LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS PRIZE 2016 It's 1996, Bill Clinton has just been re-elected and in Houston a mayoral election is looming. As usual the campaign focuses on Pleasantville -- the African-American neighbourhood of the city that has swung almost every race since it was founded to house a growing black middle class in 1949. Axel Hathorne, former chief of police and the son of Pleasantville's founding father Sam Hathorne, was the clear favourite, all set to become Houston's first black mayor. But his lead is slipping thanks to a late entrant into the race -- Sandy Wolcott, a defence attorney riding high on the success of a high-profile murder trial. And then, just as the competition intensifies, a girl goes missing, apparently while canvassing for Axel. And when her body is found, Axel's nephew is charged with her murder. Sam is determined that Jay Porter defends his grandson. And even though Jay is tired of wading through other people's problems, he suddenly finds himself trying his first murder case, a trial that threatens to blow the entire community wide open, and reveal the lengths that those with power are willing to go to hold onto it.
Features none other than HM the Queen who drifts accidentally into reading when her corgis stray into a mobile library parked at Buckingham Palace. Her reading naturally changes her world view and her relationship with people like the oleaginous prime minister and his repellent advisers. The consequence is surprising, mildly shocking and funny.
"Do you have a list of your books, or do I just have to stare at them?" Shaun Bythell is the owner of The Bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland. With more than a mile of shelving, real log fires in the shop and the sea lapping nearby, the shop should be an idyll for bookworms. Unfortunately, Shaun also has to contend with bizarre requests from people who don't understand what a shop is, home invasions during the Wigtown Book Festival and Granny, his neurotic Italian assistant who likes digging for river mud to make poultices. The Diary of a Bookseller (soon to be a major TV series) introduced us to the joys and frustrations of life lived in books. Sardonic and sympathetic in equal measure, Confessions of a Bookseller will reunite readers with the characters they've come to know and love.
In twenty years behind the till in The Bookshop, Wigtown, Shaun Bythell has met pretty much every kind of customer there is - from the charming, erudite and deep-pocketed to the eccentric, flatulent and possibly larcenous. In Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops he distils the essence of his experience into a warm, witty and quirky taxonomy of the book-loving public. So, step inside to meet the crafty Antiquarian , the shy and retiring Erotica Browser and gormless yet strangely likeable shop assistant Student Hugo - along with much loved bookseller favourites like the passionate Sci-Fi Fan , the voracious Railway Collector and the ever-elusive Perfect Customer.
A New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestseller ''Powerful [and] intelligent'' - Fareed Zakaria, CNN ''Superbly researched and written'' - Francis Fukuyama, The Washington Post ''A fascinating book, rich in politics, history, psychology and more'' David Leonhardt, the New York Times America''s political system isn''t broken. The truth is scarier: it''s working exactly as designed. In Why We''re Polarized , Ezra Klein reveals the structural and psychological forces behind America''s deep political divisions, revealing how a system filled with rational, functional parts can combine into a dysfunctional whole. Neither a polemic nor a lament, this book offers a clear framework for understanding everything from Trump''s rise to the Democratic Party''s leftward shift to the politicisation of everyday culture. Klein shows how and why American politics polarised in the twentieth century, what that polarisation did to Americans'' views of the world and one another, and how feedback loops between polarised political identities and polarised political institutions drive the system toward crisis. This revelatory book will change how you look at politics, and perhaps at yourself.
The fall of the Bastille on July 14, 1789 has become the commemorative symbol of the French Revolution. But this violent and random act was unrepresentative of the real work of the early revolution, which was taking place ten miles west of Paris, in Versailles. There, the nobles, clergy and commoners of France had just declared themselves a republic, toppling a rotten system of aristocratic privilege and altering the course of history forever. The Revolution was led not by angry mobs, but by the best and brightest of France's growing bourgeoisie: young, educated, ambitious. Their aim was not to destroy, but to build a better state. In just three months they drew up a Declaration of the Rights of Man, which was to become the archetype of all subsequent Declarations worldwide, and they instituted a system of locally elected administration for France which still survives today. They were determined to create an entirely new system of government, based on rights, equality and the rule of law. In the first three years of the Revolution they went a long way toward doing so. Then came Robespierre, the Terror and unspeakable acts of barbarism. In a clear, dispassionate and fast-moving narrative, Ian Davidson shows how and why the Revolutionaries, in just five years, spiralled from the best of the Enlightenment to tyranny and the Terror. The book reminds us that the Revolution was both an inspiration of the finest principles of a new democracy and an awful warning of what can happen when idealism goes wrong.
