The Grade Cricketer

Dave Edwards - 2015
    Described as the most original voice in cricket, The Grade Cricketer represents the fading hopes and dreams of every ageing amateur sportsman. In this tell-all 'autobiography', The Grade Cricketer describes his cricketing career with unflinching honesty and plenty of humour, in turn providing insights into the hyper-masculine cricket 'dressing room'. This one-time junior prodigy is now experiencing the lean, increasingly existential years of adult cricket. Here, he learns quickly that one will need more than just runs and wickets to make it in the alpha-dominated grade cricket jungle, where blokes like Nuggsy, Bruiser, Deeks and Robbo reign supreme. Through it all, The Grade Cricketer lays bare his deepest insecurities - his relationship with Dad, his fleeting romances outside the cricket club - and, in turn, we witness a gentle maturation; a slow realisation that perhaps, just maybe, there is more to life than hitting 50 not out in third grade and enjoying a few celebratory beers afterwards. Or is there? * * * The Grade Cricketer book is based upon the popular Twitter account, @gradecricketer, which has received critical acclaim for its frighteningly honest portrayal of amateur cricket. Now, the time has finally come for this middling amateur sportsman to tell his story in full. 'The Grade Cricketer is the finest tribute to a sport since Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch, and the best cricket book in yonks. It's belly-laughing funny but it's also a hymn to the grand and complex game delivered with a narrative pace and ability I'm afraid most Test players don't have. For anyone who ever dreamed of excelling at a sport but never quite made it but still gave it your life, this is the story. A great read!' - Tom Keneally AO.

Dead Ground: Infiltrating the IRA

Raymond Gilmour - 2019
    It exposes the reality of the dark, claustrophobic world of the Provisionals: the iron grip they hold over their communities; their ruthless and cynical disregard for human life; the single-minded professionalism of some IRA volunteers — and the rank incompetence of others. Raymond Gilmour learned the brutal facts of life in Northern Ireland at an early age. Beatings, murders and knee-cappings were common currency on the dead-end Derry estate where he grew up, and despite the omnipresence of British. soldiers no one was in any doubt about who really held the balance of power. Many young Catholics, with few options and fewer jobs open to them, joined the terrorists as volunteers. So, at the age of sixteen, did Ray Gilmour — but his recruitment had a vital and deadly difference: his brief to infiltrate the IRA, sabotage their activities, and report back to his Special Branch contact. So began nearly a decade of life in no-man's-land, an impossibly dangerous double life where every day brought with it a new and potentially terminal threat. Gilmour relates in gripping style the hazards of playing along with the shootings and bombings while secretly trying to subvert them; the constant fear of exposure, torture and execution by his IRA `comrades' — and the tension of wondering when he might out-live his usefulness and be sacrificed by the shadowy men from MI5. Incredibly, Gilmour not only avoided exposure and sacrifice, he also became one of the RUC's most valued agents, foiling countless terrorist attacks and helping the police seize huge quantities of arms and explosives. As one RUC source admitted: 'He kept Derry clean for us.' Gilmour's career as an agent came to an abrupt and spectacular end when he uncovered one of the IRAs most prized arms caches, forcing him and his family — who until then had known nothing of his double life. — to go on the run before the IRA's notorious Internal Affairs men caught up with them. But even escape has its penalties: Gilmour has not seen his wife and children for over twelve years, and he now lives in permanent exile, flitting from safe house to safe house under a sentence of death unrevoked by peace-tAs amnesties. Dead Ground is Gilmour's story: a narrative of heart-stopping tension and unrelenting human drama which makes a mockery of fictionalised accounts of terrorism in Northern Ireland.

The Sunken Road

Garry Disher - 1996
    At once the story of a region, a town and people, it is also the story of Anna Tolley - "leggy, wilful and auburn-haired, always answering back" - who lives through momentous changes and earns the envy, love and hatred of those around her.

White Lightning

Justin Cartwright - 2002
    This is the beginning of an extraordinary novel. It is told over the space of a few months, and in these few months one man's whole life - his failures, his successes, his longing for peace and fulfillment, his loves and his tragedies - are recounted. These memories include his film Suzi Crispin, Night Nurse, and - the darkest moment - the death of his son, which has haunted him. He inherits a small amount of money and buys a rundown farm, where he dreams of creating an Arcadia. On the farm is a captive baboon, Piet, who becomes startlingly involved in his new life. He also has a love affair with a local woman, and becomes hauntingly involved with an African family of squatters. All the while the narrator contemplates his own life back in England and so the novel is also a sharp commentary on what Englishness means. This is a novel about the human enterprise. It is surprising, tender, funny and utterly original.

Anger Management for Beginners: A Self-Help Course in 70 Lessons

Giles Coren - 2010
    Star of BBC's Supersizers and hugely popular Times columnist's works through his anger about everything from dogs to cycle helmets.

Free Sampler of The Sea Sisters (Chapters 1-6)

Lucy Clarke - 2013
    . .Katie’s carefully structured world is shattered by the news that her headstrong younger sister, Mia, has been found dead in Bali – and the police claim it was suicide.With only the entries of Mia’s travel journal as her guide, Katie retraces the last few months of her sister’s life, and – page by page, country by country – begins to uncover the mystery surrounding her death.What she discovers changes everything. But will her search for the truth push their sisterly bond – and Katie – to breaking point?The Sea Sisters is a compelling story of the enduring connection between sisters.

