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Danger Mouse: Unreasonably Dangerous Joke Book

Slip into your crash helmet, pull on your safety goggles and firmly secure your seat belt (even if you're not in a car). These jokes are so funny that no one can be trusted to tell them safely. Not even Her Majesty the Queen! But, if anyone can do it, Danger Mouse can.

Rebel Rebel

Chris Sullivan (Author)

Escape the everyday humdrum with this exploration of iconic rebels from the past who became the biggest influencers of fashion, music and society by doing things their own way.

From the internationally bestselling author of Punk and founder of the legendary Wag Club in Soho, Rebel Rebel presents 60 pieces on outsiders. Like a really good party, it’s got musicians (Charlie Mingus, Fela Kuti, Joe Strummer), actors (Louise Brooks, Robert Mitchum, Daniel Day Lewis), artists (Egon Schiele, Man Ray, Jackson Pollock), directors (Fritz Lang, Kenneth Anger, Wong Kar-wai), photographers (Horst, Weegee, David Bailey), DJs (Andrew Weatherall) places (Paris in the Twenties, Muscle Shoals) and things (sunglasses, Levis, the pork pie hat).

The stories in this collection are sharply written, often surprising and a pertinent reminder that most of the people (and things) of lasting significance are those who don’t play by the rules. With brand new work and revitalised articles from the Chris Sullivan archives, Rebel Rebel will amuse, fascinate and inspire your inner rebel for years to come.

L.E.L: The Rise and Fall of Letitia Landon

Lucasta Miller (Author)

On 15 October 1838, the body of a thirty-six-year-old woman was found in Cape Coast Castle, West Africa, a bottle of Prussic acid in her hand. She was one of the most famous English poets of her day: Letitia Elizabeth Landon, known by her initials ‘L.E.L.’

What was she doing in Africa? Was her death an accident, as the inquest claimed? Or had she committed suicide, or even been murdered?

To her contemporaries, she was an icon, hailed as the ‘female Byron’, admired by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Heinrich Heine, the young Brontë sisters and Edgar Allan Poe. However, she was also a woman with secrets, the mother of three illegitimate children whose existence was subsequently wiped from the record. After her death, she became the subject of a cover-up which is only now unravelling.

Too scandalous for her reputation to survive, Letitia Landon was a brilliant woman who made a Faustian pact in a ruthless world. She embodied the post-Byronic era, the ‘strange pause’ between the Romantics and the Victorians. This new investigation into the mystery of her life, work and death excavates a whole lost literary culture, in which the legacy of Keats and Shelley turned toxic.

Two Tribes

Tony Evans (Author)

When the players of Liverpool and Everton walked out into the Wembley sunshine for the FA Cup Final on 10 May 1986, it was not just the culmination of a thrilling season of ding-dong battles between the two teams for silverware. It was proof that no other clubs could compete with them, that no other clubs mattered, and that no city could rival Liverpool for its sporting and cultural importance. The chants rang round the ground, packed with more than 100,000 fans for a match no one could afford to miss: 'Merseyside! Merseyside!' In your face, Thatcher.

This season following the Heysel stadium disaster could not have had more drama. The tragedy of 39 supporters losing their lives in Brussels had morphed into the bitterness of league champions Everton not being able to take their rightful place in Europe. Liverpool themselves were aiming to recapture past glories; both clubs going for the Double, the campaign twisting and turning and going down to the wire. Plus Merseyside was the vibrant, independent heart of both the musical and political scene; Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Derek Hatton its outspoken representatives.

Two Tribes brilliantly recounts those gladiatorial, epic twelve months of turmoil on and off the field, and how it all reached its fitting climax at the home of football, as the population of Liverpool took over London for one unforgettable day. A season that had begun in shame would end in pride, and help redeem the reputation of a city that the game had destroyed.

