Search: Penelope Lively

152 results 101-120

The Little Red Train: Great Big Train

Benedict Blathwayt (Author)

When a lorry driver scoffs at the Little Red Train for looking old and useless, Duffy is quite upset. But the Little Red Train soon proves its worth when terrible traffic, breakdowns and faulty lights stop the lorries being able to deliver. And the Little Red Train doesn't look quite so useless, or little, after all!

Ben Blathwayt's Little Red Train books, with minimal text and big, busy pages full of intricate detail, have enormous appeal for young children.

The Bridegroom

Ha Jin (Author)

This new collection of short stories by the award-winning author of Waiting confirms Ha Jin's reputation as a master storyteller, as well as a master of the miniature.

In The Bridegroom, the twelve stories capture a China in transition, moving from Maoism towards a more open society. For these men and women, starting to feel the influence of the West, the daily dramas of a system that still struggles to control their every move and thought are made all the more painful. As his characters, from an entrepreneur, transformed from black-market criminal to free market hero, to the workers at Cowboy Chicken, to the professor mistaken by the police for a saboteur, continue to struggle against petty injustices and heartbreaks, Ha Jin celebrates their lives and humanity with the understated humour and simplicity that has won him widespread acclaim.

The Curious Gardener's Almanac

Niall Edworthy (Author)

The Curious Gardener's Almanac contains over 1000 entries of remarkable information about flowers, vegetables, fruits, trees, herbs, insects, birds, water, soil, tools, composts, climate, recipes, gardens and gardeners, myths, superstitions, biodynamics..In short it is a collection as profuse and variegated as gardening itself. Woven into this wealth of knowledge are famous quotations, anecdotes, traditional sayings, lines of verse, and words of rural wisdom. The spirit and focus of the Almanac is British but the wider picture is international as so much of our gardens originated from overseas.
Dry or dull information has no place in the almanac and its presentation is as appealing as the content.

Tales of the City Episode 6: Three Men at the Tubs

Armistead Maupin (Author)

Episode 6: Three Men at the Tubs

It's Christmas at Barbary Lane where DeDe's happiness is short lived, Mrs Madrigal says goodbye to a friend and Mary Ann makes a shocking discovery about her neighbour.

Welcome to Tales of the City. San Francisco 1976: a golden city of freedom, adventure and possibility. But, as naïve small-town girl Mary Ann finds out, it can be hard to find your place in a strange new city - especially when the supermarket is a pick up joint and a Jockey Shorts dance contest can make or break a relationship. Luckily for Mary Ann, she finds the perfect home at 28 Barbary Lane where the dysfunctional residents form an unconventional family of waifs and strays. Mona the cynic, Michael 'Mouse' Tolliver the romantic looking for love and DeDe the jaded debutante, all watched over by the eccentric and mysterious Anna Madrigal.

Get addicted to these characters in six short, funny and heartbreaking episodes.

Tales of the City Episode 4: The Anniversary Tango

Armistead Maupin (Author)

Episode 4: The Anniversary Tango

In which Mary Anna volunteers at the Crisis Switchboard whilst Mouse has a crisis of his own. DeDe visits a fat farm and Mona makes a surprising discovery about Barbary Lane.

Welcome to Tales of the City. San Francisco 1976: a golden city of freedom, adventure and possibility. But, as naïve small-town girl Mary Ann finds out, it can be hard to find your place in a strange new city - especially when the supermarket is a pick up joint and a Jockey Shorts dance contest can make or break a relationship. Luckily for Mary Ann, she finds the perfect home at 28 Barbary Lane where the dysfunctional residents form an unconventional family of waifs and strays. Mona the cynic, Michael 'Mouse' Tolliver the romantic looking for love and DeDe the jaded debutante, all watched over by the eccentric and mysterious Anna Madrigal.

Get addicted to these characters in six short, funny and heartbreaking episodes.

