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Adventures in the Anthropocene

Gaia Vince (Author)


In recent decades human beings have altered the planet beyond anything it has experienced in its 4.5 billion-year history. We have become a force on a par with earth-shattering asteroids and planet-cloaking volcanoes. As a result, our planet is said to be crossing a geological boundary – from the Holocene into the Anthropocene, or the Age of Man.

Gaia Vince quit her job to travel the world and to explore what all these changes really mean to our daily lives. She discovers the shocking ways in which we have reshaped our living planet and reveals the ingenious solutions we’ve evolved to engineer Earth for the future.

The Origin of Species

Charles Darwin (Author)


When the eminent naturalist Charles Darwin returned from South America on board the HMS Beagle in 1836, he brought with him the notes and evidence that would form the basis of a world-changing theory: the evolution of species by a process of natural selection. This theory, published as On the Origin of Species in 1859, is the basis of modern biology and the concept of biodiversity. Its publication sparked a fierce scientific, religious and philosophical debate which continues to this day.

Cradle to Cradle

Michael Braungart (Author) , William McDonough (Author)


This book proposes a new vision for modern industry. Instead of our current wasteful and polluting methods of manufacturing, we could be taking nature as a model for making things. With the right redesign, objects that have come to the end of their useful lives should provide the basis for something new. In designing and producing products we need to stop worrying about being ‘less bad’ and start finding ways of actually being good. Find here a radical manifesto and a plan for our planet in which all waste can be put to good use.

Guns, Germs and Steel

Jared Diamond (Author)


Why has human history unfolded so differently across the globe? In this Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Jared Diamond puts the case that geography and biogeography, not race, moulded the contrasting fates of Europeans, Asians, Native Americans, sub-Saharan Africans, and aboriginal Australians. An ambitious synthesis of history, biology, ecology and linguistics, Guns, Germs and Steel remains a ground-breaking and humane work of popular science.


Yuval Noah Harari (Author)


Planet Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it. Us. We are the most advanced and most destructive animals ever to have lived. What makes us brilliant? What makes us deadly? What makes us Sapiens?

In this bold and provocative book, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here and where we’re going. Sapiens is a thrilling account of humankind’s extraordinary history – from the Stone Age to the Silicon Age – and our journey from insignificant apes to rulers of the world.

'Unbelievably good. Jaw dropping from the first word to the last' Chris Evans, BBC Radio 2

Father and Son

Edmund Gosse (Author)




Subtitled "a study of two temperaments" Edmund Gosse's childhood memoir tells the often fractious, often comic story of his relationship with his authoritarian father. A pioneering naturalist and marine biologist, Philip Henry Gosse's strictly religious world view is brought into crisis with the discoveries of Charles Darwin, and as the younger Edmund struggles to break away from his father's influence, he begins to discover himself.

The Power of the Powerless

Vaclav Havel (Author)


Cowed by life under Communist Party rule, a greengrocer hangs a placard in their shop window: Workers of the world, unite! Is it a sign of the grocer’s unerring ideology? Or a symbol of the lies we perform to protect ourselves?

Written in 1978, Václav Havel’s meditation on political dissent – the rituals of its suppression, and the sparks that re-ignite it – would prove the guiding manifesto for uniting Solidarity movements across the Soviet Union. A portrait of activism in the face of falsehood and intimidation, The Power of the Powerless remains a rousing call against the allure of apathy.

Manual of Painting and Calligraphy

José Saramago (Author)

H. is a struggling artist with a commission to paint a portrait of a well-known industrialist. Whilst the industrialist sits for the portrait, H. begins an affair with his subject’s secretary. Meanwhile the painting starts to fail. For inspiration H. takes a trip to Italy to contemplate the works of the great artists, but when his friend back home is arrested by the secret police of Salazar’s regime, H. is pulled back to Portugal. Art, sexuality and politics collide in Saramago’s first novel.

Little Women

Louisa May Alcott (Author)

One hundred and fifty years ago, at the request of her publisher, Louisa May Alcott sat down reluctantly to write 'a girl's book'.Knowing that, contrary to society’s expectations, girls often had to be brave, resourceful and bold, that the private lives of girls were colourful and surprising, Alcott wrote a book in which girls would recognise themselves. She drew on her own experiences and those of her impoverished, New England family in writing her new novel, and declared, when she was finished, that it was better than she expected: 'Not a bit sensational, but simple and true, for we really lived most of it, and if it succeeds that will be the reason of it...'

Simple, true, and keenly resonant with life, spirit and affection, Little Women did succeed, delighting readers across the world, and it has never been out of print since its first publication in 1868. Whichever sister you are drawn to, be it sensible, romantic Meg or sweet, sunshiny Beth, whether you are burning with ambition like Jo, or share with Amy the wish for a more beautiful nose, the March girls are all irresistible, and will go on winning hearts and capturing imaginations for the next hundred and fifty years to come.

The New York Stories

John O'Hara (Author)

‘Superb... These 32 stories inhabit the Technicolor vernaculars of taxi drivers, barbers, paper pushers and society matrons... O'Hara was American fiction's greatest eavesdropper, recording the everyday speech and tone of all strata of mid-century society’ Wall Street Journal

John O’Hara remains the great chronicler of American society, and nowhere are his powers more evident than in his portraits of New York’s so-called Golden Age. Unsparingly observed, brilliantly cutting and always on the edge of tragic epiphany, the stories collected here are among O’Hara’s finest work, and show why he still stands as the most-published short story writer in the history of the New Yorker.

