The Novel-Writer's Toolkit
Your Ultimate Guide to Writing and Publishing a Successful Novel
There's a story deep inside you that's burning to be told. But you've never written much more than a thank-you note before. Where do you begin? Caroline Taggart brings together a team of novelists, editors, publishers and literary agents to provide insiders' information as well as practical advice on how to set about writing a novel and getting it published. This practical handbook includes over 150 pages of professional contacts, courses and competitions.
As Easy as Pi
Stuff about Numbers that isn't (just) Maths
Numbers are all-pervasive in our world; Pythagoras even said they rule the universe. This guide to the numbers of everyday life explains how they influence our religion, myth, fiction and linguistic idioms, why some numbers are considered lucky or unlucky, how they are exploited in games and scams, and their vital role in the realms of mathematics and science.
How to Skin a Lion
A Treasury of Outmoded Advice
This little volume draws on the accumulated wisdom of the British Library’s medieval manuscripts, Victorian manuals and early 20th century self-help guides to provide a wondrous rag-bag of information on matters as diverse as curing sea-sickness (the ‘cure’ includes tea and gingernuts); reading the future from coffee grounds; how to put back a dislocated jaw; and skinning the eponymous lion.
The Essential Gaelic–English / English–Gaelic Dictionary
A combined, updated edition of Angus Watson’s well-established reference works for learners of Scottish Gaelic, this dictionary presents a rich cross-section of the language, covering both the traditional song and sayings of the past and the vocabulary of new contexts including administration, politics and information technology. With the learner in mind, the dictionary provides explanatory information on headwords, as many examples of actual usage as space will allow, and tables of the Gaelic article, irregular verbs and prepositional pronouns.
Collins Easy Learning Italian Dictionary
Designed specifically for anyone starting to learn Italian, this dictionary has several invaluable features for the novice. As well as clearly laid out headwords, translations and examples of usage in the Italian–English, English–Italian listings, there are sections on pronunciation, Italian verbs and ‘Italian in Action’, which includes lists of common words and phrases and information on topics such as writing letters, email and texts.
The Accidental Apostrophe
...and Other Misadventures in Punctuation
When it comes to punctuation, many experts leave it to the writer’s judgement – but what use is that if you’ve never been taught the difference between a colon and a semicolon, or where those pesky apostrophes go? This accessible, light-hearted guide clarifies the rules, shows how punctuation can help you get your meaning across clearly, and explains what you can get away with and what simply won’t do.
Brewer's Dictionary of London Phrase and Fable
Like the original Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, the London version contains much more than sayings and stories: as well as London-related entries from other Brewer's dictionaries, it includes geographical information, selected articles from Chambers Dictionary of Literary Characters and over 1,000 completely new entries. This A-Z, from 'abandoned habits' (not quite what you would assume) to the Zoroastrian Centre (in a former cinema on Rayner's Lane), is the essential London reference book you didn't know you needed.
Based on Original Fuji, Meguro, one of the most popular prints from 100 Views of Edo by Ando Higoshige (1797–1858), a delicately coloured Japanese landscape embossed on foil provides the cover of this notebook. It is one of a luxurious series with 176 ruled pages of cream paper, scarlet endpapers, a silk marker and a pocket for loose papers. The book closes with a solid magnetic side flap.
Mensa Riddles and Conundrums
Over 100 Games and Puzzles to Sharpen Your Wits and Challenge Your Intelligence
Devised by Mensa, the high IQ society, this set contains the boards and pieces for chess and solitaire, tangram, pentominoes, the matchstick game and jailbreak, as well as a 72-page book of brain benders, cryptic crosswords and rules for the games. This diverse collection of over 100 puzzles and games will exercise your brain for weeks, but you don’t need a massive IQ: we are assured that logical thinking and persistence will prevail. Boxed set.
The British Pub Quiz Challenge
60 Quiz Cards
With 1,800 questions and answers arranged in 120 quizzes, this set of 60 cards is ideal for cramming facts and figures before the local pub quiz (best not take them with you), quizzing with friends, or playing general knowledge patience on your own. Slipcased.
History of Britain in Maps
Including the earliest known map of pre-Roman roads and one showing Beeching's proposed cuts to the railways in the early 1960s, Philip Parker presents reproductions of around 90 maps and uses the complex information they contain to trace the history of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland from prehistory to the 2016 EU Referendum. The book illustrates how maps reflect not only the cartographer’s skill and geographical knowledge, but also the preoccupations of their times and, not infrequently, the political motives of their makers.
Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing
Encounters with the Mysteries and Meanings of Language
Daniel Tammet, author of the bestselling memoir Born on a Blue Day, here draws on his own experiences as an autistic person and a polyglot to explore what the intricacies and oddities of human language can teach us about ourselves. His 15 essays cover such topics as the art of translation, sign languages, the music and patterns of words, the grammar of telephone conversations and the rules that prescribe acceptable Icelandic names. Slightly off-mint.
Solve it Like Sherlock
Stewart Ross invites readers to test their powers of reasoning against those of the world’s most famous detective. The first part of the book sets out the stories of 25 ‘newly discovered’ cases and, from the evidence they contain, we must unravel the mystery; the second part explains how Holmes correctly interpreted the facts to solve 24 of the 25 cases.
The Writing on the Wall
100 Iconic Blue Plaques Commemorating Britain's History
Across Britain, blue plaques on houses record the notable people who lived there: writers, artists, musicians, actors, sportsmen and women, scientists, politicians and social reformers. In this celebration of individual achievement, Mike Read, who helped create a series of plaques for BBC Music Day in 2017, presents 100 of these memorials. Each entry tells the story of the personality commemorated, from David Bowie to William Shakespeare, and contains an often surprising link to the next featured plaque.
The Ultimate World War II Quiz Book
1,000 Questions and Answers to Test Your Knowledge
With 1,000 questions on the war, from the years leading up to the conflict to its aftermath, and across continents, this quiz book draws on the Imperial War Museum archives and photographic collections to test your knowledge of the Second World War.
Never Eat Shredded Wheat
Weird Ways to Remember Things
After introducing some of the strategies used to fix things in memory, such as key words and memory palaces, this source book of mnemonics is arranged in ten chapters on subjects from British history (No Point Letting Your Trousers Slip Half Way is for the royal dynasties) to difficult spellings (Memorizers Need Easy Methods Of Noting Important Content).
Ring a Ring O'Roses
The Origins and Meanings of Old Rhymes
From the simple explanation of ‘Jack be nimble, Jack be quick’ to the impenetrable nonsense of ‘Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle’, Diana Ferguson presents familiar nursery rhymes, discusses their origins and interpretation and reveals the often multiple identities of characters such as Little Tommy Tucker and Lucy Locket.
11 Explorations into Life on Earth
Christmas Lectures from the Royal Institution
The Royal Institution’s Christmas Lectures have been televised since 1966. Introduced by David Attenborough, this selection explores the mysteries of human and animal behaviour, and includes talks by Desmond Morris, Richard Dawkins and Sue Hartley.
All That Glisters...
And Other Quotations You Should Know
Handpicked to ‘make you sound clever, or sympathetic, or worldly wise’, this selection of short quotations, with commentaries, is arranged in broad topics, beginning with the meaning of life and ending with useless knowledge (‘There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge’ – Bertrand Russell), and draws on sources of wisdom from the Bible to Zsa Zsa Gabor.
13 Journeys Through Space and Time
Christmas Lectures from the Royal Institution
With a foreword by the British astronaut Tim Peake, this selection of festive lectures by world-class scientists and astronomers includes Bernard Lovell and Martin Ryle on the exploration of the universe, Carl Sagan on the planets, and Kevin Fong on how to survive in space.
The Beano: Dennis the Menace
8 Varnished and Ready-to-Frame Art Prints
The eight ready-to-frame posters in this collection all feature Dennis the Menace, the well-known rascal of Beano fame, along with Gnasher the dog, Desperate Dan, the Bash Street Kids and other favourites. The brightly coloured and varnished ilustrations, each depicting a scene of comic chaos, span 50 years from the first Beano Book to the Beano's 50th edition.
and Other Oxymorons
From ‘alcohol-free wine’ in the Home Comforts chapter to ‘serially monogamous’ in Uncomplicated Relationships, Simon Brett presents a collection of oxymorons – ‘the undiscovered beauties of the English Language’ – that includes the obvious (‘safe bet’), those that need a bit of explanation (victimless crime), and some tongue-in-cheek (Young Conservative).
Jedburgh Justice and Kentish Fire
This investigation into the origin of phrases and sayings organizes them into 50 themed lists, each containing ten examples. There are ways of saying ‘dead’ – including ‘bought the farm’ and ‘pushing up daisies’ – and terms that use numbers, such as ‘forty winks’ and ‘dressed to the nines’. The expressions in the title derive from Jedburgh’s reputation for summary executions and the disruptive jeering of public speakers by the people of Kent.
