Fourth Estate

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Maps and Legends


A collection of essays on books and why they matter, by the Pulitzer-award winning writer of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and The Yiddish Policeman's Union. Michael Chabon's sparkling book of nonfiction is a love song in 16 parts - a series of linked essays in praise of reading and writing, with subjects running from ghost stories to comic books, Sherlock Holmes to Cormac McCarthy. Throughout, Chabon energetically argues for a return to the thrilling, chilling origins of storytelling, rejecting the false walls around 'serious' literature in favor of a wide-ranging affection. His own fiction, meanwhile, is explored from the perspective of personal history: post-collegiate desperation sparks his debut, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh; procrastination and doubt reveal the way toward Wonder Boys; a love of comics and a basement golem combine to create the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay; and an enigmatic Yiddish phrasebook unfurls into The Yiddish Policeman's Union.
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8,50 € 8,95 €

Rational Optimist


Matt Ridley, acclaimed author of the classics 'Genome' and 'Nature via Nurture', turns from investigating human nature to investigating human progress. In 'The Rational Optimist' Ridley offers a counterblast to the prevailing pessimism of our age, an d proves, however much we like to think to the contrary, that things are getting better. Over 10,000 years ago there were fewer than 10 million people on the planet. Today there are more than 6 billion, 99 per cent of whom are better fed, better shel tered, better entertained and better protected against disease than their Stone Age ancestors. The availability of almost everything a person could want or need has been going erratically upwards for 10,000 years and has rapidly accelerated over the last 200 years: calories; vitamins; clean water; machines; privacy; the means to travel faster than we can run, and the ability to communicate over longer distances than we can shout. Yet, bizarrely, however much things improve from the way they were before, people still cling to the belief that the future will be nothing but disastrous. In this original, optimistic book, Matt Ridley puts forward his surprisingly simple answer to how humans progress, arguing that we progress when we trade and we only really trade productively when we trust each other. 'The Rational Optimist' will do for economics what 'Genome' did for genomics and will show that the answer to our problems, imagined or real, is to keep on doing what we've been doing for 10,0 00 years -- to keep on changing.
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9,49 € 9,99 €

Island Beneath the Sea


From the sugar plantations of Saint-Domingue to the lavish parlors of New Orleans at the turn of the 19th century, Isabel Allende's latest novel tells the story of a mulatta woman, a slave and concubine, determined to take control of her own destiny in a society where that would seem impossible. Born a slave on the island of Saint-Domingue now known as Haiti Tété is the product of violent union between an African mother she never knew and one of the white sailors who brought her into bondage . When twenty-year-old Toulouse Valmorain arrives on the island in 1770, it's with powdered wigs in his trunks and dreams of financial success in his mind. But running his father's plantation, Saint Lazare, is neither glamorous nor easy. Against th e merciless backdrop of sugar cane fields, the lives of Tété and Valmorain grow ever more intertwined. When bloody revolution arrives at the gates of Saint Lazare, they flee the island for the decadence and opportunity of New Orleans. There, Tété fin ally forges a new life but her connection to Valmorain is deeper than anyone knows and not so easily severed. Spanning four decades, Island Beneath the Sea is the moving story of one woman's determination to find love amid loss, to offer humanit y though her own has been so battered, and to forge her own identity in the cruellest of circumstances.
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8,54 € 8,99 €

By Nightfall


The whole course of ones life really can change in an instant. Peter is forty-four, prosperous, the owner of a big New York apartment, a player in the NY contemporary art dealing scene. He has been married to Rebecca for close on twenty years. Their marriage is sound, in the way marriages are. Peter might even describe himself to be happy. But when Mizzy, Rebeccas much younger brother, comes to stay, his world is turned upside down. Returning to their New York flat after work one day, Peter se es the outline of Rebecca in the shower. But when he opens the shower door, it is Mizzy he comes face to face with. From that moment on, Mizzy occupies all of Peters thoughts. His fascination with him is erotic but not exactly sexual. Without ever r eally falling out of love with his wife, he tumbles into love with her brother, and is encouraged that way by the young man. With traces of the tensions that ripple through Death in Venice, this new novel from Michael Cunningham brilliantly examines the quest for unattainable, and temporal, beauty.
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8,08 € 8,50 €

