New and forthcoming

The Story of the Jews

Simon Schama

In the latest volume of this magnificently illustrated cultural history, Simon Schama details the story of the Jewish people from 1492 to the end of nineteenth century.

Simon Schama’s great project continues and the Jewish story is woven into the fabric of humanity. Their search for a home where a distinctive religion and culture could be nourished without being marginalized suddenly takes on startling resonance in our own epoch of homelessness, wanderings, persecutions and anxious arrivals.

Volume 2 of The Story of the Jews epic tells the stories of many who seldom figure in Jewish histories: not just the rabbis and the philosophers but a poetess in the ghetto of Venice; a general in Ming China; a boxer in Georgian England, a Bible showman in Amsterdam; a teacher of the deaf in eighteenth-century France, an opera composer in nineteenth-century Germany. The story unfolds in Kerala and Mantua, the starlit hills of Galilee, the rivers of Colombia, the kitchens of Istanbul, the taverns of Ukraine and the mining camps of California. It sails in caravels, rides the stage coaches and the railways; trudges the dawn streets of London with a packload of old clothes, hobbles along with the remnant of Napoleon’s ruined army.

Through Schama's passionate and intelligent telling, a story emerges of the Jewish people that feels as though it is the story of everyone, of humanity – packed with detail, this second chronicle in an epic tale will shed new light on a crucial period of history.

Anticancer Living

Lorenzo Cohen (and others)

“You have cancer.”

These are perhaps the most feared three words that will ever come out of a doctor’s mouth, and more and more people are hearing them. Yet most people do not realize they can reduce their risk of getting cancer and improve their chances of surviving a cancer diagnosis by making six fundamental changes in their lifestyle.

Research shows that 50 to 70 percent of cancer can be prevented and cancer survivors can live longer and better if they change their daily habits and live more healthy lives. People are waiting for a cure to cancer, when the most promising antidote is already here, and it doesn’t come in a syringe or a pill.

Readers of ANTI-CANCER LIVING will learn about The Mix of Six—the key lifestyle factors that are scientifically linked with cancer risk and outcome. In a society that remains embedded in an illness model of health care, ANTI-CANCER LIVING empowers people to engage in a life of wellness.

Ikigai

Héctor García (and others)

Bring meaning and joy to all your days with the internationally bestselling guide to ikigai.

The people of Japan believe that everyone has an ikigai – a reason to jump out of bed each morning. And according to the residents of the Japanese island of Okinawa – the world’s longest-living people – finding it is the key to a happier and longer life.

Inspiring and soothing, this book will bring you closer to these centenarians’ secrets: how they leave urgency behind; keep doing what they love for as long as possible; nurture friendships; live in the moment; participate in their communities and throw themselves into their passions. And it provides practical tools to help you discover your own personal ikigai. Because who doesn’t want to find the joy in every day?

Altered Traits

Daniel Goleman

The western world's flirtation with mind training began decades ago, but has quickened in the last few years. As mindfulness, TM, and other brands of meditation sweep through businesses, schools and clinics, Altered Traits brings a startling new perspective to an understanding of our relationship to our brain, our personal traits, and even our genome - showing that smart practice can alter these for the better.

Drawing on a one-of-a-kind data pool - brain studies of world-class meditators - Goleman and Davidson sweep away common misconceptions and neuromythology to open reader's eyes to the ways data has been distorted to sell mind training methods. Simultaneously, they share for the first time remarkable findings that show potential for our cultivation of highly positive, lasting qualities, such as selflessness, equanimity, love and compassion, through meditation.

Altered Traits shifts the conversation of precisely how and when mind training benefits us, revealing reveal the power of intentional, sustained mental exercise to redesign neural circuitry. Anyone who cares about improving the human condition - or their own - will find much to ponder.

If Only They Didn't Speak English

Jon Sopel

As the BBC’s North America Editor, Jon Sopel has experienced ‘the Greatest Country on Earth’ from a perspective that most could only dream of: he has travelled aboard Air Force One, interviewed President Obama and seen first-hand the gaudy splendour of Donald Trump’s billion-dollar empire.

Jon has also witnessed the darker side of the United States today. He was on the ground in Ferguson, Missouri as the riots took hold; he has visited gun shows, where lethal weapons are exhibited and sold like DIY tools; and he has listened to would-be-presidents turn TV evangelists, as they place their judgements in the hands of a god in whom they believe unquestioningly.
What Jon has discovered, is that for all we think we know the USA, it is – now more than ever – a truly foreign land.

If Only They Didn’t Speak English is a fascinating, insightful, portrait of American life and politics seen through British eyes. With the combination of Jon’s political expertise (as a BBC correspondent of more than 20 years) and his own stories from on the ground, it sets out to answer our questions about a country that once stood for the grandest of dreams but which is now mired in a storm of political extremism, racial division, and increasingly perverse beliefs.