The Sex Doctor

Tracey Cox (Author)

Combining humour with expert advice, The Sex Doctor covers everything from standard sex issues to the more bizarre carnal conundrums. No matter how good you think your sex life is, there's always a tip, trick or technique to make it even better. And you won't find a better compilation of libido-lifting, orgasm-orbiting, titillating titbits! With practical action plans, intelligent advice, how-to's and don't-ever's, prepare to be inspired, amused and above all, entertained.
· Singles sex and how to get more of it
· The top five things your new lover's hoping for
· Foolproof ways to tell how you rate as a lover
· Find your four new hotspots
· Does cheating count if there's no-one around to catch you?
· The latest, greatest sex toys and how to choose and use them
· Should you stay if the sex isn't any good?
· A sex detox and techniques sex therapists swear by
· Crucial keys to having fabulous long-term sex
At times, enlightening, amusing or downright eye-opening, The Sex Doctor answers all those questions you always wanted to ask but never dared...

Hide-And-Seek With Angels

Lisa Chaney (Author)

When James Matthew Barrie died, in 1937, his funeral was an occasion for national mourning. Crowds gathered; reporters and newsreel men came to record the day, and many well-known figures followed the coffin to its resting place in the little churchyard up on the hill. In London, a month later at St Paul's Cathedral a memorial service was held for the Scottish weaver's son who died Britain's playwright extraordinaire.

A succession of novels and long-running plays had brought Barrie enormous wealth, critical acclaim, an hereditary Baronetcy and the Order of Merit. His public following extended to Hollywood where his work was performed by the stars of the silver screen. Unhappily such achievements did little to ameliorate the strains in Barrie's private life. Hampered by a stigmatising divorce, he was also struck by a series of tragic bereavements from which he never fully recovered. At the same time as savouring his public image, Barrie gave no more than a handful of interviews. During his lifetime this inscrutable, enigmatic man succeeded in his desire to remain only partially known.

Barrie was already famous for sophisticated political satires and social comedies when, with the creation of Peter Pan, his immense artistic gift was displayed at its extraordinary best. In the play, where 'All children except one grow up', Barrie had touched on a universal nerve, the problem of growing up. With Peter Pan he created one of the greatest twentieth-century myths and a work of art quite unlike anything that had gone before. It became a part of the common culture of the Western world, and is as relevant today as on that first performance one hundred years ago.

Strangers

Anita Brookner (Author)

'He was haunted by a feeling of invisibility, as if he were a mere spectator of his own life, with no one to identify him in the barren circumstances of the here and now.'

Paul Sturgis is a retired banker manager who lives alone in a dark little flat. He walks alone and dines alone, seeking out and taking pleasure in small exchanges with strangers: the cheerful Australian girl who cuts his hair, the lady at the drycleaners. His only relative, and only acquaintance, is a widowed cousin by marriage - herself a virtual stranger - to whom he pays ritualistic visits on a Sunday afternoon. Trying to make sense of his current solitary state, and fearing that his destiny may be to die among strangers, Sturgis trawls through memories of his failed relationships and finds himself longing for companionship, or at the very least a conversation.

But then a chance encounter with a stranger - a recently divorced and demanding younger woman - shakes up his routine and when an old girlfriend appears on the scene, Sturgis is forced to make a decision about how (and with whom) he wants to spend the rest of his days . . .

'Each book is a prayer bead on a string, and each prayer is a secular, circumspect prayer, a prayer and a protest and a charm against encroaching night' Hilary Mantel, Guardian

'No one writes with more skill and honesty about the human condition and this book is possibly her finest' Julie Myerson, Observer

'A novel of great stylistic beauty and psychological truth. As great a reflection on fear and regret as Philip Larkin or Beckett' Guardian

'Like Graham Greene, she draws the reader into a world that has a character and signature all of its own . . . Strangers is a novel of sober brilliance, and the unerring, unflinching Brookner is still a much underestimated novelist' Helen Dunmore, The Times

Anita Brookner was born in south London in 1928, the daughter of a Polish immigrant family. She trained as an art historian, and worked at the Courtauld Institute of Art until her retirement in 1988. She published her first novel, A Start in Life, in 1981 and her twenty-fourth, Strangers, in 2009. Hotel du Lac won the 1984 Booker Prize. As well as fiction, Anita Brookner has published a number of volumes of art criticism.

