Bestselling author Jean Sasson tells the dramatic true story of a young woman caught up in Saddam Hussein's genocide of the Kurdish people of Iraq.
One morning Joanna, a young bride living in the Kurdish mountains of Iraq, was surprised to see dead birds drop silently out of the clear sky. They were followed by sinister canisters falling to the ground, bringing fear and death.
It was 1987, and Saddam Hussein had ordered his cousin 'Chemical Ali' to bombard Joanna's village, Bergalou, with chemical weapons. Temporarily blinded in the attack, Joanna was rescued by her husband, a Kurdish freedom fighter. After being caught in another bombardment and left for dead in the rubble, they managed to flee over the mountains in a harrowing escape.
Now living in the UK and working for British Airways, Joanna has told the story of her eventful life to Jean Sasson, the bestselling chronicler of oppressed women's lives in the Princess trilogy and Mayada. Love in a Torn Land is published while the world watches the trial of the notorious 'Chemical Ali', Saddam Hussein's most bloodthirsty henchman, for crimes including the genocide of the Kurdish people.
They were like a band of brothers...
In 1983 Andy McNab was assigned to B Squadron, one of the four Sabre Squadrons of the SAS, and within it to Air Troop, otherwise known as SEVEN TROOP.
This is Andy McNab's gripping account of the time he served in the company of a remarkable group of men - from the day, freshly badged, he joined them in the Malayan jungle, to the day, ten years later, that he handed in his sand-coloured beret and started a new life. The links they forged then bound them inextricably together, but the things they saw and did during that time would take them all to breaking point - and some beyond - in the years that were to follow. He who dares doesn't always win...
Shortly after the 2005 London bombings, Tahir Shah was thrown into a Pakistani prison on suspicion of spying for Al-Qaeda. What sustained him during his terrifying, weeks-long ordeal were the stories his father told him as a child in Morocco.
Inspired by this, on his return to his adopted homeland he embarked on an adventure worthy of the mythical Arabian Nights, going in search of the stories and storytellers that have nourished this most alluring of countries for centuries. Wandering through the medinas of Fez and Marrakech, criss-crossing the Saharan sands and tasting the hospitality of ordinary Moroccans, he collected a treasury of traditional stories recounted by a vivid and eccentric cast of characters: from master masons who work only at night to Sufi wise men who write for soap operas and Tuareg guides addicted to reality TV. Himself a link in the chain of scholars and teachers who have passed such tales down from father to son, mother to daughter, Shah reveals a world and a way of thinking that most visitors to Morocco barely know exist.
Bill Bryson goes to Kenya at the invitation of CARE International, the charity dedicated to working with local communities to eradicate poverty around the world. Kenya, generally regarded as the cradle of mankind, is a land of contrasts, with famous game reserves, stunning landscapes, and a vibrant cultural tradition. It also provides plenty to worry a traveller like Bill Bryson, fixated as he is on the dangers posed by snakes, insects and large predators. But on a more sober note, it is a country that shares many serious human and environmental problems with the rest of Africa: refugees, AIDS, drought, and grinding poverty.
Travelling around the country, Bryson casts his inimitable eye on a continent new to him, and the resultant diary, though short in length, contains the trademark Bryson stamp of wry observation and curious insight. All the author's royalties from Bill Bryson's African Diary, as well as all profits, will go to CARE International.
Illustrated with 8pp of colour.
Some say that the first hint that Bill Bryson was not of Planet Earth came when his mother sent him to school in lime-green Capri pants. Others think it all started with his discovery, at the age of six, of a woollen jersey of rare fineness. Across the moth-holed chest was a golden thunderbolt. It may have looked like an old college football sweater, but young Bryson knew better. It was obviously the Sacred Jersey of Zap, and proved that he had been placed with this innocuous family in the middle of America to fly, become invisible, shoot guns out of people's hands from a distance, and wear his underpants over his jeans in the manner of Superman.
/> Bill Bryson's first travel book opened with the immortal line, 'I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to.' In his deeply funny new memoir, he travels back in time to explore the ordinary kid he once was, and the curious world of 1950s America. It was a happy time, when almost everything was good for you, including DDT, cigarettes and nuclear fallout. This is a book about growing up in a specific time and place. But in Bryson's hands, it becomes everyone's story, one that will speak volumes - especially to anyone who has ever been young.
