Always he returns to the question "Why cook? The New York Times best-selling author of Magpie Murders and Moriarty brilliantly reinvents the classic crime novel once again with this clever and inventive mystery starring a fictional version of the author himself as the Watson to a modern-day Holmes, investigating a case involving buried secrets, murder, and a trail of bloody clues. A woman crosses a London street. It is just after 11 a. Six hours later the woman is dead, strangled with a crimson curtain cord in her own home. Enter disgraced police detective Daniel Hawthorne, a brilliant, eccentric man as quick with an insult as he is to crack a case.
And Hawthorne has a partner, the celebrated novelist Anthony Horowitz, curious about the case and looking for new material. As brusque, impatient, and annoying as Hawthorne can be, Horowitz - a seasoned hand when it comes to crime stories - suspects the detective may be on to something, and is irresistibly drawn into the mystery. But as the case unfolds, Horowitz realizes he's at the center of a story he can't control A masterful and tricky mystery which plays games at many levels, The Word Is Murder is Anthony Horowitz at his very best.
Clary Fray just wants her life to go back to normal - but that turns out to be impossible. For one thing, her mother is still in the hospital, in a mysterious coma. For another, she and her brother, Jace, have fallen under a cloud of suspicion now that the Shadowhunter world knows that Valentine is still alive - and that Jace and Clary are his son and daughter. Not to mention that someone in New York is killing Downworlders and draining their blood, creating a climate of suspicion that sends Downworld Manhattan to the brink of civil war.
When the Silent Brothers are murdered and the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Sword of Souls, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor is dispatched from Idris to investigate. She clearly harbors a personal grudge against Jace, and she drives a wedge between him and his adoptive family. When Clary's romance with her best friend, Simon, starts to heat up, Jace feels abandoned.
But has he, as the Inquisitor accuses, joined up with his father? Then Simon is turned into a vampire and kidnapped by Valentine, who intends to sacrifice him as part of a bloody ritual that will make the Mortal Instruments his own forever. Jace knows he needs to save Simon's life, for Clary's sake. But what if he's too late? What if Valentine has already made the Mortal Instruments his own?
A riveting historical narrative of the heart-stopping events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and the first work of history from mega best-selling author Bill O'Reilly. The anchor of The O'Reilly Factor recounts one of the most dramatic stories in American history-how one gunshot changed the country forever. In the spring of , the bloody saga of America's Civil War finally comes to an end after a series of increasingly harrowing battles. President Abraham Lincoln's generous terms for Robert E.
Lee's surrender are devised to fulfill Lincoln's dream of healing a divided nation, with the former Confederates allowed to reintegrate into American society. But one man and his band of murderous accomplices, perhaps reaching into the highest ranks of the U. In the midst of the patriotic celebrations in Washington, D. A furious manhunt ensues and Booth immediately becomes the country's most wanted fugitive.
Lafayette C. Baker, a smart but shifty New York detective and former Union spy, unravels the string of clues leading to Booth, while federal forces track his accomplices. The thrilling chase ends in a fiery shootout and a series of court-ordered executions-including that of the first woman ever executed by the U. Featuring some of history's most remarkable figures, vivid detail, and page-turning action, Killing Lincoln is history that reads like a thriller. So begins a tale told from his own point of view--a story unequaled in fantasy literature. Now in The Wise Man's Fear, Day Two of The Kingkiller Chronicle, Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero and learns how difficult life can be when a man becomes a legend in his own time.
After 30 years and with three million copies in print, Michael Shaara's Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War classic, The Killer Angels, remains as vivid and powerful as the day it was originally published. July General Robert E. Lee has made this daring and massive move with 70, men in a determined effort to draw out the Union Army of the Potomac and mortally wound it. His right hand is General James Longstreet, a brooding man who is loyal to Lee but stubbornly argues against his plan. Opposing them is an unknown factor: General George Meade, who has taken command of the Army only two days before what will be perhaps the crucial battle of the Civil War.
In the four most bloody and courageous days of our nation's history, two armies fight for two conflicting dreams. One dreams of freedom, the other of a way of life. More than rifles and bullets are carried into battle. The soldiers carry memories. And more than men fall on those Pennsylvania fields. Bright futures, untested innocence, and pristine beauty are also the casualties of war. The Killer Angels is unique, sweeping, unforgettable, a dramatic re-creation of the battleground for America's destiny. His hands are bound behind him, a crude butterfly drawn in blood on his bare back.
He isn't the first. When a drug addict finds the body of a man in the basement of an abandoned warehouse in New York City, Detective Damien Drake is called in to lead the murder investigation. The victim was a philanthropist, father, doting husband, and wealthy junior partner in one of the cities most respected law firms. He seemed to have the perfect life. Yet when Damien probes deeper, he realizes that this man isn't the first. His investigation soon connects this murder with another in Montreal, both of which were emblazoned with the same bloody butterfly.
What dark secrets is the NYC lawyer hiding? And what is the significance of the butterfly? As Damien inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on him Damien's last case cost him his partner's life. This case threatens not only his job, but his sanity, as well. And this time, the killer may even be smarter than he is.
One thing for certain is that if he doesn't catch the killer soon, more people will die. The only question is, will the next victim be someone close to Detective Damien Drake? Butterfly Kisses is a fast-paced thriller packed with twists and turns in the style of the movie Se7en. In New York Times bestseller Steve Berry's latest Cotton Malone adventure, one by one the seven precious relics of the Arma Christi, the weapons of Christ, are disappearing from sanctuaries across the world.
After former Justice Department agent, Cotton Malone, witnesses the theft of one of them, he learns from his old boss, Stephanie Nelle, that a private auction is about to be held where incriminating information on the president of Poland will be offered to the highest bidder--blackmail that both the United States and Russia want, but for vastly different reasons.
The price of admission to that auction is one of the relics, so Malone is first sent to a castle in Poland to steal the Holy Lance, a thousand-year-old spear sacred to not only Christians but to the Polish people, and then on to the auction itself. But nothing goes as planned and Malone is thrust into a bloody battle between three nations over information that, if exposed, could change the balance of power in Europe. From the tranquil canals of Bruges, to the elegant rooms of Wawel Castle, to deep beneath the earth into an ancient Polish salt mine, Malone is caught in the middle of a deadly war--the outcome of which turns on a secret known as the Warsaw Protocol.
We've all had the experience of reading about a bloody war or shocking crime and asking, "What is the world coming to? In fact, we may be living in the most peaceable era in our species' existence. Evidence of a bloody history has always been around us: the genocides in the Old Testament and crucifixions in the New; the gory mutilations in Shakespeare and Grimm; the British monarchs who beheaded their relatives and the American founders who dueled with their rivals; the nonchalant treatment in popular culture of wife-beating, child abuse, and the extermination of native peoples.
