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From one of America’s greatest writers, a thrilling and beautiful novel about why we make the choices we do – and, ultimately, about what makes us human
After many years of living abroad, a young writer returns to the United States to take up the position of Humanist-in-Residence at the Centre for the Study of Advanced Sciences. There he encounters Philip Lentz, an outspoken cognitive neurologist intent on using computers to model the human brain. Lentz involves the writer in an outlandish and irresistible project: to train a neural net by reading a canonical list of Great Books. Through repeated tutorials, the machine grows gradually more worldly, until it demands to know its own age, sex, race, and reason for existing...
From one of America’s greatest writers, an enthralling story about desire, new love and the mysteries of science
The Gold Bug Variations is a double love story of two young couples separated by a distance of twenty-five years. Stuart Ressler, a brilliant young molecular biologist, sets out in 1957 to crack the genetic code. His efforts are sidetracked by other, more intractable codes – social, moral, musical, spiritual – and he falls in love with a member of his research team. Years later, another young man and woman team up to investigate a different scientific mystery – why did the eminently promising Ressler suddenly disappear from the world of science? Strand by strand, these two love stories twist about each other in a double helix of desire.
‘Why is there so much inequality?’ Xenia asks her father, the world famous economist Yanis Varoufakis.
Drawing on memories of her childhood and a variety of well-known tales – from Oedipus and Faust to Frankenstein and The Matrix – Varoufakis explains everything you need to know in order to understand why economics is the most important drama of our times. In answering his daughter’s deceptively simple questions, Varoufakis disentangles our troubling world with remarkable clarity, while inspiring us to make it a better one.
Published: 7 Mar 2019
Grief. Anger. Joy. Fear. Distraction. Disgust. Hope. All emotions we expect to encounter over our lifetime.
But what if this was every day? And what if your ability to manage them was the difference between life and death?
For a doctor in Intensive Care this is part of the job. Fear in the eyes of a terminally ill patient who pleads with you to not let them die. Grief when you make a potentially fatal mistake. Disgust at caring for a convicted rapist. But there are also moments of joy, like the rare bright spots of lucidity for a dementia patient, or when the ward unexpectedly breaks into song.
Dr Aoife Abbey shows us what a doctor sees of humanity as it comes through the revolving door of the hospital and takes us beyond a purely medical perspective. Told through seven emotions, Seven Signs of Life is about what it means to be alive and how it feels to care for a living.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE
SELECTED AS A BOOK OF THE YEAR 2017 BY THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, MAIL ON SUNDAY AND OBSERVER
Belonging is a magnificent cultural history abundantly alive with energy, character and colour. From the Jews’ expulsion from Spain in 1492 it tells the stories not just of rabbis and philosophers but of a poetess in the ghetto of Venice; a boxer in Georgian England; a general in Ming China; an opera composer in nineteenth-century Germany. The story unfolds in Kerala and Mantua, the starlit hills of Galilee, the rivers of Colombia, the kitchens of Istanbul, the taverns of Ukraine and the mining camps of California. It sails in caravels, rides the stage coaches and the railways; trudges the dawn streets of London, hobbles along with the remnant of Napoleon’s ruined army.
The Jewish story is a history that is about, and for, all of us. And in our own time of anxious arrivals and enforced departures, the Jews’ search for a home is more startlingly resonant than ever.
Published: 4 Oct 2018
What makes one of the most gifted, charismatic and successful young literary agents in New York fall into full-blown crack-addiction: a collapse that would cost him his business, his home, many of his friends and - very nearly - his life? In his utterly compulsive narrative, Bill Clegg leads us through the grimiest back-rooms of Manhattan's underbelly, through scenes of blank-eyed sex and squalor, into the febrile paranoia of a mind gone out of control.
Ninety Days begins where Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man ends - and tells the wrenching story of Bill Clegg's battle to reclaim his life. The goal is ninety: just ninety clean and sober days to loosen the hold of the addiction. But as any recovering addict knows, hitting rock bottom is just the beginning. . .
Published for the first time in one volume: Bill Clegg's unflinching account of the addiction that nearly ended everything.
Published: 4 Oct 2018
GIRLFRIEND. WITNESS. MURDERER?
The award-winning debut crime novel by the author of The Long Drop, now in a new edition with an introduction by VAL McDERMID
When psychiatric patient Maureen O’Donnell finds her boyfriend dead in her living room, she is thrown into a difficult situation. Glasgow police view her as both a suspect and an unstable witness – and even her mother is convinced of her involvement.
