Diana Wynne Jones is best-known for her novels and stories – of magical fantasy – written mainly for children. She received a World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2007, as well as two Mythopoeic Awards and the Guardian Fiction Award for Charmed Life. But she was also a witty, entertaining speaker, a popular guest at science fiction and fantasy conventions and an engaged, scholarly critic of writing that interested her.
This collection of more than twenty-five papers, chosen by Diana herself, includes fascinating literary criticism (such as a study of narrative structure in The Lord of the Rings and a ringing endorsement of the value of learning Anglo Saxon) alongside autobiographical anecdotes about reading tours (including an account of her famous travel jinx), revelations about the origins of her books, and thoughts in general about the life of an author and the value of writing. The longest autobiographical piece, ‘Something About the Author’, details Diana’s extraordinary childhood and is illustrated with family photographs. Reflections is essential reading for anyone interested in Diana’s works, fantasy or creative writing.
The collection features a foreword by Neil Gaiman and an introduction and interview by Charlie Butler, a respected expert on fantasy writing.
George Orwell - Essays
Includes 'The Freedom of the Press', intended as the preface to 'Animal Farm' but undiscovered until 1972. Considered by Noam Chomsky to be Orwell's most important essay. These essays demonstrate the life and work of one of the most individual writers of the last century.
Hanif Kureishi - My Beautiful Laundrette and Other Writings
Hanif Kureishi's groundbreaking 1984 screenplay My Beautiful Laundrette immediately received an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay. In addition to his screenplays and fiction Kureishi is also the author of several popular essays which are collected here, together with My Beautiful Laundrette, in a single volume for the first time. This remarkable collection shows the emergence of a major writer who is equally at home in the diverse worlds of film, fiction and non-fiction. It proves without doubt that Hanif Kureishi is one of Britain's most enduring literary talents.
Nick Hornby - The Complete Polysyllabic Spree
The Polysyllabic Spree collects a year's worth of Hornby’s riotous and informative "Stuff I’ve Been Reading" columns from the Believer, in which Hornby lists the books he’s read, along with what he bought and may one day read. He ably explores everything from the classic to the graphic novel, as well as poems, plays, and sports-related exposés. And if he occasionally implores a biographer for brevity, or abandons a literary work in favor of an Arsenal soccer match, then all is not lost. His warm and riotous writing, full of all the joy and surprise and despair that books bring him, reveals why we still read, even when there's soccer on TV, a pram in the hall, and a good band playing at our local bar. All proceeds from the book will be split between 826NYC, a writing center in Brooklyn offering free classes to students between the ages of 8 and 18, and Treehouse, a London-based charity for kids with autism.
Kurt Vonnegut - Fates Worse Than Death
"Honest and scarily funny, and it offers a rare insight into an author who has customarily hidden his heart."--New York Times "An anthology in which Vonnegut freely quotes himself on everything from art and architecture to madness and mass murder...Uncompromising."--Los Angeles Times Here we have a collection of essays and speeches by me, with breezy autobiographical commentary serving as connective tissue and splints and bandages. Here we go again with real life and opinions made to look like one big, preposterous animal not unlike an invention by Dr. Seuss... --Kurt Vonnegut, from Fates Worse Than Death
Caitlin Moran - Moranifesto
'I’ve lived through ten iOS upgrades on my Mac – and that’s just something I use to muck about on Twitter. Surely capitalism is due an upgrade or two?’ When Caitlin Moran sat down to choose her favourite pieces for her new book she realised that they all seemed to join up. Turns out, it’s the same old problems and the same old ass-hats. Then she thought of the word ‘Moranifesto’, and she knew what she had to do… This is Caitlin’s engaging and amusing rallying call for our times. Combining the best of her recent columns with lots of new writing unique to this book, Caitlin deals with topics as pressing and diverse as 1980s swearing, benefits, boarding schools, and why the internet is like a drunken toddler. And whilst never afraid to address the big issues of the day – such as Benedict Cumberbatch and duffel coats – Caitlin also makes a passionate effort to understand our 21st century society and presents us with her ‘Moranifesto’ for making the world a better place. The polite revolution starts here! Please.