Now the decline in these brutal practices can be quantified. With the help of more than a hundred graphs and maps, Pinker presents some astonishing numbers. Tribal warfare was nine times as deadly as war and genocide in the 20th century. The murder rate in medieval Europe was more than thirty times what it is today. Slavery, sadistic punishments, and frivolous executions were unexceptionable features of life for millennia, then suddenly were targeted for abolition.
Wars between developed countries have vanished, and even in the developing world, wars kill a fraction of the numbers they did a few decades ago. Rape, battering, hate crimes, deadly riots, child abuse, cruelty to animals - all substantially down. How could this have happened, if human nature has not changed?
What led people to stop sacrificing children, stabbing each other at the dinner table, or burning cats and disemboweling criminals as forms of popular entertainment? Was it reading novels, cultivating table manners, fearing the police, or turning their energies to making money? Does rock and roll deserve the blame for the doubling of violence in the s - and abortion deserve credit for the reversal in the s? Not exactly, Pinker argues. The key to explaining the decline of violence is to understand the inner demons that incline us toward violence such as revenge, sadism, and tribalism and the better angels that steer us away.
Thanks to the spread of government, literacy, trade, and cosmopolitanism, we increasingly control our impulses, empathize with others, bargain rather than plunder, debunk toxic ideologies, and deploy our powers of reason to reduce the temptations of violence. With the panache and intellectual zeal that have made his earlier books international best sellers and literary classics, Pinker will force you to rethink your deepest beliefs about progress, modernity, and human nature.
This gripping book is sure to be among the most debated of the century so far. The first novel in a new trilogy starring veteran New Republic pilots! On the verge of victory in a brutal war, five New Republic pilots transform from hunted to hunters in this epic Star Wars adventure. Set after Return of the Jedi, Alphabet Squadron follows a unique team, each flying a different class of starfighter as they struggle to end their war once and for all. The Emperor is dead.
His final weapon has been destroyed. The Imperial Army is in disarray. In the aftermath, Yrica Quell is just one of thousands of defectors from her former cause living in a deserters' shantytown--until she is selected to join Alphabet Squadron. Cobbled together from an eclectic assortment of pilots and starfighters, the five members of Alphabet are tasked by New Republic general Hera Syndulla herself.
Like Yrica, each is a talented pilot struggling to find their place in a changing galaxy. Their mission: to track down and destroy the mysterious Shadow Wing, a lethal force of TIE fighters exacting bloody, reckless vengeance in the twilight of their reign. The newly formed unit embodies the heart and soul of the Rebellion: ragtag, resourceful, scrappy, and emboldened by their most audacious victory in decades.
But going from underdog rebels to celebrated heroes isn't as easy as it seems, and their inner demons threaten them as much as their enemies among the stars. The wayward warriors of Alphabet Squadron will have to learn to fly together if they want to protect the new era of peace they've fought so hard to achieve. On one side were powerful corporations whose millions bought armed guards and political influence.
On the other side were fifty thousand mine workers, the nation's largest labor union, and the legendary "miners' angel," Mother Jones. The fight for unionization and civil rights sparked a political crisis that verged on civil war, stretching from the creeks and hollows of the Appalachians to the US Senate. Attempts to unionize were met with stiff resistance. Fundamental rights were bent--then broken. The violence evolved from bloody skirmishes to open armed conflict, as an army of more than fifty thousand miners finally marched to an explosive showdown. Extensively researched and vividly told, this definitive book about an often-overlooked chapter of American history, "gives this backwoods struggle between capital and labor the due it deserves.
The dawn of the Troll Nation has begun Lowen, right hand to the Tyrant King, has come to Hearthworld, and he is building an army of his own. Worse, Lowen and company have taken over one of the most powerful dungeons in the game, The Vault of the Radiant Shield. Even as a Jotnar and a newly minted Dungeon Lord, Roark is supremely outclassed and he bloody well knows it. If he's going to weather what's to come and topple the Tyrant King, he'll have to unlock the secrets of the stolen World Stone Pendant, master his new Hexorcist class, form some very unlikely allies, and most important Grief some heroes.
Let the games begin! From James A. Nothing stays black and white in a world full of shadows I'm Alana Mitchell, and for my twentieth birthday, I got a brand-new magical destiny instead of the laptop I was saving for. I'm a witch. I have powers I can't control, enemies I know nothing about, and a legacy I can't begin to grasp. From heart-eating ghouls to glamors, potions, and spells A renegade demon and his brother are teaching me the ropes and driving me crazy with their I-know-better attitudes, beckoning stares and stupidly handsome faces.
At this rate, I'll flunk Witchcraft I want to hunt down the bastards that destroyed my future, but the brothers' past is threatening to steal my soul and tear me apart--literally. To survive, I must embrace the darkness simmering inside me and unleash the devil within, no matter the consequences Shadow Walker is the first book in a completed urban fantasy and paranormal romance trilogy filled with action, humor, and smoking-hot men.
You don't want to miss this series. Pick up your copy now! Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power. Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan's betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril. Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister.
But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict's bloody politics. And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity From the New York Times bestselling authors of America's First Daughter comes the epic story of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton--a revolutionary woman who, like her new nation, struggled to define herself in the wake of war, betrayal, and tragedy.
Haunting, moving, and beautifully written, Dray and Kamoie used thousands of letters and original sources to tell Eliza's story as it's never been told before--not just as the wronged wife at the center of a political sex scandal--but also as a founding mother who shaped an American legacy in her own right.
A general's daughter Coming of age on the perilous frontier of revolutionary New York, Elizabeth Schuyler champions the fight for independence. And when she meets Alexander Hamilton, Washington's penniless but passionate aide-de-camp, she's captivated by the young officer's charisma and brilliance.
They fall in love, despite Hamilton's bastard birth and the uncertainties of war. A founding father's wife But the union they create--in their marriage and the new nation--is far from perfect. From glittering inaugural balls to bloody street riots, the Hamiltons are at the center of it all--including the political treachery of America's first sex scandal, which forces Eliza to struggle through heartbreak and betrayal to find forgiveness.
The last surviving light of the Revolution When a duel destroys Eliza's hard-won peace, the grieving widow fights her husband's enemies to preserve Alexander's legacy. But long-buried secrets threaten everything Eliza believes about her marriage and her own legacy. Questioning her tireless devotion to the man and country that have broken her heart, she's left with one last battle--to understand the flawed man she married and imperfect union he could never have created without her Here is the audio companion to the magnificent seven-part PBS series.
The individuals featured in this audiobook are not historians or scholars. They are ordinary men and women who experienced - and helped to win - the most devastating war in history, in which between 50 and 60 million lives were lost. Focusing on the citizens of four towns - Luverne, Minnesota; Sacramento, California; Waterbury, Connecticut; and Mobile, Alabama - The War follows more than 40 people from to Woven largely from their memories, the compelling, unflinching narrative unfolds month by bloody month, with the outcome always in doubt.
