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A deep dive into the world of Ufology–the study and search for extraterrestrial life–with a fun, informative, humorous look at the history of this strange world of conspiracy.
Throughout history people have witnessed a dizzying show of mysterious lights in the sky. Whether they are the devices of alien interlopers or more mundane weather phenomena, they have spawned a legacy of government inquiries, secretive societies, and countless dedicated investigators. We call them “Unidentified Flying Objects,” and they have claimed a prominent position in popular culture, enduring in part thanks to the legacy of researchers and persistently peculiar mysteries.
(Hardcover / 128 pages / $36)
In 2012 the rebel suburb of Daraya in Damascus was brutally besieged by Syrian government forces. Four years of suffering ensued, punctuated by shelling, barrel bombs and chemical gas attacks. People’s homes were destroyed and their food supplies cut off; disease was rife.
Yet in this man-made hell, forty young Syrian revolutionaries embarked on an extraordinary project, rescuing all the books they could find in the bombed-out ruins of their home town. They used them to create a secret library, in a safe place, deep underground. It became their school, their university, their refuge. It was a place to learn, to exchange ideas, to dream and to hope.
Based on lengthy interviews with these young men, conducted over Skype by the award-winning French journalist, Delphine Minoui, The Book Collectors is a powerful testament to freedom, tolerance and the power of literature. (208 pages / $32)
It can all feel a bit too much. We find ourselves occupied, morning to night, with reacting, responding and coping with uncontrollable and often challenging circumstances. How can we rise above stress, anxiety and frustration? How do we perform a restart? Is it possible to radically transform our daily life? And how might we invite deeper meaning and freedom into our lives?
For many, the gateway to the Buddhist teachings is Mindfulness. And Mindfulness is indeed one of the Five Powers that are regarded as the original teachings of the Buddha:
How do these Five Powers help us to discover personal peace and freedom? We begin with Trust, a leap of faith, letting go of the sides and getting into the stream of life. But in order to swim well, we also need Energy to overcome resistance and keep going. Mindfulness brings our awareness to where we are on the path in each moment, to notice life in its rich detail. Inner freedom expands, amplified by the peaceful power of Calm. We focus on what is right in front of us, we listen intently, we are patient with life. And Wisdom provides our inner knowing, our compass.
With stunning artwork throughout by the acclaimed artist Alessandro Sanna, The Five Powers is a guide for those who seek the freedom to be themselves, to love fully and to dance with the unexpected and embrace the everyday.
Dr. Stephen Fulder was born in London in 1946. A graduate of Oxford University, he has a PhD in molecular biology and was a lecturer at London University. Stephen has been involved in dharma practice since 1975. He has spent years in India, and has been guided by a variety of teachers from India, Burma, and the West. He has been teaching mindful meditation for a quarter of a century, mostly in Israel but also abroad, and leads many retreats, courses, and classes annually, especially for advanced practitioners.
(Hardcover / 304 pages / $32)
This is a story about life, about imagination, about being in the present and existing in the past; this is a story about painting, drawing, chopping and changing; about thinking, discussing, arguing and listening. This is a tale of a century of creativity and how 'things' come to define who we are.
Tom Karen is the Vimp, and Aircruiser and a Water Line Ship; he's a 'Big Fat Peace Bomb', a Bond Bug and the Marble Run; he's the Chopper bike and the 'man that designed the 1970s'; he's every one of his thousands of sketches contained in London's Victoria & Albert Museum - each a testament to a lifetime of artistry and creativity.
He's also a living embodiment of a life immersed in inventiveness, imagination and thought: visit his home and you will see his world come to life with papier-Mache birds, life-size toy dogs and various model Marble Runs hogging every corner of his house; his work-bench is a vibrant collage of creativity, from hand-drawn maps and postcards to newly devised toys for his ever-spoilt grand children and their friends. He's a real-life 'Geppetto' - a man who lives for children and for creativity, and should his toys ever come to life they would have such a story to tell.
From his early life in Czechoslovakia, his journey fleeing Nazi Germany across continental Europe, and his formative years in the UK as a Jewish immigrant landing on these shores with little-to-no money; through to his ascent to the top of the design tree, becoming the 'man who designed the 1970s', and his later years as a creative polymath and design mentor. In Toymaker Tom Karen presents some of the most cherished items that tell a story of not just an extraordinary life, but show the importance of nurturing one's own imagination.
(Hardcover / 416 pages / $43)
London, 1938. Alma Fielding, an ordinary young woman, begins to experience supernatural events in her suburban home.
Nandor Fodor – a Jewish-Hungarian refugee and chief ghost hunter for the International Institute for Psychical research – begins to investigate. In doing so he discovers a different and darker type of haunting: trauma, alienation, loss – and the foreshadowing of a nation's worst fears. As the spectre of Fascism lengthens over Europe, and as Fodor's obsession with the case deepens, Alma becomes ever more disturbed.
With rigour, daring and insight, the award-winning pioneer of historical narrative non-fiction Kate Summerscale shadows Fodor's enquiry, delving into long-hidden archives to find the human story behind a very modern haunting. (368 pages / $28)
For all of its rigor and science, medicine is full of stories—mysteries—that doctors and research cannot explain. Patients who are biologically healthy, but feel ill. Patients who are biologically ill, but feel healthy. What if these health mysteries could teach us something about what really makes us sick—and how to be healthy?
When Columbia University doctor Kelli Harding began her clinical practice, she never intended to explore the invisible factors behind our health. But then there were the rabbits. In 1978, a seemingly straightforward experiment designed to establish the relationship between high blood cholesterol and heart health in rabbits discovered that kindness—in the form of a particularly nurturing post-doc who pet and spoke to the lab rabbits as she fed them—made the difference between a heart attack and a healthy heart.
As Dr. Kelli Harding reveals in this eye-opening book, the rabbits were just the beginning of a much larger story. Groundbreaking new research shows that love, friendship, community, and our environment can have a greater impact on our health than anything that happens in the doctor’s office. For instance, chronic loneliness can be as unhealthy as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day; napping regularly can decrease one’s risk of heart disease; and people with purpose are less likely to get sick.
At once paradigm-shifting and empowering, The Rabbit Effect shares a radical new way to think about health, wellness, and how we live.
(288 pages / $27)
What is a good death? How would you choose to live your last few months? How do we best care for the rising tide of very elderly?
This unusual and important book is a series of reflections on death in all its forms: the science of it, the medicine, the tragedy and the comedy. Dr David Jarrett draws on family stories and case histories from his thirty years of treating the old, demented and frail to try to find his own understanding of the end. And he writes about all the conversations that we, our parents, our children, the medical community, our government and society as a whole should be having.
Profound, provocative, strangely funny and astonishingly compelling, it is an impassioned plea that we start talking frankly and openly about death. And it is a call to arms for us to make radical changes to our perspective on ‘the seventh age of man’.
(Hardcover / 304 pages / $32)
An irresistible new volume of affectionate missives about our feline companions from Charles Dickens, Anne Frank, Raymond Chandler, Elizabeth Taylor, and more, from the author of the bestselling Letters of Note collections
Florence Nightingale sends care instructions to the woman who has just adopted her angora tomcat Mr. White. T. S. Eliot issues a rhyming birthday party invitation to all Jellicle cats for his four-year-old godson. Jack Kerouac’s mother grieves at the death of the family cat. Jack Lemmon winkingly suggests to Walter Matthau that they go in on a cat ranch in Mexico. This utterly charming collection offers a warm and friendly look at the place that cats occupy in our hearts and lives. These thirty letters capture the profound delight of having or observing a cat, and they reveal a keen insight into feline nature as well as our own.
(144 pages / $26)
The Rare Materials Collection at the National Library, Singapore, contains more than 11,000 items and spans six centuries of history. The collection comprises books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, correspondence, and more, which together provide us with valuable insights into Singapore’s history.
This book presents a diverse selection of almost 50 of the rarest and most priceless items in the collection, including the Mao Kun Map, a recently-acquired Munshi Abdullah edition of the Sejarah Melayu,19th century lithographs, Japanese reconnaissance maps, correspondence from Raffles, and even a football rule book in Jawi.
Each item is described and analysed with an insightful essay and richly complemented with illustrations, helping to bring these stories from the stacks to life and lead us down new avenues of historical understanding.
(Hardcover with Jacket / 132 pages / $34)
An honest, unflinching tale of re-finding one's faith, from one of the world's most famous theologians
Without Buddha I Could Not Be a Christian narrates how esteemed theologian, Paul F. Knitter overcame a crisis of faith by looking to Buddhism for inspiration. From prayer to how Christianity views life after death, Knitter argues that a Buddhist standpoint can encourage a more person-centred conception of Christianity, where individual religious experience comes first, and liturgy and tradition second. Moving and revolutionary, this book will inspire Christians everywhere.
(272 pages / $25)
Christmas trees are ditched after the holiday. So Julia Georgallis started a club to experiment cooking with various Christmas trees to promote sustainability. Her club became so popular that she wrote this book to share her recipes.
How to Eat Your Christmas Tree is a cookbook which explores the unsung edible heroes of our forests – the humble Christmas trees and their evergreen friends! As well as recipes for cooking with pine, fir and spruce this book also encourages reflection around food waste and resourcefulness in an age of deforestation and climate crisis and asks how we might be able to celebrate nature in an alternative way.
(Hardcover / 144 pages / $24)
Our personal note: I know we don't have Christmas trees to cook and eat in Singapore. But this hardcover innovative cookbook is a steal at only $24. Place a copy in your living room during Christmas and it will be a sure conversation starter when you have guests over.
Trees do not have brains to think with, or nervous systems that cause them to feel things, and yet they are undeniably clever. From their ability to adapt, to their understanding of the strength of networks and mutually beneficial relationships, they put us to shame with their natural ability to thrive, even when they find themselves in less than ideal environments.
This beautifully illustrated book brings together sixty universal life lessons taken from the infinite wisdom of trees. We learn about the importance of forward-planning from the Chinese bamboo tree, which seemingly doesn't grow at all for the first four years of its life, before shooting 80 feet upwards in six weeks; in those four years, it is in fact growing an amazingly strong underground root network to support sudden growth. And acacias, who look out for each other by producing a gas when they're being nibbled on by herbivores to warn their nearby friends.
From the importance of patience, to drawing strength from others, to weathering the storm, to dealing with life's most persistent irritants - this is a celebration of the heroes of the forest, and an essential companion for dipping into when we need a little inspiration.
(Hardcover / 128 pages / $25)
An original look at how literary characters can transcend their books to guide our lives, by one of the world's most eminent bibliophiles
Alberto Manguel, in a style both charming and erudite, examines how literary characters live with us from childhood on. Throughout the years, they change their identities and emerge from behind their stories to teach us about the complexities of love, loss, and the world itself. Manguel’s favorite characters include Jim from Huckleberry Finn, Phoebe from The Catcher in the Rye, Job and Jonah from the Bible, Little Red Riding Hood and Captain Nemo, Hamlet’s mother, and Dr. Frankenstein’s maligned Monster.
Sharing his unique powers as a reader, Manguel encourages us to establish our own literary relationships. An intimate preface and Manguel’s own “doodles” complete this delightful and magical book.
(Hardback / 256 pages / $30)
A one-of-a-kind celebration of America’s greatest comic strip–and the life lessons it can teach us–from a stellar array of writers and artists
Over the span of fifty years, Charles M. Schulz created a comic strip that is one of the indisputable glories of American popular culture—hilarious, poignant, inimitable. Some twenty years after the last strip appeared, the characters Schulz brought to life in Peanuts continue to resonate with millions of fans, their beguiling four-panel adventures and television escapades offering lessons about happiness, friendship, disappointment, childhood, and life itself.
