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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.
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.
‘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.
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.
‘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.
'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.
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
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
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.
LONGLISTED FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE 2017
‘This is travel writing at its best.’
Katherine Norbury, Observer
An Observer Book of the Year
His father Brian taught Rory Stewart how to walk, and walked with him on journeys from Iran to Malaysia. Now they have chosen to do their final walk together along ‘the Marches’ - the frontier that divides their two countries, Scotland and England. Brian, a ninety-year-old former colonial official and intelligence officer, arrives in Newcastle from Scotland dressed in tartan and carrying a draft of his new book You Know More Chinese Than You Think. Rory comes from his home in the Lake District, carrying a Punjabi fighting stick which he used when walking across Afghanistan.
On their six-hundred-mile, thirty-day journey - with Rory on foot, and his father ‘ambushing’ him by car – the pair relive Scottish dances, reflect on Burmese honey-bears, and on the loss of human presence in the British landscape. On mountain ridges and in housing estates they uncover a forgotten country crushed between England and Scotland: the Middleland. They cross upland valleys which once held forgotten peoples and languages – still preserved in sixth-century lullabies and sixteenth-century ballads. The surreal tragedy of Hadrian’s Wall forces them to re-evaluate their own experiences in the Iraq and Vietnam wars. The wild places of the uplands reveal abandoned monasteries, border castles, secret military test sites and newly created wetlands. They discover unsettling modern lives, lodged in an ancient land. Their odyssey develops into a history of nationhood, an anatomy of the landscape, a chronicle of contemporary Britain and an exuberant encounter between a father and a son.
And as the journey deepens, and the end approaches, Brian and Rory fight to match, step by step, modern voices, nationalisms and contemporary settlements to the natural beauty of the Marches, and a fierce absorption in tradition in their own unconventional lives.
Crossrail, the ‘Elizabeth’ line, is simply the latest way of traversing a very old east–west route through what was once countryside to the city and out again. Visiting Stepney, Liverpool Street, Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street, Gillian Tindall traces the course of many of these historical journeys across time as well as space.
The Tunnel Through Time uncovers the lives of those who walked where many of our streets still run. These people spoke the names of ancient farms, manors and slums that now belong to our squares and tube stations. They endured the cycle of the seasons as we do; they ate, drank, worked and laughed in what are essentially the same spaces we occupy today. As Tindall expertly shows, destruction and renewal are a constant rhythm in London’s story.
'A masterly account...the best survey of global affairs I have read for some time' Sunday Times
WITH A NEW PREFACE BY THE AUTHOR
The West’s domination of world politics is coming to a close. The flow of wealth and power is turning from West to East and a new era of global instability has begun.
Easternisation is the defining trend of our age – the growing wealth of Asian nations is transforming the international balance of power. This shift to the East is shaping the lives of people all over the world, the fate of nations and the great questions of war and peace.
A troubled but rising China is now challenging America’s supremacy, and the ambitions of other Asian powers – including Japan, North Korea, India and Pakistan – have the potential to shake the whole world. Meanwhile the West is struggling with economic malaise and political populism, the Arab world is in turmoil and Russia longs to reclaim its status as a great power.
We are at a turning point in history: but Easternisation has many decades to run. Gideon Rachman offers a road map to the turbulent process that will define the international politics of the twenty-first century.
LONGLISTED FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE 2017
How do we discuss serious ideas in the age of 24-hour news? What was rhetoric in the past and what should it be now? And what does Islamic State have in common with Donald Trump?
We’ve never had more information or more opportunity to debate the issues of the day. Yet the relationship between politicians, the media and the public is characterised by suspicion, mistrust and apathy. What has gone wrong?
Enough Said reveals how political, social and technological change has transformed our political landscape – and how we talk about the issues that affect us all. Political rhetoric has become stale and the mistrust of politicians has made voters flock to populists who promise authenticity, honesty and truth instead of spin, evasiveness and lies.