'The decision to publish this book has been very difficult, and taken with heavy hearts ... My reason for writing it is simple: to give an account of the truth ... Writing this memoir has entailed recording some very personal, intimate and emotional aspects of our lives. Sharing these with strangers does not come easily to me, but if I hadn't done so I would not have felt the book gave as full a picture as it is possible for me to give. As with every action we have taken over the last five years, it ultimately boils down to whether what we are doing could help us to find Madeleine. When the answer to that question is yes, or even possibly, our family can cope with anything ... Nothing is more important to us than finding our little girl.' Kate McCann
Following a week in the life of a busy wedding planner, and based entirely on true but anonymous stories, Wedding Babylon takes you to the heart of an industry where emotions run high, money flows like champagne and Â£3,000 cakes are made of polystyrene. Why are weddings so expensive? What makes us spend a year's wages on one Big Day? And just how Big does your Day actually have to be?
Hilarious, shocking and full of jaw-dropping true tales of wedding days from hell, here is definitive proof that, sadly, the course of true love never did run entirely smooth ...
What is fashion? What is fashionable? Who decides what is in? What is out? Why is it green one year, and blue the next? Why is one little black dress worth three thousand pounds and another thirty quid? Is the catwalk that catty? Is everyone high on drugs and full of champagne? What makes a supermodel so super? And a designer too hot to touch? Who is making the money? Who owns who? Who hates who? And who's in each other's pocket?
Following in the glamourous footsteps of Hotel Babylon and Air Babylon, Fashion Babylon will get under the well-cut skin of the fashion industry. Using a world renowned source, Fashion Babylon will take you through six months in a designer's life. Starting at the end of one catwalk show, it will explain how a collection is put together - from the rail of found objects, to how it gets on to the catwalk, into the shops and onto the covers of a magazine. It will tell you who goes to the shows, where they sit and whose backside one needs to kiss to get there. It will introduce you to a host of places and characters, it will take you into a world where women get paid tens of thousands for getting dressed in the morning and where a wrong shirt length can cost you your career.
Witty, naughty and full of gripping detail Fashion Babylon will explain the mark -ups, talk you through fashion's two seasons and discuss the money and commerce behind one of the most international, lucrative and secretive of businesses. With something for the simple follower of fashion as well as the hardcore fashionista, Fashion Babylon will change the way you sashay into Top Shop, flick through the pages of Vogue and enter the portals of Harvey Nichols forever.
'It was as if I had privately discovered life on another planet, or a parallel universe where life was at once recognizably similar but entirely different. I can't tell you how exciting it was. Insofar as I had accumulated my expectations of Australia at all in the intervening years, I had thought of it as a kind of alternative southern California, a place of constant sunshine and the cheerful vapidity of a beach lifestyle, but with a slightly British bent - a sort of Baywatch with cricket...' Of course, what greeted Bill Bryson was something rather different. Australia is a country that exists on a vast scale. It is the world's sixth largest country and its largest island. It is the only island that is also a continent and the only continent that is also a country. It is the driest, flattest, hottest, most desiccated, infertile and climatically aggressive of all the inhabited continents and still it teems with life - a large proportion of it quite deadly.
In fact, Australia has more things that can kill you in a very nasty way than anywhere else. This is a country where even the fluffiest of caterpillars can lay you out with a toxic nip, where seashells will not just sting you but actually sometimes go for you. If you are not stung or pronged to death in some unexpected manner, you may be fatally chomped by sharks or crocodiles, or carried helplessly out to sea by irresistable currents, or left to stagger to an unhappy death in the bking outback.
Ignoring such dangers - yet curiously obsessed by them - Bill Bryson journeyed to Australia and promptly fell in love with the country. And who can blame him? The people are cheerful, extrovert, quick-witted and unfailingly obliging; their cities are safe and clean and nearly always built on water; the food is excellent; the beer is cold and the sun nearly always shines. Life doesn't get much better than this.
'I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to' And, as soon as Bill Bryson was old enough, he left. Des Moines couldn't hold him, but it did lure him back. After ten years in England, he returned to the land of his youth, and drove almost 14,000 miles in search of a mythical small town called Amalgam, the kind of trim and sunny place where the films of his youth were set. Instead, his search led him to Anywhere, USA; a lookalike strip of gas stations, motels and hamburger outlets populated by lookalike people with a penchant for synthetic fibres. Travelling around thirty-eight of the lower states - united only in their mind-numbingly dreary uniformity - he discovered a continent that was doubly lost; lost to itself because blighted by greed, pollution, mobile homes and television; lost to him because he had become a stranger in his own land.
The Lost Continent is a classic of travel literature - hilariously, stomach-achingly funny, yet tinged with heartache - and the book that first staked Bill Bryson's claim as the most beloved writer of his generation.