In The Peanuts Papers, thirty-three writers and artists reflect on the deeper truths of Schulz’s deceptively simple comic, its impact on their lives and art and on the broader culture. These enchanting, affecting, and often quite personal essays show just how much Peanuts means to its many admirers—and the ways it invites us to ponder, in the words of Sarah Boxer, “how to survive and still be a decent human being” in an often bewildering world.
Featuring: Jill Bialosky, Lisa Birnbach, Sarah Boxer
Jennifer Finney Boylan, Ivan Brunetti, Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell, Rich Cohen, Gerald Early
Umberto Eco, Jonathan Franzen, Ira Glass, Adam Gopnik, David Hajdu, Bruce Handy, David Kamp
Maxine Hong Kingston, Chuck Klosterman, Peter D. Kramer, Jonathan Lethem, Rick Moody, Ann Patchett, Kevin Powell, Joe Queenan, Nicole Rudick, George Saunders, Elissa Schappell, Seth,
Janice Shapiro, Mona Simpson, Leslie Stein, Clifford Thompson, David L. Ulin, Chris Ware
(Hardcover / 352 pages / $43)
"It's 1979, I'm three years old, and like all breakfast times during my youth it begins with Mum combing my hair, a ritual for which I have to sit down on the second-hand, floral-patterned settee, and lean forward, like I'm presenting myself for execution.
For Sathnam Sanghera, growing up in Wolverhampton in the eighties was a confusing business. On the one hand, these were the heady days of George Michael mix-tapes, Dallas on TV and, if he was lucky, the occasional Bounty Bar. On the other, there was his wardrobe of tartan smocks, his 30p-an-hour job at the local sewing factory and the ongoing challenge of how to tie the perfect top-knot.
And then there was his family, whose strange and often difficult behaviour he took for granted until, at the age of twenty-four, Sathnam made a discovery that changed everything he ever thought he knew about them. Equipped with breathtaking courage and a glorious sense of humour, he embarks on a journey into their extraordinary past - from his father's harsh life in rural Punjab to the steps of the Wolverhampton Tourist Office - trying to make sense of a life lived among secrets.
(336 pages / $21)
‘Don't fear change. Don't fear failure. The only thing to fear is loss of ambition. But if you've got plenty of that, then you have nothing to fear at all’ – Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson is arguably the most influential, acclaimed scientist on the planet. As director of the Hayden Planetarium, and host of Cosmos and StarTalk, he has dedicated his life to exploring and explaining the mysteries of the universe.
Every year, he receives thousands of letters – from students to prisoners, scientists to priests. Some seek advice, others yearn for inspiration; some are full of despair, others burst with wonder. But they are all searching for understanding, meaning and truth.
His replies are by turns wise, funny, and mind-blowing. In this, his most personal book by far, he covers everything from God to the history of science, from aliens to death. He bares his soul – his passions, his doubts, his hopes. The big theme is everywhere in these pages: what is our place in the universe?
The result is an awe-inspiring read and an intimate portal into an incredible mind, which reveals the power of the universe to start conversations and inspire curiosity in all of us.
(272 pages / $24)
About the author:
Neil deGrasse Tyson was born in New York City the same week NASA was founded. After a BA in Physics from Harvard, a PhD in Astrophysics from Columbia, and a Postdoctoral research fellowship at Princeton, Tyson become the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium, where he has served since 1996.
David Whyte explores the underlying meaning of 52 ordinary words, with an introduction by Maria Popova of Brain Pickings .
In Consolations David Whyte unpacks aspects of being human that many of us spend our lives trying vainly to avoid - loss, heartbreak, vulnerability, fear - boldly reinterpreting them, fully embracing their complexity, never shying away from paradox in his relentless search for truth.
Beginning with 'Alone' and closing with 'Work', each chapter in this life-affirming book is a meditation on meaning and context, an invitation to shift and broaden our perspectives on life: pain and joy, honesty and anger, confession and vulnerability, the experience of feeling overwhelmed and the desire to run away from it all. Through this lens, procrastination may be a necessary ripening; hiding an act of freedom; and shyness something that accompanies the first stage of revelation.
Consolations invites readers into a poetic and thoughtful consideration of words whose meaning and interpretation influence the paths we choose and the way we traverse them throughout our lives.
(Hardcover / 192 pages / $32)
In 2008, twenty-year-old Jonny Benjamin stood on Waterloo Bridge, about to jump. A stranger saw his distress and stopped to talk with him – a decision that saved Jonny's life.
Fast forward to 2014 and Jonny, together with Rethink Mental Illness launch a campaign with a short video clip so that Jonny could finally thank that stranger who put him on the path to recovery. More than 319 million people around the world followed the search. ITV's breakfast shows picked up the story until the stranger, whose name is Neil Laybourn, was found and – in an emotional and touching moment – the pair re-united and have remained firm friends ever since.
The Stranger on the Bridge is a memoir of the journey Jonny made both personally, and publicly to not only find the person who saved his life, but also to explore how he got to the bridge in the first place and how he continues to manage his diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder. Using extracts from diaries Jonny has been writing from the age of thirteen, this book is a deeply personal memoir with a unique insight on mental health.
Jonny was recognized for his work as an influential activist changing the culture around mental health awareness, when he was awarded an MBE in 2017. He and Neil now work full-time together visiting schools, hospitals, prisons and workplaces to help end the stigma by talking about mental health and suicide prevention.
(224 pages / $20)
Ponds: small bodies of water, both naturally formed and artificial, home to wondrous, multitudinous life-forms. Ponds define our childhood: frogspawn, goldfish, feeding the ducks, but also our village life, our farms, our landscape.
Written in gorgeous prose, Still Water tells the seasonal story of the wild animals and plants that live in and around the pond, from the mayfly larvae in the mud to the patrolling bats in the night sky above. It reflects an era before the water was polluted with chemicals and the land built on for housing, a time when ponds shone everywhere like eyes in the land, sustaining life for all, from fish to carthorse.
Still Water is a loving biography of the pond, and an alarm call on behalf of this precious but overlooked habitat. Above all, John Lewis-Stempel takes us on a remarkable journey – deep, deep down into the nature of still water.
About the author:
John Lewis-Stempel is a farmer and 'Britain's finest nature writer' (The Times). He is the only person to have won the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing twice.
(304 pages / $21)
Emily Dickinson was a keen observer of the natural world, but less well known is the fact that she was also an avid gardener—sending fresh bouquets to friends, including pressed flowers in her letters, and studying botany at Amherst Academy and Mount Holyoke. At her family home, she tended both a small glass conservatory and a flower garden.
In Emily Dickinson’s Gardening Life, award-winning author Marta McDowell explores Dickinson’s deep passion for plants and how it inspired and informed her writing. Tracing a year in the garden, the book reveals details few know about Dickinson and adds to our collective understanding of who she was as a person. By weaving together Dickinson’s poems, excerpts from letters, contemporary and historical photography, and botanical art, McDowell offers an enchanting new perspective on one of America’s most celebrated but enigmatic literary figures.
A visual treat as well as a literary one, Emily Dickinson’s Gardening Life will be deeply satisfying for gardeners and garden lovers, connoisseurs of botanical illustration, and those who seek a deeper understanding of the life and work of Emily Dickinson.
(Hardcover / 240 pages / $43)
Celebrate the season with this beautiful and inspiring collection of thoughtful reflections on Christmas from the bestselling author of A Wrinkle in Time.
For more than seventy years, Madeleine L’Engle’s writing have delighted and inspired readers. In her stories, essays, poems, journal entries, and letters, she returned again and again to the beauty of Christmas, illuminating the holiday with her singular insight and imagination.
Miracle on 10th Street includes excerpts from her most cherished works, reflecting on Advent, Incarnation, Epiphany, mystery, and redemption. In these pages, L’Engle points to the marvels and curiosities that fill everyday life. And, as always, she shows herself to be a one-woman force for celebration—fully believing that delight and wonder must mark the life of anyone who sees God’s love at work.
(208 pages / $26)
We were all taught that our thoughts affect our emotions, but in truth it is largely the other way around: we have to experience our emotions to truly understand our thoughts, and our full selves. This is why we should think not only about cognitive behavioural therapy or medication, but also about our emotions, when addressing psychological suffering.
In It's Not Always Depression, pioneering psychotherapist Hilary Jacobs Hendel reveals the most effective techniques for putting us back in touch with the emotions we too often deny - methods which can be used by anyone, any time, anywhere.
Drawing on stories from her own practice, she sheds light on the core emotions (such as joy, sadness and fear), defences (anything we do to avoid feeling) and inhibitory emotions (anxiety, shame and guilt), and how understanding their interaction can help us return to mental well-being and be more calm, curious and connected.
(320 pages / $21)
In Stories of Hope, Heather Morris will explore her extraordinary talents as a listener - a skill she employed when she first met Lale Sokolov, the tattooist at Auschwitz-Birkenau and the inspiration for her bestselling novel. It was this ability that led Lale to entrust Heather with his story, which she told in her novel The Tattooist of Auschwitz and the bestselling follow up, Cilka's Journey.
Now Heather shares the story behind her inspirational writing journey and the defining experiences of her life. Stories of Hope is an inspiring manual for life, with a series of tales of the remarkable people she has met, the incredible stories they have shared with her, and the lessons they hold for us all.
(320 pages / $26)
In the autumn of 1965, Bohumil Hrabal bought a weekend cottage in the countryside east of Prague. There, until his death, he tended to an ever-growing, unruly community of cats. This is his confessional, tender and shocking meditation on the joys and torments of his life with them; how he became increasingly overwhelmed by the demands of the things he loved, even to the brink of madness.
(Hardcover / 96 pages / $17)
When you think back to Christmases past, what made it magical? Looking towards the future, what would your perfect Christmas be? What would you change? What should we all change?
The perfect holiday book, featuring the remembrances of Meryl Streep, Emilia Clarke, Olivia Colman, Caitlin Moran, and more. This is a beautiful, funny and soulful collection of personal essays about the meaning of Christmas, written by an exceptional body of voices from the boulevards of Hollywood to the soup kitchens of Covent Garden.
Stepping away from the holiday shopping, the midtown Manhattan window decorations, and the gingerbread cookies and hot cocoa, this gem of a book is introduced and curated by Emma Thompson and Greg Wise and celebrates the importance of kindness and generosity, acceptance and tolerance - and shows us that these values are not just for Christmas, but for every day of the year.
(256 pages / $24)
One night in 2014, two readers named Logan Smalley and Stephanie Kent discussed their favorite literary opening lines. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” one suggested. “All of this happened, more or less,” the other pointed out. And then, one phrase came immediately to mind: “Call Me Ishmael.”
As they talked more, the pair wondered what would happen if they invited readers to call a phone number and ask them to leave a voicemail about their most beloved books. But who would they be calling? Ishmael, of course. Soon, they had set up a working phone number (a 774 area code, a nod to Ishmael’s journey from New Bedford, Massachusetts) and an answering machine greeting. The initial calls they received from family, friends, and coworkers were touching, compelling, and surprising, and the voicemail count grew as word spread. As it did, Logan and Steph decided to take things further: they built actual rotary phones, which could be placed in libraries, schools, and bookstores, allowing readers to customize and listen to pre-loaded voicemails. In the time since, they have received thousands of phone calls from readers, librarians, and students across the United States that share stories about the books that have changed their lives.
Now, in The Call Me Ishmael Phone Book, these messages are collected for book lovers everywhere. Designed in the style of the classic Yellow Pages, there is something exciting to discover on each page, from unique phone extensions that have been assigned to each voicemail, as well as transcripts of those calls, literary advertisements, bookstore checklists, bookish Easter eggs, all organized by category. It is a must-have for any bookshelf or nightstand.