Crossing Continents

Duncan Campbell-Smith (Author)

Bundled together in 1969 to stymie an international takeover attempt on the part of Chase Manhattan Bank of New York, Standard Chartered Bank has come to consolidate its status as one of the world's leading international banks with remarkable success. Crossing Continents draws together into one narrative the evolution both of the modern banking group and of the separate banks - originally established in 19th Century South Africa and the Far East - that preceded it. In so doing, it offers glimpses not just into seminal developments in financial history, but also into the world-historical events which have provided their backdrop, into the young men who turned their backs on careers in Britain to cross continents in search of a more adventurous life and, colourfully, into the 1980s Big Bang that so transformed the City of London.

Written with complete access to the bank's archives and personnel, Duncan Campbell-Smith's authorized history of Standard Chartered Bank shows us why British overseas banking was so often seen in the past, at home and abroad, less as a single-minded pursuit of money for its own sake than as a true hybrid of commerce and public service.

Dark Mirror

Barton Gellman (Author)

Barton Gellman’s informant called himself ‘Verax’ – the truth-teller. It was only later that Verax unmasked himself as Edward Snowden. By that point he had already shared thousands of files with Gellman.

Dark Mirror is the ultimate inside account of the vast, global surveillance network that now pervades all our lives. Gellman’s primary role in bringing Snowden’s revelations to light, for which he shared the Pulitzer prize, is only the beginning of this gripping real-life spy story. Snowden unlocked the door: here Gellman describes what he found on the other side over the course of a years-long journey of investigation. It is also the story of his own escalating battle against unknown digital adversaries after he discovered his own name on a file in the NSA document trove and realised that he himself was under attack.

Through a gripping narrative of paranoia, clandestine operations and jaw-dropping revelations, Dark Mirror delineates in full for the first time the hidden superstructure that connects government espionage with Silicon Valley and the most powerful corporation whose name you’ve never heard. Who is spying on us and why? Here are the answers.

Nutshell Library

Maurice Sendak (Author)

This 4-volume boxed set contains an alphabet book, a book of rhymes about each month, a counting book, and a cautionary tale all written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Includes the titles Alligators All Around, Chicken Soup with Rice, One Was Johnny, and Pierre.

Tweet of the Day

BBC Natural History Radio (Author) , Bill Oddie (Read by) , Chris Packham (Read by) , David Attenborough (Read by) , Kate Humble (Read by), Michaela Strachan (Read by)

The complete first series of Tweet of the Day, with introductions by Sir David Attenborough, Chris Packham, Kate Humble and many others.

First heard every weekday morning at 5.58am on BBC Radio 4, Tweet of the Day captured the imagination of early risers and bird lovers, proving so popular that it was named Radio Programme of the Year 2014. Each episode begins with a bird call or song, followed by fascinating ornithological detail about its owner.

This collection contains every edition from the first series, British Birds. The songs of over 160 birds can be heard over the course of a year, from the Cuckoo's call in spring to the summer seaside sound of the Herring Gull, the autumn song of the Robin and the Song Thrush's voice of hope in the depths of winter.

Featuring a mix of native birds, such asthe Blackbird and Tawny Owl, and migrant visitors including the Icterine Warbler and Ortolan Bunting, the series provides memorable insight into their behaviour and habits, explains their literary or folkloric associations, and tells stories of scientific or conservation success.

Presented by wildlife experts including Miranda Krestovnikoff, Steve Backshall,Michaela Strachan, Brett Westwood,Chris Watson, Martin Hughes-Games, John Aitchison and Bill Oddie, Tweet of the Day is a treat for the ears. Duration: 6 hours approx.

How to turn down a billion dollars

Billy Gallagher (Author)

Snapchat is the tech startup that got ahead by breaking all the rules. Its CEO, Evan Spiegel, and co-founder Bobby Murphy once famously walked away from a $3 billion cash offer from Facebook just two years after launch.