The iconic events are here, but we also move among prisoners of war, defense workers, and schoolchildren, and families who struggled simply to stay together. An intimate, profoundly affecting chronicle of the war that shaped our world, The War captures the American experience of World War II through the words and deeds, thoughts and feelings of those who made history on the battlefields and on the home front.
The creator of the massively popular, award-winning podcast series The History of Rome brings to life the story of the tumultuous years that set the stage for the fall of the Roman Republic. The Roman Republic was one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of civilization. After its founding in BCE, the Romans refused to allow a single leader to seize control of the state and grab absolute power. The Roman commitment to cooperative government and peaceful transfers of power was unmatched in the history of the ancient world.
But by the year BCE, the republican system was unable to cope with the vast empire Rome now ruled. Almost as soon as they had conquered the Mediterranean, Rome became engulfed in violent political conflicts and civil wars that would destroy the Republic less than a century later. Chronicling the years BCE, The Storm Before the Storm is a rollicking deep dive into the bloody battles, political machinations, and human drama that defined a dangerous new political environment - a stark warning for modern listeners about what happens to a civilization driven by increasing economic inequality, political polarization, and ruthless ambition.
The Complete Maus Art Spiegelman. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus tells the story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, a cartoonist coming to terms with his father's story. Maus approaches the unspeakable through the diminutive. Its form, the cartoon the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice , shocks us out of any lingering sense of familiarity and succeeds in "drawing us closer to the bleak heart of the Holocaust" The New York Times. Maus is a haunting tale within a tale. Vladek's harrowing story of survival is woven into the author's account of his tortured relationship with his aging father.
Against the backdrop of guilt brought by survival, they stage a normal life of small arguments and unhappy visits. This astonishing retelling of our century's grisliest news is a story of survival, not only of Vladek but of the children who survive even the survivors. Maus studies the bloody pawprints of history and tracks its meaning for all of us.
And Nelson DeMille, the master of the genre himself, welcomed Thor as "a savvy new novelist" with a knack for action scenes that "will give the reader a case of vertigo. After rescuing the President from kidnappers, Navy SEAL turned Secret Service agent Scot Harvath shifts his attentions to rooting out and capturing or killing all those responsible for the plot.
As he prepares to close out his list, a bloody and twisted trail of clues points toward one man -- the world's most feared, most ruthless terrorist, Hashim Nidal, who has assembled an international league of Islamic terrorist networks in an ingenious plot to topple both Israel and America. Harvath and his CIA-led team must reach Nidal before it's too late. One problem remains -- they have no idea what the man looks like. Only one person can positively identify Harvath's quarry -- Meg Cassidy, a beautiful hijacking survivor. Together, Scot and Meg must untangle a maddening web of global intrigue stretching across four continents.
From Macau, Jerusalem, and Chicago to Libya, Capri, and Rome, Harvath and Cassidy find themselves locked in a desperate race against time to sort the pieces of a deadly puzzle that will test not only their physical and mental limits, but also the growing bond they feel for each other. When Sheriff Ben Stillman accompanies Judge John Bannon and friends to a wedding in Sulfur, Montana Territory, he aims to have a nice long weekend of rest and respite from law dogging. But Angus Whateley has other plans.
The crazy ex-Confederate has just been released from prison, and he's out to avenge the hanging of his cattle-rustling sons--hangings ordered by Bannon. Backed by a gang of the most violent and vicious members of his family, Whateley strikes when the judge takes the stagecoach back home. Soon, Stillman finds himself fighting a wheel-bound war against clan of zealous killers out for bloody revenge Vicious interstellar conflict with an indestructible alien species. Bloody civil war over the last habitable zones of the cosmos.
Political unrest, militaristic police forces, dire threats to the Solar System Humanity is on the ropes, and after years of fighting a two-front war with losing odds, so is North American Defense Corps officer Andrew Grayson. He dreams of dropping out of the service one day, alongside his pilot girlfriend, but as warfare consumes entire planets and conditions on Earth deteriorate, he wonders if there will be anywhere left for them to go.
After surviving a disastrous space-borne assault, Grayson is reassigned to a ship bound for a distant colony--and packed with malcontents and troublemakers. His most dangerous battle has just begun. In this sequel to the bestselling Terms of Enlistment, a weary soldier must fight to prevent the downfall of his species From multiple 1 best-selling author Joy Ellis, comes a mystery that will have you glued from first page to last, with a truly shocking conclusion. Grace Repton, a beautiful older woman, walks into the police station to tell Matt she has information that could stop a murder.
Reader murdered five women and was finally brought to justice by Detective Ballard. Reader is safely imprisoned in a high security prison, and claiming to be a reformed man who wants to help the police. But can Matt believe the serial killer or his peculiar wife to be? Can the love of a good woman really change a serial killer? And the Fenland police also have another investigation on their hands. A Lithuanian migrant worker is found dead on the fens. There is no ID on him, but he has a Tree of Life tattoo.
The third body to be found with this distinctive tattoo. Is this gang war or something even more sinister? The police are stretched to breaking point with multiple copycat murders. And Matt and his girlfriend Liz will fight for everything they care about in a heart-stopping conclusion that will have you on the edge of your seat. The lonely lanes are flanked either side by deep drainage ditches and are, for a good part of the year, filled with tall, whispering reeds. Closer to the Wash, high seabanks form a barrier between river and marsh, and the richly fertile soil of the drained land.
But when the mists come down, as they so often do, perspective is destroyed and all sense of direction lost, and then the fens become a rather frightening place of mystery and danger. Somewhere that you do not want to be at night. Rise of the Shadow Rogue Mike Truk. Betrayal cuts deepest when someone you love wields the knife. For Kellik, a once-rising star of Port Gloom's guild of thieves, it also leaves him floating in the bay, bleeding out and without hope or allies.
Saved by an urchin and healed by a disgraced saint, Kellik is consumed by a single desire: to find out why his guild master ordered him cut down moments after passing his initiation trial. Burning with injustice Kellik recruits any and all rogues to his side: fallen assassins, dark elf witches, and unnervingly polite necromancers.
Together they journey through the shadowy underbelly of Port Gloom in pursuit of bloody revenge, daring to face impossible odds and uncover the grim truth: not only the reason for the guild's unnatural monopoly on crime, but why his guild master might have been justified in ordering his death after all. On 29th February , John Price took out a restraining order against his girlfriend, Katherine Knight.
Later that day, he told his co-workers that she had stabbed him and if he were ever to go missing, it was because Knight had killed him. The next day, Price didn't show up for work. A co-worker was sent to check on him. They found a bloody handprint by the front door and they immediately contacted the police. The local police force was not prepared for the chilling scene they were about to encounter.
Price's body was found in a chair, legs crossed, with a bottle of lemonade under his arm. He'd been decapitated and skinned. The "skin-suit" was hanging from a meat hook in the living room and his head was found in the kitchen, in a pot of vegetables that was still warm. There were two plates on the dining table, each had the name of one of Price's children on it. She was attempting to serve his body parts to his children. Man-Eater is a dramatic and gripping account of the first women in Australia to be given a life sentence without parole and a special addendum 'never to be released'.
