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I, Robot by Peter Crouch

Following on from his huge bestseller, How to be a Footballer, Peter Crouch dives even deeper into the secret world of football. 

'Peter Crouch is a comedy genius' - Daily Mail 

'The funniest man in British sport' – Metro 

‘One of the funniest human beings on the planet’ Romesh Ranganathan

I, Robot - How to be a Footballer 2
By Peter Crouch
Ebury Press / 17 October / Hardback £20/ Ebook £9.99

A true legend of English football, with a career that has taken him from World Cups to Champions League finals, Crouch is prized for his self-deprecating humour and his universal appeal that transcends club affiliation. Newly retired after a stellar career, the humble professional with a great sense of humour has gathered legions of fans hungry to hear his hilarious take on the frequently ridiculous world of football.

In I,Robot Crouch further lifts the lid on the nation’s favourite sport in his usual honest, candid and utterly entertaining way. Whether it’s offering genuine insider insight into how the game works – from striker selfishness or the art of bench-warming to explaining what managers or agents really do. Then there are his legendary tall tales – from accidentally becoming best mates with Mickey Rourke (though not Madonna) to spilling the beans about, well, Gareth Bale’s magic beans. And why does Crouchy’s dad still walk the dog in his 2005 England tracksuit? This book is a true insider guide.


Peter Crouch is a retired English professional footballer. He was capped 42 times by the England national team between 2005 and 2010, scoring 22 goals for his country in that time, and appearing at two World Cups. He is one of 28 players to have scored 100 or more Premier League goals, holding the record for the most headed goals in Premier League history. With a truly illustrious footballing career behind him, he has played for Queens Park Rangers, Portsmouth, Aston Villa, Norwich, Southampton, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Tottenham Hotspur, Stoke, Burnley and England. Peter’s award winning That Peter Crouch Podcast is due to air for a third series this Autumn.



Tom Fordyce, Peter’s co-writer, is the BBC’s award-winning Chief Sports Writer. He ghosted Swim Bike Run, the autobiography of Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, which was a Sunday Times number one bestseller; The World of Cycling According to G with Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas and Sevens Heaven with Ben Ryan, winner of the Telegraph Sports Book of the Year 2019. Tom hosts That Peter Crouch Podcast with Peter, alongside Radio One’s Chris Stark.


Just Another Mountain by Sarah Jane Douglas

An uplifting memoir from a strong female voice that shows the restorative power of mountain walking  

Just Another Mountain  
by Sarah Jane Douglas 
Foreword by Sir Chris Bonington  
Elliott & Thompson / 20 June / hardback / £14.99 

Loads of people get horrible diagnoses all the time so really it isn’t anything special or extraordinary that I found myself with membership to the cancer club. To be honest, I’d been expecting it, but the news was still received like a swift kick to the balls. For me, the hardest thing to get my head around was the fact that twenty years earlier I’d held my own mum’s hand when breast cancer stole her life from mine. It had taken me most of my adulthood to recover from her loss... Faced with my diagnosis, there was only one thing I could do, the thing I’d come to rely on so much these last few years. I had to put one foot in front of the other, and just keep walking.
— Sarah Jane Douglas

In 1997, at the age of 24, Sarah lost her mother to breast cancer. Alone and adrift in the world, she very nearly gave up hope – but she’d made a promise to her mother that she would keep going no matter what. So she turned to the beautiful, dangerous, forbidding mountains of her native Scotland.   

By walking in her mother’s footsteps, she learns to accept her own troubled past, finding the strength to overcome her grief – and, ultimately, to carry on in the face of her own diagnosis twenty years later. 

Searingly honest and utterly relatable, bringing the exhilarating triumphs and challenges of mountain walking to life with wit, charm and raw candour, Just Another Mountain is a story of hope and redemption, of a mother and a daughter, and of how we can learn both to live and to love. Sometimes, all you can do is put one foot in front of the other … and just keep walking. 

Talking points

  • Mountain climbing – from Scotland’s Munros to Kilimanjaro and the Himalayas 

  • Mother daughter relationships and dealing with loss 

  • Unpicking the mystery of the death of her Mother’s greatest love (and the man who was nearly her stepfather), Gerry, in the Himalayas 

  • Female friendship 

  • Cancer – and sanity saving daily walks throughout the course of treatment 

About Sarah Jane Douglas

Sarah Jane Douglas writes the popular blog ‘Smashing Cancer in the Face’. She is an artist and former teacher who lives with her two teenage sons in an old fishing village on the northeast coast of Scotland, is a lover of mountains and is proud to be Munroist number 5764. This is her first book. 

Sarah actively fundraises for Cancer charities. Last year The Show (Breast Cancer Care) raised £150,000, and Sarah also arranged a ‘Full Monty’ to raise money for Maggie’s Highlands

Sarah is available for interview, features and events.

More information

For more information about this book, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

The Breakdown: Making Sense of Politics in a Messed-Up World by Tatton Spiller

The Breakdown is a smart, entertaining handbook showing how we can understand – and feel better about – modern politics.

The Breakdown: Making Sense of Politics in a Messed-Up World
By Tatton Spiller
Elliott & Thompson / 30 May / hardback / £12.99

We’re in a time of enormous political engagement, but most of us are ill equipped to truly understand and debate the issues currently rocking our world. Instead, we become entrenched in our echo chambers, convinced that those with a different viewpoint are stupid, awful human beings whose actions must be stopped. This lack of political knowledge and wider understanding is unsurprising – after all, few of us are taught about our political system or about different ideologies – but it leaves us unable to engage in the conversation, to influence others’ opinions, or to effect change. It leaves us with no control.

With sections including How it All Works; How Different People Think; and Making Change Happen, this superbly clear-sighted, light-hearted and judgement-free book will equip readers with the tools they need to understand the different arguments, to work out what is happening and why – and then to do something about it.

In a shifting political landscape that can at times be frustrating, emotional or confusing, The Breakdown is an oasis of calm in a turbulent world.

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  • How subscription ‘news’ websites have a vested interest in keeping you angry

  • How we dehumanise the opposition thereby preventing any kind of meaningful debate

  • Why there is a reluctance to try and solve problems and find workable solutions, and the damage this is causing

  • Social media abuse and the damage it is doing to democracy

  • A snappy tour of different political ideologies (liberals; libertarians; socialists; traditional conservatives; one-nation conservatives; social democrats)

  • A tour of political battlegrounds – Education; Privatisation; Tax and Spend; Immigration; Free speech; Brexit

  • A look at successful changemakers of the 21st Century, and what drove that success

  • Tips to keep your head clear and out of your echo chamber


Tatton Spiller is the founder of Simple Politics, a hugely successful project that aims to explain and engage people with politics, both online and via talks. He has been a teacher and a journalist, and worked at the Houses of Parliament, devising, training and delivering education sessions for visiting school students. While at Parliament, he watched many, many debates, engaged thousands of people, and organised Q&A sessions with hundreds of MPs. This gave him a real insight into how the whole thing works. The nagging feeling that nobody was really breaking down politics in a way that engages people never left him.

Tatton is available for interviews, features and events.


