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The Secret Doctor

The Secret Doctor (Author)

I have walked in and out of the lives of countless numbers of patients. I have stood in rooms, in corners; sat on beds, chairs, and knelt on floors. I have been the visitor who is there when you find yourself most vulnerable, when you lie on a hospital bed or on a trolley in the resus department of A&E. I have been the visitor that you may never even know was there at all.

How much do you know about the doctor who walked in and out of your life? Who diagnosed your mum, nursed your granddad in his last few days, or who saved your sister’s life? And have you ever wondered what they felt? If they cried later with joy, or with grief?

Told through the lens of six emotions that all of us can empathise with, this book from the British Medical Association’s own Secret Doctor gives us a unique window onto the other side of a hospital experience. Through the Secret Doctor’s eyes we see how grief can be found in many forms, and what happens when you see fear in a patient’s eyes. We find out how to cope when you’ve made a life-threatening mistake; or what joy looks like when you feel it, and how long it lasts.

These real stories from an anonymous doctor blur the lines between patient and doctor, showing us what a doctor sees of humanity as it comes through the revolving door of the hospital, what we have in common and what makes us human.

This Is Just My Face

Gabourey Sidibe (Author)

This Is Just My Face is the whirlwind tour of Gabourey Sidibe’s life so far. In it, she shows us around the Harlem studio apartment where she grew up, and we meet the psychic who told her she’d one day be ‘famous like Oprah’; she relives the debilitating depression that hit her at college, and her first ever job as a phone sex ‘talker’ (less creepy than you’d think); she ushers us down the red carpet dressed in an outfit that cost $120, and describes what it feels like to be told by the President of the United States: ‘You’re the bomb, girl!’ Told with full-throttle honesty, irreverence and humour, this is a book for anyone who has ever felt like they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, who has dreamed of a brighter future or wondered what Obama is really like.

Armand V

Dag Solstad (Author)

‘Solstad doesn’t write to please other people. Do exactly what you want, that’s my idea…the drama exists in his voice’ Lydia Davis

Armand is a diplomat rising through the ranks of the Norwegian foreign office, but he’s caught between his public duty to support foreign wars in the Middle East and his private disdain of Western intervention. He hides behind his knowing ironic statements about the war, which no one grasps and which change nothing in the real world. Armand’s son joins the Norwegian SAS to fight in the Middle East, despite being specifically warned against such a move by his father, which leads to catastrophic, heartbreaking consequences.

Told exclusively in footnotes to an unwritten novel, this is Solstad's radically unconventional novel about how we experience the passing of time: how it fragments, drifts, quickens, and how single moments can define a life.

The Years, Months, Days

Yan Lianke (Author)

A terrible drought hits the population of a small mountain village and they flee to better climes. Incapable of marching for days, one old man and his blind dog stay behind, keeping watch over his single ear of corn. Every day is a victory over death.

The Years, Months, Days is a universal story, an homage to all that is good in mankind. A bestseller in China and now available in English for the first time, this is a powerful, moving fable by ‘one of China’s greatest living authors’ (Guardian).

Wrestling with the Devil

Ngugi wa Thiong'o (Author)

In 1977, Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s new play, I Will Marry When I Want, opened in his home village of Kamiriithu, Kenya. It caused a political furore. Six weeks later, it was shut down by the Kenyan regime and he was detained without trial.

Wrestling with the Devil is Ngugi’s searing memoir of one year in prison. He describes the degradation and humiliation of political prisoners, the neglect and casual cruelty that undermined their health, and the debilitating blend of tension and tedium that marked each day. As he reflects on this difficult period, his mind turns to his endeavours as a writer and to the way forward for the people of his country.

My Life as a Russian Novel

Emmanuel Carrère (Author)

‘As a writer, Carrère is straight berserk’ Junot Díaz

In this non-fiction novel – road trip, confession, and erotic tour de force – Emmanuel Carrère pursues two consuming obsessions: the disappearance of his grandfather amid suspicions that he was a Nazi collaborator in the Second World War; and a violently passionate affair with a woman that he loves but which ends in destruction. Moving between Paris and Kotelnich, a grisly post-Soviet town, Carrère weaves his story into a travelogue of a journey inward, travelling fearlessly into the depths of his tortured psyche.

A Life's Work

Rachel Cusk (Author)

When it was first published, Cusk’s memoir of new motherhood shocked readers and critics alike: it was called ‘as compulsive as a thriller’ by the Observer, ‘an incitement to riot’ by Esther Freud and ‘career suicide’ by the New York Times. Cusk was accused of self-obsession, of hating her child and of having post-natal depression, just as she was being celebrated by others for having the courage to speak the truth about being a mother.

