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Our Story

Rao Pingru (Author) , Nicky Harman (Translator)

WINNER OF AN ENGLISH PEN AWARD

Rao Pingru was a twenty-six-year-old soldier when he first saw the beautiful Mao Meitang. One glimpse of her through a window as she put on lipstick was enough to capture Pingru’s heart. It was a moment that sparked a union that would last almost sixty years.

But when Meitang passed away in 2008, Pingru realised that their marriage and all the small moments and memories of a life together, would be lost to history. And so at the age of eighty-eight, in an outpouring of love and grief, Pingru began to paint.

Our Story is a memorial to Pingru and Meitang’s epic romance, told through Pingru’s exquisitely detailed paintings and handwritten notes. We see Pingru and Meitang through the decades, through both poverty and good fortune, and as they grow so too does China: the nation undergoing political turmoil and seismic cultural change.

A tale both tragic and inspiring, of enduring love and simple values, Our Story is an old-fashioned romance that unfolds within the rush of a rapidly changing nation. A love letter, a work of folk art and a historical testament, Our Story is a truly unique graphic memoir.

Figures in a Landscape

Paul Theroux (Author)

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.

House of Nutter

Lance Richardson (Author)

From an early age, there was something different about Tommy and David Nutter. Growing up above an Edgware café, the boys seemed destined to lead humble lives in post-war London yet the strength of their imagination transformed them instead into unlikely protagonists of a swinging cultural revolution.

In 1969, at the age of twenty-six, Tommy opened an unusual new boutique on the ‘golden mile’ of bespoke tailoring. While shocking a haughty establishment resistant to change, ‘Nutters of Savile Row’ became an immediate sensation among the young, rich, and beautiful, beguiling everyone from Bianca Jagger to the Beatles – who immortalised Tommy’s designs on the album cover of Abbey Road. Meanwhile, David’s talent with a camera vaulted him across the Atlantic to New York City, where he found himself amongst a parallel constellation of stars (including Freddie Mercury and Elton John) who enjoyed his dry wit almost as much as his photography.

House of Nutter tells the glamorous true story of two gay men who influenced some of the most iconic styles and pop images of the twentieth century. Drawing on interviews with more than seventy people – and taking advantage of unparalleled access to never-before-seen pictures, letters, sketches, and diaries – Lance Richardson presents a dual portrait of brothers improvising their way through five decades of extraordinary events, their personal struggles playing out against vivid backdrops of the Blitz, the birth of disco and the devastation of the AIDS crisis.

A propulsive, deftly-plotted narrative filled with surprising details and near-operatic twists, House of Nutter takes readers on a wild ride into the minds and times of two brilliant dreamers.

This Book Will Send You to Sleep

Professor K. McCoy and Dr Hardwick (Author)

Sleep smarter

‘The indispensable bedside classic’ Leland Carlson, Assistant Vice President of the Dull Men’s Club

This Book Will Send You to Sleep makes no claims to be fun or interesting. It is a book you can read in full confidence that you will find absolutely nothing to stimulate your brain. A book, like no other, that will afford you much sleep and copious amounts of pointless knowledge.

Where else will you read about the political crisis in Belgium 2007–2011 or study the growth pattern of holly? And from where else can you find, in one place an overview of railway gauges, a summary of the administrative bureaucracy of the Byzantine Empire and instructions for the creation of a collapsible music stand?

Prepare to fall fast asleep with the most boring book ever published.

The Anxiety Cure

Klaus Bernhardt (Author)

Whether you suffer from panic attacks or general anxiety, Klaus Bernhardt’s proven anxiety cure will help you lead a calmer, happier life fast.

Using the latest research in neuroscience combined with the most useful elements of therapies such as CBT, hypnotherapy and positive psychology, The Anxiety Cure will introduce you to a powerful approach to stop anxiety in its tracks. Within just a few weeks, using tried and tested mind training and pattern breaker techniques, you will discover the real cause of your anxiety, learn to rewire negative thinking and completely transform your response to anxiety-inducing situations and thoughts.

