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1916: The Easter Rising

1916: The Easter Rising

The Easter Rising began at 12 noon on 24 April, 1916 and lasted for six short but bloody days, resulting in the deaths of innocent civilians, the destruction of many parts of Dublin and the true beginning of Irish independence.

The 1916 Rising was born out of the Conservative and Unionist parties’ illegal defiance of the democratically expressed wish of the Irish electorate for Home Rule; and of confusion, mishap and disorganisation, compounded by a split within the Volunteer leadership.

Tim Pat Coogan introduces the major players, themes and outcomes of a drama that would profoundly affect twentieth-century Irish history. Not only is this the story of a turning point in Ireland’s struggle for freedom, but also a testament to the men and women of courage and conviction who were prepared to give their lives for what they believed was right.
1918

1918

The story of the huge mobile battles of 1918, which finally ended the Great War.

1918 was the critical year of battle as the Great War reached its brutal climax. Warfare of an epic scale was fought on the Western Front, where ordinary British soldiers faced the final test of their training, tactics and determination. That they withstood the storm and began an astonishing counterattack, is proof that by 1918, the British army was the most effective fighting force in the world. But this ultimate victory came at devastating cost.

Using a wealth of previously unpublished material, historian Peter Hart gives a vivid account of this last year of conflict – what it was like to fight on the frontline, through the words of the men who were there. In a chronicle of unparalleled scope and depth, he brings to life the suspense, turmoil and tragedy of 1918’s vast offensives.
1939: The Last Season

1939: The Last Season

A wonderful portrait of British upper-class life in the Season of 1939 – the last before the Second World War.

The Season of 1939 brought all those ‘in Society’ to London. The young debutante daughters of the upper classes were presented to the King and Queen to mark their acceptance into the new adult world of their parents. They sparkled their way through a succession of balls and parties and sporting events.

The Season brought together influential people not only from Society but also from Government at the various events of the social calendar. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain chaperoned his debutante niece to weekend house parties; Lord Halifax, the Foreign Secretary, lunched with the Headmaster of Eton; Cabinet Ministers encountered foreign Ambassadors at balls in the houses of the great hostesses. As the hot summer drew on, the newspapers filled with ever more ominous reports of the relentless progress towards war. There was nothing to do but wait – and dance. The last season of peace was nearly over.
52 Pickup

52 Pickup

From the bestselling author of GET SHORTY and JACKIE BROWN a thriller spiced with blackmail and revenge.

Detroit businessman Harry Mitchell is a self-made man, happily married for over twenty-two years and a pillar of the community. But then he slips – he meets a young ‘model’ and begins an affair. One night he arrives at his girlfriend’s apartment and finds more than he bargained for. Two masked men have caught his misdemeanours on camera and now they want a cool hundred grand. But they’ve picked the wrong man, because Harry Mitchell doesn’t get mad – he gets even.
A Book for All and None

A Book for All and None

A beautiful, haunting literary debut from an extraordinary talent and future prize-winner.

One crisp, clear day, across a cobbled Oxford street, Raymond Greatorex catches sight of Beatrice Kopus. Raymond, a brilliant but ageing don whose specialty is Nietzsche, has withdrawn into a lonely world of scholarship. Beatrice is in Oxford researching Virginia Woolf, and distancing herself from her husband, Walter. When Beatrice reappears in Raymond’s life, they embark on a love affair.

Beatrice becomes convinced of a link between Friedrich Nietzsche, Louise von Salomé – the young Russian émigré who bewitched him – and Virginia Woolf. As Walter faces ruin in his glittering career, Beatrice and Raymond seek refuge in the past. Stories of Nietzsche’s madness and his obsession with von Salomé become intertwined with those of Raymond’s ancestors, and their beautiful, crumbling home on the Welsh borders.

But there are even greater mysteries linking the past to the present, and in their quest to find one set of answers, Beatrice and Raymond stand to uncover a secret that will profoundly change their understanding of who they really are.
A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived

This is a story about you.