Ryan Green's riveting narrative draws the reader into the real-live horror experienced by the victim and has all the elements of a classic thriller. If you are especially sensitive to this material, it might be advisable not to read any further. Now, in The Day of Battle, he follows the American and British armies as they invade Sicily in July , attack Italy two months later, and then fight their way, mile by bloody mile, north toward Rome.
The Italian campaign's outcome was never certain; in fact, President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and their military advisors bitterly debated whether an invasion of the so-called soft underbelly of Europe was even wise. But once underway, the commitment to liberate Italy from the Nazis never wavered, despite the agonizing price. The battles at Salerno, Anzio, the Rapido River, and Cassino were particularly ferocious and lethal, yet as the months passed, the Allied forces continued to drive the Germans up the Italian peninsula.
Led by Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark, among the war's most complex and controversial commanders, American troops became increasingly determined and proficient. With the liberation of Rome in June , ultimate victory in Europe at last began to seem inevitable. Drawing on extensive new material from a wide array of primary sources, and written with great drama and flair, The Day of Battle is narrative history of the first rank. The Viking king Authun leads his men on a raid against an Anglo-Saxon village.
Men and women are killed indiscriminately, but Authun demands that no child be touched. He is acting on prophecy--a prophecy which tells him that the Saxons have stolen a child from the gods. If Authun, in turn, takes the child and raises him as an heir, the child will lead his people to glory. But Authun discovers not one child, but twin baby boys.
After ensuring that his faithful warriors, witnesses to what has happened, die during the raid, Authun takes the children and their mother home, back to the witches who live on the troll wall. And he places his destiny in their hands. So begins a stunning multivolume fantasy epic that will take a werewolf from his beginnings as the heir to a brutal Viking king down through the ages.
It is a journey that will see him hunt for his lost love through centuries and lives, and see the endless battle between the wolf, Odin, and Loki, the eternal trickster, spill over into countless bloody conflicts from our history and our lives. This is the myth of the werewolf as it has never been told before and marks the beginning of an extraordinary new fantasy series.
From the Trade Paperback edition. Emmy Award-winning gadfly Mike Rowe presents a ridiculously entertaining, seriously fascinating collection of his favorite episodes from America's number-one short-form podcast, The Way I Heard It, along with a host of memories, ruminations, and insights. It's a delightful collection of mysteries. A mosaic. A memoir. A charming, surprising must-have.
Five-minute mysteries about people you know, filled with facts that you didn't. Movie stars, presidents, Nazis, rank traitors, and bloody do-gooders - they're all here, waiting to shake your hand, hoping you'll remember them. Delivered with Mike's signature blend of charm, wit, and ingenuity, their stories are part of a larger mosaic - a memoir crammed with recollections, insights, and intimate, behind-the-scenes moments drawn from Mike's remarkable life and career.
The place is famous for its warm welcome--and infamous for being the site of an ax murder rampage in the s. They've barely begun when a very real dead body is discovered in the basement. As a nonfiction author, Keri is supposed to be the rational one, but she can't explain a terrifying apparition that seems to be both a threat and a warning.
Former detective Joe Dunhill knows what she's going through--the strange gift of being able to see and talk to the dead is a struggle he shares. The town is steeped in old-fashioned superstition, and the deeper Joe and Keri plunge into the dark secrets of the inn, the closer they get to a devastating truth. Will a bloody history be repeated? Or can the spirits of the past reach out to stop a killer? I won't hesitate to get my hands bloody for her. I saw the pain in Elizabeth's eyes when I rescued her from an attacker. Quiet, mousy, and beautiful. The girl is cloaked under the invisibility of dirt and stigma.
She keeps to herself in the community of homeless people. But I will not let her painful past haunt her anymore. Her scars tell a story that makes my blood boil. I see her. I want her. I thought Black Angels was my only obsession until I met her. The club was formed after my brother's tragic death.
It transformed my life. It gave me the power and reach I need to save Elizabeth. And I will not stop at anything until she's safe in my arms. I need to mark her as mine. Buckle up, it's going to get bloody Get the Zombie Road boxed set featuring the first three books in the award winning Zombie Road Series for over pages of action-packed, suspense-filled, post-apocalyptic fiction. Convoy of Carnage. They weren't heroes. They were everyday people. Gunny, truck driver and former veteran, is minding his own business over a cup of coffee at the Three Flags Truck Stop when all hell breaks loose.
Bloodbath on the Blacktop. The people that tried to kill the world almost succeeded. They were ruthless but didn't take into account the vets, truckers, and two-fisted fighters who didn't know the meaning of surrender. Rage on the Rails. It's hard to stop a hundred thousand pounds of diesel locomotive. It's been a month since the outbreak, and the survivors of the zombie apocalypse have started a new life in a walled city, but those caught on the outside aren't so lucky.
Gunny and his crew mount a rescue mission using the only thing that stands a chance of cutting through the undead hordes: An armored train. If you're looking for an apocalyptic thrill ride filled with everyday people, heroes, villains and a dog named Bob, then look no further. Full of thought-provoking ideas that cover uncharted territory in post-apocalyptic fiction, this series will keep you rooting for the good guys, despising the bad and turning the pages until the very end. Scroll up and grab your copy today! Forgotten The Forgotten Book 1 M. Sheriff Hayden Duke was born on the Pilgrim, and he expects to die on the Pilgrim, like his father, and his father before him.
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That's the way things are on a generation starship centuries from home. He's never questioned it. Never thought about it. And why bother? Access points to the ship's controls are sealed, the systems that guide her automated and out of reach. It isn't perfect, but he has all he needs to be content. It made enough for me and a friend; big eaters might want the whole thing for themselves. With some steamed white, new potatoes, lemon and olive oil for drizzling and a pepper mill plus a green salad, it seemed to me an elegant, slimming and simple meal. Make a bed of the ramp in a roughly 8-byinch microwave safe glass pan.
Place the fish on top of the ramp. Cover the dish tightly with microwave plastic wrap. Cook on full power for 6 minutes. Prick the plastic wrap with the tip of a sharp knife to release the steam and eat or serve and eat. If you're alone at Thanksgiving or any time I suggest that you roast a squab or a Cornish hen following the recipes in my book Roasting. All you have to do is follow the instructions and make only one bird. Double this and you can feed one other. Start by setting the oven to degrees with the rack on the second level from the bottom.
Buy a can of cranberry sauce. Stick a sweet potato its skin pricked with a fork on a double sheet of paper towel in the microwave for 12 minutes. It will be done just before the squab. Sqoosh it slightly and be generous with butter. You can buy a tart. Put the bird in the smallest roasting pan available or a pie plate. Put the anise seeds in the cavity. Place in oven breast up, legs to the rear. Roast for 16 to 17 minutes. Remove to a plate. Put pan on stove and, over high heat, bring to a boil with the stock, salt and pepper..