The Moment

Douglas Kennedy (Author)

Thomas Nesbitt is a divorced American writer living a very private life in Maine. Until, one wintry morning, his solitude is disrupted by the arrival of a package postmarked Berlin.

But what is more unsettling is the name accompanying the return address on the package: Petra Dussmann. For she is the woman with whom Thomas had an intense love affair twenty-five years before in a divided Berlin, where people lived fearfully under the shadows of the Cold War.

And so Thomas is forced to grapple with a past he has always kept hidden. For Petra Dussman was a refugee from the police state of East Germany. And her tragic secrets were to re-write both their destinies.

Saville

David Storey (Author)

Colin Saville grows up in a mining village in South Yorkshire, against the background of war, of an industrialised countryside, of town and coalmine and village.

A Natural Curiosity

Margaret Drabble (Author)

Liz, Alix and Esther are old friends whose lives continue to cross and uncross. As the years pass, they are more than ever disposed to question, to re-evaluate, to examine their motives and directions in the brutally prosperous, atrocity-hungry society of Britain.

The Lark

E. Nesbit (Author)

'A charming and brilliantly entertaining novel... shot through with the light-hearted Nesbit touch' Penelope Lively, from the introduction

"When did two girls of our age have such a chance as we've got - to have a lark entirely on our own? No chaperone, no rules, no..."
"No present income or future prospects," said Lucilla.

It's 1919 and Jane and her cousin Lucilla leave school to find that their guardian has gambled away their money, leaving them with only a small cottage in the English countryside. In an attempt to earn their living, the orphaned cousins embark on a series of misadventures - cutting flowers from their front garden and selling them to passers-by, inviting paying guests who disappear without paying - all the while endeavouring to stave off the attentions of male admirers, in a bid to secure their independence.

'To come upon any Nesbit today, hitherto unread... is like receiving a letter from a friend whom you have believed dead' New York Times

Charlotte Brontë

Claire Harman (Author)

On the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë's birth, Penguin is publishing the definitive biography of this extraordinary novelist, by acclaimed literary biographer Claire Harman

Charlotte Brontë's life contained all the drama and tragedy of the great Gothic novels it inspired. She was raised motherless on remote Yorkshire moors and sent away to brutally strict boarding school at a young age. She watched helpless growing up as, one by one, her five beloved siblings sickened and died; by the end of her short life, she was the only child of the Brontë clan remaining. And most fascinating and tragic of all, throughout her adult life she was haunted by a great and unrequited love - a love that tortured Charlotte but also inspired some of the most moving, intense and revolutionary novels ever written in the English language.

Charlotte was a literary visionary, a feminist trailblazer and the driving force behind the whole Brontë family. She encouraged her sister Emily to publish Wuthering Heights when no-one else believed in her talent. She took charge of the family's precarious finances when her brilliant but feckless brother Branwell succumbed to opium addiction. She travelled from Yorkshire to Europe to the bright lights of London, met some of the most brilliant literary minds of her generation (Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, William Thackeray), and became a bestselling female author in a world still dominated by men. And in each of her books, from Villette and Shirley to her most famous, Jane Eyre, Charlotte created brand new kinds of heroines, inspired by herself and her life, fiercely intelligent women burning with hidden passions.

This beautifully-produced, landmark biography is essential reading for every fan of the Brontë family's writing, from Jane Eyre to Wuthering Heights. It is a uniquely intimate and complex insight into one of Britain's best loved writers. This is the literary biography of the year; if you loved Claire Tomalin's Charles Dickens, this event is not to be missed.