Love, Nina meets Black Books : a wry and hilarious account of life in Scotland's biggest second-hand bookshop and the band of eccentrics and book-obsessives who work there 'The Diary Of A Bookseller is warm (unlike Bythell's freezing-cold shop) and funny, and deserves to become one of those bestsellers that irritate him so much.' ( Mail on Sunday ) 'Utterly compelling and Bythell has a Bennett-like eye for the amusing eccentricities of ordinary people ... I urge you to buy this book and please, even at the risk of being insulted or moaned at, buy it from a real live bookseller.' (Charlotte Heathcote Sunday Express ) Shaun Bythell owns The Bookshop, Wigtown - Scotland's largest second-hand bookshop. It contains 100,000 books, spread over a mile of shelving, with twisting corridors and roaring fires, and all set in a beautiful, rural town by the edge of the sea. A book-lover's paradise? Well, almost ... In these wry and hilarious diaries, Shaun provides an inside look at the trials and tribulations of life in the book trade, from struggles with eccentric customers to wrangles with his own staff, who include the ski-suit-wearing, bin-foraging Nicky. He takes us with him on buying trips to old estates and auction houses, recommends books (both lost classics and new discoveries), introduces us to the thrill of the unexpected find, and evokes the rhythms and charms of small-town life, always with a sharp and sympathetic eye.
Sunday Times Top 10 Bestseller Shortlisted for a British Book Industry Book of the Year Award 2016 The new series Ultimate Rome: Empire Without Limit is on BBC2 now Ancient Rome matters. Its history of empire, conquest, cruelty and excess is something against which we still judge ourselves. Its myths and stories - from Romulus and Remus to the Rape of Lucretia - still strike a chord with us. And its debates about citizenship, security and the rights of the individual still influence our own debates on civil liberty today. SPQR is a new look at Roman history from one of the world's foremost classicists. It explores not only how Rome grew from an insignificant village in central Italy to a power that controlled territory from Spain to Syria, but also how the Romans thought about themselves and their achievements, and why they are still important to us. Covering 1,000 years of history, and casting fresh light on the basics of Roman culture from slavery to running water, as well as exploring democracy, migration, religious controversy, social mobility and exploitation in the larger context of the empire, this is a definitive history of ancient Rome. SPQR is the Romans' own abbreviation for their state: Senatus Populusque Romanus , 'the Senate and People of Rome'.
Suitable for those with an interest in conquest, self-defense, wealth, power or simply being an educated spectator, this book teaches you how to cheat, dissemble, feign, fight and advance your cause in the modern world.
Drawn from 3,000 years of the history of power, this is the definitive guide to help readers achieve for themselves what Queen Elizabeth I, Henry Kissinger, Louis XIV and Machiavelli learnt the hard way. Law 1: Never outshine the master Law 2: Never put too much trust in friends; learn how to use enemies Law 3: Conceal your intentions Law 4: Always say less than necessary. The text is bold and elegant, laid out in black and red throughout and replete with fables and unique word sculptures. The 48 laws are illustrated through the tactics, triumphs and failures of great figures from the past who have wielded - or been victimised by - power.
''It is hard to imagine a more timely book ... much of the modern world will make more sense having read it.'' The Times We live in a world that''s more interconnected than ever before. Our lives are shaped by outbreaks - of disease, of misinformation, even of violence - that appear, spread and fade away with bewildering speed. To understand them, we need to learn the hidden laws that govern them. From ''superspreaders'' who might spark a pandemic or bring down a financial system to the social dynamics that make loneliness catch on, The Rules of Contagion offers compelling insights into human behaviour and explains how we can get better at predicting what happens next. Along the way, Adam Kucharski explores how innovations spread through friendship networks, what links computer viruses with folk stories - and why the most useful predictions aren''t necessarily the ones that come true.
From imaginary numbers to the fourth dimension and beyond, mathematics has always been about imagining things that seem impossible at first glance. In x+y, Eugenia Cheng draws on the insights of higher-dimensional mathematics to reveal a transformative new way of talking about the patriarchy, mansplaining and sexism: a way that empowers all of us to make the world a better place. Using precise mathematical reasoning to uncover everything from the sexist assumptions that make society a harder place for women to live to the limitations of science and statistics in helping us understand the link between gender and society, Cheng''s analysis replaces confusion with clarity, brings original thinking to well worn arguments - and provides a radical, illuminating and liberating new way of thinking about the world and women''s place in it.
A guide to the strategies of war. Spanning world civilisations, and synthesising dozens of political, philosophical, and religious texts, it features the subtle social game of everyday life. It contains examples of the genius and folly of those from Napoleon to Margaret Thatcher and Hannibal to Ulysses S Grant.
