03 March 2016 UK Non-fiction

 

March 2016 : New Titles

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Mindy Belz | They Say We are Infidels | Lion 9780745968674 | £12.99 | 18th

“Everywhere militants were blowing up Christians, their churches, their shops. They threatened them with kidnapping. They promised to take their children. The message to these ‘infidels’: You have no place in Iraq. Pay a penalty to stay, leave, or be killed.” Sweeping from Syria into Iraq, Islamic State fighters (ISIS) have been brutalizing and annihilating Christians. How? Why? Where did the terrorists come from, and what can be done to stop them? For more than a decade, journalist Mindy Belz has reported on the ground from the Middle East, giving her unparalleled access to the story no one wants to believe. In They Say We Are Infidels, she brings the stark reality of this escalating genocide to light, tracking the stories of real-life Christians who refuse to abandon their faith—even in the face of losing everything, including their lives. As Reading Lolita in Tehran did for Iran and We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families did for Rwanda, They Say We Are Infidels shines light into the Middle East through the stories of everyday heroes and heroines who will not be silenced. A must-read for anyone seeking a firmer grasp on the complex dynamics at play in war-torn Iraq and Syria, They Say We Are Infidels is the eye-opening and revelatory testimony of a journalist who heads into a war zone—and is forever changed by the people she encounters there.

The Literature Book - primary image

Dorling Kindersley 9780241015469 | £16.99 | 1st

From Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby to Shelley’s Frankenstein, The Literature Book documents the greatest literature ever written.

Featuring over 100 best-selling books, plays and poetry from all over the world, including Latin American and African fiction, The Literature Book encompasses celebrated masterpieces from the most renowned authors to have ever lived. Stunning images and inspirational quotes jump out from the pages, as detailed plot summaries and helpful context bring the timeless works of literature to life. The book also offers a deeper look into the famed fiction of Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and more, as in-depth literary criticism and interesting authorial biographies give each work of literature a new meaning.

In The Literature Book, the world’s most iconic literature and greatest writers come together for a fascinating journey through time that is a must-have for any literature student or fan of fiction.

Philip Eade | Evelyn Waugh – A Life Revisited | Weidenfeld 9780297869207 | £30 | 31st

10 April 2016 will be the 50th anniversary of the death of Evelyn Waugh – hailed by Graham Greene as ‘the greatest novelist of my generation’, yet reckoned by Hilaire Belloc to have been possessed by the devil.

Waugh’s literary reputation has risen steadily ever since Greene’s assessment in 1966. Philip Eade’s biography takes a fresh look at the whole of Waugh’s life, presenting the most revealing and in some cases unknown events of his 63 years in a stimulating and highly readable narrative. It looks at Waugh’s life from his standpoint as a means of better understanding his famously complex character, as well as examining how he was seen by others. It also reviews the extent to which his various experiences and relationships informed his fiction, and describes his life in the broader context of early to mid 20th-century social history.

Eade takes account of the most recent Waugh scholarship and makes use of extensive unseen primary sources that cast new light on many of the key phases and themes of Waugh’s life: his difficult relationship with his embarrassingly sentimental father and favoured elder brother, and the burning ambition they inadvertently provoked in him; his love affair with Alastair Graham at Oxford; his disastrous first marriage to Evelyn Gardner and its complicated annulment; his momentous conversion to Roman Catholicism; his complex interest in the aristocracy, and what the aristocrats made of him; his chequered wartime career and fateful enmity with Lord Lovat; his nervous breakdown; his strangely successful marriage to Laura Herbert; his unconventional attitude to his six children; his sharp tongue; his devastating wit; his egomania; and the love, fear and loathing that he variously inspired.

Pop! The World of Pop Art - OUT 03/03/2016

John Finlay | Pop! The World of Pop Art | Goodman 9781847960900 | £30 | 3rd

Pop art is one of the most pivotal movements in modern art. It challenged the conventional idea of fine art and recognised the pervasive nature of materialism and consumerism that had taken over 20th century society. This beautifully illustrated book explores Pop art’s origins in modern European avant-garde movements such as Cubism and Dadaism, prior to its true beginnings in early 1950’s London with the Independent Group and their fascination with American popular culture – leading to the name “Pop”. Guiding the reader through the work of some of the most well-known practitioners, such as Warhol and Lichtenstein, this compelling book also travels the world to examine how Pop art influenced artists as far afield as Italy, Spain, Finland, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Key figures include Japan’s Yayoi Kusama and Italy’s Mimmo Rotella. POP! The World of Pop Art explains how – and why – this movement appealed to so many diverse artists on so many levels, including often overlooked female artists who were central to the Pop art scene. Finally, POP! considers the influence of Pop art on other genres, in particular as the precursor to post-modernism and contemporary forms of art. With 15 faithfully reproduced documents, including items from the studios of a number of artists, POP! The World of Pop Art gives a unique insight into this celebrated movement.

