Christmas Gift Guide

Give the gift of a story this Christmas with our pick of the best for you and yours. 

 'Gregory is an experienced storyteller and doesn’t let you down. Tidelands is a gripping and intelligent portrait of a woman fighting to survive in a hostile world' THE TIMES

THE BRAND NEW SERIES FROM THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLING AUTHOR
 
England 1648. A dangerous time for a woman to be different . . .

Midsummer’s Eve, 1648, and England is in the grip of civil war between renegade King and rebellious Parliament.  The struggle reaches every corner of the kingdom, even to the remote Tidelands – the marshy landscape of the south coast. 

Alinor, a descendant of wise women, crushed by poverty and superstition, waits in the graveyard under the full moon for a ghost who will declare her free from her abusive husband.  Instead she meets James, a young man on the run, and shows him the secret ways across the treacherous marsh, not knowing that she is leading disaster into the heart of her life.

Suspected of possessing dark secrets in superstitious times, Alinor’s ambition and determination mark her out from her neighbours. This is the time of witch-mania, and Alinor, a woman without a husband, skilled with herbs, suddenly enriched, arouses envy in her rivals and fear among the villagers, who are ready to take lethal action into their own hands.

‘The first in a planned series . . . The author crafts her material with effortless ease. Her grasp of social mores is brilliant, the love story rings true and the research is, as ever, of the highest calibre'    Elizabeth Buchan, Daily Mail

‘Vivid and beguiling Philippa Gregory at her best’  woman&home

'
A compelling novel that shines a light on the struggles of 17th century women' Daily Mirror

'
The novel's power lies in Gregory's evocative portrayal of the tidelands and the everyday lives of those who are bound to them' Sunday Express

'Philippa Gregory returns with an English Civil War novel that excels in everything she does best. Historical events are written with breathless immediacy, keeping the reader enthralled even if they know the outcome. She pays close attention to the plight of women in the past, so often unchanged despite men's wars, and gives them a voice . . . Fans will not be disappointed' Alys Key, The i

'Shines a light on the struggles of 17th century women . . . If this novel is the first sign of what's to come then readers are in for a treat' Emma Lee-Potter, Daily Express

'Tidelands evokes a world of suspense and superstition. Its fascinating fictional heroine, Alinor, is caught in a net of in-between spaces . . . I was completely swept up in this wonderful, immersive story set in the English Civil War when women who lived unconventional lives risked being accused of witchcraft'    Tina Jackson, Writing Magazine

 


THE ENCHANTING NEW NOVEL FROM THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLING AUTHOR

**Winner of 
The Goldsboro Books Historical Romantic Novel Award 2019**

Never give up on your dreams, no matter how long you hold on to them . . .
 
When Gracie Burton stumbles upon an advertisement for a week-long cookery course in the heart of the Tuscan countryside,she cannot resist, and ploughs her life savings into the trip.
 
Her only family – daughter Carina and granddaughter Anastasia – are hesitant about what has prompted this seemingly random venture. But they have no sense of Gracie’s past; of what could possibly be calling her to Italy. They have no idea that Gracie is harbouring the secret of an extraordinary life that preceded them . . .
 
Bestselling author, Santa Montefiore, returns with an unforgettable tale of love lost and rediscovered, set across the beautiful landscape of Italy
 
 
***PRAISE FOR SANTA MONTEFIORE***
 
‘Nobody does epic romance like Santa Montefiore’
JOJO MOYES
 
‘An enchanting read overflowing with deliciously poignant moments’
DINAH JEFFERIES on Songs of Love and War
 
