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Ma, Jackser's Dyin Alone

Martha Long (Author)

On hearing that Jackser, her childhood abuser, is seriously ill, Martha is elated, thinking that finally she will be able to watch him suffer. But in the hospital she sees a frightened, lonely old man and realises with a shock that he seems to regret his earlier actions.

During her vigil, she is joined by Charlie, her beloved little brother, then the ma and some of her other siblings. All of them have suffered greatly and it is clear that no one connected to Jackser has escaped unscathed.

But as she sits with him during his dying days, other memories of Jackser come back to Martha – fleeting moments of concern and kindness, and a sense of closeness as he recalled his own tormented past in one of Ireland’s industrial schools. It is a vicious cycle of cruelty and loss that has played out, from which only her own tenacity and wit has provided an escape.

Poignant, ribald, poetic and defiant, with its resolution of many unanswered questions about her life this is Martha at her best.

It Could Happen to You

Helen Newlove (Author)

When Helen was 20, she met Garry Newlove at a local disco. They married in 1986 and had three daughters. On 10 August 2007, Garry was brutally beaten by a gang of youths outside the family home in Warrington. He died two days later. It was an act of violence that shocked the nation and would have a profound impact on the lives of Helen and her children.

After the ordeal of a ten-week trial and the murder conviction of three youths, Helen held a press conference, giving a speech that attracted national media attention and propelled her into the role of a campaigner for victims’ rights and against the lawlessness that blights so many of our towns and cities.

In 2010, Helen was appointed a seat in the House of Lords among some of the most powerful and influential people in the country. Today, she is Baroness Newlove of Warrington, a tireless campaigner against antisocial behaviour and for the rights of victims and witnesses.

In this engaging memoir, Helen recounts how her family was shattered by Garry’s murder and how good unexpectedly came out of evil. Her remarkable story is not one of politics and committees; it is about real people and the impact that crime has on us all.

The Cupboard Under the Stairs

Paul Mason (Author)

Paul Mason’s father was a policeman. He was also a member of a sadistic paedophile ring. He would keep Paul locked up and naked in a tiny cupboard under the stairs of their home before sexually abusing him. This cycle of abuse continued for several years and also affected his brother. The cupboard became a horrific prison where fear and terror filled his every moment.

The Cupboard Under the Stairs is a story of abuse at the mercy of adults whom Paul should have been able to trust. There followed a life almost destroyed by their actions. It is the harrowing story of one man’s fight for justice and an end to the horrific memories that still haunt him daily.

Wise Women

Carole McKenzie (Author)

'A woman is like a teabag - only when in hot water do you realise how strong she is' - Nancy Reagan

Women are never at a loss to express themselves, and smart women will have something to say for every occasion.

Wise Women is a hilarious, ribald and revealing collection of observations and inspirational quotations reflecting the wit and intelligence of women across the ages. Those quoted range from Dorothy Parker to Joan Rivers, Mae West to Joan Collins, Queen Victoria to Princess Diana, Joanna Lumley to Pamela Stephenson, Beyoncé to Adele, and Cheryl Cole to Lady Gaga.

The famous and infamous of theatre, film, politics, philosophy and literature are featured, waxing lyrical on numerous topics from affairs, ageing, men and motherhood to sex, work and what women want!

Hillsborough - The Truth

Phil Scraton (Author)

This is the definitive, unique account of the disaster in which 96 men, women and children were killed, hundreds injured and thousands traumatised. It details the appalling treatment endured by the bereaved and survivors in the immediate aftermath, the inhumanity of the identification process and the vilification of fans in the national and international media.

In 2012, Phil Scraton was primary author of the ground-breaking report published by the Hillsborough Independent Panel following its new research into thousands of documents disclosed by all agencies involved. Against a backdrop of almost three decades of persistent struggle by bereaved families and survivors, in this new edition he reflects on the Panel’s in-depth work, its revelatory findings and their unprecedented impact – an unreserved apology from the Prime Minister; new criminal investigations; the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s largest-ever inquiry; the quashing of 96 inquest verdicts; a review of all health and pathology policies. Paving the way for truth recovery and institutional accountability in other controversial cases, he details the process and considers the impact of the longest ever inquests, from the preliminary hearings to their comprehensive, devastating verdicts.

Powerful, disturbing and harrowing, Hillsborough: The Truth exposes the institutional complacency that led to the unlawful killing of the 96, revealing how the interests of ordinary people are marginalised when those in authority sacrifice truth and accountability to protect their reputations.

Talking Dirty

Carole McKenzie (Author)

‘Women should be obscene and not heard’ – John Lennon

‘The only unnatural act is that which you cannot perform' – Alfred Kinsey

‘Fat people are brilliant in bed: if I’m sitting on top of you, who’s going to argue?' – Jo Brand

‘What most women want is not a man who ties you to the bed but one who unstacks the dishes while you watch The Great British Bake Off’ – Harriet Harman

Throughout the centuries, talk of sex has proved irresistible, producing wide-ranging responses, contradictory remarks, denouncements and appraisals; something seen as harmless by one is often condemned as damnable by another.