Brit Noir by Barry Forshaw

Barry Forshaw | Brit Noir | Pocket Essentials 9781843446408 | £8.99 | 24th

Barry Forshaw is acknowledged as a leading expert on European crime fiction, but his principal area of expertise is in the crime arena of the British Isles. Continuing the earlier success of the series with Nordic Noir and Euro Noir, he now returns home to produce the definitive reader’s guide to modern British crime fiction.

Every major living writer of the British Isles is considered, often through a concentration on one or two key books, and exciting new talents are highlighted for the reader. And as the genre is as much about films and TV as it is about books, Brit Noir celebrates crime on the screen as well as on the page.

Barry Forshaw’s personal acquaintance with writers, editors and publishers is unparalleled, and the book contains a host of new first-hand insights into the genre and its practitioners.

Rebecca Gowers | Horrible Words | Particular 9781846148514 | £10.99 | 31st

Nothing enflames the language gripers like a misplaced disinterested, an illogical irregardless, a hideous operationalisation. To a purist these are ‘howlers’ and ‘non-words’, fit only for scorn. But in their rush to condemn such terms, are the nay-sayers missing something?

In this provocative and hugely entertaining book, Rebecca Gowers throws light on a vast array of horrible words, and shows how the diktats of the pedants are repeatedly based on misinformation, false reasoning and straight-up snobbery. The result is a brilliant work of history, a surreptitious introduction to linguistics, and a mischievous salute to the misusers of the language. It is also a bold manifesto that asserts our common rights over English, even as it questions the true nature of style.

Mervyn King | The End of Alchemy | Little, Brown 9781408706107 | £25 | 3rd
The former Governor of the Bank of England argues for fundamental changes to the financial system in order to reduce the risk of a new crisis.

The past twenty years saw unprecedented growth and stability followed by the worst financial crisis the industrialised world has ever witnessed. In the space of little more than a year what had been seen as the age of wisdom was viewed as the age of foolishness. Almost overnight, belief turned into incredulity.

Most accounts of the recent crisis focus on the symptoms and not the underlying causes of what went wrong. But those events, vivid though they remain in our memories, comprised only the latest in a long series of financial crises since our present system of commerce became the cornerstone of modern capitalism. Alchemy explains why, ultimately, this was and remains a crisis not of banking – even if we need to reform the banking system – nor of policy-making – even if mistakes were made – but of ideas.

In this refreshing and vitally important book, former governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King – an actor in this drama – proposes revolutionary new concepts to answer the central question: are money and banking a form of Alchemy or are they the Achilles heel of a modern capitalist economy?

Martin Lindstrom | Small Data | John Murray 9781473629226 | £20 | 10th

Small Data presents a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create global brands and reveals surprising and counter-intuitive truths about who we are and what connects us as humans.

Lyndal Roper | Martin Luther | Bodley Head 9781847920041 | £25 | 3rd

Luther’s ideas spread like wildfire. His attack on the Church soon convulsed Germany, divided Europe and polarised people’s beliefs. They triggered decades of religious persecution, social unrest and war. And in the long run, his ideas paradoxically helped break the grip of religion in every sphere of life.

But the man who started the Reformation was deeply flawed. He was a religious fundamentalist, a Jew-hater and a political reactionary. He was a fervent believer who was tormented by doubt, a brilliant writer who shaped the German language and a vicious and foul-mouthed polemicist. He was a married ex-monk who liberated human sexuality from the stigma of sin, but also a man who insisted that women should know their place. For him the Devil was not just a figure of speech but a very real and physical presence.

In this first historical biography for many decades, distinguished historian Lyndal Roper gives us a flesh-and-blood figure, warts and all. She reveals the often contradictory psychological forces that drove Luther forward – insecurity and self-righteousness, anger and humility – and the dynamics they unleashed which turned a small act of protest into a battle against the power of the Church.

Volker Ullrich and Jefferson Chase (translator) | Hitler – Volume I – Ascent 1889 – 1939 | Bodley Head 9781847922854 | £30 | 3rd

Despite his status as the most despised political figure in history, there have only been four serious biographies of Hitler since the 1930s. Even more surprisingly, his biographers have been more interested in his rise to power and his methods of leadership than in Hitler the person: some have even declared that the Führer had no private life.