‘Santa Montefiore hits the spot for me like few other writers’
SARRA MANNING
 
‘One of our personal favourites’
THE TIMES on The Last Secret of the Deverills


*** THE BRAND NEW STANDALONE NOVEL FROM THE MASTER OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SUSPENSE ***
'Confirms Nicci French as the giant of the genre, upon whose shoulders other writers stand' Erin Kelly
‘French, the pseudonymous couple who single-handedly revamped the psychological thriller in the 1990s, show they remain as expert at suspense, plot and the psychology of stressed heroines’ Sunday Times
'The Lying Room is a return to their roots, and oh boy, is it a good one... With its terrifying premise – how easy it is for an ordinary woman to find herself faced with evil – The Lying Room isn't merely a return to the form of Nicci French's earlier chillers – it's even better' Observer
‘It’s Nicci French perfection – which, as we all know, is the best kind of perfection. So, so gripping and brilliantly clued' Sophie Hannah
The Lying Room reasserts Nicci French as the master of duplicity, suspense and sleight of hand’ Sam Baker
'The hook of The Lying Room is chilling: a woman discovers the dead body of a man she knows and doesn’t tell a soul. From the very first page, Nicci French remains one step ahead of us as we race to unpick Neve Connolly's deadly tangle. Expertly paced, psychologically sharp, thoroughly enjoyable' Louise Candlish
‘You know a book's gripping when you sneak away at any opportunity to read it. Meticulously plotted, psychologically astute’ Sarah Vaughan
‘This book is a pure adrenaline rush!’ Jenny Colgan

Neve Connolly looks down at a murdered man.
She doesn't call the police. 


‘You know, it’s funny,’ Detective Inspector Hitching said. ‘Whoever I see, they keep saying, talk to Neve Connolly, she’ll know. She’s the one people talk to, she’s the one people confide in.’
A trusted colleague and friend. A mother. A wife. Neve Connolly is all these things.
She has also made mistakes; some small, some unconsciously done, some large, some deliberate. She is only human, after all.
But now one mistake is spiralling out of control and Neve is bringing those around her into immense danger.
She can’t tell the truth. So how far is she prepared  to go to protect those she loves?
And who does she really know? And who can she trust?
A liar. A cheat. A threat. Neve Connolly is all these things.
Could she be a murderer?

Praise for Nicci French:
'Too few novelists can combine this level of page-turning suspense with character care and pin-sharp prose' Erin Kelly, bestselling author of He Said/She Said
'Nicci French's sophisticated, compassionate and gripping crime novels stand head and shoulders above the competition’ Sophie Hannah
'Stunning’ Clare Mackintosh
‘A multi-layered plot that keeps you guessing until the final page’ Jane Corry
‘Fabulous, unsettling and riveting’ Louise Penny on Blue Monday
‘Masterful’  Sabine Durrant
‘The best crime novels combine great writing, compelling storylines, and memorable characters. You get all of that in a Nicci French, but you also get something more: a deep insight into what it means to be human, and how to live with pain and loss’ Cara Hunter
‘Tension-filled, addictive and taut, with beautifully-drawn characters I won't forget. Nicci French just gets better and better’ Laura Marshall, bestselling author of Friend Request
‘A masterclass’ Jane Casey
‘Utterly addictive’ The Independent
‘A vivid, finely crafted performance’ Guardian
Brilliantly crafted . . . masterly control of suspense’ Daily Mirror
‘Tense, frightening, gripping’ Easy Living
‘Dark, nerve-tingling and addictive’ Daily Express
‘Magnificent’ Evening Standard
‘French leads the field’ Sunday Express
'Nail-biting'Marie Claire
'Ingenious' Daily Telegraph


Cruz Smith at his best: ace storytelling with dry, laconic dialogue and a crumpled but courageous hero’ Adam LeBor, Financial Times
 
Investigator Arkady Renko, described as ‘one of the most compelling figures in modern fiction’ by USA Today, finds himself travelling deep into Siberia when journalist Tatiana Petrovna disappears on a case.

Journalist Tatiana Petrovna has disappeared. Arkady Renko, iconic Moscow investigator and Tatiana’s on-off lover, hasn’t seen her since she left on a case over a month ago. No one else thinks Renko should be worried – Tatiana is known to disappear during deep assignments – but he knows her enemies all too well and the criminal lengths they will go to keep her quiet. Given the opportunity to interrogate a suspected assassin in Irkutsk, Renko embarks on a dangerous journey to Siberia to find Tatiana and bring her back.

Renko finds Siberia to be a land of shamans and brutally cold nights, oligarchs wealthy on northern oil and sea monsters that are said to prowl the deepest lake in the world. With these forces at work against him, Renko will need all his wits about him to get Tatiana out alive.

From the revered author of crime classic Gorky Park comes the brilliant ninth novel featuring the iconic Arkady Renko.