A Room of One’s Own (Vintage Feminism Short Edition)

Virginia Woolf (Author)

Vintage Feminism: classic feminist texts in short form


‘What conditions are necessary for the creation of works of art?’ Security, confidence, independence, a degree of prosperity – a room of one’s own. All things denied to most women around the world living in Virginia Woolf’s time, and before her time, and since. In this funny, provoking and insightful polemic, Virginia Woolf challenges her audience of young women to work on even in obscurity, to cultivate the habit of freedom, and to exercise the courage to write exactly what we think.

My Own Story (Vintage Feminism Short Edition)

Emmeline Pankhurst (Author)

Vintage Feminism: classic feminist texts in short form


Soldier, criminal, militant, hooligan, revolutionary: these labels Emmeline Pankhurst took up and wore proudly in her long struggle for women’s suffrage. This shortened edition of her autobiography tells the inside story of this struggle: the tireless campaigning, the betrayals by men in power, the relentless round of arrests and hunger strikes, the horror of force-feeding. It is a reminder of the controversial means, the indomitable spirit and the sacrifices of life and liberty by which women won their political freedom.

Sunday's Children

Ingmar Bergman (Author)

Over the course of one summer, eight-year-old Pu Bergman makes the terrible realisation that his father and mother are no longer in love. Surrounded by the quiet idyll of the Swedish countryside, with its ponds, its rivers and woods, the daily chaos of the family’s ramshackle summer home threatens to bring to a close the bright, brilliant haze of Pu’s childhood world.

Based upon film-maker, Ingmar Bergman’s own family life, Sunday’s Children is the second part in Bergman’s loose trilogy of books that started with The Best Intentions, and closes with Private Confessions.

The Best Intentions

Ingmar Bergman (Author)

In 1909, Ingmar Bergman’s mother and father first meet. Anna is a nurse from a wealthy family; Henrik, a poor, trainee priest living with his lover. From the intensity of their courtship, to the difficult early years of their marriage, Bergman fictionalises his parent’s life before his birth, drawing the quiet, emotional sensitivity of his film-maker’s eye deep into the heart of his own family.

The Best Intentions is the first in renowned film-maker Ingmar Bergman’s loose trilogy of novels that plots the fractious marriage of his parents, continued in Sunday’s Children and Private Confessions.

Private Confessions

Ingmar Bergman (Author)

Twelve years of marriage, three children, a husband, Henrik, with whom she no longer finds anything in common: Anna is at the end of her tether. Besides, she’s in love – with Henrik’s friend Tomas, a student-priest, who is everything her husband is not.

Based upon film-maker, Ingmar Bergman’s own family life, Personal Confessions is the final part in Bergman’s loose trilogy of books that started with The Best Intentions and Sunday’s Children.

The Light of Common Day

Diana Cooper (Author)

Lady Diana Cooper had been famous from her earliest youth, the subject of gossip and adoration as the queen of the 'Coterie', an exclusive high society set. Her marriage to Duff Cooper, a rising political star, and her career on the stage and in early silent films only increased her notoriety. Her second volume of autobiography chronicles these years in the run-up to the Second World War, and her adventures as an unconventional hostess, actress, wife and mother are told in typically fast-paced, witty and brilliant style.

Trumpets from the Steep

Diana Cooper (Author)

This last volume of Lady Diana Cooper's memoirs covers the years of the Second World War and its aftermath, when her husband Duff Cooper served as Minister of Information and then in various diplomat posts around the world. We accompany the Coopers on their travels from the Dorchester Hotel during the breathless days of the Blitz, to a happy sojourn farming in Sussex, to Singapore and Algiers and eventual retirement to France, all told with Diana's unique perspective and enchanting style.

The Rainbow Comes and Goes

Diana Cooper (Author)

Lady Diana Cooper was a star of the early twentieth stage, screen and social scene. This first instalment of her sparkling autobiography tells of her upbringing, her beautiful artistic mother and aristocratic father, her debut into high society and the glittering parties - 'dancing and extravagance and lashing of wine, and charades and moonlit balconies and kisses' - which were interrupted with the outbreak of the First World War. This volume ends with Diana's marriage to the 'love of her life', diplomat and politician Duff Cooper.


Sebastian Faulks (Author)

A soldier falls asleep on duty and is threatened with being court-martialled. An officer lies in mud, fighting for his life and the life of his men. A young man walks across Waterloo Bridge, explosives in his rucksack, heart pounding. In this powerfully moving book, Faulks shows us the true face of war. These are stories of death and survival, of hope and despair, and of ordinary people whose lives will never be the same again.

Selected from the books Birdsong, A Possible Life and A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks


A series of short books by the world’s greatest writers on the experiences that make us human

Also in the Vintage Minis series:
Home by Salman Rushdie
Fatherhood by Karl Ove Knausgaard
Work by Joseph Heller
Dreams by Sigmund Freud

Tales from a Master's Notebook

Various (Author)

When Henry James died he left behind a series of notebooks filled with ideas for novels and stories that he never wrote. Now ten of our best contemporary authors and James enthusiasts have written new short stories based on these 'germs' of ideas. Differing dramatically in setting and style, these stories are modern interpretations of the richly suggestive and enticing notes that Henry James left behind, offering a fresh and original approach to a canonical literary author.

Professor Philip Horne, a renowned authority on Henry James, has edited and introduced this collection, which also includes transcripts of James’s original jottings allowing readers to trace the raw ideas through to their modern-day interpretations.

Contains stories by Colm Toibin, Rose Tremain, Jonathan Coe, Paul Theroux, Amit Chaudhuri, Giles Foden, Joseph O'Neill, Lynne Truss, Susie Boyt and Tessa Hadley.


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