Yet to render Hitler as a political animal with no personality to speak of, as a man of limited intelligence and poor social skills, fails to explain the spell that he cast not only on those close to him but on the German people as a whole. In the first volume of this monumental biography, Volker Ullrich sets out to correct our perception of the Führer. While charting in detail Hitler’s life from his childhood to the eve of the Second World War against the politics of the times, Ullrich unveils the man behind the public persona: his charming and repulsive traits, his talents and weaknesses, his deep-seated insecurities and murderous passions.

Drawing on a wealth of previously neglected or unavailable sources, this magisterial study provides the most rounded portrait of Hitler to date. Ullrich renders the Führer not as a psychopath but as a master of seduction and guile — and it is perhaps the complexity of his character that explains his enigmatic grip on the German people more convincingly than the clichéd image of the monster.

March 2016 : New Paperbacks

Jeffrey A Lieberman and Ogi Ogas | Shrinks | Weidenfeld 9781780227016 | £9.99 | 17th

A seminal account of the history and contemporary landscape of psychiatry

A world-renowned psychiatrist reveals the fascinating story of psychiatry’s origins, demise and redemption.

Psychiatry has come a long way since the days of chaining ‘lunatics’ in cold cells and parading them as freakish marvels before a gaping public. But, as Jeffrey Lieberman reveals in his extraordinary and eye-opening book, the path to legitimacy for ‘the black sheep of medicine’ has been anything but smooth.

In SHRINKS, Dr Lieberman traces the field from its birth as a mystic pseudo-science through its adolescence as a cult of ‘shrinks’ to its late blooming maturity since the Second World War as a science-driven profession that saves lives. With fascinating case studies and portraits of the luminaries of the field, from Sigmund Freud to Eric Kandel, SHRINKS is a gripping and illuminating read. It is also an urgent call-to-arms to dispel the stigma surrounding mental illness and to start treating it as a disease rather than a state of mind.

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Chris Marnewick | Shepherds and Butchers | Arrow 9781784753436 | £8.99 | 10th

Re-issue tie-in.

South Africa, 1987. Apartheid. When Leon, a white 19-year-old prison guard working on death row commits an inexplicable act of violence, killing seven black men in a hail of bullets, the outcome of the trial – and the court’s sentence – seems a foregone conclusion.

Hotshot lawyer John Weber reluctantly takes on the seemingly unwinnable case. A passionate opponent of the death penalty, John discovers that young Leon worked on death row in the nation’s most notorious prison, under traumatic conditions: befriending the inmates over the years while having to assist their eventual execution.

As the court hearings progress, the case offers John the opportunity to put the entire system of legally sanctioned murder on trial. How can one man take such a dual role of friend and executioner, becoming both shepherd and butcher? Inspired by true events, this is the thrilling story that put the death penalty on trial and changed history.

Virginia Nicholson | Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes | Penguin 9780241958049 | £9.99 | 3rd

In Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes, Virginia Nicholson tells the story of women in the 1950s: a time before the Pill, when divorce spelled scandal and two-piece swimsuits caused mass alarm.

Turn the page back to the mid-twentieth century, and discover a world peopled by women with radiant smiles, clean pinafores and gleaming coiffures; a promised land of batch-baking, maraschino cherries and brightly hued plastic. A world where the darker side of the decade encompassed rampant prostitution, a notorious murder, and the threat of nuclear disaster.

Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes reconstructs the real 1950s, through the eyes of the women who lived it. Step back in time to when our grandmothers scrubbed their doorsteps, cared for their families, lived, laughed, loved and struggled.

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Gethin Russell-Jones | Conchie | Lion 9780745968544 | £9.99 | 18th

While Gethin’s mother spent most of the Second World War cracking German codes at Bletchley Park, his father was a conscientious objector. As he grew up, and his mother maintained her Government-imposed silence on what she had been doing, Gethin’s father was voluble on his pacifism, and Gethin dreaded the question ‘What did your father do in the War?’ The answer ‘Nothing’ seemed shameful. Now, with his mother’s story out in print, he sets off to find out why his father took the stance he did, the roots of the tradition of conscientious objection in the Welsh valleys, and how the family felt about the decision and the shame it brought.
Stephen Witt | How Music Got Free | Vintage 9780099590071 | £10.99 | 10th

What links Taylor Swift to a factory worker?
Kanye West to a German engineer?
Beyoncé to a boardroom mogul?

They’ve all changed the face of the music business, in the most unexpected ways.

How Music Got Free is the incredible true story of how online piracy and the MP3 revolutionised the way our world works, one track at a time.