Christopher Isherwood - Christopher and His Kind
Originally published in 1976, Christopher and His Kind covers the most memorable ten years in the writer's life-from 1929, when Isherwood left England to spend a week in Berlin and decided to stay there indefinitely, to 1939, when he arrived in America. His friends and colleagues during this time included W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender, and E. M. Forster, as well as colorful figures he met in Germany and later fictionalized in his two Berlin novels-who appeared again, fictionalized to an even greater degree, in I Am a Camera and Cabaret. What most impressed the first readers of this memoir, however, was the candor with which he describes his life in gay Berlin of the 1930s and his struggles to save his companion, a German man named Heinz, from the Nazis. An engrossing and dramatic story and a fascinating glimpse into a little-known world, Christopher and His Kind remains one of Isherwood's greatest achievements. A major figure in twentieth-century fiction and the gay rights movement, Christopher Isherwood (1904-1986) is the author of Down There on a Visit, Lions and Shadows, A Meeting by the River, The Memorial, Prater Violet, A Single Man, and The World in the Evening, all available from the University of Minnesota Press.
Stephen Fry - Moab is My Washpot
A number one bestseller in Britain that topped the lists there for months, Stephen Fry's astonishingly frank, funny, wise memoir is the book that his fans everywhere have been waiting for. Since his PBS television debut in the Blackadder series, the American profile of this multitalented writer, actor and comedian has grown steadily, especially in the wake of his title role in the film Wilde, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination, and his supporting role in A Civil Action. Fry has already given readers a taste of his tumultuous adolescence in his autobiographical first novel, The Liar, and now he reveals the equally tumultuous life that inspired it. Sent to boarding school at the age of seven, he survived beatings, misery, love affairs, carnal violation, expulsion, attempted suicide, criminal conviction and imprisonment to emerge, at the age of eighteen, ready to start over in a world in which he had always felt a stranger. One of very few Cambridge University graduates to have been imprisoned prior to his freshman year, Fry is a brilliantly idiosyncratic character who continues to attract controversy, empathy and real devotion. This extraordinary and affecting book has "a tragic grandeur that lifts it to classic status," raved the Financial Times in one of the many ecstatic British reviews. Stephen Fry's autobiography, in turns funny, shocking, sad, bruisingly frank and always compulsively readable, could well become a classic gay coming-of-age memoir.
James Herriot - If Only They Could Talk
The first book by legendary vet James Herriot. Set in 1930's Yorkshire, it warms the heart and tickles the funny bone. The characters are as rough-hewn as the Yorkshire Dales they inhabit. They draw you into their world with their charm. A youthful Herriot struggles to come to terms with his new environment, relishing the challenge. A great read and a good laugh !!
William Shakespeare - The Norton Shakespeare
The text is based on the Oxford Edition, which brings readers closer to Shakespeare's plays as they were first acted than was ever before possible. This Second Edition introduces new scholarship and editorial features that invite readers afresh to Shakespeare's plays and poems. Stephen Greenblatt's dazzling introduction, updated for this edition, creates a window into the culture of early modern England; Shakespeare's life in the theater; and the businesses of printing, publishing, and textual editing. The works themselves are enhanced with lively introductions, also updated, as well as ample glosses, annotations, a textual note, and new annotated bibliographies and filmographies. Andrew Gurr's essay, „The Shakespearean Stage”; a new timeline; new maps; a glossary of theater and printing terms; contextual documents; and redesigned genealogies provide additional help for readers.
Graham Chapman - John Cleese - Terry Gilliam - Eric Idle - Terry Jones - Michael Palin - Bob McCabe - The Pythons' Autobiography by the Pythons
Over thirty years ago, a group of six Englishmen - well, one was Welsh and another an interloping American - rewrote the rules of comedy. Monty Python's Flying Circus, an unheralded, previously unseen half-hour show of sketches, hilarities, inanities and animations, first appeared on the BBC late one night in 1969. Its impact has been felt the world over ever since. From its humble beginnings, it blossomed into the most influential movement in modern comedy. THE PYTHONS' AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF THE PYTHONS is a unique look at arguably the most important comic team of the modern age, with 64 pages of photographs, many culled from the team's own personal collections, and many more seen for the first time. This is the definitive word on all things Pythonesque.