For more information about this book, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Another Planet by Tracey Thorn

A memoir about suburban childhood from Tracey Thorn, singer-songwriter and Sunday Times bestselling author of Bedsit Disco Queen

‘Another Planet is about being a teenager in suburbia in the 1970s, and revisiting one’s own youth from middle age. It touches on class, culture, music, plum jam and parenting teens. It’s wonderful. You’ll read it in one go’ - Nina Stibbe

‘I loved it. Thorn is the rarest of things: a singer whose phrasing is as good on the page as it is through a microphone’ - John Niven

Another Planet - A Teenager in Suburbia
By Tracey Thorn
7 February 2019 | Hardback £14.99 | eBook | Audio Download


‘I’m not the only person to have grown up stifled and bored in suburbia, it’s almost the law. The diary entries, this monotonous litany of having nothing to do, are a relentless howl of frustrated energy. Brookmans Park was stultifying, frozen-in-time. In the world at large, things changed a lot during the 1960s and 70s, but in the heart of the Green Belt nothing seemed to move. Stranded in the past, it wrestled with the present, and hated the future. And there I was, stuck with it.’

In a 1970s commuter town, Tracey Thorn’s teenage life was forged from what failed to happen. Her diaries were packed with entries about not buying things, not going to the disco, the school coach not arriving. 

Before she was a bestselling musician and writer, Tracey Thorn was a typical teenager: bored and cynical, despairing of her aspirational parents. Her only comfort came from house parties, Meaningful Conversations, and the female pop icons who hinted at a new kind of living. 

Returning more than three decades later to Brookmans Park, scene of her childhood, Thorn takes us beyond the bus shelters and pub car parks, the utopian cul-de-sacs, the train to Potters Bar and the weekly discos, to the parents who wanted so much for their children, the children who wanted none of it. With her trademark wit and insight, Thorn reconsiders the greenbelt post-war dream so many artists have mocked, and so many artists have come from. 

‘I adored this. Wise, tender, beautifully observed, deadly funny. A green belt memoir classic’ - Max Porter 

‘Tracey Thorn turns the tables on her teenage boredom and chips a jewel out of doing stuff – and not doing stuff – in suburbia. A meditation on mooching and moping, escaping and finding, mums and dads, love and ageing, which is reflective, warm and deeply touching’ - Keggie Carew

'Another Planet is a poignant, rueful, tender portrait of a world so little written about, but which so many of us will recognise. I devoured it. Thorn is a brilliant writer, and a brilliantly insightful chronicler of a certain type of English experience' - Melissa Harrison

‘I devoured Another Planet. Thorn’s intimate reflections on teenage angst, motherhood, panic attacks, family and music are so moving and insightful, and written with wit and sensitivity’ - Cosey Fannie Tutti


Tracey Thorn is a singer-songwriter and writer. After forming her first band, Marine Girls, while still at school, she delivered her breakthrough debut mini solo album, A Distant Shore, in 1982. She then spent seventeen years in bestselling duo Everything But The Girl. Since 2007 she has released three further solo albums, one movie soundtrack, a clutch of singles and two books, including the Sunday Times bestselling memoir, Bedsit Disco Queen. She currently writes a column for the New Statesman and launched her new album Record in March 2018. She lives in London with her husband Ben Watt and their three children. 

@tracey_thorn |


‘The Alan Bennett of pop memoirists. I loved her book so much I wanted to form a band, too. Preferably with Thorn’ - Caitlin Moran

‘Beautifully written, dryly funny and searingly honest’ - Sunday Times

‘The Everything But The Girl frontwoman and former Marine Girl seizes our attention because she never asks for it, and in that her authorial voice is like her singing voice, soft and low, magnetic’ - Guardian

‘Warm, assertive, sweetly funny, but most of all honest’ - Daily Telegraph

‘I loved it’ - Nina Stibbe


For more information about this book, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

The Stress Solution by Dr Rangan Chatterjee

From BBC 1’s Doctor in the House and author of the Sunday Times bestselling The 4 Pillar Plan.

“The way we’re living our modern lifestyles is causing us a lot of problems and stress is the biggest health issue I see in my clinic and I want to combat this. Many people don’t realise that by implementing small changes to their routine can reduce or completely eradicate stress.”

The Stress Solution: The 4 Steps to Reset Your Body, Mind, Relationships and Purpose
By Dr Rangan Chatterjee
3rd January 2019 | Penguin Life | Trade Paperback £16.99 | Fully illustrated, full colour

The Stress Solution jacket.jpg

"Small changes make a big difference - we can all benefit from reading this" - Jamie Oliver

“Life’s consistent pressures can get too much. This book will help you stay calm and sane in this chaotic, busy world” – Amelia Freer

“It’s thought that between 70 and 90% of GP consultations are related to stress”

Dr Rangan Chatterjee knows this better than anyone. As a practising GP he’s seen first-hand how stress affects his patients and has found simple but effective methods to help them. Now he’s on a mission to show that combatting stress is easier than you think. For Dr Chatterjee, the key to solving the problem of stress is about addressing the underlying causes of our anxieties in four main areas: Body, Mind, Relationships, and Purpose.

Pairing the science of what happens in our brains and our bodies when we become stressed, with personal accounts and patient cases in The Stress Solution Dr Chatterjee offers simple and achievable interventions to help you re-set your life, offering simple tools for how to cope with modern-life.

Introducing a new way of thinking about health, The Stress Solution will help you to live a happier, more fulfilling and stress-free life.

Dr Rangan Chatterjee is one of the most influential doctors in the UK and is changing the way that we look at illness. He is known for taking a 360 degree approach to health, which was highlighted in his ground-breaking BBC TV show, Doctor in the House, and in his first book The 4 Pillar Plan. He is the resident doctor on BBC One's Breakfast, a regular commentator on BBC Radio and hosts his own chart-topping podcast, Feel Better Live More.

More about the book

Purpose – People with a strong sense of purpose enjoy significantly better health compared to those who don’t including less likelihood of developing heart disease, strokes and depression.

  • How to design your morning routine effectively

  • How to live with Love, Intention, Vision, Engagement

Relationships - Major sources of twenty-first-century stress are a lack of human touch, the insidious erosion of intimacy and the deprioritization of friendship.

  • How to keep a touch diary and nurture intimacy

  • How to nurture your friendships and combat loneliness

Body – We feel stress in the body – experiencing it as physical sensations. But the body can also be a cause of stress.

  • How to eat the alphabet and create more diversity in your diet

  • How to prioritise your sleep and adjust your circadian rhythm?

Mind - Just as bodies need fuel, minds need stillness. We need relaxation just as we need vitamins, fat and fibre.

  • Avoid technology overload – take a digital holiday

  • Spend time surrounded by nature

  • Use breathing methods or meditation to reduce stress


Further endorsements for The Stress Solution

“Comprehensive, empowering and grounded in scientific research, Dr Chatterjee tackles the disabling affliction that so many of us suffer yet few of us defeat: stress” – Matthew Walker, author of Why We Sleep

“Rangan’s new book is full of useful advice on how to stay calm and live a happier, more fulfilled life” - Michael Acton Smith, founder of Calm

Further links

Feel Better, Live More podcast:

Instagram: @drchatterjee / Twitter: @drchatterjeeuk /

Further information on The 4 Pillar Plan

  • 100,000 copies sold across all editions

  • Amazon #1 bestseller, Nielson Number Two Bestseller, Number 2 in the Irish Charts

  • No 1 iTunes podcast – Feel Better, Live More – has had over 1 million downloads so far and recent guests include Michael Acton Smith, Dr Megan Rossi and Professor Matthew Walker


For more information about this book, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

The Light in the Dark by Horatio Clare 

A moving winter diary and an evocative exploration of the seasons that reveals the healing power of the natural world 

The Light in the Dark - A Winter Journal by Horatio Clare
Elliott & Thompson | 1 November 2018 | HB £12.99

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As November stubs out the glow of autumn and the days tighten into shorter hours, winter’s occupation begins. Preparing for winter has its own rhythms, as old as our exchanges with the land. Of all the seasons, it draws us together. But winter can be tough. 