(224 pages / $33)
About the authors:
Logan Smalley is the founding director of TED’s youth and education initiative, TED-Ed, Logan began his career as a special education teacher in his hometown of Athens, GA. He holds a BEd in Special Education from the University of Georgia, and an EdM in Technology Innovation and Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Stephanie Kent is a writer, multimedia producer, and former host of the literary radio show on Anchor. She holds a BA in Playwriting and Literature from Emerson College.
"I want to see this book become a bestseller, I want to see it in every staffroom, I want to see it read by every student teacher. This is a wonderful achievement." Philip Pullman
Kate Clanchy has taught in state schools for nearly thirty years. Some Kids I Taught And What They Taught Me is a book about a life’s work spent teaching in a national institution. By telling the stories of some of the kids she’s taught, some of the teachers she’s worked with, and some of the lessons she’s learned, Clanchy offers a revelatory picture of school life, and a fascinating look at the role education plays in our society today.
This is not a work of moaning pessimism or dry sociology, lamenting the actions of successive governments when it comes to policy decisions. While Some Kids acknowledges the undoubtedly difficult situation in many schools, Clanchy writes beautifully about her students as people, whose diversity, humour and sheer brains she aims to celebrate; she writes about the uplifting power of teaching when practised well, about the success she’s seen and encouraged in some of the most challenged and challenging pupils she knows, and about the effect all of this had on her, as a teacher, mother and citizen.
Clanchy's decades in the classroom, her fearlessness and wit, her poet’s eye and inimitable voice – allow her to explore serious questions by telling human stories that are sometimes funny sometimes sad, but always moving and deeply sympathetic. Some Kids I Taught And What They Taught Me is a relevant, affecting and agenda-setting book that will really get people talking.
Teaching today is all too often demeaned, diminished and drastically under-resourced. Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me will show you why it shouldn’t.
(288 pages / $22)
Don't know if it's, like, okay to say 'like'?
Are your apostrophe's in the wrong place?
Should it be 'past' or 'passed'?
Want to make fewer not less grammatical mistakes?
Then do not despair, Gyles Brandreth's Have You Eaten Grandma? is the definitive (and hilarious) guide to punctuation, spelling, and good English for the twenty-first century.
Grammar guru Gyles pokes fun at the linguistic foibles of our time, tells us where we've been going wrong (and how to put it right), and reveals his tips and tricks to make every one of us better, more confident users (not abusers) of the English language.
(320 pages / $19)
The first survey of the many redesigned and imitation historical landmarks and objects that dot the globe.
What happens when the past—or, more specifically, a piece of cultural heritage—is fabricated? From 50 replica Eiffel Towers located around the world to Saddam Hussein’s reconstructions of ancient cities, examples of forged heritage are widespread. Some are easy to dismiss as blatant frauds (the Piltdown Man), while others adhere to honest copying or respectful homage (the Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee). This compelling book examines copies of historic buildings, faux archaeological sites, and other false artifacts, using them to explore the ethics and consequences of reconstructing the past; it also tackles the issues involved with faithful, “above-board” re-creations of ancient landmarks.
John Darlington probes questions of historical authenticity, seeking the lessons that lurk when history is twisted to tell an untrue story. Amplified by stunning images, the narrative underscores how the issue of duplicating heritage is both intriguing and incredibly complex, especially in the twenty-first century—as communication and technology flourish, so too do our opportunities to be deceived.
John Darlington is executive director of World Monuments Fund Britain.
(Hardcover / 248 pages / Yale University Press / $58)
Babita Sharma was raised in a corner shop in Reading, and over the counter watched a changing world, from the clientele to the products to the politics of the day. Along with the skills to mop a floor perfectly and stack a shelf, she gained a unique insight into a shifting landscape - and an institution that, despite the creep of supermarkets, online shopping and delivery, has found a way to evolve and survive - and is now once again keeping us all going.
From the general stores of the first half of the 20th century (one of which was run by the father of a certain Margaret Thatcher), to the reimagined corner shops run by immigrants from India, East Africa and Eastern Europe from the 60s to the noughties, the corner shop has shaped the way we shop, the way we eat, and the way we understand ourselves.
(272 pages / $22)
A handful of years ago, I moved with my wife to a house on a quiet street in a quiet town and lay quietly in a room for a long time.
I used to love an adventure, but when I hit my thirties I started to become afraid of the world, until I was too frightened to even go outside at all . . . it was just me, my phone and my social media feeds. Doesn't sound too healthy, does it? It wasn't.
Rob Temple runs the social-media empire Very British Problems from the comfort of his own sofa, but what happens when the four walls of your living room become your world?
Everything goes wrong.
In this hilarious and life-affirming memoir, Rob sets out to reinvent himself. Along the way there are good days and bad days, but with each failed adventure and small triumph, Rob discovers how the mild-mannered and anxious can still enjoy their own share of (gentle) adventure from time to time.
(Hardcover / 304 pages / $30)
Northern, working-class and shagging men three times her age, Crystal writes candidly about her search for 'the one'; sleeping with a VIP in an attempt to become a world famous journalist; getting hired and fired by a well-known fashion magazine; being torn between losing weight and gorging on KFC; and her need for constant sexual satisfaction (and where that takes her).
Charting her day-to-day adventures over the course of a year, we encounter tucks, twists and sucks, heinous overspending and endless nights spent sprinting from problem to problem in a full face of make-up.
This is a place where the previously unspeakable becomes the commendable - a unique portrayal of the queer experience.
(384 pages / $22)
"Soul-baring, shamelessly explicit, and wickedly funny, Rasmussen’s relentlessly entertaining book gets beneath the glitter and drama of drag to reveal how a practice often dismissed as misogynistic can serve as a kind of salvation for many nonbinary people. Ultimately, it is a revolutionary “kind of self-care that makes you totally healed, a complete person, even if just for a night.” Kirkus Reviews
Katharine Smyth was a student at Oxford when she first read Virginia Woolf's modernist masterpiece To the Lighthouse in the comfort of an English sitting room, and in the companionable silence she shared with her father. After his death - a calamity that claimed her favourite person - she returned to that beloved novel as a way of wrestling with his memory and understanding her own grief.
Smyth's story moves between the New England of her childhood and Woolf's Cornish shores and Bloomsbury squares, exploring universal questions about family, loss and homecoming. Through her inventive, highly personal reading of To the Lighthouse and her artful adaptation of its groundbreaking structure, Smyth guides us towards a new vision of Woolf's most demanding and rewarding novel - and crafts an elegant reminder of literature's ability to clarify and console.
Braiding memoir, literary criticism and biography, All the Lives We Ever Lived is a wholly original debut: a love letter from a daughter to her father, and from a reader to her most cherished author.
(336 pages / $22)
W. H. Auden once wrote that “art is our chief means of breaking bread with the dead.” In his brilliant and compulsively readable new treatise, Breaking Bread with the Dead, Alan Jacobs shows us that engaging with the strange and wonderful writings of the past might help us live less anxiously in the present –and increase what Thomas Pynchon once called our “personal density.”
Today we are battling too much information in a society changing at lightning speed, with algorithms aimed at shaping our every thought–plus a sense that history offers no resources, only impediments to overcome or ignore. The modern solution to our problems is to surround ourselves only with what we know and what brings us instant comfort. Jacobs’s answer is the opposite: to be in conversation with, and challenged by, those from the past who can tell us what we never thought we needed to know.
What can Homer teach us about force? And what can we learn from modern authors who engage passionately and profoundly with the past? How can Ursula K. Le Guin show us truths about Virgil’s female characters that Virgil himself could never have seen? In Breaking Bread with the Dead, a gifted scholar draws us into close and sympathetic engagement with texts from across the ages, including the work of Anita Desai, Henrik Ibsen, Jean Rhys, Simone Weil, Edith Wharton, Amitav Ghosh, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Italo Calvino, and many more.
By hearing the voices of the past, we can expand our consciousness, our sympathies, and our wisdom far beyond what our present moment can offer.
(Hardcover / 192 pages / $43)
Meet one hundred of the strangest superheroes ever to see print, complete with backstories, vintage art, and colorful commentary.
You know about Batman, Superman, and Spiderman, but have you heard of Doll Man, Doctor Hormone, or Spider Queen? So prepare yourself for such not-ready-for-prime-time heroes as Bee Man (Batman, but with bees), the Clown (circus-themed crimebuster), the Eye (a giant, floating eyeball; just accept it), and many other oddballs and oddities.
Drawing on the entire history of the medium, The League of Regrettable Superheroes will appeal to die-hard comics fans, casual comics readers, and anyone who enjoys peering into the stranger corners of pop culture.
(Hardcover / 256 pages / $45)
When Sheelu was arrested for stealing from a powerful politician, she was sure that she would be forced to accept a prison sentence, not least because she alleged that she had been abused by a man in the politician’s household. But then Sampat Pal heard word of the charges, and the formidable commander of the pink-sari-wearing, pink-baton-wielding, 20,000-strong ‘Pink Gang’ decided to shake things up.
In the story of Sampat Pal and the Pink Gang’s fight for Sheelu, as well as others facing injustice and oppression, Amana Fontanella-Khan delivers a riveting portrait of women grabbing fate with their own hands – and winning back their lives.
Sampat Pal was married at twelve, essentially illiterate. Today she leads a vigilante group fighting for women's rights: the Pink Gang.
(304 pages / $22)
Michelle Obama’s legacy transcends categorization. Mrs. Obama was not only our first black first lady; she was President Obama’s equal partner in marriage and parenthood and a tireless advocate for women’s rights, education, healthy eating, and exercise. Her genre-busting personal style encouraged others to speak, to engage, even to dress as they wished. In an extension of his popular T, The New York Times Style Magazine feature, Nick Haramis has assembled nineteen essays from prizewinning writers, Hollywood stars, and political leaders—all of whom have been moved and influenced by Mrs. Obama’s extraordinary example of grace in power.
Here are original testimonials from Gloria Steinem, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Alice Waters, and Charlamagne tha God, among others. Presidential biographer Jon Meacham supplies historical perspective. Actress Tracee Ellis Ross suggests that Mrs. Obama “provided an antidote to all the false representations of black women that have inundated us for centuries.” Anna Wintour and designer Jason Wu celebrate the former first lady’s impact as an international fashion icon. Two ninth-grade girls—one in training to be a boxer—talk about how Mrs. Obama has emboldened them to be themselves.
Here are some of the many facets of Michelle Obama as she continues to inspire us, a stirring reminder that the best of America once lived in the White House, embodied in one authentic, inclusive, and courageous woman.
(Hardcover / 128 pages / $34)
Polari is a language that was used chiefly by gay men in the first half of the twentieth century. It offered its speakers a degree of public camouflage and a means of identification. Its colourful roots are varied – from Cant to Lingua Franca to dancers’ slang – and in the mid-1960s it was thrust into the limelight by the characters Julian and Sandy, voiced by Hugh Paddick and Kenneth Williams, on the BBC radio show Round the Horne. (‘Oh hello Mr Horne, how bona to vada your dolly old eek!’)
Paul Baker, the Professor of English Language at Lancaster University, recounts the story of Polari with skill, humour and tenderness. He traces its historical origins and describes its linguistic nuts and bolts, explores the ways and the environments in which it was spoken, explains the reasons for its decline and tells of its unlikely re-emergence in the twenty-first century.
With a cast of drag queens and sailors, Dilly boys and macho clones, Fabulosa! is an essential document of recent history – a fascinating and fantastically readable account of this funny, filthy and ingenious language.
