Magic takes many forms. The ancient Egyptians explained the night by suggesting that the goddess Nut swallowed the sun. The Vikings believed a rainbow was the gods' bridge to earth. These are magical, extraordinary tales. But there is another kind of magic, and it lies in the exhilaration of discovering the real answers to these questions. It is the magic of reality - science.Packed with inspiring explanations of space, time and evolution, laced with humour and clever thought experiments, The Magic of Reality explores a stunningly wide range of natural phenomena. What is stuff made of? How old is the universe? What causes tsunamis? Who was the first man, or woman? This is a page-turning, inspirational detective story that not only mines all the sciences for its clues but primes the reader to think like a scientist too.Richard Dawkins elucidates the wonders of the natural world to all ages with his inimitable clarity and exuberance in a text that will enlighten and inform for generations to come.
Hannah is a confused fourteen-year-old. In the magazines she reads, celebrities plan elaborate weddings; in Hannah's own life, her parents' marriage is crumbling. Over the next decade and a half, love throws her some complicated questions. At what point can you no longer blame your adult failures on your messed up childhood? Is settling for someone who's not your soulmate an act of maturity or an admission of defeat? And if you move to another state for a guy who might not love you back, are you being plucky - or just pathetic?
Look into the eyes of a jinn and you stare into the depths of your own soul...
Writer and film-maker Tahir Shah - in his 30s, married, with two small children - was beginning to wilt under brash, cramped, ennervating British city life. Flying in the face of friends' advice, he longed to fulfil his dream of finding a place bursting with life, colour, history and romance - somewhere far removed from London - in which to raise a family. Childhood memories of holidaying with his parents, and of a grandfather he barely knew, led him to Morocco and to 'Dar Khalifa', a sprawling and, with the exception of its jinns, long-abandoned residence on the edge of Casablanca's shanty town that, rumour had it, once belonged to the city's Caliph.
And so begins Tahir Shah's gloriously vivid, funny, affectionate and compelling account of how he and his family - aided, abetted and so often hindered by a wonderful cast of larger-than-life local characters: guardians, gardeners, builders, artisans, bureacrats and police (not forgetting the jinns, the spirits that haunt the house) - returned the Caliph's House to its former glory and learned to make this most exotic and alluring of countries their home.
The Caliph's House is a story of home-ownership abroad - full of the attendant dramas, anxieties and frustrations - but it is also much more. Woven into the narrative is the author's own journey of self-discovery, of learning about a grandfather he hardly knew, and of coming to love the magical, multi-faceted, contradictory country that is Morocco.
The kidnapping of a young man on a country road in Oxfordshire is but the first brutal step in a ruthless plan to force the President of the United States out of office. If it succeeds, he will be psychologically and emotionally destroyed. Only one man can stop it - Quinn, the world's foremost Negotiator, who must bargain for the life of an innocent man, unaware that ransom was never the kidnapper's real objective . . .The Negotiator unfolds with the spellbinding excitement, unceasing surprise and riveting detail that are the hallmarks of Frederick Forsyth, the master storyteller.
In 1954, in the cookhouse of a logging and sawmill settlement in northern New Hampshire, a twelve-year-old boy mistakes the local constable's girlfriend for a bear. Both the twelve-year-old and his father become fugitives, pursued by the constable. Their lone protector is a fiercely libertarian logger, once a river driver, who befriends them. In a story spanning five decades, Last Night in Twisted River - John Irving's twelfth novel - depicts the recent half-century in the United States as a world 'where lethal hatreds were generally permitted to run their course.' From the novel's taut opening sentence to its elegiac final chapter, what distinguishes Last Night in Twisted River is the author's unmistakable voice, the inimitable voice of an accomplished storyteller.
Nathalie and David have been good and dutiful children to their parents, and now, grown-up, with their own families, they are still close to one another. Brother and sister.Except that they aren't - brother and sister that is.They were both adopted, when their loving parents, found that they couldn't have children themselves. And up until now it's never mattered.But suddenly, Nathalie discovers a deep need to trace her birth parents and is insisting that David makes the same journey. And through this, both learn one of the hardest lessons of all, that sometimes, the answers to who we are and where we come from can be more difficult than the questions ...
Ben is, at last, leaving home. At twenty-two, he's the youngest of the family. His mother, Edie, an actress, is distraught. His father, Russell, a theatrical agent, is rather hoping to get his wife back. His brother, Matthew, is struggling in a relationship in which he achieves and earns less than his girlfriend. And his sister, Rosa, is wrestling with debt and the end of a turbulent love affair.Meet the Boyd family and the empty nest, twenty-first-century style.