'Martin Cruz Smith’s deftness of touch, lightness of humour and depth of knowledge are on display as ever in The Siberian DilemmaObserver

Praise for Martin Cruz Smith

'Martin Cruz Smith makes tension rise through the page like a shark's fin’ Independent 

'The story drips with atmosphere and authenticity – a literary triumph' David Young, bestselling author of Stasi Child 

'One of those writers that anyone who is serious about their craft views with respect bordering on awe' Val McDermid

‘Smith not only constructs grittily realistic plots, he also has a gift for characterisation of which most thriller writers can only dream' Mail on Sunday

'Smith was among the first of a new generation of writers who made thrillers literary'  Guardian

'Brilliantly worked, marvellously written . . . an imaginative triumph'  Sunday Times


FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF OUR HOUSE, WINNER OF THE CRIME & THRILLER BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD
'One of this summer's most anticipated thrillers' Stylist
'Scarily plausible' Observer

'Guaranteed to have you vibrating with impotent fury … a carefully crafted psychological thriller’ Laura Wilson, Guardian
‘A feverish atmosphere is built up, with Candlish again skewering the peccadilloes and prejudices of her middle-class characters’ Sunday Times


MEET THE NEIGHBOURS YOU'LL LOVE TO HATE

Until Darren and Jodie move in, Lowland Way is a suburban paradise. Beautiful homes. Friendly neighbours. Kids playing out in the street. But Darren and Jodie don't follow the rules and soon disputes over loud music and parking rights escalate to threats of violence.

Then, early one Sunday, a horrific crime shocks the street. As the police go house-to-house, the residents close ranks and everyone's story is the same: They did it.

But there's a problem. The police don't agree. And the door they're knocking on next is yours. 

'You're in for a treat!' Lisa Jewell
'Prepare to be gripped; Those People is nail-bitingly tense from the first page to the last. Louise Candlish shows us the dark side of suburbia – and of ourselves' Erin Kelly
‘Sharp satire and a plot that builds to a roiling boil with a couple of oh-so-clever final twists in close succession: Louise Candlish is one very clever writer’ Sarah Vaughan
'Beautifully modulated and terrifically suspenseful' Washington Post
‘Twists aplenty, and such wonderful observation - I loved it' Clare Mackintosh
'An addictive, twisty page-turner about the neighbours from hell that will give you nightmares about the suburban dream' Alice Feeney
'A delicious slice of suburban noir. I loved it' Harriet Tyce 'Candlish is a master at peeling away the veneer of middle-class respectability, and utterly nails the trials of living cheek-by-jowl with awful neighbours. You’ll be asking yourself, “How far would I go?”' heat
'Candlish shows us, through multiple points of view, how Booth’s boorish presence causes sleep-deprived couples to bicker hatefully and grown siblings to become enraged with one another, until the whole community seems to turn on itself - with fatal consequences' Wall Street Journal
'A smart and twisty tale about a murder in a seemingly idyllic neighbourhood. Oozing with scandal, it's a compelling read' Woman & Home
'A devilishly good thriller about smug middle class house price obsession with a wicked ending. Loved it' Laura Kemp
'Utterly gripping' RED
'Lowland Way is a sought-after place to live, with friendly neighbours and real community spirit, that is until the Booths move in. The other residents are up in arms, but how far will they take things to restore their peace? A read that will make you rejoice for nice neighbours!' Prima
'Louise Candlish captures the mores of middle-class life and our worst, curtain-twitching tendencies like no one else' RED, online 
'Full of marvellously toxic characters' Best
'Candlish has a keen, satirical eye for social hypocrisy, and she skilfully explores the tensions that the situation exposes in her entitled, privileged characters with compassion and nuance. An unsettling, darkly funny, artfully composed novel about the way we live now' Irish Times


SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 

Over The Top [is] a lightning bolt – devastating and stirring … generous and frank.’ 
The Observer

Who gave Jonathan Van Ness permission to be the radiant human he is today? No one, honey.

The truth is, it hasn’t always been gorgeous for this beacon of positivity and joy.

Before he stole our hearts as the grooming and self-care expert on Netflix’s hit show Queer Eye, Jonathan was growing up in a small Midwestern town that didn’t understand why he was so…over the top. From choreographed carpet figure skating routines to the unavoidable fact that he was Just. So. Gay., Jonathan was an easy target and endured years of judgement, ridicule and trauma - yet none of it crushed his uniquely effervescent spirit.