The Cleaner of Chartres

Salley Vickers (Author)

There is something special about the ancient cathedral of Chartres, with its mismatched spires, astonishing stained glass and strange labyrinth. And there is something special too about Agnès Morel, the mysterious woman who is to be found cleaning it each morning.

No one quite knows where she came from - not the diffident Abbé Paul, who discovered her one morning twenty years ago, sleeping in the north porch; nor lonely Professor Jones, whose chaotic existence she helps to organise; nor Philippe Nevers, whose neurotic sister and newborn child she cares for; nor even the irreverent young restorer, Alain Fleury, who works alongside her each day and whose attention she catches with her tawny eyes, her colourful clothes and elusive manner. And yet everyone she encounters would surely agree that she is subtly transforming their lives, even if they couldn't quite say how.

But with a chance meeting in the cathedral one day, the spectre of Agnès' past returns, provoking malicious rumours from the prejudiced Madame Beck and her gossipy companion Madame Picot. As the hearsay grows uglier, Agnès is forced to confront her history, and the mystery of her origins finally unfolds.

The Cleaner of Chartres is a compelling story of darkness and light; of traumatic loss and second chances. Told with a sparkling wit and captivating charm, but infused throughout with deeper truths, it speaks of the power of love and mercy to transform the tragedies of the past.

Horror Stories

E. Nesbit (Author)

A groom promises to be at the church on time, even if he has to come back from the grave to do it.

A man inherits a property where he discovers a portrait of a woman that will change his life forever.

Two newlyweds find their dream country cottage, unaware of an ancient curse from the previous owners.

A gripping, unsettling and utterly chilling collection of short stories from one of Britain's best loved storytellers.

After Rain

William Trevor (Author)

After Rain - Twelve remarkable stories by the master storyteller William Trevor

'There is no better short story writer in the English-speaking world' Wall Street Journal

In this collection of twelve dazzling, acutely rendered tales, William Trevor plumbs the depths of the human heart. Here we encounter a blind piano tuner whose wonderful memories of his first wife are cruelly distorted by his second; a woman in a difficult marriage who must choose between her indignant husband and her closest friend; two children, survivors of divorce, who mimic their parents' melodramas; and a heartbroken woman traveling alone in Italy who experiences an epiphany while studying a forgotten artist's Annunciation.
Trevor is, in his own words, 'a storyteller. My fiction may, now and again, illuminate aspects of the human condition, but I do not consciously set out to do so.' Conscious or not, he touches us in ways that few writers even dare to try.

Two Lives

William Trevor (Author)

Two Lives: Reading Turgenev & My House in Umbria - two novels by William Trevor

'Evocative and haunting. Trevor writes like an angel, but is determined to wring your heart' Daily Mail

'Marvellous, superb. As rich and moving as anything I have read in years. When I reach the end . . . I wanted to start right again at the beginning' Guardian

In Reading Turgenev an Irish country girl is trapped in a loveless marriage with an older man, but finds release through secret meetings with a man who shares her passion for Russian novels.

My House in Umbria tells of Emily Delahunty, a writer of romantic novels, who helps the survivors of a bomb attack on a train to convalesce, inventing colourful pasts for her patients.

Two novels, two women who retreat further into the realm of the imagination until the boundaries between what is real and what is not become blurred . . .

'One of the most beautiful and memorable things Trevor has written' Independent on Sunday

Reading Turgenev was shortlisted for the Booker Prize

The Children Of Dynmouth

William Trevor (Author)

The Children Of Dynmouth - a classic prize-winning novel by William Trevor

William Trevor's The Children of Dynmouth (Winner of the Whitbread Award and shortlisted for the Booker Prize) was first published in 1976 and is a classic account of evil lurking in the most unlikely places. In it we follow awkward, lonely, curious teenager Timothy Gedge as he wanders around the bland seaside town of Dynmouth. Timothy takes a prurient interest in the lives of the adults there, who only realise the sinister purpose to which he seeks to put his knowledge too late.