Could one calamitous evening ruin the perfect life?No challenge was too great, or so she thought........All round high-flier Olympia Crawford Rubinstein has it all, a busy legal career, a solid marriage and a perfect family. She manages her life with grace and energy and there seems to be no challenge to which she cannot rise. Until one day she opens an invitation for her twin daughters to attend an exclusive coming out ball and her good fortune is changed irrevocably.Chaos ensues as conflicting feelings emerge about the ball and Olympia finds herself at the heart of a severe family feud. Devastated, and pulled in all directions, Olympia is more determined than ever to steer her family through the event. Yet events unravel at an alarming speed and Olympia is poised to surrender when suddenly a series of events result in several changes of heart ,old wounds are healed and new traditions born. Can an evening of heartbreak and misery make way for an evening of growth, acceptance and love?In a novel that is by turns profound, poignant, moving and warmly funny, Danielle Steel tells the story of an extraordinary family - finding new ways of letting go, stepping up and coming out ....in the ways that matter most.
A powerful story about a mother's courage in the face of overwhelming odds.
Fernanda Barnes's life was once graced by security, success and stunning wealth. Now, widowed and with a mounting pile of debts, she is trying desperately to shield her three children from the rising panic within her.
When a file of press clippings and photos of the Barnes family is found in the desk of a convicted criminal, police detective Ted Lee is sent to protect them. He is a man of unshakable integrity but even he cannot prevent the devastating events that follow. In a gripping race against time, Detective Lee is the only man who can save Fernanda and her children from a terrifying fate . . .
For Maxine Williams, being married to Blake was an amazing adventure. Brilliant, charismatic, and wholly unpredictable, as an entrepreneur he had made millions and grabbed headlines. His only shortcoming was as a husband, and now they have worked out an odd but amicable divorce, and share three children they both adore. Blake gets to keep his globe-trotting lifestyle - dating a succession of beautiful, famous and very young women - while Maxine raises their kids in Manhattan and pursues her passion, working as a child psychiatrist. Then, everything changes... Maxine finds a new love just as a tragedy transforms Blake from carefree playboy to compassionate, responsible grown-up. He wants Maxine in his life again - as a partner in a humanitarian project that could affect countless lives. But Maxine is on the cusp of a new life and almost certain that Blake, a.k.a. the Rogue, is a man capable of doing anything - except change...Or is he?
When two hopelessly mismatched people share a love for art, a passion for each other and a city like Paris, nothing is truly impossible...or is it?Sasha is a traditionalist - now widowed, she knows she was married to the most wonderful man in the world.Liam is an artist, half-in and half-out of a marriage that his own impossibly impulsive behaviour has helped tear apart. But while Sasha has been methodically building her father's Parisian art gallery into an intercontinental success story, Liam has been growing into one of the most original and striking young painters of his time. So while the two are utterly unalike, the miracle of art brings them together.Sasha tries to keep Liam hidden from her grown children and well-heeled clientele as she commutes between New York and Paris.Liam tries to bring out the wild streak that Sasha barely knows she has. Then a family tragedy suddenly alters Liam's life, forcing a choice and a sacrifice that neither one of them could have expected.Giving up now might just be the most impossible thing of all...
'Watch out, world. Here I come!'
For Victoria Dawson, growing up isn't a happy experience. Born to picture-perfect parents, she never feels pretty enough. But when her parents have a second child, Victoria is thrilled - she can't help but adore her new baby sister Gracie. And her parents finally have the perfect daughter they always wanted. Meanwhile Victoria still never seems to get it quite right - she battles with her weight, she's told she'll never find a man if she's too clever, and the one career she feels passionate about her parents don't approve of.
And so Victoria decides to move to New York to fulfil her dreams and escape her family. Though her new life is exciting, the old temptations remain, and she continues to wage war with the scales.
Can Victoria find a life far from the hurt and neglect of her childhood, embrace the courage to find freedom, and become who she really is at last?
An inspiring and uplifting novel from the incomparable storyteller Danielle Steel
'Powerful' Guardian'Haunting' IndependentHow close can you get to the truth...before you become the target?Jerry Morner lives quietly in a cabin by the old quarry, hurting no one. Or that's what he wants people to believe. It takes one spark and a can of petrol to expose the truth.The fire is deadly. Not for Jerry, but for the two strangers found burnt to death inside. His son starts to search for answers. But he soon realises that some secrets are better left to the dead.