Over the Top uncovers the pain and passion it took to end up becoming the model of self-love and acceptance that Jonathan is today. In this revelatory, raw, and rambunctious memoir, Jonathan shares never-before-told secrets and reveals sides of himself that the public has never seen. JVN fans may think they know the man behind the stiletto heels, the crop tops, and the iconic sayings, but there’s much more to him than meets the Queer Eye.

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll come away knowing that no matter how broken or lost you may be, you’re a Kelly Clarkson song, you’re strong, and you’ve got this.


‘A beautiful book.’ Zoë Ball 

Be it as Nicky Hutchinson in Our Friends In The North, Maurice in The A Word, or his reinvention of Doctor Who, one man, in life and death, has accompanied Christopher Eccleston every step of the way – his father Ronnie. In I Love The Bones Of You, Eccleston unveils a vivid portrait of a relationship that has shaped his entire career trajectory, mirroring and defining his own highs and lows, from stage and screen triumph to breakdown, anorexia, self-doubt, and a deep belief in the basic principles of access and equality denied to generations. The actor reveals how his background in Salford, and vision of a person, like millions, denied their true potential, shaped his desire to make drama forever entwined with the marginalised, the oppressed, and the outsider.

Movingly, and in scenes sadly familiar to increasing numbers, Eccleston also describes how the tightening grip of dementia on his father slowly blinded him to his son’s existence, forcing a new and final chapter in their connection, and how ‘Ronnie Ecc’ still walks alongside him today. Told with trademark honesty and openness, I Love The Bones Of Youis a celebration of those on whom the spotlight so rarely shines, as told by a man who found his voice in its glare. A love letter to one man, and a paean to many.

‘My father was an “ordinary man”, which of course means he was extraordinary. I aim to capture him and his impact on my life and career.’  - Christopher Eccleston


Vincent Kompany relives a spectacular and unique season for Manchester City, in which as club captain he led the Blues to a unique Treble success of Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup triumphs. Told from his unique viewpoint, this is the definitive account of a remarkable campaign. 

After Manchester City had won the Premier League title in 2018, collecting a record number of points along the way, the pressure was on for them to go one better in 2019 - but instead they went two better, winning every single major domestic trophy, starting with the Community Shield. In this frank and compelling book, Kompany tells the dramatic story of Manchester City's record-breaking season. In the league, they faced a formidable challenge from Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool that went all the way to the final game of the campaign. He takes the reader behind the scenes, to give them an insight into how manager Pep Guardiola inspired them and came up with the right decisions at the right time; he explains what made his team-mates, from Aguero up front to Ederson in goal, so special; and, having scored a spectacular thunderbolt of a goal to virtually secure the title, he explains how and why he decided that the time had come to move on from the club he had adorned for more than a decade.

Vincent Kompany is a club legend, and now he has delivered an account of a special season that will be treasured by City fans everywhere. 


She couldn’t have been more than seven or eight years old. “Go ahead, ask your question,” her father urged, nudging her forward. She smiled shyly and said, “You’re my hero. Who’s yours?” 
Many people—especially girls—have asked us that same question over the years. It’s one of our favorite topics.

HILLARY: Growing up, I knew hardly any women who worked outside the home. So I looked to my mother, my teachers, and the pages of Life magazine for inspiration. After learning that Amelia Earhart kept a scrapbook with newspaper articles about successful women in male-dominated jobs, I started a scrapbook of my own. Long after I stopped clipping articles, I continued to seek out stories of women who seemed to be redefining what was possible.

CHELSEA: This book is the continuation of a conversation the two of us have been having since I was little. For me, too, my mom was a hero; so were my grandmothers. My early teachers were also women. But I grew up in a world very different from theirs. My pediatrician was a woman, and so was the first mayor of Little Rock who I remember from my childhood. Most of my close friends’ moms worked outside the home as nurses, doctors, teachers, professors, and in business. And women were going into space and breaking records here on Earth.
 