Ghosts of the Tsunami

Richard Lloyd Parry

On 11 March 2011, a massive earthquake sent a 120-foot high tsunami smashing into the coast of north-east Japan. By the time the sea retreated, more than 18,000 people had been crushed, burned to death, or drowned.

It was Japan’s greatest single loss of life since the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. It set off a national crisis, and the meltdown of a nuclear power plant. And even after the immediate emergency had abated, the trauma of the disaster continued to express itself in bizarre and mysterious ways.

Richard Lloyd Parry, an award-winning foreign correspondent, lived through the earthquake in Tokyo, and spent six years reporting from the disaster zone. There he encountered stories of ghosts and hauntings. He met a priest who performed exorcisms on people possessed by the spirits of the dead. And he found himself drawn back again and again to a village which had suffered the greatest loss of all, a community tormented by unbearable mysteries of its own.

What really happened to the local children as they waited in the school playground in the moments before the tsunami? Why did their teachers not evacuate them to safety? And why was the unbearable truth being so stubbornly covered up?

Ghosts of the Tsunami is a classic of literary non-fiction, a heart-breaking and intimate account of an epic tragedy, told through the personal accounts of those who lived through it. It tells the story of how a nation faced a catastrophe, and the bleak struggle to find consolation in the ruins.

The Girl Who Escaped ISIS

Farida Khalaf

In August 2014, Farida Khalaf was just a normal Yazidi girl, living in a village high in the mountains of northern Iraq. Then her village was attacked and swiftly taken by ISIS fighters, and her whole world changed. The jihadists murdered the men and the boys of her village, including her father and brothers, before taking Farida prisoner along with the rest of the women.

This is the story of what happened to Farida after she was captured: the beatings, the rapes, the markets where ISIS sold their female prisoners like cattle, and Farida's realisation that the more difficult and resistant she became, the harder it was for her captors to continue their atrocities against her. So she struggled, she bit, she kicked, she accused her captors of going against their religion, and then, one day, the door to her room was left unlocked. She took her chance along with 5 other women, and set out across the Syrian desert ...

This is a story of incredible courage in the face of unthinkable atrocity. As the battle against ISIS continues to ravage the Middle East, The Girl Who Escaped Isis provides an astonishing perspective on this very terrifying global threat.

First Confession

Chris Patten

Chris Patten was a cradle Catholic (hence the title), became one of the most prominent Tory 'Wets' of the 1980s and 1990s, and went on to hold a series of prominent public offices - Chairman of the Conservative Party, the last Governor of Hong Kong, European Commissioner for External Affairs, Chancellor of Oxford University, Chairman of the BBC, advisor to the Pope - as he self-deprecatingly puts it 'a Grand Poo-bah, the Lord High Everything Else'. He writes with wry humour about his time in all these offices, taking us behind the scenes and showing us unexpected sides of many of the great figures of the day. In exploring his own identity he also examines the dangers of identity politics, which he encountered in several of his jobs, from Northern Ireland to Asia and the Middle East. No politician now writing is so purely enjoyable as Chris Patten.

Death

Julian Barnes

When it comes to death, is there ever a best case scenario?

In this disarmingly witty book, Julian Barnes confronts our unending obsession with the end. He reflects on what it means to miss God, whether death can be good for our careers and why we eventually turn into our parents. Barnes is the perfect guide to the weirdness of the only thing that binds us all.

Selected from the book Nothing to be Frightened Of by Julian Barnes

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Calm by Tim Parks
Drinking by John Cheever
Babies by Anne Enright
Psychedelics by Aldous Huxley

Mind Body Cleanse

Chris James

Feeling sluggish, bloated and in desperate need of rejuvenation?

Enter Chris James's unique plan to restore energy, acuity and cleanse your whole body, starting with the seat of all health - the gut.

By targeting three key areas and showing you the impacts they can have on your body and mind, Chris's holistic method will show you exactly what your body needs and how to nourish it, using:

- Diet: menu plans, delicious cleansing recipes, juices, suggestions and tips for eating vegan;
- Mindfulness: how to use mindfulness to help you focus on what exactly your body needs;
- Yoga: simple and specific twists to stimulate peristalsis and digestion, inversions to stimulate the lymphatic system, backbends to stimulate gut health.

You've heard of cleanses, the power of mindfulness and the importance of gut health; now combine them for the first time with Chris's Mind Body Cleanse. In just 12 days you'll feel lighter, brighter and glowing with health.

Calm

Tim Parks

How do we find calm in our frantic modern world? Tim Parks – lifelong cynic and spirituality-sceptic – finds himself on a Buddhist meditation retreat trying to answer this very question. With brutal honesty and dry wit, he recounts his journey from disbelief to inner peace and tackles one of the great mysteries of our time – how to survive in this modern age.