Scrape pan and reduce liquid slightly. Trout, Timely and Delicious. Last night, I made a very quick and beautiful trout dinner. Once assembled—which i s a snap—it takes four minutes in a high-power microwave oven. Allow an extra minute for older ovens. I made some rice and allowed fifteen minutes for it to simmer, covered, in water pre-boiled with a little olive oil and salt.
When the rice had four minutes to go, I turned on the microwave with the trout in it—perfection. It served two of us; but a hearty appetite might finish it all. Toss together the spinach and olive oil in a twelve by four inch microwave-safe dish. Pat spinach into a single layer. Sprinkle half of the fennel seed in a lengthwise line down the center of the spinach.
Lay the trout on top. Sprinkle remaining fennel on the trout. Arrange the shrimp on either side of the fish. Drizzle lemon juice over all. Cover dish tightly with microwave plastic wrap. Cook for four minutes. Prick plastic with the tip of sharp knife. Remove plastic and serve.
This is quick, easy, light and delicious. It can be served with rice noodles. The endive pleasantly keep a little of their crunch and the chicken is cooked through, but not at all dry. It was made in a new high power oven. Using an older oven, add a minute of cooking time. Toss together endive strips with one tablespoon Worcestershire and one of olive oil. Do the same with the chicken strips. In a nine-inch pie plate or quiche dish, pat the endive into a single layer.
Cover with chicken strips not overlapping. Cook at high for three minutes. Prick plast with tip of a sharp knife to release steam. Toss all together. This is a non-traditional Nicoise; but it is the way I first learned to make it years ago in Paris. I like it very much. It is a lovely cool meal for a sunny day, serving two or more as a main and several as a first. In a saucepan, cover eggs with cold salted water.
Bring water to the boil. Cover pan, remove from heat and allow to sit 5 minutes. Run cold water over eggs. In a large salad bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Peel eggs; they should be runny in the middle. Cut one in quarters. Add to dressing with anchovies and tomatoes; toss lightly. If tomatoes are properly ripe, some of the juice will run into the vinaigrette. Toss remaining ingredients including optional potatoes and beans if desired with dressing. Top salad with remaining egg, quartered.
Serve immediately. Scrumptious Scallops. This is a light and lovely dinner for one made in a high-power microwave oven. It is particularly good in summer when really large white scallops are around. It goes extremely quickly, so be sure to bring water with salt to the boil and put some orzo or riso pasta in to boil, which will sop up the ample juices provided by this dish. Slick the bottom of a deep soup plate or pie plate with the oil.
Arrange the shallots in a paving style round on the bottom. Put the scallops in a touching layer on top. Put tarragon leaves on each scallop. Sprinkle cumin evenly over scallops. Cover dish tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave for three minutes. Prick plastic with the tip of a sharp knife and remove. Spoon drained pasta into juices surrounding the scallops.
Sprinkle with salt. Eat and by all means use a spoon. This past weekend, I found the most glorious, fat artichokes in the market. It is after all artichoke season. The weather was sweltering, and rather than eat a whole meal for lunch, I had two artichokes. For more normal use, make one for yourself and one for a guest or to eat the following day. I simply used mayo from a jar to dip into, but a simple vinaigrette would be good. On a diet? Use balsamic vinegar. As the artichokes are cut and trimmed, rub them all over with the lemon juice.
Any remaining juice can be put in the dressing. Microwave in a high-power oven for 4 minutes. Eat and enjoy. Colorful Tumeric Shrimp. Turmeric is a gorgeous orangish powdered spice from a rhizome related to ginger. It is extremely healthful. The main component is curcumin. Look it up on the Web. Here it is paired with companionable colors of shrimp and tomato. I like to serve it at room temperature, with half of a peeled and sliced avocado per person. It will serve two as a first course and be an ample meal for one, perhaps with some softened rice, or bean thread noodles.
Stir together turmeric and oil in a 4-cup glass measure. Cook uncovered for 30 seconds in a high-power microwave oven. Remove measure from oven. Stir in shrimp, basil and tomatoes. Cover tightly with microwave plastic wrap. Cook 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Pierce wrap with tip of a sharp knife. Remove wrap. Stir in lime juice and salt. Allow to come to room temperature. Serve with avocado and noodles if desired.
It is healthful calories and almost fat free. I suggest serving it with a side dish of pasta with a little olive oil. Or you can accompany it with bread, a salad, and a glass of wine and still be on a diet. Mound the spinach in the center of a inch pie or quiche dish. Cook uncovered at percent, for 40 seconds. Remove from oven. Push spinach to the edges of the plate to form a ring.
Place filets in the center. Sprinkle lightly with pepper. Pour tomato sauce over the fish.
Cook for 2 minutes in a high-powered oven or 30 seconds longer in a watt oven. Prick the plastic to release steam. Serves 1. Ginger Apple Treat. Into even the leanest life, a sweet craving will fall. Coming home one evening, I wanted something sweet but not cloying, and if possible, a little unusual. Here is the result. I loved it, quickly made in my high power oven. Add another minute for a watt oven. Start it before your main course, and eat when you feel like--hot or warm. Leave a thin piece of apple covering the bottom. In an individual bowl such as a Chinese or Japanese rice bowl, put the ginger root.
Put the apple on top. Stuff with walnut pieces allowing an extra bit to fall around the outside. Pour the lime juice over the walnuts and top of apple. Sprinkle on sugar. Pour coconut milk over apple. Stick cilantro sprigs around outside of apple. Put a toothpick in top of apple to hold the plastic wrap with which you will cover the apple off of the apple. Cook in microwave for three minutes.
Prick plastic to release steam. Remove plastic and tooth pick. Spoon some of the liquid and cilantro into apple. Allow to cool until ready to eat. Veal Delight with Cream. Last week I promised a sinful and delicious recipe. I forgot just how healthful the microwave is. It isn't easy to make a rich main course. This is an excellent shot. I tested it in a high-power oven. If using an older oven, up the time to four minutes. As usual, bring water to a boil; prepare the recipe; cook egg noodles and put recipe in oven. Put a row of onions inside the rim of a nine-inch glass pie plate.
Make a bed of mushrooms in the center. Place tarragon n top. Top that with the veal and pour liquid over. Cook in microwave oven for three minutes. Prick wrap with tip of a sharp knife. Remove plastic. Mix together and serve over drained noodles. Healthy Heavenly Chicken and Mushrooms. Many years ago, a Frenchman, Dr. Pomiane, wrote a book about cooking in ten minutes.
In this case, it will be needed to cook some rice to accompany the chicken. The rice takes longer to cook than the rest of the meal. Recently there has been a lot of talk about the taste that the Japanese, umame, have added to the customary Western group. It is usually cited as being present in soy sauce.
