a more knowledgeable or entertaining [guide]' Icon

'Such an interesting book . . . I cannot recommend it enough.' Lauren Laverne

In Dubai, a luxury apartment block is built in the shape of a giant iPod. In China, President Xi Jinping denounces the trend of constructing ‘bizarre’ new buildings in wacky shapes and colours. In Cincinnati, celebrity architect Zaha Hadid is paid millions to design a single ‘iconic’ structure – with the hope of single-handedly transforming the region’s ailing fortunes. These incidents are all part of the same story: the rise of the age of spectacle.

Over the last fifty years, there has been a revolution in how our cities operate. In The Age of Spectacle, Tom Dyckhoff tells the story of how architecture became obsessed with the flashy, the monumental and the ostentatious – and how we all have to live with the consequences. Exploring cityscapes from New York to Beijing, and from Bilbao to Portsmouth, Dyckhoff shows that we are not just witnessing a new kind of building: we are living through a fundamental transformation in how our urban spaces work. The corporate explosion of the last few decades has fundamentally shifted the relationship between architects, politicians and cities’ inhabitants, fostering innovative new kinds of engineering and design, but also facilitating ill-conceived vanity projects and commercial power-grabs.

Timely, passionate and bursting with new ideas, The Age of Spectacle is both an examination of how twenty-first century cities work, and a manifesto for a radically new kind of urbanism. Our cities, Dyckhoff shows, can thrive in the age of spectacle – but only if they engage us not just with dazzling structures, but by responding to the needs of the people who inhabit them.

'Engaging . . . The “iconic” building is the most obvious architectural phenomenon of our age yet, somehow, no one has quite done what Tom Dyckhoff does with The Age of Spectacle, which is to tell its story clearly and plainly.' Rowan Moore, Observer

'First class. Finally, a book that nails the iconic movement – Tom Dyckhoff’s The Age of Spectacle is the book that I wish I had written.' Simon Jenkins

'Unusually accessible [and] well argued.' Evening Standard

Paths to the Past

Francis Pryor

Discover the hidden corners and forgotten crevices of Britain's landscapes, from lost rural treasures to unseen urban gems.

Landscapes reflect and shape our behaviour. They make us who we are and bear witness to the shifting patterns of human life over the generations.

Bringing to bear a lifetime's digging, archaeologist Francis Pryor delves into Britain's hidden urban and rural landscapes, from Whitby Abbey to the navvy camp at Risehill in Cumbria, from Tintagel to Tottenham's Broadwater Farm. Through fields, woods, moors, roads, tracks and towns, he reveals the stories of our physical surroundings and what they meant to the people who formed them, used them and lived in them. These landscapes, he stresses, are our common physical inheritance. If we can understand how to make them yield up their secrets, it will help us, their guardians, to maintain and shape them for future generations.

My Life

Marc Chagall

'Here is my soul. Look for me here; here I am, here are my pictures, my roots'

Marc Chagall, one of the twentieth century's most popular artists, grew up in a close-knit, bustling Russian-Jewish community, the son of a herring seller. In his colourful, dreamlike autobiography, written as he was about to leave his homeland for good in 1922, he vividly brings to life the memories and places that fed into his unique work, from his shtetl childhood to revolutionary Russia and Belle Èpoque Paris. Filled with Chagall's own evocative illustrations, My Life is as warm, joyful and humane as his art.

'Chagall writes as whimsically as he paints: lovingly ofother people, humorously and lovingly of himself' Daily Mail

'Anyone who likes Chagall's paintings will enjoy this book:the work of an unteachable, unspoiled folk artist' Evening Standard

Building and Dwelling

Richard Sennett

In Building and Dwelling, Richard Sennett distils a lifetime's thinking and practical experience to explore the relationship between the good built environment and the good life. He argues for, and describes in rich detail, the idea of an open city, one in which people learn to manage complexity. He shows how the design of cities can enrich or diminish the everyday experience of those who dwell in them.

The book ranges widely - from London, Paris and Barcelona to Shanghai, Mumbai and Medellin in Colombia - and draws on classic thinkers such as Tocqueville, Heidegger, Max Weber, and Walter Benjamin. It also draws on Sennett's many decades as a practical planner himself, testing what works, what doesn't, and why. He shows what works ethically is often the most practical solution for cities' problems.

This is a humane and thrilling book, which allows us to think freshly about how we live in cities. The experience and wisdom of the author are visible on every page. His voice is distinctive and engaging. It should attract anyone interested in the physical circumstances of civilization.


Andy Warhol

'Good b.o means good "box office." You can smell it from a mile away'

The legendary sixties New York pop artist Andy Warhol's hilarious and insightful vignettes and aphorisms on the topics of love, fame and beauty.

Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.

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