Ensuring the rights and opportunities of women and girls remains a big piece of the unfinished business of the twenty-first century. While there’s a lot of work to do, we know that throughout history and around the globe women have overcome the toughest resistance imaginable to win victories that have made progress possible for all of us. That is the achievement of each of the women in this book.
So how did they do it? The answers are as unique as the women themselves. Civil rights activist Dorothy Height, LGBTQ trailblazer Edie Windsor, and swimmer Diana Nyad kept pushing forward, no matter what. Writers like Rachel Carson and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie named something no one had dared talk about before. Historian Mary Beard used wit to open doors that were once closed, and Wangari Maathai, who sparked a movement to plant trees, understood the power of role modeling. Harriet Tubman and Malala Yousafzai looked fear in the face and persevered. Nearly every single one of these women was fiercely optimistic—they had faith that their actions could make a difference. And they were right.
To us, they are all gutsy women—leaders with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done. So in the moments when the long haul seems awfully long, we hope you will draw strength from these stories. We do. Because if history shows one thing, it’s that the world needs gutsy women.


SHORTLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR PRIZE
'One of the most captivating boxing writers on the planet' Barry McGuigan

'A superb tale...His inspirational story celebrates peace and reconciliation' Daily Telegraph
Multi-award-winning author Donald McRae's stunning new book is a powerful tale of hope and redemption across the sectarian divide in Northern Ireland - thanks to boxing.

At the height of the Troubles, Gerry Storey ran the Holy Family gym from the IRA's heartland territory of New Lodge in Belfast. Despite coming from a family steeped in the Republican movement, he insisted that it would be open to all. He ensured that his boxers were given a free pass by paramilitary forces on both Republican and Loyalist sides, so they could find a way out of the province's desperate situation. In the immediate aftermath of the 1981 Hunger Strikes, Storey would also visit the Maze prison twice a week to train the inmates from each community, separately.

In itself, this would be a heroic story, but Storey went further than that: he became the trainer for world champion Barry McGuigan and Olympian Hugh Russell, who became one of the most famous photographers to document the Troubles. Even with all his success and the support of both sides, Storey still found himself subjected to three bomb attacks from those who were implacably hostile to any form of reconciliation. He also worked with the Protestant boxer Davy Larmour, who fought two bloody battles in the ring against Russell, his Catholic friend. At the same time, in Derry, the British and European lightweight champion Charlie Nash fought without bitterness after his brother was killed and his father was shot on Bloody Sunday – the most infamous day of the conflict. 

Now, Donald McRae reveals the extraordinary tale of those troubled times. After years of research and intimate interviews with the key characters in this story, he shows us how the violent business of boxing became a haven of peace and hope for these remarkable and compassionate men.  In Sunshine or in Shadow is an inspirational story of triumph over adversity and celebrates the reconciliation that can take place when two fighters meet each other in the ring, rather than outside it. 
'[An] outstanding and important book, Don McRae's powerful storytelling shows the courage of the people of the North' Andy Lee


THE SUNDAY TIMES NON FICTION BESTSELLER

'The best book you will ever read about Britain's greatest warplane.' Patrick Bishop, bestselling author of Fighter Boys.

‘A rich and heartfelt tribute to this most iconic British machine.  By focussing on the men (and women) who flew the Spitfire, John Nichol has brought a fresh and powerful perspective to the story.  And by recording their bravery, humility, camaraderie, tragedy and sheer joy in flying their beloved Spits he has done them - and us - a valuable service’ Rowland White, bestselling author of Vulcan 607

'As the RAF marks its centenary, Nichol has created a thrilling and often moving tribute to some of its greatest heroes.' Jon Dennis, Mail on Sunday magazine.

'A stirring portrait of a piece of aviation art in motion flown by the bravest of the brave. Nichol's Spitfire is still a sky-borne prima ballerina that kicks like Bruce Lee.' The Royal Air Force Times.

'A superb and compelling book. Brilliantly written with some incredible and astonishing stories; it is gripping, moving, emotional and sometimes humorous – just perfect' Squadron Leader (Ret) Clive Rowley, former Officer Commanding RAF Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight
 
'A superb journey through the remarkable tale of that British icon, the Spitfire. Brilliantly and engagingly written, this is the most readable story of the aircraft and her pilots that I have ever had the pleasure to read in a period spanning some forty-odd years of personal study and research. Truly stunning.' Andy Saunders, Editor, Britain at War Magazine.

 
The perfect complementary narrative to the bestselling memoir by Geoffrey Wellum First Light.
 
Achtung, Spitfire!
The iconic Spitfire found fame during the darkest early days of World War II. But what happened to the redoubtable fighter and its crews beyond the Battle of Britain, and why is it still so loved today?