It is a time of introspection, of looking inwards. Seasonal sadness; winter blues; depression – such feelings are widespread in the darker months. But by looking outwards, by being in and observing nature, we can appreciate its rhythms. Mountains make sense in any weather. The voices of a wood always speak consolation. A brush of frost; subtle colours; days as bright as a magpie’s cackle. We can learn to see and celebrate winter in all its shadows and lights. 

In this moving and lyrical evocation of a British winter and the feelings it inspires, Horatio Clare raises a torch against the darkness, illuminating the blackest corners of the season, and delving into memory and myth to explore the powerful hold that winter has on us. By learning to see, we can find the magic, the light that burns bright at the heart of winter: spring will come again.

Talking points

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Redemptive power of walking / watching
  • Family and depression
  • Power of the seasons
  • Winter - the consolations / celebrations / beauty / colour of winter
  • Winter as the best season - revivifying, stripped back, the energising effect of winter
  • Nature in winter
  • Winter food
  • Rural farming

Horatio Clare lives in West Yorkshire.  He is a critically acclaimed author and journalist. His first book, Running for the Hills: A Family Story, won the Somerset Maugham Award. His second book, Truant, is ‘a stunningly-written memoir’, according to the Irish Times. A Single Swallow: Following an Epic Journey from South Africa to South Wales, was shortlisted for the Dolman Travel Book of the Year; Down to the Sea in Ships: Of Ageless Oceans and Modern Men won the Stanford-Dolman Travel Book of the Year 2015. Horatio’s first book for children, Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot, won the Branford Boase Award 2016 for best debut children's book.

Horatio Clare is available for interview, features and events. 

Follow Horatio Clare @HoratioClare 


For more information about this book, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

The Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris

October 5th marks one year since the publication of The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris. Since publication last year the book has become ‘a cultural phenomenon’ (The Guardian) and started ‘a revolution’ (Chris Packham) across the country.

The Lost Words
By Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris
5 October 2018 | Hamish Hamilton | hardback £20


Lost Words jacket.jpg
  • The bestselling poetry book of the last year

  • Crowdfunder campaigns to place copies in every school in (so far) over a dozen English counties and all of Scotland and Wales

  • Inspiring grassroots change in education – thousands of schools across the country are now using the book both indoors and outdoors to encourage children to interact with nature

  • Crowdfunders to get copies into every care home and hospice in Britain

  • Art work to be adapted to decorate hospitals and hospices

  • Art exhibition touring the country with record-breaking visitor numbers

  • Outdoor children’s theatre adaption

  • Day long music festival and album to tour in 2019

  • New audio adaptation

  • The inspiration for writing competitions, nature trails and much more

  • Winner of the Children’s Book of the Year at the British Book Awards, and nominated for eight national awards

The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris is a work full of wildness, beauty and power. This bestselling and award-winning book has become, as the Guardian puts it, ‘a cultural phenomenon’, finding its way into the lives and dreams of hundreds of thousands of people around the world - inspiring hope, wonder and change.

The Lost Words has moved people across the UK to work with charities, book-shops and local communities to raise money to get the book into schools, hospices and care homes. People feel passionately that The Lost Words offers an invaluable opportunity children and young people to connect with the natural world, especially those who might otherwise least have access to nature. The book also provides families and older generations who aren’t engaged with the natural world a new route into this previously unexplored terrain. As it has taken root in Britain’s schools and beyond, so it has re-ignited a passion in children, teachers and parents to explore the natural world, with classes and entire schools venturing out into woods, parks and gardens to discover more about their surroundings, and to re-discover the lost words from the book, and their meaning. Within three months of publication The Lost Words was voted one of Britain’s ten favourite nature books. It is a book that has inspired the nation:

‘What is being given with each copy of the book is, really, hope and change. Jackie and I could never have foreseen it during the years we spent writing it, but The Lost Words has been an acorn from which a wildwood has grown. We feel very lucky to be part of a much broader movement underway in Britain, bringing everyday nature back into our everyday lives, especially those of our children.’ - Robert Macfarlane

Crowdfunding for schools

20 communities have successfully set up crowdfunding campaigns to get copies of the book into schools with many more organised and planned.

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Areas include: all of Scotland (where Jane Beaton raised £25,000 to get a copy of the book to all 2,681 schools in Scotland); all of Wales (#acornistowood), and English counties including Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Cornwall, with campaigns soon to launch for Devon, Cheshire and Kent.

Copies of the book are being delivered to schools by bicycle (one man cycling 400 miles back and forth across Dorset), by sea kayak to outlying island schools, or in the company of barn and tawny owls (brought into schools by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust)

London is the latest to launch, coordinated by charity Trees for Cities in collaboration with the Mayor of London to raise money to get 2,000 copies into London primary schools

Thousands of schools in the country are now using the book in their classrooms and playgrounds, sparking classes to do more outdoor learning, to improve the environments of their schools, and to undertake creative projects around nearby nature and its names. Examples of some of the extraordinary work are available here

Crowdfunding for care homes and hospices

Carers are using The Lost Words to combat loneliness and isolation in diverse vulnerable groups – carers share the book with older people, people with Dementia and people at the end of life.

Earth Science Partnership in Wales successfully raised money to put a copy of The Lost Words into each of the 101 publicly managed care homes in Wales #rockistomountain

A crowdfunder is about to launch to get copies into every hospice in the UK for carers to use with patients at the end of life.

Inspiring theatre, music, art, nature trails, writing…

Interactive outdoor children’s theatre show Seek Find Speak, based on The Lost Words, premiered at Timber Festival and is touring the country, part-funded by Arts Council England

Musical project Spell Songs commissioned by Folk by the Oak brings together eight musicians including Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis, Karine Polwart and Kerry Andrew to create a new body of work inspired by The Lost Words. The performance will tour in 2019 in venues including Snape Maltings and The Royal Festival Hall, and an album will be released.

The National Trust property Bodnant Garden in Wales created a ‘Lost Words trail’ which attracted over 7000 visitors, (c. 3500 of them children)

The Lost Words Exhibition launched at Compton Verney Art Gallery and is touring galleries around the country (including Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh where visitor numbers exceeded 32,000 – 3 times as many as any previous exhibition there; and the Foundling Museum London, where it had nearly 13,000 visitors). The exhibition will move to Nymans, West Sussex in January.

National Poetry Day (October 4th) are about to launch a competition through schools for children to write their own poetry inspired by the book. Numerous other writing competitions have taken place across the country, including the University of East Anglia’s Festival of Literature for Young People

Around the World

The Lost Words has been published in North America and Canada, and will be published in European countries including Sweden, Germany and Holland.

