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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
‘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
A handful of discoveries have changed the course of human history. This book is about the most recent and potentially the most powerful and dangerous of them all.
It is an invention that allows us to rewrite the genetic code that shapes and controls all living beings with astonishing accuracy and ease. Thanks to it, the dreams of genetic manipulation have become a stark reality: the power to cure disease and alleviate suffering, to create new sources of food and energy, as well as to re-design any species, including humans, for our own ends.
Jennifer Doudna is the co-inventor of this technology - known as CRISPR - and a scientist of worldwide renown. Writing with fellow researcher Samuel Sternberg, here she provides the definitive account of her discovery, explaining how this wondrous invention works and what it is capable of. She also asks us to consider what our new-found power means: how do we enjoy its unprecedented benefits while avoiding its equally unprecedented dangers?
The future of humankind – and of all life on Earth – is at stake. This book is an essential guide to the path that now lies ahead.
**WINNER OF THE RATHBONES FOLIO PRIZE**
‘The definitive book on the quake which killed more than 15,000 people.’ Mail Online
‘You will not read a finer work of narrative non-fiction this year.’ Economist
‘A breathtaking, extraordinary work of non-fiction.’ Times Literary Supplement
‘A future classic of disaster journalism.’ Observer
On 11 March 2011, a massive earthquake sent a 120-foot-high tsunami smashing into the coast of north-east Japan. By the time the sea retreated, more than 18,500 people had been crushed, burned to death, or drowned. It was Japan’s greatest single loss of life since the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.
Richard Lloyd Parry, an award-winning foreign correspondent, lived through the earthquake in Tokyo, and spent six years reporting from the disaster zone. He met a priest who performed exorcisms on people possessed by the spirits of the dead. And he found himself drawn back again and again to a village which had suffered the greatest loss of all, a community tormented by unbearable mysteries of its own.
What really happened to the local children as they waited in the school playground in the moments before the tsunami? Why did their teachers not evacuate them to safety? And why was the unbearable truth being so stubbornly covered up?
Ghosts of the Tsunami is a classic of literary non-fiction, a heart-breaking and intimate account of an epic tragedy, told through the personal accounts of those who lived through it. It tells the story of how a nation faced a catastrophe, and the bleak struggle to find consolation in the ruins.
The Sunday Times bestseller
Longlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award
What happens when you find you have exceptional children?
Do you panic? Put your head in the sand? Or risk everything and jump in head first?
As mother to tennis champions Jamie and Andy Murray, Scottish National Coach, coach of the Fed Cup, and general all-round can-do woman of wonder, Judy Murray is the ultimate role model for believing in yourself and reaching out to ambition. As a parent, coach, leader, she is an inspiration who has revolutionised British tennis.
From the soggy community courts of Dunblane to the white heat of Centre Court at Wimbledon, Judy Murray’s extraordinary memoir charts the challenges she has faced, from desperate finances and growing pains to entrenched sexism.
We all need a story of ‘yes we can’ to make us believe great things are possible. This is that story.
'One of the greatest political memoirs of all time' (Guardian) -- The Sunday Times Number 1 Bestseller
What happens when you take on the establishment? In this blistering, personal account, world-famous economist Yanis Varoufakis blows the lid on Europe's hidden agenda and exposes what actually goes on in its corridors of power.
Varoufakis sparked one of the most spectacular and controversial battles in recent political history when, as finance minister of Greece, he attempted to re-negotiate his country’s relationship with the EU. Despite the mass support of the Greek people and the simple logic of his arguments, he succeeded only in provoking the fury of Europe’s political, financial and media elite. But the true story of what happened is almost entirely unknown – not least because so much of the EU’s real business takes place behind closed doors.
In this fearless account, Varoufakis reveals all: an extraordinary tale of brinkmanship, hypocrisy, collusion and betrayal that will shake the deep establishment to its foundations.
As is now clear, the same policies that required the tragic and brutal suppression of Greece’s democratic uprising have led directly to authoritarianism, populist revolt and instability throughout the Western world.
Adults In The Room is an urgent wake-up call to renew European democracy before it is too late.
Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s powerful prison memoir begins half an hour before his release on 12 December 1978. A year earlier, he recalls, armed police arrived at his home and took him to Kenya’s Kamiti Maximum Security Prison. There, Ngugi lives in a block alongside other political prisoners, but he refuses to give in to the humiliation. He decides to write a novel in secret, on toilet paper – it is a book that will become his classic, Devil on the Cross.
Wrestling with the Devil is Ngugi’s unforgettable account of the drama and challenges of living under twenty-four-hour surveillance. He captures not only the pain caused by his isolation from his family, but also the spirit of defiance and the imaginative endeavours that allowed him to survive.
