New and forthcoming

Cruickshank’s London: A Portrait of a City in 20 Walks

Dan Cruickshank

Cobbled medieval alleyways and ornate Georgian boulevards. Decadent marble mansions and sprawling Victorian slums. Heaths, churches, squares and railways that, between them, hold two thousand years of secrets: London’s history is written into the very fabric of its streets.

In Cruickshank’s London, one of Britain’s best-loved historians vividly describes twenty historic walks that span North, East, South and West London. As he tours the city, Dan Cruickshank uncovers the forgotten stories that shaped the districts we all thought we knew: from the mysterious Celtic origins of Hampstead Heath, via the West Ham churches inscribed with the occult symbols of the Knights Templar, to the features of Tower Bridge that were included to appease Queen Victoria’s infamous temper. Throughout, Cruickshank peppers the book with colourful photos and easy-to-follow maps that make his wanderings immediately useful for anyone who wants to follow his footsteps through the capital.

Passionately written and deeply researched, Cruickshank’s London is not just a walking guide: it is a love letter to a city whose history immerses and inspires anyone who passes through.

The Prime Minister of Paradise

John Jeremiah Sullivan

As a student working in the dusty archives of the Sewanee Review, John Jeremiah Sullivan came across an article entitled ‘Lost Utopia of the American Frontier’ and was immediately hooked on the dramatic story of a lost book, an alternative history of the South, a white Indian. It was a story he’d chase for the next two decades.

In 1735, a charismatic German lawyer and accused atheist named Christian Gottlieb Priber fled Germany under threat of arrest, bound for colonial South Carolina. In the Cherokee village of Grand Tellico, he created a Utopian society that he named Paradise.

For six years, Paradise was governed by a set of revolutionary ideas that included racial equality, sexual freedom, and a lack of private property, ideas which he chronicled in a mysterious manuscript he called Paradise.

Priber’s ideas were so subversive that he was hunted for half a decade and eventually captured by the British – making headlines across the world – and imprisoned until his death. The only copy of Paradise was apparently destroyed.

Now, in a rare combination of ground-breaking research and stunning narrative skill, award-winning writer John Jeremiah Sullivan brings that lost history vividly to life.

Red Thread

Charlotte Higgins

The tale of how the hero Theseus killed the Minotaur, finding his way out of the labyrinth using Ariadne’s ball of red thread, is one of the most intriguing, suggestive and persistent of all myths, and the labyrinth – the beautiful, confounding and terrifying building created for the half-man, half-bull monster – is one of the foundational symbols of human ingenuity and artistry.

Charlotte Higgins, author of the Baillie Gifford-shortlisted Under Another Sky, tracks the origins of the story of the labyrinth in the poems of Homer, Catullus, Virgil and Ovid, and with them builds an ingenious edifice of her own. She follows the idea of the labyrinth through the Cretan excavations of Sir Arthur Evans, the mysterious turf labyrinths of northern Europe, the church labyrinths of medieval French cathedrals and the hedge mazes of Renaissance gardens. Along the way, she traces the labyrinthine ideas of writers from Dante and Borges to George Eliot and Conan Doyle, and of artists from Titian and Velázquez to Picasso and Eva Hesse.

Her intricately constructed narrative asks what it is to be lost, what it is to find one’s way, and what it is to travel the confusing and circuitous path of a lived life. Red Thread is, above all, a winding and unpredictable route through the byways of the author’s imagination – one that leads the reader on a strange and intriguing journey, full of unexpected connections and surprising pleasures.

Around the World in 80 Days

Mark Beaumont

The inspiring story of one man's record-breaking cycle around the world.

On Monday 18th September 2017, Mark Beaumont pedalled through the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. 78 days, 14 hours and 40 minutes earlier he set off from the same point, beginning his attempt to circumnavigate the world in record time. Covering more than 18,000 miles and cycling through some of the harshest conditions one man and his bicycle can endure, Mark made history. He smashed two Guinness World Records and beat the previous record by an astonishing 45 days.

Around the World in 80 Days is the story of Mark’s amazing achievement - one which redefines the limits of human endurance. It is also an insight into the mind of an elite athlete and the physical limits of the human body, as well as a kaleidoscopic tour of the world from a very unique perspective; inspired by Jules Verne’s classic adventure novel, Mark begins his journey in Paris and cycles through Europe, Russia, Mongolia and China. He then crosses Australia, rides up through New Zealand and across North America before the final 'sprint finish' thorough Portugal, Spain and France, all at over 200 miles a day. This is the story of a quite remarkable adventure, by a quite remarkable man.

Another Kyoto

Alex Kerr (and others)

Another Kyoto is a matchless guide to a great city, It is the fruit of Alex Kerr's half-century of living in Japan and of lore gleaned from people he's met along the way: artists, Zen monks and Shinto priests, Japanese literati, and expat personalities from days past, such as legendary art dealer David Kidd. Kerr turns what we thought we knew about Kyoto inside-out, revealing the inner ideas behind simple things like walls, floors, and sliding doors.

After this book, one can never walk through a Zen gate in the same way again.

Alone Time

Stephanie Rosenbloom

Travelling with friends and family is usually thought of as a privilege. In theory, anyway. In practice, it's more often about debating which sights to see, panicking over diminishing phone batteries and bickering over what to eat. Not much joy in that. But alone you can do as you please. You can wander markets, relish silence, go to a park. Go to Paris. Why not?

