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.
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"
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"
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"
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"
Why did crime in New York drop so suddenly in the mid-90s? How does an unknown novelist end up a best-selling author? Why is teenage smoking out of control, when everyone knows smoking kills? What makes TV shows like Sesame Street so good at teaching kids how to read? Why did Paul Revere succeed with his famous warning?
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"
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.
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"
2012 marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of C. S. Lewis's classic, Mere Christianity. Having sold over half a million copies in the UK alone, his overview of Christianity has been imitated many times, but never outdone. Mere Christianity brings together Lewis's legendary broadcasts from the war years; talks in which he set out simply to '"explain and defend the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times."
"Superb - listened twice."
Sam Harris has discovered that most people, from secular scientists to religious fundamentalists, agree on one point: science has nothing to say on the subject of human values. Indeed, science's failure to address questions of meaning and morality has become the primary justification for religious faith.The underlying claim is that while science is the best authority on the workings of the physical universe, religion is the best authority on meaning, values, morality, and leading a good life.
"Thought provoking, perhaps a little antagonistic"
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 !"
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"
A hilarious collection of the many articles written by Stephen Fry for magazines, newspapers, and radio. It includes selected wireless essays of Donald Trefusis, the ageing professor of philology brought to life in Fry's novel The Liar, and the best of Fry's weekly column for the Daily Telegraph.
Cathy Glass, international best-selling author, tells the shocking story of Zeena, a young Asian girl desperate to escape from her family. When 14-year-old Zeena begs to be taken into care with a non-Asian family, she is clearly petrified. But of what?Placed in the home of experienced foster carer Cathy and her family, Zeena gradually settles into her new life, but misses her little brothers and sisters terribly.
From the author of Number One bestseller Damaged comes the poignant and shocking memoir of Cathy's recent relationship with Tayo, a young boy she fosters whose good behaviour and polite manners hide a terrible past. Tayo arrives at Cathy's with only the clothes he stands up in. He has been brought to her by the police, but he is calm, polite, and very well spoken, and not at all like the children she normally fosters. The social worker gives Cathy the forms which should contain Tayo's history, but apart from his name and age, it is blank.
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"
Stephen Fry hosts four programmes on the joys of the English language - as heard on BBC Radio 4, including Current Puns. Why does our language groan with the weight of puns? What exactly is a pun? And who, or what, is the Thief of Bad Gags?
"Stephen Fry never lets you down"
This is the remarkable story of the English language; from its beginnings as a minor guttural Germanic dialect to its position today as a truly established global language. The Adventure of English is not only an enthralling story of power, religion, and trade, but also the story of people, and how their lives continue to change the extraordinary language that is English.
"All the voices"
To avoid fainting, keep repeating It's only a move ..only a movie ..only a movie ..only a movie If you grew up believing that Planet of the Apes told you all you needed to know about politics, that Slade in Flame was a savage exposé of the pop world, and that The Exorcist revealed the meaning of life, then you probably spent far too many of your formative years at the cinema. Just as likely, you soon would have realised that there was only one career open to you - you'd have to become a film critic.
"As slick as his hair"
Understanding Y is a fresh and incisive book that offers a better understanding, appreciation, and awareness of the Millennial generation. In this groundbreaking work, author Charlie Caruso has amassed a diverse array of papers, articles, and journals from prominent individuals, noted entrepreneurs and best-selling authors who collectively explore how Gen Y thinks, interacts, and works. Understanding Y gives insight into the generation and examines their motivations and passions.
In this short book first published in 1910, the author seeks to prove how the seeds of mankind were black men, not white. He uses biblical arguments to make the argument. He also describes how this truth has been covered up by deliberate falsehood and malicious intent.
The Sunday Times and New York Times best-selling author of Damaged tells the true story of Donna, who came into foster care aged 10, having been abused, victimised, and rejected by her family. Donna has been in foster care with her two young brothers for three weeks when she is abruptly moved to Cathy's. When Donna arrives she is silent, withdrawn, and walks with her shoulders hunched forward and her head down.
C S Lewis's philosophical defence of Natural Law (absolute morality) - without which human beings are reduced to less than fully human, and are, thus 'abolished'. CS Lewis argues that objective value actually exists and that to believe otherwise is to create nonsense. Human beings appreciate values such as beauty and goodness because such things are part of reality - but if absolute morality is denied there will not be any progress for mankind as the things that matter most will be explained away.
The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation. They say that God became Man. Every other miracle prepares the way for this, or results from this.'This is the key statement of Miracles, in which C. S. Lewis shows that a Christian must not only accept but rejoice in miracles as a testimony of the unique personal involvement of God in his creation.
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 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"
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"
Completely off-the-wall, It's a Plot is a fascinating geographical and historical journey around Britain. The Tibetans have the Book of the Dead. This is Ann Treneman's Book of the Dead Interesting. The Times writer, best known for her hilarious parliamentary sketches, has branched out - to graveyards. In this riveting book - part travelogue, part biography, part social history - she takes you to the best graves in Britain.
"Interesting idea, but alas was rather dull"
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"
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.
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.
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.
The critical essays of V.S. Pritchett are unparalleled for their wit, geniality, subtlety and profound good sense. His survey of writers ranges from Fielding and Smollett to Conrad, D.H. Lawrence, Nathanael West and William Golding...from Balzac to Dostoevsky and Gorky, with wonderful detours for minor figures. Pritchett's commentaries are short and incisive and are written from the point of view of the engaged reader rather than from the specialized approach of the scholar and formal analyst of literary structure.
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.
"The perfect antidote to pessimism"
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.
Delete looks at the surprising phenomenon of perfect remembering in the digital age, and reveals why we must reintroduce our capacity to forget. Digital technology empowers us as never before, yet it has unforeseen consequences as well. Potentially humiliating content on Facebook is enshrined in cyberspace for future employers to see. Google remembers everything we've searched for and when.
Covering all the pressing food dilemmas of our times, What to Eat, by award-winning food writer Joanna Blythman, helps you make sensible, thoughtful, and practical choices about what to eat each day, irrespective of your income. Food should be one of life's greatest pleasures yet, increasingly, choosing it is becoming a chore. Bombarded by questions such as 'Is red meat bad for you?' and 'Is local always best?' it's difficult to know what to eat.
Losing weight has become the modern woman's Holy Grail.... Everything will be better when we're thin. In the 21st century, being thin, even more than being rich or happy, sends a clear message of success to the outside world. No wonder then that disordered eating is on the rise and we're increasingly unhappy with our bodies. The Ministry of Thin takes a controversial, unflinching look at how our desire to lose weight is out of control; at the widespread depression that results, the tyranny of celebrity culture and the dangerous extremes - including drip-diets and cosmetic surgery - to which we will go to be skinny.