(320 pages / 39 illustrations / $24)
What happens when a childhood hobby grows into a lifelong career? The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist, Adrian Tomine's funniest and most revealing foray into autobiography, offers an array of unexpected answers. When a sudden medical incident lands Tomine in the emergency room, he begins to question if it was really all worthwhile: despite the accolades and opportunities of a seemingly charmed career, it's the gaffes, humiliations, slights, and insults he's experienced (or caused) within the industry that loom largest in his memory.
Tomine illustrates the amusing absurdities of how we choose to spend our time, all the while mining his conflicted relationship with comics and comics culture. But in between chaotic book tours, disastrous interviews, and cringe-inducing interactions with other artists, life happens: he fumbles his way into marriage, parenthood, and an indisputably fulfilling existence. A richer emotional story emerges as his memories are delineated in excruciatingly hilarious detail.
In a bold stylistic departure from his award-winning Killing and Dying, he distills his art to the loose, lively essentials of cartooning, each pen stroke economically imbued with human depth. Designed as a sketchbook complete with placeholder ribbon and an elastic band, The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist shows an acclaimed artist at the peak of his career.
(Hardcover / 168 pages / $40)
We stare at our phones. We keep multiple tabs open. The feeling that we’re living in the worst of times seems to be intensifying, alongside a desire to know precisely how bad things have gotten―and each new catastrophe distracts us from the last.
The Unreality of Memory collects provocative, searching essays on disaster culture, climate anxiety, and our mounting collective sense of doom. In this new collection, acclaimed poet and essayist Elisa Gabbert explores our obsessions with disasters past and future, from the sinking of the Titanic to Chernobyl, from witch hunts to the plague. These deeply researched, prophetic meditations question how the world will end―if indeed it will―and why we can’t stop fantasizing about it.
Can we avoid repeating history? Can we understand our moment from inside the moment? With The Unreality of Memory, Gabbert offers a hauntingly perceptive analysis of our new ways of being and a means of reconciling ourselves to this unreal new world.
(272 pages / $27)
Look around you – what do you see? You may discover to your surprise that the people who are most at peace with money are the ones who walk nimbly between having too little and having too much. They have found a balance between indulgence and austerity; between success and happiness; between motivation and inspiration; and between any number of other poles we tend to think of as either/or choices, but which in reality are simply posts on either side of a doorway through which we must pass.
For many of us the subject of money is unavoidably stressful. Managing our personal finances is complicated, time consuming and often, particularly in the slow countdown to pay day, dispiriting. The good news is that in Japan – where a Zen approach to life is more widely practiced – a pathway to a better relationship with money is being carved, by Ken Honda.
This beautifully written book will reinvent the way you see your personal finances. You will come to understand that money flows like water and arrives like a guest. You’ll rethink your own attitudes and examine the way they were shaped by beliefs about money you were taught as a child. When we heal the fear and anxiety we have about money, we successfully achieve prosperity and peace.
Take the zen path to financial security and happiness. Ken Honda wrote about amending our relationship with money and looking at money as a form of energy and flow.
(240 pages / $22 / Strongly recommend)
Mothering is as old as human existence. But how has this most essential experience changed over time and cultures? What is the history of maternity—the history of pregnancy, birth, the encounter with an infant? Can one capture the historical trail of mothers? How?
In Mother Is a Verb, the historian Sarah Knott creates a genre all her own in order to craft a new kind of historical interpretation. Blending memoir and history and building from anecdote, her book brings the past and the present viscerally alive. It is at once intimate and expansive, lyrical and precise.
As a history, Mother Is a Verb draws on the terrain of Britain and North America from the seventeenth century to the close of the twentieth. Knott searches among a range of past societies, from those of Cree and Ojibwe women to tenant farmers in Appalachia; from enslaved people on South Carolina rice plantations to tenement dwellers in New York City and London’s East End. She pores over diaries, letters, court records, medical manuals, items of clothing. And she explores and documents her own experiences.
As a memoir, Mother Is a Verb becomes a method of asking new questions and probing lost pasts in order to historicize the smallest, even the most mundane of human experiences. Is there a history to interruption, to the sound of an infant’s cry, to sleeplessness? Knott finds answers not through the telling of grand narratives, but through the painstaking accumulation of a trellis of anecdotes. And all the while, we can feel the child on her hip.
(320 pages / $29)
The perennial cult classic, introduced by Irvine Welsh.
In this astonishing account, Iceberg Slim reveals the secret inner world of the pimp, and the smells, sounds, fears and petty triumphs of his world. A legendary figure of the Chicago underworld, this is his story: from defending his mother against the men in their lives to becoming a giant of the streets.
A seething tale of brutality, cunning and greed, Pimp is a harrowing portrait of life on the wrong side of the tracks, and a rich warning from a true survivor.
(304 pages / $25)
Loud and Proud is an inspirational collection of speeches from the LGBTQ+ community and its allies that have changed our world, and the conversation.
From equal marriage to gender definitions, bullying to parenthood, the issues covered in these speeches touch on all aspects of LGBTQ+ and reflect the diverse and multi-faceted nature of this community.
We are stronger when we stand together, and this collection encourages us to do just that and to celebrate the beauty of all our rainbow hues.
(Hardcover / 176 pages / $37)
Meet the obsessives and dreamers of this remote island nation, and travel through the collections of Iceland's eclectic museums and into its curious past.
Welcome to Iceland, a very small nation with a very large number (two hundred and sixty five) of (mostly) very small museums.
Founded in the backyards of houses, begun as jokes or bets or memorials to lost friends, these museums tell the story of an enchanted island where bridges arrived only at the beginning of the 20th century, and waterproof shoes only with the second world war. A nation formerly dirt poor, then staggeringly rich, and now building its way to affluence once again. A nation where, in the remote and wild places, you might encounter still a shore laddie, a sorcerer or a ghost.
From Reykjavik's renowned Phallological Museum to a house of stones on the eastern coast; from the curious monsters which roam the remote shores of Bildudalur to a museum of whales which proves impossible to find, here is an enchanted story of obsession, curation, and the peculiar magic of this isolated island.
(Hardcover / 227 pages / $30)
In a fractured world plagued by anxiety and loneliness, knitting is coming to the rescue of people from all walks of life. Economist and lifelong knitter Loretta Napoleoni unveils the hidden power of the purl and stitch mantra: an essential tool for the survival of our species, a means for women to influence history, a soothing activity to calm us, and a powerful metaphor of life.
This book is a voyage through our history following the yarn of social, economic and political changes – from ancient Egypt and Peru to modern Mongolia, from the spinning bees of the American Revolution to the knitting spies of World War II, and from the hippies’ rejection of consumerism to yarnbombing protests against climate change. For the author it is also a personal journey of discovery and salvation, drawing on the wisdom her grandmother passed along as they knit together.
Revealing recent discoveries in neuroscience, The Power of Knitting offers proof of the healing powers of knitting on our bodies and minds. Breaking through societal barriers, even nursing broken hearts, and helping to advance cutting-edge science, knitting is still a valuable instrument for navigating our daily lives.
(Hardcover / 224 pages / $34)
What is The Tiger Who Came to Tea really about?
How is Meg and Mog related to Polish embroidery?
And why does death in picture books involve being eaten?
Fierce Bad Rabbits explores the stories behind our favourite picture books, weaving in tales of Clare Pollard's childhood reading and her re-discovery of the classic tales as a parent. Because the best picture books are far more complex than they seem - and darker too. Monsters can gobble up children and go unnoticed, power is not always used wisely, and the wild things are closer than you think.
(304 pages / $22)
This ambitious volume, worldwide in scope and ranging from antiquity to the present, examines the human encounter with Unreason in all its manifestations, the challenges it poses to society and our responses to it.
In twelve chapters organized chronologically from the Bible to Freud, from exorcism to mesmerism, from Bedlam to Victorian asylums, from the theory of humours to modern pharmacology, Andrew Scull writes compellingly about madness, its meanings, its consequences and our attempts to understand and treat it..
(448 pages / $30)
Fusing history, nature writing and travelogue, The Lost Pianos of Siberia is a captivating exploration of an extraordinary and largely unknown part of the world and its unexpected musical legacy.
Siberia’s story is traditionally one of exiles, penal colonies and unmarked graves. Yet there is another tale to tell.
Dotted throughout this remote land are pianos – grand instruments created during the boom years of the Nineteenth Century, and humble, Soviet-made uprights that found their way into equally modest homes. They tell the story of how, ever since entering Russian culture under the influence of Catherine the Great, piano music has run through the country like blood.
How these pianos travelled into this snow-bound wilderness in the first place is testament to noble acts of fortitude by governors, adventurers and exiles. That stately instruments might still exist in such a hostile landscape is remarkable. That they are still capable of making music in far-flung villages is nothing less than a miracle. But this is Siberia, where people can endure the worst of the world — and where music reveals a deep humanity in the last place on earth you would expect to find it.
(448 pages / $28)
Three years before he died, David Bowie made a list of the one hundred books that had transformed his life – a list that formed something akin to an autobiography. From Madame Bovary to A Clockwork Orange, the Iliad to the Beano, these were the publications that had fuelled his creativity and shaped who he was.
In Bowie's Books, John O'Connell explores this list in the form of one hundred short essays, each offering a perspective on the man, performer and creator that is Bowie, his work as an artist and the era that he lived in.
Brilliantly illustrated throughout and the perfect gift for Bowie fans and book lovers, Bowie's Books is much more than a list of books you should read in your lifetime: it is a unique insight into one of the greatest minds of our times, and an indispensable part of the legacy that Bowie left behind.
(Hardcover / 288 pages / $30)
Hollywood. Netflix. Amazon. BBC. Producers and audiences are hungrier than ever for stories, and a lot of those stories begin life as a book - but how exactly do you transfer a story from the page to the screen? Do adaptations use the same creative gears as original screenplays? Does a true story give a project more weight than a fictional one? Is it helpful to have the original author's input on the script?
Alistair Owen puts all these questions and many more to some of the top names in screenwriting, including Hossein Amini (Drive), Jeremy Brock (The Last King of Scotland), Moira Buffini (Jane Eyre), Lucinda Coxon (The Danish Girl), Andrew Davies (War & Peace), Christopher Hampton (Atonement), David Hare (The Hours), Olivia Hetreed (Girl with a Pearl Earring), Nick Hornby (An Education), Deborah Moggach (Pride & Prejudice), David Nicholls (Patrick Melrose) and Sarah Phelps (And Then There Were None).
Exploring fiction and nonfiction projects, contemporary and classic books, films and TV series, The Art of Screen Adaptation reveals the challenges and pleasures of reimagining stories for cinema and television, and provides a frank and fascinating masterclass with the writers who have done it - and have the awards and acclaim to show for it.
(288 pages / $29)
Even the happiness expert needs a boost from time to time! Tal found his not in a guru or fellow psychologist, but rather in his longtime neighborhood barber, Avi-a man with a gift for making his clients look and feel great with wisdom beyond his years.
Tal’s visits to Avi soon grew into a friendship deeper than most. Between snips, the two men talked about everything from family and starting a business to the meaning of life and the power of music. Two years of their revelatory barbershop talk have been distilled into these gems of inspiration-perfect to give, receive, and share, even between haircuts.
(176 pages / $22)
About the author:
Tal Ben-Shahar taught two of the largest classes in Harvard University’s history, Positive Psychology and The Psychology of Leadership. He obtained his BA and PhD from Harvard, and for the last fifteen years has been teaching leadership, happiness, and mindfulness to audiences all over the world.
From scrolls and sheets of papyrus to elaborate and expensive codices to the mass press-printed volumes as we know them today, books have come a long way since writing was first developed. Although digital technology has impacted how we consume information over the last few decades, book design has survived as a means of showcasing creativity and craftsmanship, as books remain important sources of inspiration, knowledge, and entertainment.
