25 Years of Big Ideas

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We publish science, history, politics, philosophy, psychology, humour and much else besides.
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    For fans of Call the Midwife, a unique autobiography of a 1930s London childhood.
    Enid Elliot Linder was the daughter of a butler and a lady’s maid in service in some of England’s grandest country houses. Evoking the lost world of a childhood ‘below stairs’, Linder’s touching memoir describes how her life changed as Britain headed towards war.
    After the family moved to a Marylebone tenement, her father sought work in London restaurants whilst battling personal demons. Meanwhile Linder’s aunt was nanny to a high-ranking member of the British Union of Fascists as they grew in influence.
    In a photorealistic and immensely charming narrative reminiscent of Patrick Hamilton, Linder evokes the sights and smells of prewar London — and of lonely Cornwall, to where she was unhappily evacuated — in a way that will appeal to fans of Downton Abbey. A unique personal account of a tumultuous time.
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    What really happens at the most fundamental levels of nature?
    Introducing Particle Physics explores the very frontiers of our knowledge, even showing how particle physicists are now using theory and experiment to probe our very concept of what is real.
    From the earliest history of the atomic theory through to supersymmetry, micro-black holes, dark matter, the Higgs boson, and the possibly mythical graviton, practising physicist and CERN contributor Tom Whyntie gives us a mind-expanding tour of cutting-edge science.
    Featuring brilliant illustrations from Oliver Pugh, Introducing Particle Physics is a unique tour through the most astonishing and challenging science being undertaken today.
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    Chronic pain affects huge numbers of people — the WHO estimates that 37–41% of people across developed and developing countries suffer, and the figure rises in countries like the UK where the population is ageing. From arthritis to migraine, back pain to diabetes, chronic pain is a huge problem for individuals, their families and carers, health providers and employers.

    David Walton, a clinical and cognitive psychologist who experiences chronic pain himself, guides readers through an understanding of the nature of pain; how the body and mind react to it; how to minimise pain; and how to choose the right therapies, medication and relief strategies. Modern research is presented in an engaging and positive way, alongside self-assessment questionnaires, case studies and practical do’s and don’ts.

    Through an understanding of pain mechanisms and relief strategies, readers will be enabled to manage their symptoms better and regain some control over their daily lives.
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    Develop and improve your relationship with teenagers. The teenage years are complex, exciting and often turbulent. Growth, development and learning are intrinsic to this period and every teenage experience is different. For anyone who cares about a teenager’s wellbeing, development and learning, this Practical Guide offers a theoretically informed way of thinking about, understanding and actually living with teenagers.
    Focusing on the three major issues prevalent in teenage years: achievement, belonging and control, and the behaviors that fall within these categories, experienced professional educational psychologist Kairen Cullen expertly draws upon a wealth of experience and the different psychological theories and approaches that can be used to address each issue.
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    Love letters are potent. They breathe. They speak. They can arouse, comfort, captivate. They can also cut deep.

    The powerful, deeply personal letters collected here reveal the painful underside of love. Witness Winston Churchill 'growl with anger to be treated with benevolent indifference' and Edith Piaf reel in the throes of a 'terrible' passion.

    Through the letters of literary icons Charlotte Brontë, Oscar Wilde and Virginia Woolf, Hollywood stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and statesmen Henry VIII and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Yours Always offers an unusually intimate insight into the lives of such illustrious figures.

    Love is revealed here in its many shades of disharmony and confusion: unrequited, uncertain, imbalanced, unconventional, thwarted, failed and forbidden. Love is not always rose-tinted, and Yours Always illuminates the sorrows that can accompany falling in, falling out, and staying in love.

    Includes letter to and from: Charlotte Brontë, Richard Burton, Lord Byron, Winston Churchill, Marie Curie, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, Henry VIII, Ted Hughes, Graham Greene, Franz Kafka, Marilyn Monroe, Iris Murdoch, Edith Piaf, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Elizabeth Taylor, Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, W.B. Yeats
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    In 2009 Real Madrid paid £80m, a then record fee, to sign a ready-made superstar in an effort to keep pace with a Barcelona side that had won it all. In doing so, they sparked a rivalry like no other; Messi vs Ronaldo.

    The seasons that have followed have been truly spectacular, the battle for supremacy increasing in profile and intensity all the while. Their styles, personalities and footballing allegiances continue to divide opinion, but their dominance of the record books has now put one claim beyond debate — this is football's greatest ever head-to-head.