*** Selected as a 2017 Book of the Year in the Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Observer and The Economist ***
‘A gripping story of Churchill’s unlikely rise to power’ Observer
London, May 1940. Britain is under threat of invasion and Neville Chamberlain’s government is about to fall. It is hard for us to imagine the Second World War without Winston Churchill taking the helm, but in Six Minutes in May Nicholas Shakespeare shows how easily events could have gone in a different direction.
It took just six minutes for MPs to cast the votes that brought down Chamberlain. Shakespeare moves from Britain’s disastrous battle in Norway, for which many blamed Churchill, on to the dramatic developments in Westminster that led to Churchill becoming Prime Minister. Uncovering fascinating new research and delving into the key players’ backgrounds, Shakespeare gives us a new perspective on this critical moment in our history.
‘Totally captivating. It will stand as the best account of those extraordinary few days for very many years’
‘Superbly written… Shakespeare has a novelist’s flair for depicting the characters and motives of men’
‘Utterly wonderful… It reads like a thriller’
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE 2017 LA TIMES BOOK PRIZE FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
'Awe-inspiring… You will learn more about human nature than in any other book I can think of' Henry Marsh
'One of the best scientist-writers of our time' Oliver Sacks
Why do human beings behave as they do?
We are capable of savage acts of violence but also spectacular feats of kindness: is one side of our nature destined to win out over the other?
Every act of human behaviour has multiple layers of causation, spiralling back seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, years, even centuries, right back to the dawn of time and the origins of our species.
In the epic sweep of history, how does our biology affect the arc of war and peace, justice and persecution? How have our brains evolved alongside our cultures?
This is the exhilarating story of human morality and the science underpinning the biggest question of all: what makes us human?
From the author of the Sunday Times Number One Bestseller Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
Rupert Murdoch is one of the greatest deal-makers alive. His companies possess extraordinary political and cultural power. Whether it is the Sun and the rise of Thatcher, BSkyB and the transformation of football, or Fox News and the war on terror, we have been living in the age of Murdoch since the late seventies. But who is he? What drives him?
With unprecedented access to Murdoch and his inner circle, Michael Wolff chronicles the astonishing growth of the mogul’s giant media kingdom. Drawing upon hundreds of hours of interviews he offers us a portrait of a Machiavellian titan; overbearing, but loving, father; love-struck husband; and a cynical and brilliant newsman. The resulting book is unrivalled in its intimacy and candour and tells a tale of business that is both the story of a man’s life, and the story of our times.
The story of Catholicism in Britain from the Reformation to the present day, from a master of popular history – 'A first-class storyteller' The Times
Throughout the three hundred years that followed the Act of Supremacy – which, by making Henry VIII head of the Church, confirmed in law the breach with Rome – English Catholics were prosecuted, persecuted and penalised for the public expression of their faith. Even after the passing of the emancipation acts Catholics were still the victims of institutionalised discrimination.
The first book to tell the story of the Catholics in Britain in a single volume, The Catholics includes much previously unpublished information. It focuses on the lives, and sometimes deaths, of individual Catholics – martyrs and apostates, priests and laymen, converts and recusants. It tells the story of the men and women who faced the dangers and difficulties of being what their enemies still call ‘Papists’. It describes the laws which circumscribed their lives, the political tensions which influenced their position within an essentially Anglican nation and the changes in dogma and liturgy by which Rome increasingly alienated their Protestant neighbours – and sometime even tested the loyalty of faithful Catholics.
The survival of Catholicism in Britain is the triumph of more than simple faith. It is the victory of moral and spiritual unbending certainty. Catholicism survives because it does not compromise. It is a characteristic that excites admiration in even a hardened atheist.
Selected as a Book of the Year by the New York Times, Times Literary Supplement and The Times
Despite his status as the most despised political figure in history, there have only been four serious biographies of Hitler since the 1930s. Even more surprisingly, his biographers have been more interested in his rise to power and his methods of leadership than in Hitler the person: some have even declared that the Führer had no private life.
Yet to render Hitler as a political animal with no personality to speak of, as a man of limited intelligence and poor social skills, fails to explain the spell that he cast not only on those close to him but on the German people as a whole. In the first volume of this monumental biography, Volker Ullrich sets out to correct our perception of the Führer. While charting in detail Hitler’s life from his childhood to the eve of the Second World War against the politics of the times, Ullrich unveils the man behind the public persona: his charming and repulsive traits, his talents and weaknesses, his deep-seated insecurities and murderous passions.
Drawing on a wealth of previously neglected or unavailable sources, this magisterial study provides the most rounded portrait of Hitler to date. Ullrich renders the Führer not as a psychopath but as a master of seduction and guile — and it is perhaps the complexity of his character that explains his enigmatic grip on the German people more convincingly than the clichéd image of the monster.
This definitive biography will forever change the way we look at the man who took the world into the abyss.
Can horses feel shame? Do deer grieve? Why do roosters deceive hens?