I find it happily in the dried mushrooms used in this recipe, which are also aromatic. They are porcini in Italian, cepes in French and Boletus edulis most properly. They seem very expensive; but a very small amount needs to be used as they are very light in weight. The recipe is for use in a high power oven. If the oven is only watts, cook dried mushrooms for two minutes and the chicken for six. Put the dried porcini and the stock in a two-cup glass measure. Poke the mushroom pieces down into the stock. Cook in the microwave for 1 minute. Remove from oven and stir in mustard and sliced mushroom caps.
Place chicken in the center of a nine-inch glass pie plate. Put half of the string beans on either side. Pour mushroom mixture over chicken along with the heavy cream if desired. Use two overlapping pieces if need be. Cook for Four and a half minutes. Before removing from oven, prick wrap balloon that will have formed with the tip of a sharp knife. Serve to yourself with the pre-made rice and a good glass of red wine. Spring Salmon in a Hurry. Below I give a main course that is the essence of spring—all on one dish.
It can't get much easier. Of course, if you're having company, say a friend, you don't have to abandon the handy microwave. Double the ingredients and follow the longer timing given at the end. The recipe is written both for a watt oven and for the newer, high power ovens. Put a pile of asparagus in the center and spread out the potato slices in the remaining space. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Without removing from oven, prick plastic to release steam. Serve yourself drizzling everything with some olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
A glass of white wine would be lovely. To serve 2: Double ingredients. Put asparagus in the center. Put a piece of fillet on either side. Cover tightly with plastic warp and cook for 4 minutes 45 seconds. Read more, order books or ask Barbara at bkafka. Champagne with Potato Chips? Solo women, like most wine drinkers, can get intimidated by which wines to serve with which foods. But you really can drink wine with just about anything, according to a new web site devoted to food and wine pairings, www.
Zinfandel with your Tex-Mex? Not a problem. A little Chardonnay with your fried chicken take-out? Pinot Noir and wild boar? Why not, says Natalie MacLean, who has included these in a free, interactive matching tool at www. Popcorn with Chilean Chardonnay 2. Nachos with California Zinfandel 3. Potato chips with French Champagne 4. Pizza with Italian Chianti 5. Fish and chips with German Riesling 6. Hamburgers with Australian Shiraz 7. Smoked salmon with Canadian or Oregon Pinot Noir 8. Quiche with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc 9. Canned brown beans with tawny Port TV dinner steak with French or Washington Cabernet Sauvignon MacLean's matching tool pairs wines with any dish: meat, pasta, seafood, vegetarian fare, pizza, eggs, cheese and even dessert, including Jell-O and fudge for those who like to layer their vices.
You simply choose the food or wine from a drop-down menu to get the pairing suggestions. There are also lots of recipes for those planning a meal. The matcher is updated regularly with new dishes and wines from the 87,plus readers who subscribe to Natalie's free e-newsletter, which offers tips on how to buy, cellar and serve wine. Got a dish or a wine to stump Natalie? Just e-mail her via her web site and she'll suggest a match for you. Rex Pickett, author of Sideways, says that Natalie "writes about wine with a sensuous obsession," and is "laugh-out-loud funny.
Bella's Insights:. Exhibit 6 comes from a pro-marriage listserv. The moderator introduced the study by noting, "This research is all the more reason to help couples learn how to get married For years, I have been examining claims about the links between getting married and getting healthy. See Chapter 2 of my book, Singled Out. My approach is apparently different than that of many reporters: I actually go to the original journal article and read what the study really did show. Time and again, the results that make it into the media are a biased version of the actual results of the research, and in just about every instance, they are biased toward making married people look better and single people look worse.
I'll explain how that has happened with this particular study. Sometimes, though, you need look no further than the headline to realize that something is amiss. Take the very first headline, for example: "Happily married have lower blood pressure than singles. Here's what I learned about the study from reading the original journal article :.
Adults from the Provo, Utah community mostly white agreed to wear a blood pressure monitor for 24 hours. The married group was comprised of heterosexuals. The 99 singles included 12 who were divorced and 1 who was widowed; the others had always been single. From headlines such as "Marriage may lower blood pressure," you might guess that when blood pressure was averaged across the 24 hours of the study, the married people would have lower blood pressure than the singles. You would, however, be wrong. Next, the authors looked at people's blood pressure only while they were awake.
Maybe those waking hours, when married participants may have actually be interacting with their spouses, are the times when they look healthier than single people. Wrong again. What's left is blood pressure while sleeping. The authors looked at how much each person's blood pressure decreased while sleeping compared to when the person was awake. The married people had a greater reduction in blood pressure not necessarily the same as a lower level of blood pressure , by about 3 points, than single people.
That is the key finding that you have been hearing all about: Married people look better than single people only if you compare reductions in blood pressure when the participants are unconscious. I'm not saying that "nocturnal dips" are unimportant. But really, when you read those headlines, is that what you thought you were learning? But suppose, hypothetically, that the results had been much stronger. Imagine that the married people had much lower blood pressure than the single people all day and all night. Would it then be okay to say that if you want to have lower blood pressure, you should get married?
Not on the basis of this study. Anyone who has taken a course in psychology or research methodology probably knows why. If married people differ from single people in blood pressure or anything else , you cannot know, on the basis of this sort of study, whether they differ BECAUSE they are married. Maybe the people who got married already had lower blood pressure even before they married, and getting married made no difference. Methodologically, there is a great way to figure out whether getting married helps your blood pressure. Unfortunately, it is unethical.
You would have to assign people at random to get married or stay single. The next best thing is to follow people over time. Richard Lucas and his colleagues have done this in a study of happiness that has been ongoing for at least 18 years. They found that people who got married and stayed married throughout the course of the study experienced a small increase in happiness around the time of the wedding.
Then they went back to being as happy or as unhappy as they were when they were single. The people who married and eventually divorced did not even get the benefit of a honeymoon effect; they were already becoming less happy, not more so, as their wedding day approached. There is no comparable study of changes in blood pressure as people transition from being single to being married or from being married to being divorced or widowed. I've already made fun of the headline claiming that happily married people have lower blood pressure than single people whether happy or unhappy.
The happy qualification covers another finding that some of the reports did mention: Unhappily married people had worse blood pressure readings across the hrs than did the single people. They also had higher blood pressure during the day. Their "nocturnal dips" were not any different. Hence, some main headings e.
Fair is fair. The blood pressure of unhappy married people should be compared to the blood pressure of unhappy single people. Headline 5, "Happily marrieds have lower blood pressure than social singles," introduces another factor - whether singles are "social" or not. The title of the published article poses the question, "Is there something unique about marriage? Now once again, let me tell you what I read in the actual journal article. The measure of "supportive friends" was a item scale. It consists of 10 items measuring your access to tangible, material help sample item: "If for some reason I were put in jail, there is someone I could call to bail me out" ; 10 items measuring whether you have people with whom you can discuss your problems sample item: "There is really no one I can trust to give me good financial advice" ; 10 items measuring whether you have people you can do things with sample item: "Most people I know don't enjoy the same things I do" ; and 10 items measuring your self-esteem sample item: "I am able to do things as well as most other people".