A Book on Books showcases some of the best book design work from all over the world in celebrating the designers’ contributions to preserving reading culture, as they continue to make books eye-catching and exciting to read or own. It also captures the voices of key influencers from publishing, printmaking, book fair organizing, and bookshop-owning standpoints, as they continue to play a crucial role in keeping the book-making industry alive and thriving even in the unknown future.
(324 pages / $59)
Why do we pick up pebbles on the beach? What is it we see in them, and why do we take them home to display on our shelves? Is it their inherent beauty, their infinite variation, or simply their associations with a happy time and place?
In this book – part social history and part practical guide – writer and pebble collector Christopher Stocks unearths the sometimes surprising story of our love-affair with pebbles, and considers how the way we see them today has been influenced over the years by artists, authors and even archaeologists.
"The book is like a stream of conscious, linking various pebble-inspired folks and linking them in unexpected ways" GoodReads,
Printmaker Angie Lewin is widely admired for her alluringly stylish images of the natural world. She celebrates the experience of walking and sketching along the British coastline, often incorporating pebbles in her limited edition prints and paintings. Many of these feature in the book alongside a series of new images.
(116 pages / $22)
A new collection of essays by Stefan Zweig: tributes to the great artists and thinkers of the Europe of his day
Stefan Zweig was one of the twentieth century’s greatest authors and a tireless champion of freedom, tolerance and friendship across borders. Encounters and Destinies collects his most impassioned and moving tributes to his many illustrious friends and peers: literary, philosophical and artistic luminaries from across the Old Europe that Zweig loved so much, and which he grieved to see so cruelly destroyed by two world wars.
Including pieces on Rainer Maria Rilke, Marcel Proust, Sigmund Freud, Maxim Gorky and Arturo Toscanini, this essential collection is also Zweig’s tribute to the ideal of friendship: an ideal he clung to as the world he knew was torn apart.
(192 pages / $22)
The young naturalist W. N. P. Barbellion described this remarkably candid record of living with multiple sclerosis as 'a study in the nude'. It begins as an ambitious teenager's notes on the natural world, and then, following his diagnosis at the age of twenty-six, transforms into a deeply moving account of battling the disease. His prose is full of humour and fierce intelligence, and combines a passion for life with clear-sighted reflections on the nature of death.
Barbellion selected and edited this manuscript himself in 1917, adding a fictional editor's note announcing his own demise. This Penguin Classics edition includes 'The Last Diary', which covers the period between submission of the manuscript and Barbellion's actual death in 1919.
(384 pages / $21)
Sanmao: author, adventurer, pioneer. Born in China in 1943, she moved from Chongqing to Taiwan, Spain to Germany, the Canary Islands to Central America, and, for several years in the 1970s, to the Sahara. In 1976, she gained fame with the publication of her first book, Stories of the Sahara.
Stories of the Sahara invites us into Sanmao's extraordinary life in the desert: her experiences of love and loss, freedom and peril, all told with a voice as spirited as it is timeless.
At a period when China was beginning to look beyond its borders, Sanmao fired the imagination of millions and inspired a new generation.
(416 pages / $22)
"Tsuneno was raped. She said so. And nearly 200 years later, I believe her." Amy Stanley
A vivid, deeply researched work of history that explores the life of an unconventional woman in Edo – now known as Tokyo – and a portrait of a great city on the brink of momentous change.
The daughter of a Buddhist priest, Tsuneno was born in 1804 in a rural Japanese village and was expected to live a life much like her mother’s. But after three divorces – and with a temperament much too strong-willed for her family’s approval – she ran away to make a life for herself in one of the largest cities in the world: Edo, a bustling metropolis at its peak.
With Tsuneno as our guide, we experience the drama and excitement of Edo just before the arrival of Commodore Matthew Perry's fleet, which would open Japan up to trade and diplomacy with the West for the first time. During this pivotal moment in Japanese history, Tsuneno bounces from tenement to tenement, marries a masterless samurai and eventually ends up in the service of a famous city magistrate. An extraordinary woman at an extraordinary time, Tsuneno’s life provides a window into nineteenth-century Japanese culture – and a rare view of a woman who sacrificed her family and her reputation to make a new life for herself, despite social conventions.
Immersive and gripping, Stranger in the Shogun’s City is a revelatory work of history, layered with rich detail and delivered in beautiful prose, about the life of a woman, a city and a culture.
About the author:
Amy Stanley received her PhD in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University. During her graduate training, she spent years studying in Japan at Kansai University (Osaka) and Waseda University (Tokyo). She is now an associate professor of History at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, but Tokyo will always be her favourite city in the world.
(353 pages / $28)
The powerful memoir of a fearless Jewish bookseller on a harrowing fight for survival across Nazi-occupied Europe.
In 1921, Françoise Frenkel—a Jewish woman from Poland—fulfills a dream. She opens La Maison du Livre, Berlin’s first French bookshop, attracting artists and diplomats, celebrities and poets. The shop becomes a haven for intellectual exchange as Nazi ideology begins to poison the culturally rich city. In 1935, the scene continues to darken. First come the new bureaucratic hurdles, followed by frequent police visits and book confiscations.
Françoise’s dream finally shatters on Kristallnacht in November 1938, as hundreds of Jewish shops and businesses are destroyed. La Maison du Livre is miraculously spared, but fear of persecution eventually forces Françoise on a desperate, lonely flight to Paris. When the city is bombed, she seeks refuge across southern France, witnessing countless horrors: children torn from their parents, mothers throwing themselves under buses. Secreted away from one safe house to the next, Françoise survives at the heroic hands of strangers risking their lives to protect her.
Published quietly in 1945, then rediscovered nearly sixty years later in an attic, A Bookshop in Berlin is a remarkable story of survival and resilience, of human cruelty and human spirit. This book is the tale of a fearless woman whose lust for life and literature refuses to leave her, even in her darkest hours. Frenkel died in Nice in 1975.
(288 pages / $27)
In the summer of 1981, Chiara and her family join their father in Tehran. He has been made Italian ambassador to Iran, and their home is a palace with a wild walled garden where princes and princesses used to live. Real ones, not the sort you find in made-up stories.
Inside the garden walls, there are pomegranate trees, tall grasses hiding all kinds of insects, and a pond with a carp that is one hundred years old. Outside, where the city monster breathes darkly, there are bombs and soldiers with heavy boots and big beards. One day, a boy called Massoud climbs over the wall and makes friends with Chiara. They don’t speak the same language, but together they invent the kingdoms of Outside-Inside and Inside-Outside. Is their secret safe, though?
Inspired by the author’s childhood, this junior graphic novel (translated) is a beautiful evocation of an unexpected friendship between a girl and a boy, on either side of war and peace.
(Hardcover / 32 pages / $26)
Frida Kahlo is now an icon. In the decades since her death, Kahlo has been celebrated as a proto-feminist, a misunderstood genius, and a leftist hero, but during her lifetime most knew her as … Diego Rivera’s wife.
Featuring conversations with American scholar and Marxist, Bertram D. Wolfe, and art critic Raquel Tibol, this collection shows an artist undervalued, but also a woman in control of her image. From her timid beginnings after her first solo show, to a woman who confidently states that she is her only influence, the many faces of Kahlo presented here clearly show us the woman behind the “Fridamania” we know today.
(96 pages / $27)
The definitive biography of America’s best-known and least-understood food personality, and the modern culinary landscape he shaped.
In the first portrait of James Beard in twenty-five years, John Birdsall accomplishes what no prior telling of Beard’s life and work has done: He looks beyond the public image of the "Dean of American Cookery" to give voice to the gourmet’s complex, queer life and, in the process, illuminates the history of American food in the twentieth century.
Informed by previously overlooked correspondence, years of archival research, and a close reading of everything Beard wrote, this majestic biography traces the emergence of personality in American food while reckoning with the outwardly gregarious Beard’s own need for love and connection, arguing that Beard turned an unapologetic pursuit of pleasure into a new model for food authors and experts.
Born in Portland, Oregon, in 1903, Beard would journey from the pristine Pacific Coast to New York’s Greenwich Village by way of gay undergrounds in London and Paris of the 1920s. The failed actor–turned–Manhattan canapé hawker–turned–author and cooking teacher was the jovial bachelor uncle presiding over America’s kitchens for nearly four decades. In the 1940s he hosted one of the first television cooking shows, and by flouting the rules of publishing would end up crafting some of the most expressive cookbooks of the twentieth century, with recipes and stories that laid the groundwork for how we cook and eat today.
In stirring, novelistic detail, The Man Who Ate Too Much brings to life a towering figure, a man who still represents the best in eating and yet has never been fully understood―until now. This is biography of the highest order, a book about the rise of America’s food written by the celebrated writer who fills in Beard’s life with the color and meaning earlier generations were afraid to examine.
(Hardcover / 464 pages / $58)
An illustrated guide to the finest literary and historic diaries from ancient times to the present day.
Great Diaries traces the history of the diary in all its forms, from ancient times to the present day. It brings together historical and literary diaries, artists' sketchbooks, explorers' journals, and scientists' notebooks. Discover what is was life to build a pyramid, sail the seas with Magellan, travel into the heart of Africa, or serve on the Western Front. Find out how writers and artists planned their masterpieces and how scientists developed their groundbreaking theories.
Great Diaries explores the world's greatest diaries and notebooks, including those of Samuel Pepys, Charles Darwin, Virginia Woolf, and Anne Frank. Stunning images of the original diaries and journals are complemented by key extracts and close-ups of important details. Feature boxes provide additional biographical information and set the works in their cultural and historical context.
Essential reading for everyone who is passionate about history and literature, Great Diaries provides an intimate insight into the lives and thoughts of some of the most interesting people of the last two thousand years.
(Hardcover / 256 pages / $43)
An eminent historian recounts the Nazi rise to power from his unique perspective as a Jewish boy growing up in Munich with Adolf Hitler as his neighbor.
Edgar Feuchtwanger came from a prominent German Jewish family: the only son of a respected editor, and the nephew of best-selling writer Lion Feuchtwanger. He was a carefree five-year-old, pampered by his parents and his nanny, when Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazi Party, moved into the building across the street in Munich.
In 1933 his happy young life was shattered. Hitler had been named Chancellor. Edgar’s parents, stripped of their rights as citizens, tried to protect him from increasingly degrading realities. In class, his teacher had him draw swastikas, and his schoolmates joined the Hitler Youth.
From his window, Edgar bore witness to the turmoil surrounding the Night of the Long Knives, the Anschluss, and Kristallnacht. Jews were arrested; his father was imprisoned at Dachau. In 1939 Edgar was sent on his own to England, where he would make a new life, start a career and a family, and try to forget the nightmare of his past—a past that came rushing back when he decided, at the age of eighty-eight, to tell the story of his buried childhood and his infamous neighbor.
(224 pages / $26)
A young doctor cycles round the world and discovers how societies treat their most vulnerable, in this thought-provoking and witty medical odyssey
When Stephen Fabes left his job as a junior doctor and set out to cycle around the world, frontline medicine quickly faded from his mind. Of more pressing concern were the daily challenges of life as an unfit rider on an overloaded bike, helplessly in thrall to pastries.
But leaving medicine behind is not as easy as it seems.
As he roves continents, he finds people whose health has suffered through exile, stigma or circumstance, and others, whose lives have been saved through kindness and community. After encountering a frozen body of a monk in the Himalayas, he is drawn ever more to healthcare at the margins of the world, to crumbling sanitoriums and refugee camps, to city dumps and war-torn hospital wards. And as he learns the value of listening to lives - not just solving diagnostic puzzles - Stephen challenges us to see care for the sick as a duty born of our humanity, and our compassion.