After nearly two decades in Britain, Bill Bryson took the decision to move back to the States for a few years, to let his kids experience life in another country, to give his wife the chance to shop until 10 p.m. seven nights a week, and, most of all, because he had read that 3.7 million Americans believed that they had been abducted by aliens at one time or another, and it was thus clear to him that his people needed him.
But before leaving his muchloved home in North Yorkshire, Bryson insisted on taking one last trip around Britain, a sort of valedictory tour of the green and kindly island that had so long been his home. His aim was to take stock of the nation's public face and private parts (as it were), and to analyse what precisely it was he loved so much about a country that had produced Marmite, a military hero whose dying wish was to be kissed by a fellow named Hardy, place names like Farleigh Wallop, Titsey and Shellow Bowells, people who said 'Mustn't grumble', and Gardeners' Question Time.
Brian Keenan's fascination with Alaska began as a small boy while reading Jack London's wondrous Call of the Wild. With a head full of questions about its inspiring landscape and a heart informed by his love of desolate and barren places, Brian Keenan sets out for Alaska to discover its four geographical quarters from snowmelt in May to snowfall in September, and en route, finds a land as fantastical as a fairytale but whose vastness has a very peculiar type of allure...
From dog-mushing on a frozen lake beneath the whirling colours of the aurora borealis to camping in a two dollar tent in the tundra of the arctic circle, Brian Keenan seeks out the ultimate wilderness experience and along the way, encounters hard-core survivalists who know what struggle and endurance mean from their daily battle with nature to exist.He discovers that true wilderness is as much a state of mind as it is a place.And ultimately to make Alaska home, one must surrender to the land.
You're about to turn thirty, all your friends are getting engaged and pregnant - and your body-clock is ticking. Then you get an offer to move to New York. So you take a chance and break up with your boyfriend - only to land yourself in the singles capital of the world.
When Bridget Harrison arrived in Manhattan to work for America's most famous tabloid, the New York Post, she was in at the deep end from day one. Dispatched by day to cover murders and muggings in the roughest corners of New York, by night she began to write a column about her search for love in a dating shark tank. So far so Sex and the City - until she realised the one man she was falling for also happened to be her boss (and unfortunately this wasn't fiction).
Being sent out to cover your first breaking news story Having the chance to go on a new blind date every week Realizing you love your editor THE LOWS:
Finding no-one you interview can understand your accent Going on a new blind date every week Realizing you love your editor
At the age of thirty-four, Polly Evans finally fulfilled a childhood dream - to learn how to ride a horse. But rather than do so conveniently close to home, she decided to travel to Argentina and saddle up among the gauchos.
Overcoming battered limbs, a steed hell-bent on bolting, and an encounter with the teeth of one very savage dog, Polly cantered through Andean vineyards and galloped beneath snow-capped Patagonian peaks. She survived a hair-raising game of polo and a back-breaking day herding cattle.
Taking a break from riding, she delved into Argentina's tumultuous history: the Europeans' first terrifying acquaintances with the native 'giants'; the sanguinary demise of the early missionaries; and the gruesome drama of Evita's wandering corpse.
On a Hoof and Prayer is the stampeding story of Polly's journey from timorous equestrian novice to wildly whooping cowgirl. It's a tale of ponies, painkillers and peregrinations - not just around present-day Argentina, but also into the country's glorious and turbulent past.
Look into the eyes of a jinn and you stare into the depths of your own soul...
Writer and film-maker Tahir Shah - in his 30s, married, with two small children - was beginning to wilt under brash, cramped, ennervating British city life. Flying in the face of friends' advice, he longed to fulfil his dream of finding a place bursting with life, colour, history and romance - somewhere far removed from London - in which to raise a family. Childhood memories of holidaying with his parents, and of a grandfather he barely knew, led him to Morocco and to 'Dar Khalifa', a sprawling and, with the exception of its jinns, long-abandoned residence on the edge of Casablanca's shanty town that, rumour had it, once belonged to the city's Caliph.
And so begins Tahir Shah's gloriously vivid, funny, affectionate and compelling account of how he and his family - aided, abetted and so often hindered by a wonderful cast of larger-than-life local characters: guardians, gardeners, builders, artisans, bureacrats and police (not forgetting the jinns, the spirits that haunt the house) - returned the Caliph's House to its former glory and learned to make this most exotic and alluring of countries their home.