Now worth $16 billion, Snapchat is considered by many to be one of the most innovative and important social media platforms for business. Videos posted by advertisers get 4 billion daily hits (as many as Facebook), with Snapchat charging over $700k per day for its Sponsored Selfies. Snapchat is also one the leading influencers amongst the younger generation, considered more influential than Facebook.

Its founders are also notoriously secretive.

In HOW TO TURN DOWN A BILLION DOLLARS, tech journalist Billy Gallagher takes us inside the rise (and rise) of one of Silicon Valley’s hottest start-ups. A fellow Stanford undergrad and fraternity brother of the company’s founding trio, Gallagher has been covering Snapchat for TechCrunch and other outlets since its founding, and brings unique access and perspective to a company Bloomberg Business has called “a cipher in the Silicon Valley technology community.”

Part Kevin Roose’s Young Money, part Ashlee Vance’s Elon Musk, and part Ben Mezrich’s Accidental Billionaires, HOW TO TURN DOWN A BILLION DOLLARS will be the definitive account of a company whose goal is no less than to remake the future of entertainment.

Lucky Man

Matthew Etherington (Author)

You have money burning a hole in your pocket. You have more free time than you know what to do with. And your whole life is geared around winning. What do you do with your cash?
For former premier league footballer Matt Etherington, he, like many of his peers, gambled. But what started as harmless entertainment spiralled into a vortex of depression and debt, almost destroying his marriage, his career and himself.
Exposing the intense pressures of the premiership in a way that's never before been shared, Matt's story also shows how, in life, there's always a second half.

Rude

Nimko Ali (Author)

'I started my period at home in the afternoon aged 14 on a warm day. I remember screaming and thinking "There is no doubt about it; I am definitely going to die".'

This book is about vaginas. Fanny, cunt, flower, foo-foo, tuppence, whatever you want to call it almost half of the world's population has one.

Was Jessica Ennis on her period they day she won Olympic Gold? What do you do when you're living on the streets and pregnant? What does it feeling like to have a poo after you've given birth? We all have questions but it's not seen as very polite to talk about our fanny; in fact it is down-right rude.

Rude is an important, taboo-breaking book that shares the stories of pregnancy and periods, orgasms and the menopause, from women from all walks of life. From refugee camps in Calais to Oscar-winning actresses, to Nimko's own story of living with FGM, each woman shares their own relationship with their vagina and its impact on their life.

Goth

John Robb (Author)

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.

The Prime Minister of Paradise

John Jeremiah Sullivan (Author)

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.

London Craft Brewers Beers & Culture

Brad Evans (Author) , Jonny Garrett (Author)

The London Craft Beer Guide features 50 of the best pubs, breweries and taprooms across the city.

Organised around London boroughs from North to South, East to West, every corner is full of hidden gems to discover. Find new favourite brews with descriptions of the best to taste at each location, and pairings notes to enjoy alongside food. Meticulously plotted and illustrated maps provide walking tour ideas to create the ultimate pub-crawl in each area.

As well as the beer itself, this guide gives you unique insight into the people behind the casks, with exclusive interviews and photography that reveal the history and personality behind each sip.

From mango-like IPAs to chocolaty stouts and crisp, puckering sour beers this is the ultimate guide for craft beer converts and those looking to find off-the-beaten-track tastes and flavours.

Whether you’re a Londoner looking for your new local, or a visitor hoping to navigate the city’s best craft-brewing spots, The London Craft Beer Guide will provide plenty of inspiration.

Brit(ish)

Afua Hirsch (Author)

Afua Hirsch is British. Her parents are British. She was raised, educated and socialised in Britain. Her partner, daughter, sister and the vast majority of her friends are British. So why is her identity and sense of belonging a subject of debate? The reason is simply because of the colour of her skin.