    Acclaimed football writer Luca Caioli draws on invaluable testimonies from those closest to the two stars, with exclusive insights from friends, families, teammates and managers, to tell the inside story of this fascinating rivalry.
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    Why do your fingers go wrinkly in the bath? What kind of animal can have 21 limbs? Who would really win a fight between a T.Rex and Godzilla?
    Test your knowledge of all things scientific with the biggest, brightest and most mind-bending quiz book this side of the Big Bang. Featuring 100 brain-melting Q&As, with enlightening explanations provided throughout, this is the ultimate examination of what you know about space, chemistry, quantum physics, science fiction and much more.
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    Lionel Messi, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo have risen from humble beginnings in Argentina, Brazil and Portugal to rank among the most exciting talents football has ever seen.
    Now Luca Caioli, author of biographies of Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar, asks: ‘Who is the greatest of them all?’ Comparing their contrasting styles, stories, records and awards, he gives you everything you need to decide who comes out on top.
    With exclusive insights from their friends, families, teammates and managers, Caioli presents a unique insight into what makes a modern player not just successful, but truly great.
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    On 1 September 2015, Anthony Martial completed his transfer from Monaco to Manchester United. At just 19 years of age, the fee of £36m (potentially rising to £58m) made the France international the most expensive teenager of all time.

    Eyebrows were raised at the landmark fee but a goal against Liverpool in his first game helped get the supporters onside, while a number of key strikes in his debut season soon won over the critics as he became integral to Manchester United’s attack.

    Renowned sports biographers Luca Caioli and Cyril Collot talk to coaches, teammates and even Martial himself, to provide an unrivalled behind-the-scenes look at the life of the teenage superstar.
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    Mario Balotelli has a reputation like no other in football. Since exploding on to the scene at Inter Milan in 2007, he has won league titles in both Italy and England, moving between Europe’s elite clubs.

    Yet for all his undoubted talent, he is better known for his off-field antics – not least his infamous run-ins with both the police and Manchester’s firefighters. Once described by José Mourinho as ‘unmanageable’, match-winning performances at the highest level have continued to convince clubs such as AC Milan and Liverpool to give him a chance.

    With exclusive access to friends, teammates and coaches, acclaimed football biographer Luca Caioli talks to the people best placed to explain the mystery that is Mario Balotelli.
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    THE PERFECT GIFT FOR MOTHER'S DAY!Look at the front cover of any parenting book and what do you see? Glowing mothers-to-be, or pristine, beautifully-behaved children. But the reality is, your pregnancy might be a sweaty, moody rollercoaster, and your children will almost certainly spend the first few years of their lives covered in food, tears and worse. And the experience is no less magical for it.
    In this no-holds-barred collection of essays, prominent women authors, journalists and TV personalities explore the truth about becoming mothers. Covering topics from labour to the breastapo, twins to IVF, weaning to post-birth sex, and with writers including Cathy Kelly, Adele Parks, Kathy Lette and Lucy Porter (and many more), Things I Wish I’d Known is a reassuring, moving and often hilarious collection that will speak to mothers – and mothers-to-be – everywhere.
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    Actor, producer and director Ben Crystal revisits his acclaimed book on Shakespeare for the 400th anniversary of his death, updating and adding three new chapters.

    Shakespeare on Toast knocks the stuffing from the staid old myth of the Bard, revealing the man and his plays for what they really are: modern, thrilling, uplifting drama.

    The bright words and colourful characters of the greatest hack writer are brought brilliantly to life, sweeping cobwebs from the Bard – his language, his life, his world, his sounds, his craft. Crystal reveals man and work as relevant, accessible and alive – and, astonishingly, finds Shakespeare’s own voice amid the poetry.

    Whether you’re studying Shakespeare for the first time or you’ve never set foot near one of his plays but have always wanted to, this book smashes down the walls that have been built up around this untouchable literary figure.

    Told in five fascinating Acts, this is quick, easy and good for you. Just like beans on toast.
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    Bestselling football biographer Luca Caioli tackles his most controversial subject yet – Barcelona, Uruguay and former Liverpool forward Luis Suárez.

    When in late September 2013 Luis Suárez returned from a landmark ten-match ban for biting an opponent, one in a long line of high-profile misdemeanours, it seemed unlikely that he would ever win over his critics.

    In the months that followed he scored an astonishing 31 times, propelling Liverpool back into the Champions League following a four-year absence. The World Cup in Brazil followed but Suárez saw his action-packed tournament curtailed after just two games, two goals and one moment of madness, with favourable comparisons to Messi and Ronaldo once again overshadowed by those with Jekyll and Hyde.

    Acclaimed football biographer Luca Caioli provides an in-depth look at one of football’s most enigmatic characters, from humble Uruguayan beginnings to his big-money move to Barcelona in July 2014.
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    A unique glimpse of the deadliest profession of the Second World War.

    In June 1941, Flight Sergeant Leslie Mann, a tail gunner in a British bomber, was shot down over Düsseldorf and taken into captivity. After the war, wanting to record the experiences of the RAF’s ‘Bomber Boys’, he gave voice to his private thoughts and feelings in a short novella, uncovered only after his death.

    Visceral, shocking and unglamorous, this compelling story transmits as rarely before the horrors of aerial warfare, the corrosive effects of fear, and the psychological torment of the young men involved. The sights, sounds, smells, and above all the emotional strain are intensely evoked with a novelist’s skill.