Klaus Bernhardt's methods have already been used by thousands of people to turn their lives around, and now this practical and easy-to-action book is your chance to take control, regain your confidence and live your life.

From Cold War to Hot Peace

Michael McFaul (Author)

A revelatory, behind-the-scenes account of Russian-American relations, from a former US ambassador and 'Obama's top White House advisor on Russia policy' (The New York Times)

In 2008, when Michael McFaul was asked to leave his perch at Stanford and join President-elect Barack Obama's national security team, he had no idea that he would find himself at the beating heart of one of today's most contentious international relationships. McFaul had been studying and visiting Russia for decades, becoming one of America's preeminent scholars on the country during the first Putin era.

During President Obama's first term, McFaul helped craft the policy known as "Reset," which fostered unprecedented collaboration between the two countries under Dmitry Medvedev's presidency. Later, as U.S. ambassador from 2012 to 2014, he witnessed firsthand how Vladimir Putin's new rise interrupted this era of cooperation and returned Russian-American relations to a level of hostility not known since the darkest days of the Cold War. From the outset of his ambassadorship, the Kremlin accused McFaul of being sent by Obama to foment revolution against Putin's regime.

This resulting insider's account - uniquely combining history, politics and intimate personal knowledge of the corridors of power - takes us from Putin's dacha to ornate Kremlin chambers and the Oval Office, to explain how Russia really works, and why the world has entered a dangerous new era of confrontation.

The Little Book of Football Jokes

Joe King (Author) , Nigel Baines (Illustrator)

What did the ref say to the chicken who tripped a defender?
Fowl!

Why was the footballer upset on his birthday?
He got a red card!

These and many more howlers to make you laugh no matter how your team is doing!

One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each

Peter MacMillan (Translator) , Peter MacMillan (Translator)

A new edition of the most widely known and popular collection of Japanese poetry.

The best-loved and most widely read of all Japanese poetry collections, the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu contains 100 short poems on nature, the seasons, travel, and, above all, love. Dating back to the seventh century, these elegant, precisely observed waka poems (the precursor of haiku) express deep emotion through visual images based on a penetrating observation of the natural world. Peter MacMillan's new translation of his prize-winning original conveys even more effectively the beauty and subtlety of this magical collection.

Translated with an introduction and commentary by Peter MacMillan.

Football in Sun and Shadow

Eduardo Galeano (Author)

'Football is a pleasure that hurts'

This unashamedly emotional history of football is a homage to the romance and drama, spectacle and passion of a 'great pagan mass'. Through stories of superstition, heartbreak, tragedy, luck, heroes and villains, those who lived for football and those who died for it, Eduardo Galeano celebrates the glory of a game that - however much the rich and powerful try to control it - still retains its magic.

'The Uruguayan whose writing got right to the heart of football ... readers were never in doubt of the warmth of the blood running through his veins' Guardian

'Galeano can run rings round our glamorous football intelligentsia' When Saturday Comes

'Stands out like Pele on a field of second-stringers' New Yorker

Dinner

Moira Buffini (Author), David Hounslow (Read by), Harriet Walter (Read by), Nicholas Farrell (Read by), Paul Bazely (Read by), Penny Downie (Read by), Peter McDonald (Read by), Pippa Bennett-Warner (Read by)

A deliciously black satirical comedy about the dinner party from hell.