We tend to assume that we are the only living things able to experience feelings but have you ever wondered what’s going on in an animal’s head? From the leafy forest floor to the inside of a bee hive, The Inner Life of Animals opens up the animal kingdom like never before. We hear the stories of a grateful humpback whale, of a hedgehog who has nightmares, and of a magpie who commits adultery; we meet bees that plan for the future, pigs who learn their own names and crows that go tobogganing for fun. And at last we find out why wasps exist.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE 2017
'An eye-opening, well-written and very timely book' Yuval Noah Harari
'The best sort of book for our disordered days: timely, urgent and illuminating' Pankaj Mishra
'It strikes a blow…for common humanity' Sunday Times
The Muslim world has often been accused of a failure to modernise and adapt. Yet in this sweeping narrative and provocative retelling of modern history, Christopher de Bellaigue charts the forgotten story of the Islamic Enlightenment – the social movements, reforms and revolutions that transfigured the Middle East from the early nineteenth century to the present day. Modern ideals and practices were embraced across the region, including the adoption of modern medicine, the emergence of women from purdah and the development of democracy.
The Islamic Enlightenment looks behind the sensationalist headlines in order to foster a genuine understanding of Islam and its relationship to the West. It is essential reading for anyone engaged in the state of the world today.
From Dylan Thomas’s eighteen straight whiskies to Sylvia Plath’s desperate suicide in the gas oven of her Primrose Hill kitchen; from Chatterton’s Pre-Raphaelite demise to Keats’ death warrant in a smudge of arterial blood, the deaths of poets have often cast a backward shadow on their work.
The post-Romantic lore of the dissolute drunken poet has fatally skewed the image of poets in our culture. Novelists can be stable, savvy, politically adept and in control, but poets should be melancholic, doomed and self-destructive. Is this just an illusion , or is there some essential truth behind it? What is the price of poetry?
In this book, two contemporary poets embark on a series of journeys to the death places of poets of the past, in part as pilgrims, but also as investigators, interrogating the myth.
‘An extraordinary book of real passionate research’ Edmund de Waal
In 1945, Ezra Pound was due to stand trial for treason for his broadcasts in Fascist Italy during the Second World War. But before the trial could take place Pound was pronounced insane. Escaping a potential death sentence he was shipped off to St Elizabeths Hospital near Washington, DC, where he was held for over a decade.
At the hospital, Pound was at his most contradictory and most controversial: a genius writer – ‘The most important living poet in the English language’ according to T. S. Eliot – but also a traitor and now, seemingly, a madman. But he remained a magnetic figure. Eliot, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell and John Berryman all went to visit him at what was perhaps the world’s most unorthodox literary salon: convened by a fascist and held in a lunatic asylum.
Told through the eyes of his illustrious visitors, The Bughouse captures the essence of Pound – the artistic flair, the profound human flaws – whilst telling the grand story of politics and art in the twentieth century.
*Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award*
*Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award*
*Shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize*
*Shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2018*
*A Sunday Times Book of the Year*
Xiaolu Guo meets her parents for the first time when she is almost seven. They are strangers to her.
When she is born in 1973, her parents hand her over to a childless peasant couple in the mountains. Aged two, and suffering from malnutrition on a diet of yam leaves, they leave Xiaolu with her illiterate grandparents in a fishing village on the East China Sea.
Once Upon a Time in the East takes Xiaolu from a run-down shack to film school in a rapidly changing Beijing, navigating the everyday peculiarity of modern China: censorship, underground art, Western boyfriends. In 2002 she leaves Beijing on a scholarship to study in Britain. Now, after a decade in Europe, her tale of East to West resonates with the insight that can only come from someone who is both an outsider and at home.
'This generation's Wild Swans' Daily Telegraph
The extraordinary real stories that inspired the major BBC series
Have you ever illegally downloaded a DVD? Taken drugs? Fallen for a phishing scam?
Organised crime is part of all our worlds - often without us even knowing. McMafia is a journey through the new world of international organised crime, from gunrunners in Ukraine to money launderers in Dubai, by way of drug syndicates in Canada and cyber criminals in Brazil.
This edition comes with a new introduction and epilogue from author Misha Glenny.
A well-designed life means a life well-lived.
Whether you’re 20, 40, 60 or older, many of us are still looking for an answer to that perennial question, ‘What do I want to be when I grow up?’
The phenomenally successful Life Design course, devised by Silicon Valley design innovators Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, has been tried and tested by thousands of people, from students to mid-career professionals to retirees contemplating a whole new future. Now in book form for the first time, their simple method will teach you how to use basic design tools to create a life that will work for you.
Using lots of real-life stories and proven techniques like reframing, prototyping and mind-mapping you will learn how to build your way forwards, step-by-positive-step, to a life that’s better by a design of your own making.