Whatever your sexual preferences, Talking Dirty is a hugely entertaining treasury of wit on this endlessly entertaining and controversial topic.

Hoolifan

Martin Knight (Author) , Martin King (Author)

Hoolifan is the story of one man, Martin King, and his experiences spanning three decades with the country's foremost soccer gang. Chelsea have always been at the cutting edge of football violence, and King himself was at the heart of the evolving Chelsea mob for some 30 years. From his first visit to a football ground in the early 1960s, he charts his development from a rattle-waving child through to a fully fledged member of the notorious Chelsea Shed in the 1970s and finally to his exploits as a key player in the most feared football gang of the 1980s and 1990s - the so-called Chelsea Headhunters.

King describes the leading characters of the various eras, not just from Chelsea but from across the country. He also records every clash, ambush and act of revenge in vivid detail, as well as the camaraderie and style of this most infamous soccer gang.

This is not just another book on the well-trodden subject of football hooliganism, as, unlike so many authors, Martin King makes no attempt to distance himself from the violence and leaves readers to draw their own conclusions.

At times provocative, often humorous and always honest, Hoolifan places the phenomenon of football hooliganism in its true social context.

If I Should Die Before I Wake

Eileen Munro (Author)

In her bestselling memoir As I Lay Me Down to Sleep, Eileen Munro vividly documented the abuse she experienced at the hands of her adoptive parents and, later, within the care system. The birth of Eileen's son, Craig, and her escape from the authorities' clutches should have seen her turn a corner, but she remains haunted by the spectre of her past.

In If I Should Die Before I Wake, Eileen chronicles her search for her real parents and her battle for an education for both Craig and herself. She faces exploitation, suffers further sexual and physical abuse, and endures periods of homelessness and bad health. Still she perseveres, clinging to her hopes for the future, until she eventually finds the sense of belonging that has previously eluded her.

In this harrowing but ultimately inspirational second volume of memoir, Eileen Munro proves that, against all the odds, happiness does sometimes come to those who never give up hope.

Strictly No!

Simon Hills (Author)

Britain's prettiest village pub is told to take down its hanging baskets because the council deems them dangerous . . . primary schoolchildren in Wales have to start their day with a head massage . . . Blackpool Council has given donkeys Fridays off and a guaranteed lunchbreak . . .

A barrage of these orders is issued almost daily from an army of equality officers, social inclusion workers and health and safety executives. They are laying down a moral code that no one asked for and no one voted for but which is encroaching upon every area of our lives. It is given the general title of political correctness.

It started with a few nips and tucks to the language in the name of equality. Now we are entering an age in which we are excoriated for using the word 'lady' or allowing our children to climb trees. Death is upon us unless nanny is on hand to tell us to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day or wear a hat in the sunshine.

Strictly No! explains how a new all-powerful 'meddling class' is taking over the world. We are threatened by a tyranny led not by a man with a moustache but a battalion of social workers armed with social exclusion orders. Welcome to a world gone mad.

Damn' Rebel Bitches

M Craig (Author) , Maggie Craig (Author)

Damn' Rebel Bitches takes a totally fresh approach to the history of the Jacobite Rising by telling fascinating stories of the many women caught up in the turbulent events of 1745-46. Many historians have ignored female participation in the '45: this book aims to redress the balance. Drawn from many original documents and letters, the stories that emerge of the women - and their men - are often touching, occasionally light-hearted and always engrossing.

The Boy in the Attic

David Malone (Author)

Ireland 1973: a very different world. But a tiny village in County Dublin was about to lose its innocence for ever.

On a bright and sunny June afternoon, a seven-year-old boy was left in the care of his teenage neighbour. No one knew, or would even have dreamed of suspecting, that the teenager was a Satanist. The two went out to the fields to look for rabbits. The child was never seen alive again.

For the first time, in The Boy in the Attic, David Malone reveals the exact events of that summer day: how the youngster was lured to his death, how the teenager came to delve so deeply into the occult and the nightmarish scene awaiting police when they entered the attic.

But there is another disturbing question - how is it that this murder, which was easily one of the most shocking and horrific in living memory, was barely reported upon at all? Why have you never heard of the boy in the attic until now?