A modern classic and the antithesis of a parenting manual, in A Life’s Work Cusk writes with unflinching honesty and wry humour about the sleepless nights, the loneliness, the moments of despair but also of fierce heart-stopping love.

Absolutely on Music

Haruki Murakami (Author) , Seiji Ozawa (Author) , Jay Rubin (Translator)

An unprecedented glimpse into the minds of two maestros.

Haruki Murakami's passion for music runs deep. Before turning his hand to writing, he ran a jazz club in Tokyo, and the aesthetic and emotional power of music permeates every one of his much-loved books. Now, in Absolutely on Music, Murakami fulfills a personal dream, sitting down with his friend, acclaimed conductor Seiji Ozawa, to talk about their shared interest.

They discuss everything from Brahms to Beethoven, from Leonard Bernstein to Glenn Gould, from record collecting to pop-up orchestras, and much more.

A Field Guide to the North American Family

Garth Risk Hallberg (Author)

From the author of the New York Times bestseller City on Fire
A Granta Best of Young American Novelist 2017
‘A young author of boundless and unflagging talents’ New York Times


We can all agree on this much, Marnie thought: nobody saw the Hungate divorce coming. In the privacy of her own mind, she saw them as the last of a dying breed, the Great American Family.

Two families – the Hungates and the Harrisons – live side by side in Long Island, New York. They lead charmed lives: good jobs in the city, weekends by the pool, cheerleading practice after school and backyard barbecues in the summer. But within these lives lie hundreds of little deceptions.

Told through a mix of photographs and words, this is a dazzlingly inventive depiction of two families falling apart and coming together and the thousand different truths of the American Dream.

Murder in the Snow

Gladys Mitchell (Author)

‘A delight… An amateur sleuth to rival Miss Marple’ Guardian

Mrs Bradley, sharp-eyed detective and celebrated psychiatrist, has decided to spend Christmas with her nephew at his beautiful house in the Cotswolds.

It isn’t long before a mystery unfolds. There are strange events occurring in the nearby wood and local villagers are receiving anonymous threatening letters. Then the snow begins to fall – and a body is discovered.

Mrs Bradley is on the case, but she’ll have to hatch an ingenious plan to reveal the truth and find the culprit…

(Previously published as Groaning Spinney)

Birth of a Dream Weaver

Ngugi wa Thiong'o (Author)

‘Exquisite in its honesty and truth and resilience, and a necessary chronicle from one of the greatest writers of our time’ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Selected as a Book of the Year 2016 in the Guardian

When Ngugi wa Thiong’o arrives at the prestigious Makerere University, it embodies all the potential and excitement of the early 1960s. Campus is a haven of opportunity for the brightest African students, a meeting place for thinkers and writers from all over the world, and its alumni are filling Africa’s emerging political and cultural positions.

Despite the challenges he faces as a young black man in a British colony, it is here that Ngugi begins to find his voice as a playwright, journalist and novelist, writing his first, pivotal works just as the countries of East Africa enter the final stages of their independence struggles.

The Start of Something

Stuart Dybek (Author)

'One of the most soulful writers in America, and a national treasure' George Saunders

Nineteen tales of growing up, wising up, and falling in love, spanning more than three decades of prize-winning work by a North American master of the short story

The Start of Something is a visionary work following the lovelorn beatniks, hard-boiled gangsters and jaded academics of America, journeying through a haze of drugs, dreams and lucid memory. Seductive and freewheeling, each story glittering with the found poetry of the street, this is the definitive introduction to a life’s work by a writer who has re-enchanted short fiction with every new collection.

Blue Dog

Louis de Bernières (Author)

'The kind of book that changes readers for the better' Guardian

When a family tragedy means Mick is sent to the outback to live with his Granpa, it looks as if he has a lonely life ahead of him. The cattle station is a tough place for a child, where nature is brutal and the men must work hard in the heat and dust. However, after a cyclone hits, things change for Mick. Exploring the floodwaters, he finds a lost puppy covered in mud and half-drowned. Mick and his dog immediately become inseparable as they take on the adventures offered by their unusual home, and the business of growing up, together.

In this charming prequel to the much-loved Red Dog, Louis de Bernières tells the moving story of a young boy and his Granpa, and the charismatic and entertaining dog who so many readers hold close to their hearts.

You Will Not Have My Hate

Antoine Leiris (Author) , Sam Taylor (Translator)

'A beacon of hope in a dark world' Cathy Rentzenbrink, The Pool

One night in November 2015, when Antoine Leiris was at home looking after his baby son, his wife Hélène was killed, along with 88 other people, at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris. Three days later, Antoine wrote an open letter to his wife’s killers on Facebook. He refused to be cowed or to let his baby son’s life be defined by their acts. ‘For as long as he lives, this little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom,’ he wrote. Instantly, that short post caught fire and was shared thousands of times around the world. An extraordinary and heartbreaking memoir, You Will Not Have My Hate is a universal message of hope and resilience in our troubled times.

