Living at the limits of our ordinary perception, mosses are a common but largely unnoticed element of the natural world. ‘Gathering Moss’ is a mix of science and personal reflection that invites readers to explore and learn from the elegantly simple lives of mosses. In these interwoven essays, Robin Wall Kimmerer leads general readers and scientists alike to an understanding of how mosses live and how their lives are intertwined with the lives of countless other beings.
In the heady summer of 1977, a naÃ¯ve young woman called Calista sets out from Athens to venture into the wider world. On a Greek island that has been turned into a film set, she finds herself working for the famed Hollywood director Billy Wilder, about whom she knows almost nothing. But the time she spends in this glamorous, unfamiliar new life will change her for good. While Calista is thrilled with her new adventure, Wilder himself is living with the realisation that his star may be on the wane. Rebuffed by Hollywood, he has financed his new film with German money, and when Calista follows him to Munich for the shooting of further scenes, she finds herself joining him on a journey of memory into the dark heart of his family history.
We know the universe had a beginning. With the Big Bang, it went from a state of unimaginable density to an all-encompassing cosmic fireball to a simmering fluid of matter and energy, laying down the seeds for everything from dark matter to black holes to one rocky planet orbiting a star near the edge of a spiral galaxy that happened to develop life. But what happens at the end of the story? In billions of years, humanity could still exist in some unrecognizable form, venturing out to distant space, finding new homes and building new civilizations. But the death of the universe is final. What might such a cataclysm look like? And what does it mean for us? Here, Katie Mack unpacks these questions, taking us on a mind-bending tour through each of the cosmos’ possible finales: the Big Crunch; the Heat Death; Vacuum Decay; the Big Rip; and the Bounce.
One of Asia’s most extraordinary cities, Bangkok is also one of the most baffling. It is filled with remarkable people and glittering golden palaces and temples, but is also a maze of concrete and twisting overhead utility wires. Alex Kerr has spent over thirty years of his life living in Bangkok and is uniquely qualified to write about it. He revels in the secret, tucked away corners, the great contemporary artists and the sheer wonder of so many aspects of Thai dance and design. While deploring the loss of much of old Bangkok, he is never merely nostalgic for a past but finds inspiration in Thailand’s dynamic modern fusions.
In ‘Rotten Days in Late Summer’, Ralf Webb turns sensuous, musical poetry to a profound and illuminating examination of the textures of class, youth, adulthood, and death in the working communities of the West Country, from mobile home parks, boyish factory workers and saleswomen kept on the road for days at a time, to the yearnings of young love shared with men and women alike. He explores, too, the metropolis, in its bewilderments, hypocrisies, pretensions, and haunting promise.
Most of us live our lives in our clothes without realizing their power. But in the hands of artists, garments reveal themselves. They are pure tools of expression, storytelling, resistance and creativity: canvases on which to show who we really are. In ‘What Artists Wear’, style luminary Charlie Porter takes us on an invigorating, eye-opening journey through the iconic outfits worn by artists, in the studio, on stage, at work, at home and at play.
Three great strands of practice and belief run through human history – science, religion and magic. Over the last few centuries, magic – the idea that we have a connection with the universe, and that the universe responds to us – has developed a bad reputation. But it is still with us, as it has been for millennia, as Professor Chris Gosden shows in this book.
In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders. But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing 80 but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?
In the present, Sacha knows the world’s in trouble. Her brother Robert just is trouble. Their mother and father are having trouble. Meanwhile the world’s in meltdown – and the real meltdown hasn’t even started yet. In the past, a lovely summer. A different brother and sister know they’re living on borrowed time. This is a story about people on the brink of change. They’re family, but they think they’re strangers. So: where does family begin? And what do people who think they’ve got nothing in common have in common? Summer.
Calla knows how the lottery works. Everyone does. On the day of your first bleed, you report to the station to learn what kind of woman you will be. A white ticket grants you children. A blue ticket grants you freedom. You are relieved of the terrible burden of choice. And, once you’ve taken your ticket, there is no going back. But what if the life you’re given is the wrong one?
This is the first ever UK publication of the poetry of Wanda Coleman: a beat-up, broke Black woman who wrote with anger, humour and clarity about her life on the margins, and who went overlooked by the establishment for much of her career even as she was known colloquially as the ‘unofficial poet laureate of Los Angeles’.
The person you are with is just like you: same background, same age, same interests. The perfect match. And it is a disaster. Then, when and where you least expect it, you meet someone new. You seem to have nothing in common and yet, somehow, it feels totally right. Nick Hornby’s brilliantly observed, tender but also brutally funny new novel gets to the heart of what it means to fall surprisingly and headlong in love with the best possible person – someone who is not just like you at all.
When it comes to racial justice, how do we transform demonstrations of support into real and meaningful change? With intellectual rigour and razor-sharp wit, Emma Dabiri cuts through the haze of online discourse to offer clear advice.
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America – the first African-American to serve in that role – she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the US and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerising storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world.
Cate is a stage designer in her early 40s, embroiled in theatre projects and the lives of her unconventional Chicago friends and lovers, when her life is suddenly overturned. Walking into her best friend’s kitchen one day, she witnesses an act of violence that forces her to do something she would never have thought she could do. The bubble of her safe, bohemian world is shattered. ‘Right After The Weather’ explores what happens when two worlds collide, and a group of friends are confronted with their worst fears.