Sophie Hannah - Closed Casket
The world's most famous detective returns in this ingenious, stylish, and altogether delicious mystery from the author of the instant bestseller The Monogram Murders ("I was thrilled" -- Gillian Flynn). "What I intend to say to you will come as a shock..." With these words, Lady Athelinda Playford -- one of the world's most beloved children's authors -- springs a surprise on the lawyer entrusted with her will. As guests arrive for a party at her Irish mansion, Lady Playford has decided to cut off her two children without a penny . . . and leave her vast fortune to someone else: an invalid who has only weeks to live. Among Lady Playford's visitors are two strangers: the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and Inspector Edward Catchpool of Scotland Yard. Neither knows why he has been invited -- until Poirot begins to wonder if Lady Playford expects a murder. But why does she seem so determined to provoke a killer? And why -- when the crime is committed despite Poirot's best efforts to stop it -- does the identity of the victim make no sense at all? Addictive, ferociously clever, and packed with clues, wit, and murder, Closed Casket is a triumph from the author whose work is "as tricky as anything written by Agatha Christie" (Alexander McCall Smith, The New York Times Book Review).
Arthur C. Clarke - Tales from Planet Earth
If you want an omnibus of short fiction by Arthur C. Clarke, a Science Fiction Writers of America Grand Master, then you want _The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke_. If you're looking for a representative sample of Clarke's short stories, or for some examples of the creative and extrapolative abilities that established Clarke as one of science fiction's greatest and most important writers, then check out _Tales from Planet Earth_. Tales from Planet Earth ranges widely across time, but the stories are centered on our home world. Many SF writers confine their visions of earth to its flatlands, but Clarke is three-dimensional; his stories "Hate," "The Deep Range," and "The Man Who Ploughed the Sea" plunge into the ocean, while "The Cruel Sky" ascends the Himalayas. Some stories, like "The Other Tiger" and "'If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth...'," end on chilling twists. "The Road to the Sea" spans centuries and millennia to explore how humanity's exodus to the stars may affect the world left behind. "Hate" considers how transcendence of the Earth's atmosphere may affect ancient enmities. "The Parasite" demonstrates a scary nastiness not usually associated with Clarke. "The Wall of Darkness" is set on an alternate-universe earth so different from ours, and "The Lion of Comarre" is set in a future so far away, that both stories feel like fantasy; but both are rigorously extrapolated from scientific theory. Two lighthearted entertainments, "The Next Tenants" and "The Man Who Ploughed the Sea," are from Tales of the White Hart. All of the stories in _Tales from Planet Earth_ are recommended. The iBooks 2001 Anniversary Edition of _Tales from Planet Earth_ collects 14 SF stories first published between 1950 and 1987.
Nora Ephron - Crazy Salad and Scribble Scribble
Two classic collections of Nora Ephron’s uproarious essays—tackling everything from feminism to the media, from politics to beauty products, with her inimitable charm and distinctive wit—now available in one book for the first time. This edition brings together some of Ephron’s most famous writing on a generation of women (and men) who helped shape the way we live now, and on events ranging from the Watergate scandal to the Pillsbury Bake-Off. In these sharp, hilariously entertaining, and vividly observed pieces, Ephron illuminates an era with wicked honesty and insight. From the famous “A Few Words About Breasts” to important pieces on her time working for the New York Post and Gourmet Magazine, these essays show Ephron at her very best.
Tony Parsons - On Life, Death and Breakfast
The bestselling author of MAN AND BOY turns his acute eye and pen to the biggest personal issues that face us -- as well as the annoying grit in the eye of everyday life. In this dazzling collection of essays, Tony Parsons reveals why, long before he became a bestselling novelist, he was an award-winning journalist. All facets of modern life are captured here - viewed from the sometimes outrageous, often controversial, and wildly entertaining perspective of our outspoken commentator. Men and women. Straying and staying. The sound of real guns and the fashion for fake breasts. What we should do about gobby yobs, junk sex and performance anxiety. Where cars and football went wrong. The myth of the mid-life crisis. The heartbreak of saying goodbye to your parents. Why Bobby Moore's smile holds the key to the universe. How true love and learning to box can save the modern male. Life, death and even a bit of breakfast! All of it served up with a side of common sense, lightly-buttered passion and lashings of hilarity.
