What Does it mean to feel truly alive? Aged 24, Matt Haig's world caved in. He could see no way to go on living. This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again. A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive, Reasons to Stay Alive is more than a memoir. It is a book about making the most of your time on earth.
"Company and Catharsis"
The Sunday Times best seller. Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it. Us. We are the most advanced and most destructive animals ever to have lived. What makes us brilliant? What makes us deadly? What makes us Sapiens? In this bold and provocative book, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here and where we're going.
"Essential listening, well read."
Jon Ronson is fascinated by madness, extraordinary behaviour and the human mind. He has spent his life investigating crazy events, following fascinating people and unearthing unusual stories. Collected here from various sources (including the Guardian and GQ America) are the best of his adventures.
"Absolutely Brilliant !"
Immediate Action is a no-holds-barred account of an extraordinary life, from the day Andy McNab was found in a carrier bag on the steps of Guy's Hospital to the day he went to fight in the Gulf War. As a delinquent youth he kicked against society. As a young soldier he waged war against the IRA in the streets and fields of South Armagh. As a member of 22 SAS Regiment he was at the centre of covert operations for nine years - on five continents.
"Perfect best book loved it"
Bill Bryson was struck one day by the thought that we devote more time to studying the battles and wars of history than to considering what history really consists of: centuries of people quietly going about their daily business. This inspired him to start a journey around his own house, an old rectory in Norfolk, considering how the ordinary things in life came to be.
"More Fact Pact Bryson"
Falling pregnant as a teenager in 1952, Philomena Lee was sent to the convent in Co. Tipperary to be looked after as a fallen woman. She cared for her baby for three years until the Church took him and sold him, like countless others, to America for adoption. She spent the next 50 years secretly searching for him, unaware that he was searching for her from across the Atlantic.
"A Tale of the Time"
John Hooper's marvelously entertaining and perceptive new book is ideal for anyone seeking to understand contemporary Italy and the unique character of the Italians. Looking at the facts that lie behind and often belie the stereotypes, his revealing book sheds new light on many aspects of Italian life: football and Freemasonry, sex, symbolism, and the reason Italian has twelve words for a coat hanger yet none for a hangover.
"A wonderful idea, gloriously put into practice. Greg Jenner as is witty as he is knowledgeable." (Tom Holland) Who invented beds? When did we start cleaning our teeth? How old are wine and beer? Which came first: the toilet seat or toilet paper? What was the first clock? Every day, from the moment our alarm clocks wake us in the morning until our heads hit our pillows at night, we all take part in rituals that are millennia old.
Almost a third of your whole life is spent asleep. Night School uncovers the scientific truth about the sleeping brain - and gives powerful tips on how those hours of apparently 'dead' time in the dark can transform your waking life.
"Informative with a quirky sense of humour"
We are constantly bombarded with inaccurate, contradictory and sometimes misleading information - until now. Ben Goldacre masterfully dismantles the dubious science behind some of the great drug trials, court cases and missed opportunities of our time. He also shows us the fascinating story of how we know what we know, and gives us the tools to uncover bad science for ourselves.
"Making science truly entertaining"
Every day, we face the challenge of persuading others to do what we want. But what makes people say 'yes' to our requests? Based on more than 60 years of research into the psychology of persuasion, this audiobook reveals many remarkable insights that will help listeners to be more persuasive, both at work and at home.
The No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling modern classic: A Bravo Two Zero for the Second Gulf War. They were branded as cowards and accused of being the British Special Forces Squadron that ran away from the Iraqis. But nothing could be further from the truth. Ten years on, the story of these sixty men can finally be told. In March 2003 M Squadron - an SBS unit with SAS embeds - was sent 1,000 kilometres behind enemy lines on a true mission impossible, to take the surrender of the 100,000-strong Iraqi Army 5th Corps.
"Gripping account of a special forces op"
In a series of illuminating, often surprising experiments, MIT behavioral economist Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. Blending everyday experience with groundbreaking research, Ariely explains how expectations, emotions, social norms, and other invisible, seemingly illogical forces skew our reasoning abilities.
"enjoyed each time I listened"
Intuition is not some magical property that arises unbidden from the depths of our mind. It is a product of long hours and intelligent design, of meaningful work environments, and particular rules and principles. This audiobook shows us how we can hone our instinctive ability to know in an instant, helping us to bring out the best in our thinking and become better decision-makers in our homes, offices, and in everyday life.
"Enjoyable, but goes in an unexpected direction"
Is the Greek alphabet all Greek to you? Is geometry your Achilles heel and does your knowledge of Homer have more to do with The Simpsons than the Sirens? From engineering and architecture to drama and democracy, the world around us is founded on the principles and discoveries of the Ancient World, yet our understanding of it is episodic at best. But it's never too late to learn....
