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Showing 1-16 of top 21 Results.

The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren
(Paperback)
Iona Opie; Peter Opie; Marina Warner
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Ulysses
(Paperback)
James Joyce; Hans Walter Gabler
MOLLY BLOOM: Joyce’s creation from Ulysses, Molly Bloom is quite simply the most sensuous woman in literature. Married to Leopold Bloom, she starts an affair with Hugh ‘Blazes’ Boylan. Molly’s bawdy stream of consciousness opens the book though I find myself going back to read just that passage again and again. Joyce allegedly based Molly’s character on his wife Nora Barnacle, which I find particularly fascinating (was he Leopold or Hugh, I wonder?)

Sara Sheridan - 19/06/2012
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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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Butcher's Moon
(Paperback)
Lawrence Block
Perhaps the greatest of all the Parker books by this great crime writer.

John Banville - 18/06/2012
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Mary
(Hardback)
Vladimir Nabokov
Get it in the recently issued Penguin Classics hardback series.

John Banville - 18/06/2012
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Nor Will He Sleep: An Inspector ...
(Paperback)
David Ashton
 
Gang violence on the streets of Victorian Edinburgh set the backdrop for David Ashton’s Nor Will He Sleep which contains the unusual twist of having Robert Louis Stevenson get in on the action alongside intrepid, dog-with-a-bone Inspector McLevy. I love the atmospheric landscape of this novel - Edinburgh is like another character, seething with violence and darkness and that sense of innate mystery that’s still haunts the city today.

Sara Sheridan - 19/11/2014
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The Alienist
(Paperback)
Caleb Carr
 
Oh, the suspense! The Alienest by Caleb Carr is set in steamy and corrupt 1890s New York at a time when police investigations were beginning to make use of psychological research and new technologies. The nature of tackling crime is changing, and some proper analysis is required of the team on the case. This book is clever and absolutely compelling.

Sara Sheridan - 19/11/2014
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Ringolevio: A Life Played for Keeps
(Paperback)
Emmett Grogan; Peter Coyote
Not technically a music book, but includes wonderfully evocative passages about the Diggers and the original Haight Asbury scene. By some distance the best book about the original hippie "vibe".

Dylan Jones - 24/07/2012
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The Knife Man: Blood, Body-snatching...
(Paperback)
Wendy Moore; Brenda Kimber
David Mitchell writes - Moore has a historian's respect both for the past and for her colourful (and blood-spattered) subject - a founding father of modern surgery - but she also has a novelist's knack at (re)creating a world and framing a narrative within it, peopled with ambiguous heroes and complex villains. (If you enjoy this, try her new one, 'Wedlock'.)

David Mitchell - 11/03/2011
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Bleak House
(Paperback)
Charles Dickens
 
I was supposed to have read this in university but never quite got around to it. After all, it’s pretty long, even by the standards of Dickens, and I had a lot of other things to read at the same time, as well as people to meet, pints to drink, and enigmatic, attractive women waiting to reject me. I eventually got around to reading Bleak House in 2000, when I was travelling to South Africa for my first promotional tour outside Ireland and the UK. I was determined to crack it, so it was the only book that I brought with me. Mind you, it’s so long that I was still reading it on the plane back to Ireland, but after it all other fiction seemed a bit thin, in every way. In Bleak House are seeds of the legal thriller and the detective novel, but that’s just by the by. It is, for me, the greatest novel in the English language. Reading it is like being caught up in some great labyrinth, but one from which you really don’t want to escape. I now read a novel by Dickens every year because I don’t want to go to my grave without having read everything that he wrote. To be honest, some are a easier than others: Nicholas Nickleby, for example, was a pleasure, but Our Mutual Friend felt a bit like homework, and let’s not even discuss Hard Times…

John Connolly - 06/06/2013
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The Bathroom
(Paperback)
Jean Toussaint; Nancy Amphoux; Paul ...
 
A young man decides to live mainly in his bathroom. It’s a book about the desire not to move, not to have time pass – basically a hymn to the joys of immobility, maybe best appreciated by readers the same age as the protagonist, a self-described “twenty-five going on twenty- seven.” I teach it to my students who always love it. Watch out for that dart in the forehead!

Zadie Smith - 10/08/2012
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The Painted Word
(Paperback)
Tom Wolfe
 
I read this when I was a student and it gave me permission to not take the art too seriously. Because of this book I don’t stand around in front of artworks waiting for it to happen.

Grayson Perry - 12/06/2014
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The Frightened Man
(Paperback)
Kenneth Cameron
 
Deepest, darkest, turn of the century London is the setting for Kenneth Cameron’s The Frightened Man and American Civil War veteran Denton finds himself deep in the middle of a Jack the Ripper style mystery. This novel is in the mould of a classic thriller with a twist and I couldn’t put it down.

Sara Sheridan - 19/11/2014
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An Anthology of Graphic Fiction,...
(Hardback)
Ivan Brunetti
 
Volume Two of the above

Chris Ware - 02/10/2012
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Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble...
(Paperback)
Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
 
I've been meaning to read this one for a decade. It’s described in a blurb as "A non-fiction Middlemarch of the underclass" – I don’t think I can do much better than that. Concerning a large, chaotic family in the Bronx during the 1990s, it’s an honest account of street life – from drug dealing to child-rearing. Ms LeBlanc spent ten years embedded, interviewing, living with her subjects, listening to them. An extraordinary feat of research and patience. Reading it you are realize that class is a cocoon and you have absolutely zero idea how anybody else is living. I think this book is a masterpiece.

Zadie Smith - 10/08/2012
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An Anthology of Graphic Fiction,...
(Hardback)
Ivan Brunetti
 
The best collection of serious comics ever collected by one of its most serious cartoonists (who also happens to be one of my best friends.) The word "curated" is very overused these days, but Ivan very sensitively did just that here, balancing the funny against the tragic and the literary versus the esthetic, with everything in between. If one wanted to make an argument for comics as a viable medium for self-expression, one couldn't do any better than these two books (minus the selection of my own "Jimmy Corrigan" in the book, which Yale refused to run as anything but sideways, and so looks absolutely terrible.)

Chris Ware - 02/10/2012
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