Selected from the book Teach us to Sit Still by Tim Parks

VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS.

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Swimming by Roger Deakin
Motherhood by Helen Simpson
Work by Joseph Heller
Liberty by Virginia Woolf

The Art of Living

Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh, the most well-known Zen master in the world, turns his attention to the most important subject of all - the art of living.

Stimulating and inspiring, this book teaches us the importance of looking inside ourselves and developing compassion, before we can turn to our relationships at home and in the wider world. Full of remarkable stories and mindful practices for engaging with life, this will be a book to treasure and act upon throughout our lives.

Al Britannia, My Country

James Fergusson

In this groundbreaking book, James Fergusson travels the length of Britain to explore our often misunderstood Muslim communities, and to experience life on both sides of our increasingly segregated society.

The face of Britain is changing. The Muslim population has more than doubled over the last twenty years, and is projected to do so again over the next twenty. A societal shift of this size and speed has inevitably brought growing pains, with the impact on our communities becoming ever more profound – as well as painful, because in the eyes of many, Islam has a problem: the extremist views of a tiny minority, which, when translated into action, can result in catastrophic violence.

The danger of this extremist threat - or our response to it - is that we are collectively starting to lose faith in the cultural diversity that has glued our nation together for so long. Our tolerance of others, so often celebrated as a ‘fundamental British value,’ is at risk.

In this groundbreaking book, James Fergusson travels the length of Britain to evaluate the impact these seismic shifts have had on our communities. With the rise of nationalist movements, growing racial tensions and an increasingly out of touch political elite, what does it mean to be a Muslim in Britain? What is life like on both sides of this growing religious divide? And what can we do to heal the fractures appearing in our national fabric?

Al-Britannia, My Country is a timely and urgent account of life in Britain today, a call to action filled with real-life experience, hard truths and important suggestions for our future.

Queer City

Peter Ackroyd

In Queer City Peter Ackroyd looks at London in a whole new way – through the history and experiences of its gay population.

In Roman Londinium the city was dotted with lupanaria (‘wolf dens’ or public pleasure houses), fornices (brothels) and thermiae (hot baths). Then came the Emperor Constantine, with his bishops, monks and missionaries. And so began an endless loop of alternating permissiveness and censure.

Ackroyd takes us right into the hidden history of the city; from the notorious Normans to the frenzy of executions for sodomy in the early nineteenth. He journeys through the coffee bars of sixties Soho to Gay Liberation, disco music and the horror of AIDS.

Today, we live in an era of openness and tolerance and Queer London has become part of the new norm. Ackroyd tells us the hidden story of how it got there, celebrating its diversity, thrills and energy on the one hand; but reminding us of its very real terrors, dangers and risks on the other.

'Peter Ackroyd is the greatest living chronicler of London' Independent

No Time Like the Present

Jack Kornfield

‘Jack Kornfield is a wonderful storyteller and a great teacher’ Thich Nhat Hanh

Bestselling author of A Path With Heart, Jack Kornfield invites you into a new awareness: how you can free yourself, whoever you are and whatever your circumstances.

Renowned for his mindfulness practices and meditations, Jack provides the keys for opening gateways to immediate shifts in perspective and clarity of vision, allowing yourself to change course, take action or to simply relax.

Presenting different paths to different kinds of freedom – freedom from fear, freedom to start over again, to love, to be yourself and to be happy – he guides you into an active process that engages your mind, heart and spirit, and brings real joy, over and over again.

Drawing from his own life, he presents a stirring call to be here, in the power of the now, the present, to work through life’s biggest challenges.

Radicals

Jamie Bartlett

In the last few years the world has changed in unexpected ways. The power of radical ideas and groups is growing. What was once considered extreme is now the mainstream. But what is life like on the political fringes? What is the real power of radicals?

Radicals is an exploration of the individuals, groups and movements who are rejecting the way we live now, and attempting to find alternatives. In it, Jamie Bartlett, one of the world’s leading thinkers on radical politics and technology, takes us inside the strange and exciting worlds of the innovators, disruptors, idealists and extremists who think society is broken, and believe they know how to fix it. From dawn raids into open mines to the darkest recesses of the internet, Radicals introduces us to some of the most secretive and influential movements today: techno-futurists questing for immortality, far-right groups seeking to close borders, militant environmentalists striving to save the planet's natural reserves by any means possible, libertarian movements founding new countries, autonomous cooperatives in self-sustaining micro-societies, and psychedelic pioneers attempting to heal society with the help of powerful hallucinogens.

As well as providing a fascinating glimpse at the people and ideas driving these groups, Radicals also presents a startling argument: radicals are not only the symptoms of a deep unrest within the world today, but might also offer the most plausible models for our future.

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