The fastidious host, Paige, decides to throw a dinner party in honour of her husband Lars, who is celebrating the success of his pop psychology book, Beyond Belief. She carefully plans a surprise menu that will mark the occasion, and anxiously checks with the waiter she has employed to make sure that everything is perfectly prepared. Her lucky guests include a post-feminist vegetarian artist, a distinguished microbiologist, a TV journalist and an uninvited guest who ends up staying for dinner. But it soon becomes apparent that the meal may contain some rather nasty surprises…

Moira Buffini's outrageous comedy Dinner started life in the National Theatre's Loft in 2002, and became her first West End smash. In this production, adapted by the writer for BBC Drama on 3, Harriet Walter returns to the role she created: Paige, the hostess and architect of an evening which her guests will never forget. Two other original leads, Nicholas Farrell and Penny Downie, and four new cast members join her in this viciously black chamber piece about appetite, which will make you think twice about ever accepting another invitation to dinner.

Moira Buffini was nominated for an Olivier Award for Dinner in 2003, and won the Olivier in 2014 for her play Handbagged.

Cast
Paige……………………Harriet Walter
Lars……………………Nicholas Farrell
Wynne……………………Penny Downie
Hal……………………Paul Bazely
Sian……………………Pippa Bennett-Warner
Mike……………………Peter McDonald
Waiter……………………David Hounslow

Produced and directed by Jonquil Panting

Get That Ball!

Judy Corbalis (Author)

Tom and his gran are playing penalty shoot-out when things go wrong and the ball escapes... Now, wherever it leads
them, from the park to the highstreet and beyond to the depths of the ocean and way up high in the sky, Tom and Gran must "Get that ball!"

Incredible Women: Series 1-6

Rebecca Front (Author) , Jeremy Front (Author) , Jeremy Front (Read by) , Rebecca Front (Read by)

Rebecca Front and Jeremy Front star in this series of spoof documentaries looking at the lives of some extraordinary and unforgettable characters.

We meet some truly remarkable women, such as controversial children's writer and wolf enthusiast Eleanor Fane-Gore; ‘Media Integrity Czar’ Valerie Panther; MI5 whistle-blower Helen McKee; fashion guru Tish Watts; child star Mandy Fenwick; Irina Stonkus, soon to be the first woman on Mars; and National Treasure Dame Cicely Leyland.

In each programme our less-than-intrepid interviewer Jeremy spends one night in the home of each of his interviewees. On their territory, he asks about their personal histories, plus we discover some very odd things about the way they live their daily lives.

The interviews with each of these weird and wonderful characters is interspersed with interviews with real-life famous folk who have been ‘affected’ by them in one way or another. Guests including Eamonn Holmes, Joanna Lumley, Clare Balding, Janet Street-Porter, Barbara Windsor, Andy Hamilton, Joe Lycett and Jeremy Paxman attempt to throw light upon the woman in question.

Incredible Women has a warmth and charm that keeps you listening, as well as lovely writing, so give it a go.’ The Observer

‘This is not just good, it's excellent and shows that quality writing can transform radio comedy into something that's laugh-out-loud funny.’ Radio Times

Ireland’s Green Larder

Margaret Hickey (Author)

Ireland’s Green Larder tells the story of food and drink in Ireland, for the first time. From the ancient system of the Céide Fields, established a thousand years before the Pyramids were built, right up to today’s thriving food scene.

Rather than focusing on battles and rulers, Margaret Hickey digs down to what has formed the day-to-day life of the people. It’s a glorious ramble through the centuries, drawing on diaries, letters, legal texts, ballads, government records, folklore and more. The story of how Queen Maeve died after being hit by a piece of hard cheese sits alongside a contemporary interview with one of Ireland’s magnificent cheese makers, and the tale of the author’s day in Clew Bay on the wild Atlantic coast, collecting the world’s freshest oysters, is countered by Jonathan Swift’s complaint about dubiously fresh salmon being sold on the streets of Dublin.

Beautifully illustrated and dotted with recipes, there are chapters covering everything from strong tea to the Irish rituals and superstitions associated with food and drink. With a light touch and a flair for finding the most telling details, Hickey draws on years of research to bring this sweeping history brilliantly to life.

Into Nature

The Mindfulness Project (Author)


Live in the moment...

Pause. Connect with something bigger. Get perspective, with The Mindfulness Project.

