Category: BIO000000

The Young Survivors

What if everyone you loved was suddenly taken away? Five siblings struggle to stay together as the tides of war threaten to tear them apart.

 

When Germany invades France in the Second World War, the five Laskowski children lose everything: their home, their Jewish community and most devastatingly their parents who are abducted in the night. There is no safe place left for them to evade the Nazis, but they cling together, never certain when the authorities will come for what is left of them.

 

Inspired by the poignant, true story of the author’s mother, this moving historical novel conveys the hardship, the uncertainty and the impossible choices the Laskowski children were forced to make to survive the horrors of the Holocaust.

 

***PRAISE FOR THE YOUNG SURVIVORS***

 

‘A haunting account… a devastating story of twins separated, of grandparents, parents and cousins, entire families, disappeared – a story that had to be told.’ Elizabeth Fremantle

‘A story that will make you weep, wonder and remember.’ Tatiana de Rosnay, author of Sarah’s Key

 

‘A poignant and gripping debut. Set against the darkest days of WWII, the novel reminds us that the bonds of family and the power of love can never be extinguished.’ Alyson Richman, bestselling author of The Lost Wife

‘A heartbreaking yet uplifting story of loss and love told through the eyes of children… gripping and deeply moving.’ James MacManus

 

‘A hugely impressive debut.’ Michael Newman, CEO of The Association of Jewish Refugees

 

‘A novel that is arrestingly sincere, full of touching moments and informed by careful research. The beating heart of The Young Survivors is the author’s emotional connection to her characters, which is unmistakably based on longstanding and deep engagement with her own family’s past.’ Dr Toby Simpson, Director of The Wiener Holocaust Library

The Great Cave Rescue

First came the awful news that 12 boys and their football coach were missing. Then came the flickering video of the boys found by a pair of British divers nine days later.

Monsoon rains had raised the water level in the cave system, and they were trapped in an air pocket, surrounded by rising muddy water, over two kilometres from the cave entrance. Expert British, Australian, American, Chinese, and other international divers joined the Thai Navy SEALs and hundreds of local volunteers to mount one of the most risky and complex rescue operations the world has ever seen.

South-east Asia correspondent James Massola recreates the drama, tension, and inspiration of the days in July 2018 when the eyes of the whole world were trained on a remote Thai mountain. Very little information about what happened inside the cave was released by the Thai authorities at the time, but through interviews Massola has managed to obtain extensive details of the nine long days the Wild Boars were on their own and during the rescue operation itself as well as background information about the boys and coach.

He writes about the pivotal role of the British Cave Rescue Council in leading the international effort, and determining the technical aspects of the rescue. He reveals how the Thai, British, US, Australian and other international divers worked together so smoothly, when even a minor miscommunication could have resulted in death or serious injury. And, most dramatically, he discloses the number of instances in which the rescue operation nearly went wrong.

Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl

Why would a good person commit a terrible act?

Fifteen years ago, Jeannie’s relationship with a close friend ended in rape. With the rise of the #MeToo movement, recurring nightmares of the event that plagued her as a girl have returned. To process her conflicted feelings of betrayal and take back control, she resolves to face her trauma head-on by interviewing her rapist.

Through their transcribed conversations and discussions with her closest friends, Jeannie’s compelling memoir explores how the incident impacted both of their lives, while examining the culture and language surrounding sexual assault and rape. Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl is a necessary contribution to the wider conversation around sexual violence from a brave, new voice. 

***PRAISE FOR THINGS WE DIDN’T TALK ABOUT WHEN I WAS A GIRL***

A Time magazine ‘The 42 Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2019’ 

A Bustle ‘The 20 Best New Books for Fall 2019’ 

Bustle ‘10 New #MeToo Movement Books to Read in Fall 2019′

An Esquire ‘Best Fall Books of 2019’: ‘Perhaps the most important book of the season.’

A Nylon ‘34 Books You’ll Want to Read This Fall’: ‘Thought-provoking, unmooring and haunting.’

A Domino  ‘Best Fall Books of 2019: ‘A compelling, nuanced look at trauma and survival.’

A NetGalley UK’s Top Ten Books for October

‘Brave and compelling… Vanasco muddles through the silt of her thoughts to create a language for something we don’t talk about.’ The Paris Review, staff pick

‘With deep self-consciousness, courage, and nuance, the author reveals the inner universe of her survivorship… An extraordinarily brave work of self- and cultural reflection.’ Kirkus Reviews, starred review

‘A powerful memoir… a painful reminder of the ugly ways some men treat women, and Vanasco’s nuanced story will resonate with those who’ve endured sexual inappropriateness in any form.’ Publishers Weekly

 ‘Vanasco has written exactly the book we need right now. I wish everyone would read it.’ Melissa Febos, author of Abandon Me

‘A gorgeous, harrowing, heartbreaking book. Vanasco is whip-smart and tender, open and ruthless.’ Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties

The Importance of Living

A tremendous bestseller when it was first published in 1937, The Importance of Living has been a classic for over sixty years. Intended as an antidote to the dizzying pace of the modern world, Lin Yutang’s prescription is the classic distillation of ancient Chinese wisdom: revere inaction as much as action, invoke humour to maintain a healthy attitude, and never forget that there will always be plenty of fools around who are willing – indeed eager – to be busy, to make themselves useful, and to exercise power while you bask in the simple joy of existence. 

