Profile Books

  • Pleasantville

    Attica Locke

    LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS PRIZE 2016 It's 1996, Bill Clinton has just been re-elected and in Houston a mayoral election is looming. As usual the campaign focuses on Pleasantville -- the African-American neighbourhood of the city that has swung almost every race since it was founded to house a growing black middle class in 1949. Axel Hathorne, former chief of police and the son of Pleasantville's founding father Sam Hathorne, was the clear favourite, all set to become Houston's first black mayor. But his lead is slipping thanks to a late entrant into the race -- Sandy Wolcott, a defence attorney riding high on the success of a high-profile murder trial. And then, just as the competition intensifies, a girl goes missing, apparently while canvassing for Axel. And when her body is found, Axel's nephew is charged with her murder. Sam is determined that Jay Porter defends his grandson. And even though Jay is tired of wading through other people's problems, he suddenly finds himself trying his first murder case, a trial that threatens to blow the entire community wide open, and reveal the lengths that those with power are willing to go to hold onto it.

  • Anglais The Uncommon Reader

    Alan Bennett

    Features none other than HM the Queen who drifts accidentally into reading when her corgis stray into a mobile library parked at Buckingham Palace. Her reading naturally changes her world view and her relationship with people like the oleaginous prime minister and his repellent advisers. The consequence is surprising, mildly shocking and funny.

  • "Do you have a list of your books, or do I just have to stare at them?" Shaun Bythell is the owner of The Bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland. With more than a mile of shelving, real log fires in the shop and the sea lapping nearby, the shop should be an idyll for bookworms. Unfortunately, Shaun also has to contend with bizarre requests from people who don't understand what a shop is, home invasions during the Wigtown Book Festival and Granny, his neurotic Italian assistant who likes digging for river mud to make poultices. The Diary of a Bookseller (soon to be a major TV series) introduced us to the joys and frustrations of life lived in books. Sardonic and sympathetic in equal measure, Confessions of a Bookseller will reunite readers with the characters they've come to know and love.

  • THE TOP 10 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'Everyone needs to read this book as an act of digital self-defense.' - Naomi Klein, Author of No Logo , The Shock Doctrine , This Changes Everything and No is Not Enough The challenges to humanity posed by the digital future, the first detailed examination of the unprecedented form of power called "surveillance capitalism," and the quest by powerful corporations to predict and control us. The heady optimism of the Internet's early days is gone. Technologies that were meant to liberate us have deepened inequality and stoked divisions. Tech companies gather our information online and sell it to the highest bidder, whether government or retailer. Profits now depend not only on predicting our behaviour but modifying it too. How will this fusion of capitalism and the digital shape our values and define our future? Shoshana Zuboff shows that we are at a crossroads. We still have the power to decide what kind of world we want to live in, and what we decide now will shape the rest of the century. Our choices: allow technology to enrich the few and impoverish the many, or harness it and distribute its benefits. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is a deeply-reasoned examination of the threat of unprecedented power free from democratic oversight. As it explores this new capitalism's impact on society, politics, business, and technology, it exposes the struggles that will decide both the next chapter of capitalism and the meaning of information civilization. Most critically, it shows how we can protect ourselves and our communities and ensure we are the masters of the digital rather than its slaves.

  • Drawn from 3,000 years of the history of power, this is the definitive guide to help readers achieve for themselves what Queen Elizabeth I, Henry Kissinger, Louis XIV and Machiavelli learnt the hard way. Law 1: Never outshine the master Law 2: Never put too much trust in friends; learn how to use enemies Law 3: Conceal your intentions Law 4: Always say less than necessary. The text is bold and elegant, laid out in black and red throughout and replete with fables and unique word sculptures. The 48 laws are illustrated through the tactics, triumphs and failures of great figures from the past who have wielded - or been victimised by - power.

  • In twenty years behind the till in The Bookshop, Wigtown, Shaun Bythell has met pretty much every kind of customer there is - from the charming, erudite and deep-pocketed to the eccentric, flatulent and possibly larcenous. In Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops he distils the essence of his experience into a warm, witty and quirky taxonomy of the book-loving public. So, step inside to meet the crafty Antiquarian , the shy and retiring Erotica Browser and gormless yet strangely likeable shop assistant Student Hugo - along with much loved bookseller favourites like the passionate Sci-Fi Fan , the voracious Railway Collector and the ever-elusive Perfect Customer.

