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Showing 1-16 of top 22 Results.

A World on Fire: An Epic History of...
(Paperback)
Amanda Foreman
 
A hefty book about Anglo-American diplomacy during the American civil war. It sounds daunting, but is a brilliant piece of exposition and story-telling.

Bernard Cornwell - 26/09/2013
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Future Perfect: The Case for Progress...
(Paperback)
Steven Johnson
 
Besides mapping the ways our connected society will be both different and better, 'Future Perfect' makes a timely and aspirational case that progress is still possible.

Biz Stone - 16/06/2014
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Modernity Britain: Book One: Opening...
(Hardback)
David Kynaston
 
I've enjoyed all David Kynaston's forays into the recent past, and this is no exception. It's not just a history of the politics of the Macmillan era, but a social history full of detail and colour, anecdotes and revealing vignettes, of a time when Britain was changing rapidly, when Prime Minister Harold Macmillan told the assembled members of his Conservative party, 'Most of our people have never had it so good.'

Peter Robinson - 14/08/2013
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An English Affair: Sex, Class and...
(Paperback)
Richard Davenport-Hines
 
The Profumo affair fascinated just about every adolescent boy in the UK back in the early 60s, and I doubt that many of us forget the risqué photographs of Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice Davies that were splashed all over the place. This is a thorough and comprehensive look at the affair from all sides, and a fascinating view of the times. It makes for compelling reading.

Peter Robinson - 14/08/2013
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Tuscany: A History
(Paperback)
Alistair Moffat
Alistair Moffat writes beautifully on history and topography. Here he leads us through that moist entrancing of Italian regions, Tuscany.

Alexander McCall Smith - 28/07/2011
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All Hell Let Loose: The World at War...
(Paperback)
Max Hastings
 
This is about as clear an account as you'll get of the Second World War. You get the big picture, the generals, politicians, strategies, battles, but you also get the scale of human suffering, the courage and the cruelty, the stories of ordinary men and women caught up in something beyond their comprehension.

Peter Robinson - 14/08/2013
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The Loss of El Dorado: A Colonial...
(Paperback)
V. S. Naipaul
Somewhere in the rich if rarely explored space betweenfiction, history, and travel-writing sits Naipaul’s consistently surprising account of Trinidad’s past.

Maya Jasanoff - 29/05/2012
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Wellington
(Paperback)
Elizabeth Longford
 
Still the best biography of the great man, written with admiration, sympathy and an eye for the telling detail.

Bernard Cornwell - 26/09/2013
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First Light
(Paperback)
Geoffrey Wellum
 
Wellum was the youngest pilot to take part in the Battle of Britain - he was just 19. This book, written decades afterwards, is for me the most honest and vivid to come out of those epic weeks in the late summer of 1940. His direct writing style places you in the cockpit alongside the boy he once was.

Richard Madeley - 07/06/2013
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The Dead Yard: Tales of Modern Jamaica
(Paperback)
Ian Thomson
 
This is a good book to read this year, in the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence. If you’re Jamaican it’s a tough read, but an important one. It captures the creative brilliance of the island as well as the painful legacy of European and American involvement in our Caribbean destinies.

Zadie Smith - 10/08/2012
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Danube
(Paperback)
Claudio Magris; Patrick Creagh
A subtly poetic account of a journey along a great river, and a masterly evocation of our European homeland.

John Banville - 18/06/2012
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Quartered Safe Out Here
(Paperback)
George MacDonald Fraser
 
I adore the Flashman series, but this autobiographical account of a young man's war against the Japanese is one of the best books to emerge from World War Two.

Bernard Cornwell - 26/09/2013
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Landscape and Memory
(Paperback)
Simon Schama
Erudite, exuberant, eclectic, excessive, often, and endearing: Schama at his best.

Maya Jasanoff - 29/05/2012
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Richard I
(Paperback)
John Gillingham
 
John Gillingham is a scholar, addicted to understanding Richard the Lionheart. He is also readable and intuitive in his judgments of England’s emblematic king. A must for anyone interested in the Lionheart.

Justin Cartwright - 03/09/2013
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Going Solo
(Paperback)
Roald Dahl
As with Easton Ellis, I could have put any number of Dahl’s novels on this list – The Witches, Matilda, Danny The Champion Of The World – but this second part of his autobiography (which started with Boy) is utterly joyous. It’s as fantastic and funny and weird and thrilling as any of his fiction, taking in lions, snakes, fighters planes, deserts, and a cast of characters as eccentric as he’s ever had to play with. It’s completely delightful.

Will Hill - 15/03/2012
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Herculaneum: Past and Future
(Hardback)
Andrew Wallace-Hadrill
I have to choose some Roman books, and of all those glorious tomes on the eruption of Vesuvius, this big new coffee-table volume really shines. It’s the product of Andrew’s years as the Director of the British School at Rome and his involvement in the Herculaneum Conservation Project, so as well as being beautiful and informative, it makes us think about what we want from this key archaeological site and how its conservation should be managed.

Lindsey Davis - 20/03/2012
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Latest Blog
Books to inspire young women
28/02/2015

Each of our shops is currently featuring a display of books by and about great women, to mark International Women's day on 8th March. Emily, from our Waterloo branch, explores the wealth of recent fiction for younger readers that offers inspirational role models for the next generation of young women.

GUEST BLOG: Little Black Classics
22/02/2015

Simon Winder, Publishing Director at Penguin Press, reveals how he and his team chose the 80 titles that make up the 80-pence Little Black Classics marking the publisher's 80th birthday.

GUEST BLOG: Before and after
19/02/2015

Stuart Prebble, whose production company came up with the idea for TV hit Grumpy Old Men after he read a news article, looks at how lives can be changed irrevocably in seconds, as they are in his new novel, The Insect Farm.

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