In late spring 1940, Nazi Germany’s domination of Europe had looked unstoppable. With the British Isles in easy reach since the fall of France, Adolf Hitler was convinced that Great Britain would be defeated in the skies over her southern coast, confident his Messerschmitts and Heinkels would outclass anything the Royal Air Force threw at them. What Hitler hadn’t planned for was the agility and resilience of a marvel of British engineering that would quickly pass into legend – the Spitfire.

Bestselling author John Nichol’s passionate portrait of this magnificent fighter aircraft, its many innovations and updates, and the people who flew and loved them, carries the reader beyond the dogfights over Kent and Sussex. Spanning the full global reach of the Spitfire’s deployment during WWII, from Malta to North Africa and the Far East, then over the D-Day beaches, it is always accessible, effortlessly entertaining and full of extraordinary spirit.         
                      
Here are edge-of-the-seat stories and heart-stopping first-hand accounts of battling pilots forced to bail out over occupied territory; of sacrifice and wartime love; of aristocratic female flyers, and of the mechanics who braved the Nazi onslaught to keep the aircraft in battle-ready condition. Nichol takes the reader on a hair-raising, nail-biting and moving wartime history of the iconic Spitfire populated by a cast of redoubtable, heroic characters that make you want to stand up and cheer.


‘A band of stubborn pioneers rose from the embers of Britain’s cities after World War Two and created the finest automobiles the world had ever seen ... High Performance tells the exhilarating tale of their journey down the fast lane. Ben Collins, bestselling author of The Man In The White Suit and How To Drive

‘A wonderful glimpse "backstage" at the flamboyant mavericks and crazies who populated the British motor industry in the 60s.’ Alexei Sayle
High Performance is a cracking read and an adrenaline-packed tribute to the time when British mavericks “blew the bloody doors off” the competition.’ The Sunday Times

'Peter Grimsdale gives a very different and uplifting slant to the story of ... the post-Second World War British Motor industry. He focuses on people who did things differently and whose achievements are with us still ... thoughtful and stimulating.' Alan Judd, The Oldie

Chosen as one of The Mail on Sunday’s ‘100 Summer Books’​

In January 1964 a team of tiny red and white Mini Coopers stunned the world by winning the legendary Monte Carlo Rally. It was a stellar year for British cars that culminated in Goldfinger breaking box office records and making James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 the world’s most famous sports car.

By the sixties, on road, track and silver screen the Brits were the ones to beat, winning championships and capturing hearts. Stirling Moss, Jim Clark and Paddy Hopkirk were household names who drove the sexiest and most innovative cars. Designers like John Cooper, and Colin Chapman of Lotus, dismissed as mere ‘garagisti’ by Enzo Ferrari, blew the doors off Formula One and grabbed all the prizes, while Alex Issigonis won a knighthood for his revolutionary Mini. The E Type Jaguar was feted as the world’s sexiest car and Land Rover the most durable.

But before the Second World War only one British car had triumphed in a Grand Prix; Britain’s car builders were fiercely risk-averse. So what changed? To find out, Peter Grimsdale has gone in search of a generation of rebel creative spirits who emerged from railway arches and Nissen huts to tear up the rulebook with their revolutionary machines. Like the serial fugitives from the POW camps, they thrived on adversity, improvisation and sheer obstinate determination. Blazing the trail for them was William Lyons, whose heart-stoppingly glamorous and uncompromising Jaguars propelled a bruised and bankrupt nation out of the shadows of war, winning the fans in Hollywood and beating ‘those bloody red cars’ at Le Mans.

High Performance celebrates Britain’s automotive golden age and the mavericks who sketched them on the back of envelopes and garage floors, who fettled, bolted and welded them together and hammered the competition in the showroom, on the road and on the track – fuelled by contempt for convention.


"Riveting stuff. Through the prism of his experience of the military elite, Fiennes presents a dazzling history of the world's best fighting units to amaze and enthral the reader." Damien Lewis, Bestselling author of Zero Six Bravo

Inspired by the heroic war time escapades of his father, as well as drawing on his own experiences in the special forces, acclaimed adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes thrillingly explores the history of elite military units, from ancient Sparta to the War on Terror.
 