"Light but not insubstantial"
David and Goliath is the dazzling and provocative new book from Malcolm Gladwell, best-selling author of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers and What the Dog Saw. Why do underdogs succeed so much more than we expect? How do the weak outsmart the strong? In David and Goliath Malcolm Gladwell takes us on a scintillating and surprising journey through the hidden dynamics that shape the balance of power between the small and the mighty.
"Swing and a miss"
In Skyfaring, airline pilot and flight romantic Mark Vanhoenacker shares his irrepressible love of flying on a journey from day to night, from new ways of mapmaking and the poetry of physics to the names of winds and the nature of clouds. Here, anew, is the simple wonder and transcendent joy of motion and the remarkable new perspectives that height and distance bestow on everything we love.
Maverick thinker Nassim Nicholas Taleb had an illustrious career on Wall Street before turning his focus to his black swan theory. Not all swans are white, and not all events, no matter what the experts think, are predictable. Taleb shows that black swans, like 9/11, cannot be foreseen and have an immeasurable impact on the world.
"A magazine article posing as a book"
With a foreword by Neil Gaiman Terry Pratchett has earned a place in the hearts of readers the world over with his bestselling Discworld series - but in recent years he has become equally well-known and respected as an outspoken campaigner for causes including Alzheimer's research and animal rights.
"Pratchett as we know and love"
In a contest of change, which century from the past millennium would come up trumps? Imagine the Black Death took on the female vote in a pub brawl, or the Industrial Revolution faced the Internet in a medieval joust - whose side would you be on? In this hugely entertaining book, celebrated historian Ian Mortimer takes us on a whirlwind tour of Western history, pitting one century against another in his quest to measure change.
"perspective writ large. Brilliant."
From ancient empires to modern economics, veteran journalist Andrew Lawler delivers a sweeping history of the animal that has been most crucial to the spread of civilization across the globe - the chicken. Queen Victoria was obsessed with it. Socrates' last words were about it. Charles Darwin and Louis Pasteur made their scientific breakthroughs using it. Catholic popes, African shamans, Chinese philosophers, and Muslim mystics praised it.
Some people say 'sconn' while others say 'schown'. He says 'bath' while she says 'bahth'. You say 'potayto'. I say 'potahto'. And - wait a second, no one says 'potahto'. No one's ever said 'potahto'. Have they? From reconstructing Shakespeare's accent to the rise and fall of received pronunciation, actor Ben Crystal and his linguist father, David, travel the world in search of the stories of spoken English.
For Eve, Irene, Betty, and Rosemary, working at the exclusive Heyworth's department store in Cambridge is a dream come true. Once the girls step inside the elegant building, the hardships of their own lives are temporarily forgotten. Serving a variety of customers, from glamorous gypsy queens to royalty and the city's fashionable elite, the store is a place where these young women can forge successful careers under the ever-watchful eye of flamboyant owner Mr Heyworth.
November 2009. Sergei Magnitsky is led to an isolation cell in a Moscow prison and beaten to death by eight police officers. His crime? To testify against the Russian Interior Ministry officials involved in a conspiracy to steal $230 million in taxes. Magnitsky's brutal killing has remained uninvestigated to this day. Red Notice is a searing exposé of the Russian authorities responsible for the murder, slicing deep into the heart of the Kremlin to uncover its sordid truths.
From the author of What to Eat and Shopped, a revelatory investigation into what really goes into the food we eat. Even with 25 years' experience as a journalist and investigator of the food chain, Joanna Blythman still felt she had unanswered questions about the food we consume every day. How natural is the process for making a "natural" flavouring? What exactly is modified starch, and why is it an ingredient in so many foods? What is done to pitta bread to make it stay fresh for six months?
Jo Milne was profoundly deaf from birth, when she also began to lose her sight. Just before turning thirty, Jo was diagnosed with Usher syndrome, a rare genetic and progressive condition that will one day rob her of her sight altogether.
In 2014 she made a life-changing decision to undergo major surgery. She had cochlear implants fitted, allowing her to hear for the first time. Every moment of Jo's days since the operation has become a journey of discovery.
"an emotional touching read"
In the late 1980s Jon Ronson was the keyboard player in the Frank Sidebottom Oh Blimey Big Band. Frank wore a big fake head. Nobody outside his inner circle knew his true identity. This became the subject of feverish speculation during his zenith years. Together, they rode relatively high. Then it all went wrong. Twenty-five years later and Jon has co-written a movie, Frank, inspired by his time in this great and bizarre band. Frank is set for release in 2014, starring Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Domhnall Gleeson and directed by Lenny Abrahamson.
"Interesting little tale"
The world of maths can seem mind-boggling, irrelevant and, let's face it, boring. This groundbreaking book reclaims maths from the geeks. Mathematical ideas underpin just about everything in our lives: from the surprising geometry of the 50p piece to how probability can help you win in any casino. In search of weird and wonderful mathematical phenomena, Alex Bellos travels across the globe and meets the world's fastest mental calculators in Germany and a startlingly numerate chimpanzee in Japan.
