Spellbinding memoir of a woman coping with the aftermath of her husband’s traumatic brain injury.
When Abigail Thomas’s husband, Richard, was hit by a car, it destroyed his short-term memory and consigned him to permanent brain trauma. He had been taking their dog, Harry, out for a walk, and Harry had come home alone.
Subject to rages, terrors, and hallucinations, Rich must live the rest of his life in an institution. He has no memory of what he did the hour, the day, the year before. This tragedy is the ground on which Abigail had to build a new life rather than abandon her husband. How she built that life is a story of great courage and great change, of moving to a small country town, of a new family composed of three dogs, knitting and friendship, of facing down guilt and discovering gratitude. It is also about her relationship with Rich, a man who lives in the eternal present, and the eerie poetry of his often uncanny perceptions. This wise, plain-spoken, beautiful book enacts the truth Abigail discovered in the five years since the accident: You might not find meaning in disaster, but you might, with effort, make something useful of it.
Forced to adapt to a life alone, Abigail finds solace at home, discovering that friends, family and dogs (Carolina, Harry and Rosie) can reshape a life of chaos into one that, while wrenchingly sad, makes sense – a life full of its own richness and beauty.
A fascinating and hilarious expose of how a group of young opportunists, chancers and geniuses found instant fame and fortune by messing about on the web. And one man’s attempt to follow in their footsteps.
Having covered the first dot com boom, and founded a web-to-print publishing business during the second one, Paul counts many of the leading Internet entrepreneurs amongst his closest friends. These friendships mean he doesn’t just attend their product launches and press conferences and speak at their events, but also gets invited to their ultra-exclusive networking events, and gets drunk at their parties.
Paul has enjoyed this bizarre world of excess without having to live in it. To help the moguls celebrate raising millions of pounds of funding without having to face the wrath of the venture capitalists himself. But in 2006, Paul decided he didn’t want to be a spectator any more. He had been harbouring a great dot com project of his own and decided it was time to do something about it.
This wonderfully entertaining journey takes us from Alistair Horne’s childhood as a wartime evacuee in America to his career as a highly successful historian and biographer, via a stint as a foreign correspondent for the Daily Telegraph. We travel with him from Germany to America, from Canada to France, from Latin America to the Middle East.
A consummate biographer, the pages of Horne’s ‘Literary Vagabondage’ abound with vivid character sketches of the friends and foes that have shaped his life.
Biography of the most infamous woman of the early 20th century, the Dutch courtesan and alleged spy Margaretha Zelle (1876-1917), – Mata Hari
Mata Hari was the prototype of the beautiful but unscrupulous female agent who used sexual allure to gain access to secrets, if she was indeed a spy.
In 1917, the notorious dancer Mata Hari was arrested, tried, and executed for espionage. It was charged at her trial that the dark-eyed siren was responsible for the deaths of at least 50,000 gallant French soldiers. Irrefutably, she had been the mistress of many senior Allied officers and government officials, even the French Minister of War: a point viewed as highly suspicious. Worse yet, she spoke several European languages fluently and travelled widely in wartime Europe. But was she guilty of espionage?
For all the publicity Mata Hari and her trial received, key questions remain unanswered. These questions concern not only her inadequate trial and her unproven guilt, but also the events in her personal life. What propelled Margaretha Zelle, destined to be a Dutch schoolteacher, to transform herself into Mata Hari, the most desirable woman in early 20th-century Paris? She danced before enthusiastic crowds in Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Madrid, Monte Carlo, Milan and Rome, inspiring admiration, jealousy, and bitter condemnation.
Pat Shipman’s brilliant biography pinpoints the powerful yet dangerous attributes that evoked such strong emotions in those who met Mata Hari, for hitherto the focus has been on espionage, not on exploring the events that shaped her life and caused her to transform herself from rural Dutch girl to international femme fatale.
*Winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize*
‘Malala is an inspiration to girls and women all over the world’ J K Rowling
‘Inspirational and powerful’ GRAZIA
‘For sheer inspiration read I Am Malala’ SUNDAY TIMES
‘A tale of immense courage and conviction’ INDEPENDENT
‘She has the heart and courage of a lioness and is a true inspiration’ Lorraine Kelly, THE SUN
When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley, one girl fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, 9 October 2012, she almost paid the ultimate price when she was shot in the head at point-blank range.