An A to Z of Atlantis

Mark Foster (Author) , Simon Cox (Author)

The island of Atlantis is an enigma around which ancient legends, myths, speculation and controversy gather. In An A to Z of Atlantis, Simon Cox and Mark Foster outline all the latest facts and theories concerning this perennially intriguing subject in a concise and easy-to-navigate format. Many fascinating questions are answered, including:

• Where was the fabled island of Atlantis?
• Is there really evidence of a lost civilisation?
• Did a cataclysmic event cause the island to sink beneath the waves?
• Were the advanced civilisations of the Maya and the Ancient Egyptians founded by survivors of the destruction of Atlantis?
• What did Plato and the Ancient Greeks know about the island and its people?

Containing photographs which allow the reader to visualise the subject matter, An A to Z of Atlantis is an essential reference source.

Rosslyn and the Grail

Mark Oxbrow (Author)

Tens of millions of people worldwide learned of Scotland's Rossyln Chapel in Dan Brown's blockbuster novel The Da Vinci Code. Now, after 500 years shrouded in mystery and legend, the secrets of the chapel, the castle, King Arthur and the quest for the Holy Grail are about to be revealed.

The astonishing story of Rosslyn brings together a host of famous figures from history and legend, including Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, Alexander the Great, William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots, Joan of Arc, Sir Gawain and Merlin the Wizard.

No one has come close to unravelling the truth about Rosslyn. Until now.

* Does the fabled Holy Grail lie buried beneath Rosslyn Chapel?
* Did the Knights Templar hide their treasure in Rosslyn's secret crypt?
* Can the thousands of carvings within Rosslyn Chapel be decoded?

After more than a decade of research, two Scottish historians have finally uncovered the real story of Rosslyn and the Grail.

The Trouble with Islam Today

Irshad Manjii (Author)

Irshad Manji calls herself a Muslim refusenik. 'That doesn't mean I refuse to be a Muslim,' she writes, 'it simply means I refuse to join an army of automatons in the name of Allah.' These automatons, Manji argues, include many so-called moderate Muslims in the West. In blunt, provocative and deeply personal terms, she unearths the troubling cornerstones of Islam as it is widely practised today: tribal insularity, deep-seated anti-Semitism and an uncritical acceptance of the Quran as the final, and therefore superior, manifesto of God.

In this open letter to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, Manji breaks the conspicuous silence that surrounds mainstream Islam with a series of pointed questions: 'Why are we all being held hostage by what's happening between the Palestinians and the Israelis? Who is the real coloniser of Muslims - America or Arabia? How can we read the Quran literally when it's so contradictory and ambiguous? Why are we squandering the talents of women, fully half of God's creation?' Not one to be satisfied with merely criticising, Manji offers a practical vision of how Islam can undergo a reformation that empowers women, promotes respect for religious minorities and fosters a competition of ideas. Her vision revives Islam's lost tradition of independent thought.

The recipient of death threats as well as heartfelt support from her co-religionists, Manji travels throughout the world with her challenge for both Muslims and non-Muslims: dare to ask questions - out loud.

The Naughty Nineties

Martin King (Author) , Martin Knight (Author)

Football has reinvented itself. As television money has poured into the game, the traditional working-class fans have poured out - not by choice, but by economic necessity. According to those in charge of the game the football hooligan has at last been eliminated from the landscape. But how true is this much-vaunted claim? Martin King, author of Hoolifan, brings his story up to date in The Naughty Nineties. Ironically, he finds that football hooligans now really are in the minority but they are far more dangerous and committed than ever before.

Being British

Matthew d'Ancona (Author) , Gordon Brown (Introducer)

What does being British actually mean today? Depending on your age, it can conjure up imagery of the Battle of Waterloo, Queen Victoria's Empire, the British Lions rugby team or that famous Union Jack dress Geri Halliwell wore at the Brit Awards. In the twenty-first century, Britain - like many Western countries - enjoys a diverse racial mix. Therefore, as with the USA, we need to explore the values and cultural reference points around us to fully understand what it now means to be a British citizen.

Twenty contributions written by well-known individuals representing a cross section of Britain's cultural landscape attempt to offer an insight into, or snapshot of, how Britons today see themselves and their place in the world. Their thoughts will highlight just how divergent our society is and where its strengths and weaknesses lie.

All these views are championed by two unlikely collaborators - Spectator editor Matthew d'Ancona and Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Often politically opposed, they share a passionate interest in exploring what is meant by being British. This unique book will enlighten, inspire and stir up many debates but ultimately it will provide a path for any reader wanting to understand just what it is to be British in the new millennium.