New audio edition to be released on October 18th 2018

The audiobook is narrated by Benjamin Zephaniah, Edith Bowman, Guy Garvey and Cerys Matthews, with a new introduction written and read by Robert Macfarlane. All are iconic voices of modern Britain and bring the magic of both nature and language to listeners.

Alongside these voices, Penguin Audio has commissioned a soundscape created by renowned natural-history field recordist Chris Watson, which evokes Jackie Morris’ stunning artwork and draws listeners deep into the living world. Wren’s songs, raven’s calls, rain falling onto ferns and willow trees blowing in the wind: together, the soundscape and the spoken spells conjure the wonder and variety of nature and place.


  • Winner of Children’s Book of the Year at the British Book Awards, alongside The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Walker Books)

  • Winner of the Beautiful Book Award at the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards 

  • Winner of the Hay Festival Book of the Year 2017

  • The first children’s book to be shortlisted for the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize for nature writing.

  • Shortlisted for the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2018: Country Book of the Year

  • Shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year 2017

  • Shortlisted for the UK’s Favourite Nature Book

The research on why The Lost Words movement is crucial

  • The RSPB’s 2013 Connecting with Nature report, based on a three-year research project, found only one in five British children to be “positively connected to nature”.

  • A 2017 report found that British children spend less time outside each day than British prisoners (under an hour).

  • In a National Trust survey, only a third of children aged 8-11 could identify a magpie, though 9 out of 10 could name a Dalek.

  • The 2016 State of Nature report found Britain to be “among the most nature-depleted countries in the world”, with 53% of British species in decline.

Further information

An extract from a short film that Robert and Jackie made for BBC’s Newsnight, introducing the issues around nature-deficit and nature disconnection, and the book’s work in this area, can be viewed here.

It was Newsnight’s most popular film on social media from November to January, viewed more than 2.5 million times.

The inspiration behind the book

When the most recent edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary – widely used in primary schools across Britain – was published, a sharp-eyed reader noticed that a number of common ‘nature words’ had been dropped from the new edition. The deletions formed a crooked almost A-to-Z, and they included acorn, adder, bluebell, buttercup, dandelion, fern, heron, kingfisher – kingfisher! – lark, newt, otter, wren and willow. The words taking their places in the new edition included attachment, block-graph, blog, broadband, bullet-point, celebrity, chatroom, committee, cut-and-paste, MP3 player and voice-mail.

These nature words had been dropped from the dictionary because they were no longer being used enough by children; were no longer judged to be alive enough in their voices, stories and in the books they read to merit inclusion in the dictionary. This was not the dictionary’s fault – it was the country’s. For many people, it seemed a powerful signal of the gap that has opened between childhood and the natural world in Britain and beyond; indeed, between everyday life and everyday nature up and down the ages.

In 2015 the writer Robert Macfarlane and the artist Jackie Morris began work on a book that might summon back these ‘lost words’, and the creatures and plants they named, into the mouths and the minds of children in Britain. “Protest can be beautiful”, Jackie Morris has written, and the hope of The Lost Words was to make a ‘spell book’ of power and beauty that could protest the gap between nature and childhood, and perhaps even work to close it.

Taking the form of twenty ‘lost’ words, collected alphabetically from ‘Acorn’ to ‘Wren’ each word becomes a spell - written by Macfarlane - which is intended to be read aloud. The images Morris painted capture first the absence of the plant or creature within its habitat and then its return. The spell summons the image and the word back into being, making this a book of enchantment in more than one sense.


For more information about this book, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Under the Wig by William Clegg QC

Leading murder lawyer, William Clegg QC, reveals tricks of the trade and provides an inside account of top criminal trials.

‘This is a gripping memoir from one of our country's greatest jury advocates, offering a fascinating, no-holds-barred tour behind the scenes of some of the most famous criminal cases of modern times.’ - The Secret Barrister

‘Clegg deftly weaves memorable criminal prosecutions into an unforgettable legal memoir.’ - Joshua Rosenberg

Under the Wig - A Lawyer’s Stories of Murder, Guilt and Innocence
By William Clegg QC

Canbury Press | 4 October 2018 | £16.99 | hardback


How can you speak up for someone accused of a savage murder? How do you sway a jury? Or get a judge to drop a case?

Meet London’s top murder case lawyer as he meets clients in prisons, confronts witnesses in packed courts and frees innocent people jailed for decades.

In a vivid memoir, William Clegg QC revisits his most notorious and intriguing trials, from the acquittal of Colin Stagg to the murder of Jill Dando, and from Britain’s first Nazi war criminal to the man given life because of an earprint.

All the while he lays bare the secrets of his profession, from the rivalry among barristers to the nervous moments before a verdict — and how our right to a fair trial is now in great peril. Switch off the TV dramas and plunge into the criminal law in action.

Well-known cases featured:

  • Colin Stagg’s trial for The Wimbledon Common Murder
  • The Chillenden Murders (Dr Lin and Megan Russell)
  • The Earprint Murder
  • The Murder of Jill Dando
  • Rebekah Brooks’s Phone Hacking Trial
  • Representing the deranged serial killer Robert Napper (who murdered Rachel Nickel and Samantha Bisset)
  • Fighting for Private Lee Clegg in Northern Ireland 
  • The trial of the man accused of Joanna Yeates’s murder 
  • Defending Britain’s first ‘Nazi war criminal’


William Clegg, QC, is one of the most celebrated advocates at the English bar. A barrister for 47 years, he has been the go-to lawyer for complex murder and fraud cases for decades and has fought over 100 murder cases. He is head of chambers at 2 Bedford Row, one of the four leading criminal sets in London.

Clegg also argues:

  • Innocent people will be jailed for murder because of Legal Aid cuts
  • Wearing of wigs in court should be stopped
  • There are many cases of police incompetence – as seen in the Rachel Nickel case


For more information about this book, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Carrington by Christopher Lee

A vivid and expert biography of Lord Carrington, one of the outstanding politicians of the 20th century, who died on 9 July 2018.

"One of the country's greatest post-war statesmen" - Sir John Major

Carrington - An Honourable Man
by Christopher Lee
Viking | £25.00 | Hardback | 6 September 2018


Lord Carrington served as a minister in every Conservative government from Churchill to Thatcher – who said there was something innately reassuring walking into a room where Carrington stood. Most notably, he was Margaret Thatcher’s Foreign Secretary when the Argentinians invaded the Falklands in 1982. Absent in Israel on the eve of the invasion, he promptly resigned since it was, he said, a point of honour. He is seen by many today as the last of his breed in politics, an honourable man committed to public service.

He could be viewed as a typical Tory grandee, yet he disliked the Party, claiming late in his life that he was no longer a member, and could be fiercely independent. And there were recurring oddities in his career. He was forced to offer his resignation to Churchill for bad judgement over the Crichel Down Affair. As Navy Minister he was caught in the glare of a spy ring, and, though Defence
Secretary, kept out of the loop of the military operation which culminated in Bloody Sunday.

In this full biography, authorised but not read by the subject, Christopher Lee offers a fascinating portrait of a Tory icon whose career is a window into post-war British politics and life as a politician and diplomat.