Gold Boy, Emerald girl


The second collection of stories from Yiyun Li, author of the Guardian First Book Award-winning A Thousand Years of Good Prayers and The Vagrants. The stories in this collection, like the stories in A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, are mostly set in China. The country portrayed here is the China of the 21st century, where economic development has led to new situations unknown to previous decades: residents in a shabby apartment building witnessing in awe the real estate boom; a local entreprene ur-turned-philanthropist sheltering women in trouble in her mansion; a group of retired women discovering fame late in their lives as private investigators specializing in extramarital affairs; a young woman setting up a blog to publicize an alleged affair of her father. Underneath the veneer of prosperity and opportunity, however, lie the struggles of characters trying to reorient themselves in the unfamiliar landscapes of modern China: a widower, reminiscing about his wife, confronts a young u nmarried woman purchasing condoms in a pharmacy; a new wife makes a plea to have a baby with her husband who was to be executed only to discover that she has become an instant celebrity; a middle-aged couple in America, who, upon losing their only da ughter, return to their hometown in China to hire a young woman as a surrogate mother. These characters' fates are affected as much by the historical moments in which they reside as by the choices they make. Yiyun Li's new collection of stories is a report from the frontline of a changing world, and confirms Li to be an unmissable writer.
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9,49 € 9,99 €

Revolution 2,0


"The power of the people is stronger than the people in power." Social media allow ideas to be shared. They are places where people can unite, Revolutions can begin. A new type of Revolution -- Revolution 2.0 Wael Ghonim used to be a man unwilling to publicly criticise the Egyptian regime. Like many, he was silenced by the fear of reprisals. But in January 2011 Wael decided he had seen too much oppression go unchallenged and started a Facebook page calling for the people to protest. It became a rallying-point for revolution and Egyptians took to the streets, while Wael was held by security forces for a horrifying 11 days. In an attempt to quell the revolution the government moved to shut down the internet, fearful of its ability to mobilise the people. It was too late; the people were no longer afraid of making themselves heard. Revolution 2.0 is a unique insider's story from the heart of the Egyptian Spring. Wael Ghonim gives unparalleled insight into why the Egyptian people finally rejected 30 years of oppression and found a voice.
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14,24 € 14,99 €

Lover's Dictionary


How does one talk about love? We are all beginners when it comes to love, from those tentative first dates to learning how to live with, or without, someone. But how does one describe love? How does one chart its delights and pleasures, its depths and desolations? Do we even have the right words to describe something that can be both utterly mundane and completely transcendent, pulling us out of our everyday lives and making us feel a part of something greater than ourselves? David Levithan's The Lover's Dictionary starts where we all once started -- with the alphabet. Constructing the story of a relationship as a dictionary, Levithan explores the intimacies and workings of love through his nameless narrator, to paint a moving portrait of love through everyday words. Cleverly using the confines of language to provide an intimate window into the great events and quotidian trifles of being part of a couple, Levithan gives us an indelible and deeply moving portrait of love in our time.
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8,54 € 8,99 €

The God Species


The green movement has got it very wrong. Nature no longer controls our planet -- it is humanity, 'the god species', that must save the environment we have inflicted unprecedented damage upon. And the tools we must use are the very technologies that environmentalist have told us for years will spell disaster: nuclear power, GM food and geo-engineering. In this blistering and urgent manifesto, Mark Lynas identifies a new future for the green movement and an entirely fresh agenda for how we will save the Earth, and ourselves.
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11,39 € 11,99 €