James Herriot - All Creatures Great and Small
In the summer of 1940, fresh out of Veterinary College, James Herriot joined the practice of Dr. Siegfried Farnon. Times were hard, jobs were scarce and James was lucky to have found a meager assistant’s position in a thriving small-town animal practice. How lucky, he didn’t yet know. But as the story unfolds, his passion for all animal life (both big and small), his love of the Yorkshire, England countryside and even a budding romance with his future wife take shape. All of this shines through in the words of a veterinarian who truly loved what he did.
Helen Macdonald - H is for Hawk
Winner of the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize. 'In real life, goshawks resemble sparrowhawks the way leopards resemble housecats. Bigger, yes. But bulkier, bloodier, deadlier, scarier, and much, much harder to see. Birds of deep woodland, not gardens, they're the birdwatchers' dark grail.' As a child Helen Macdonald was determined to become a falconer. She learned the arcane terminology and read all the classic books, including T. H. White's tortured masterpiece, _The Goshawk,_ which describes White's struggle to train a hawk as a spiritual contest. When her father dies and she is knocked sideways by grief, she becomes obsessed with the idea of training her own goshawk. She buys Mabel for GBP800 on a Scottish quayside and takes her home to Cambridge. Then she fills the freezer with hawk food and unplugs the phone, ready to embark on the long, strange business of trying to train this wildest of animals. 'To train a hawk you must watch it like a hawk, and so gain the ability to predict what it will do next. Eventually you don't see the hawk's body language at all. You seem to feel what it feels. The hawk's apprehension becomes your own. As the days passed and I put myself in the hawk's wild mind to tame her, my humanity was burning away.' Destined to be a classic of nature writing, _H is for Hawk_ is a record of a spiritual journey - an unflinchingly honest account of Macdonald's struggle with grief during the difficult process of the hawk's taming and her own untaming. At the same time, it's a kaleidoscopic biography of the brilliant and troubled novelist T. H. White, best known for _The Once and Future King._ It's a book about memory, nature and nation, and how it might be possible to try to reconcile death with life and love.
Bertrand Russell - Autobiography
Bertrand Russell remains one of the greatest philosophers and most complex and controversial figures of the twentieth century. Here, in this frank, humorous and decidedly charming autobiography, Russell offers readers the story of his life – introducing the people, events and influences that shaped the man he was to become. Originally published in three volumes in the late 1960s, Autobiography by Bertrand Russell is a revealing recollection of a truly extraordinary life written with the vivid freshness and clarity that has made Bertrand Russell’s writings so distinctively his own.
Graham Greene - The End of the Affair
The love affair between Maurice Bendix and Sarah, flourishing in the turbulent times of the London Blitz, ends when she suddenly and without explanation breaks it off. Two years later, after a chance meeting, Bendix hires a private detective to follow Sarah, and slowly his love for her turns into an obsession.
Stephen Fry - The Fry Chronicles
“I am English. Tweedy. Pukka. Confident. Establishment. Self-assured. In charge. That is how people like to see me, be the truth never so variance… In fact, I am chronically overmastered by a sense of failure, underachievement and a terrible knowledge that I have betrayed, abused or neglected the talents that nature bestowed upon me… Are you not prey to all those things also? I do hope so… I am surely describing nothing more than the fears, dreads and neuroses we all share? No? More or less? Mutatis mutandis? All things being equal? Oh, please say yes.”
Agatha Christie - An Autobiography
In an all-new edition, an engaging and illuminating chronicle of the life of the “Queen of Mystery,” complete with a bonus CD featuring the voice of the grande dame herself Agatha Christie was a woman of mystery, in every sense of the word. Her novels made her the world’s best-selling author, but her private life was hidden from view. For many years she dodged reporters and gave no interviews, and for a brief time she famously disappeared. She started writing her autobiography in April 1950 and finished it fifteen years later, when she was seventy-five years old and decided “it seems the right moment to stop.” In this book, which was originally published in 1977 in the United States by Dodd, Mead & Company, Agatha Christie sheds light on her past. She tells of her childhood in Victorian England, her volunteer work during World War II, her rise to success, her working habits, the inspiration for her most famous characters—Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple—and the places and people that influenced her.
