One evening, spying on his Hollywood Hills neighbours through his $4, 000 electronic telescope, Bobby witnesses a beautiful woman making love to a handsome Latin actor called Ramon. As their pillow talk turns ugly, Bobby watches in horror as the woman appears to bludgeon her lover to death with his own acting trophy. Instead of rushing to the cops, Bobby decides to find out more about the events that led up to the crime, and to use the material for his next movie screenplay. However, when he sneaks into the actor's apartment, the discovery he makes changes his life forever. Empowered by his secret knowledge, Bobby is able to seduce the beautiful woman, while forging a unique friendship with Detective Dennis Farentino, the cop in charge of the investigation. Before long Bobby has dragged the detective, his wife, his lover, and his agent into a Hollywood fun-house hall of mirrors, where only the most manipulative player will survive.
The sister is a knife thrower in a magician's stage act, the brother is an undertaker's assistant. Neither orphan knows of the other's existence. Until, that is, three terrible Aunts descend on the girl's house and imprison her guardian, the Great Cardamom. His dying act is to pass the girl a note with clues to the secret he has carried to his grave. Cardamom was one of three explorers on an expedition to locate the legendary Amarant, a plant with power over life and death. Now, pursued by flesh-eating crow-like ghuls, brother and sister must decode the message and save themselves from its sinister legacy.
It's time to stop just worrying about climate change, says Paul Gilding. Instead we need to brace for impact, because global crisis is no longer avoidable. The `Great Disruption' started in 2008, with spiking food and oil prices and dramatic ecological change like the melting polar icecap. It is not simply about fossil fuels and carbon footprints. We have come to the end of Economic Growth, Version 1. 0, a world economy based on consumption and waste, where we lived beyond the means of our planet's ecosystems and resources. The Great Disruption offers a stark and unflinching look at the challenge humanity faces - yet also a deeply optimistic message. The coming decades will see loss, suffering and conflict as our planetary overdraft is paid. However, they will also bring out the best humanity can offer: compassion, innovation, resilience and adaptability. Gilding tells us how to fight, and win, what he calls `the One Degree War' to prevent catastrophic warming of the earth, and how to start today. The crisis we are in represents a rare chance to replace our addiction to growth with an ethic of sustainability, and it's already happening. It's also an unmatched business opportunity: old industries will collapse while new companies literally reshape our economy. In the aftermath of the Great Disruption, we will measure `growth' in a new way. It will mean not quantity of stuff, but quality, and happiness, of life. And, yes, there is life after shopping. The Great Disruption is an invigorating and well-informed polemic by an advocate for sustainability and climate change who has dedicated his life to campaigning for a balanced use of Earth's limited resources. It is essential reading.
in the art of pleasuring a man, bribes her way into the royal bed, and seduces the monarch, drawing the attention of dangerous foes. Little does she know that China will collapse around her, and that she will be its last Empress.
It is May in Aberystwyth, and the mayoral election campaign - culminating in the traditional boxing match between candidates - is underway. Sospan the ice-cream seller waits in his hut for souls brave enough to try his latest mind-expanding new flavour, and Louie Knight, Aberystwyth's only Private Detective, receives a visit from a mysterious stranger called Raspiwtin asking him to track down a dead man. Twenty-five years ago Iestyn Probert was hanged for his part in the notorious raid on the Coliseum cinema, but shortly afterwards he was seen, apparently alive and well, boarding a bus to Aberaeron. Did he miraculously evade the hangman's noose? Or could there really be substance to the rumours that he was resuscitated by aliens?Now, as strange lights are spotted in the sky above Aberystwyth and a farmer claims to have had a close encounter with a lustful extraterrestrial, Iestyn Probert has been sighted once again. But what does Raspiwtin want with him? And why does Louie's investigation arouse unwelcome interest from a shadowy government body and a dark-suited man in a black 1947 Buick?
Lauren, Jack, Ruby and Billy live by the seaside with their mum and dad. But their parents are always arguing, and then their dad moves out. Lauren and Jack decide they have to get them together again. And so begins Operation Eiffel Tower... in which the four children try to raise money to give their mum and dad a treat in an attempt to make them happier. First they want to send their parents to Paris, but quickly realise they can never afford that, so instead they set up a dinner for two under the Eiffel Tower in the local crazy golf attraction. But will it get their parents talking again? A funny and very moving story that tackles important issues with a light touch.