  • Love, Nina meets Black Books : a wry and hilarious account of life in Scotland's biggest second-hand bookshop and the band of eccentrics and book-obsessives who work there 'The Diary Of A Bookseller is warm (unlike Bythell's freezing-cold shop) and funny, and deserves to become one of those bestsellers that irritate him so much.' ( Mail on Sunday ) 'Utterly compelling and Bythell has a Bennett-like eye for the amusing eccentricities of ordinary people ... I urge you to buy this book and please, even at the risk of being insulted or moaned at, buy it from a real live bookseller.' (Charlotte Heathcote Sunday Express ) Shaun Bythell owns The Bookshop, Wigtown - Scotland's largest second-hand bookshop. It contains 100,000 books, spread over a mile of shelving, with twisting corridors and roaring fires, and all set in a beautiful, rural town by the edge of the sea. A book-lover's paradise? Well, almost ... In these wry and hilarious diaries, Shaun provides an inside look at the trials and tribulations of life in the book trade, from struggles with eccentric customers to wrangles with his own staff, who include the ski-suit-wearing, bin-foraging Nicky. He takes us with him on buying trips to old estates and auction houses, recommends books (both lost classics and new discoveries), introduces us to the thrill of the unexpected find, and evokes the rhythms and charms of small-town life, always with a sharp and sympathetic eye.

  • WINNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS BOOK AWARD 2019 Robert Greene is a master guide for millions of readers, distilling ancient wisdom and philosophy into essential texts for seekers of power, understanding and mastery. Now he turns to the most important subject of all - understanding people's drives and motivations, even when they are unconscious of them themselves. We are social animals. Our very lives depend on our relationships with people. Knowing why people do what they do is the most important tool we can possess, without which our other talents can only take us so far. Drawing from the ideas and examples of Pericles, Queen Elizabeth I, Martin Luther King Jr, and many others, Greene teaches us how to detach ourselves from our own emotions and master self-control, how to develop the empathy that leads to insight, how to look behind people's masks, and how to resist conformity to develop your singular sense of purpose. Whether at work, in relationships, or in shaping the world around you, The Laws of Human Nature offers brilliant tactics for success, self-improvement, and self-defence.

  • IDENTITY

    Francis Fukuyama

    Currently in Bill Gates's bookbag and FT Books of 2018 Increasingly, the demands of identity direct the world's politics. Nation, religion, sect, race, ethnicity, gender: these categories have overtaken broader, inclusive ideas of who we are. We have built walls rather than bridges. The result: increasing in anti-immigrant sentiment, rioting on college campuses, and the return of open white supremacy to our politics. In 2014, Francis Fukuyama wrote that American and global institutions were in a state of decay, as the state was captured by powerful interest groups. Two years later, his predictions were borne out by the rise to power of a series of political outsiders whose economic nationalism and authoritarian tendencies threatens to destabilise the entire international order. These populist nationalists seek direct charismatic connection to 'the people', who are usually defined in narrow identity terms that offer an irresistible call to an in-group and exclude large parts of the population as a whole. Identity is an urgent and necessary book: a sharp warning that unless we forge a universal understanding of human dignity, we will doom ourselves to continual conflict.

  • The concise edition of the 2019 WINNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS BOOK AWARD From the million-copy bestselling author of The 48 Laws of Power Robert Greene is a master guide for millions of readers, distilling ancient wisdom and philosophy into essential texts for seekers of power, understanding and mastery. Now he turns to the most important subject of all - understanding people's drives and motivations, even when they are unconscious of them themselves. We are social animals. Our very lives depend on our relationships with people. Knowing why people do what they do is the most important tool we can possess, without which our other talents can only take us so far. Drawing from the ideas and examples of Pericles, Queen Elizabeth I, Martin Luther King Jr, and many others, Greene teaches us how to detach ourselves from our own emotions and master self-control, how to develop the empathy that leads to insight, how to look behind people's masks, and how to resist conformity to develop your singular sense of purpose. Whether at work, in relationships, or in shaping the world around you, The Concise Laws of Human Nature offers brilliant tactics for success, self-improvement, and self-defence.