Suggested talking points:

  • The relationship between Foreign Secretaries and Prime Ministers
  • The relationship between Carrington and Thatcher
  • MPs’ resignations - are there still ‘honourable’ resignations
  • Falklands War, and Carrington’s subsequent resignation
  • The agreement over Rhodesia / Zimbabwe, and its impact on Carrington’s career
  • Carrington’s wartime experiences – including his Military Cross at Arnhem

Christopher Lee began this book while Quatercentenary Research Fellow at Emmanuel College Cambridge where he also edited Winston Churchill's A History of the English-speaking Peoples and where he wrote his award-winning BBC Radio 4 history of Britain, This Sceptred Isle. He was previously Defence & Foreign Affairs Correspondent at the BBC, where he controlled Radio 4’s output on the Falklands War. Lee lives in Kent and aboard a restored sloop which he sails from the Beaulieu River.

Christopher Lee started the book twenty years ago and interviewed Carrington regularly. It was Carrington who requested that the book wasn’t published until after his death.

Others interviewed by Lee over the course of writing the book include Sir Edward Heath; Dr Henry Kissinger; Baroness Thatcher and Sir John Nott.


For more information about this book, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

I Found My Tribe by Ruth Fitzmaurice

In the midst of a family crisis, Ruth Fitzmaurice found her tribe – and the unexpected solace of the wild Irish Sea.

  • Winner of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards - Newcomer of the Year
  • Film rights optioned by Element Pictures
  • Updated with a new foreword

I Found My Tribe by Ruth Fitzmaurice
Vintage | 21 June 2018 | Paperback

I found my tribe pbk.jpg

Ruth Fitzmaurice has two extraordinary families. 

She has her husband Simon, a filmmaker with advanced Motor Neurone Disease who can only communicate with his eyes via a computer. Together they have five children under the age of 10, as well as Pappy, a cantankerous Basset Hound. They are kept afloat by relentless army of nurses and carers that flows through their house in Greystones, on the East Coast of Ireland.

And then there is Ruth’s other family - her Tribe of amazing women. Amidst the chaos and the pain that rules their lives, The Tragic Wives Swimming Club congregate together - in summer and winter, on golden afternoons and by the light of the moon - on the sea steps at Women’s Cove. Day after day, they throw themselves into the freezing Irish sea. In that moment, they are free. Later, they will share a thermos of tea, teeth chattering, hands shaking, ready to take on the world once more.

An invocation to all of us to love as hard as we can, and live even harder, I Found My Tribe is an urgent and uplifting letter to a husband, family, friends, the natural world and the brightness of life.

About Ruth Fitzmaurice

Ruth Fitzmaurice was born in 1976 and grew up in Co. Louth, Ireland. She was a radio researcher and producer when she married film director and writer, Simon, in 2004 and had three children. In 2008, Simon was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and given three years to live. Simon went into respiratory failure in 2010 and was accidentally placed on a ventilator during an emergency procedure. He decided, against medical advice, to keep the ventilator; Ruth and Simon went on to have twins in 2012. In January 2016, Ruth wrote her first piece for the Irish Times about family life and a new passion, sea swimming. She lives in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, with her five children Jack, Raife, Arden, Sadie, Hunter, a dog and a cat.  Simon passed away in October 2017.

  • 'one of the year’s most arresting, humbling and acute memoirs. It is a catch-in-the-throat, life-affirming work that you want to gulp down in one and recommend to all your friends. Fitzmaurice tells her story in sparkling prose that is as sinewy as her new sea-strengthened body, and as admirable and boundless as her spirit... This debut is set to become a global bestseller - The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly meets Calendar Girls, with a splash of Roger Deakin. It is also one of a number of recent books by women riding the crest of a wild-swimming wave. Fitzmaurice’s memoir, though, is likely to be the one that exerts the greatest tidal pull.' Sunday Times
  • ‘I Found My Tribe is inspiring, humbling and a picture of what love really looks like. An astonishingly beautiful book by an astonishingly beautiful person.’ Marian Keyes
  • ‘a lyrical and moving memoir’ The Economist
  • ‘Uplifting and life-affirming, this is a manifesto to live as hard and as well as you can’ Stylist
  • ‘[this] beautiful book is an enraptured cry at life’s gifts and griefs…Life-affirming and full of love, this book is a clarion call to live life to the full: to dive in for a swim and be brave.’ Psychologies
  • ‘A moving memoir of family life, coping with her husband’s motor neurone disease and the icy joys of wild sea swimming.’ Good Housekeeping
  • ‘Uplifting and inspiring’ Woman & Home
  • ‘Bright with beauty, rawness and rage…Life affirming and full of love.’ Simple Things
  • ‘this extraordinary, beautifully written book ebbs and flows with love amid the crises of daily life…a powerful, memorable and life-affirming read.’ Choice
  • ‘Fitzmaurice's brilliantly lyrical ear and gentle humour makes this a none-too-distant relative to the likes of Joan Didion and Cheryl Strayed’ Irish Independent


For more information about this book, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Because We Are Bad - OCD and a Girl Lost in Thought by Lily Bailey

'An intense heart-rending rollercoaster of a book’ Will Black, author

Extremely compelling’ The Guardian

Though Bailey’s intention in writing the memoir is a serious one, her lively style and black humour make it, at times, a laugh-out-loud read.’ The Irish Time

Because We Are Bad - jkt.jpg

Because We Are Bad - OCD and a Girl Lost in Thought by Lily Bailey | Canbury Press / memoir / paperback / 15 March 2018 / £7.99

As a child, Lily Bailey knew she was bad. By the age of 13, she had killed someone with a thought, spread untold disease, and ogled the bodies of other children. Only by performing an exhausting series of secret routines could she correct her wrongdoing. But it was never enough. She had a severe case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and it ruled her life.

Raw and funny, heart-breaking and uplifting, Because We Are Bad reveals with humour, grace and searing honesty what it’s like to live with an almost intolerable burden of obsession.

About the author

Lily Bailey

Lily Bailey

Lily Bailey is 24 and a model and writer. She became a journalist in London in 2012, editing a news site and writing features and fashion articles for local publications including the Richmond Magazine and the Kingston Magazine. She also currently works as a support worker for people with disabilities.

As a child and teenager Lily suffered from severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). She has worked closely with both OCD Action and OCD UK to help others in similar situations. Because We Are Bad is her first book and relates to her experience with OCD.

Lily is available for interview, to write pieces and for events.

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The Almighty Dollar by Dharshini David

The Almighty Dollar: Follow the Incredible Journey of a Single Dollar to See How the Global Economy Really Works | By Dharshini David | Elliott & Thompson / hardback / non-fiction / 22.2.18 / £16.99

Almighty Dollar cover.jpg

The dollar is the lifeblood of globalisation: China holds billions in reserve for good reason. Greenbacks, singles, bucks or dead presidents, call them what you will, $1.2 trillion worth are floating around right now – and half the dollars in circulation are actually outside of the USA.

But what is really happening as these billions of dollars go around the world every day? By following $1 from a shopping trip in suburban Texas, via China’s Central Bank, Nigerian railroads, the oil fields of Iraq and beyond, The Almighty Dollar answers questions such as:

  • Why is China the world’s biggest manufacturer – and the US its biggest customer?
  • Is free trade really a good thing?
  • Why would a government spend millions building a bridge in a different country?

