New and forthcoming

The Queen Speaks

Lady Leshurr

Lady Leshurr - queen of the grime scene - is a voice that needs to be heard.

Lady Leshurr is a rapper with a difference. A woman, from Birmingham, she reigns in a male dominated scene thanks to the strength of her talent and grit. Everything she has achieved, she has done it herself, so she says and does what she wants. Now she brings the attitude and integrity, humour and honesty that underpin her lyrics to a book. Her story includes frank conversation about anxiety, the secrets behind her musical and business success, social media and haters, and, of course, hair.

From her tough start on an estate in Birmingham to the top of the scene, Lady Leshurr has a unique vantage point and The Queen Speaks is as entertaining as it is relevant.

A Suitable Boy

Vikram Seth (and others)

A Suitable Boy' is Vikram Seth's epic love story set in India. Funny and tragic, with engaging, brilliantly observed characters, it is as close as you can get to Dickens for the twentieth century. The story unfolds through four middle class families - the Mehras, Kappoors, Khans and Chatterjis. Lata Mehra, a university student, is under pressure from her mother to get married. But not to just anyone she happens to fall in love with. There are standards to be met and finding a husband for Lata becomes a family affair in which all the members are to play a part. A beautifully composed story which is an affirmation of family and friendship. The characters struggle, they try to buck the system, to break free of restraint, of interference - but ultimately their strenth and sense of being comes from their family and friends. It is a celebration of ordinariness. In his sweeping epic, Vikram Seth has created an entire world filled with warmth, humour, pathos, tragedy - in short, life. Recorded on location in India, 'A Suitable Boy' is made by the production team of the award-winning 'Bleak House' and 'The Handmaid's Tale'.

Black Mirror Volume 1

Charlie Brooker

***AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW***

Edited by Charlie Brooker, the creator of the hit Netflix original series BLACK MIRROR, this book takes the very essence of the globally-acclaimed cult TV show to create new, original, darkly satirical stories that tap into our collective unease about the modern world.

This is BLACK MIRROR in book form - allowed to roam through the imaginations of some of the leading names in contemporary fiction. This collection will challenge you to see the world in a different - and more disturbing - light. You have been warned...

Goth

John Robb

It is one of the most fascinating and influential musical periods in recent history, and yet the goth movement has largely been undervalued and forgotten. But now John Robb, founder of the legendary post-punk band The Membranes, is ready to redress that oversight. Based on countless interviews with the key players of the era, as well as his own insights from the goth clubs and gigs where he saw it all, he has written the definitive book, taking in everything: goth’s roots, from art, literature and architecture; its foundation in the music of the Doors, Iggy, Bowie and glam rock; its development with Southern Dealt Cult, Nick Cave, Siouxsie Sioux and Joy Division, and the role it still plays in today’s music culture and fashion.

From the bands, the clubs, the clothes and lifestyle, as well as goth’s political, historical and social context, John Robb’s comprehensive book takes in the entire wealth of this subculture – snakebite, hair-crimping and all.

Anansi Boys

Neil Gaiman (and others)

A new BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatization of Neil Gaiman’s bestselling 2006 novel about Fat Charlie Nancy and his spider God father and brother taking over his life, and generally doing a better job of it than him. But will Charlie be able to get his life back without entering a whole new world of pain?

Voices

Nick Coleman

Food. Shelter. Warmth. Love.

Voices.

Other people’s voices, singing – the fifth essential necessity of life.

Nick Coleman’s new book is an exploration of what singing means and how it works and what it achieves. What does it do to us to listen hard and habitually to somebody else’s singing? And why is the singing of others so essential to human life? Why do we love it so? How are we shaped?

The book asks many other questions too. What was Roy Orbison’s problem? Who does Joni Mitchell think she is? Why did Jagger and Lennon sing like that (and not like this)? What did Aretha Franklin do to deserve the title ‘Queen of Soul’? For that matter, what is “soul’? What is the point of crooning? What does it say about you if Frank Sinatra leaves you cold? Billie, Janis, Amy: must the voices of anguish always dissolve into spectacle? And why isn’t the world better acquainted with Gladys Horton?

The history of post-war popular music is traditionally told sociologically or in terms of musicological influence and innovation in style. Sometimes the story is biographical, sometimes fashion conscious. Often it simply follows the money or the celebrity of its stars.

Voices takes a different tack. In ten discrete but cohering essays Coleman tackles the arc of that history as if it were an emotional experience with real psychological consequences – as chaotic, random, challenging and unpredictable as life itself. It is the story of what it is to listen and learn. Above all, it is a story of what it means to feel.

It Ain't Hard To Tell

Nas

The long-awaited memoir from legendary rapper Nas, one of the most famous - and enigmatic - stars of the hip-hop generation.

With the release of his 1994 debut album, Illmatic, Nas was immediately lauded as rap royalty. After over two decades he remains one of the most admired, successful, and misunderstood figures in the business.