This essential guide to mindful nature connection will help you cultivate calm and find peace of mind. Discover how to connect with nature in your everyday life where ever you are. Be inspired by over 70 simple exercises. Follow the guideposts to get the most out of your outdoor exploration. Use the field notes pages to document your findings and capture your insights.

Explore, record, observe, get creative and go wild!

Diggersaurs Explore!

Michael Whaite (Author) , Michael Whaite (Illustrator) , Michael Whaite (Illustrator)

What do you get when you cross a digger and a dinosaur?

A DIGGERSAUR (of course!)

These mighty beasts are the perfect mixture of two childhood favourite things, and they're off on a wonderful rhythmic, rhyming adventure full of funny details to spot and noisy diggersaur sounds to shout out loud. This book colourful burst of fun from this fantastic debut illustrator.

Lucky Break

Rob Stevens (Author)

Leon’s twin, Lenny, had the best imagination in the world. He could do a back flip from a standing start and tell rude jokes nonstop for hours. But a year ago Lenny died, and Leon's family hasn't been the same since.
When a new boy, Arnold, starts at Leon's school, he has no idea what to think: Arnold doesn’t understand jokes, sarcasm is lost on him and he can be completely blunt. Leon has never met anyone like Arnold before, and an unlikely friendship blossoms. Before long things start to get seriously bonkers, and the two boys are breaking windows, accidentally holding up a bank and getting arrested after a disagreement with a baguette.
But amidst all this madness, can Awkward Arnold actually help Leon to sort his life out?

Tracks: Series 1 and 2

Matthew Broughton (Author), Fiona O’Shaughnessy (Read by), Full Cast (Read by), Jonathan Forbes (Read by), Kai Owen (Read by), Kenneth Cranham (Read by), Robert Pugh (Read by), Romola Garai (Read by), Susan Jameson (Read by)

‘One of the best dramas – on television or radio- currently on offer’ Radio Times

‘instantly compelling’ The Guardian

Tracks

A major conspiracy thriller about life, death and the human brain, starring Romola Garai.

When Dr Helen Ash witnesses the brutal and disturbing crash of the plane that is carrying her father, the incident sets her on an investigation into a dark conspiracy. Florian Chauvin was flying to Wales to tell his daughter something important, but his plane fell out of the sky. In the aftermath of the crash, Helen discovers that one of the passengers doesn't seem to have a heart.

What was Florian coming to tell Helen? Who was he travelling with? And why did his plane crash?

The first series of Tracks became the most successful drama series launched by Radio 4 in 2016.

Tracks: Strata

A prequel to the first series, Series 2 is set 36 years before the events that rocked the life of Helen Ash. It explores the roots of a conspiracy that is set to envelop the world.

Snowdonia, 1980. It’s the dawn of a new decade and the future is coming. But in the wilds of Snowdonia, the ancient history of the landscape is hard to escape.

Rachel Turner is looking for fossils with her four year-old son, Joe. But when a freak earthquake shakes the land beneath their feet, Joe vanishes. With the help of two locals, Rachel embarks on a desperate search to find her son. But as darkness descends, the secrets hidden in the ancient forests of the mountain are uncovered.

Cast of Tracks
Helen………………..Romola Garai
Freddy……………….Jonathan Forbes
Michael……………...Alex Beckett
Rosie………………..Susan Jameson
Florian……………….Sean Baker
K……………………...Rafay Asfi
Fisker Lee…………..Kenneth Cranham
Other parts played by Suzanne Packer, Richard Nichols, Caroline Berry, Alexandria Riley, Matthew Gravelle, Claire Cage, Richard Mitchley, Pauline McLynn, Paul Courtenay Hyu, Leo Wan, Ruth Lloyd, Tristan Sturrock, Jaimi Barbakoff, John Norton, Paul Copley, Rhodri Meilir, Sam Rix, Nabil Elouahabi, Liz Sutherland and Matilda le Fleming.