Richard Dawkins - A Brief Candle in the Dark
In this hugely entertaining sequel to the New York Times bestselling memoir An Appetite for Wonder, Richard Dawkins delves deeply into his intellectual life spent kick-starting new conversations about science, culture, and religion and writing yet another of the most audacious and widely read books of the twentieth century—The God Delusion Called “one of the best nonfiction writers alive today” (Stephen Pinker) and a “prize-fighter” (Nature), Richard Dawkins cheerfully, mischievously, looks back on a lifetime of tireless intellectual adventure and engagement. Exploring the halls of intellectual inquiry and stardom he encountered after the publication of his seminal work, The Selfish Gene; affectionately lampooning the world of academia, publishing, and television; and studding the pages with funny stories about the great men and women he’s known, Dawkins offers a candid look at the events and ideas that encouraged him to shift his attention to the intersection of culture, religion, and science. He also invites the reader to look more closely at the brilliant succession of ten influential books that grew naturally out of his busy life, highlighting the ideas that connect them and excavating their origins. On the publication of his tenth book, the smash hit, The God Delusion, a “resounding trumpet blast for truth” (Matt Ridley), Richard Dawkins was catapulted from mere intellectual stardom into a circle of celebrity thinkers dubbed, “The New Atheists”—including Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett. Throughout A Brief Candle in the Dark, Dawkins shares with us his infectious sense of wonder at the natural world, his enjoyment of the absurdities of human interaction, and his bracing awareness of life’s brevity: all of which have made a deep imprint on our culture.
George Orwell - Homage to Catalonia
When George Orwell joined up to fight in the Spanish Civil War, it seemed like the beginning of 'an era of equality and freedom'. In Homage to Catalonia he vividly chronicles his experiences: the revolutionary euphoria of Barcelona, the courage of the ordinary Spanish men and women he fought alongside, the terror and confusion of the front, his near-fatal bullet wound and the cynical betrayal of his allies. Here he brings to bear all the force of his humanity, passion and integrity to describe the bright hopes and desperate disillusionment of a chaotic, brutal war.
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.
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.
Malala Yousafzai - Christina Lamb - I Am Malala
When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons. I AM MALALA will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.
Terry Pratchett - Snuff
According to the writer of the best-selling crime novel ever to have been published in the city of Ankh-Morpork, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a policeman taking a holiday would barely have had time to open his suitcase before he finds his first corpse. And Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch is on holiday in the pleasant and innocent countryside, but not for him a mere body in the wardrobe. There are many, many bodies and an ancient crime more terrible than murder. He is out of his jurisdiction, out of his depth, out of bacon sandwiches, and occasionally snookered and out of his mind, but never out of guile. Where there is a crime there must be a finding, there must be a chase and there must be a punishment. They say that in the end all sins are forgiven. But not quite all..
J. R. R. Tolkien - The History of Middle-earth Index
Although J.R.R Tolkien is well-known for _The Hobbit_, _The Lord of the Rings_ and _The Silmarillion_, the material which laid the groundwork for what must be the most fully realised sub-creation ever to spring from a single imagination was begun many years before the publication of _The Hobbit_, and indeed Tolkien continued to work upon its completion until his death in 1973. In one of the single largest works of 'literary archaeology' ever undertaken, J.R.R. Tolkien's son and literary executor, Christopher Tolkien, edited the vast collection of manuscripts together with maps and illustrations and these were posthumously published in twelve volumes as _The History of Middle Earth_. Christopher Tolkien also compiled a very detailed and thorough index for each of these books. This companion edition to the twelve-volume _History_ now brings together all of the indexes in one place, and provides the reader with an invaluable sourcebook to all the peoples, places and other significant entries from _The Silmarillion_ and _The Lord of the Rings_ which appear in _The History of Middle-earth_.