In It Ain’t Hard to Tell, Nas tells his life story for the first time - including his early days growing up in Queens as the son of a jazz musician and his immersion in street culture to his emergence on the scene in the early 1990s. He recounts his private and public struggles, including the media-hyped feud with Jay-Z, finally resolved in 2005, and his battle to assert himself as King of East Coast rap.

Over the course of eleven solo albums Nas has accrued millions of fans around the globe and collaborated with the greatest talents in music, and he charts his evolution from the brash, arrogant “Nasty Nas” to a mature but still provocative artist. It Ain’t Hard to Tell finally reveals the man behind the rhymes in a memoir as outspoken and uncompromising as fans could hope for.

Metamorphosis

Franz Kafka

Benedict Cumberbatch reads the enduring classic of man-turned-insect in Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis.
Gregor Samsa, wakes to discover that he has turned into a large, monstrous insect-like creature. Gregor attempts to adjust to his new condition as he deals with being burdensome to his parents and sister, who are repelled by the horrible, verminous creature he has become.
First published in 1915, Kafka’s darkly comic novella explores concepts such as the absurdity of life, alienation and the disconnect between mind and body.

Just William: A BBC Radio Collection

Richmal Crompton (and others)

A stunning collection of Just William stories, narrated by Martin Jarvis. These BBC radio readings of the adventures of William have come to be one of the most well-loved adaptations. Available now in stunning new packaging.

Whatever Happened to The Likely Lads?

Dick Clement (and others)

Adapted from the well-loved TV series, this collection features all thirteen episodes from the BBC radio comedy, first broadcast in the 1975. Starring Rodney Bewes and James Bolam.

Just a Minute: Series 79

BBC Radio Comedy (and others)

Featuring a host of household names pitted against the clock, this is a collection of 6 episodes from series 79 of Just A Minute, hosted by the charming Nicholas Parsons.

The Ring of the Nibelung

Richard Wagner

The scale and grandeur of Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung has no precedent and no successor. It preoccupied Wagner for much of his adult life and revolutionized the nature of opera, the orchestra, the demands on singers and on the audience itself. The four operas-The Rhinegold, The Valkyrie, Siegfried and Twilight of the Gods - are complete worlds, conjuring up extraordinary mythological landscapes through sound as much as staging.

Wagner wrote the entire libretto before embarking on the music. Discarding the grand choruses and bravura duets central to most operas, he used the largest musical forces in the context often of only a handful of singers on stage. The words were essential: he was telling a story and making an argument in a way that required absolute attention to what was said.

The libretto for The Ring lies at the heart of nineteenth century culture. It is in itself a work of power and grandeur and it had an incalculable effect on European and specifically German culture. John Deathridge's superb new translation, with notes and a fascinating introduction, is essential for anyone who wishes to get to grips with one of the great musical experiences.

The News Quiz: The Best of 2017

BBC Radio Comedy (and others)

Miiles Jupp chairs four hilarious and topical episodes of The News Quiz. Featuring the show's regular panellists, this collection highlights the best of this flagship Radio 4 comedy.

Eskiboy

Wiley

The official autobiography of Wiley, the 'Godfather of Grime'

Wiley is one of the most innovative and influential musicians of today – an artist who started a movement in east London in the early 2000s that is now beginning to take over the world. Over the course of twenty years, he has redefined British music: releasing ten top-twenty records, selling over 4 million singles and helping to launch and establish a new generation of stars.

Eskiboy will be an account of Wiley's life and career, from white-label releases and illegal broadcasting to lifetime achievement awards and beyond. Structured in 96 short chapters, it will cover his early years and influences, his friendships and rivalries, and the tragedies and triumphs of two decades in music, as well as explore the history and future of Grime and the Eskimo Sound. Featuring lyrics, notes and never-before-seen photographs, it will celebrate a singular musical icon, and the world he has created.

Just a Minute: Best of 2017

BBC Radio Comedy (and others)

Just a Minute is a national institution. Sparkling panellists have their wits challenged as they attempt to speak on a subject for one minute, with no hesitation, deviation or repetition. Presided over by the charming Nicolas Parsons and a stopwatch that takes no prisoners, this is a brilliant collection of the best of 2017.

Secrets for the Mad

Dodie Clark

When I feel like I'm going mad, I write.

A lot of my worst fears have come true; fears that felt so big I could barely hold them in my head. I was convinced that when they'd happen, the world would end.

But the world didn't end. In fact, it pushed on and demanded to keep spinning through all sorts of mayhem, and I got through it. And because I persisted, I learned lessons about how to be a stronger, kinder, better human – lessons you can only learn by going through these sorts of things.

This is for the people with minds that just don't stop; for those who feel everything seemingly a thousand times more than the people around them.

Here are some words I wrote.