Josh Kilmer-Purcell lived a double life. By day, he was a successful young advertising executive. By night, he would trade in his corporate uniform for high heels and sequins, and perform in downtown New York nightclubs as a drag queen called Acquadisiac before returning to the uptown penthouse he shared with his crack-addicted male escort boyfriend. In this powerfully written, emotional rollercoaster of a memoir, Kilmer-Purcell blends the glittering and highly dramatic world of nightclubs, drugs and drag with a soulful and ironic perspective on his own journey through love and life. Told with a raw and honest voice that conveys hard truths with unflinching courage, I Am Not Myself These Days is a stunningly witty and ultimately deeply moving tour de force by a remarkable talent.
Hey, pretty lady, haven't we met?
Yes, beautiful thirty-something Autumn Haven has definitely met hockey-superstar Sam LeClaire before. Several years ago she had a passionate, Vegas-inspired fling with him involving getting hitched in an Elvis-themed wedding chapel and ending with her waking up in a hotel room: alone, heartbroken... and pregnant.So these days, reminding her ex-husband that she even exists isn't high on Autumn's to-do list. But they have a child, Conner, and suddenly Sam claims to have grown up, wanting to be more involved with his son. And handsome, drop-dead sexy Sam always gets what he wants. Being a good dad to Conner is one thing, but to her horror, Autumn realises she still finds it practically impossible to be around Sam without falling for his charms once again. And that's the last thing she wants... isn't it?Sexy, funny, unputdownable - there's no one quite like Rachel Gibson.
Contains a sneak preview of Inferno, Dan Brown's astonishing new Robert Langdon thriller.CERN Institute, Switzerland: a world-renowned scientist is found brutally murdered with a mysterious symbol seared onto his chest. The Vatican, Rome: the College of Cardinals assembles to elect a new pope. Somewhere beneath them, an unstoppable bomb of terrifying power relentlessly counts down to oblivion. In a breathtaking race against time, Harvard professor Robert Langdon must decipher a labyrinthine trail of ancient symbols if he is to defeat those responsible - the Illuminati, a secret brotherhood presumed extinct for nearly four hundred years, reborn to continue their deadly vendetta against their most hated enemy, the Catholic Church.
Tokyo, 1990Grey Hutchins is in pursuit of an obsession. She is searching for a piece of film taken during the infamous Nanking massacre of 1937. Some say it never existed. Grey is certain that it does, and that it lies hidden - somewhere in Tokyo.Alone in an alien city, Grey becomes a hostess in an exclusive club catering for Japanese businessmen - and gangsters. One gangster dominates - an old man in a wheelchair surrounded by a terrifying entourage - who is rumoured to rely on a powerful elixir for his continued health. It is an elixir that others want - at any price ...With its focus on 1990's Tokyo and Nanking in 1937, The Devil of Nanking is a literary thriller of the highest order. With its heady atmosphere of overt violence, lurking fear and sexual tension, this is a novel that takes hold of the reader and does not let go until its explosive final pages.
Contains a sneak preview of Inferno, Dan Brown's astonishing new Robert Langdon thriller.When the National Security Agency's invincible code-breaking machine encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, the agency calls in its head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher, a brilliant, beautiful mathematician. What she uncovers sends shock waves through the corridors of power. The NSA is being held hostage - not by guns or bombs, but by a code so complex that if released would cripple U.S. intelligence.Caught in an accelerating tempest of secrecy and lies, Fletcher battles to save the agency she believes in. Betrayed on all sides, she finds herself fighting not only for her country but for her life, and in the end, for the life of the man she loves...
Passion...Intrigue...Scandal...Some marriages have it allLady Margaret Landor first met Sebastian Townshend as a child. Tall, dashing and handsome, he cut a romantic figure, and she never dreamt that one day she would be living at his family's magnificent estate with his father, the Earl of Edgewood, as her guardian. But by this time, Sebastian has been banished after a duel which ended tragically.
When Margaret starts to fear for the life of her beloved guardian, she suspects his younger son may be impatient to succeed to the title. She travels to France to enlist the aid of the one man she believes can help her... and discovers that Sebastian has taken on the identity of The Raven, a deadly mercenary who undertakes any mission however dangerous. Sebastian has vowed never to return to England, but Margaret persuades him to pose as her husband in order to uncover the plot against his father. A fierce passion flares up between them despite their frequent clashes, and as they uncover the dark intrigue they fall relentlessly and passionately in love.
