Michael White - Isaac Newton
It is no exaggeration to say that almost everything we do in the modern world is based on Newton's enormous scientific achievements-but he was not the pure scientist of lore. Unknown to all but a few, Newton was a practicing alchemist who dabbled with the occult. He did not discover gravity by watching an apple fall-in reality, Newton's great theories were grasped within the charred base of the crucible and the alchemist's fire. Nor was Newton the idealistic puritan that he has always been seen as, but a tortured, obsessive character who risked his health in a ceaseless quest for an understanding of the universe through whatever means at his disposal
Graham Farmelo - The Strangest Man
Paul Dirac was one of the leading pioneers of the greatest revolution in 20th-century science: quantum mechanics. The youngest theoretician ever to win the Nobel Prize for Physics, he was also pathologically reticent, strangely literal-minded and legendarily unable to communicate or empathize. Through his greatest period of productivity, his postcards home contained only remarks about the weather. Based on a previously undiscovered archive of family papers, Graham Farmelo celebrates Dirac's massive scientific achievement while drawing a compassionate portrait of his life and work. Farmelo shows a man who, while hopelessly socially inept, could manage to love and sustain close friendship. "The Strangest Man" is an extraordinary and moving human story, as well as a study of one of the most exciting times in scientific history.
Kitty Ferguson - Stephen Hawking élete és világa
_„Üdvözlöm. Stephen Hawking vagyok: fizikus, kozmológus és álmodozó. Bár nem tudok mozogni, és számítógépen keresztül kell beszélnem, az elmém szabad.”_ _„Visszatekintve úgy tűnhet, hogy egy előre alaposan megtervezett menetrend szerint foglalkoztam a világegyetem eredetének és fejlődésének legjelentősebb problémáival. Ám valójában nem így történt. Nem volt előzetes tervem. Az a helyzet, hogy csak a saját orrom után mentem, és mindig azzal foglalkoztam, ami akkor éppen érdekesnek és megoldhatónak tűnt.”_ Stephen Hawking korunk egyik legfigyelemreméltóbb alakja. Cambridge-i géniusz, a világszerte ünnepelt, ragyogó elméleti fizikus ösztönzést és bátorítást jelent mindazok számára, akik szemtanúi lehettek annak, milyen nagyszerű diadalt aratott mozgatóideg-sorvadása felett. Kitty Ferguson ebben a könyvében Hawking életét meséli el. Műve megírásához különleges segítséget kapott magától Hawkingtól, valamint közeli ismerőseitől és családjától. A könyv részletesen bemutatja Hawking gyerekkorát, első szívszorító találkozását motoros neuronbetegségével, majd az ezzel való küzdelmeinek kezdetét elsőéves doktorandusz-hallgató korában. Olvashatunk Hawking egyre növekvő nemzetközi hírnevéről, továbbá az életben maradásért való hosszas küzdelméről, miközben mellesleg még a világegyetem működésének fizikáját is igyekszik feltárni. Ezzel párhuzamosan a szerző, aki közérthető nyelven tudja tálalni az elméleti fizikai ismereteket is, mindenki számára érthetően foglalja össze és magyarázza el a tudomány élvonalába tartozó fizikai elméleteket, melyek Hawkingot foglalkoztatják.
Simon Sebag Montefiore - Young Stalin
Stalin remains one of the creators of our world - like Hitler, the personification of evil. Yet Stalin hid his past and remains mysterious. This enthralling biography that reads like a thriller finally unveils the secret but extraordinary journey of the Georgian cobbler's son who became the Red Tsar. What forms such a merciless psychopath and consummate politician? Was he illegitimate? Did he owe everything to his mother - was she whore or saint? Was he a Tsarist agent or Lenin's chief gangster? Was he to blame for his wife's premature death? If he really missed the 1917 Revolution, how did he emerge so powerful? Born in poverty, exceptional in his studies, this charismatic but dangerous boy was hailed as a romantic poet, trained as a priest, but found his mission as fanatical revolutionary. The secret world of Joseph Conrad-style terrorism was Stalin's natural habitat, where he charmed his future courtiers, made the enemies he later liquidated, and abandoned his many mistresses and children. Montefiore shows how the murderous paranoia and gangsterism of the criminal underworld, combined with pitiless ideology, taught Stalin how to triumph in the Kremlin.
