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The End of Mr. Y
(Paperback)
Scarlett Thomas
I emerged from this book blinking, stunned and more than a little high on caffeine. Compulsive, thought-provoking and as down-to-earth as a book about time travel can be, the story follows Ariel, a charmingly messed-up PhD student living in a mouse-infested flat on a diet of cigarettes, coffee and cheap wine. When she stumbles upon a semi-mythical - and supposedly cursed ­ book, the fabled existence of which brought her to her studies in the first place, she can’t resist reading it. The End of Mr Y will sweep you into an intense world of 19th century philosophy, thought experiments and dusty libraries, with just a dash of time travel, nail-biting action and of course, romance. If you can start this book and then concentrate on anything else before finishing it then you’re a stronger person than me. - Lisa
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Shattered Lives: Children Who Live...
(Paperback)
Camila Batmanghelidjh
This is a heart-breaking book, about childhood, about inequality, about what it is to live without love in an unforgiving city. Above all, it is about being human.
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Tricks of the Mind
(Paperback)
Derren Brown
I don’t like Derren Brown. At least, that’s what I thought until I read this book. It is the antithesis of his television ‘magic’ shows, and reveals the incredibly thoughtful, intelligent man behind his carefully-crafted stage persona. Oh, and his tricks for remembering are very useful indeed! - Tristan.
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The Big Over Easy: An Investigation...
(Paperback)
Jasper Fforde
This is a very funny novel. Detective Inspector Jack Spratt is in charge of the Nursery Crime Division of the Reading Police Department. When Humpty Van Dumpty III is found broken to pieces at the foot of a wall, there is only one man for the job. That is, unless Jack’s rival, the celebrated Guild detective Friedland Chymes, can steal all the glory by solving the case first… Tristan.
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99 Ways to Tell a Story
(Paperback)
Matt Madden
Madden’s Exercises in Style is a series of one-page comics that tell the same story in a variety of ways. This is a really clever, amusing and addictive book with plenty of ideas to spark the imagination of anyone involved and/or interested in the creative process. Who would have thought you could have so much enjoyment out of seeing some guy looking in a fridge on every page! - Susan
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Beastly Fury: The Strange Birth of...
(Paperback)
Richard Sanders
Association football is now a sport and an industry assimilated into every culture on the planet, but it was once a typically Victorian English institution of rules and rectitude. Beastly Fury maps the C19 birth of what became the global game through the English class system and growing urbanisation of the nation. There is also a chapter on the early years of women's football. - Sean.
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The Carhullan Army
(Paperback)
Sarah J. E. Hall
Winner of John Llewelyn Rhys Memorial Prize 2007. The world has changed. War rages in South America and China, and Britain - now entirely dependent on the US for food and. Assets and weapons have been seized, every movement is monitored and women are compulsorily fitted with contraceptive devices. This is Sister’s story of her attempt to escape the repressive regime. From the confines of her Lancaster prison cell she tells of her such for The Carhullan Army, a quasi-mythical commune of 'unofficial' women rumoured to be living in a remote part of Cumbria. If you liked Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, you’ll love this. - Susan
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On Guerrilla Gardening: A Handbook ...
(Paperback)
Richard Reynolds
In 2008, just after the publication of this wonderful book, I attended a meeting of the Residents’ Society of Mayfair and St James’s. The author, a rather scruffy young Oxford graduate, was the guest speaker and I watched in admiration and disbelief as he managed to convince the audience of the benefits of anarchistic reclamation of urban space via ‘guerrilla gardening’! A novel take on the quintessentially English pastime. - Tristan.
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The Slave Ship: A Human History
(Paperback)
Marcus Rediker
The slave trade is a scar across humanity that refuses to heal. The forced displacement of so many still resonates today. Marcus Rediker uses individual narratives to create a powerful social history of this unforgiven period, the foundation-stone of empire. - Tristan
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A Study in Scarlet
(Paperback)
Arthur Conan Doyle; Mark Billingham
This remarkable novella first appeared in Beeton’s Christmas Annual for 1887 and was Conan Doyle’s first significant work of fiction. Being a reprint from the reminiscences of John H Watson MD, we are introduced to Sherlock Holmes for the very first time. An unexplained murder reveals its antecedents in a travesty of justice in Salt Lake City, Utah. - Tristan.
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Steel Inferno: I Panzer Corps in...
(Paperback)
Michael Reynolds
Comprising the veteran Leibstandarte and newly formed Hitlerjugend divisions, the 1st SS Panzer Corps provided the most tenacious opposition faced by the allied forces in Normandy. Initial counterattacks against the allied beachhead were followed by desperate resistance from increasingly beleagured and ground down Kampfgruppen , the gamble of the Mortain offensive and the final immolation of both divisions at Falaise. A former British general, Reynolds examines the alchemy of doctrine, training, equipment and personalities which produced such a formidable instrument of war for Hitler's Reich. - Sean.
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Singapore Burning: Heroism and...
(Paperback)
Colin Smith
“Often the same men who commanded the legions in battle dominated the senate in peacetime.” Goldsworthy examines the careers of fifteen leading Roman commanders throughout the life of the Roman Empire. Each chapter considers the achievements of a leading Roman general from the heyday of Republican/Imperial expansion to later defensive battles against encroaching Barbarian nations. The interplay between the political and military spheres is well covered to provide a picture of the “climate” at the time. A highly readable and innovative book by an outstanding historian of ancient Rome. - Sean.
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In the Name of Rome: The Men Who Won...
(Paperback)
Adrian Keith Goldsworthy
“Often the same men who commanded the legions in battle dominated the senate in peacetime.” Goldsworthy examines the careers of fifteen leading Roman commanders throughout the life of the Roman Empire. Each chapter considers the achievements of a leading Roman general from the heyday of Republican/Imperial expansion to later defensive battles against encroaching Barbarian nations. The interplay between the political and military spheres is well covered to provide a picture of the “climate” at the time. A highly readable and innovative book by an outstanding historian of ancient Rome. - Sean.
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A Study in Scarlet
(Paperback)
Arthur Conan Doyle; Ed Glinert; Iain...
This remarkable novella first appeared in Beeton’s Christmas Annual for 1887 and was Conan Doyle’s first significant work of fiction. Being a reprint from the reminiscences of John H Watson MD, we are introduced to Sherlock Holmes for the very first time. An unexplained murder reveals its antecedents in a travesty of justice in Salt Lake City, Utah. - Tristan.
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A Study in Scarlet
(Paperback)
Arthur Conan Doyle
This remarkable novella first appeared in Beeton’s Christmas Annual for 1887 and was Conan Doyle’s first significant work of fiction. Being a reprint from the reminiscences of John H Watson MD, we are introduced to Sherlock Holmes for the very first time. An unexplained murder reveals its antecedents in a travesty of justice in Salt Lake City, Utah. - Tristan.
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Devil on the Cross
(Paperback)
Ngugi wa Thiong'o
In 2003, the BBC held a survey - the ‘Big Read’ - to discover our favourite book of all time: this was my nomination. Written on toilet paper while the author was detained in prison without charge, this is a searing indictment of capitalism, and post-colonialism, in Africa. - Tristan.
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