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Christopher Fowler's memoir captures life in suburban London as it has rarely been seen: through the eyes of a lonely boy who spends his days between the library and the cinema, devouring novels, comics, cereal packets - anything that might reveal a story.
Caught between an ever-sensible but exhausted mother and a DIY-obsessed father fighting his own demons, Christopher takes refuge in words. His parents try to understand their son's peculiar obsessions, but fast lose patience with him - and each other. The war of nerves escalates to include every member of the Fowler family, and something has to give, but does it mean that a boy must always give up his dreams for the tough lessons of real life?
Beautifully written, this rich and astute evocation of a time and a place recalls a childhood at once entertainingly eccentric and endearingly ordinary.
'Rocket' Ron Haslam started racing on the professional circuit in 1972 at the age of 15 and developed into one of the finest, and fastest, racers the UK has ever seen. Winner of three World titles and four British championships, as well as a record six Macau GPs, he rode in more than 100 Grands Prix. Despite tragically losing two of his brothers in motorbike accidents, Haslam kept on riding, setting speed records wherever he went.
His son, Leon, the 'Pocket Rocket', is following in his father's extremely speedy footsteps. A national Motorcross champion and national Scooter champion at the age of just 14, he became the youngest ever rider to compete in the 500cc World Championship and is now one of Britain's top racers, competing for Stiggy Honda in the World Superbike Championship.
This is the extraordinary story of a father and a son who are addicted to motorbikes, with all the thrills and spills, miraculous escapes and multiple broken bones that involves. Both colourful characters, their story takes us all the way from the 1970s to today and is full of hilarious high-octane derring-do, a cast of characters including legends like Fast Freddie Spencer and Barry Sheene, and nothing less than terrifying but exhilarating adventure.
Olivia St Claire returns to refine the art of driving him wild with the hottest techniques ever. In her inimitable straight-forward and no-holds-barred style, the author helps her readers aim for nothing less than a joie de vivre between the sheets.
These proven methods are designed not only to perfect the reader's craft, but to refine her erotic state of mind, the starting point for turning on any man. Olivia St Claire helps you identify your Passion Triggers, safely guides you to the edge of your sexual boundaries, and lets you in on everything you ever wanted to know about the forbidden caverns, tidal waves and uncharted waters of passion.
For the first time, here is straightforward advice that covers everything from the art of the blindfold to the ecstasies of oriental lovemaking; from 21st century toys to ancient love rituals. 302 stunning secrets, potent tips and devastating techniques that are accessible, easy-to-follow, and erotic to read.
Any woman - whether romantic, shy, innovative or adept - can use this dazzling selection of sex techniques to ignite her deepest passions and bring any man to his knees.
Combining elements of Andrew Weil's SPONTANEOUS HEALING and Carolyn Myss's ANATOMY OF THE SPIRIT with a concept all its own, Alberto Villoldo's remarkable book, Shaman, Healer, Sage demonstrates the healing power of energy medicine - a tradition practised in the Americas for more than 5,000 years - which is finally being recognized today by the medical establishment.
As he explores such subjects as the Luminous Energy Field that surrounds our bodies, Villoldo shows us how, by learning to see and influence the imprints of disease on this aura of energy, we can discover not only how to heal ourselves and others, but prevent illness as well. Here too, he explores the subject of life beyond death, navigating this unseen world with the knowledge of a scientist and the wisdom of a shamanic healer.
Classically trained as a medical anthropologist and a foremost teacher of the shamanic techniques of the Inkas, among whose descendants he has studied for more than twenty-five years, Villoldo weaves together a host of illuminating stories and exercises to provide an accessible, practical, and revolutionary programme of healing.
In 2001, Michael Sanders spent a year abroad creating an eloquent portrait of rural French life, a story he told through the seasons of a local restaurant and its patrons, the critically-acclaimed FROM HERE YOU CAN'T SEE PARIS. After spending some time back in the States, Sanders decided to return to southern France to complete his journey. This time he decided to focus on the regional wines.
FAMILIES OF THE VINE invites the reader into the working lives of three families whose sole crop is the grapes grown in their vineyards, grapes from which they all make very good, yet quite different, wine, as they have been doing for more than four generations. FAMILIES OF THE VINE loosely follows them throughout the winemaking year, from the hopes of spring, through the drama of a summer drought and heat wave, to the mad dash of fall harvest, and then into the wine barns heady with the smells of fermentation and the reek of aging barrels.
Rich with the history and tradition of French winemaking, FAMILIES OF THE VINE is told through the voices of winemakers and their friends, from a barrelmaker in Bordeaux to a sommelier in a one-star restaurant. Whether puzzling over the maddeningly imprecise French concept of terroir or taking a gentle swipe at the 'science' of wine tasting, Michael Sanders has an engaging writing style that will appeal to amateur and enthusiast alike.
