Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) is the great lost scientist: more things are named after him than anyone else. There are towns, rivers, mountain ranges, the ocean current that runs along the South American coast, there’s a penguin, a giant squid – even the Mare Humboldtianum on the moon.
His colourful adventures read like something out of a Boy’s Own story: Humboldt explored deep into the rainforest, climbed the world’s highest volcanoes and inspired princes and presidents, scientists and poets alike. Napoleon was jealous of him; Simon Bolívar’s revolution was fuelled by his ideas; Darwin set sail on the Beagle because of Humboldt; and Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo owned all his many books. He simply was, as one contemporary put it, ‘the greatest man since the Deluge’.
The Invention of Nature traces his ideas as they go on to revolutionize and shape science, conservation, nature writing, politics, art and the theory of evolution. Buy it today for £1.49. Costa Winner 2015.
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Bridge of Spies is a gripping, entertaining, hair-raising and comical story, which moves effortlessly from the hardware of high-flying planes and new missiles to the geopolitics of the nuclear stand-off and through the poignant personal stories of its central protagonists: Powers, the all-American hero, blacklisted for not having killed himself on his descent to earth; a KGB spy who has spent aimless and lonely years achieving nothing in the US; and the opposing leaders Khrushchev and Eisenhower, both trapped in a spiral of confrontation neither wants.
Telling the true story that inspired Le Carré’s famous scene, Bridge of Spies is a brilliant take on the absurdity and heroism of the Cold War days that will appeal to a new generation of readers unfamiliar with the history but drawn in by the compelling and vividly recreated narrative. Buy it today for
£1.99 only 99p .
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George III came to the throne in 1760 as a man with a mission. He wanted to be a new kind of king, one whose power was rooted in the affection and approval of his people. And he was determined to revolutionise his private life too – to show that a better man would, inevitably, make a better ruler. Above all he was determined to break with the extraordinarily dysfunctional home lives of his Hanoverian forbears. For his family, things would be different.
But the lives of the women in George’s life – and of the princesses in particular – were shaped by a kind of undaunted emotional resilience that most modern women will recognise. However flawed George’s great family experiment may have been, in the value the princesses placed on the ideals of domestic happiness, they were truly their father’s daughters.
Buy this history for £1.99 today.
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With his trademark wit, opinion and candour, The Secret Footballer will guide the reader through: The pass – geometry and positioning and intelligence; Fitness; Skills & dribbling; Power & passion; When to listen to your gaffer and when to ignore him; Data and how it is used on the pitch/in transfers; Football academies; Match fixing, diving and other dark deeds; Tunnel vision – what it takes to be a pro; What the pundits say and what they really mean; top 11s (goals to scapegoats, chants to stadiums); ‘Bouncebackability’ and other words that just aren’t acceptable.
The bestselling anonymous author is back with the ultimate book to challenge conventional footballing wisdom. This is football gift with a bit of attitude. Perfect for football fans and armchair referees alike. Buy it for only 99p today.
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Alan Bennett’s A Life Like Other People’s is a poignant family memoir offering a portrait of his parents’ marriage and recalling his Leeds childhood, Christmases with Grandma Peel, and the lives, loves and deaths of his unforgettable aunties Kathleen and Myra. Bennett’s powerful account of his mother’s descent into depression and later dementia comes hand in hand with the uncovering of a long-held tragic secret.
A heartrending and at times irresistibly funny work of autobiography by one of the best-loved English writers alive today. Buy it for only 99p today.
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Why are some people–even in the toughest times–always filled with joy, while
most of us can’t seem to find lasting joy no matter how hard we search? Do joy-filled people know something we don’t?
The answer is yes! And in her warm, candid style, Kay Warren shares that life-transforming truth with you. Buy this inspirational book for just 96p today.
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You know the music… but do you know the man?
Ludwig van Beethoven’s life — its dramas, conflicts, loves and losses, his deafness coupled with continuous health problems, his epic struggle with his sister-in-law for sole custody of her son, his nephew — is played out in his music.
Now John Suchet has portrayed the real man behind the music in this compelling biography of a musical genius. He reveals a difficult and complex character.
This is not the god-like immortal portrayed in statues and paintings in heroic pose garlanded with laurel leaves. Beethoven may have been one of the greatest artists who ever lived, but he was still a man who had to live among fellow mortals, eat and drink, fall in love, pay his rent. This is the real Beethoven, and Suchet brings him effortlessly to life. Buy this biography today for only 99p.
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Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know (Just 99p) Ranulph Fiennes has travelled to the most dangerous and inaccessible places on earth, almost died countless times, lost nearly half his fingers to frostbite, raised millions of pounds for charity and been awarded a polar medal and an OBE. He has been an elite soldier, an athlete, a mountaineer, an explorer, a bestselling author and nearly replaced Sean Connery as James Bond. In his autobiography he describes how he led expeditions all over the world and became the first person to travel to both poles on land.
Heat: Extreme Adventures at the Highest Temperatures on Earth (Just 99p) Ranulph Fiennes, the world’s greatest living explorer, has travelled to some of the most remote, dangerous parts of the globe. Well-known for his experiences at the poles and climbing Everest, he has also endured some of the hottest conditions on the planet, where temperatures regularly exceed 40 degrees and, without water and shelter, death is inevitable.
When BIC, manufacturer of disposable ballpoint pens, wanted to grow, it looked for an idea beyond introducing new sizes and ink colors. Someone suggested lighters.
With an idea that seemed crazy at first, that bright executive, instead of seeing BIC as a pen company—a business in the PEN “box”—figured out that there was growth to be found in the DISPOSABLE “box.” And he was right. Now there are disposable BIC lighters, razors, even phones. The company opened its door to a host of opportunities.
Creativity is paramount if you are to thrive in a time of accelerating change. Replete with practical and potent creativity tools, and featuring fascinating case studies from BIC to Ford to Trader Joe’s, Thinking in New Boxes will help you and your company overcome missed opportunities and stay ahead of the curve. Buy it today for £1.49.
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In But Enough About Me, legendary film actor and Hollywood superstar Burt Reynolds recalls the people who shaped his life and career, for better or for worse. From Robert Altman, Cary Grant, Clint Eastwood and Robert Mitchum to Bette Davis, Marlon Brando, Woody Allen and Kirsty Alley, Burt pays homage to those he loves and respected, acknowledges those who’ve stayed loyal, and calls out the assholes he can’t forgive.
But Enough About Me is a gripping and eye-opening story of one of cinema’s true greats. Buy this memoir today for £1.99. Audiobook: £3.99.
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