Graham Swift - Making an Elephant
This highly personal book is a singular and open-spirited account of a writer's life. It has evolved entirely with its author, bringing pieces from various stages of Graham Swift's career together with new essays, observations, poetry and interviews. Swift writes about the intimacy of playing the guitar and the perils of reading in public; of the pleasures of spending time with Ishiguro and Rushdie or sharing a private moment with Montaigne; of youthful adventures in Greece, the experience of Czechoslovakia mid-Velvet Revolution, and of the rich material offered on his very own doorstep by the district of London in which he lives, walks and works. "Making an Elephant" is a book of encounters, between the writer and his younger selves, father and son, present and past, author and director, reader and the page - and between friends. Full of life, charm and candour, it illustrates and celebrates the layers of experience, history and interpretation that inform not only the process of writing, but also shape the writer himself.
Samuel Johnson - Lives of the English Poets
Johnson’s last great work, Prefaces, Biographical and Critical, to the Works of the English Poets (conventionally known as The Lives of the Poets), was conceived modestly as short prefatory notices to an edition of English poetry. When Johnson was approached by some London booksellers in 1777 to write what he thought of as “little Lives, and little Prefaces, to a little edition of the English Poets,” he readily agreed. He loved anecdote and “the biographical part” of literature best of all. The project, however, expanded in scope; Johnson’s prefaces alone filled the first 10 volumes (1779–81), and the poetry grew to 56 volumes. Johnson was angered by the appearance of his name on the spines, because he had neither “recommended” nor “revised” these poets, except for adding Isaac Watts, Sir Richard Blackmore, John Pomfret, Thomas Yalden, and James Thomson to the list.
Elizabeth Gaskell - The Life of Charlotte Brontë
Elizabeth Gaskell's _The Life of Charlotte Brontë_ (1857) is a pioneering biography of one great Victorian woman novelist by another. Gaskell was a friend of Brontë, and, having been invited to write the official life, determined both to tell the truth and to honour her friend. She contacted those who had known Charlotte and travelled extensively in England and Belgium to gather material. She wrote from a vivid accumulation of letters, interviews, and observation, establishing the details of Charlotte's life and recreating her background. Through an often difficult and demanding process, Gaskell created a vital sense of a life hidden from the world.
Salman Rushdie - Joseph Anton (angol)
On February 14, 1989, Valentine’s Day, Salman Rushdie received a telephone call from a BBC journalist who told the author that he had been “sentenced to death” by the Ayatollah Khomeini. It was the first time Rushdie heard the word fatwa. His crime? To have written a novel called The Satanic Verses, which was accused of being “against Islam, the Prophet, and the Quran.” So begins the extraordinary story of how a writer was forced underground, moving from house to house, with the constant presence of an armed police protection team. Rushdie was asked to choose an alias that the police could call him by. He thought of writers he loved and various combinations of their names. Then it came to him: Conrad and Chekhov—Joseph Anton. How do a writer and his family live with the threat of murder for more than nine years? How does he go on working? How does he fall in and out of love? How does despair shape his thoughts and actions, and how does he learn to fight back? In this remarkable memoir, Rushdie tells that story for the first time; the story of the crucial battle for freedom of speech. He shares the sometimes grim, sometimes comic realities of living with armed policemen, and the close bonds he formed with his protectors; of his struggle for support and understanding from governments, intelligence chiefs, publishers, journalists, and fellow writers; and of how he regained his freedom. Compelling, provocative, and moving, Joseph Anton is a book of exceptional frankness, honesty, and vital importance. Because what happened to Salman Rushdie was the first act of a drama that is still unfolding somewhere in the world every day.
Steven Gerrard - Gerrard
This sporting biography was one of the few to hit the heights of sales success. Liverpool's inspirational captain gives an honest and revealing account of his lifelong obsession with football and captures the camaraderie, soul-destroying tensions and high-octane thrills of the modern game. This paperback edition has been fully updated to include coverage of the 06/07 season.