Information


James Gleick, the author of the bestsellers Chaos and Genius, brings us his crowning work: a revelatory chronicle that shows how information has become the modern era's defining quality--the blood, the fuel, the vital principle of our world. We live in the information age. But every era of history has had its own information revolution: the invention of writing, the composition of dictionaries, the creation of the charts that made navigation possible, the discovery of the electronic signal, the cracking of the genetic code. In The Information James Gleick tells the story of how human beings use, transmit and keep what they know. From African talking drums to Wikipedia, from Morse code to the 'bit', it is a fascinating account of the modern age's defining idea and a brilliant exploration of how information has revolutionised our lives.
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9,49 € 9,99 €

Marriage Plot


The new novel from the bestselling author of Middlesex and The Virgin Suicides. Brown University, 1982. Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English student and incurable romantic, is writing her thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot -- authors of the great marriage plots. As Madeleine studies the age-old motivations of the human heart, real life, in the form of two very different men, intervenes. Leonard Bankhead, brilliant scientist and charismatic loner, attracts Madeleine with an intensity that she seems powerless to resist. Meanwhile, her old friend Mitchell Grammaticus, a theology student searching for some kind of truth in life, is certain of at least one thing -- that he and Madeleine are destined to be together. But as all three leave college, they will have to figure out how they want their own marriage plot to end.
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8,08 € 8,50 €

Farther Away


The new book of essays from Jonathan Franzen, author of Freedom. Jonathan Franzen,s 'Freedom, was the runaway most-discussed novel of 2010, an ambitious and searching engagement with life in America in the 21st century. Now, a new collection of Franzen,s non-fiction brings fresh demonstrations of his vivid, moral intelligence, confirming his status not only as a great American novelist but also as a master noticer, social critic, and self-investigator. In Farther Away, which gathers together essays and speeches written mostly in the past five years, the writer returns with renewed vigor to the themes, both human and literary, that have long preoccupied him. Whether recounting his violent encounter with bird poachers in Cyprus, examining his mixed feelings about the suicide of his friend and rival David Foster Wallace, or offering a moving and witty take on the ways that technology has changed how people express their love, these pieces deliver on Franzen,s implicit promise to conceal nothing from the reader. Taken together, these essays trace the progress of unique and mature mind wrestling with itself, with literature, and with some of the most important issues of our day. 'Farther Away, is remarkable, provocative, and necessary.
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14,24 € 14,99 €

Art of Fielding


A wonderful, warm novel from a major new American voice. In The Art of Fielding, we see young men who know that their four years on the baseball diamond at Westish College are all that remain of their sporting careers. Only their preternaturally gifted fielder, Henry Skrimshander, seems to have the chance to keep his dream - and theirs, vicariously - alive, until a routine throw goes disastrously off course, and the fates of five people are upended. After his throw threatens to ruin his roommate Owen,s future, Henry,s fight against self-doubt threatens to ruin his; while Mike Schwartz, the team captain and Henry,s best friend, realizes he has guided Henry,s career at the expense of his own. Keeping a keen eye on them all, college president Guert Affenlight, a longtime bachelor, falls unexpectedly and dangerously in love, much to the surprise of his daughter, Pella, who has returned to Westish after escaping an ill-fated marriage, determined to start a new life. Written with boundless intelligence and filled with the tenderness of youth, The Art of Fielding is an expansive, warm-hearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment - to oneself and to others.
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8,08 € 8,50 €