Written by Matthew Broughton
Directed by James Robinson, Helen Perry and Abigail le Fleming.
Original music by Stu Barker
A BBC Cymru Wales Production

Cast of Tracks: Strata
Rachel ………………Fiona O’Shaughnessy
Ifan…………………...Kai Owen
Sam………………….Robert Pugh
Afa……………………Betsan Llwyd
Charlotte…………….Shelly Rees
Ronny………………...Dafydd Emyr

Written by Matthew Broughton
Directed by James Robinson
A BBC Cymru Wales Production

The Museum of Curiosity: Series 9-12

John Lloyd (Author) , Jo Brand (Read by), John Lloyd (Read by) , Noel Fielding (Read by), Romesh Ranganathan (Read by)

Join Professor John Lloyd and Curators Noel Fielding, Jo Brand, Romesh Ranganathan and Sally Phillips as they plunge down the badger hole of ignorance in a search for the universe's most mind-boggling oddnesses.

The Museum of Curiosity is BBC Radio 4's monumental comedy edifice, and the only one with gargoyles in the foyer. It allows nothing inside that doesn’t make you scratch your head, stroke your chin or, at the very least, go ‘Hmm’. Fortunately, helping to fill its almost vacant plinths is a gathering of the world’s most original minds.

The guests bearing donations to the museum in this collection include Howard Goodall, Corey Taylor, Vic Reeves, Ross Noble, George Monbiot, Lucy Porter, Deborah Frances-White, Stephen K Amos, Konnie Huq, Rory Bremner and Phil Jupitus.

Tao Teh Ching

Lao Tze (Author)

Written during the Golden Age of Chinese philosophy, and composed partly in prose and partly in verse, the Tao Te Ching is the most terse and economical of the world's great religious texts. In a series of short, profound chapters it elucidates the idea of the Tao, or the Way, and of Te - Virtue, or Power - ideas that in their ethical, practical and spiritual dimensions have become essential to the life of China's powerful civilization.

The Tao Te Ching has been translated into Western languages more times than any other Chinese work. It speaks of the ineffable in a secular manner and its imagery, drawn from the natural world, transcends time and place. The application of its wisdom to modern times is both instructive and provocative - for the individual, lessons in self-awareness and spontaneity, placing stillness and consciousness of the word around above ceaseless activity; for leaders of society, how to govern with integrity, to perform unobtrusively the task in hand and never to utter words lightly; for both, the futility of striving for personal success.

D. C. Lau's classic English version remains a touchstone of accuracy. Informed by the most impressive scholarship this is a translation both for academic study and for general readers who prefer to reflect on the meaning of this ancient text unencumbered by the subjective interpretations and poetic licence of more recent 'inspirational' translations. Sarah Allan's masterly introduction discusses the origins of the work, sheds light on the ambiguities of its language, and places it firmly in its historical and philosophical context.

The Everyman edition uses Lau's translation of the Ma Wang Tui manuscripts (discovered in 1973) in the revised 1989 version published by The Chinese University Press. The iconic text is presented uncluttered by explanatory notes. A chronology and glossary are included, together with the translator's informative appendices.

Play On

Jeff Bercovici (Author)

How do the world's best athletes combat ageing, and what you can do to keep up?

Sports are about challenging our physical limits. But the greatest limit of all remains undefeated: age. We're taught to believe that ageing thwarts effort and grace, talent and grit, outstanding teamwork and individual brilliance.

But a new breed of top professionals - the likes of Roger Federer, Tom Brady and Jo Pavey - are overturning long-held assumptions about how long the prime of a sporting career can last. It's not that aging causes a decline in fitness; rather, a decline in fitness causes aging.

Jeff Bercovici steps inside the lives of such ageless athletes, following them as they train, compete, and recover, to dispel conventional wisdom about longevity. Full of cutting-edge science, technology and practical tips, Play On empowers you to reverse the ageing process, and keep you younger for longer.

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