Jennifer Worth - Call the Midwife
Jennifer Worth came from a sheltered background when she became a midwife in the Docklands in the 1950s. The conditions in which many women gave birth just half a century ago were horrifying, not only because of their grimly impoverished surroundings, but also because of what they were expected to endure. But while Jennifer witnessed brutality and tragedy, she also met with amazing kindness and understanding, tempered by a great deal of Cockney humour. She also earned the confidences of some whose lives were truly stranger, more poignant and more terrifying than could ever be recounted in fiction. Attached to an order of nuns who had been working in the slums since the 1870s, Jennifer tells the story not only of the women she treated, but also of the community of nuns (including one who was accused of stealing jewels from Hatton Garden) and the camaraderie of the midwives with whom she trained. Funny, disturbing and incredibly moving, Jennifer's stories bring to life the colourful world of the East End in the 1950s.
Elizabeth Gaskell - Sophia Holland - Private Voices
These two diaries, by the nineteenth-century novelist Elizabeth Gaskell and her cousin Sophia Holland, provide us with uniquely personal and revealing accounts of Victorian womanhood and motherhood. This is the first critical edition of the Gaskell diary and the first ever publication of the Holland diary. The Gaskells were among the first generation of parents to experience the benefits and burdens of an abundance of child-care literature. Both Elizabeth and Sophia reveal themselves here as anxious to be seen as conscientious and well-informed mothers, but as confused as contemporary parents by the conflicting advice to be found within the pages of the so-called 'experts'. As a piece of social history, these diaries document the challenges, dilemmas and rewards of Victorian parenthood. As a pieceof literature, there is no doubt that, in cultivating the powers of observation to be found in her diary, Elizabeth was laying the foundation for the wider social vision to be found in her novels. Both works have been carefully edited and annotated from their original manuscripts by J A V Chapple and are accompanied by an illuminating introduction by Anita Wilson.
Jacqueline Wilson - Jacky Daydream
Everybody knows Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson's best loved character. But what do they know about Jacqueline herself? In this fascinating book, discover... ... how Jacky played with paper dolls like April in _Dustbin Baby._ ... how she dealt with an unpredictable father like Prue in _Love Lessons._ ... how she chose new toys in Hamleys like Dolphin in _The Illustrated Mum._ ... how she enjoyed Christmas like Em in _Clean Break._ ... how she sat entrance exams like Ruby in _Double Act. _ But most of all how Jacky loved reading and writing stories. Losing herself in a new world was the best possible way she could spend her time. From the very first story she wrote, it was very clear that this little girl had a very vivid imagination. But who would've guessed that she would grow up to be mega-bestselling, award-winning author! Includes previously unseen photos, Jacqueline's own school reports and a brand new chapter from Jacqueline on the response to the book, her teenage years and more!
Sting - Broken Music
Having been a songwriter most of my life, condensing my ideas and emotions into short rhyming couplets and setting them to music, I had never really considered writing a book. But upon arriving at the reflective age of fifty, I found myself drawn, for the first time, to write long passages that were as stimulating and intriguing to me as any songwriting I had ever done. And so Broken Music began to take shape. It is a book about the early part of my life, from childhood through adolescence, right up to the eve of my success with the Police. It is a story very few people know. I had no interest in writing a traditional autobiographical recitation of everything that’s ever happened to me. Instead I found myself drawn to exploring specific moments, certain people and relationships, and particular events which still resonate powerfully for me as I try to understand the child I was, and the man I became.
Diane Setterfield - The Thirteenth Tale
Vida Winter, a bestselling yet reclusive novelist, has created many outlandish life histories for herself, all of them invention. Now old and ailing, at last she wants to tell the truth about her extraordinary life. Her letter to biographer Margaret Lea - a woman with secrets of her own - is a summons. Vida's tale is one of gothic strangeness featuring the Angelfield family: the beautiful and wilful Isabelle and the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline. Margaret succumbs to the power of Vida's storytelling, but as a biographer she deals in fact not fiction and she doesn't trust Vida's account. As she begins her researches, two parallel stories unfold. Join Margaret as she begins her journey to the truth - hers, as well as Vida's.