  • @00000400@Happiness is one of life's greatest mysteries. But what even @00000373@is @00000155@happiness? Why does it mean so many different things to different people? And how can we actually @00000373@be @00000155@happier? @00000341@@00000341@Drawing on decades of experience in crime writing, self-help and intensely curious observation of other people, Sophie Hannah sets out to solve the mystery. She lines up her cast of suspects and expert witnesses from ancient philosophers to modern self-help gurus, scientists to ordinary people from all walks of life. Leaving no stone unturned, she scrutinises the clues, evidence, and even the red herrings that unexpectedly lead to happiness. And she uncovers answers - from the secrets of a fulfilling relationship to the joys of boredom, or of the bliss of a cancelled meeting. @00000341@@00000341@Weaving in much-loved poems and hilarious observations from Sophie's own life, this is the ultimate guide to happiness - and the clues that can lead us there.@00000163@

  • ''It is hard to imagine a more timely book ... much of the modern world will make more sense having read it.'' The Times We live in a world that''s more interconnected than ever before. Our lives are shaped by outbreaks - of disease, of misinformation, even of violence - that appear, spread and fade away with bewildering speed. To understand them, we need to learn the hidden laws that govern them. From ''superspreaders'' who might spark a pandemic or bring down a financial system to the social dynamics that make loneliness catch on, The Rules of Contagion offers compelling insights into human behaviour and explains how we can get better at predicting what happens next. Along the way, Adam Kucharski explores how innovations spread through friendship networks, what links computer viruses with folk stories - and why the most useful predictions aren''t necessarily the ones that come true.

  • The first story collection in a decade from the great Russell Banks

  • How Bad Are Bananas? was a groundbreaking book when first published in 2009, when most of us were hearing the phrase 'carbon footprint' for the first time. Mike Berners-Lee set out to inform us what was important (aviation, heating, swimming pools) and what made very little difference (bananas, naturally packaged, are good!). This new edition updates all the figures (from data centres to hosting a World Cup) and introduces many areas that have become a regular part of modern life - Twitter, the Cloud, Bitcoin, electric bikes and cars, even space tourism. Berners-Lee runs a considered eye over each area and gives us the figures to manage and reduce our own carbon footprint, as well as to lobby our companies, businesses and government. His findings, presented in clear and even entertaining prose, are often surprising. And they are essential if we are to address climate change.

  • What was history''s biggest empire? Or the tallest building of the ancient world? What was the average life expectancy in medieval Byzantium? The average wage in Old Kingdom Egypt? Where did scientific writing first emerge? What was the bloodiest ritual human sacrifice ever? We are used to thinking about history in terms of stories. Yet we understand our own world through data: vast arrays of statistics that reveal the workings of our societies. So, join the radical historians Peter Turchin and Dan Hoyer for a dive into the numbers that reveal the true shape of the past. Drawing on their own Seshat project, a staggeringly ambitious attempt to log each piece of demographic and econometric information that can be reliably estimated for every society that has ever existed, Figuring Out The Past does more than tell the story of the past: it shows you the large-scale patterns.

  • For thousands of years, mathematicians have used the timeless art of logic to see the world more clearly. In The Art of Logic , Royal Society Science Book Prize nominee Eugenia Cheng shows how anyone can think like a mathematician - and see, argue and think better. Learn how to simplify complex decisions without over- simplifying them. Discover the power of analogies and the dangers of false equivalences. Find out how people construct misleading arguments, and how we can argue back. Eugenia Cheng teaches us how to find clarity without losing nuance, taking a careful scalpel to the complexities of politics, privilege, sexism and dozens of other real-world situations. Her Art of Logic is a practical and inspiring guide to decoding the modern world.