People journey to Greece for the ruins, Turkey for the Hagia Sophia, and Russia for St. Peter's, but Alexia Brue travels with a different itinerary: to visit the baths. What starts off as an innocent vacation quickly becomes an obsession, as the author ventures to Turkey, Greece, Russia, Finland, and Japan to sample the range of bathing traditions the world has to offer. Caught up in the tide of travel and exploration and crossing paths with fellow travellers along the way, Alexia drifts further and further away from the life she left behind in New York City. Hoping to find a thriving local bath scene, she dips into hamams, banyas, saunas, and onsen, finding both disappointment and bliss. At once deeply personal and highly informative, full of intimacies, discoveries, and unexpected twists, CATHEDRALS OF THE FLESH is the candid and playful account of one woman's determination to follow her passion, ultimately inspiring readers to do the same.
Howard Hughes embodied the American dream: envied by powerful men, desired by beautiful women, Hughes lived his life larger than all who surrounded him and yet died an emaciated recluse. This makes him the perfect subject for red-hot biographer Alton Reece. Riding high on the wave of previous astonishing success, Reece sees Hughes as more than simply a name worth the seven-figure advance he's demanding from his publisher. He finds in Hughes a kindred spirit of greatness, a man misunderstood and beaten down by jealous inferiors. But even as Reece struggles to 'know' his subject, his own rapidly unravelling life keeps finding unexpected ways to intrude. With a deft comic touch and an astounding narrative style, Steven Carter's novel creates a picture of a Hughes who might have been, a biographer who can't separate his subject from his own visions of grandeur, and a public that demands its heroes be larger than life - if only so they can be more easily torn down.
The author of Common Sense and The Rights of Man, a radical on the run from the law in London, a founding father of the United States of America, a senator of revolutionary France, Thomas Paine alone claims a key role in the development of three modern democracies. He was a walking revolution in human form - the most dangerous man alive. But in death Paine's story turns truly bizarre - his bones were taken from New York to London and eventually disappeared. In Paris, London and New York, in bars, grocers, shops and national libraries, crossing paths along the way with, among others, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, William Cobbett, Walt Whitman, Charles Darwin and even Lord Bryon, Paul Collins sets himself the challenge of finding out what happened to Paine's bones, and ends up telling one of the most extraordinary stories of modern history.
The world over, no sportsman - and maybe no other individual - provokes more fascination, argument and interest than the Londoner with the film-star looks, David Beckham. No sports team exudes more glamour, has won more competitions or possesses a more dazzling collection of superstars than Real Madrid. The fusion of the two has gripped the attention of millions and changed the face of the world's favourite sport, making a clear divide between the Old Football and the New. White Angels is the insider's look at what happened to make the historic deal. John Carlin has had unprecedented access to the Real Madrid team, travelling with them to matches and conducting extensive interviews with the players and its charismatic and driven chairman Florentino Pérez. White Angels describes how Beckham's transfer took place, and the machinations and intrigue behind it. It details Beckham's first year at Real, and how he fared on the field alongside such global stars as Figo, Zidane, Carlos, Raúl and Ronaldo.
Beautiful, flaxen-haired Buttercup has fallen for Westley, the farm boy, and when he departs to make his fortune, she vows never to love another. So when she hears that his ship has been captured by the Dread Pirate Roberts - who never leaves survivors - her heart is broken. But her charms draw the attention of the relentless Prince Humperdinck who wants a wife and will go to any lengths to have Buttercup. So starts a fairytale like no other, of fencing, fighting, torture, poison, true love, hate, revenge, giants, hunters, bad men, good men, beautifulest ladies, snakes, spiders, beasts, chases, escapes, lies, truths, passion and miracles.
Big Ray's obesity and his mean temper define him, at least to his family. When Big Ray dies, his son Daniel puts his feelings aside, for a while. Years later, Daniel attempts to reckon with the enduring, outsized memory of his father. In this stunning novel a middle-aged man comes to terms with his father's death - and with his life. Told in five hundred brief entries, the complexity of this searing story moves back and forth between the past and the present, between an abusive childhood and an adult understanding. Shot through with humour and insight that will resonate with anyone who has a complicated parental relationship, Big Ray is a staggering family story - at once brutal and tender, unusual and unsettling.
For the past forty years the images flashing across our television screens from the Middle East have provoked anger, outrage and, sometimes, military action from the international community. But the stories behind them were rarely understood. In 2011 the revolutions of the Arab Spring changed everything. Now, the handful of dictators who ruled brutally over hundreds of millions of people Hosni Mubarak, Ben Ali, Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi and Bashar al-Assad have gone, or are fighting for their lives. They have left behind countries in turmoil, the people forced to re-examine their identities and regional loyalties, and to decide what role Islam will play in their lives and their politics. The collapse of the old order has left the West scrambling to make sense of a region it hardly recognises. If the people of the Arab world can now speak openly for the first time, then it is also the Wests first chance to listen. And there are many questions to be answered. Drawing on compelling first-hand reporting from Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Israel, Syria and Tunisia, and deep knowledge of the regions history and access to many of its key players, BBC Bureau Chief Paul Danahar lays bare the forces that are shaping the new Middle East.