Blending history, memoir and individual experiences, Afua Hirsch reveals the identity crisis at the heart of Britain today. Far from affecting only minority people, Britain is a nation in denial about its past and its present. We believe we are the nation of abolition, but forget we are the nation of slavery. We sit proudly at the apex of the Commonwealth, but we flinch from the legacy of the Empire. We are convinced that fairness is one of our values, but that immigration is one of our problems.

Brit(ish) is the story of how and why this came to be, and an urgent call for change.

White King

Leanda de Lisle (Author)

Drawing on lost royal letters from a closed archive, White King introduces us to Charles I as the monarch at the heart of a story for our times: a tale of populist politicians and the fall of the mighty, of religious hatreds and civil war, of the power of a new media and a maligned queen.

The reign of Charles I is one of the most dramatic in history. Yet Charles the man remains elusive. Too often he is recalled as weak and stupid, his wife, Henrietta Maria, as spoilt and silly: the cause of his ruin. This has bred not only contempt, but also indifference. Today’s readers have preferred the well-trodden reigns of the Tudors.

But Charles is revealed here as a complex and fascinating man who pays the price for bringing radical change; Henrietta Maria is a warrior queen and political player as extraordinary as any Tudor. Here too is the story of the cousins who befriended and betrayed them: Henry Holland, the king’s closest body servant, whose brother engineered the king’s fall, and Lucy Carlisle, immortalized in Alexandre Dumas’s Three Musketeers as the scheming Lady de Winter.

Epic in scale, White King is also a very human story, about the choices people make, and of the family man behind the image of the ‘white’ king, who on his execution was reviled as a traitor and murderer by some, but lauded by others as the people’s martyr.

It Ain't Hard To Tell

Nas (Author)

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.

The Sacrifice Box

Martin Stewart (Author)

Sep, Arkle, Mack, Lamb and Hadley: five friends, thrown together one hot, sultry summer. When they discover an ancient, mysterious stone box hidden in the forest, they decide to each make a sacrifice: something special to each of them, committed to the box for ever. And they make a pact: they will never return to the box at night; they'll never visit it alone; and they'll never take back their offerings.

Four years later, the gang have drifted apart. Then a series of strange and terrifying events take place, and Sep and his friends understand that one of them has broken the pact.

As their sacrifices haunt them with increased violence and hunger, they soon realise that they are not the first children to have found the box in their town's history. And ultimately, the box may want the greatest sacrifice of all: one of them.

One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each

Peter MacMillan (Translator) , Peter MacMillan (Translator)

A prize-winning translation of the most widely known and popular collection of Japanese poetry.

Hyakunin Isshu is the most famous and popular collection of Japanese poetry, and the first work of Japanese literature ever to be translated into English. Compiled in the fourteenth century, the book is a collection of one hundred waka poems (a precursor of haiku), dating back to the seventh century. It's had a huge influence on Japanese culture ever since it was first published, and is considered one of the three most important works of Japanese classical literature along with The Tale of Genji and Tales of Ise.

James I (Penguin Monarchs)

Thomas Cogswell (Author)

James's reign marked one of the very rare major breaks in England's monarchy. Already James VI of Scotland and a highly experienced ruler who had established his authority over the Scottish Kirk, he marched south on Elizabeth I's death to become James I of England and Ireland, uniting the British Isles for the first time and founding the Stuart dynasty which would, with several lurches, reign for over a century. Indeed his descendant still occupies the throne.

A complex, curious man and great survivor, James drastically changed court life in London and presided over such major projects as the Authorized Version of the Bible and the establishment of English settlements in Virginia, Massachusetts, Gujarat and the Caribbean. Although he failed to unite England and Scotland, he insisted that ambassadors acknowledge him as King of Great Britain and that vessels from both countries display a version of the current Union Flag.

He was often accused of being too informal and insufficiently regal - but when his son, Charles I, decided to redress these criticisms in his own reign he was destroyed. How much of the roots of this disaster were to be found in James's reign is one of the many problems dramatized in Thomas Cogswell's brilliant and highly entertaining new book.

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