In Alone Time, New York Times travel columnist Stephanie Rosenbloom travels alone in four seasons to four remarkable cities - Paris, Istanbul, Florence and New York - exploring the sensory experience of solitude. Along the way she illuminates the psychological arguments for alone time, revealing that whether you recognize it or not, it's good to be alone now and then.

This is a book about the pleasures and benefits of savouring the moment, examining things closely, using all your senses to take in your surroundings, whether travelling to faraway places or walking the streets of your own city. Through on-the-ground observations and anecdotes, and drawing on the thinking of artists, writers and innovators who have cherished solitude, Alone Time lays bare the magic of going solo.

Trans-Europe Express

Owen Hatherley

A searching, timely account of the condition of contemporary Europe, told through the landscapes of its cities

Over the past twenty years European cities have become the envy of the world: a Kraftwerk Utopia of historic centres, supermodernist concert halls, imaginative public spaces and futuristic egalitarian housing estates which, interconnected by high-speed trains traversing open borders, have a combination of order and pleasure which is exceptionally unusual elsewhere.

In Trans-Europe Express, Owen Hatherley sets out to explore the European city across the entire continent, to see what exactly makes it so different to the Anglo-Saxon norm - the unplanned, car-centred, developer-oriented spaces common to the US, Ireland, UK and Australia. Attempting to define the European city, Hatherley finds a continent divided both within the EU and outside it.

'The latest heir to Ruskin.' - Boyd Tonkin, Independent

'Hatherley is the most informed, opinionated and acerbic guide you could wish for.' - Hugh Pearman, Sunday Times

'Can one talk yet of vintage Hatherley? Yes, one can. Here are all the properties that have made him one of the most distinctive writers in England - not just 'architectural writers', but writers full stop: acuity, contrariness, observational rigour, frankness and beautifully wrought prose.' - Jonathan Meades

Kings of the Yukon

Adam Weymouth

The Yukon river is over 2,000 miles long, flowing northwest from Canada through the Yukon Territory and Alaska to the Bering Sea. Every summer, hundreds of thousands of King salmon migrate the distance of this river to their spawning grounds, where they breed and die, in what is the longest salmon run in the world. For the communities that live along the Yukon, the fish have long been the lifeblood of the economy and local culture. But with the effects of climate change and a globalized economy, the health and numbers of the King salmon are in question, as is the fate of the communities that depend on them.

Travelling in a canoe along the Yukon as the salmon migrate, a four-month journey through untrammeled wilderness, Adam Weymouth traces the profound interconnectedness of the people and the fish through searing portraits of the individuals he encounters. He offers a powerful, nuanced glimpse into the erosion of indigenous culture, and into our ever-complicated relationship with the natural world. Weaving in the history of the salmon run and their mysterious life cycle, Kings of the Yukon is extraordinary adventure and nature writing at its most compelling.

Figures in a Landscape

Paul Theroux

The Sunday Times bestseller Paul Theroux collects a rich feast of his writing and essays - from travel to personal memoir - published all together here for the first time

Drawing together a fascinating body of writing from over 14 years of work, Figures in a Landscape ranges from profiles of cultural icons (Oliver Sacks, Elizabeth Taylor, Robin Williams) to intimate personal remembrances; from thrilling adventures in Africa to literary writings from Theroux's rich and expansive personal reading. Collectively these pieces offer a fascinating portrait of the author himself, his extraordinary life, restless and ever-curious mind.

Ground Work

Tim Dee

We are living in the anthropocene – an epoch where everything is being determined by the activities of just one soft-skinned, warm-blooded, short-lived, pedestrian species. How best to make our way through the ruins that we have made?

This anthology of commissioned work tries to answer this as it explores new and enduring cultural landscapes, in a celebration of local distinctiveness that includes new work from some of our finest writers. We have memories of childhood homes from Adam Thorpe, Marina Warner and Sean O’Brien; we journey with John Burnside to the Arizona desert, with Hugh Brody to the Canadian Arctic; going from Tessa Hadley’s hymn to her London garden to caving in the Mendips with Sean Borodale to shell-collecting on a Suffolk beach with Julia Blackburn.

Helen Macdonald, in her remarkable piece on growing up in a 50-acre walled estate, reflects on our failed stewardship of the planet: ‘I take stock.’ she says, ‘During this sixth extinction, we who may not have time to do anything else must write now what we can, to take stock.’ This is an important, necessary book.

Walk Through History

Christopher Winn


'What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.' - W.H. Davies

Walking around London is one of life's great pleasures. There is a huge amount that you can only see on foot – but sometimes it is hard to know where to look. Luckily, Christopher Winn, bestselling author of I Never Knew That About London, knows where all the hidden treasures are.

This book takes the reader on a series of stimulating original walks through different areas of central London, focusing on one particular period of history, the Victorian, so ubiquitous that we take it for granted, and yet so astonishing and so far reaching in its variety, imagination, ambition and detail.

Discover...

..the remarkable 300-foot bell tower at the Houses of Parliament you never knew was there....
..the extraordinary fairytale house in Kensington where the Mikado was inspired...
..the best Victorian loos in the world near Old Street...
..a hidden chapel in Bloomsbury described by Oscar Wilde as 'the most delightful private chapel in London'...
..London's best preserved high class Victorian shop near Tottenham Court Road…
...an almost complete Victorian townscape boasting the world's oldest surviving mansion block...

Walk through history and discover the hidden gems of Victorian London!

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Ryszard Kapuscinski (and others)

'Like rotting stakes in a forest clearing'

The great journalist of conflict in the Third World finds an even stranger and more exotic society in his own home of post-War Poland

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.