Billionaire investors. If we think of them, it''s with a mixture of awe and suspicion. Clearly, they possess a kind of genius - the proverbial Midas Touch. But are the skills they possess transferable? And would we really want to be them? Do they have anything to teach us besides making money? In Richer, Wiser, Happier , award-winning journalist William Green has spent nearly twenty-five years interviewing these investing wizards and discovered that their talents expand well beyond the financial realm and into practical philosophy. Green ushers us into the lives of more than forty of the world''s super-investors, visiting them in their offices, vacation homes, and even their places of worship - all to share what they have to teach us. Green brings together the thinking of some of the best investors, from Warren Buffet to Howard Marks to John Templeton, and provides gems of insight that will enrich you not only financially but also professionally and personally.
WINNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS BOOK AWARD 2019 Robert Greene is a master guide for millions of readers, distilling ancient wisdom and philosophy into essential texts for seekers of power, understanding and mastery. Now he turns to the most important subject of all - understanding people's drives and motivations, even when they are unconscious of them themselves. We are social animals. Our very lives depend on our relationships with people. Knowing why people do what they do is the most important tool we can possess, without which our other talents can only take us so far. Drawing from the ideas and examples of Pericles, Queen Elizabeth I, Martin Luther King Jr, and many others, Greene teaches us how to detach ourselves from our own emotions and master self-control, how to develop the empathy that leads to insight, how to look behind people's masks, and how to resist conformity to develop your singular sense of purpose. Whether at work, in relationships, or in shaping the world around you, The Laws of Human Nature offers brilliant tactics for success, self-improvement, and self-defence.
Ryan Holiday shows us how and why ego is such a powerful internal opponent to be guarded against at all stages of our careers and lives. Drawing on an array of inspiring characters and narratives from literature, philosophy and history, the book explores the nature and dangers of ego to illustrate how you can be humble in your aspirations, gracious in your success and resilient in your failures.
For nearly thirty years, Pocket World in Figures has been the indispensable handbook on the state of the world. Where else would you find out, in a single volume, that Zambia is the most entrepreneurial country on earth, that Qatar uses the most energy per head of population and that the Virgin Islands has the fourth highest murder rate of any region in the world? The new edition includes data from over 180 countries, presented in a series of rankings and country profiles. Updated, revised and expanded each year to include new rankings and features, it also includes detailed statistical profiles of more than sixty-five of the world's major economies, the euro area and the world itself. The 2021 edition showcases the Economist's strength in data journalism with charts and graphs, and invites readers to test their knowledge with a fiendishly difficult quiz.
For millennia, Stoicism has been the ancient philosophy that attracts those who seek greatness, from athletes to politicians and everyone in between. And no wonder: its embrace of self-mastery, virtue and indifference to that which we cannot control has much to offer those grappling with today''s chaotic world. But who were the Stoics? In this book, Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman offer a fresh approach to understanding Stoicism through the lives of the people who practiced it. Through short biographies of all the famous, and lesser-known, Stoics, this book will show what it means to live stoically, and reveal the lessons to be learned from their struggles and successes. The result is a treasure trove of insights for anyone in search of living a good life.
The ultimate hustle is to move freely between the street and corporate worlds, to find your flow and never stay locked in the same position. This is a manifesto for how to operate in the twenty-first century, where everything has been turned on its head.
For most of us, a summer holiday is an opportunity to escape from it all: to lounge on warm sands or sip a cool drink in the shade of a city square. But, as the characters in this murderously good collection of classic crime stories discover to their cost ... trouble has a nasty habit of finding you out. From a body found on a beach without a single footprint, to a lemonade stand whose wares appear to have been poisoned and a Wimbledon final ruined by the mysterious disappearance of the championship player, these tales of murder and malice will take you on the trip of a lifetime. So pour that glass of Pimms, grab your sunhat and indulge your dark side: these stories will chill you to your very core, even in a heatwave ...
Would Hiroshima have been bombed if Japanese contained a phrase meaning ''no comment''? Is it alright for missionaries to replace the Bible''s ''white as snow'' with ''white as fungus'' in places where snow never falls? Who, or what, is Kuzma''s mother, and why was Nikita Khrushchev so threateningly obsessed with her (or it)? The course of diplomacy rarely runs smooth; without an invisible army of translators and interpreters, it''s hard to see how it could run at all. But though such go-betweens tend to be overlooked, even despised, the subtlest of them have achieved a remarkable degree of influence. Join veteran translator Anna Aslanyan to explore hidden histories of cunning and ambition, heroism and incompetence. Meet the figures behind the notable events of history, from the Great Game to Brexit, and discover just how far a simple misunderstanding can go.