"A wonderful journey through mathematics"
Tales of adventures on the high seas captivate both sailors and those who stand on the shore and gaze out across the oceans. In this original collection of sea stories, edited by veteran writer Dick Durham, the gamut of human experience is mirrored in a world of tragic shipwrecks and sea monsters, epic races and brave rescues, tall ships and tiny dinghies.
The 1980s was the revolutionary decade of the 20th century. From the Falklands war and the miners' strike to Bobby Sands and the Guildford Four, from Diana and the New Romantics to Live Aid and the 'big bang', from the Rubik's cube to the ZX Spectrum, McSmith's brilliant narrative account uncovers the truth behind the decade that changed Britain forever - politically, economically and culturally.
"So close and yet so far"
By synthesizing current research in the social sciences, Schwartz makes the counterintuitive case that eliminating choices can greatly reduce the stress, anxiety, and busyness of our lives. He offers eleven practical steps on how to limit choices to a manageable number, have the discipline to focus on the important ones and ignore the rest, and ultimately derive greater satisfaction from the choices you have to make.
Ian Moore is a stand-up comedian in the UK and a husband, father of three boys, farmhand and chutney-maker in France. He is a mod in both walks of life and most of his time is spent travelling grumpily between the two. Comedian, mod and professional grump Ian Moore has had enough. Tired of being unable to park anywhere near his cramped house in a noisy town he doesn't like, he hatches a plan to move his wife and young son to a remote corner of the Loire Valley in search of serenity and space.
"tale of ex pat Brit in France with a Parka & pets"
"Is Google making us stupid?" When Nicholas Carr posed that question in an Atlantic Monthly cover story, he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: as we enjoy the Internet's bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply? Now, Carr expands his argument into the most compelling exploration yet published of the Internet's intellectual and cultural consequences.
A hilarious field guide to the world's most remarkable and unusual creatures: the English. Who are the English? What is this puzzling species? Where does it live? What are its habits? What does it eat? Why does it eat that? And why has it developed such unexotic mating rituals? Join us on a journey deep into the natural habitat of the English, a journey to rival anything David Attenborough did with gorillas, a journey that begins on a sofa (and continues, unflinchingly, into the kitchen, out into the garden, off to work, down to the pub and then on to the beach...and the bedroom).
A collection of thrilling diving stories.There's everything from classic tales of wreck discoveries to encounters with beautiful and bizarre creatures beneath the waves. There are stories of death and disaster as well as bravery and triumph. Each tale has been chosen to stoke the fire of divers everywhere and some are illustrated with colour photographs.Take the plunge and read about the diver who discovered how to put sharks in a trance and the marine biologist who lost a limb trying to prove that sharks were safe to swim with.
Why do people dodge responsibility when things fall apart? Why the parade of public figures unable to own up when they screw up? Why the endless marital quarrels over who is right? Why can we see hypocrisy in others but not in ourselves? Are we all liars? Or do we really believe the stories we tell? Backed by years of research and delivered in lively, energetic prose, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) offers a fascinating explanation of self-deception.
"A fascinating insight"
Since the Enlightenment, there has been a very simple but widely held assumption that we are a species of thinking individuals and human behaviour is best understood by examining the psychology of individuals. It appears, however, that this insight is plain wrong. The evidence from a number of leading scientists suggests that our species is designed as a herd or group animal. Mark Earls applies this evidence to the traditional mechanisms of marketing and consumer behavior.
A collection of the author's articles and reviews, giving an insight into some of the most important literary, artistic, and scientific movements and events of the last 30 years.
Novelists, poets and playwrights live double lives, sharing the real world with everyone else while spending a good deal of time in a universe of their own making. When they fall out with each other, they are able to kindle feuds and antagonisms as passionate and public as workers in any trade. Richard Bradford's highly entertaining audiobook looks at some of the closest and most complex relationships in literary history, examining their dramatic effects on literature itself.
Mark Stevenson has been to the future a few years ahead of the rest of us - and reckons it has a lot going for it. His voyage of discovery takes him to Oxford to meet Transhumanists (they intend to live forever), to Boston where he confronts a robot with mood swings, to an underwater cabinet meeting in the Indian Ocean, and Australia to question the Outback's smartest farmer.
"Interesting, innovative and idea making"
Lifelong fisherman Paul Knight knows the thrill of the chase, the one-on-one battle of endurance between man and beast that is sport fishing. Like Hemingway, and legions of others who've tested themselves against nature, author Paul Knight has traveled to remote parts of the globe to reel in stories of epic adventures with rod and line.
Who volunteers? Why? What are you willing to do? This title presents the hilarious, heartwarming adventures of a volunteering cynic. Do the feel-good rewards commensurate with the time and effort involved? When Seb Hunter accidentally picks up the phone to a charity Fundraiser one day, he faces a moment of reckoning. It isn't so much that he lacks a social conscience; but he can no longer assuage it by buying the odd copy of the Big Issue and eating Fairtrade chocolate.