Single people who had more access to support as measured by this scale , compared to married people who had more access to support again, as measured by this scale , had no better blood pressure readings than those who had less access to support. That's the basis for the conclusion that "there [is] something unique about marriage. Here is the question that the study did NOT address: If you are single, and you have a close friend or a sibling or anyone else who is important to you or if you have the number of close relationships and the degree of closeness that you desire , then how does your blood pressure compare to a married person's?
If you are single, I don't think you should decide to get married in order to lower your blood pressure. Just relax and get a good night's sleep. Unfortunately, that probably won't work for me. I'm single, and media reports like these make my blood boil. One of the most significant demographic trends over the past half-century is the ascendence of people who are single.
They have the power of numbers -- as a proportion of the adult population, they are closing in on people who are married. As householders, their place is dramatically different than it was a few decades ago: There are now more households consisting of single people living solo than of households comprised of mom, dad, and the kids.
And -- further attesting to their numbers -- most single people do not live alone. Perhaps the most significant of all of these new demographic realities is the place of singlehood in our individual life stories -- Americans now spend more years of their adult lives unmarried than married. Marketers -- like much of the rest of society -- have not caught up with the changes that have made single life vastly different than it was before.
They have yet to realize the implications of those changes for their portrayals of singles and their pitches to them. At last, though, the topic is on the table. Last week, the marketing firm JWT Boom hosted a two-day conference on marketing to boomers , including a panel on single boomers. Because some marketers believe this, they try to sell their products by selling the fantasy of getting married. A telling example of this came from a television ad that Coldwell Banker ran over and over again a few summers ago.
In it, the narrator, a realtor, said this: "When Sylvia Maxwell was single again, she came to me at Coldwell Banker to find a new home. I searched high and low and when I found one she loved, she made a proposal to buy it. Larry was a single professor who lived next door, until one day he made a proposal of another kind. Gives a whole new meaning to 'love thy neighbor. By the end, the two of them are holding hands, skipping, and frolicking through the yards of their homes, she in full bridal attire and he in his groom-ware. The bridesmaids and groomsmen follow gleefully behind them. But never mind the visuals.
What really got to me was that last line, about how Coldwell has always known that real estate is only part of the story. So I, a single woman, might go to a Coldwell Banker realtor in search of a home. The realtor, though, will just know that what I really want is a husband. I started keeping track of all of the ads that feature weddings or brides.
Setting aside the totally understandable products such as jewelry, catering, photography, and tuxedos, I also found wedding themes in ads for:. Motor oil! Advertising is matrimaniacal. And yet, consider these results of a Pew Research Survey. Single people divorced, widowed, always single were asked:. Related to the mistake of seeing singles as more concerned about getting married than anything else is the vision of singles as living a narrow, constricted life, as if they were waiting to find "The One" before buying homes or traveling the world or pursuing their passions.
An example comes from advice offered by a boomer woman who is most certainly not leading a stunted or timid life. I'm talking about Suze Orman. In The Road to Wealth , she began a sentence like this:. I was excited. I thought she was going to continue by saying that I would soon discover how much I would love having more space, so I should just go for it right from the beginning! Suze Orman was thinking like the realtor who tried to sell me a town house or condo, after I had come to an open house because I wanted a house.
Many singles have told me similar stories. When realtors lead their single clients to smaller and cheaper places than the clients were seeking, they are doing something extraordinarily rare in the business world -- working against their own self-interest. Here I think single men have it at least as bad, if not worse, than single women. Remember the "lost another loan to Ditech" campaign?
That ad featured a doughy man with ill-fitting suits and pudgy ringless fingers who worked for Ditech's competitor. So pathetic was the guy that even his therapist got his loan from Ditech. One of the ads ends with the hapless bachelor emitting a plaintive wail, "Mommmm!
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It tries to tempt me to buy a colorful luggage strap with the promise of solving that pesky problem, "Which bag is ours? Again, by assuming that people come packaged in couples, these businesses talk past the very people who may be interested in their products. There are millions of us, and those numbers just keep growing.
Insecurities are for kids. Many single boomers are living their lives fully and unapologetically. The bare bones of Trautmann's story are well-known — German POW who stays over here when the war ends, becomes a goalkeeper for Manchester City and famously wins the Cup with a broken neck. It's a fantastic story, fleshed out beautifully by Clay. Moore was the snarling hooker at the heart of a Grand Slam-winning England team who went on to become a frank and forthright summariser for the BBC.
He has made his name by telling it like it is, and from the early revelations of child abuse onwards, his book's a compelling read. Like Moore, the double Tour de France champion Laurent Fignon was deeply passionate about his sport, and could be abrasive. He's ruthlessly honest, about himself and about cycling, and he provides a gripping insight into an unrelentingly hard world.
A few years ago travel writing seemed to have got stuck in the doldrums, but it has come roaring back. This year's Dolman Travel Book Awards saw a record entry of over 70 titles. Publishers are also finding that travel books can have a longer shelf life than celebrity novels or political memoirs which live and die in one season only. Tim Butcher has been one of the writers leading the charge. His first book, Blood River, about the Congo, achieved surprising sales. Jacobs aspires to a journey like his hero Humboldt's, which follows the whole chain for thousands of miles from north to south, making observations on natural history, volcanoes and food with equal voracity.
His style of exuberant showmanship is a quality the British are sometimes suspicious of. The letters may occasionally be name-dropping, but Chatwin's endless enthusiasm for travel and the counter-intuitive surprises of foreign cultures ensures that he is never dull, while only those with a heart of stone could fail to be moved by his final, dying correspondence. Age has not mellowed his views of the continent and the result can be unsettling; Naipaul is never an easy travelling companion but a consistently interesting and provocative one.
There is often a moment in Jonathan Raban's travel books when his boat hits a storm and the contents of his personal library are tossed around the cabin, giving him the chance to adumbrate their contents to the reader as he puts them back in place. Now he has a chance to extend this trope across an entire book. He made his principal characters, the unlikely pairing of Gustave Flaubert and Florence Nightingale, dance a ghostly polka as they shadowed each other across Egypt.
He shows that travel writing can be infinitely capacious, as long as you give it enough drugs and light to feed on. The year saw rolling celebrations for the Royal Society's th anniversary and a bumper crop of books, entirely doing justice to what must be one of the golden ages of science. Especially exciting are the latest ideas on the origin of life from inanimate chemicals and the great breakthrough to multicellular life: it took two billion years to achieve. On the tenth anniversary of the sequencing of the human genome, two books highlighted the coming revolution in genomic medicine.
