When Oliver Sacks was twelve years old, a perceptive schoolmaster wrote in his report: ‘Sacks will go far, if he does not go too far’. It is now abundantly clear that Sacks has never stopped going. From its opening pages on his youthful obsession with motorcycles and speed, On the Move is infused with his restless energy. As he recounts his experiences as a young neurologist in the early 1960s, first in California and then in New York, where he discovered a long-forgotten illness in the back wards of a chronic hospital, as well as with a group of patients who would define his life, it becomes clear that Sacks’s earnest desire for engagement has occasioned unexpected encounters and travels – sending him through bars and alleys, over oceans, and across continents.
Elton John - Me
In his first and only official autobiography, music icon Elton John reveals the truth about his extraordinary life, which is also the subject of the film Rocketman. The result is Me - the joyously funny, honest and moving story of the most enduringly successful singer/songwriter of all time. Christened Reginald Dwight, he was a shy boy with Buddy Holly glasses who grew up in the London suburb of Pinner and dreamed of becoming a pop star. By the age of twenty-three, he was performing his first gig in America, facing an astonished audience in his bright yellow dungarees, a star-spangled T-shirt and boots with wings. Elton John had arrived and the music world would never be the same again. His life has been full of drama, from the early rejection of his work with song-writing partner Bernie Taupin to spinning out of control as a chart-topping superstar; from half-heartedly trying to drown himself in his LA swimming pool to disco-dancing with the Queen; from friendships with John Lennon, Freddie Mercury and George Michael to setting up his AIDS Foundation. All the while, Elton was hiding a drug addiction that would grip him for over a decade. In Me Elton also writes powerfully about getting clean and changing his life, about finding love with David Furnish and becoming a father. In a voice that is warm, humble and open, this is Elton on his music and his relationships, his passions and his mistakes. This is a story that will stay with you, by a living legend.
Diana Wynne Jones - Reflections
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.
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.
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.
Steve Jackson - Monster
"One of the best books short of the famous Ann Rule works." --True Crime Book Reviews On a snowy winter evening in 1982, twenty-one-year-old Mary Brown accepted a ride from a handsome stranger in the resort town of Breckenridge, Colorado. The trip ended with her brutally beaten and raped. Mary survived, but her predator's violence had only just begun. After ten years in prison, Tom Luther was released a far more vicious criminal. Soon, from the Rockies to West Virginia, like Ted Bundy, Luther enticed a chain of women into his murderous trap. In this gripping new edition of a true crime masterpiece, acclaimed author Steve Jackson recounts the intriguing pursuit and long awaited conviction of a charismatic, monstrous psychopath--one who remains a suspect in three other crimes, and has never given up hope of escape. "Steve Jackson is a born storyteller. He makes you sweat. . .and turn the page." --Ron Franscell, author of The Darkest Night Includes 16 Pages Of Dramatic Photos
Steve Jackson - Bogeyman
A WildBlue Press original true crime story from the New York Times bestselling author of MONSTER and NO STONE UNTURNED, describing in dramatic detail and with heart-rending poignancy the efforts of tenacious Texas lawmen to solve the cold case murders of three little girls and hold their killer accountable for his horrific crimes. From the book: "For years he'd stalked elementary schools and playground looking for young girls from low-income neighborhoods to abduct, rape and murder. He thought of them as "throwaway kids"--hardly missed, and soon forgotten, except by those who loved them. He was ever parent's worst nightmare. The bogeyman they warned their children about ... the fiend who lurked outside bedroom windows."
Roald Dahl - Roald Dahl's Fantabulous Facts
It's a trip through a year; with letters and observations by Roald Dahl himself about everything under the sun - from what he got up to as a boy and the best time of the year for conkers, to why he hated Christmas. Jam-packed with weird and wonderful facts (find out what the most expensive food in the world is, and how to cook savoury crocodile), plus jokes, quizzes and top tips, here is the stuff that every Roald Dahl fan should know.
Lawrence Durrell - Bitter Lemons
In Bitter Lemons, Durrell tells the perceptive, often humorous, story of his experiences on Cyprus between 1953 and 1956-first as a visitor, then as a householder and teacher, and finally as Press Advisor to a government coping with armed rebellion. Here are unforgettable pictures of the sunlit villages and people, the ancient buildings, mountains and sea-and the somber political tragedy that finally engulfed the island.
Julian Barnes - Nothing to be Frightened of
'I don’t believe in God, but I miss him.’ Julian Barnes’ new book is, among many things, a family memoir, an exchange with his brother (a philosopher), a meditation on mortality and the fear of death, a celebration of art, an argument with and about God, and a homage to the French writer Jules Renard. Though he warns us that ‘this is not my autobiography’, the result is like a tour of the mind of one of our most brilliant writers.
Bear Grylls - Mud, Sweat and Tears
Bear Grylls is a man who has always sought the ultimate in adventure. Growing up on the Isle of Wight, he was taught by his father to sail and climb at an early age. As a teenager he found identity and purpose through both mountaineering and martial arts, which led the young adventurer to the foothills of the mighty Himalaya and a grandmaster's karate training camp in Japan. On returning home, he embarked upon the notoriously gruelling selection course for the British Special Forces to join 21 SAS - a journey that was to push him to the very limits of physical and mental endurance. Then, in a horrific free-fall parachuting accident, Bear broke his back in three places. It was touch and go whether he would ever walk again. However, only eighteen months later Bear became one of the youngest ever climbers to scale Everest, aged only twenty-three. But this was just the beginning of his many extraordinary adventures...Known and admired by millions, Bear Grylls has survived where few would dare to go. Now, for the first time, Bear tells the story of his action-packed life. Gripping, moving and wildly exhilarating, "Mud, Sweat and Tears" is a must-read for adrenalin junkies and armchair adventurers alike.
Richard Dawkins - An Appetite for Wonder
An Appetite for Wonder is a disarming account of world-famous evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins's early life, from his childhood in colonial East Africa to the writing of one of the twentieth century's seminal works, The Selfish Gene.
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.
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.
William Wordsworth - The Prelude
First published in July 1850, shortly after Wordsworth's death, The Prelude was the culmination of over fifty years of creative work. The great Romantic poem of human consciousness, it takes as its theme 'the growth of a poet's mind': leading the reader back to Wordsworth's formative moments of childhood and youth, and detailing his experiences as a radical undergraduate in France at the time of the Revolution. Initially inspired by Coleridge's exhortation that Wordsworth write a work upon the French Revolution, The Prelude has ultimately become one of the finest examples of poetic autobiography ever written; a fascinating examination of the self that also presents a comprehensive view of the poet's own creative vision.
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.
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 !!
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.