Now, more than six decades later, with our lives accelerated to unbelievable levels, this wise and timeless book is more pertinent than ever before. In an era when we’re overwhelmed with wake-up calls, it’s an entertaining innovation to savour life’s beauty, its endless fascination and its slow, sure, simple pleasures. 

The Zombie Survival Guide

Don’t be reckless with you most precious asset – life. This book is your key to survival against the hordes of undead who may be stalking you right now without your even knowing it.

It covers everything you need to know, from how to understand zombie behaviour to survival in any territory or terrain.

The Zombie Survival Guide offers complete protection through proven tips for safeguarding yourself and your loved ones against the living dead.

It might just save your life.

 

‘A bloody-minded, strait-laced manual for evading the grasp of the undead.’ Time Out

So meticulous and well researched that it’s more scary than funny.’ Esquire

‘A tome you start reading for fun and then at page 50 you go out and buy a machete just to be on the safe side.’ New York Post

I doubt that I’ll read a more disturbing book… Brilliantly written, morbidly funny, completely convincing.’ Vector

 

Flirting with French

William Alexander is not just a Francophile, he wants to be French. It’s not enough to explore the country, to enjoy the food and revel in the ambiance, he wants to feel French from the inside. Among the things that stand in his way is the fact that he can’t actually speak the language. Setting out to conquer the language he loves (but which, amusingly, does not seem to love him back), Alexander devotes himself to learning French, going beyond grammar lessons and memory techniques to delve into the history of the language, the science of linguistics, and the art of translation. Along the way, during his travels in France or following his passion at home, he discovers that not learning a language may be its own reward.

Iris and the Friends

Novelist and thinker Iris Murdoch died on 8 February 1999 after living for three years with Alzheimer’s disease. Her husband, novelist and academic John Bayley, had previously written movingly of the impact of her illness in Iris: A Memoir. Iris and the Friends tells of the final year of Murdoch’s life, when she was visited more by her own imaginary "friends" than by the exigencies of real life. It brings the story through Bayley’s increasingly precarious hold on present reality, to his own breakdown, Murdoch’s final happy weeks in a home for the terminally ill and finally her quiet death. Although ostensibly a sequel, it is more an exploration of Bayley’s new friends: the memories that were sparked off precisely as Murdoch lost her own–of his childhood, army years, first loves and, of course, their marriage. But there are other "friends". At one point Bayley writes: "The old Eng. Lit. again. I taught it for nearly fifty years and feel detached from it now." Yet literature emerges here as the one remaining constant in his life. Scarcely two pages go by without a reference, almost involuntary, to Hardy, Coleridge, Austen, Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Thurber, James, Lawrence, Woolf or Murdoch. Sometimes Iris appears to respond to the shared literary in-jokes, but more often the pair become "two animals pushing together, nudging and grooming each other, grunting together as they bask in a mutual doze."

Eat, Pray Love in Rome

Experience the Rome that changed and inspired Elizabeth Gilbert to write the international bestseller Eat, Pray, Love. When Luca Spaghetti (yes, that’s really his name) was asked to show Elizabeth around Rome he had no idea how his life was about to change. She embraced his Roman zest for life and Luca in-turn became her guardian angel, determined that his city would get her out of her funk.

Filled with colourful anecdotes about food, language, soccer, life in Rome, and culminating with the episodes in Liz’s bestselling memoir told from Luca’s side of the table, this is a book that every traveller to Rome will find enriching and readers of Eat, Pray, Love will not want to miss.

Rest in Pieces

In the long run, we’re all dead. But for some of the most influential figures in history, death marked the start of a new adventure. The famous deceased have been stolen, burned, sold, pickled, frozen, stuffed, impersonated and even filed away in a lawyer’s office. Their fingers, teeth, toes, arms, legs, skulls, hearts, lungs and nether regions have embarked on voyages that criss-cross the globe and stretch the imagination.

 

Counterfeiters tried to steal Lincoln’s corpse. Einstein’s brain went on a cross-country road trip. And after Lord Horatio Nelson perished at Trafalgar, his sailors submerged him in brandy – which they drank. From Mozart to Hitler, Rest in Pieces connects the lives of the famous dead to the hilarious and horrifying adventures of their corpses and traces the evolution of cultural attitudes towards death.

The Bonjour Effect

Julie Barlow and Jean-Benoit Nadeau spent a decade traveling back and forth to Paris as well as living there. Yet one important lesson never seemed to sink in: how to communicate comfortably with the French, even when you speak their language. In The Bonjour Effect Julie and Jean-Benoit chronicle the lessons they learned after they returned to France to live, for a year, with their twin daughters. They offer up all the lessons they learned and explain, in a book as fizzy as a bottle of the finest French champagne, the most important aspect of all: the French don’t communicate, they converse.To understand and speak French well, one must understand that French conversation runs on a set of rules that go to the heart of French culture. Why do the French like talking about "the decline of France"? Why does broaching a subject like money end all discussion? Why do the French become so aroused debating the merits and qualities of their own language? Through encounters with school principals, city hall civil servants, old friends and business acquaintances, Julie and Jean-Benoit explain why, culturally and historically, conversation with the French is not about communicating or being nice. It’s about being interesting. After reading The Bonjour Effect, even readers with a modicum of French language ability will be able to hold their own the next time they step into a bistro on the Left Bank.