From caveman to modern man ...
Few people doubt that humans are descended from the apes; fewer still consider, let alone accept, the psychological implications. But in truth, man not only looks, moves and breathes like an ape, he also thinks like one.
Sexual drive, survival, competition, aggression - all of our impulses are driven by our human instincts. They explain why a happily married man will fantasize about the pretty, slim, young woman sitting across from him in the tube and why thousands of people spend their week entirely focused on whether their team will win their next crucial match.
But how well do our instincts equip us for the twenty-first century? Do they help or hinder us as we deal with large anonymous cities, stressful careers, relationships and the battle of the sexes? In this fascinating book, Robert Winston takes us on a journey deep into the human mind. Along the way he takes a very personal look at the relationship between science and religion and explores those very instincts that make us human.
Most of us believe that in order to achieve anything worthwhile, whether in our careers, family life, health or even on the sports field, we have to work hard and apply a lot of effort. In fact, just the opposite is true. In The Art of Effortless Living, Dr. Ingrid Bacci offers compelling evidence that the most productive, creative and healthiest individuals are those who practice effortless living. By doing less, paradoxical as it may seem, they achieve more. In this book you will meet individuals who have transformed their lives in radically simple ways:
The executive whose influence over her colleagues increased dramatically after she began a deceptively simple relaxation
The patient who eliminated thirty years of suffering from migraines after ten training sessions in releasing unconscious muscle tension.
The golf player who corrected his golf swing in one brief session, using a series of visualization exercises.
This book shows you how to dissolve conscious and unconscious stress through simple techniques that replace effort with effortlessness. The result is a more rewarding lifestyle that leads to physical vitality, increased productivity, creative relationships and the freedom to express your best self.
Published: 3 Jun 2002
‘No part of the Great War compares in interest with its opening’, wrote Churchill. ‘The measured, silent drawing together of gigantic forces, the uncertainty of their movements and positions, the number of unknown and unknowable facts made the first collision a drama never surpassed…in fact the War was decided in the first twenty days of fighting, and all that happened afterwards consisted in battles which, however formidable and devastating, were but desperate and vain appeals against the decision of fate.’
On of Britain's foremost military historians and defence experts tackles the origins - and the opening first few weeks of fighting - of what would become known as 'the war to end all wars'. Intensely researched and convincingly argued, Allan Mallinson explores and explains the grand strategic shift that occurred in the century before the war, the British Army’s regeneration after its drubbings in its fight against the Boer in South Africa, its almost calamitous experience of the first twenty days’ fighting in Flanders to the point at which the British Expeditionary Force - the 'Old Contemptibles' - took up the spade in the middle of September 1914: for it was then that the war changed from one of rapid and brutal movement into the more familiar vision of trench warfare on Western Front. In this vivid, compelling new history, Malliinson brings his experience as a professional soldier to bear on the circumstances, events, actions and individuals and speculates – tantalizingly – on what might have been...
It’s the late 1970s and 20-something Christopher Fowler is a film freak, obsessively watching lousy films in run-down fleapit cinemas. He longs to be a famous screenwriter and put his dreams on the big screen. And so he heads for Wardour Street, Britain’s equivalent of Hollywood.
But he’s made a spectacular mistake, arriving just as the nation’s filmmakers are falling to their knees, brought low by the arrival of video and the destruction of the old movie palaces. The only films being made are smutty low budget farces and TV spinoffs and instead of being asked to write another
'Bullitt’, he's churning out short films advertising boilers and nylon sheets. Somehow, against the odds, he finds success – although in a very different guise to the one he expected.
From the sticky Axminster of the local cinema to the red carpet at Cannes, Film Freak is a grimly hilarious and acutely observed trawl through the arse-end of the British film industry that turns into an ultimately affecting search for friendship and happiness.
Writer and psychologist Stephen Cartmell set off to explore Britain using the cultural melting pot of the UK's 60 racecourses as his staging posts. During his travels the author observed the frequent absurdity of the British, the peculiarities of their institutions and developed a satirical critique of one of the country's favourite pastimes.
With his acute eye for observation, an appreciation of the ridiculous and the ability to find humour even in the face of petty officialdom, this acclaimed book is not simply a travelogue of racing but a key to understanding Britain and its curiously comical inhabitants. Racegoer, traveller or first time visitor, Stephen Cartmell's colourful stories are sure to entertain.
At seventy-five, Terry and Monica Darlington had done everything they could think of doing, including starting a business and becoming athletes and running a literary society.Lately they had become boating adventurers and Terry a bestselling writer. But in their Midlands canal town in November, life was looking dull and short on surprises.