Feeling betrayed by friends and family, Maureen begins to doubt her own version of events. Panic-stricken, she sets out in pursuit of the truth and soon picks up a horrifying trail of deception and suppressed scandal. Then a second body is discovered. Maureen realises that unless she gets to the killer first, her life is in danger…
‘The most exciting crime writer to have emerged in Britain for years’
‘Mina…may be Britain’s finest living crime novelist’
‘Mina can chill your blood and break your heart in the same sentence’
‘One of the most original voices in crime fiction’
WINNER OF THE CWA JOHN CREASEY DAGGER FOR BEST FIRST CRIME NOVEL
‘You won't need to read another self-help book again…The self-help book to end all self-help books’ Guardian
What is the secret behind happiness?
In an attempt to find out, Burkeman tackles a range of subjects from stress, procrastination, laughter, time management and creativity. It’s a subject that has occupied some of the greatest philosophers of all time, from Aristotle to Paul McKenna. But how do we sort the good ideas from the terrible ones? Over the past five years, Oliver Burkeman has delved deep into the ‘happiness industry.’ Witty and thought-provoking, Help! doesn’t claim to have solved the problem of human happiness, but it might just bring us one step closer.
What if ‘positive thinking’ and relentless optimism aren’t the solution to the happiness dilemma, but part of the problem?
Oliver Burkeman turns decades of self-help advice on its head and paradoxically forces us to rethink our attitudes towards failure, uncertainty and death. It’s our constant efforts to avoid negative thinking that cause us to feel anxious, insecure and unhappy. What if happiness can be found embracing the things we spend our lives trying to escape? Wise, practical and funny, The Antidote is a thought-provoking, counter-intuitive and ultimately uplifting read, celebrating the power of negative thinking.
‘Burkeman has written some of the most truthful and useful words on happiness to be published in recent years’ Guardian
Young and penniless, Kif Kehlmann, is rung in the middle of the night by notorious con man and corporate criminal, Siegfried Heidl. About to go to trial for defrauding the banks of $700 million, Heidl proposes a deal: $10,000 for Kehlmann to ghostwrite his memoir in six weeks.
Kehlmann accepts but soon begins to fear that he is being corrupted by Heidl. Is he ghostwriting a memoir, or is Heidl is rewriting him? As the deadline draws closer everything that is certain grows uncertain as he begins to wonder: who is Ziggy Heidl - and who is Kif Kehlmann?
** BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week **
Shark Drunk is, in part, the tale of two men in a very small boat on the trail of a very big fish. It is also a story of obsession, enchantment and adventure. A love song to the sea, in all its mystery, hardship, wonder and life-giving majesty.
In the great depths surrounding the remote Lofoten islands in Norway lives the Greenland shark. Twenty-six feet in length and weighing more than a tonne, it can live for 200 years. Its fluorescent green, parasite-covered eyes are said to hypnotise its prey, and its meat is so riddled with poison that, when consumed, it sends people into a hallucinatory trance.
Armed with little more than their wits and a tiny rubber boat, Morten Strøksnes and his friend Hugo set out in pursuit of this enigmatic creature. Together, they tackle existential questions, experience the best and worst nature can throw at them, and explore the astonishing life teeming at the ocean’s depths.
Ellie Fleck has a question for everything, except the one she cannot ask.
Where have they taken her mother?
Ten years old and irrepressibly curious, Ellie lives with her fisherman father, Peter, on the wild North Yorkshire coast. It’s the 1980s and her mother’s breakdown is discussed only in whispers, with the promise ‘better by Christmas’ and no further explanation.
Steering by the light of her dad’s sea-myths, her mum’s memories of home across the water, and a fierce spirit all her own, Ellie begins to learn – in these sudden, strange circumstances – who she is and what she can become. By the time the first snowdrops show, her innocence has been shed, but at great cost.
Shortlisted for the Pushkin House Russian Book Prize 2018
The beautifully illustrated, heartbreaking story of an innocent man in a Soviet gulag, told for the first time in English.
One fateful day in 1934, a husband arranged to meet his wife under the colonnade of the Bolshoi theatre. As she waited for him in vain, he was only a few hundred metres away, in a cell in the notorious Lubyanka prison.
Less than a year before, Alexey Wangenheim – a celebrated meteorologist – had been hailed by Stalin as a national hero. But following his sudden arrest, he was exiled to a gulag, forced to spend his remaining years on an island in the frozen north, along with thousands of other political prisoners.
Stalin’s Meteorologist is the thrilling and deeply moving account of an innocent man caught up in the brutality of Soviet paranoia. It's a timely reminder of the human consequences of political extremism.