In lively and entertaining prose Dharshini David lays bare these complex interrelationships through the simple story of one dollar as it moves through the opaque international system. This is essential reading that gets to the heart of how our new globalised world really works.

In addition, Dharshini can discuss:

  • Economic facts of Brexit - and the implications for our own fortunes
  • The causes and solutions to the gender pay gap
  • Women in business
  • Debunking markets and financial instruments
  • Inequality and the generation gap – why the over 60s are better off, but it’s a terrible time to be under 30

Dharshini David is an economist and broadcaster. From 2009 she fronted Sky News’ daily financial coverage from the heart of the City, as well as co-presenting the channel’s flagship Sky News Tonight programme.

Before joining Sky, Dharshini advised Tesco’s board on broadcast media. Prior to that, she was the face of the BBC’s Wall Street coverage in New York, from where she presented a daily business show, and covered business, economics and consumer issues in London across the BBC, from the BBC1 Ten O’Clock News to Panorama and Radio 4’s Today programme. Dharshini was recruited by the BBC while working on HSBC Investment Bank’s trading floor as its UK Economist. This is her first book

Twitter: @DharshiniDavid
Hashtag: #TheAlmightyDollarBook

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For more information please don't hesitate to get in touch.

The 4 Pillar Plan - How to Eat, Sleep, Relax and Move Your Way to a Longer, Healthier Life by Dr Rangan Chatterjee

Rangan’s easy, common sense plan can help everyone live a happier, calmer life
— Jamie Oliver
Rangan is revolutionising the way we think about health, he will make you feel better than you have in years.
— Amelia Freer

The 4 Pillar Plan by Dr Rangan Chatterjee

The 4 Pillar Plan by Dr Rangan Chatterjee

The 4 Pillar Plan - How to Eat, Sleep, Relax and Move Your Way to a Longer, Healthier Life by Dr Rangan Chatterjee | Published by Penguin Life, 4th January 2018, trade pb, £16.99

A simple, accessible and inspiring guide to good health from the star of the BBC One series Doctor in the House.

In The 4 Pillar Plan, Dr Rangan Chatterjee presents us with an incredibly simple framework for taking control of our health. He divides health into four pillars: diet, rest, sleep and movement. By making small, easily achievable changes in each of these key areas you can find and maintain good health - and avoid illness. You don't need to excel at any one pillar; what matters is the balance across all the things you do, from :

  • Having an electronic 'sabbath' once a week
  • Aiming for 12 hours every day without food
  • Exposing yourself to sunlight first thing each morning

Based on cutting edge research and his own experience as a GP, and featuring fascinating case studies from real patients, The 4 Pillar Plan is an inspiring, easy-to-follow and practical guide to good health.

Dr. Rangan Chatterjee is a pioneer in the emerging field of progressive medicine and is changing the way that we look at illness. He is known for finding the root cause of people's problems by taking a 360 degree approach to health, which was highlighted in the first two series’ of his ground-breaking BBC One TV show, Doctor in the House, that gained him much acclaim from both the public and doctors.

Chatterjee is the resident doctor on BBC Breakfast and has given an inspirational TEDx talk on making diseases disappear. He writes for The Huffington Post, Mind Body Green and has a monthly column on lifestyle medicine in Top Sante. He regularly lectures on his subject at events and conferences around the world.

More information about Dr Rangan Chatterjee is available here:

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1984: India’s Guilty Secret by Pav Singh

When 8,000 citizens in the world's largest democracy are murdered in a government- orchestrated genocidal massacre in just four days, how is it possible for the guilty to evade justice? This shocking exposé of a true-life Orwellian plot of nightmarish proportions reveals how they did it.

1984: India’s Guilty Secret by Pav Singh | Kashi House / non-fiction / tpb / £12.99 / 1 November 2017

1984: India's Guilty Secret by Pav Singh

In November 1984, the ruling elite of the world's largest democracy conspired to murder thousands of their country's citizens in genocidal massacres reminiscent of Nazi-era Germany while the world watched on. Over four days, armed mobs brutally and systematically butchered, torched and raped members of the minority Sikh community living in Delhi and elsewhere. The sheer scale of the killings exceeded the combined civilian death tolls of the conflict in Northern Ireland, Tiananmen Square and 9/11. In Delhi alone 3,000 people were killed. The full extent of what took place has yet to be fully acknowledged.

This definitive account based on harrowing victim testimonies and official accounts reveals how the largest mass crime against humanity in India's modern history was perpetrated by politicians and covered up with the help of the police, judiciary and media. The failings of Western governments - who turned a blind eye to the atrocities for fear of losing trade contracts worth billions - are also exposed.

  • This is the first book to expose the chilling events of November 1984, the Indian government's 33- year cover-up and the moral indifference of Thatcher cabinet.
  • Reveals for the first time the high-level conspiracy at the heart of the Indian establishment by connecting the lower level actors to senior politicians, high-ranking policemen, judges and ultimately, to the Gandhi family itself
  • A powerful and compelling account exposing the dark underbelly of a key global and economic powerhouse - hailed as ‘a timely reminder of India's shameful inability to account for that explosion of racial and religious hatred’ in Delhi and elsewhere in November 1984 (Geoffrey Robertson QC)
  • Includes an analysis of the previously unrecognised issue of mass genocidal rape against women and the killing of children: 'long overdue in coming since there is far too little writing on 1984' (Dr Uma Chakravarti, Indian historian & feminist).

About Pav Singh

Pav Singh was born in Leeds, England, the son of Punjabi immigrants. He has been instrumental in campaigning on the issues surrounding the 1984 massacres. In 2004, he spent a year in India researching the full extent of the pogroms and the subsequent cover-up. He met with survivors and witnessed the political fall-out and protests following the release of the flawed Nanavati Report into the killings. His research led to the pivotal and authoritative report 1984 Sikhs' Kristallnacht, which was first released in the UK Parliament in 2005 and substantially expanded in 2009. In his role as a community advocate at the Wiener (Holocaust) Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide, London, he curated the exhibition 'The 1984 Anti-Sikh Pogroms Remembered' in 2014 with Delhi-based photographer Gauri Gill.

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The Art of Winnie-the-Pooh: How E. H. Shepard Illustrated an Icon, by James Campbell

The Art of Winnie-the-Pooh: How E. H. Shepard Illustrated an Icon
By James Campbell. Foreword by Minette Shepard (Illustrated By E. H. Shepard)
Michael O'Mara Books | 7 September 2017 | Hardback | £25

Presenting over 125 full colour images – including never-before-published sketches, finished artwork, personal family photographs and memorabilia – this is the perfect gift for those of us who grew up loving Winnie-the-Pooh.

The Art of Winnie The Pooh

Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood are some of the world’s most beloved characters in children’s literature.

But before they appeared in many millions of books and in nearly fifty languages, they started life in the 1920s as the product of a unique collaboration between A. A. Milne and E. H Shepard; author and illustrator wove images and text together in a way that was utterly original for the time. For Shepard, it was a process that he relished, creating artwork for new editions right up until his death in 1976 at the age of ninety-six.