Then their famous canal boat was destroyed by fire. Within a few days they had bought a new one and soon headed north in the Phyllis May 2 – to Liverpool, Lancaster, the Pennines and Wigan Pier. Terry recorded the journey, and alongside it the story of his life and his marriage and his dog Jim, with his broken ear like a flat cap, and Monica’s dog Jess, known with heartbreaking reason as the Flying Catastrophe.
Funny, affecting and beautifully told, this is a story that brims with incident and excitement, and is full of the famous and fascinating people the Darlingtons have met - a story of an adventurous life well lived.
To some it's antisocial anathema, to others it is a harmless way to relax, or provides relief from crippling pain. Some fear it is a dangerous drug that leads to 'reefer madness' and addiction; to others still it is a legal anomaly and should be decriminalized. Whatever the viewpoint, and by whatever name it is known, cannabis - or marijuana, hashish, pot, dope, kif, weed, dagga, grass, ganja - incites debate at every level.
In this definitive study, Martin Booth - author of the acclaimed OPIUM: A HISTORY - charts the history of cannabis from the Neolithic period to the present day. It is a fascinating, colourful tale of medical advance, religious enlightenment, political subterfuge and human rights; of law enforcement and customs officers, smugglers, street pushers, gang warfare, writers, artists, musicians, hippies and pot-heads.
Booth chronicles the remarkable and often mystifying process through which cannabis, a relatively harmless substance, became outlawed throughout the Western world, and the devastating effect such legislation has had on the global economy. Above all, he demonstrates how the case for decriminalization remains one of the twenty-first century's hottest topics.
They said it couldn't be done. Sceptics warned that as a car approached 750 mph the shock waves generated when it hit the sound barrier would either force it off the ground like an aeroplane or tear it apart.
Richard Noble, the modern embodiment of the swashbuckling British speed seeker of yesteryear, was used to that kind of blinkered thinking. He had held the title of The Fastest Man on Earth since 1983, when his Thrust 2 car set a new world land speed record at 633 mph. Critics had argued that he would fail then, too. Noble liked nothing better than a fight. In the late 1990s, as a gripping Anglo-American race began to create the world's first supersonic car, he was determined to achieve this world first for Britain.
On 15 October 1997, Noble's Thrust SSC, driven by ice-cool RAF Squadron Leader Andy Green, smashed through the sound barrier to create the first supersonic land speed record at 763 mph. The Thrust SSC team had beaten the Americans, thumbed its nose at the sceptics, and realized what seemed an impossible dream. It was a triumph for British engineering, technology and derring-do.
This is Richard Noble's story of his obsession with speed, from his early days with the crude self-built Thrust 1 jet car, to the world beating Thrust 2; from his innovative ARV Super 2 plane to Atlantic Sprinter, his failed attempt to build a record-breaking boat; culminating in Thrust SSC, the fastest car in the world.
It is not just a tale of unbroken success but of disappointment and struggle, too - of how Noble risked everything he had to keep the SSC project alive; and of the unentangled human emotions behind one of the greatest engineering achievements of the twentieth century.
Published: 23 Oct 2012
All Dave Roberts ever wanted to do (apart from collect football programmes) was to work in advertising. More specifically, to work for the world's best advertising agency, Saatchi and Saatchi. There was just one problem. Even when he managed to persuade someone to employ him, Dave's copywriting assignments were mainly for second hand car dealers and double glazing companies. And Leeds, Manchester and, bizarrely, New Zealand were a long way from Charlotte Street and Madison Avenue. This was the world of the Sad Men.
In his sparkling new memoir, Dave tells the story of a life shaped by his love of adverts, from seeing the PG Tips chimps at the age of three to writing infamous ads such as the Westpac Rap and having David Jason plug a family restaurant. Bursting with brilliant ideas - and some pretty daft ones - it is the cautionary tale of a quest for advertising glory... and not quite ever getting there.
You have never read a book like this before...
The Celestine Prophecy contains secrets that are currently changing our world. Drawing on the ancient wisdom found in a Peruvian manuscript, it tells you how to make connections between the events happening in your own life right now...and lets you see what is going to happen to you in the years to come.
The story it tells is a gripping one of adventure and discovery, but it is also a guidebook that has the power to crystalize your perceptions of why you are where you are in life...and to direct your steps with a new energy and optimism as you head into tomorrow.
A book that comes along just once in a lifetime to change lives forever.
How do you find the woman of your dreams when you're nearly forty, living in the middle of nowhere and spectacularly ungifted in the art of seduction?
Three years into his solo adventure in rural France, Michael Wright has everything he ever wanted: a ramshackle house, several manly power tools, a cat, a grand piano and a vintage aircraft. Yet the lovelier his life becomes, the lonelier he feels. Three unfulfilled wishes return to haunt him: to grow a perfect potato, to fly a Spitfire and, most of all, to meet his soulmate.