It is the history of who you are and how you came to be. It is unique to you, as it is to each of the 100 billion modern humans who have ever drawn breath. But it is also our collective story, because in every one of our genomes we each carry the history of our species – births, deaths, disease, war, famine, migration and a lot of sex.

Since scientists first read the human genome in 2001 it has been subject to all sorts of claims, counterclaims and myths. In fact, as Adam Rutherford explains, our genomes should be read not as instruction manuals, but as epic poems. DNA determines far less than we have been led to believe about us as individuals, but vastly more about us as a species.

In this captivating journey through the expanding landscape of genetics, Adam Rutherford reveals what our genes now tell us about history, and what history tells us about our genes. From Neanderthals to murder, from redheads to race, dead kings to plague, evolution to epigenetics, this is a demystifying and illuminating new portrait of who we are and how we came to be.
A Brief History of the Future

A Brief History of the Future

The Internet is the most remarkable thing human beings have built since the Pyramids. John Naughton’s book intersperses wonderful personal stories with an authoritative account of where the Net actually came from, who invented it and why and where it might be taking us. Most of us have no idea how the Internet works, or who created it. Even fewer have any idea what it means for society and the future. In a cynical age, John Naughton has not lost his capacity for wonder. He examines the nature of his own enthusiasm for technology and traces its roots in his lonely childhood and in his relationship with his father. A Brief History of the Future is an intensely personal celebration of vision and altruism, ingenuity and determination and, above all, of the power of ideas, passionately felt, to change the world.
A Certain Chemistry

A Certain Chemistry

Is this love or just oxytocin? The brilliant second novel by the bestselling author of Things my Girlfriend and I Have Argued About

Tom Cartwright is a ghost-writer: eking out a living in Edinburgh, he is always ready to assumethe persona of a struggling working mother-of-four, or a round-the-world yachtsman, or a ‘sensual’ aromatherapist – indeed anyone his agent asks him to be, so long as it brings in money. When he is offered the highly lucrative task of ghosting the autobiography of glamorous young soap star Georgina Nye, he and his girlfriend Sara are thrilled: Sara is a big fan of George’s and Tom will finally be able to afford some new carpets for their house.

But soon things go awry when Tom finds himself drawn to George by forces outside his control (even though they are inside his own body). Does his relationship with Sara stand a chance in the face of this explosion of chemistry? Is this love or just oxytocin – and is there a difference?
A Choice Of Enemies

A Choice Of Enemies

Prize-winning historian Lawrence Freedman takes an exceptionally clear-eyed look at America’s strategic predicament in the Middle East, over the past 30 years.

The United States is locked into three prolonged conflicts without much hope of early resolution. Iran is pursuing a nuclear programme; the aftermath of the overthrow of Saddam Hussein has seen unrelenting intercommunal violence; and the Taliban have got back into Afghanistan.

Lawrence Freedman teases out the roots of each engagement over the last thirty years and demonstrates with clarity and scholarship the influence of these conflicts upon each other.

The story is complex and often marked by great drama. First, the countries in dispute with America are not themselves natural allies; second, their enmity was not, at first, America’s choice. Third, the region’s problems cannot all be traced to the Arab-Israeli dispute. Unique in its focus, this book will offer not only new revelations but also remind us of what has been forgotten or has never been put in context.
A Crowd Is Not Company

A Crowd Is Not Company

Journalist and broadcaster Robert Kee was an RAF bomber pilot in the Second World War. When his plane was shot down over Nazi-occupied Holland, he was captured and spent three years and three months in a German POW camp.

From the beginning he was intent on escape. After several false starts, he finally made it.

First published in 1947 as a novel, but now revealed to be an autobiography, A Crowd Is Not Company recounts Kee’s experiences as a prisoner of war and describes in compelling detail his desperate journey across Poland – a journey that meant running the gauntlet of Nazism.
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