M. R. James - Complete Ghost Stories
The art of telling a ghost story is a refined one, and Montague Rhodes James was a master of the genre. He draws the reader into a narrative that at first seems innocuous, but which becomes darker and darker by gentle turns until he transfixes you with his prose, creating the most unforgettable, alarming and frightening images. Complete Ghost Stories by M. R. James contains all his timeless masterpieces from the four collections of his eerie tales: Ghost Stories of an Antiquary (1904), More Ghost Stories of an Antiquary (1911), A Thin Ghost and Others (1919), and A Warning to the Curious and Other Ghost Stories (1925). This beautiful Macmillan Collector's Library edition features an afterword by author and playwright David Stuart Davies. Designed to appeal to the booklover, the Macmillan Collector's Library is a series of beautiful gift editions of much loved classic titles. Macmillan Collector's Library are books to love and treasure.
Aleister Crowley - The Drug and Other Stories
With an Introduction by William Breeze and a Foreword by David Tibet. This volume brings together the uncollected short fiction of the poet, writer and religious philosopher Aleister Crowley (1875 1947). Crowley was a successful critic, editor and author of fiction from 1908 to 1922, and his short stories are long overdue for discovery. Of the forty-nine stories in the present volume, only thirty were published in his lifetime. Most of the rest appear here for the first time. Like their author, Crowley s stories are fun, smart, witty, thought-provoking and sometimes unsettling. They are set in places he had lived and knew well: Belle Epoque Paris, Edwardian London, pre-revolutionary Russia and America during the first World War. The title story The Drug stands as one of the first if not the first accounts of a psychedelic experience. His Black and Silver is a knowing early noir discovery that anticipates an entire genre. Atlantis is a masterpiece of occult fantasy, a dark satire that can stand with Samuel Butler s Erewhon. Frank Harris considered The Testament of Magdalen Blair the most terrifying tale ever written. Extensive editorial end-notes give full details about the stories.
Iris Murdoch - Living on Paper
‘Love is the extremely difficult realisation that something other than oneself is real’ This selection of Iris Murdoch’s most interesting and important letters gives us a living portrait of one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers and thinkers. Here for the first time is Murdoch in her own words, from her schoolgirl days to her last years. The letters show a great mind at work – we watch the young Murdoch struggling with philosophical issues, often unsure of herself; witness her anguish when a novel won’t come together; observe her involved in world events and exploring sensuality. They are full of sharp humour and irreverence. They also reveal her personal life, the subject of much speculation, in all its intriguing complexity: her emotional hunger and her tendency to live on the edge of what was socially acceptable. Gradually, we see how this fed into her novels’ plots and characters, despite her claims that her fiction was not drawn from reality. Quite apart from giving these valuable insights, her letters bring us closer than ever before to Iris Murdoch as a person. They make for an extraordinary and intimate reading experience: she is wonderful company.
Ronald B. Shwartz - For the Love of Books
For this ultimate book lover's guide, more than one hundred distinguished writers share their personal thoughts in response to the question: what books have left the greatest impression on you and why? The result is not a contrived list of Western civilization's "Great Books," but a heartfelt commentary on works that these lifelong readers most admire.