'A small masterpiece of understatement ... a work of rare compassion' Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times

If you enjoyed The Story of Lucy Gault and Love and Summer, you will love this book. It will also be adored by readers of Colm Toibin and William Boyd.

William Trevor was born in Mitchelstown, County Cork. He has written eighteen novels and novellas, and hundreds of short stories, for which he has won a number of prizes including the Hawthornden Prize, the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Award, the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and the David Cohen Literature Prize in recognition of a lifetime's literary achievement. In 2002 he was knighted for his services to literature. His books in Penguin are: After Rain; A Bit on the Side; Bodily Secrets; Cheating at Canasta; The Children of Dynmouth; The Collected Stories (Volumes One and Two); Death in Summer; Felicia's Journey; Fools of Fortune; The Hill Bachelors; Love and Summer; The Mark-2 Wife; Selected Stories; The Story of Lucy Gault and Two Lives.

A Bit on the Side

William Trevor (Author)

A Bit on the Side - Twelve remarkable stories by the master storyteller William Trevor

'Compassionate, poignant, even heart-rending. Almost perfect works of art by perhaps the greatest short story writer now working in English' Sunday Independent

William Trevor is truly a Chekhov for our age. In these twelve stories, a waiter divulges a shocking life of crime to his ex-wife; a woman repeats the story of her parents' unstable marriage after a horrible tragedy; a schoolgirl regrets gossiping about the cuckolded man who tutors her; and, in the volume's title story, a middle-aged accountant offers his reasons for ending a love affair. At the heart of this stunning collection is Trevor's characteristic tenderness and unflinching eye for both the humanizing and dehumanizing aspects of modern urban and rural life.

If you enjoyed The Story of Lucy Gault and Love and Summer, you will love this book. It will also be adored by readers of Colm Toibin, George Saunders and James Joyce.

'A treat ... each meditate[s] on the subject of love - adulterous, unspoken, clandestine, sometimes cruel. Whether set in rural Ireland or London, their pages whisper of relished secrets and dreams foolishly clung to' Mail on Sunday

William Trevor was born in Mitchelstown, County Cork. He has written eighteen novels and novellas, and hundreds of short stories, for which he has won a number of prizes including the Hawthornden Prize, the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Award, the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and the David Cohen Literature Prize in recognition of a lifetime's literary achievement. In 2002 he was knighted for his services to literature. His books in Penguin are: After Rain; A Bit on the Side; Bodily Secrets; Cheating at Canasta; The Children of Dynmouth; The Collected Stories (Volumes One and Two); Death in Summer; Felicia's Journey; Fools of Fortune; The Hill Bachelors; Love and Summer; The Mark-2 Wife; Selected Stories; The Story of Lucy Gault and Two Lives.

Other People's Worlds

William Trevor (Author)

Other People's Worlds by William Trevor - a classic early novel by one of the world's greatest writers

What chance has a nice middle-class woman got against a determined conman?

47-year-old widow, Julia, is about to remarry, much to the delight and relief of her daughters. But her mother has suspicions about Francis which she keeps to herself. Perhaps wrongly: if she'd shared her feelings with her daughter the disaster might have been avoided. Meanwhile there are two other women who have a claim on the would-be bridegroom - and the way things are shaping up it might be one of them, rather than Julia, who comes off worst out of the situation.

William Trevor's brilliant novel explores the small horrors that lie close to the surface of ordinary life.

'A constantly surprising work, pungent with the sense of evil and corruption' John Updike, New Yorker

'Trevor is a master of both language and storytelling' Hilary Mantel

William Trevor was born in Mitchelstown, County Cork, in 1928, and was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He has lived in England for many years. The author of numerous acclaimed collections of short stories and novels, he has won many awards including the Whitbread Book of the Year, The James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence. He has been shortlisted three times for the Booker Prize: in 1976 with his novel The Children of Dynmouth, in 1991 with Reading Turgenev and in 2002 with The Story of Lucy Gault. He recently received the prestigious David Cohen Literature Prize in recognition of a lifetime's literary achievement.

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