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.
Smilla's Sense of Snow
When Smilla Jaspersen discovers that her neighbour, a neglected six-year-old boy, has died in a tragic accident, her intuition tells her it was murder. First published in 1992, this classic thriller introduced Scandi Noir to the world. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
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.
How Proust Can Change Your Life
Wearing his scholarship lightly and with great originality, critic and popular philosopher Alain de Botton approaches the task of reading Proust and profiting from the wisdom contained within his vast novel, In Search of Lost Time – ‘a practical, universally applicable story about how to stop wasting, and begin appreciating one’s life’.
Essays in Love
Why do we fall in love – and why do we break up? Written in the style of a novel, this genre-defying book charts the relationship of a man and a woman from the first kiss to the onset of anxiety and heartbreak, illuminating emotions we have all felt but perhaps never fully understood.
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.
From punk rock in the 1970s to the Paris catwalks today, Vivienne Westwood’s career has spanned almost five decades and created a living legend – punk proprietor of Let it Rock, fashion designer, global brand, activist and grandmother, still wearing impossibly tall shoes in her seventies. Written in collaboration with the biographer Ian Kelly, this memoir tells the story of her extraordinary trajectory – from early memories of Second World War rationing (‘everybody was knitting’) to creating outfits for the Duchess of Cornwall.
Mr Foote's Other Leg
The comedian and impressionist Samuel Foote (1720–77) was a superstar of the Georgian stage but was ruined by a media storm and two scandalous trials. This biography covers Foote’s early success with a true-crime book about his uncle’s murder; his long-forgotten satirical works; the roles he created; the disastrous practical joke that cost him a leg; and the ‘sodomitical’ circumstances of his fall from grace.
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.