Zadie Smith - Feel Free
Arranged into five sections--In the World, In the Audience, In the Gallery, On the Bookshelf, and Feel Free--this new collection poses questions we immediately recognize. What is The Social Network--and Facebook itself--really about? "It's a cruel portrait of us: 500 million sentient people entrapped in the recent careless thoughts of a Harvard sophomore." Why do we love libraries? "Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay." What will we tell our granddaughters about our collective failure to address global warming? "So I might say to her, look: the thing you have to appreciate is that we'd just been through a century of relativism and deconstruction, in which we were informed that most of our fondest-held principles were either uncertain or simple wishful thinking, and in many areas of our lives we had already been asked to accept that nothing is essential and everything changes--and this had taken the fight out of us somewhat." Gathering in one place for the first time previously unpublished work, as well as already classic essays, such as, "Joy," and, "Find Your Beach," Feel Free offers a survey of important recent events in culture and politics, as well as Smith's own life. Equally at home in the world of good books and bad politics, Brooklyn-born rappers and the work of Swiss novelists, she is by turns wry, heartfelt, indignant, and incisive--and never any less than perfect company. This is literary journalism at its zenith.
Rudyard Kipling - The Classic Works of Rudyard Kipling
This must-have collection includes Kipling's well loved stories including The Jungle Book, the Just So Stories, Stalky & Co. and of course Kim. Explore the wild world of Baloo the bear, discover the political conflict of The Great Game and lose yourself in Kipling's immersive prose in this essential part of any reader's bookshelf. Suitable for children and adults alike, the power of Kipling shows no signs of letting up.
Noel Streatfeild - Magic and the Magician: E. Nesbit and Her Children's Books
Magic and the Magician is generally described as a "biography" of E. Nesbit. In fact, more than half the book is devoted to a study of Nesbit's characters, and the biographical material concentrates almost exclusively on her childhood. Noel herself says that the book "is not intended to be a life of E. Nesbit, but an attempt only to understand her magic, and from what it sprang"
George Orwell - Shooting an Elephant and Other Essays
'Shooting An Elephant' is Orwell's searing account of his experience as a police officer in imperial Burma: killing an escaped elephant in front of a crowd "solely to avoid looking a fool". The other masterly essays in this collection include classics such as 'My Country Right Or Left', 'How The Poor Die' and 'Such Were The Joys', his memoir of the horrors of public school, as well as discussions of Shakespeare, sleeping rough, boys' weeklies and a spirited defence of English cooking. Opinionated, uncompromising, provocative and hugely entertaining, all show Orwell's unique ability to get to the heart of any subject.
Ismeretlen szerző - Poolside
Poolside is a waterproof collection of fourteen stories about the satisfactions (and tribulations) of swimming lessons, summer scenes at club pools, chance encounters at the rec center-and just plain floating. The perfect companion for a day of dipping and people watching, Poolside is as necessary as sunscreen for achieving maximum poolside bliss. Poolside features internationally acclaimed authors Alice Adams, John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates, David Foster Wallace, Ernest Hemingway, John Cheever, and AM Homes, as well as emerging voices such as Julie Orringer and Andrea Lee.
Peter F. Hamilton - Manhattan in Reverse
Peter F. Hamilton has earned both critical acclaim and a devoted following for such interstellar epics as The Night's Dawn Trilogy and Fallen Dragon. He has also created a small but memorable body of shorter fiction as compelling and carefully crafted as his longer, more characteristic work. Manhattan in Reverse, Hamilton's first collection since A Second Chance at Eden appeared in 1998, is a genuine publishing event, offering seven compact examples of their author's imaginative range and sheer narrative virtuosity. The opening novella, 'Watching Trees Grow,' is an enthralling, multi-layered account of a murder investigation that encompasses hundreds of years, a multitude of worlds, and an astonishing array of technological advances. 'If at First...' is a witty, wholly original take on the theory--and unexpected consequences--of time travel. 'The Forever Kitten' is a marvel of compression that addresses one possible application of a nascent rejuvenation technology. The title story brings back Paula Myo, the detective heroine of Hamilton's Commonwealth novels. In this never-before-published novella, which takes place in the aftermath of Judas Unchained, Paula travels to the frontier planet of Menard, where she brings her puzzle-solving skills to bear on an escalating conflict between the planet's 'non-sentient' inhabitants and the hordes of newly arrived settlers. Like the best of Hamilton's earlier work, Manhattan in Reverse is a treasure trove of pure narrative delights. Intelligent, surprising, and lovingly detailed, these resonant tales are the mature products of a gifted storyteller, a man with a powerful--and seemingly limitless--imagination.