In this beautifully presented, full-colour volume, readers will not only discover the story behind this remarkable partnership, but also follow the evolution of Shepard’s work, from those first tentative sketches through to the illustrations we know and love, and even on to the characters’ later incarnations at Disney.

  • Includes never-before-published sketch-work from the Winnie-the-Pooh books, including the first ever drawing of Pooh Bear
  • Tells the story of Shepard and Milne’s unique collaboration
  • Beautifully packaged and in full colour throughout, with over 125 images, including sketches, finished artwork, photographs and memorabilia
  • With a Foreword by Minette Shepard, E. H. Shepard’s granddaughter

James Campbell has worked for a number of sustainability and environmental organisations for over twenty years. He is married to E. H. Shepard's great- granddaughter and has had responsibility for the oversight of E. H. Shepard's artistic and literary estate since 2010. He currently lives in Oxford.  He is available for interview, to write pieces and to give talks and presentations

 “Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring A Classic” runs at the V&A from 16 Dec ’17 – 8 April ‘18

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Thanks to Style Factory for their assistance with this project.

I Found My Tribe by Ruth Fitzmaurice

I FOUND MY TRIBE by Ruth Fitzmaurice
Chatto & Windus / 6 July 2017 / £14.99 / HB / Memoir

Ruth Fitzmaurice has two extraordinary families.

I Found My Tribe by Ruth Fitzmaurice

She has her husband Simon, a filmmaker with advanced Motor Neurone Disease who can only communicate with his eyes via a computer. Together they have five children under the age of 10, as well as Pappy, a cantankerous Basset Hound. They are kept afloat by relentless army of nurses and carers that flows through their house in Greystones, on the East Coast of Ireland.

And then there is Ruth’s other family - her Tribe of amazing women. Amidst the chaos and the pain that rules their lives, The Tragic Wives Swimming Club congregate together - in summer and winter, on golden afternoons and by the light of the moon - on the sea steps at Women’s Cove. Day after day, they throw themselves into the freezing Irish sea. In that moment, they are free. Later, they will share a thermos of tea, teeth chattering, hands shaking, ready to take on the world once more.

An invocation to all of us to love as hard as we can, and live even harder, I Found My Tribe is an urgent and uplifting letter to a husband, family, friends, the natural world and the brightness of life.

RUTH FITZMAURICE was born in 1976 and grew up in Co. Louth, Ireland. She was a radio researcher and producer when she married film director and writer, Simon, in 2004 and had three children. In 2008, Simon was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and given three years to live. Simon went into respiratory failure in 2010 and was accidentally placed on a ventilator during an emergency procedure. He decided, against medical advice, to keep the ventilator; Ruth and Simon went on to have twins in 2012. In January 2016, Ruth wrote her first piece for the Irish Times about family life and a new passion, sea swimming. She lives in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, with Simon, their five children Jack, Raife, Arden, Sadie, Hunter, a dog, a cat and a team of nurses and carers. 

Ruth will be in the UK on publication and available for interviews and events.


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Psyched Up: How the Science of Mental Preparation Can Help You Succeed by Daniel McGinn

Portfolio Penguin | Trade Paperback | 08 June 2017 | £14.99
Also available as an eBook

McGinn turns conventional wisdom on its head with science-based techniques, producing the first ever book to specifically tackle mental preparation.

What's the difference between succeeding and failing in life's big moments?

Psyched Up by Daniel McGinn

In Psyched Up, Harvard Business Review Editor Daniel McGinn explains why mental preparation is the key to mastering any challenge. Examining the latest scientific research into the smartest ways to deal with a flood of adrenaline, increase focus, minimize negative thoughts, and optimize emotions, Psyched Up teaches you what do in the last few minutes before a major event.

From focusing on improving your mood instead of over-rehearsing to employing motivating mantras rather than giving in to superstitious rituals, McGinn reveals essential tactics for remaining calm and collected when it matters most.

Drawing on interviews with high-performing professionals such as retired General Stanley McChrystal, NASCAR champion driver Jimmie Johnson and legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri, McGinn illustrates how to develop a personal psyching up routine and reveals why introverts and extroverts might employ different methods.

About the author

Daniel McGinn is an editor at Harvard Business Review. His writing has appeared in Wired, Inc., the Boston Globe Magazine and Newsweek. He lives in suburban Boston with his family.

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Hunch: Turn Your Everyday Insights into the Next Big Thing by Bernadette Jiwa

Portfolio Penguin | Paperback | 01 June 2017 |  £9.99
Also available as an eBook

Hunch by Bernadette Jiwa

In a world where the smallest insight can spark a breakthrough idea, intuition is more valuable than ever.

What do the Dyson vacuum cleaner, GoPro camera, Starbucks, Instagram, Facebook, and Lululemon yoga pants have in common? Every one of them was the result not of data-driven analytics or corporate brainstorming sessions, but a hunch - the intuitive understanding of a deep, unmet need, informed by insight and foresight.

In Hunch, bestselling author and business advisor Bernadette Jiwa shows how anyone can uncover the kind of insights that become breakthrough ideas. Combining hands-on exercises with inspiring stories of the killer hunches that brought us ideas like the first reusable coffee cup and the beloved Spanx brand, Hunch is a guide to cultivating your intuitive powers, a roadmap to getting from insights to ideas that fly.

This brilliant little book is sure to inspire the next new meaningful product or company
Ivy Ross, VP Design, Google

Hunch helps you to tap into those often overlooked yet valuable qualities that will unlock your most brilliant and boldest ideas’ - Chip Conley, Strategic Advisor, AirBnB

After reading this book you'll pay attention to the world in a completely new way and have the tools to create your own vision for the future’ - Antonio Zea, Senior Director, Under Armour

About the author

Bernadette Jiwa is a recognized global authority on the role of story in business, innovation and marketing and the author of five bestselling books on marketing and brand storytelling. She advises, consults and speaks to entrepreneurs and business leaders who want to build meaningful brands. Her work takes her from Sydney to New York (and everywhere in between). Born in Dublin, Ireland, Bernadette now lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Bernadette will be in the UK on 1st and 2nd June and available for interview. The website for the book is at

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Sevastopol’s Wars: Crimea from Potemkin to Putin by Mungo Melvin

Published in hardback by Osprey Publishing on 20 April 2017 at £30

From award-winning historian Mungo Melvin, the first book to cover the full history of Russia's historic Crimean naval citadel, from its founding in 1783 through to the current tensions that threaten the region’s peace and stability.

Founded by Catherine the Great, the maritime city of Sevastopol has been fought over for centuries. Crucial battles of the Crimean War were fought on the hills surrounding the city, and the memory of this stalwart defence inspired those who fought the Germans during the Second World War. Twice the city has faced complete obliteration yet twice it has risen, phoenix-like, from the ashes. Rebuilt from scratch during the Cold War, it remains a formidable bastion of Russian military power.

In this ground-breaking volume, award-winning author Mungo Melvin explores how Sevastopol became a crucible of three major conflicts – the Crimean War, the Russian Civil War and the Second World War – witnessing the death and destruction of countless soldiers, sailors and civilians yet creating the indomitable 'spirit of Sevastopol'.  By weaving together historical accounts, first-hand interviews, detailed operational reports and expert battle analysis, Melvin creates a rich tapestry of history, brought further to life through 16 colour maps and over 80 pictures.