Setting human beings in their environment, the acknowledged master of British natural history, Richard Mabey, has entered a new fertile phase. It demonstrates parallels between weeds and that other rogue species: Homo sapiens. He goes in search of all 59 native British butterflies in a year but rediscovers plenty more besides, not least "the talent we all have as children for observing and taking pleasure in the marvel of small things". It was the year when, thanks to the well-orchestrated sabotage of the lobbyists, climate change went off the boil. By combining historic data with a lively narrative of the rise and fall of civilisations, Behringer shows how climate has always lurched wildly and how unwise we would be to think that our pleasant climate is likely to last, whatever we do about carbon emissions.
The sciences now talk to each other, after decades of over-specialisation. Intriguing parallels are emerging between creativity in nature evolution and in human technological innovation: both seem to require a critical population size. Johnson belongs to the ideas-a-poppin' school founded by Malcolm Gladwell but his "natural history of innovation" is more grounded than most of the genre.
Nothing that matters profoundly to us is taken more for granted than the sun. Cohen tells a good tale and is equally good on science and literature, quoting Joseph Brodsky: "all the best poets are solar-powered". The sun might suffer from over-familiarity, but seeds really are out of sight, out of mind. Thompson, who died without quite completing this book, has made a vital contribution to the future of our species. That comedy and comedians have earned an unheard-of ubiquity few would now deny. There is, perhaps, no better visual reminder than the groaning bookshelves from which various smiling jesters will look down upon you this Yuletide, each with an approach to "memoirising" as distinct as their own respective shticks.
Ultimately this tax evasion seems to have absented flavoursome characterisations of family and friends; there's an unfortunate paucity of dialogue and warmth. In a book as bouncy as his act, McIntyre wraps up his life in noticeable embroidery, bestowing his teenage years with a catchphrase and having his mother exclaim: "I am the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny and Father Christmas, don't tell your sister. After all, his father, Ray Cameron, was a stand-up and comedy writer.
It is when talking about his father's life, through the recollections of his brother, that McIntyre gives fair warning of his tonal intent: "This might be a romanticised version of events but I like it, so I'm going with it. His extensive CV includes working with difficult children as a peripatetic care officer, a period that saw him deal with nightmarish scenarios that wouldn't be out of place in The Exorcist: the film O'Grady had just seen when we join him at the start of this engrossing autobiography.
The disturbing cinematic experience has the year-old O'Grady a bag of nerves, unaware that real life is yet to throw up some spectacles even more troubling. In his hands, though, they are tender and entertaining to read. That which is grotesque or monstrous, of course, unites O'Grady with another legendary drag: Barry Humphries. While O'Grady's Lily Savage did not stand on ceremony as she cut down her targets, Barry Humphries' Dame Edna was as effective with a withering wit that endangered not just the nearby gladioli.
During one of their face-to-face "meetings" Edna says to Barry that she will one day tell him about something wild she did. Barry asks her, why not tell now, to which Edna replies: "No, Barry, I can't, because I haven't done it yet.
- Fair Valley Refuge (The Shepherds Heart Book 3).
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Gladioli, of course, are not only favoured by Dame Edna but also by that other old warbler Morrissey, so beloved of Russell Brand. However, there is some reward within. The eulogising of Jonathan Ross is a necessary part of his attempt to explain away "Sachsgate" and more effective, even, than his pointed blame of the print media. His namesake Jo Brand also has another instalment of her life out: it seems memoirs now are never-ending, like bad anecdotes.
In the latter section, she defers to Bill Hicks, suggesting we seek the late comedian's take on the subject in preference to her own mild stance. What a way to sell yourself: Jo, advertising, in any form, is not for you. This referral only highlights a question mark over this book: the one that asks of its format whether it's lazy or clever. That question is sometimes posed by her act itself. With an album out as well as some limp internet shorts, one wonders if cult comic turned ITV star Harry Hill is starting to spread himself a bit too thinly.
But the book burbles along rather nicely and the "seigneur of silly" shows that his jester's stick is still sharp. His entry for 22 April, for example, has him filming Britain's Favourite Trees: "Due to budgetary constraints, it was pretty much me in front of a blue screen operating the camera with a foot pedal. Susan Boyle might have reminded us that global fame is sometimes only a reality TV show away but her recently published life-story aside, this year has been a strong one for silver celebrity memoirs, written by those who have spent decades, not days, honing their craft — Judi Dench, Simon Callow and Steven Berkoff, to name a few.
This follow-up might have been seemed over-indulgent were it not for his self-deprecating vignettes, told in a voice as distinctive as his spoken one, that led to critical comparisons with David Niven's classic The Moon's a Balloon. This epistolary material broke new ground after authors were given unique access to Taylor's correspondence, and illuminated the inner workings of this most public of Hollywood love affairs between "Liz and Dick" from their instant sexual chemistry to the drink binges, romantic extravagances, fights, reunions and medical problems.
The former GMTV presenter who gave up her job after her father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, captured powerfully the messy emotions that accompany the impact of dementia on sufferers' families. Buried treasure found in the form of 10 mislaid episodes of Hancock's Half Hour, was one of the year's most wondrous excavations from the BBC's archives. This behind-the-scenes peek at theatre's past is brought alive with the kind of colour sometimes missing from more academic accounts. Written by Jennifer Homans, a former dancer, it begins in the European courts, where a performance was a political event, and zips through the centuries to examine the power and potency of ballet today.
Thomson has added new entries to this fifth edition. The search for a seasonal stocking-filler need go no further. This is the life. That's one of many digs at Mick Jagger, once forced to return a million-pound advance for his memoirs when he discovered that he was all a-blank. Sir Mick "started to become unbearable" long before the knighthood. Wizened Keef is a study in paradox. He has enjoyed every moment of rock'n' roll excess, including a backseat blow-job from Anita Pallenberg, yet he's sorted and wouldn't mind being a librarian. He has owned a dog named Syphilis yet writes affectionately about mum and dad, and shares his recipe for shepherd's pie.
He's done sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll big time, and been married for 30 years. It's a great read, even for Beatles fans. Rob Jonanovich's book examines a band many feel was more influential than the Beatles. A lavish portfolio with a foreword by Tom Stoppard, the latter volume covers the spectrum, in colour and in evocative black-and-white. This is another good read that would be improved by an index. It was in Hollywood that Gershwin ended his tragically short life. This concise and approachable survey wears its erudition lightly.
Unlike the American composer, he has enjoyed the luxury of time in which to develop, pursuing a multifaceted career. Scrupulously annotated yet chatty in style, it marks Bennett's 75th birthday in March. Of all the arts, music has the greatest potential to move us. The minor mode was for many years considered dissonant — if only Thalberg had but known it!
Sondheim shows how and why songs came into being. This is a masterclass between hard covers — always remember, "jokes work best with perfect rhymes". You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists? Try Independent Minds free for 1 month. Independent Minds Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Minds. It allows our most engaged readers to debate the big issues, share their own experiences, discuss real-world solutions, and more.
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