The Invention of Angela Carter

Edmund Gordon (Author)

WINNER OF THE SOMERSET MAUGHAM AWARD

Selected as a Book of the Year 2016 in The Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Financial Times, Spectator and Observer

Angela Carter’s life was as unconventional as anything in her fiction. Through her fearlessly original and inventive books, including The Bloody Chamber and Nights at the Circus, she became an icon to a generation and one of the most acclaimed English writers of the last hundred years. This is her first full and authorised biography.

Edmund Gordon uncovers Carter’s life story – from a young woman trying to write in a tiny bedsit in Tokyo, to one of the most important and daring writers of her day. From a life full of adventure sprang work so fantastic, dazzling and seductive that it permanently changed and reinvigorated British literature. This is the story of how Angela Carter invented herself.

'An exemplary piece of work... Everyone should read it' Spectator

The Novels

Bruce Chatwin (Author) , Hanya Yanagihara (Introducer)

While Bruce Chatwin is best known as a master of travel literature, his three acclaimed novels must not be overlooked. Here we see a writer exploring human life, from its freedoms to its limits, in ever more exhilarating and unexpected ways.

In On the Black Hill, twin brothers begin to realise that the world beyond their familiar fields is changing. In Utz, a scholar visits a communist state to meet an eccentric porcelain collector. And in The Viceroy of Ouidah, an ambitious slave trader makes a choice that could threaten his ultimate dream.

Echoland

Per Petterson (Author) , Don Bartlett (Translator)

Petterson’s debut novel, published in English for the first time

Twelve-year-old Arvid and his family are on holiday, staying with his grandparents on the coast of Denmark. Dimly aware of the tension building between his mother and grandmother, Arvid is on the cusp of becoming a teenager: feeling awkward in his own skin, but adamant that he can take care of himself.

As Arvid cycles down to the beach with its view of the lighthouse, he meets Mogens, an older boy who lives nearby, and together they set out to find fresh experiences in this strange new world. Echoland is a breathtaking read, capturing the unique drift of childhood summers, filled with unarticulated anxiety.

Do You Mr Jones?

Neil Corcoran (Author)

In 2016, Bob Dylan received the Nobel Prize in Literature ‘for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition’. This collection of essays by leading poets and critics – with a new foreword by Will Self – examines Dylan’s poetic genius, as well as his astounding cultural influence over the decades.

‘From Orpheus to Faiz, song and poetry have been closely linked. Dylan is the brilliant inheritor of the bardic tradition’ Salman Rushdie

‘The most significant Western popular artist in any form or medium of the past sixty years’ Will Self

‘For fifty and some years he has bent, coaxed, teased and persuaded words into lyric and narrative shapes that are at once extraordinary and inevitable’ Andrew Motion

‘His haunting music and lyrics have always seemed, in the deepest sense, literary’ Joyce Carol Oates

‘There is something inevitable about Bob Dylan… A storyteller pulling out all the stops – metaphor, allegory, repetition, precise detail… His virtue is in his style, his attitude, his disposition to the world’ Simon Armitage

Mansions of Misery

Jerry White (Author)

For Londoners of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, debt was a part of everyday life. But when your creditors lost their patience, you might be thrown into one of the capital’s most notorious jails: the Marshalsea Debtors’ Prison.

In Mansions of Misery, acclaimed chronicler of the capital Jerry White introduces us to the Marshalsea’s unfortunate prisoners – rich and poor; men and women; spongers, fraudsters and innocents. We get to know the trumpeter John Grano who wined and dined with the prison governor and continued to compose music whilst other prisoners were tortured and starved to death. We meet the bare-knuckle fighter known as the Bold Smuggler, who fell on hard times after being beaten by the Chelsea Snob. And then there’s Joshua Reeve Lowe, who saved Queen Victoria from assassination in Hyde Park in 1820, but whose heroism couldn’t save him from the Marshalsea. Told through these extraordinary lives, Mansions of Misery gives us a fascinating and unforgettable cross-section of London life from the early 1700s to the 1840s.

The Snowman

Jo Nesbo (Author) , Don Bartlett (Translator)

NOW A MAJOR FILM STARRING MICHAEL FASSBENDER

36 MILLION BOOKS SOLD WORLDWIDE

Soon the first snow will come

A young boy wakes to find his mother missing. Outside, he sees her favourite scarf – wrapped around the neck of a snowman.

And then he will appear again

Detective Harry Hole soon discovers that an alarming number of wives and mothers have gone missing over the years.

And when the snow is gone…

When a second woman disappears, Harry’s worst suspicion is confirmed: a serial killer is operating on his home turf.

…he will have taken someone else

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