Malala Yousafzai’s extraordinary journey has taken her from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations. She has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and is the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world
Jennifer Worth’s bestselling memoirs of her time as a midwife have inspired and moved readers of all ages.
Now, in In the Midst of Life she documents her experiences as a nurse and ward sister, treating patients who were nearing the end of their lives. Interspersed with these stories from Jennifer’s post-midwife career are the histories of her patients, from the family divided by a decision nobody could bear to make, to the mother who comes to her son’s adopted country and joins his family without being able to speak a word of English.
In the Midst of Life also gives moving insights not just into Jennifer’s life and career, but also of a period of time which seems very different to today’s, fast-paced world.
‘Memoirs of such richness are rare . . . a joy’ JAMES NAUGHTIE
‘A remarkable personal journey, by one of the great political correspondents of our world – eloquent, enlightening, exhilarating’ PHILIPPE SANDS
A trailblazer for women in journalism, Hella Pick arrived in Britain in 1939 as a child refugee from Austria. Over nearly four decades she covered the volatile global scene, first in West Africa, followed by America and long periods in Europe. In her thirty-five years with the Guardian she reported on the end of Empire in West Africa, the assassination of President Kennedy, Martin Luther King’s march from Selma to Montgomery, the Vietnam peace negotiation in Paris, the 1968 student revolt in France, the birth of the Solidarity movement in Poland, and the closing stages of the Cold War. A request for coffee on board a Soviet ship anchored in Malta led to a chat with Mikhail Gorbachev. A request for an interview with Willy Brandt led to a personal friendship that enabled her to come to terms with Germany’s Nazi past.
Her book is also a clarion call for preserving professionalism in journalism at a time when social media muddy the waters between fact and fiction, and between reporting and commentary.
INVISIBLE WALLS tells the dramatic story of how a Kindertransport survivor won the trust and sometimes the friendship of world leaders, and with them a wide range of remarkable men and women. It speaks frankly of personal heartache and of a struggle over her Jewish identity. It is also the intensely touching story of how, despite a gift for friendship and international recognised achievements as a woman journalist, a continuing sense of personal insecurity has confronted her with a series of invisible walls.
In 2021, the world of cooking lost a legendary figure. Albert Roux, together with his brother Michel, transformed the way we eat, cook and appreciate food in this country. It is no exaggeration to say that most of what makes our current culinary landscape so vibrant began with these two brothers and their ground-breaking restaurant, Le Gavroche.
Albert first arrived in England in the fifties, at a time of grey and brown food, with a nation still reeling from the effects of war and rationing. Cooking in the grand private houses of the aristocracy, he was to fall in love with the country and, after his military service, which he spent fighting in the Algerian Civil War, he would eventually make it his home for life. He and his brother set up Le Gavroche in 1967. It was to become the first restaurant in the UK to gain first one, and eventually three, Michelin stars. Together with their other restaurants, including the renowned Waterside Inn in Bray, it would go on to revolutionise the industry. The Roux restaurants set on their course an entire generation of award-winning chefs: his protégés include Gordon Ramsay, Marcus Wareing, Rowley Leigh and Monica Galetti, to name just a tiny fraction. He won every plaudit possible in the world of food, and was granted an OBE, a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, and a papal knighthood.
Albert’s memoir takes us from his childhood in wartime France, where the ever-looming presence of the German troops made it a challenge for his mother to keep the family fed, right up to the almost instant success of Le Gavroche, which welcomed everybody from royalty – the Queen Mother and Princess Diana were both regulars – to Hollywood legends including Charlie Chaplin. He talks frankly about his famed relationship with his brother, and about the encounter which derailed his first boyhood ambition to join the priesthood. His drive, humour and joie de vivre leap off every page, and the insight into what it took to break new ground in the restaurant industry is unmatched.
These are the last words from a pioneer, a hero who inspired entire generations of chefs. They tell the story not only of a titan of a man, but of an era that shaped the way we cook and eat today.