The Caliph's House is a story of home-ownership abroad - full of the attendant dramas, anxieties and frustrations - but it is also much more. Woven into the narrative is the author's own journey of self-discovery, of learning about a granfather he hardly knew, and of coming to love the magical, multi-faceted, contradictory country that is Morocco.
On 6 June 2004, Frank Gardner and cameraman Simon Cumbers were in a suburb of Riyadh, filming a report on Al-Qaeda when they were confronted by Islamist gunmen. Simon was killed outright. Frank was brought down by shots in the shoulder and leg. As he lay bleeding in the street, a figure stood over him and pumped four more bullets into him at point blank range...
Against all the odds, Frank Gardner survived and this is his remarkable account of the agonizing journey he has taken - from being shot and left for dead to where he is today, partly paralysed but alive. It is a journey that really began 25 years earlier when a chance meeting with explorer Wilfred Thesiger inspired what would become a lifelong passion for the Arab world. This would take him throughout the Middle East and eventually lead to his becoming a BBC journalist. And, in the wake of the events of 9/11, this passion sent him on the journey that came to dominate - and nearly end - his life: his coverage of Al-Qaeda.
Honest, moving and inspiring, his story - now updated for this paperback edition - reveals a deep understanding of the Islamic world and offers a compelling analysis of the on-going 'War on Terror' and what it means in these uncertain times.
This memoir was recently discovered and appears to have been written in the 1920s by somone who asserts that he was Jack the Ripper.
This person is James Willoughby Carnac, this memoir written shortly before his death is an account of his entire life, including a few short months in 1888 when he became the murderer known to posterity as Jack the Ripper.
This book introduces a new suspect for the infamous murders in Whitechapel in 1888. There is information in this book that does not appear to be derived from contemporary newspapers or any other publications and the descriptions of Tottenham in the 1870s, the visits to performances of Jekyll and Hyde, the intricate geography of Whitechapel in 1888 are written with pin-point accuracy. There is also a credible motive given for James becoming the murderer Jack and also a reason for the end of the murders. Given the fact that the author also appear to have knowledge about aspects of the case not in the public arena at the time it could be that this actually is the autobiography of Jack the Ripper.
Ultimately it is up to the reader to decide if they believe the mystery has been solved at last but even if they end up deciding the account to be a work of fiction it would still be one of the very earliest imaginings of the Ripper case, written in the early years of the twentieth century, a fascinating piece of period writing and a worthy addition to the Ripper canon.
Whatever side they come down on there is no question that this book will be a source of much debate.
Born in a surreal Moscow communal apartment where eighteen families shared one kitchen, Anya von Bremzen grew up singing odes to Lenin, black-marketeering Juicy Fruit gum at school, and longing for a taste of the mythical West. It was a life by turns absurd, drab, naively joyous, melancholy and, finally, intolerable. In 1974, when Anya was ten, she and her mother fled to the USA, with no winter coats and no right of return. These days, Anya is the doyenne of high-end food writing. And yet, the flavour of Soviet kolbasa, like Proust's madeleine, transports her back to that vanished Atlantis known as the USSR .
In this sweeping, tragicomic memoir, Anya recreates seven decades of the Soviet experience through cooking and food, and reconstructs a moving family history spanning three generations. Her narrative is embedded in a larger historical epic: Lenin's bloody grain requisitioning, World War II starvation, Stalin's table manners, Khrushchev's kitchen debates, Gorbachev's disastrous anti-alcohol policies and the ultimate collapse of the USSR. And all of this is bound together by Anya's sardonic wit, passionate nostalgia and piercing observations. Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking is a book that stirs the soul as well as the senses.
The story of the Rolling Stones is one of the epic rock 'n' roll yarns of our time. Their music defined today's cultural landscape and their history is a source of endless fascination for music fans around the world. Yet one crucial part of that story has never been comprehensively analysed: the role of Brian Jones, the visionary who founded the band and controlled their early music down to the smallest detail.
Drawing on over one hundred interviews with key principals including Keith Richards, Andrew Oldham and Marianne Faithfull, this is a story told from a totally new perspective and which lays bare the shocking ruthlessness, internal warfare and sexual competition within this most legendary of bands. As well as exploring Jones' crucial role in the Stones' music, it will also investigate the unravelling of his psyche, as observed by Brian's family, friends, bandmates, lovers and enemies.
Victors get to write the history - but it's never wholly true. Brian's life story is a gripping one, an epic battle between creativity and ambition, between self-sabotage and betrayal. This book will disentangle the threads of the Rolling Stones story and put Brian Jones firmly in the foreground.