  • MR FIVE PER CENT

    Jonathan Conlin

    When Calouste Gulbenkian died in 1955 at the age of 86, he was the richest man in the world, known as 'Mr Five Per Cent' for his personal share of Middle East oil. The son of a wealthy Armenian merchant in Istanbul, for half a century he brokered top-level oil deals, concealing his mysterious web of business interests and contacts within a labyrinth of Asian and European cartels, and convincing governments and oil barons alike of his impartiality as an 'honest broker'. Today his name is known principally through the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, to which his spectacular art collection and most of his vast wealth were bequeathed. Gulbenkian's private life was as labyrinthine as his business dealings. He insisted on the highest 'moral values', yet ruthlessly used his wife's charm as a hostess to further his career, and demanded complete obedience from his family, whom he monitored obsessively. As a young man he lived a champagne lifestyle, escorting actresses and showgirls, and in later life - on doctor's orders - he slept with a succession of discreetly provided young women. Meanwhile he built up a superb art collection which included Rembrandts and other treasures sold to him by Stalin from the Hermitage Museum. Published to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth, Mr Five Per Cent reveals Gulbenkian's complex and many-sided existence. Written with full access to the Gulbenkian Foundation's archives, this is the fascinating story of the man who more than anyone else helped shape the modern oil industry.

  • Whether it's the Protestant work ethic, or the capitalist need for productivity, most of us in the English-speaking world believe that in order to achieve anything worthwhile, we must first expend huge amounts of effort. In fact, just the opposite is true. In The French Art of Not Trying Too Hard, Ollivier Pourriol shows how the best results in life, love, work, art and even sports come not from working harder, but from letting go. This is not a new idea in France: since Montaigne, philosophers have suggested that a certain je ne sais quoi is the key to a more creative, fulfilling and productive existence. We can see it in their laissez faire parenting, their chic style, their haute cuisine and enviable home cooking - the French barely seem to be trying, yet the results are world famous. Drawing lessons from French legends like Descartes, Stendhal and Francoise Sagan, Rodin and Zidane, Cyrano de Bergerac and Coco Chanel, Ollivier Pourriol explores how to be efficient a la francaise , and how to effortlessly reap the rewards.

  • From imaginary numbers to the fourth dimension and beyond, mathematics has always been about imagining things that seem impossible at first glance. In x+y, Eugenia Cheng draws on the insights of higher-dimensional mathematics to reveal a transformative new way of talking about the patriarchy, mansplaining and sexism: a way that empowers all of us to make the world a better place. Using precise mathematical reasoning to uncover everything from the sexist assumptions that make society a harder place for women to live to the limitations of science and statistics in helping us understand the link between gender and society, Cheng''s analysis replaces confusion with clarity, brings original thinking to well worn arguments - and provides a radical, illuminating and liberating new way of thinking about the world and women''s place in it.

  • *THE MUST-READ GOTHIC THRILLER OF 2021 FROM THE SHIRLEY JACKSON AND AUGUST DERLETH AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR OF LITTLE EVE AND RAWBLOOD * ''I NEED IT'' - Stephen King via Twitter ''THIS IS THE BEST HORROR NOVEL I HAVE EVER READ'' - Natasha Pulley, bestselling author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street ''BREATHTAKINGLY BRILLIANT'' - Lisa Hall, bestselling author of The Party This is the story of a serial killer. A stolen child. Revenge. Death. And an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street. All these things are true. And yet they are all lies... You think you know what''s inside the last house on Needless Street. You think you''ve read this story before. That''s where you''re wrong. In the dark forest at the end of Needless Street, lies something buried. But it''s not what you think...

  • For millennia, Stoicism has been the ancient philosophy that attracts those who seek greatness, from athletes to politicians and everyone in between. And no wonder: its embrace of self-mastery, virtue and indifference to that which we cannot control has much to offer those grappling with today''s chaotic world. But who were the Stoics? In this book, Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman offer a fresh approach to understanding Stoicism through the lives of the people who practiced it. Through short biographies of all the famous, and lesser-known, Stoics, this book will show what it means to live stoically, and reveal the lessons to be learned from their struggles and successes. The result is a treasure trove of insights for anyone in search of living a good life.

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