The Centenary of the Crossword
The Story of the World's Most Popular Puzzle
In this celebratory volume, one of the world’s foremost setters explains how crosswords have evolved and grown in popularity since the appearance of the very first ‘Word-Cross’ in 1913. He also presents an international selection of 50 sample puzzles (in addition to Spike Milligan’s one-letter ‘Crossword for Idiots’), provides tips on solving the different types of cryptic clue and profiles some of the greatest setters, editors and champion solvers.
The Total Poker Manual
This well-illustrated guide provides profiles of leading international players and advice on every aspect of competitive poker. Aimed primarily at the players of online poker games and participants and aspirants to the ever-more popular leagues and tournaments, the manual offers 266 tips including how to rapidly calculate odds and how to read your opponents' tells.
501 Unarmed Self-Defense Skills
Including techniques and strategies from a range of martial arts, the tips in this manual focus on how to protect and defend yourself in real-life situations. Line illustrations demonstrate the most effective punches, kicks and grappling moves, and there is advice on mental training, keeping fit and how to combat armed assailants.
Maps Poster Book
An entertaining introduction to geography for primary school-age children, the large-format posters in this book feature hand-drawn maps of 28 countries and regions, including India, China, USA and Antarctica. Each map labels the key cities, rivers and landscape features, and the illustrations mark famous buildings, identify local produce and wildlife and indicate the cultural pursuits and historical personalities associated with each place.
For Who the Bell Tolls
One Man's Quest for Grammatical Perfection
Some language rules are worth knowing – but which ‘rules’ just make clear communication harder? The editor of the Guardian’s style guide cites authorities including Shakespeare, Bart Simpson and Kirsty MacColl as he explains the grammatical principles (not ‘principals’) that will help to perfect your writing. He also advises on the correct choice of words and urges us to resist jargon, euphemisms and the journalistic mistreatment of ‘ironic’ and ‘iconic’.
Words of a Feather
An Etymological Exploration of Astonishing Word Pairs
Rooting out etymological links between words that, at first glance, appear to have nothing to do with each other, Graeme Donald unearths much more than simple definitions: an investigation of ‘Achieve’ and ‘Handkerchief’ starts with Roman gladiators and ends with the introduction of snuff; ‘Cockpit’ and ‘Cocktail’ encompass ship’s surgeons in wooden warships and horse-racing; while ‘Panties’ and ‘Pantechnicon’ takes us back to 303 CE and the martyrdom of St Pantaleon.
Dent's Modern Tribes
The Secret Languages of Britain
Hobbies and professions all have their unique and colourful jargon, which is often completely baffling to outsiders. But now Countdown’s resident word expert has decoded these mysterious idioms by interviewing hundreds of members of Britain’s ‘tribes’, from twitchers to spies. Here she presents the idiosyncratic vocabulary that she has learned, so that you too can discover why bin collectors love a ‘Tiffany’, what a publisher means by ‘deckle’ and how ticket inspectors discreetly request back-up.
The Right Word
Making Sense of the Words That Confuse
Homophones – words that sound the same but have different spellings and different meanings – can be a problem for both native English speakers and those learning the language. This clear, cross-referenced guide sets out homophones from a/A/eh to You’ll/Yule, with definitions for each word and examples of usage, plus a listing of words such as Flaunt and Flout that are often confused.
The Stories of Slang
Language at its Most Human
Using his database of 130,000 words and phrases, the lexicographer known as ‘Mr Slang’ explains the origins of some of the most witty, colourful and disreputable expressions in the English language. He takes us into the worlds of boxers, drunken sailors, doctors and lovers, as well as the more literary realms of PG Wodehouse and Shakespeare, that master of the double entendre who is the earliest source for nearly 300 slang terms.
This children's reference book presents colourful and attractive maps of the world alongside information about the culture and history of countries and regions. The pages include fact boxes, statistics and photographs of notable sites, buildings, natural wonders, local people and wildlife. There are also games and quizzes to play, a section on flags of the world, and links to further content online. Age 7+
The Superior Person's Book of Words
Peter Bowler’s 'superior person' has command of words such as egregious, quotidian and uxorious, and 'we yield to him in debate, not because his arguments are more cogent, but because they are less intelligible'. This A–Z of 500 words could set the reader on the road to superiority. The definitions are accompanied by the all-important notes on usage, lest one lose lexical credibility.
How to Sound Really Clever
600 Words You Need to Know
The sequel to How to Sound Clever, this compendium presents over 600 useful and slightly more unusual words. Each entry is presented with clear definitions and guidance on pronunciation and usage, along with the word’s linguistic roots and everyday examples. Associated idioms such as ‘feet of clay’ are explored through stories from history, mythology and daily life.