'Powered by a satisfactorily pacy plot and oiled by Quinn’s effortless prose, this is a book that slips down as easily as a gin-and-it' Guardian
Summer, 1967. As London shimmers in a heat haze and swoons to the sound of Sergeant Pepper, a mystery film – Eureka – is being shot by German wunderkind Reiner Werther Kloss.
The screenwriter, Nat Fane, would do anything for a hit but can’t see straight for all the acid he’s dropping. Fledgling actress Billie Cantrip is hoping for her big break but can’t find a way out of her troubled relationship with an older man. And journalist Freya Wyley wants to know why so much of what Kloss touches turns to ash in his wake.
'A wonderful new talent' Nick Hornby
Germany, 1939. Sieglinde lives in the affluent ignorance of middle-class Berlin. Erich is an only child living a lush rural life, aware that he is shadowed by strange, unanswered questions. Both children watch as their parents become immersed in the puzzling mechanisms of power.
Drawn together as Germany’s hope for a glorious future begins to collapse, the children find temporary refuge in an abandoned theatre amidst the rubble of Berlin. The days they spend there together will shape the rest of their lives.
Winner of the New Zealand Book Award for Fiction
'A heart-breaking love story from a great new voice' Saga
Australia 1945. Until now Kate Dowd has led a sheltered life on her family's sprawling sheep station but, with her father's health in decline, the management of the farm is increasingly falling to her.
Kate is rising to the challenge when the arrival of two Italian POW labourers disrupts everything – especially when Kate finds herself drawn to the enigmatic Luca Canali.
Then she receives devastating news. The farm is near bankrupt and the bank is set to repossess. Given just eight weeks to pay the debt, Kate is now in a race to save everything she holds dear.
Ruth’s tribe are her lively children and her filmmaker husband, Simon, who has Motor Neurone Disease and can only communicate with his eyes. Ruth’s other ‘tribe’ are the friends who gather at the cove in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, and regularly throw themselves into the freezing cold water, just for kicks.
‘The Tragic Wives’ Swimming Club’, as they jokingly call themselves, meet to cope with the extreme challenges life puts in their way, not to mention the monster waves rolling over the horizon.
An invocation to all of us to love as hard as we can, and live even harder, I Found My Tribe is an urgent and uplifting letter to a husband, family, friends, the natural world and the brightness of life.
From the author of the Patrick Melrose novels, now a major Sky Atlantic television series starring Benedict Cumberbatch
Henry Dunbar, the once all-powerful head of a global media corporation, is not having a good day. In his dotage he handed over care of the corporation to his two eldest daughters, Abby and Megan. But relations quickly soured, leaving him to doubt the wisdom of past decisions.
Now imprisoned in a care home in the Lake District with only a demented alcoholic comedian as company, Dunbar starts planning his escape. As he flees into the hills, his family is hot on his heels. Who will find him first, his beloved youngest daughter, Florence, or the tigresses Abby and Megan, so keen to divest him of his estate?
‘[A] remarkable novel… The story of a troubled young woman trying to make her way in England during the early years of the twentieth century’ WILLIAM BOYD
In the heart of London’s Bloomsbury, Gwendolen – not yet truly famous as the writer ‘Jean Rhys’ – is presented with the opportunity she has been waiting for. Her husband has received an unexpected inheritance; she can, at last, return to the island of her childhood.
For Gwendolen, Dominica is a place of freedom and beauty, far away from the lonely nights and failed dreams of England. But this visit home compels her to reflect on the events of her past, and on what they may mean for her future.
‘Phillips’ novel of being and becoming, of memory, and the mythology of writers and writing is a wonder. This is a gift of a book’
Niven Govinden, author of All the Days and Nights
‘This dark, glimmering beauty of a novel penetrates the English mist, illuminates the past and present and offers us the life of a great writer, in the heart and mind of this great writer, Caryl Phillips’
Amy Bloom, author of White Houses
‘You will have heard of my friend the once celebrated novelist Jocelyn Tarbet, but I suspect his memory is beginning to fade…You’d never heard of me, the once obscure novelist Parker Sparrow, until my name was publicly connected with his. To a knowing few, our names remain rigidly attached, like the two ends of a seesaw. His rise coincided with, though did not cause, my decline… I don’t deny there was wrongdoing. I stole a life, and I don’t intend to give it back. You may treat these few pages as a confession.’
A jewel of a book: a brand new short story from the author of Atonement. My Purple Scented Novel follows the perfect crime of literary betrayal, scrupulously wrought yet unscrupulously executed, published to celebrate Ian McEwan’s 70th birthday.