The best of the best, these elite units have frequently been immortalised on the big screen, and in computer games, for their daring deeds. Whether it be fighting on the battlefield, storming forts and castles, rescuing hostages, high stakes reconnaissance missions or the dramatic assassination of enemy leaders, these are the men who are relied upon to undertake dangerous missions of the highest stakes. While celebrating the heroics of groups such as the SAS and Navy Seals, Sir Ranulph also reveals the true stories of infamous organisations such as The Assassins and Templar Knights. Uncovering their origins, and examining their weapons and tactics, Sir Ranulph showcases these units most famous missions, and reveals the men behind them. Showing incredible courage, often in the face of impossible odds, these units have also changed the course of history along the way. Sir Ranulph discusses the reasons behind their success and failures, with many notorious conflicts often being decided by these elite units facing off against each other, with the victor not only evolving warfare, but also consigning their opponent to history.
 
While these units traditionally prefer to operate in the shadows, Sir Ranulph brings their remarkable histories to the fore, told with his trademark ability to weave a story which has seen him become one of Britain’s most beloved bestselling authors.
 


After the enormous international success of The Phantom Atlas and The Golden Atlas, Edward Brooke-Hitching's stunning new book unveils some of the most beautiful maps and charts ever created during mankind's quest to map the skies above us. 

This richly illustrated treasury showcases the finest examples of celestial cartography - a glorious genre of map-making often overlooked by modern map books - as well as medieval manuscripts, masterpiece paintings, ancient star catalogues, antique instruments and other appealing curiosities.

This is the sky as it has never been presented before: the realm of stars and planets, but also of gods, devils, weather wizards, flying sailors, medieval aliens, mythological animals and rampaging spirits. The reader is taken on a tour of star-obsessed cultures around the world, learning about Tibetan sky burials, star-covered Inuit dancing coats, Mongolian astral prophets and Sir William Herschel's 1781 discovery of Uranus, the first planet to be found since antiquity. Even stranger are the forgotten stories from European history, like the English belief of the Middle Ages in ships that sailed a sea above the clouds, 16th-century German UFO sightings and the Edwardian aristocrat who mistakenly mapped alien-made canals on the surface of Mars.

As the intricacies of our universe are today being revealed with unprecedented clarity, there has never been a better time for a highly readable book as beautiful as the night sky to contextualise the scale of these achievements for the general reader.


'Downright fascinating...indispensable reading' Daily Telegraph
'Nicholas Foulkes' excellent...book is beautifully illustrated. Captivating' Daily Mail 
For more than 25,000 years, humanity has sought to understand and measure the passing of time, in the process creating some of the most remarkable and beautiful timepieces. Now, in Nicholas Foulkes' lavishly illustrated book, the battle to tame time is brought vividly to life.

From the baboon bone dating back to the palaeolithic era that marked the lunar cycle and on to the 3500-year-old water clock at Karnak, from our earliest days mankind has sought to track the passing of time. More recently, the struggles to measure longitude and to create a workable train timetable across the vast, open expanse of the United States have inspired new developments. In Time Tamed, Nicholas Foulkes reveals how we have done this by focusing on some of the most significant developments in timekeeping across the ages. He also highlights the most stunning and lavish clocks and watches in history - from Big Ben to Rolex - for telling the time has never been purely about function, but also about design. 

The book is filled with remarkable tales, from the 14th century monk in St Albans who created one of the first mechanical clocks to the Holy Roman Emperor who built a clock into an automated ship that fired a cannon to summon guests to dinner. More recently, there was the Surrey woman who used a Napoleonic era watch to 'deliver' the accurate time to London shopkeepers in the wartime era of Churchill, or the Swiss denture maker who solved a tricky problem for the Indian Raj's polo players. Time Tamed is a book you'll want to spend many hours enjoying. 


Cleo Wade's second anthology of heartfelt poetry and prose builds on the wisdom of her bestselling book Heart Talk, encouraging you to remain hopeful and harness your personal power to bring positive change into our world.

Where to Begin is perfect for those who are ready to be a part of building a society rooted in love, acceptance, justice, and equality.
 

From Cleo Wade:

Where to Begin is a collection of the ideas, mantras, and poems I turn to when I feel like I am losing it. I wrote this so that I could put them all in one place when I felt overwhelmed by worry, fear, anxiety, or helplessness.

