Book of the Week, December 16th 2017

Munich

Robert Harris

Munich

Robert Harris

When Neville Chamberlain stepped off the plane from Germany in September 1938 he waved a piece of paper bearing Hitler’s signature. It was to be possibly the most derided document in history.  Chamberlain’s naïve policy of appeasement was a monumental failure and his declaration that it represented ‘peace for our time’ has been scorned. In … Continue reading Book of the Week, December 16th 2017

When Neville Chamberlain stepped off the plane from Germany in September 1938 he waved a piece of paper bearing Hitler’s signature. It was to be possibly the most derided document in history.  Chamberlain’s naïve policy of appeasement was a monumental failure and his declaration that it represented ‘peace for our time’ has been scorned.

In this novel Robert Harris peeps behind the scenes during four days of the Munich Conference which led to that agreement.  Into a brilliantly depicted historical background, he throws two fictional characters; Hugh Legat is a young diplomat on Chamberlain’s staff and Paul von Hartmann a German aristocrat who, horrified by Hitler’s true intentions, is involved in a conspiracy to kill the Fuhrer. With the future of Europe at stake, these two pursue their own agenda as the conference negotiations stutter on. In this exciting historical spy thriller there are secret documents concealed in newspapers, guns hidden in toilets and brushes with the Gestapo but it also explores a new and different perspective on Chamberlain’s own intentions and expectations.

Cornerstone Hardback, £20.00.

Book of the Week, December 8th, 2017

The Indisputable Existance of Santa Claus

Dr Hannah Fry, Thomas Oleron Evans

The Indisputable Existance of Santa Claus

Dr Hannah Fry, Thomas Oleron Evans

If you look at it rationally then the problems facing Santa Claus every Christmas Eve appear insurmountable. After all, there are close to 2 billion children in the world and to visit them all Santa would need to travel at 3,000 times the speed of sound while carrying a few hundred thousand tonnes of presents! … Continue reading Book of the Week, December 8th, 2017

If you look at it rationally then the problems facing Santa Claus every Christmas Eve appear insurmountable. After all, there are close to 2 billion children in the world and to visit them all Santa would need to travel at 3,000 times the speed of sound while carrying a few hundred thousand tonnes of presents! But to prove mathematically that Santa is just a figment of our imagination turns out to be not so straightforward.

This little book, applies maths to a whole range of seasonal challenges. How to use geometry to wrap those awkward shaped presents most economically. The best strategy for roasting the turkey so that all parts of the bird get cooked to perfection, and there is even a chapter outlining the best way to win that family game of Monopoly using probability theory.

With a lighthearted approach the writers explore a variety of Christmas traditions and find ways to explain some key mathematical concepts along the way.

Transworld Hardback, £9.99.

Book of the Week, December 1st, 2017

Ask An Astronaut

Tim Peake

Ask An Astronaut

Tim Peake

A couple of years ago, British Astronaut Tim Peake hit the headlines with his rendition of David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’, beamed down from the International Space Station. Since arriving back on planet Earth, he has been in demand as a speaker, explaining space and science to audiences across the country and particularly to young people. … Continue reading Book of the Week, December 1st, 2017

A couple of years ago, British Astronaut Tim Peake hit the headlines with his rendition of David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’, beamed down from the International Space Station. Since arriving back on planet Earth, he has been in demand as a speaker, explaining space and science to audiences across the country and particularly to young people. This book provides answers to all the questions he most regularly gets asked.

Here is the inside story of how to drink a cup of tea in space, what happens if you are hit by space debris while performing a spacewalk and of course the most important question – how one goes to the toilet in zero gravity!

The space station travels at ten times the speed of a bullet and yet on board the crew conducted ground breaking scientific experiments.

With chapters covering his astronaut training, the launch, daily life in space, and the return to Earth, Peake’s personal insights give a detailed picture of an astronaut’s life.

Century Hardback, £20.00.

Book of the Week, November 25th. 2017

Mythos

Stephen Fry

Mythos

Stephen Fry

For those who have been wondering what Stephen Fry has been up to since leaving TV panel game QI last year, here is the answer. Just released, ‘Mythos’, is Fry’s lively retelling of Greek Myths for the 21st century. The Gods and Goddesses of Mount Olympus are larger than life figures whose exploits have enthralled … Continue reading Book of the Week, November 25th. 2017

For those who have been wondering what Stephen Fry has been up to since leaving TV panel game QI last year, here is the answer. Just released, ‘Mythos’, is Fry’s lively retelling of Greek Myths for the 21st century.

The Gods and Goddesses of Mount Olympus are larger than life figures whose exploits have enthralled generations. The Gods may have been immune from mortal concerns like death and ageing but they were not immune to pain. When Zeus, the King of the Gods, had a headache it was the most agonising pain of all time. His agony was only eased when out of his head stepped his daughter, Athena, clad in full armour! Many of these tales are well known; the battles between the Gods and the Titans, the capture of the young Persephone by Hades, Lord of the Underworld, and how Prometheus stole fire from Mount Olympus and gave it to mankind.

Stephen Fry strings these stories together into a coherent entertaining narrative which breathes life and humour into these stirring ancient tales. 

Penguin Hardback £20.00

Book of the Week, 18th November 2017

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth

Oliver Jeffers

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth

Oliver Jeffers

Oliver Jeffers is the award-winning creator of children’s picture books which have been bestsellers around the world. Recently, he arrived back from hospital carrying his new baby son. He wanted to introduce the wonders of the world to the tiny new arrival and the result was his first non-fiction picture book. With glowing colours, he … Continue reading Book of the Week, 18th November 2017

Oliver Jeffers is the award-winning creator of children’s picture books which have been bestsellers around the world. Recently, he arrived back from hospital carrying his new baby son. He wanted to introduce the wonders of the world to the tiny new arrival and the result was his first non-fiction picture book.

With glowing colours, he illustrates different views of planet earth. There is the glorious mystery of the expansive night sky, filled with glowing constellations. The amazing range of animals on the land, birds flying through the sky and the wondrous creatures living in the watery world beneath the surface of the sea.

Alongside these pictures is a simple, straightforward, almost matter of fact commentary, introducing the magnificent richness of life on earth and the diversity of people who live here. Throughout runs the gentle message that the best approach to nature and to other people is respect and kindness.

In an uncertain age this is a beautifully optimistic book with a tender heart.