(Hardcover / 416 pages / $37)
'Not to be born is undoubtedly the best plan of all. Unfortunately it is within no one's reach.'
In The Trouble With Being Born, E. M. Cioran grapples with the major questions of human existence: birth, death, God, the passing of time, how to relate to others and how to make ourselves get out of bed in the morning.
In a series of interlinking aphorisms which are at once pessimistic, poetic and extremely funny, Cioran finds a kind of joy in his own despair, revelling in the absurdity and futility of our existence, and our inability to live in the world.
Translated by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and critic Richard Howard, The Trouble With Being Born is a provocative, illuminating testament to a singular mind.
(224 pages / $21)
The right book has a neverendingness, and so does the right bookshop.'
This is the story of our love affair with books, whether we arrange them on our shelves, inhale their smell, scrawl in their margins or just curl up with them in bed. Taking us on a journey through comfort reads, street book stalls, mythical libraries, itinerant pedlars, radical pamphleteers, extraordinary bookshop customers and fanatical collectors, Canterbury bookseller Martin Latham uncovers the curious history of our book obsession - and his own.
Part cultural history, part literary love letter and part reluctant memoir, this is the tale of one bookseller and many, many books.
(Hardcover / 320 pages / $36)
A look at the culture and fanaticism of book lovers, from beloved New York Times illustrator Grant Snider
It’s no secret, but we are judged by our bookshelves. We learn to read at an early age, and as we grow older we shed our beloved books for new ones. But some of us surround ourselves with books. We collect them, decorate with them, are inspired by them, and treat our books as sacred objects.
In this lighthearted collection of one- and two-page comics, writer-artist Grant Snider explores bookishness in all its forms, and the love of writing and reading, building on the beloved literary comics featured on his website, Incidental Comics. With a striking package including a die-cut cover, I Will Judge You By Your Bookshelf is the perfect gift for bookworms of all ages.
(Hardcover / die-cut cover /128 pages / $29)
This is the first book to define and explore Black fatigue, the intergenerational impact of systemic racism on the physical and psychological health of Black people–and explain why and how society needs to collectively do more to combat its pernicious effects.
Black people, young and old, are fatigued, says award-winning diversity and inclusion leader Mary-Frances Winters. It is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining to continue to experience inequities and even atrocities, day after day, when justice is a God-given and legislated right. And it is exhausting to have to constantly explain this to white people, even–and especially–well-meaning white people, who fall prey to white fragility and too often are unwittingly complicit in upholding the very systems they say they want dismantled.
This book, designed to illuminate the myriad dire consequences of “living while Black,” came at the urging of Winters’s Black friends and colleagues. Winters describes how in every aspect of life–from economics to education, work, criminal justice, and, very importantly, health outcomes–for the most part, the trajectory for Black people is not improving. It is paradoxical that, with all the attention focused over the last fifty years on social justice and diversity and inclusion, little progress has been made in actualizing the vision of an equitable society.
Black people are quite literally sick and tired of being sick and tired. Winters writes that “my hope for this book is that it will provide a comprehensive summary of the consequences of Black fatigue, and awaken activism in those who care about equity and justice–those who care that intergenerational fatigue is tearing at the very core of a whole race of people who are simply asking for what they deserve.
(256 pages / $26)
Pulitzer Prize–winning literary critic Michiko Kakutani shares 100 personal, thought-provoking essays about books that have mattered to her and that help illuminate the world we live in today.
Readers will discover novels and memoirs by some of the most gifted writers working today; favorite classics worth reading or rereading; and nonfiction works, both old and new, that illuminate our social and political landscape and some of today’s most pressing issues, from climate change to medicine to the consequences of digital innovation.
With richly detailed illustrations by lettering artist Dana Tanamachi that evoke vintage bookplates, Ex Libris is an impassioned reminder of why reading matters more than ever.
(Hardcover / 304 pages / $41)
People have been fascinated by merpeople and merfolk since ancient times. From the sirens of Homer’s Odyssey to Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid and the film Splash, myths, stories, and legends of half-human, half-fish creatures abound.
In modern times “mermaiding” has gained popularity among cosplayers throughout the world. In Merpeople: A Human History, Vaughn Scribner traces the long history of mermaids and mermen, taking in a wide variety of sources and using 117 striking images. From film to philosophy, church halls to coffee houses, ancient myth to modern science, Scribner shows that mermaids and tritons are—and always have been—everywhere.
"Whether you fancy a quick dip or a marathon swim, this is a delightful book to splash around in, a gloriously illustrated and meticulously researched study of our closest aquatic relatives." Literary Review
(Hardcover / 320 pages / $43)
This book takes up one of the most important themes in Chinese thought: the relation of pleasurable activities to bodily health and to the health of the body politic.
Unlike Western theories of pleasure, early Chinese writings contrast pleasure not with pain but with insecurity, assuming that it is right and proper to seek and take pleasure, as well as experience short-term delight. Equally important is the belief that certain long-term relational pleasures are more easily sustained, as well as potentially more satisfying and less damaging. The pleasures that become deeper and more ingrained as the person invests time and effort to their cultivation include friendship and music, sharing with others, developing integrity and greater clarity, reading and classical learning, and going home. Each of these activities is explored through the early sources (mainly fourth century BC to the eleventh century AD), with new translations of both well-known and seldom-cited texts.
(Hardcover / 472 pages / Princeton University Press / $55)
About the author:
Michael Nylan is a professor of early Chinese history at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include early China, the seven centuries of warring states through eastern Han (475 BC-AD 220), with an emphasis on the sociopolitical context; aesthetic theories and material culture; and belief.
The definitive source of information, insight, and advice for creative writers, from the nation’s largest and most trusted organization for writers, Poets & Writers.
For half a century, writers at every stage of their careers have turned to the literary nonprofit organization Poets & Writers and its award-winning magazine for resources to foster their professional development, from writing prompts and tips on technique to informative interviews with published authors, literary agents, and editors. But never before has Poets & Writers marshaled its fifty years’ worth of knowledge to create an authoritative guide for writers that answers every imaginable question about craft and career—until now. Here is the ultimate comprehensive resource for authors of all genres and forms, covering topics such as how to:
-Develop your work from initial idea to final draft
-Publish your work in literary magazines and develop a platform
-Research writing contests and other opportunities to support your writing life
-Decide between traditional publishing and self-publishing
-Find the right literary agent
-Anticipate what agents look for in queries and proposals
-Work successfully with an editor and your publishing team
-Market yourself and your work in a digital world
This book brings an unrivaled understanding of the areas in which writers seek guidance and support. In addition to the wealth of insights into creativity, publishing, and promotion are first-person essays from bestselling authors, including George Saunders, Christina Baker Kline, and Ocean Vuong, as well as reading lists from award-winning writers such as Anthony Doerr, Cheryl Strayed, and Natalie Diaz.
(496 pages / $37)
In an overloaded, superficial, technological world, in which almost everything and everybody is judged by its usefulness, where can we turn for escape, lasting pleasure, contemplation, or connection to others?While many forms of leisure meet these needs, Zena Hitz writes, few experiences are so fulfilling as the inner life, whether that of a bookworm, an amateur astronomer, a birdwatcher, or someone who takes a deep interest in one of countless other subjects
Drawing on inspiring examples, from Socrates and Augustine to Malcolm X and Elena Ferrante, and from films to Hitz’s own experiences as someone who walked away from elite university life in search of greater fulfillment, Lost in Thought is a passionate and timely reminder that a rich life is a life rich in thought.
Today, when even the humanities are often defended only for their economic or political usefulness, Hitz says our intellectual lives are valuable not despite but because of their practical uselessness. And while anyone can have an intellectual life, she encourages academics in particular to get back in touch with the desire to learn for its own sake, and calls on universities to return to the person-to-person transmission of the habits of mind and heart that bring out the best in us.
Reminding us of who we once were and who we might become, Lost in Thought is a moving account of why renewing our inner lives is fundamental to preserving our humanity.
(Hardcover / 240 pages / $38)
First published in 1991, The Artist’s Way is the classic guide to creativity.
Fans of The Artist’s Way include Booker winner Anna Burns, Tim Ferriss, Elizabeth Gilbert, Alicia Keys, Russell Brand, Kerry Washington, Patricia Cornwell, Pete Townshend and Reese Witherspoon.
The Artist’s Way has been credited with launching hundreds of novels, plays, films, startups, and other creative projects.
Its key ideas include Morning Pages, a daily ritual designed to declutter the mind, which have spawned a journaling industry and inspired mindfulness practices, and the Artist’s Date, a commitment to set aside time each week to nurture your creative soul. The book follows a step-by-step programme, building weekly.
Creativity guru, novelist, playwright, songwriter and poet, Julia Cameron has multiple credits in theatre, film and television.
A revolutionary program for personal renewal, The Artist's Way will help get you back on track, rediscover your passions, and take the steps you need to change your life.
(272 pages / $46)
Eleven months after he was liberated from the Nazi concentration camps, Viktor E. Frankl held a series of public lectures in Vienna. The psychiatrist, who would soon become world famous, explained his central thoughts on meaning, resilience, and the importance of embracing life even in the face of great adversity.
Published here for the very first time in English, Frankl’s words resonate as strongly today–as the world faces a coronavirus pandemic, social isolation, and great economic uncertainty–as they did in 1946. He offers an insightful exploration of the maxim “Live as if you were living for the second time,” and he unfolds his basic conviction that every crisis contains opportunity. Despite the unspeakable horrors of the camps, Frankl learned from the strength of his fellow inmates that it is always possible to “say yes to life”–a profound and timeless lesson for us all.
(Hardcover / 166 pages / $30)
Since the release of her first, career-defining solo album Little Earthquakes, Tori Amos has been one of the music industry’s most enduring and ingenious artists. From her unnerving depiction of sexual assault in “Me and a Gun” to her post-September 11 album, Scarlet’s Walk, to her latest album, Native Invader, her work has never shied away from intermingling the personal with the political.
Amos began playing piano as a teenager for the politically powerful at hotel bars in Washington, DC, during the formative years of the post-Goldwater and then Koch-led Libertarian and Reaganite movements. The story continues to her time as a hungry artist in Los Angeles to the subsequent three decades of her formidable music career.
Amos explains how she managed to create meaningful, politically resonant work against patriarchal power structures—and how her proud declarations of feminism and her fight for the marginalized always proved to be her guiding light. She teaches us to engage with intention in this tumultuous global climate and speaks directly to supporters of #MeToo and #TimesUp, as well as young people fighting for their rights and visibility in the world.
Filled with compassionate guidance and actionable advice—and using some of the most powerful, political songs in Amos’s canon—this book is for anyone determined to steer the world back in the right direction
Toris Amos is a Grammy-nominated and multiplatinum singer-songwriter.
(272 pages / $23)
Dorothy Parker, Hannah Arendt, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Joan Didion, Nora Ephron and Janet Malcolm are just some of the women whose lives intertwined as they cut through twentieth-century cultural and intellectual life in the United States, arguing as fervently with each other as they did with the men who so often belittled their work as journalists, novelists, critics and poets. These women are united by their ‘sharpness’: an accuracy and precision of thought and wit, a claiming of power through their writing.
Sharp is a rich and lively portrait of these women and their world, where Manhattan cocktail parties, fuelled by lethal quantities of both alcohol and gossip, could lead to high-stakes slanging matches in the Partisan Review or the New York Review of Books. It is fascinating and revealing on how these women came to be so influential in a climate in which they were routinely met with condescension and derision by their male counterparts.
Michelle Dean mixes biography, criticism and cultural and social history to create an enthralling exploration of how a group of brilliant women became central figures in the world of letters, staked out territory for themselves and began to change the world.