    And Some Fell on Stony Ground is introduced by historian Richard Overy, author of the acclaimed book, The Bombing War (2013).
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    Where would humanity be now without fire, vaccinations, farming … or wine? A great idea is one that has changed the path of human civilisation. But which is the greatest of them all? John Farndon, author of the bestselling Do You Think You’re Clever?, has set out to find the answer. A distinguished panel of experts agreed on a list of 50 ideas, and each chapter of The World’s Greatest Idea sees Farndon explore the argument for a different one. The candidates are intriguingly varied: Electricity grids enable us to power our cities, but then sewers allowed those cities to grow. Without the wheel, modern civilisation would be pretty much impossible, but take away Logic and we’d lose the essential structures for rational thought… But then what would be the point of all of this without the idea of romance? The World’s Greatest Idea is an enthralling voyage of discovery through the most powerful intellectual, social, scientific and creative brainwaves humans have ever had. They are ranked in the book determined by a public vote on www.theworldsgreatestidea.com But will you agree with the verdict?
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    A brand new biography of Liverpool and Premier League superstar, Fernando Torres, based on one-of-a-kind insider interviews with those closest to him … and the player himself. This is the story of a kid who wanted to be a rock star but who turned into a football god, the idolised and adopted son of 42 million Liverpool fans across the world. From his birth in Madrid through to his winning goal in Euro 2008 and beyond, the book goes ehind the scenes of Torres' life and career to examine what makes the golden boy of football tick as well as kick. Renowned sports journalist Luca Caioli has exclusively interviewed figures from fans to his father, Rafa Benítez to Luís Aragones, Steven Gerrard to Kenny Dalglish, Fabio Capello, and Fernando Torres himself. This unrivalled material will give the real untold story of how The Kid became the King of Europe…
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    Jean Baggott is 'the girl on the wall' – a 1948 photograph taken of her when she was eleven – whose life was never going to be remarkable and the pinnacle of whose achievements would come from being a wife and a mother. Almost 60 years later, with her children gone, dealing with the loss of the love of her life, Jean began the education denied to her as a girl. Inspired by ceilings of Lincolnshire's Burghley House and by the History degree she had begun, Jean began to stitch a tapestry which looked back at her life and the changing world around her. It took sixteen months to complete. The tapestry consists of over 70 intersecting circles, each telling some aspect of her life. Some represent extraordinary events such as the moon landings or world historical news stories like the Cuban Missile Crisis; some circles comment on famous people and places she remembers, others about the music she loves – Pink Floyd – and the games she played as a child, and growing up during the second world war with her brothers. Each chapter of “The Girl on the Wall” features a circle from the tapestry and Jean's accompanying narrative, exploring the circle and the memories it evokes. It reveals an ordinary life in extraordinary detail. The result is a truly unique, touching portrait of a seemingly average British woman's life. To stand back and look at the tapestry is to be struck by the richness of one human journey – from 1940 to the present day. The girl on the wall would be proud. The book includes a full-colour pull-out of Jean's tapestry inside the back cover.
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    When should you adopt an aggressive business strategy? How do we make decisions when we don’t have all the information? What makes international environmental cooperation possible?
    Game theory is the study of how we make a decision when the outcome of our moves depends on the decisions of someone else. Economists Ivan and Tuvana Pastine explain why, in these situations, we sometimes cooperate, sometimes clash, and sometimes act in a way that seems completely random.
    Stylishly brought to life by award-winning cartoonist Tom Humberstone, Game Theory will help readers understand behaviour in everything from our social lives to business, global politics to evolutionary biology. It provides a thrilling new perspective on the world we live in.
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    Epigenetics is the most exciting field in biology today, developing our understanding of how and why we inherit certain traits, develop diseases and age, and evolve as a species.

    This non-fiction comic book introduces us to genetics, cell biology and the fascinating science of epigenetics, which is rapidly filling in the gaps in our knowledge, allowing us to make huge advances in medicine. We’ll look at what identical twins can teach us about the epigenetic effects of our environment and experiences, why certain genes are 'switched on' or off at various stages of embryonic development, and how scientists have reversed the specialization of cells to clone frogs from a single gut cell.

    In Introducing Epigenetics, Cath Ennis and Oliver Pugh pull apart the double helix, examining how the epigenetic building blocks and messengers that interpret and edit our genes help to make us, well, us.
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    Plenty of books on sex suggest that it has to be done in a certain way, or in a certain kind of relationship, or with certain people. This isn’t that kind of book. Enjoy Sex is a truly practical, friendly guide through the confusing, and sometimes alarming, world of sex and sexuality. Its radical approach puts your experience at the heart of the book, and invites you to explore what might be enjoyable to you.
    With the authors’ engaging and thoughtful style, the book challenges the messages we receive about ‘normal’ sex, looks at how to understand and care for yourself, delves into ideas of pleasure for different bodies, ages and tastes, explores relationships, and tackles the tricky topics of communication and consent.
    So, throw out the rule book and learn to listen to your own desires. This may just be the most helpful book about sex ever.
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