ON THE ROAD: GROWING UP IN EIGHT JOURNEYS – MY EARLY YEARS is a new form of autobiography, in which TOP GEAR presenter Richard Hammond tells the story of his early life through a series of significant driving episodes. He’s a child in the back seat of Dad’s car on the way to the seaside in Weston-Super-Mare. He’s on his first bike, a red one, in Solihull, then on his first motorcycle, a Honda MTX50. He’s at the wheel of his first car (and in the back with his first girlfriend). He is driving a furniture delivery van as part of his first job in and around Ripon. Now he is showing off with a friend, risking everything.
ON THE ROAD is an emotional road map in which each chapter has its own registration number, and its own distinctive interior. Most importantly, each chapter sets off and arrives. ON THE ROAD surges on to its destination, reversing or moving quickly through the gears, reliving the central episodes and conflicts of Richard’s life. Every chapter is a stage in a longer journey. Although there are precious few road-rage monologues against four-wheel drivers and men in vests in white vans, Richard Hammond’s readers will quickly recognise the funny self-deprecating and balanced ease that has made him one of Britain’s best-loved writers and television presenters.
Saint Paul was not only a religious figure of exceptional power but one of the outstanding makers of history. This is the biography of a man who profoundly influenced people of widely divergent beliefs, races and epochs.
Without the spiritual earthquake brought about by St Paul, Christianity would probably never have survived. Yet Paul’s importance extends very widely beyond the religious field. His effect upon Western thought has been immeasurable. This is the man Michael Grant has described in his book. Paul’s own authentic voice can still be heard in his surviving letters or Epistles, which not only contain numerous autobiographical clues, but are the earliest Christian documents in existence and rank high among the most valuable literature the world has ever produced.
Dr Grant considers in detail this extant literature, along with material of Paul’s four evangelical journeys and discusses the reasons for his spectacular conversion on the road to Damascus. As in The Jews of the Roman World and Herod the Great, he brings together research on Israel on the one hand and Greece and Rome on the other, believing that it is necessary to study these cultures in conjunction, since Paul was a Jew who wrote in Greek and was a Roman citizen. The aim of this book, then, is to bring to life this many sided human being of outstanding and peculiar gifts.
A memoir about keeping chickens from the author of THE COLOR PURPLE
When Alice Walker grew up in the deep south of America, her family always kept chickens – for meat and for eggs – and her job was to chase down the Sunday dinner! In later life, when she settled in Mexico and was growing her own food, she realised how much she missed keeping them and decided to get a brood of her own. So into her life came Gertrude Stein, Babe, Babe 2, Hortensia, Splendor, Glorious, Rufus and Agnes of God, not to mention a few others.
She discovered a deep contentment in keeping chickens, looking after them and watching them develop. This also made her think about her own life and brought back severed memories of her childhood. This book isn’t a ‘how to’ on keeping chickens, it is a warm memoir chronicling her journey and the way in which keeping chickens led her to a fuller understanding of herself.
Moving from Islington to Exmoor; one small step for mankind but a very large one for MAIL ON SUNDAY columnist Liz Jones.
Liz Jones lived the perfect urban life. The immaculate Georgian townhouse in a leafy London square. The glamorous career. The Italian wardrobe stuffed with designer bags and shoes. The much younger novelist husband. But then it all goes horribly wrong. She discovers her husband has been having numerous affairs (with women who are younger, dimmer, slimmer) and realises that her pursuit of perfection has never made her happy, and probably never will.
And so she decides to start all over again, burying herself alive in the middle of the bleak, unforgiving wilderness that is Exmoor National Park. She buys a wreck of a farmhouse, with an original stable block, 46 acres, an ancient wood and a lake. She rescues a nervous and abused but breathtakingly beautiful racehorse and hopes to live out the rural dream. The reality, of course, is much, much harder.
THE EXMOOR FILES is a funny, honest, often brutal real-life account of what it is like to start all over again in an alien environment. It is about discovering that you cannot find peace just by moving somewhere peaceful. It is about mourning for a relationship and letting go of the life you thought you deserved.