The words in this book are what stop me from walking away from the problems of the world during tough times. They also help me stay connected to hope during difficult moments and remind me that even on the days that feel the most daunting, I still have the power to show up and do something, somewhere, in some way.

Change-making comes in all sizes. It doesn't always have to be one big gesture or nothing. As my friend Jenna often says, "The big stuff is the small stuff." Your big life is made up of a collection of all of your small moments. Our big world is a made up of a collection of all of our small actions. This book is about where to begin.


Few things are as evocative of the English summer as Test Match Special, and in 2019 the team had the biggest cricket season ever to cover, with the men's and women's Ashes series and the ICC World Cup all taking place. The action didn't disappoint, as TMS listeners tuned in to follow some of the most exciting action you could wish for.

Now, in this brilliant and compelling account of the summer, we get to see behind the scenes to find out what really goes on in the commentary box. As well as covering all the key events on the field to ensure the reader can relive a brilliant summer, the Test Match Special Diary takes the reader to the heart of the action to join Aggers and the rest of the crew. Relive the stunning drama of England's nailbiting World Cup victory in a Super Over, or Ben Stokes's match-winning innings to save the Ashes at Headingley, and find out how the commentary team coped as the tension mounted during some of the greatest games in cricketing history. As well as the cricket, we get to hear from the guests who inspired them and about the cakes that were irresistible; the bloopers that had them in stitches to the incredible moments that will never be forgotten - it's all here in this fascinating book.

Filled with contributions from all the regulars in the TMS commentary box, including Jonathan Agnew, Geoffrey Boycott, Isa Guha, Alison Mitchell, Phil Tufnell and Michael Vaughan, along with some of the most obscure cricketing trivia from scorers Andrew Samson and Andy Zaltzman, this is a book that no fan of Test Match Special can be without


THE ACCLAIMED INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

The unbelievable true story of the Cold War’s strangest proxy war, fought between the zoos on either side of the Berlin Wall.

Living in West Berlin in the 1960s often felt like living in a zoo, everyone packed together behind a wall, with the world always watching. On the other side of the Iron Curtain, the East Berlin zoo was spacious and lush, a socialist utopia where everything was perfectly planned...and then rarely successfully finished.

Berlin’s two zoos quickly became symbols of the divided city’s two halves. And so no one was terribly surprised when the head zookeepers on either side started an animal arms race—rather than stockpiling nuclear warheads, competing to have the most pandas and hippos. Soon, state funds were being quietly diverted to give these new animals lavish welcomes worthy of visiting dignitaries. West German presidential candidates were talking about zoo policy on the campaign trail. And eventually politicians on both side of the Wall became convinced that if their zoo were proved to be inferior, then that would mean their country’s whole ideology was too.

A quirky piece of Cold War history unlike anything you’ve heard before, The Zookeepers’ War is an epic tale of desperate rivalries, human follies, and an animal-mad city in which zookeeping became a way of continuing politics by other means.


Award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author Joe Posnanski enters the world of Harry Houdini and his legions of devoted fans in an immersive, entertaining, and magical work on the illusionist’s impact on American culture—and why his legacy endures to this day.

Harry Houdini. Say his name and a number of things come to mind. Escapes. Illusions. Magic. Chains. Safes. Live burials. Close to a century after his death, nearly every person in America knows his name from a young age, capturing their imaginations with his death-defying stunts and daring acts. He inspired countless people, from all walks of life, to find something magical within themselves.

This is a book about a man and his extraordinary life, but it is also about the people who he has inspired in death. As Joe Posnanski delves into the deepest corners of Houdini-land, visiting museums (one owned by David Copperfield), attractions, and private archives, he encounters a cast of unforgettable and fascinating characters: a woman who runs away from home to chase her dream of becoming a magician; an Italian who revives Houdini’s most famous illusion every night; a performer at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles who calls himself Houdini’s Ghost; a young boy in Australia who, one day, sees an old poster and feels his life change; and a man in Los Angeles whose sole mission is life has been to keep the legend’s name alive.

Both a personal obsession and an odyssey of discovery, Posnanski draws inspiration from his lifelong passion for and obsession with magic, blending biography, memoir, and first-person reporting to examine Harry Houdini’s life and legacy. This is the ultimate journey to uncover why this magic man endures, and what he still has to teach the world about wonder.