Nine years ago Richard Allen fled England when his greedy, ambitious father, the Earl of Manford, betrothed him to Julia Miller, the daughter of London's wealthiest merchant. The pair can't stand each other and Richard takes to the sea, determined to live his own life. In the Caribbean, he joins a band of treasure-hunting pirates and adopts the persona of a Frenchman named Jean-Paul. But when he is forced to return to England on an errand for his captain, he finds himself completely smitten with a married woman, Georgina Mallory. Despite her indifference to him, not to mention her husbands threats against him, he persists in seeking her affections. But when he attempts to woo her at a ball, the last thing he expects is to come face to face with Julia Miller.Despite his son abandoning her, the Earl has refused to break the marriage contract. But when Julia tries to wreak her revenge, not all goes quite according to plan...
Tennessee, 1864. On a late autumn day, near a little town called Franklin, 10,000 men will soon lie dead or dying in a battle that will change many lives for ever. None will be more changed than Carrie McGavock, who finds her home taken over by the Confederate army and turned into a field hospital. Taking charge, she finds the courage to face up to the horrors around her and, in doing so, finds a cause.Out on the battlefield, a tired young Southern soldier drops his guns and charges forward into Yankee territory, holding only the flag of his company's colours. He survives and is brought to the hospital. Carrie recognizes something in him - a willingness to die - and decides on that day, in her house, she will not let him.In the pain-filled days and weeks that follow, both find a form of mutual healing that neither thinks possible.In this extraordinary debut novel based on a true story, Robert Hicks has written an epic novel of love and heroism set against the madness of the American Civil War.
Screenwriter of Tim Burton's 'Dark Shadows' and bestselling author of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Seth Grahame-Smith rewrites history to retell the truly remarkable story of the Nativity's 'Three Wise Men'...It's one of the most iconic vignettes in history: three men on camels, arriving at a manger, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. An impossibly bright star is suspended in the vast desert sky above. It's a moment of serenity and grace. A holy night...But what do we really know about the Three Kings of the Nativity? The Bible says little about this enigmatic trio. Not even their names are mentioned. The historical record is vague at best. How do we know that they were three kings from the East? What if they were petty, murderous thieves - led by a mercurial individual called Balthazar - on the run, escaping through Judea under cover of night who stumble upon the famous manger, its newborn child and his earthly parents?
Here, the brilliant and slightly warped mind behind Pride and Prejudice and Zombies takes a little mystery, plays fast and loose with a bit of history to weave an epic tale. It's an adventure that will see these thieves fight the last magical creatures of the Old Testament, cross paths with historical figures such as Pontius Pilate and John the Baptist, and deliver the family - as the Bible tells us - to the safety of Egypt. Indeed, this may just be the greatest story never told...
As she checked into the lush Beverly Hills Hotel, Tanya Harris dreaded being away from her husband, Peter, and three teenaged children. Dressed as pure Marin County mom among supermodels and movie stars, Tanya was here to do a major screenplay after years of writing stories and articles on the side, always putting her family first. And when Tanya steps into her temporary home, she is amazed at what she finds: lilies, orchids and roses. A pink marble tub. Her favorite chocolates, a cashmere robe, and slippers that fit perfectly. Things are going to be different in Bungalow 2.From her first day on the set, Tanya is thrust into an intoxicating new world, where friendships and romances come and go . . . and where she feels reborn, energized by the creativity and genius swirling around her. Suddenly she's working alongside A-list actors and a Hollywood legend: Oscar-winning producer Douglas Wayne, a man who always gets what he wants - and seems to have his sights set on her. Flying back to Marin County between shoots, struggling to reconnect with a family that seems to need her less and less, Tanya watches helplessly as her old life is pulled out from under her in the most crushing of ways. As her two lives collide, as one Award-winning film leads to another, Tanya begins to wonder if she can be a wife, a mother and a writer at the same time. And just as she confronts the toughest choice she has faced, she is offered another dazzling opportunity - one that could recast her story in the most amazing of ways, complete with an ending she never could have written herself. In Bungalow 2, Danielle Steel takes us into a world few ever see - a world of fame and fortune, celebrity and genius - daring to show us the real lives, real dreams, and real struggles hidden beneath the flash and glitter of Hollywood.
Bill Thigpen had his finger on the heartbeat of America as writer and producer of a popular TV drama. He was so busy watching his career soar that he never noticed his marriage collapse - until it was too late. Now, nine years later, he believed his life to be in perfect balance.Adrian Townsend thought she had everything: a job she liked as production assistant for a TV network show... a handsome husband she loved. It was an enviable life - the American Dream. Until she got pregnant, and Steven gave his ultimatum. Him or the baby.Bill and Adrian meet by chance, and are irrevocably drawn to each other. And as their friendship deepens into love, as they meet the obstacles that life presents, Danielle Steel touches the heartbeat of two wonderful people in a challenging modern-day relationship.