Talking Points

  • The significance of both Crimea and Sevastopol to Russia since 1783, and why they were re-annexed in 2014 at the expense of Ukraine.
  • The background to the tensions surrounding Russia, Ukraine, Crimea and the West.
  • The close bonds between the Crimea generally and Sevastopol specifically to the Russian people – explaining why the Russian action was widely welcomed by local inhabitants in 2014.
  • A deeply researched study of the operational and tactical methods used by Russian and Soviet forces during the 19th and 20th centuries, and most recently in 2014.
  • Russian author Leo Tolstoy and his service as a junior artillery officer during the Crimean War.  (Sevastopol’s Wars includes fascinating excerpts from his vivid accounts of the city under siege in 1854–55, Sevastopol Sketches.)

About Major General Mungo Melvin

Major General Mungo Melvin CB OBE is the author of award-winning Manstein: Hitler's Greatest General (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2010). He is a retired senior Army officer - commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1975, he saw operational service in Northern Ireland, the Middle East and the Balkans. During the latter part of his 37-year career he specialised in strategic analysis and professional military education and doctrine, becoming one of the British Army's leading thinkers and writers. Mungo Melvin is president of the British Commission for Military History, and is currently advising the British Army on the First World War centenary commemorations. He is a senior associate fellow of the Royal United Services Institute and a senior visiting research fellow of the Department of War Studies of King's College London. He lectures widely on strategy and military history in both the public and commercial sectors.  For more information about Major General Mungo Melvin please visit

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The Tartan Turban: In Search Of Alexander Gardner by John Keay

In this compelling investigative biography, bestselling author of India: A History, John Keay, takes readers on a quest from the American West to the Asian East to unravel the greatest enigma in the history of travel.  Alexander Gardner – a 19th-century Scots-American traveller, adventurer and mercenary – lived a life many found too outrageous to believe and using a wealth of original material and compelling new evidence, Keay uncovers the truth about a character seemingly from the ‘Flashman’ stories.

Among the many gripping tales of travel and exploration the tale of Alexander Gardner is surely one of the most extraordinary. Master storyteller John Keay deftly sifts truth from myth-making to uncover fascinating new evidence, revealing an amazing tale worthy of Kipling or Flashman of a life lived further out on the edge than most could even imagine.
— Michael Wood

HB ǀ £25.00 ǀ 9781911271000 ǀ 16 February 2017 ǀ Kashi House (distributed by Allison and Busby)

The Tartan Turban by John Keay

Like the travels of Marco Polo, those of Alexander Gardner clip the white line between credible adventure and creative invention. Either he is the nineteenth century’s most intrepid traveller or its most egregious fantasist, or a bit of both. Contemporaries generally believed him; posterity became more sceptical. And as with Polo, the investigation of Gardner’s story enlarged man’s understanding of the world and upped the pace of scientific and political exploration.

For before more reputable explorers notched up their own discoveries in innermost Asia, this lone Scots-American had roamed the deserts of Turkestan, ridden round the world’s most fearsome knot of mountains and fought in Afghanistan ‘for the good cause of right against wrong’. From the Caspian to Tibet and from Kandahar to Kashgar, Gardner had seen it all. At the time, the 1820s, no other outsider had managed anything remotely comparable. When word of his feats filtered out, geographers were agog.

Historians were more intrigued by what followed. After thirteen years as a white-man-gone-native in Central Asia, Gardner re-emerged as a colonel of artillery in the employ of India’s last great native empire. He witnessed the death throes of that Sikh empire at close quarters and, sparing no gruesome detail, recorded his own part in the bloodshed (the very same featuring as the exploits of ‘Alick’ Gardner in the ‘Flashman’ series).

Fame finally caught up with him during his long retirement in Kashmir. Dressed in tartan yet still living as a native, he mystified visiting dignitaries and found a ready audience for the tales of his adventurous past - including saving the city of Lahore in 1841 by singlehandedly killing 300 invaders. But one mystery he certainly took to the grave: the whereabouts of his accumulated fortune has still to be discovered. 

JOHN KEAY has been a professional writer, scholar, broadcaster and traveller for more than 40 years. He has written and presented over 100 documentaries for BBC Radios 3 and 4 and is the author of some two dozen books mainly on Asia and exploration. His narrative histories India: A History, China: A History and The Honourable Company: A History of the English East India Company are widely regarded as standard works. A Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund, his prose has been described as ‘exquisite’ (Observer) and his historical analysis as ‘forensic’ (The Guardian). He has also edited The Royal Geographical Society’s History of World Exploration and encyclopaedias of both Scotland and London. For his literary contribution to Asian studies he was awarded the Royal Society for Asian Affairs' Sir Percy Sykes Memorial Medal in 2009. He lives in Argyll.

Talking Points

Exploration and travel

The travels of a maverick mercenary who, having crossed Central Asia's arid deserts and high
mountain passes in the hope of finding ‘happiness among wild races and in exploring unknown lands’, astounded his contemporaries in ways no man had since Marco Polo

Lone Survivor

What are the odds of a lone traveller surviving thirteen years amidst some of the harshest conditions in Asia, roaming the deserts of Turkestan, trekking round the world’s most fearsome knot of mountains, fending off a wolf-pack, evading the clutches of Central Asian slave-traders, engaging in raids and ambushes against bandits in Afghanistan, and spending nine months in an underground dungeon?

Lost treasure

The fabulous treasure horde, amassed by an American soldier of fortune who had the opportunity to steal the Koh-i-Noor diamond, remains waiting to be discovered somewhere in the subcontinent

Inspiration for Kipling?

As the first white man to trek across the secretive anti-Islamic mountain enclave of Kafiristan (‘Land of the Unbeliever’) and live to tell the tale, was Alexander Gardner the real inspiration behind Kipling’s famous novel, The Man Who Would Be King?

The First American in Afghanistan

Revealing the remarkable tale of a lone American who, two centuries before the United States’ began its military action, became the first of his nation to venture into Afghanistan.

A Son of Scotland & His Tartan Turban

Exploring the ancestry, shifting identities, achievements and tartan tastes of a pioneering Scots American who went native in Asia.

The fashion of white men wearing turbans

Alexander Burnes - British political agent in Afghanistan who lost Alexander Gardner’s crucial Kafiristan journal in the 1840s

Queen Victoria’s sons - they were dressed up like Sikh princes by Maharaja Duleep Singh
(who Gardner had guarded when he ruled at Lahore) soon after his arrival in the UK in 1854
William Simpson - war artist who, like George Landseer who captured Gardner’s portrait, was in
Kashmir in 1860s; the works of both artists are in the collections of the Victoria & Albert

George Hayward - a military man who turned explorer consulted Gardner on routes into the
Pamir mountains

August Schoefft - painter who travelled across India in the 1830s-40s and produced works
connected to the court of Lahore (captured other white officers but not Gardner, who may
have been away on campaign)

Victorian / Edwardian military officers - men like General Sir Samuel James Browne VC (Sam Browne’s Cavalry), Captain Robert Shebbeare VC (15th Punjab Infantry) and Sir John Smyth VC, who wore turbans on campaign, all commanded men (or their descendants in the case of Smyth) from the disbanded Sikh army when Britain took control of Punjab

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