The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
A bestseller when it was originally published in 1985, this collection of patients’ case histories by physician Oliver Sacks (1933–2015) explores their neurological disorders and the strategies they adopted to cope with them. The 24 cases include a man with a special form of visual agnosia, patients with Tourette’s syndrome, and the 'lost mariner' – a former sailor with no recent memory, isolated in a single moment of being. Slightly off-mint.
The Trip to Echo Spring
On Writers and Drinking
Having grown up in an alcoholic family, Olivia Laing felt drawn to investigate the link between drink and creativity through the lives and work of six great American authors: F Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, John Berryman, John Cheever and Raymond Carver. In a journey across the USA that is both exploratory and redemptive, she asks whether writing and addiction are fuelled by the same inner dissatisfaction, and contemplates the possibility of recovery.
A History of America
In Thirty-Six Postage Stamps
Each stamp discussed in this book has artistic merit in its own right, and the subjects chosen for the images represent some of the key people and events that have shaped the USA, from President Washington’s leadership to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Written for the general reader, this broad history is followed by an appendix with Scott catalogue numbers, designers’ names and issue dates.
The Great Reformer
Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope
The election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as Pope in 2013 surprised the world, and marked a change of emphasis for the Catholic church. Drawing on interviews in Argentina and informed by an extensive knowledge of that country, this biography reveals the way in which his experience of military dictatorship has shaped his concern for human rights and belief in a ‘Church of the Poor’. Slightly off-mint.
The Fall of Heaven
The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran
The overthrow of the last emperor of Iran, Mohamed Reza Pahlavi, in 1979 ushered in a new era of instability in the Middle East. With exclusive access to the Shah’s widow, the Islamic radicals who ousted them, and to White House officials, this assessment of the 50-year rule of the Pahlavis, father and son, also provides a detailed account of the events that brought it to an end.
Well Done God!
Selected Prose and Drama of BS Johnson
BS Johnson was an English experimental writer in the tradition of Joyce and Beckett. Since his death in 1973 his reputation has grown steadily, aided by his biographer Jonathan Coe, who introduces this selection. It includes the semi-autobiographical Aren’t You Rather Young To Be Writing Your Memoirs?, six radio and television plays, and newspaper and magazine articles on subjects from fishing to censorship, showcasing his unconventional but readable prose style.
City of Thorns
Nine Lives in the World's Largest Refugee Camp
Located deep in the north Kenyan desert, far from any other settlement, Dadaab is home to half a million refugees from Somalia and elsewhere. Over four years, Ben Rawlence came to know this sprawling city of mud, wood and plastic shacks. Through the stories of Tawane, a youth leader, Guled, a former child soldier who lives for football, the bright schoolgirl Kheyro, and six others, he shows that its inhabitants should not be reduced to statistics. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Places In Between
In 2002, shortly after the fall of the Taliban, Rory Stewart walked 300 miles through the remote highlands of Afghanistan. His account describes the landscape, society and his encounters with opium growers and mujahedin fighters. An afterword to this new edition reflects how more than a decade of foreign engagement has failed through a fundamental misunderstanding of the country’s traditions.
A Rage for Order
The Middle East in Turmoil, From Tahrir Square to Isis
This compelling book tells the dramatic story of the Arab Spring and its troubled aftermath through the lives of ordinary people, showing how the bright hopes of 2011 descended into civil war, autocracy and fanaticism. A Libyan rebel must decide whether to kill his brother’s murderer; a jihadi discovers that life in the Islamic State is far from paradise; and two young Syrian women’s friendship turns to enmity as their sects go to war.
Lost at Sea
The Jon Ronson Mysteries
Investigative journalist Jon Ronson is drawn to quirky and unusual stories and manages to write with humour while treating his subjects seriously. This collection of his writings from the Guardian, GQ and other publications covers a diverse range of topics from Church of England Alpha courses to psychics and alien investigators.
The Queen's Bed
An Intimate History of Elizabeth's Court
Drawing on the first-hand accounts of those who knew Elizabeth I most intimately – the ladies-in-waiting who shared her heavily curtained bedchamber, and sometimes even her bed – this engrossing book reconstructs the queen's apartments and navigates a web of gossip, intrigue, conspiracy and scandal to reveal the private face of Gloriana. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
A Sting in the Tale
My Adventures with Bumblebees
Once common in the Kentish marshes, the English short-haired bumblebee became extinct in the UK. Conservationist Dave Goulson tracked down a surviving colony in New Zealand and set about reintroducing them. His informative and entertaining account of his quest details the minutiae of life in the nest, and offers a stark warning about the effects of intensive farming on our bee population and the dangers we face if we continue down this path.
Sylvia, Queen of the Headhunters
An Eccentric Englishwoman and her Lost Kingdom
In one of the most bizarre episodes in British colonial history, the kingdom of Sarawak was ruled for generations by ‘white Rajas’, the Brooke family, with power of life and death over their Malay, Chinese and Dyak headhunter subjects. Philip Eade’s biography offers a glimpse into the wild and decadent world of Sylvia, the last Ranee, an extravagant writer and socialite who defied convention as she struggled to cling to power in the dying days of empire.
Rogerson's Book of Numbers
The Culture of Numbers from 1,001 Nights to the Seven Wonders of the World
Barnaby Rogerson counts down from the many millions of angels who could dance on a pin to the ultimate zero of Nirvana. On the way he delves into the cultural significance of important integers, explaining why 13 is unlucky in the West but 14 is the number to avoid in China, how John Buchan decided to write about 39 steps and which six patrician families were Rome’s greatest.
