Afghanistan, 1975: Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the local kite-fighting tournament and his loyal friend Hassan promises to help him. But neither of the boys can foresee what will happen to Hassan that afternoon, 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.
Beginning in America, and spilling back over memories and generations to India, Unaccustomed Earth explores the heart of family life and the immigrant experience. Eight luminous stories - longer and richer than any Jhumpa Lahiri has yet written - take us from America to Europe, India and Thailand as they follow new lives forged in the wake of loss.
The idea that some people think differently, though no less humanly, is explored in this inspiring book. Temple Grandin is a gifted and successful animal scientist, and she is autistic. Here she tells us what it was like to grow up perceiving the world in an entirely concrete and visual way - somewhat akin to how animals think, she believes - and how it feels now. Through her finely observed understanding of the workings of her mind she gives us an invaluable insight into autism and its challenges.
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.
Greece in the age of Heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia. Here he is nobody, just another unwanted boy living in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles.
Achilles, 'best of all the Greeks', is everything Patroclus is not - strong, beautiful, the child of a goddess - and by all rights their paths should never cross. Yet one day, Achilles takes the shamed prince under his wing and soon their tentative companionship gives way to a steadfast friendship. As they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something far deeper - despite the displeasure of Achilles's mother Thetis, a cruel and deathly pale sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.
Fate is never far from the heels of Achilles. When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear. And that, before he is ready, he will be forced to surrender his friend to the hands of Fate.
Profoundly moving and breathtakingly original, this rendering of the epic Trojan War is a dazzling feat of the imagination, a devastating love story, and an almighty battle between gods and kings, peace and glory, immortal fame and the human heart.
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.
The internationally bestselling novel for children and adults alike. Genuinely original and brilliantly writtenThis is a story of friendship with the cleverest of plot twists, and descriptions so vivid you can feel the heat of Stanley's desert prison burning off the page. A total must-read' The Times
Wealthy, powerful, and potentially dangerous, hedge-find managers have emerged as the stars of twenty-first century capitalism. Based on unprecedented access to the industry, More Money Than God provides the first authoritative history of hedge funds. This is the inside story of their origins in the 1960s and 1970s, their explosive battles with central banks in the 1980s and 1990s, and finally their role in the financial crisis of 2007-9.Hedge funds reward risk takers, so they tend to attract larger-than-life personalities. Jim Simons began life as a code-breaker and mathematician, co-authoring a paper on theoretical geometry that led to breakthroughs in string theory. Ken Griffin started out trading convertible bonds from his Harvard dorm room. Paul Tudor Jones happily declared that a 1929-style crash would be 'total rock-and-roll' for him. Michael Steinhardt was capable of reducing underlings to sobs. 'All I want to do is kill myself,' one said. 'Can I watch?' Steinhardt responded. A saga of riches and rich egos, this is also a history of discovery. Drawing on insights from mathematics, economics and psychology to crack the mysteries of the market, hedge funds have transformed the world, spawning new markets in exotic financial instruments and rewriting the rules of capitalism. And while major banks, brokers, home lenders, insurers and money market funds failed or were bailed out during the crisis of 2007-9, the hedge-fund industry survived the est, proving that money can be successfully managed without taxpayer safety nets. Anybody pondering fixes to the financial system could usefully start here: the future of finance lies in the history of hedge funds.
So here he was at last, where he had long feared to be.
Harry Chapman is not well, and he doesn't like hospitals. Superficially all is as it normally is in such places, with nurses to chide him and a priest to console. But there are more than usual quotient of voices - is it because of Dr Pereira's wonder drug that he can hear the voice of his mother, acerbic and disappointed in him as ever? Perhaps her presence would be understandable enough, but what is Pip from Great Expectations doing here?
More and more voices add their differing notes and stories to the chorus, squabbling, cajoling, commenting. Friends from childhood, lovers, characters from novels and poetry. His father, fighting in the First World War. Babar and Céleste, who dances with Fred Astaire. Jane Austen's Emma. His aunt Rose, 'a stranger to moodiness'. Christopher Smart's cat Jeoffrey. A man who wants to sell him T. S. Eliot's teeth. Virginia Woolf, the scourge of servants. And, of course, an old friend who turns up at his bedside principally to rehearse the litany of his own ailments.
Slowly, endearingly, the life of Harry Chapman coalesces before our eyes, through voices real and unreal. Written with a gentle, effortless generosity, full of delicate observation, Chapman's Odyssey is the work of a master; a superbly rendered act of storytelling and ventriloquism that is waspish, witty, deeply moving and wise by turns and which constantly explores 'the unsolvable enigma of love'.
Along Cornwall's ancient coast, the flotsam and jetsam of the past becomes caught in the cross-currents of the present and, from time to time, a certain kind of magic can float to the surface...
Straying husbands lured into the sea can be fetched back, for a fee. Magpies whisper to lonely drivers late at night. Trees can make wishes come true - provided you know how to wish properly first. Houses creak, fill with water and keep a fretful watch on their inhabitants, straightening shower curtains and worrying about frayed carpets. A teenager's growing pains are sometimes even bigger than him. And, on a windy beach, a small boy and his grandmother keep despair at bay with an old white door.