A Waxing Moon

Roger Hutchinson (Author)

Thirty years ago, the Gaelic language and culture which had been eminent in Scotland for 1,300 years seemed to be in the final stages of a 200-year terminal decline. The number of Gaelic speakers in Scotland had fallen tenfold over the previous century. The language itself was commonplace only in the scattered communities of the north-west Highlands and Hebrides.By the early years of the 21st century, however, a sea-change had taken place. Gaelic - for so long a subject of mockery and hostility - had become what some termed 'fashionable'. Gaelic-speaking jobs were available; Gaelic-medium education was established in many areas; and politicians and business-people saw benefits in acting as friends of the culture. While the numbers of Gaelic-speakers continued to fall as older people passed away, the decline was slowed and for the first time in 100 years the percentage of young people using the language began to rise proportionately. What had happened was a kind of renaissance: a Gaelic revival that manifested itself in popular music, literature, art, poetry, publishing, drama, radio and television. It was a phenomenon as obvious as it was unexpected. And at the heart of that movement lay education. A Gaelic Modern History will tell the story of one institution, Sabhal Mor Ostaig, the Gaelic College in Skye that has stood at the centre of this revival. But, chiefly, the book will examine how a venerable culture was given hope for the future at the point when all seemed lost. It recounts the scores of personalities, from Sorley Maclean and Runrig to Michael Forsyth and Gordon Brown, who have become involved in that process.

Alive and Kicking

David Bryce (Author)

From running with the infamous Calton Tongs to running Calton Athletic, David Bryce's life story is a remarkable account of crime, violence, alcoholism and drug addiction in Glasgow's gangland.

A respected 'hard man', Bryce worked his way through most of HM's prisons in Scotland before an epiphany in 1977 made him realise that he was a hopeless alcoholic who needed help. A five-year battle followed, during which he sank into the abyss of heroin addiction before finally getting clean.

In 1985, in an effort to help others who were struggling against substance abuse, Bryce set up Calton Athletic, a football team and social group made up solely of recovering drug addicts. Reformed gangster Jimmy Boyle was one of the first to have faith in Bryce and Calton Athletic, but the club eventually won widespread respect. Gordon Brown, then a young MP, was so impressed that he wrote an article for The Observer which led to a TV film starring Lenny Henry and Robbie Coltrane. In the '90s, Ewan McGregor, Irvine Welsh and the Trainspotting crew sought Bryce's advice and friendship during the making of the internationally acclaimed cult film, while Robbie Williams begged to switch nationality and play for Calton Atheltic in an 'England v. Scotland' celebrity charity match.

Bryce's uncompromising belief that the only way to come off drugs is to go cold turkey and stay completely clean saw him clash with government agencies over the 'harm-reduction' policy of recent years. The club's statutory funding was withdrawn in 1998, but today Calton Athletic are still providing an invaluable lifeline while the 'official' drugs policy has become increasingly discredited.

Alive and Kicking is an inspirational tale of survival and success against the odds.

Homeland

Nick Ryan (Author)

A bomb explodes on crowded London street; a mob of young and old gathers in East Germany to watch a hostel burn; a fiery Reagan adviser annouces his candidacy for US President. Unconnected events, surely? Or part of a Hollywood thriller? In fact these are just some of the events that award-winning writer and film maker Nick Ryan witnesses on his journey into the world of hate, his roller-coaster ride through the terrifying area of white nationalism. Ryan recounts how 10 million otherwise `respectable' citizens voted for far right and ultra-nationalist parties during recent European elections. He describes how whole towns have been declared `liberated zones' by neo Nazi gangs. And he follows the stories of the `lone wolf' killers wreaking vengeance on an ever-more-complex society. The question is this: are all three areas linked? `88!' is the commonly used neo-Nazi slang for `Heil Hitler!' and the book is the story of one man's unique journey - and encounters - with the men and women at the heart of the white supremacist movement. In a powerful, compelling and occasionally disturbing narrative, Ryan takes us through the streets and town of Europe and the USA, charting the growth of hate and intolerance.

Dancing In The Sea

Catherine Hill (Author)

Dancing in the Sea is the beautifully written and moving account of Catherine Hill's horrific experience of a hijack, after which she was left permanently disabled.In 1986, when she was 26, Catherine and her Italian boyfriend Picci went travelling through India. On their journey home, their Pan Am flight from Bombay to Germany was hijacked when it landed in Pakistan to pick up additional passengers. PLO terrorists took over the aircraft and the hostages endured nearly 17 hours of terror. Convinced that Pakistani troops were about to try and rescue the hostages, the terrorists finally forced as many people as possible into the aisles and attempted to massacre them. In the slaughter that followed, 21 people died and more than 100 were injured. Catherine was near-fatally wounded, her left buttock blown off by a grenade. In spite of his own injuries, Picci saved her life by dragging her, bleeding heavily, from the plane. Over the years that followed, Catherine endured a series of over 20 horrendous operations as surgeons attempted to heal her mutilated body. During that time, she also began to fight two major lawsuits, one against Pan Am and another that resulted from medical negligence. She had to call on every resource she had - physical, psychological, emotional and financial - as she attempted to rebuild her life. It was after the conclusion of her legal battles, however, that Catherine found herself facing her greatest challenge so far, as she became engulfed by depression when she slowly realised that nothing would ever be the same agai

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