Ozzy Osbourne - I Am Ozzy
"They've said some crazy things about me over the years. I mean, okay: 'He bit the head off a bat.' Yes. 'He bit the head off a dove.' Yes. But then you hear things like, 'Ozzy went to the show last night, but he wouldn't perform until he'd killed fifteen puppies . . .' Now me, kill fifteen puppies? I love puppies. I've got eighteen of the f**king things at home. I've killed a few cows in my time, mind you. And the chickens. I shot the chickens in my house that night. It haunts me, all this crazy stuff. Every day of my life has been an event. I took lethal combinations of booze and drugs for thirty f**king years. I survived a direct hit by a plane, suicidal overdoses, STDs. I've been accused of attempted murder. Then I almost died while riding over a bump on a quad bike at f**king two miles per hour. People ask me how come I'm still alive, and I don't know what to say. When I was growing up, if you'd have put me up against a wall with the other kids from my street and asked me which one of us was gonna make it to the age of sixty, which one of us would end up with five kids and four grandkids and houses in Buckinghamshire and Beverly Hills, I wouldn't have put money on me, no f**king way. But here I am: ready to tell my story, in my own words, for the first time. A lot of it ain't gonna be pretty. I've done some bad things in my time. I've always been drawn to the dark side, me. But I ain't the devil. I'm just John Osbourne: a working-class kid from Aston, who quit his job in the factory and went looking for a good time."
David Beckham - My Side
David Beckham's popularity transcends sport and cultural divides. This is his personal story of his career to date, for Manchester United, Real Madrid and England, and of his childhood, family and private life. With new chapters featuring David's first account of his debut season for Real and England's fortunes in Euro 2004. This is Beckham's fascinating life story in his own words. His complex relationship with United boss Alex Ferguson and how it was like playing alongside the likes of Cantona, Schmeichel and Keane. The England story, from being vilified by the nation before returning as the prodigal son and captain of his country. And his acrimonious falling-out with his manager and departure from Old Trafford in June 2003. Now from Beckham himself, we gain a vivid and eye-opening insight into the family man behind the famous footballer, the international model and fashion leader. He describes how he first met and then married ex-Spice girl Victoria Adams, and the upbringing of their two children Brooklyn and Romeo. How his family's every step is monitored by a posse of newshounds and paparazzi. Also, the influence of his parents, growing up as a shy youngster in the family home.
David Mitchell - Back Story
David Mitchell, who you may know for his inappropriate anger on every TV panel show except Never Mind the Buzzcocks, his look of permanent discomfort on C4 sex comedy Peep Show, his online commenter-baiting in The Observer or just for wearing a stick-on moustache in That Mitchell and Webb Look, has written a book about his life. As well as giving a specific account of every single time he's scored some smack, this disgusting memoir also details: • the singular, pitbull-infested charm of the FRP (‘Flat Roofed Pub’) • the curious French habit of injecting everyone in the arse rather than the arm • why, by the time he got to Cambridge, he really, really needed a drink • the pain of being denied a childhood birthday party at McDonalds • the satisfaction of writing jokes about suicide • how doing quite a lot of walking around London helps with his sciatica • trying to pretend he isn’t a total **** at Robert Webb’s wedding • that he has fallen in love at LOT, but rarely done anything about it • why it would be worse to bump into Michael Palin than Hitler on holiday • that he’s not David Mitchell the novelist. Despite what David Miliband might think
Edmund de Waal - The Hare with Amber Eyes
264 wood and ivory carvings, none of them larger than a matchbox: potter Edmund de Waal was entranced when he first encountered the collection in the Tokyo apartment of his great uncle Iggie. Later, when Edmund inherited the 'netsuke', they unlocked a story far larger than he could ever have imagined...The Ephrussis came from Odessa, and at one time were the largest grain exporters in the world; in the 1870s, Charles Ephrussi was part of a wealthy new generation settling in Paris. Marcel Proust was briefly his secretary and used Charles as the model for the aesthete Swann in _Remembrance of Things Past._ Charles' passion was collecting; the netsuke, bought when Japanese objects were all the rage in the salons, were sent as a wedding present to his banker cousin in Vienna. Later, three children - including a young Ignace - would play with the netsuke as history reverberated around them. The Anschluss and Second World War swept the Ephrussis to the brink of oblivion. Almost all that remained of their vast empire was the netsuke collection, smuggled out of the huge Viennese palace (then occupied by Hitler's theorist on the 'Jewish Question'), one piece at a time, in the pocket of a loyal maid - and hidden in a straw mattress. In this stunningly original memoir, Edmund de Waal travels the world to stand in the great buildings his forebears once inhabited. He traces the network of a remarkable family against the backdrop of a tumultuous century. And, in prose as elegant and precise as the netsuke themselves, he tells the story of a unique collection which passed from hand to hand - and which, in a twist of fate, found its way home to Japan.