In these stories, Cornish folklore slips into everyday life. Hopes, regrets and memories are entangled with catfish, wrecker's lamps, standing stones and baying hounds, and relationships wax and wane in the glow of a moonlit sea.
This luminous, startling and utterly spellbinding debut collection introduces in Lucy Wood a spectacular new voice in contemporary British fiction.
As a boy in Brooklyn's Red Hook projects, James McBride knew his mother was different. But when he asked about it, she'd simply say 'I'm light-skinned.' Later he wondered if he was different too, and asked his mother if he was black or white. 'You're a human being,' she snapped. 'Educate yourself or you'll be a nobody!' And when James asked what colour God was, she said 'God is the colour of water.' As an adult, McBride finally persuaded his mother to tell her story - the story of a rabbi's daughter, born in Poland and raised in the South, who fled to Harlem, married a black man, founded a Baptist church, and put twelve children through college.
Psychologist John Gottman has spent twenty years studying what makes a marriage last. Now you can use his tested methods to evaluate, strengthen, and maintain your own long-term relationship.This breakthrough book guides you through a series of self-tests designed to help you determine what kind of marriage you have, where your strengths and weaknesses are, and what specific actions you can take to help your marriage. You'll also learn that more sex doesn't necessarily improve a marriage, frequent arguing will not lead to divorce, financial problems do not always spell trouble in a relationship, wives who make sour facial expressions when their husbands talk are likely to be separated within four years and there is a reason husbands withdraw from arguments--and there's a way around it. Dr. Gottman teaches you how to recognize attitudes that doom a marriage--contempt, criticism, defensiveness, and stonewalling--and provides practical exercises, quizzes, tips, and techniques that will help you understand and make the most of your relationship. You can avoid patterns that lead to divorce, and--Why Marriages Succeed or Fail will show you how.
Watched by over seven million people, it was the first time for over a hundred years that brothers had battled against each other in this gladiatorial contest. Only one could be victorious. In Blood Over Water, David and James tell their stories for the first time, giving an intimate insight into one of our best-loved national sporting occasions, whilst also describing a brotherly relationship tested to breaking point. It is an emotional and searching joint self-portrait that looks at the darker side of sibling rivalry and asks just what you would be willing to sacrifice to achieve your dreams.
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?
A Celtic warrior girl is held captive and enslaved by a rival tribe. When fever takes her only friend she knows she must escape, but she runs straight into the path of two Roman foot soldiers. Thinking they will kill a warrior instantly, the girl disguises herself as a beggar and asks to share their fire. Using her gift as a seer she discovers that one of the soldiers is not what he seems. Celtic blood courses through his veins too, but there is something else. He is a shapeshifter - a Versipellum. He shares his soul with that of the wolf.
The girl needs to reach the leader of her dead friend's tribe, and the boy must escape the Romans before they discover his true nature. Their only chance of survival is to help each other. But what will happen when their powers are combined?
This is a narrative recounting a spiritual voyage taking the author around the world in a quest for the divine. A trail of chance, synchronicity, divine providence and the occasional railway and airline schedule, leads Brown from the extraordinary figure of the 19th-century occult adventuress Madame Blavatsky, via the philosopher Krishnamurti, to the genial Scottish clairvoyant who claims that the Christ of the age is alive and well and living in London. In India, he encounters the miracle-working Sai Baba, and discusses reincarnation with the world's most revered spiritual figure, the Dalai Lama. In Germany, he joins the pilgrims who kneel at the feet of the young Indian Woman, Mother Meera, believing she is divine. In a tiny backwoods church in Tennessee, he examines the "Crosses of Light" which are held as evidence of Christ's imminent return to Earth.;Mick Brown is the author of "Richard Branson, The Inside Story" and "American Heartbeat: Travels from Woodstock to San Jose by Song Title".
Harold Robbins, the godfather of the airport novel, changed the face of publishing with classics such as The Carpetbaggers, The Dream Merchants and The Lonely Lady. His readers loved his steamy tales of money, soft porn, drugs, corruption, greed and, just sometimes, redemption. The world's first playboy writer, Robbins reportedly frittered away $50 million on fast cars, loose women and high living. But, obsessed with fame and fortune, Robbins was a deeply complex and often controversial man, and even his closest friends and lovers could only guess at the past of the man behind the perma-tanned mask and gigantic mirrored sunglasses. This is the fascinating story of his extraordinary life.
The author of the international bestseller Silk now delivers a ravishing and wildly inventive novel about friendship, genius and its discontents, and the redemptive power of narrative. Somewhere in America lives a brilliant boy named Gould, an intellectual guided missile aimed at the Nobel Prize. His only companions are an imaginary giant and an imaginary mute. Improbably--and yet with impeccable logic--he falls into the care of Shatzy Shell, a young woman whose life up till that point has been equally devoid of human connection .
Theirs is a relationship of stories and of stories within stories: of Gould's evolving saga of an underdog boxer and the violent Western that Shatzy has been dictating into a tape recorder since the age of six. Out of these stories, Alessandro Baricco creates a masterpiece of metaphysical pulp fiction that recalls both Scheherazade and Italo Calvino. By turns exhilarating and deeply moving, City is irresistible.
From the Trade Paperback edition.