(384 pages / $23)
As a teenager, Harriet Shawcross stopped speaking at school for almost a year, retreating into herself and communicating only when absolutely necessary. As an adult, she became fascinated by the limits of language and in Unspeakable she asks what makes us silent.
From the inexpressible trauma of trench warfare and the aftermath of natural disaster to the taboo of coming out, Shawcross explores how and why words fail us. From the mountains of Nepal to New York’s theatre district she travels the world meeting people who constantly wrestle with language. She studies the work of George Oppen, a poet who couldn’t write a line for twenty-five years, interviews Eve Ensler whose play The Vagina Monologues gave voice to the truths of female sexuality, and meets the founders of The Samaritans who have been listening silently to those in need since the 1950s.
A beguiling mix of memoir, history, literary criticism and investigative journalism, Unspeakable is a moving and unprecedented study of the power of silence.
(352 pages / $22)
In 2004, Momofuku Noodle Bar opened in a tiny, stark space in Manhattan’s East Village. Its young chef-owner, David Chang, worked the line, serving ramen and pork buns to a mix of fellow restaurant cooks and confused diners whose idea of ramen was instant noodles in Styrofoam cups. It would have been impossible to know it at the time—and certainly Chang would have bet against himself—but he, who had failed at almost every endeavor in his life, was about to become one of the most influential chefs of his generation, driven by the question, “What if the underground could become the mainstream?”
Chang grew up the youngest son of a deeply religious Korean American family in Virginia. Graduating college aimless and depressed, he fled the States for Japan, hoping to find some sense of belonging. While teaching English in a backwater town, he experienced the highs of his first full-blown manic episode, and began to think that the cooking and sharing of food could give him both purpose and agency in his life.
Full of grace, candor, grit, and humor, Eat a Peach chronicles Chang’s switchback path. He lays bare his mistakes and wonders about his extraordinary luck as he recounts the improbable series of events that led him to the top of his profession. He wrestles with his lifelong feelings of otherness and inadequacy, explores the mental illness that almost killed him, and finds hope in the shared value of deliciousness. Along the way, Chang gives us a penetrating look at restaurant life, in which he balances his deep love for the kitchen with unflinching honesty about the industry’s history of brutishness and its uncertain future.
(Hardcover/ 288 pages / $47)
In search of a replacement for his lost Hermès agenda, Brigitte Benkemoun’s husband buys a vintage diary on eBay. When it arrives, she opens it and finds inside private notes dating back to 1951—twenty pages of phone numbers and addresses for Balthus, Brassaï, André Breton, Jean Cocteau, Paul Éluard, Leonor Fini, Jacqueline Lamba, and other artistic luminaries of the European avant-garde.
After realizing that the address book belonged to Dora Maar—Picasso’s famous “Weeping Woman” and a brilliant artist in her own right--Benkemoun embarks on a two-year voyage of discovery to learn more about this provocative, passionate, and enigmatic woman, and the role that each of these figures played in her life.
Longlisted for the prestigious literary award Prix Renaudot, Finding Dora Maar is a fascinating and breathtaking portrait of the artist.
(216 pages / $40)
Born in Prague to a Jewish family in 1929, Dita Kraus has lived through the most turbulent decades of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Here, Dita writes with startling clarity on the horrors and joys of a life delayed by the Holocaust. From her earliest memories and childhood friendships in Prague before the war, to the Nazi-occupation that saw her and her family sent to the Jewish ghetto at Terezín, to the unimaginable fear and bravery of her imprisonment in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, and life after liberation.
Dita writes unflinchingly about the harsh conditions of the camps and her role as librarian of the precious books that her fellow prisoners managed to smuggle past the guards. But she also looks beyond the Holocaust – to the life she rebuilt after the war: her marriage to fellow survivor Otto B Kraus, a new life in Israel and the happiness and heartbreaks of motherhood.
Part of Dita's story was told in fictional form in the Sunday Times bestseller The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe. Her memoir tells the full story in her own words.
(480 pages / $22)
Mohsin grew up in a poor pocket of east London, in a devout shia Muslim community. His family were close-knit and religiously conservative. From a young age, Mohsin felt different but in a home where being gay was inconceivable he also felt very alone.
Outside of home Mohsin went to a failing inner city school where gang violence was a fact of life. As he grew up life didn't seem to offer teenage Mohsin any choices: he was disenfranchised from opportunity and isolated from his family as a closet gay Muslim.
But Mohsin had incredible drive and became the first person from his school to go to Oxford University. At university came the newfound freedom to become the man his parents never wanted him to be. But when he was confronted by his father and a witch doctor invited to 'cure' him Mohsin had to make a difficult choice.
Mohsin's story takes harrowing turns but it is full of life and humour, and, ultimately, it is an inspiring story about breaking through life's barriers.
(288 pages / $28)
About the author:
Mohsin was the first person from his school to go to Oxford University where he studied law. Today Mohsin is a top criminal barrister. He has since worked in The Hague and the UK’s Supreme Court, and currently he is working on the high profile enquiry into undercover policing. He is an advocate for LGBT rights and BAME representation, and a governor of his former secondary school.
Gay Talese is the father of American New Journalism, who transformed traditional reportage with his vivid scene-setting, sharp observation and rich storytelling.
His 1966 piece for "Esquire", one of the most celebrated magazine articles ever published, describes a morose Frank Sinatra silently nursing a glass of bourbon, struck down with a cold and unable to sing, like 'Picasso without paint, Ferrari without fuel - only worse'. The other writings in this selection include a description of a meeting between two legends, Fidel Castro and Muhammad Ali; a brilliantly witty dissection of the offices of Vogue magazine; an account of travelling to Ireland with hellraiser Peter O'Toole; and, a profile of fading baseball star Joe DiMaggio, which turns into a moving, immaculately-crafted meditation on celebrity.
(208 pages / $25)
From Nobel Prize-winning economist and bestselling author Joseph Stiglitz, this account of the dangers of free market fundamentalism reveals what has gone so wrong, but also shows us a way out.
We all have the sense that our economy tilts toward big business, but as Joseph E. Stiglitz explains in People, Power and Profits, a few corporations have come to dominate entire sectors, contributing to skyrocketing inequality and slow growth. This is how the financial industry has managed to write its own regulations, tech companies have accumulated reams of personal data with little oversight, and government has negotiated trade deals that fail to represent the best interests of workers.
Too many have made their wealth through exploitation of others rather than through wealth creation. If something isn't done, new technologies may make matters worse, increasing inequality and unemployment.
Stiglitz identifies the true sources of wealth and increases in standards of living, based on learning, advances in science and technology, and the rule of law. He shows that the assault on the judiciary, universities, and the media undermines the very institutions that have long been the foundation of economic prosperity and democracy.
Helpless though we may feel today, we are far from powerless. In fact, the economic solutions are often quite clear. We need to exploit the benefits of markets while taming their excesses, making sure that markets work for people and not the other way around. If enough rally behind this agenda for change, we can create a progressive capitalism that will recreate a shared prosperity. Stiglitz shows how a decent middle-class life can once again be attainable by all.
(400 pages / $28)
This is the story of a woman who was not a royal, not rich, not famous, simply someone who worked hard and enjoyed her life.
Beginning in 1882, she ranged through life in the country, life in the town, life in her own house, and in that of others. She travelled, married, had children and a highly successful career. For while Georgina Landemare saw herself as ordinary, her accomplishments, and the life she lived, were anything but.
She started her career as a nursemaid, and ended it cooking for one of the best-known figures in British history, a man to whom food was central, not only as a pleasure by itself, but as a diplomatic tool in a time when the world was embroiled in a worldwide war.
Victory in the Kitchen is a culinary biography: a life lived through food, ranging from rural Berkshire to wartime London, via Belle Epoque Paris and prohibition-era New York. Through one eager eater, and one skilled cook, Annie Gray contextualises twentieth century food through two figures who were both intimately involved with it. Recipes include Georgina's German Kougelhof, Curried Brains, macaroons, Boodles Orange, Mousse de Maple and 'Chocolat Cake Good'.
(Hardcover / 400 pages / $32)
In 1930s Luang Prabang, the beautiful and demure Kham-Phiou was much admired. On New Year’s day, the life of the aristocratic young woman changed when she caught the eye of a sophisticated older man – Prince Souvanna Phouma. Falling madly in love, the prince determined to marry Kham Phiou against all odds – his family wanted a marriage within the dynasty, while her widowed mother feared palace intrigues. After the wedding, life in the prince’s family home was very difficult, but just as Kham-Phiou began to adapt, the prince decided to move to Vientiane to further his career.
The tale of their tragic love story spans over half a century and is set against the little-known backdrop of old-world Laos, where ancient customs and superstitions still held sway.
In this charming and moving personal account, incorporating the social history of Laos, Manisamouth, recounts her grandmother Kham-Phiou’s untold story accompanied by evocative black-and-white photographs, family trees, and a section on Lao history.
(172 pages / $23)
Despair and uncertainty surround us: in the news, in our families, and in ourselves. But even when life is at its bleakest, Anne Lamott shows how we can rediscover the hope and wisdom that are buried within us and that can make life sweeter than we ever imagined. Divided into short chapters that explore life's essential truths, Almost Everything pinpoints these moments of insight and, with warmth and humour, offers a path forward.
(208 pages / $22)
In 1934, the painter Christiane Ritter leaves her comfortable life in Austria and travels to the remote Arctic island of Spitsbergen, to spend a year there with her husband. She thinks it will be a relaxing trip, a chance to “read thick books in the remote quiet and, not least, sleep to my heart’s content”, but when Christiane arrives she is shocked to realize that they are to live in a tiny ramshackle hut on the shores of a lonely fjord, hundreds of miles from the nearest settlement, battling the elements every day, just to survive.
At first, Christiane is horrified by the freezing cold, the bleak landscape the lack of equipment and supplies… But as time passes, after encounters with bears and seals, long treks over the ice and months on end of perpetual night, she finds herself falling in love with the Arctic’s harsh, otherworldly beauty, gaining a great sense of inner peace and a new appreciation for the sanctity of life.
This rediscovered classic memoir tells the incredible tale of a woman defying society’s expectations to find freedom and peace in the adventure of a lifetime.
(224 pages / $24)
Robert Schumann was far ahead of his time: his music anticipated a multitude of trends that would spread in the 150 years after his death, and almost every major composer who followed him acknowledged his influence.
He was also revolutionary in his attitude to young people; in 1848 he wrote his famous Advice to Young Musicians, a book that is still deeply relevant today. In this volume, celebrated cellist Steven Isserlis has taken Schumann's words of wisdom and set them in a modern context with his own extensive commentary. By turns practical, humorous and profound, this book is a must for aspiring musicians and music-lovers of all ages.
(112 pages / $21)
One of the world's most respected psychiatrists provides a much-needed new evolutionary framework for making sense of mental illness.
Drawing on revealing stories from his own clinical practice and insights from evolutionary biology, Nesse shows how negative emotions are useful in certain situations, yet can become excessive.
Anxiety protects us from harm in the face of danger, but false alarms are inevitable. Low mood prevents us from wasting effort in pursuit of unreachable goals, but it often escalates into pathological depression. Other mental disorders, such as addiction and anorexia, result from the mismatch between modern environments and our ancient human past. Taken together, these insights and many more help to explain the pervasiveness of human suffering, and show us new paths for relieving it.
Good Reasons for Bad Feelings will fascinate anyone who wonders how our minds can be so powerful, yet so fragile, and how love and goodness came to exist in organisms shaped to maximize Darwinian fitness.
(384 pages / $19)
Constance Wilde's marriage has ended. Oscar is in prison and she has fled to Italy with their children to escape London gossip and public disapproval. Here she reflects on her marriage to Oscar, the confusing difference between his private and public self, and whether she always knew that their marriage was founded on a different kind of love.