Landscape of Farewell

Alex Miller - 2007
    After the death of his much-loved wife and his recognition that he will never write the great study of history that was to be his life's crowning work, Max believes his life is all but over. Everything changes, though, when his valedictory lecture is challenged by Professor Vita McLelland, a feisty young Australian Aboriginal academic visiting Germany. Their meeting and growing friendship sets Max on a journey that would have seemed unthinkable just a few short weeks earlier.When, at Vita's invitation, Max travels to Australia, he forms a deep friendship with her uncle, Aboriginal elder Dougald Gnapun. It is a friendship that not only gives new meaning and purpose to Max, but which teaches him the profound importance of truth-telling in reconciliation with his own and his country's past.

The Picador Book of Cricket

Ramachandra Guha - 2001
    There was a time when major English writers - P.G. Wodehouse, Arthur Conan Doyle, Alec Waugh - took time off to write about cricket, whereas the cricket book market today is dominated by ghosted autobiographies and statistical compendiums. The Picador Book of Cricket celebrates the best writing on the game and includes many pieces that have been out of print, or difficult to get hold of, for years. Including Neville Cardus, C.L.R. James, John Arlott, V.S. Naipaul, C.B. Fry this anthology is a must for any cricket follower or anyone interested in sports writing elevated to high art.

The Summer After the Funeral

Jane Gardam - 1973
    Following her father's death, a sixteen-year-old English girl spends an unsettling summer convinced that she has lived before as Emily Bronte.

Sisters of the Heart: The Trilogy

Shelley Shepard Gray - 2012
    But while she feels she?s found a home among the Amish, can Anna deny the life she left behind? And will her chance for happiness be stolen away by the man from her past? Wanted: Frightened by how far she?s strayed from her values during her Rumspringa, Katie vows to cut all ties with the outside world. Now widower Jonathan Lundy has asked her to help him take care of his two young girls. Will the past destroy Katie?s chances for love? Forgiven: Injured when a fire destroys her family?s barn, Winnie returns home from the hospital to find her brother, Jonathan, seeking vengeance on the arsonist responsible. But in an Amish community founded on grace and forgiveness, will his unwillingness to forgive ruin the trust that forms the foundation of their lives?

This is Modern Art

Matthew Collings - 1999
    A house cast in concrete. The London Underground map with all the station names changes - the Circle Line stations are comedians, the Northern Line stations are philosophers. A tent embroidered with the names of everyone the artist who set up the tent has ever slept with. But what does it all mean? What is Modern Art? Why do we like/hate it? Can anybody do it? Is it always modern? Who started it? In this refreshing and extremely accessible book Matthew Collings tells the story of modern art and our modern attitude to it. It combines hard information on major artists and movements - what really happened - with ordinary reflections: modern art is intimidating and unfathomable to many but Matthew Collings cuts through this barrier by asking all the kinds of questions many of us will have asked and been puzzled by. He will compare Goya to Duchamp and Picasso, Rothko to Yves Klein; he will look at the role of African tribal art in the rise of Modernism and Punk Rock in the rise of Post-Modernism. This will become a classic book of its kind, quirky, culty and great fun.

Civil to Strangers and Other Writings

Barbara Pym - 1988
    This volume brings us the last complete novel, portions of three others, four short stories, and an autobiographical essay.

The Men and the Girls

Joanna Trollope - 1992
    and in their loving relationships with the Girls, who are half their age.Popular British TV personality Hugh Hunter has begun feeling resentful toward his much younger, seemingly perfect wife, Julia. For while his own star is on the wane, Julia's is rapidly ascending. James Mallow, a teacher, has shared eight blissful years with Kate Bain, his junior by a good quarter century. But his devoted longtime partner appears restless these days.Then a freak rush hour accident knocks a fiercely independent spinster from her bicycle -- an event that will have a profound and wildly unanticipated impact on two unorthodox unions.

And Never Stop Dancing: Thirty More True Things You Need to Know Now

Gordon Livingston - 2006
    Gordon Livingston's national bestseller, Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart, has drawn tens of thousands of readers who have embraced its thirty bedrock truths about life and how best to live it. Now, in And Never Stop Dancing, Dr. Livingston — a Vietnam War veteran, psychiatrist, and parent twice bereaved — offers thirty more true things we need to know now. The fresh truths Dr. Livingston explores include: Paradox governs our lives. Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves. We are defined by what we fear. As we grow old, the beauty steals inward. Once again, here are Dr. Livingston's sterling qualities: a deep understanding of the emotional tumult that courses through our lives — our hidden hypocrisies, desires, and evasions; an unerring sense of what is important; and his own ability to persevere — to hope — in a world he knows to be capable of inflicting unjustifiable and lifelong suffering. These qualities — plus his perfectly pitched sense of humor and a singular voice — add up to another extraordinary book — one which, like its predecessor, offers us a gentle, generous, and unusual alternative to the trial-and-error learning that makes wisdom such an expensive commodity.

A Tuscan Childhood

Kinta Beevor - 1993
    There her parents were part of a vibrant artistic community that included Aldous Huxley, Bernard Berenson, and D. H. Lawrence. Meanwhile, Kinta and her brother explored the glorious countryside, participated in the region's many seasonal rites and rituals, and came to know and love the charming, resilient Italian people. With the coming of World War II the family had to leave Aulla; years later, though, Kinta would return to witness the courage and skill of the Tuscan people as they rebuilt their lives. Lyrical and witty, A Tuscan Childhood is alive with the timeless splendour of Italy.