Listen to This


Includes a new chapter on John Cage. Alex Ross's award-winning international best-seller, 'The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century', has become a contemporary classic, establishing him as one of our most popular and acclaimed cultural historians; this is his much anticipated next book on the subject of music. In 'Listen To This' Alex Ross, the music critic for the New Yorker, looks both backwards and forwards in time, capturing essential figures and ideas in classical music history, as well as giving an alternative view of recent pop music that emphasizes the power of the individual musical voice. After relating his first encounter with classical music, Ross vibrantly sketches canonical composers such as Schubert, Verdi and Brahms; gives us in-depth interviews wth modern pop masters such as Bjork and Radiohead; and introduces us to music students at a Newark high school and to indie-rock hipsters in Beijing. In his essay 'Chacona, Lamento, Walking Blues', Ross brilliantly retells hundreds of years of music history - from Renaissance dance to Led Zeppelin - through a few iconic bass lines of celebration and lament. Whether his subject is Mozart or Bob Dylan, Ross writes in a style at once erudite and lively, showing how music expresses the full complexity of the human condition. He explains how pop music can achieve the status of high art and how classical music can become a vital part of the wider contemporary culture. Witty, passionate and brimming with insight, 'Listen to This' teaches us to listen more closely.
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12,34 € 12,99 €

Grand Pursuits


From the bestselling author of A Beautiful Mind, a brilliant new approach to the story of modern economics and to understanding how we got into today's financial mess. As the twenty-first century faces new and ever more daunting economic obstacles, Sylvia Nasar tells the story of how our financial world came to function as it does today, and how a handful of men and women would change the lives of every person on the planet. Economics was not always associated with bankers and excess, or with recessions and bailouts. Economics, as we know it, was born in the nineteenth century when Charles Dickens and Henry Mayhew chronicled the destitution in London's slums and wanted to turn money into a force for social good. Man's material fate would be placed in his own hands, rather than left to destiny. The torch would be carried on by everyone from Marx and Engels to Keynes and Friedman, with revolutionary results. Filled with the stories of colourful lives and visions of the characters who shaped modern economics, Grand Pursuit is a fascinating history of the determining force of the past century, and a vital insight into how our world works now. 'A history of economics which is full of flesh, bloom and warmth' The Economist
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11,39 € 11,99 €

Whatever It Takes - The Real Story of Gordon Brown


The definitive account of New Labour's rise and fall. On 11 May 2010 Gordon Brown resigned as Prime Minister; it marked the end of thirteen dramatic years of Labour government. When he finally released his grip on power, many questions remained about the most intriguing and complex political figure of modern times and co-architect of New Labour. Leading commentator Steve Richards watched every step of the stormy political journey from 1992, when Brown became shadow chancellor, to the day he left Number Ten, and narrates it here for the first time. Steve Richards has gained access to all levels of Westminster to explain this complex party and its leadership, reflecting on the outcome of the 2010 general election and what the fall of New Labour means for our nation's political future.
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14,63 € 15,40 €

Bring up the Bodies


The Man Booker-winning sequel to the Man Booker-winning Wolf Hall. 'My boy Thomas, give him a dirty look and he'll gouge your eye out. Trip him, and he'll cut off your leg,' says Walter Cromwell in the year 1500. 'But if you don't cut across him he's a very gentleman. And he'll stand anyone a drink.' By 1535 Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith's son, is far from his humble origins. Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes have risen with those of Anne Boleyn, Henry's second wife, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church. But Henry's actions have forced England into dangerous isolation, and Anne has failed to do what she promised: bear a son to secure the Tudor line. When Henry visits Wolf Hall, Cromwell watches as Henry falls in love with the silent, plain Jane Seymour. The minister sees what is at stake: not just the king's pleasure, but the safety of the nation. As he eases a way through the sexual politics of the court, its miasma of gossip, he must negotiate a 'truth' that will satisfy Henry and secure his own career. But neither minister nor king will emerge undamaged from the bloody theatre of Anne's final days. In 'Bring up the Bodies', sequel to the Man Booker Prize-winning 'Wolf Hall', Hilary Mantel explores one of the most mystifying and frightening episodes in English history: the destruction of Anne Boleyn. This Man Booker-longlisted novel is a speaking picture, an audacious vision of Tudor England that sheds its light on the modern world. It is the work of one of our great writers at the height of her powers.
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21,38 € 22,50 €