Featuring Ronald Reagan and Sarah Palin, Tony Blair and George Osborne, Silvio Berlusconi and many more star performers, Enough Said shows how public language is losing its power, and how an ominous gap is opening between the governed and those who govern. The result of decades of first-hand experience of politics and media, this is an essential, brilliant diagnosis of what we should stop doing and what we should start doing in order to reinvigorate Western democracy.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE WELLCOME BOOK PRIZE 2017 AND THE ROYAL SOCIETY INSIGHT INVESTMENT SCIENCE BOOK PRIZE 2017
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Your body is teeming with tens of trillions of microbes. It’s an entire world, a colony full of life.
In other words, you contain multitudes.
They sculpt our organs, protect us from diseases, guide our behaviour, and bombard us with their genes. They also hold the key to understanding all life on earth.
In I Contain Multitudes, Ed Yong opens our eyes and invites us to marvel at ourselves and other animals in a new light, less as individuals and more as thriving ecosystems.
You'll never think about your mind, body or preferences in the same way again.
'Super-interesting... He just keeps imparting one surprising, fascinating insight after the next. I Contain Multitudes is science journalism at its best' Bill Gates
'A great journalist with a whip-like satirical prose style… Wolfe’s great gift is to make the heavy seem light and this book is such an entertaining polemic that I read it in a day and immediately wanted to read it again.' - Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times
Tom Wolfe, whose legend began in journalism, takes us on an eye-opening journey through language. The Kingdom of Speech is a paradigm-shifting argument that speech - not evolution - is responsible for humanity's complex societies and achievements.
From Alfred Russel Wallace, the Englishman who beat Darwin to the theory of natural selection but later renounced it, and through the controversial work of modern-day anthropologist Daniel Everett, who defies the current wisdom that language is hard-wired in humans, Wolfe examines the solemn, long-faced, laugh-out-loud zig-zags of Darwinism, old and Neo, and finds it irrelevant here in our Kingdom of Speech.
Selected as a Book of the Year by the Financial Times
‘The Gardener and the Carpenter should be required reading for anyone who is, or is thinking of becoming a parent’ Financial Times
Caring deeply about our children is part of what makes us human. Yet the thing we call ‘parenting’ is a surprisingly new invention. In the past thirty years, the concept of parenting and the huge industry surrounding it have transformed childcare into obsessive, controlling, and goal-orientated labour intended to create a particular kind of child, and therefore a particular kind of adult.
Drawing on the study of human evolution and her own cutting-edge scientific research into how children learn, Gopnik shows that although caring for children is profoundly important, it is not a matter of shaping them to turn out a particular way. Children are designed to be messy and unpredictable, playful and imaginative, and to be very different both from their parents and from each other. The variability and flexibility of childhood lets them innovate, create, and survive in an unpredictable world. ‘Parenting’ won't make children learn – but caring parents let children learn by creating a secure, loving environment.
In The Gardener and the Carpenter, the pioneering developmental psychologist and philosopher Alison Gopnik argues that the familiar twenty-first-century picture of parenting is profoundly wrong – it's not just based on bad science, it's bad for children and their parents too.
'Fascinating' Malcolm Gladwell
'Your sanity will thank you for reading it' Oliver Burkeman
Our world is filled with addictive experiences, from social media and messaging to rolling news and video streaming.
They affect our ability to relax, develop relationships and achieve meaningful goals.
Psychologist Adam Alter explains why we can't stop scrolling, clicking and watching.
And offers practical advice for using technology differently – and leading a happier life.
'Brilliant. Irresistible offers...much-needed solutions'
Susan Cain, author of Quiet
'Essential reading... Regain control of your time, finances and relationships'
Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit
'With great clarity...Irresistible digs down into exactly how technology has us hooked'
In the summer of 1953, maverick neurosurgeon William Beecher Scoville performed a groundbreaking operation on an epileptic patient named Henry Molaison. But it was a catastrophic failure, leaving Henry unable to create long-term memories.
Scoville's grandson, Luke Dittrich, takes us on an astonishing journey through the history of neuroscience, from the first brain surgeries in ancient Egypt to the New England asylum where his grandfather developed a taste for human experimentation. Dittrich's investigation confronts unsettling family secrets and reveals the dark roots of modern neuroscience, raising troubling questions that echo into the present day.