Despite her family's warnings, her frustration with her impossible husband's spending and drinking, his affairs and his prison sentence, Constance remains loyal and loving. Their story is told from Constance's perspective, with Oscar's interjections presented as footnotes.
In this witty and unsentimental reimagining, Meehan gives a voice to a woman often forgotten and explores the pain and frustration of living in the shadow of a complex man.
(256 pages / $30)
A visual memoir like no other, Once Upon a Hong Kong, is a stirring collection of personal work by artist-illustrator Don Mak that captures scenes of everyday life in an ever-evolving city where traces of the past continue to disappear.
Each painting is a poignant reflection of the present that he hopes to pass down to his newborn daughter as well as the next generation in inspiring them to be more thoughtful about their local heritage, as they continue to beat the odds.
A heartfelt and at times haunting tribute to his beloved home, Don’s first book also features a striking use of colour and authentic storytelling depicting meaningful moments that will forever remain frozen in time.
(Hardcover / 48 pages / $35)
Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) was famously driven by his passion for God, for art – and for books. Vincent’s life with books is examined here chapter by chapter, from his early adulthood, when he considered becoming a pastor, to his decision to be a painter, to the end of his life. He moved from Holland to Paris to Provence; at each moment, ideas he encountered in books defined and guided his thoughts and his life. Vincent’s letters to his brother refer to at least 200 authors. Books and readers – whether dreaming or deeply absorbed – are frequent subjects of his paintings.
Vincent not only read fiction, he also knew many works of art from detailed descriptions and illustrations in monographs, biographies and museum guides. Always keeping up to date, he never missed the latest literary and artistic magazines. This thought-provoking and original study takes the reader on an artistic-literary journey through Vincent’s discoveries, his favourite authors and best-loved books, revealing a continuous dialogue between his own work, the artists and the authors who inspired him, and giving life to his comment: ‘Books and reality and art are the same kind of thing for me.’
(Hardcover / 232 pages / $40)
A powerful personal journey to find meaning and life lessons in the words of a wildly popular 13th century poet.
Rumi’s inspiring and deceptively simple poems have been called ecstatic, mystical, and devotional. To writer and activist Melody Moezzi, they became a lifeline. In The Rumi Prescription, we follow her path of discovery as she translates Rumi’s works for herself – to gain wisdom and insight in the face of a creative and spiritual roadblock. With the help of her father, who is a lifelong fan of Rumi’s poetry, she immerses herself in this rich body of work, and discovers a 13th-century prescription for modern life.
Addressing isolation, distraction, depression, fear, and other everyday challenges we face, the book offers a roadmap for living with intention and ease, and embracing love at every turn–despite our deeply divided and chaotic times. Most of all, it presents a vivid reminder that we already have the answers we seek, if we can just slow down to honor them.
(272 pages / $29)
From Constantinople to Crimea; from Antarctica to the Andes. Throughout history adventurous women have made epic, record-breaking journeys under perilous circumstances. Whether escaping constricted societies back home or propelled by a desire for independence, footloose females have ventured to the four corners of the earth and recorded their exploits for posterity.
For too long their triumphs have been overshadowed by those of their male counterparts, whose honourable failures make bigger news. In curating this collection of first-hand accounts, broadcaster, writer and traveller Mariella Frostrup puts female explorers back on the map. Her selection includes explorers from the 1700s to the present day, from iconic heroines to lesser-known eccentrics, celebrating 300 years of wild women and their amazing adventures over land, sea and air.
(544 pages / $32)
In 2013 Rolf Dobelli stood in front of a roomful of journalists and proclaimed that he did not read the news. It caused a riot. Now he finally sets down his philosophy in detail. And he practises what he preaches: he hasn't read the news for a decade.
Stop Reading the News is Dobelli's manifesto about the dangers of the most toxic form of information - news. He shows the damage it does to our concentration and well-being, and how a misplaced sense of duty can misdirect our behaviour.
Rolf Dobelli's book offers the reader guidance about how to live without news, and the many potential gains to be had: less disruption, more time, less anxiety, more insights. In a world of increasing disruption and division, Stop Reading the News is a welcome voice of calm and wisdom.
(Hardcover / 176 pages /$23)
About the author:
Rolf Dobelli is a Swiss writer, novelist and entrepreneur. He has an MBA and a PhD in economic philosophy from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. He is the bestselling author of The Art of Thinking Clearly, which became an instant bestseller, has sold over three million copies worldwide and been translated into 40 languages, and The Art of the Good Life. Dobelli is also founder and curator of WORLD.MINDS, an invitation-only community of the most distinguished international thinkers, scientists and artists.
We all long for someone to offer us unconditional love and support. But what if that person is us? The practice of mindful self-compassion creates the space we need so that observation, acceptance, and real love can enter, no matter how judgmental or disconnected we may feel.
It sounds like a simple idea: to be kind to yourself. But if you pay attention to your thoughts, habits, and self-talk, you may find that it’s more difficult than it sounds. The intentional practice of self-compassion, outlined here by Buddhist scholar and teacher Bodhipaksa, can help you find greater overall wellbeing, emotional resilience, physical health, and willpower. Bodhipaksa provides both the why and the how of mindful self-compassion, drawing on contemporary psychology and neuroscience and also on Buddhist psychology, weaving the modern and ancient together into a coherent whole.
Contemporary psychologists are focusing less on self-esteem and more on self-compassion. Bodhipaksa, a practicing meditator of more than thirty years, effortlessly blends ancient techniques dating back to the time of the Buddha with the most recent understanding of psychology and neuroscience. And in the end, as Bodhipaksa writes, it is actually quite simple: “Life is short. Be kind.”
(224 pages / $27)
This book tells the story of Kazuo Odachi who—in 1943, when he was just 16 years-old—joined the Imperial Japanese Navy to become a pilot. A year later, he was unknowingly assigned to the Kamikaze Special Attack Corps—a group of airmen whose mission was to sacrifice their lives by crashing planes into enemy ships. Their callsign was "ten dead, zero alive."
By picking up Memoirs of a Kamikaze, readers will experience the hardships of fighter pilot training—dipping and diving and watching as other trainees crash into nearby mountainsides. They'll witness the psychological trauma of coming to terms with death before each mission, and breathe a sigh of relief with Odachi when his last mission is cut short by Japan's eventual surrender. They'll feel the anger at a government and society that swept so much of the sacrifice under the rug in its desperation to rebuild.
Odachi, who is now well into his nineties, kept his Kamikaze past a secret for most of his life. Seven decades later, he agreed to sit for nearly seventy hours of interviews with the authors of this book—who know Odachi personally. He felt it was his responsibility to finally reveal the truth about the Kamikaze pilots: that they were unsuspecting teenagers and young men asked to do the bidding of superior officers who were never held to account.
This book is not a chronicle of war, nor is it a collection of research papers compiled by scholars. It is a transcript of Odachi's words.
Enhanced with helpful historical sidebars and footnotes, Odachi’s memoir humanizes a much-mythologized aspect of the war in the Pacific. WWII history buffs and Japanophiles will savor the many insights.
(Hardcover with jacket / 224 pages / $24 )
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About the Author:
Kazuo Odachi completed 8 suicide missions without spotting a target. After surviving the war, he became a police officer in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, and then a detective retiring as a Director in the 3rd Investigation Division of the Criminal Affairs Bureau.
Author and Translator Shigeru Ota, is a former prosecutor at the Ministry of Justice in Tokyo, Osaka, and other cities. He taught law at Waseda University for 5 years and is currently a professor at Nihon University.
Hiroyoshi Nishijima worked for the Yomiuri newspaper in Tokyo, retiring as Chief of the Editorial Bureau. He is currently a member of the Japan National Press Club.
Alexander Bennett is a professor of Japanese history, martial arts and Budo theory at Kansai University.
The Messenger tells the story of an unlikely friendship between a repentant jihadist and an idealistic journalist. This troubling real-life thriller takes us from their first meeting in a spartan flat in the rough suburbs of Manchester, to a bombing in Pakistan, a dramatic arrest and Malik's reporting career on the brink of ruin.
Ten years later, despite numerous obstacles (the book’s release was stopped by authorities in 2008 and again in 2016), Malik returns to this extraordinary tale. He asks where we can place our trust - in reams of evidence, in a government we believe is on our side, in a terrorist who swears he's changed, in a friend who has no one else to turn to. Malik explores the uncomfortable questions about why he, as well as the wider media and the nation, surrendered to fear so easily. And he reveals how the age of terror laid the groundwork for an era of fake news and demagogues.
This is investigative journalism and storytelling of the highest order.
(336 pages / $22)
Once in a while there comes along a story so powerful and so emotive that it makes you rethink your own values. This is the story of Nathan Shapow, a young Latvian, born in Riga, with nothing more on his mind than becoming a world-renowned boxer. However, the sound of jackboots marching across Europe and the systematic extermination of the Jews put an end to his boxing dreams. He was to fight a different sort of fight: one for survival. The prize? His life.
Seeing his youth disappear in the squalor of the ghettos and the horror of the concentration camps, Nathan fell back on his previous existence to sustain him. The years of training, the running, the speed of work, the three-round amateur fights in the gym, the street fights in Riga, and the sheer competitive nature he developed saved him on more than one occasion, especially when he was forced to box for his life against a top German fighter in a concentration camp.
The Boxer's Story is an extraordinary and powerful true story that reads like a thriller. It will deeply affect everyone who reads it.
Nathan Shapow survived various camps including Birkenau and Stutthoff. After the war he went to Palestine, where he fought for the creation of Israel. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1960 and died at age 96 in 2018.
(256 pages / $25)
When Michele Kirsch's father is killed in a train crash, her mother gets the vapours and Michele gets extremely nervous. By her mid-teens, she has found salvation in valium. Her favourite words on the prescription sheet are "Take As Needed", which she interprets as Take All The Time.
When she leaves her home in New York to go to college in Boston in the 1970s, Michele starts taking on cleaning jobs to help make ends meet. It gives her a window on the life she hopes to live: big comfortable house, teenagers’ music blaring from their rooms, a crock pot bubbling away in the kitchen… And yet, when she finally does have something like that life, as a wife and mother in 1980s London, she is the one blaring music from her room, downing vodka and Valium and making an almighty mess of her home and family.
Cleaning other people’s houses, eventually, is the only option left. At 50 years old, post rehab, living alone in a Hackney bedsit, Michele finds herself finishing her working life as she had begun, “in a dumb job that you do when you can’t really do anything else…”
Clean is no misery memoir but a darkly comic tale about the difficult choices we have to make as we navigate our lives.
This is a remarkable, powerful, and often unbearably funny story in which cleaning and getting clean lead to a strange and magical form of redemption.
(288 pages / $19)
Across the country, general hospital admissions are on the rise. But in a small town in rural England, thanks to the simple introduction of kindness and compassion, that trend has been reversed. And what this town achieved, we can all adopt in our own lives to powerful effect. Through daily mindful acts of care we are capable of changing things for the better, both inside ourselves and for the world around us.
Frome in Somerset isn't special. It could be any town; it could be your town. And yet the people who live there have a story to tell about the simple, ground-shaking power of compassion. If it came in tablet form, it would be hailed as a wonder of modern medicine. By contrast, it's entirely free but offers heartening evidence that when human beings make time for each other, the beneficial effects go far beyond the reach of naive optimism.
(Hardcover / 240 pages / $32)
'I have relinquished all that ties me to the world, but the one thing that still haunts me is the beauty of the sky'
These simple, inspiring writings by three medieval Buddhist monks offer peace and wisdom amid the world's uncertainties, and are an invitation to relinquish earthly desires and instead taste life in the moment. .
(112 pages / $13)
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