Hemingway in Love
His Own Story
In 1961, a few weeks before Hemingway took his own life, AE Hotchner visited his old friend for the last time. What the writer told him formed the final piece of the mystery Hemingway had been revealing down the years: the story of the affair that destroyed his marriage, and the woman who haunted his life and fiction. Withheld for decades out of consideration for his widow, this frank account reveals an unknown Hemingway: humble, thoughtful and full of regret.
The Woman Before Wallis
Prince Edward, the Parisian Courtesan, and the Perfect Murder
Two decades before he abdicated the throne of England for the love of Mrs Simpson, Prince Edward was, in the words of Andrew Rose, 'embroiled – along with a "Princess" and an Egyptian multi-millionaire – in a scandal which has been superbly airbrushed from history'. In this book Rose tells the full, previously hidden story of Edward's liaison with Marguerite Alibert in Paris during the First World War, and her subsequent trial for the murder of her Egyptian husband in the Savoy Hotel in London.
A physician, professor of neurology and author, Oliver Sacks (1933–2015) has been described by the New York Times as 'a kind of poet laureate of contemporary medicine'. His books are made up of case histories of his patients, and explore both their neurological disorders and the strategies they adopted to cope with them. In Seeing Voices, a journey into the world of the profoundly deaf, Sacks examines the consequences of living in silence, including the different ways in which the deaf and the hearing learn to categorize and convey the experience of their respective worlds.
The Age of Elizabeth II
Rocked by Suez and scandal, galvanized by Wilson's 'white heat of technology', tuned into the Beatles and polarized by Thatcher, the reign of Elizabeth II has seen Britain transformed from post-war austerity to the digital age. AN Wilson's ambitious social and cultural history combines broad narrative sweep with telling detail to portray an era in which imperial certainties crumbled before the complex realities of modern multi-cultural society.
United and divided by a river, London is one of the few world cities to find its essence in two profoundly contrasting yet nearly touching urban environments. The Italian artist Matteo Pericoli travelled the 20-mile stretch of the Thames from Hammersmith Bridge to the Millennium Dome to draw both banks of the river. His 25-foot-long folding panorama is accompanied by essays by two of the city's foremost contemporary chroniclers, North Londoner Iain Sinclair and southside resident Will Self.
A Point of View
Clive James was one of the most popular presenters of BBC Radio 4's A Point of View, talking for ten minutes about anything and everything that caught his attention. This book brings together his 60 talks, written amid the 'Swiftian scenario' offered by the years 2007–2009, and tackling everything from bankers to bad language in the certain knowledge that 'about three million of the brightest people in the country were within arm's reach of a button that could turn you off' – so his argument had better be good.
An Adventure History of Paris
Paris is one of the most alluring cities in the world; however well we know it, it never ceases to surprise. Reading this book, which retells its history through the lives of its inhabitants from Balzac to Baudelaire, Sartre to Sarkozy, is like stumbling upon a tiny restaurant frequented by eccentric locals. Robb is both a scholar and an adventurer, and from 250 years of urban history, he weaves a dazzling tapestry of fact and fantasy, memory and myth. Slightly off-mint.
A Buzz in the Meadow
The Natural History of a French Farm
Conservationist Dave Goulson wrote a much-acclaimed study of bumblebees in A Sting in the Tale, and this sequel reports on how he bought a patch of land in rural France and set about making it a perfect haven for bees and a sanctuary for other creatures and plants. His account of his careful work demonstrates the intricate ecosystem of the meadow, and explains how the modern world is increasingly incompatible with this natural balance.
The Language Wars
A History of Proper English
For centuries bitter arguments have raged over the correct usage of English, with ideas of correctness often having more to do with morality and politics than language itself. In a witty, combative and thought-provoking book, Hitchings presents the most persistent disputes, asking where ideas of 'proper' English have come from and assessing their implications for our relationships, work and freedoms.
An Anthropologist on Mars
Seven Paradoxical Tales
A physician, professor of neurology and author, Oliver Sacks (1933–2015) has been described by the New York Times as 'a kind of poet laureate of contemporary medicine'. His books are made up of case histories of his patients, and explore both their neurological disorders and the strategies they adopted to cope with them. The seven cases in this volume include a colour-blind painter, prodigious feats of calculation and draughtsmanship by savants, and an autistic professor of animal science. Slightly off-mint.
A physician, professor of neurology and author, Oliver Sacks (1933–2015) has been described by the New York Times as 'a kind of poet laureate of contemporary medicine'. His books are made up of case histories of his patients, and explore both their neurological disorders and the strategies they adopted to cope with them. In this book, Sacks draws on the stories of his patients and his own experiences with hallucinogenics to show how hallucinations have influenced every culture's folklore and art, and why the potential for hallucination is in all of us and not confined to the mentally ill. Slightly off-mint.
The Biographical Dictionary of Popular Music
From Adele to Ziggy, the Real A-Z of Rock and Pop
Entertaining and opinionated, Dylan Jones's survey of modern popular music comprises more than 350 entries, focusing on a personal selection of groups and solo artists and including anecdotes from many of his own experiences when interviewing the musicians. Other entries concern topics such as catwalk music, jazz-rock and rock'n'roll T shirts, reggae's greatest hits and the 75 best cover versions. American cut pages and Slightly off-mint condition.