Today we are endlessly connected: constantly tweeting, texting or e-mailing. This may seem unprecedented, yet it is not. Throughout history, information has been spread through social networks, with far-reaching social and political effects. Writing on the Wall reveals how an elaborate network of letter exchanges forewarned of power shifts in Ciceros Rome, while the torrent of tracts circulating in sixteenth-century Germany triggered the Reformation. Standage traces the story of the rise, fall and rebirth of social media over the past 2, 000 years offering an illuminating perspective on the history of media, and revealing that social networks do not merely connect us today they also link us to the past.
"Give me a dollar or I'll spit on you. " That's Bradley Chalker for you. He is the oldest child in the class. He tells enormous lies. He picks fights with girls, and the teachers say he has `serious behaviour problems'. No one likes him - except Carla, the new school counsellor. She thinks Bradley is sensitive and generous, and she even enjoys his far-fetched stories. Carla knows that Bradley could change, if only he weren't afraid to try. Sometimes the hardest thing in the world is believing in yourself.
It is a summer's night in 1860. In an elegant detached Georgian house in the village of Road, Wiltshire, all is quiet. Behind shuttered windows the Kent family lies sound asleep. At some point after midnight a dog barks. The family wakes the next morning to a horrific discovery: an unimaginably gruesome murder has taken place in their home. The household reverberates with shock, not least because the guilty party is surely still among them. Jack Whicher of Scotland Yard, the most celebrated detective of his day, reaches Road Hill House a fortnight later. He faces an unenviable task: to solve a case in which the grieving family are the suspects. The murder provokes national hysteria. The thought of what might be festering behind the closed doors of respectable middle-class homes - scheming servants, rebellious children, insanity, jealousy, loneliness and loathing - arouses fear and a kind of excitement. But when Whicher reaches his shocking conclusion there is uproar and bewilderment. A true story that inspired a generation of writers such as Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle, this has all the hallmarks of the classic murder mystery - a body; a detective; a country house steeped in secrets. In The Suspicions of Mr Whicher Kate Summerscale untangles the facts behind this notorious case, bringing it back to vivid, extraordinary life.
It's 1946 and Juliet Ashton can't think what to write next. Out of the blue, she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams of Guernsey - by chance, he's acquired a book that once belonged to her - and, spurred on by their mutual love of reading, they begin a correspondence. When Dawsey reveals that he is a member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, her curiosity is piqued and it's not long before she begins to hear from other members. As letters fly back and forth with stories of life in Guernsey under German Occupation, Juliet soon realizes that the society is every bit as extraordinary as its name.
an event that is to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family is forced to flee to America, Amir realises that one day he must return to Afghanistan under Taliban rule to find the one thing that his new world cannot grant him: redemption.
must steel himself to excavate the horrors of his own history. A novel of astounding beauty and wisdom, Fugitive Pieces is a profound meditation on the resilience of the human spirit and love's ability to resurrect even the most damaged of hearts.
humans really superior to other living things? And how can you fit the complete history of the planet into one pocket-sized book?These are just some of the questions answered in Christopher Lloyd's acclaimed 13. 7 billion year history - now in brief. In this thrill-ride across millennia and continents, the complete history of the planet comes to life: from the Earth's fiery birth to its near-obliteration in the Triassic period, and from the first signs of
It's just before New Year, and Frank, an overweight American tourist, has hired Kenji to take him on a guided tour of Tokyo's nightlife. But Frank's behaviour is so odd that Kenji begins to entertain a horrible suspicion: his client may in fact have murderous desires. Although Kenji is far from innocent himself, he unwillingly descends with Frank into an inferno of evil, from which only his sixteen-year-old girlfriend, Jun, can possibly save him.
In 1954 a fisherman is found dead in the nets of his boat, and a local Japanese-American man is charged with his murder. In the course of his trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than one man's guilt. For on San Piedro, memories grow as thickly as cedar trees and the fields of ripe strawberries - memories of a charmed love affair between a white boy and a Japanese girl; memories of land desired, paid for, and lost. Above all, San Piedro is haunted by the memory of what happened to its Japanese residents during World War II, when an entire community was sent into exile while its neighbours watched.
It is 1957. As Daphne du Maurier wanders alone through her remote mansion on the Cornish coast, she is haunted by thoughts of her failing marriage and the legendary heroine of her most famous novel, Rebecca, who now seems close at hand. Seeking distraction, she becomes fascinated by Branwell, the reprobate brother of the Brontë sisters, and begins a correspondence with the enigmatic scholar Alex Symington in which truth and fiction combine. Meanwhile, in present day London, a lonely young woman struggles with her thesis on du Maurier and the Brontës and finds herself retreating from her distant husband into a fifty-year-old literary mystery...