Written with honesty, self-deprecating wit and life-affirming passion, Michael Wright's new memoir reveals how, while his livestock seem bent on reproduction, a solitary man can learn to accept being single . . .Or so he thinks until a bumptious American Labrador and a perilous landing in a light aircraft conspire to offer a glimpse of romance that could turn his whole world upside down.
Off-grid: a place, building or person without mains water or power.
Static or mobile - in a house or a hut, a boat or a camper van - to live off-grid is all about loosending the ties that bind us to teh fmailiar world of commuting, mortgages, no time and fast food, in order to rediscover our place in the natural world.
Complete with camper van, Nick sets off around the UK to find off-grid heaven and meet people who are living the dream. Along the way he runs into backpackers and businessmen, radical hermits and right-wing survivalists - and plenty of ordinary working-parent families too.
Sincere but irreverent, this is Nick's guide to avoiding pitfalls, to finding solutions (and some brilliant gadgets) as he strives to perfect the skills of this practical, freewheeling kind of self-sufficiency.
'Timely and highly readable' Sunday Telegraph
' Nick Rosen has caught the zeitgeist.' The Times
Just before the start of the 2002 Wales v Scotland match in Cardiff, the stadium announcer asked people to stand and acknowledge Bill McLaren's great contribution to the sport. The whole ground rose, leaving McLaren choking back the tears. Then came a voice in his ear: 'Cue, Bill...'
Coping with his emotions on that day was obviously not straightforward, even for a commentator of Bill McLaren's experience, used to being caught up in some of the most dramatic moments rugby has ever seen. But Bill also talks frankly about the greatest tragedy of his life: the death of his younger daughter from cancer at 46, the three years of agony and the trauma of her final day. Bill wanted to stay at her bedside but she insisted he go and carry out a commentating duty in Edinburgh on the Saturday afternoon. He did so, rushed back to the hospital, but she had died that afternoon while he was on air.
McLaren, himself, had almost died of TB in his youth and he tells of the days and nights when he hid under the sheets in bed at the Scottish hospital where he was kept for 19 months, 'crying myself to sleep each night as they took away my friends who had died that day. I was certain I would be next'. He has excellent memories of his war years and delves deep to recall some harrowing times as a forward observation spotter when he came within inches of being killed by a German sniper. Later, he also remembers leading his men one day into a small northern Italian town where they discovered 1500 corpses piled up in the square. 'That was the day I became a man, rather quickly,' he says. He was 21.
As well reliving the highlights of his illustrious career as a commentator, Bill talks of the game today and his regrets that rugby went professional. He is a fierce critic of what this has led to and fears for the future health and safety of rugby players because he regards the modern game as dangerously physical. His story amounts to a history of the game itself and reaffirms McLaren's status as something of a global treasure.
A TELL IS AN ACTION THAT TELLS YOU WHAT SOMEONE IS THINKING, EVEN IF THAT PERSON DOESN'T KNOW IT THEMSELVES. AND TELLS ARE HIGHLY INFORMATIVE...
The way you stand when you're talking to others, how you move your feet, your hands, your eyes - even your eyebrows - says a lot about your commitment to a conversation and your underlying attitude. Your actions and stance can also affect how long you get to talk and how often you get interrupted. Even when you're seated, the position of your arms and legs provides a wealth of information about your mood and intentions, showing whether you feel dominant or submissive, preoccupied or bored. But Tells aren't confined merely to conversations; when you are alone you are constantly shifting your body - and each movement, each gesture provides clues about your state of mind.
In this illuminating book, Peter Collett, social psychologist, former Oxford don and Big Brother's resident psychologist, introduces us to the fascinating concept of Tells, showing how they work, where they come from and how to identify and iterpret them. Whilst sentizing readers to the motives and actions of other people, this invaluable guide also focuses on the messages that we unwittingly send, and the impact that these might have on those around us.
Comprehensive and accessible in its approach, and written in the tradition of the international bestseller, Manwatching, THE BOOK OF TELLS offers a new, unifying vocabulary for understanding human communication and social influence - and a unique opportunity to read yourself, and others.
Published: 1 Jun 2004
Beth Elon - a renowned cookery-book writer - has lived in and loved Tuscany for more than thirty years and in TASTING TUSCANY shares with her readers a side of Tuscany that is not widely known. Beyond the better-known cities with tourists, souvenir and fast-food shops, Tuscany is made up of hundreds of small clustered hill towns set in stunning scenery with lovely churches, piazzas and rural art that is worthy of the finest city museums.
Beth has included in her book suggested itineraries so that the reader can follow in her footsteps and explore a Tuscany that is off the beaten track. A central feature of the itineraries are the restaurants that Beth has discovered over the years and which will allow the reader to experience a culture of life that values natural and traditional food.
TASTING TUSCANY includes over one hundred recipes from restaurants so that even when you are back at home you can recreate the delicious and authentic food you will have enjoyed on your travels.
Published: 5 Jun 2006