At the heart of writing – at the apex of storytelling – there is only one principle, and it winds like a golden thread across all the books and courses.
But it gets lost in the ever-spreading panoply of detail that the creative writing industry relies on to keep its wheels turning.
This book pulls out that thread, polishes it and reveals the way it penetrates storytelling.
It will be invaluable to anyone creating fictional worlds – but most particularly to novelists, who are most in danger of forgetting it. Or not noticing it in the first place.
Tim Lott knows he can’t teach anyone to write a novel (that’s one of the lies propagated by the novel-writing industry).
But he can teach someone how to build a firm platform on which they can stand in order to explore whether they have the talent, will and determination that writing a novel takes.
Leading psychotherapist Stella O’Malley has walked many miles on ‘Planet Teen’. She understands difficult teenagers – she was one herself, and as a psychotherapist she has spent many hours working alongside unhappy adolescents.
Stella takes parents inside the teenage brain and provides practical advice for each of the key milestones teenagers need to tackle during adolescence to become happy, healthy adults.
You will learn how to navigate many issues, including anxiety, obsession with technology, body confidence and the sexual self. Rather than always looking to ‘fix’ the situation, you will instead be empowered to know when and how to intervene and when to allow your teen to work it out for themselves.
Ultimately, you will understand your teen better and learn to rekindle joy in your relationship.
A groundbreaking exploration of why we want what we want, and a toolkit for freeing ourselves from chasing unfulfilling desires.
Humans don’t desire anything independently. Human desire is mimetic – we imitate what other people want. This affects the way we choose partners, friends, careers, clothes and travel destinations. Mimetic desire is responsible for the formation of our very identities. It explains the enduring relevancy of Shakespeare’s plays, why Peter Thiel decided to be the first investor in Facebook, and why our world is growing more divided as it becomes more connected.
Drawing on his experience as an entrepreneur, teacher and student of classical philosophy, Luke Burgis shares tactics that help turn blind wanting into intentional wanting – to be more in control of the things we want, and to find more meaning in our work and lives.
‘Fascinating. It blew my mind!’ Malcolm Gladwell
Wonderworks reveals that literature is among the mightiest technologies that humans have ever invented, precision-honed to give us what our brains most want and need.
Literature is a technology like any other. And the writers we revere – from Homer to Shakespeare, Austen to Ferrante – each made a unique technical breakthrough that can be viewed as both a narrative and neuroscientific advancement. But literature’s great invention was to address problems we could not solve: not how to start a fire or build a boat, but how to live and love; how to maintain courage in the face of death; how to account for the fact that we exist at all.
Based on Angus Fletcher’s own research, Wonderworks tells the story of the greatest literary inventions through the ages, from ancient Mesopotamia to modern-day America. It draws on cutting-edge neuroscience to demonstrate that the inventions really work: they enrich our lives with joy, hope, courage and energy, and they help our brains heal from grief, loneliness and even trauma.
From ancient Chinese lyrics to nursery rhymes and fairy tales, from slave narratives to contemporary TV shows, Wonderworks walks us through the evolution of literature’s crucial blueprints, and offers us a new understanding of its power.
Yang Jisheng’s The World Turned Upside Down is the definitive history of the Cultural Revolution, in withering and heartbreaking detail.
As a major political event and a crucial turning point in the history of the People’s Republic of China, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) marked the zenith as well as the nadir of Mao Zedong’s ultra-leftist politics. Reacting in part to the Soviet Union’s “revisionism” that he regarded as a threat to the future of socialism, Mao mobilized the masses in a battle against what he called “bourgeois” forces within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). This ten-year-long class struggle on a massive scale devastated traditional Chinese culture as well as the nation’s economy.
Following his groundbreaking and award-winning history of the Great Famine, Tombstone, Yang Jisheng here presents the only history of the Cultural Revolution by an independent scholar based in mainland China, and makes a crucial contribution to understanding those years’ lasting influence today.
The World Turned Upside Down puts every political incident, major and minor, of those ten years under extraordinary and withering scrutiny, and arrives in English at a moment when contemporary Chinese governance is leaning once more toward a highly centralized power structure and Mao-style cult of personality.
‘A masterful introduction to the state of the art in managerial decision-making. Surprisingly, it is also a pleasure to read’ – Daniel Kahneman, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow
A lively, research-based tour of nine common decision-making traps – and practical tools for avoiding them – from a professor of strategic thinking We make decisions all the time. It’s so natural that we hardly stop to think about it. Yet even the smartest and most experienced among us make frequent and predictable errors. So, what makes a good decision? Should we trust our intuitions, and if so, when? How can we avoid being tripped up by cognitive biases when we are not even aware of them?
You’re About to Make a Terrible Mistake! offers clear and practical advice that distils the latest developments in behavioural economics and cognitive psychology into actionable tools for making clever, effective decisions in business and beyond.
‘A thoughtful, serious and well-written book that tackles an immensely important subject’ – Observer
How many avoidable deaths are there in the NHS every week?
What figure should we aim for?
The NHS is the pride of Britain. It’s an army of highly skilled and talented healthcare professionals, armed with the most cutting-edge therapies and medicines, and a budget bigger than the GDP of most countries in the world.
Yet avoidable failures are common. And the result is tragic deaths up and down the country every day.
Jeremy Hunt, the longest-serving Health Secretary in history, knows exactly what the cost is. In the letters he received from bereaved family members, he was constantly confronted by the heart-breaking reality of slip-ups and mistakes.
There is increasing conflict between public pride in the NHS and the exhausted daily reality for many doctors and nurses, now experiencing burnout in record numbers. Waiting lists are up, staffing numbers inadequate, and all the while an ageing population and medical advances increase both demand and expectations. With pressures like these, is it surprising that mistakes start to creep in?
This great British institution is crying out for renewal. In Zero, taking the broadest approach, thinking through everything from staffing to technology, budgets to culture, Hunt presents a manifesto for that renewal.
Mistakes happen. But nobody deserves to become a statistic in an NHS hospital. That’s why we need to aim for zero.
How games are being harnessed as instruments of exploitation – and what we can do about it
Warehouse workers pack boxes while a virtual dragon races across their screen. If they beat their colleagues, they get an award. If not, they can be fired. Uber presents exhausted drivers with challenges to keep them driving. China scores its citizens so they behave well, and games with in-app purchases use achievements to empty your wallet.
Points, badges and leaderboards are creeping into every aspect of modern life. In You’ve Been Played, game designer Adrian Hon delivers a blistering takedown of how corporations, schools and governments use games and gamification as tools for profit and coercion. These are games that we often have no choice but to play, where losing has heavy penalties. You’ve Been Played is a scathing indictment of a tech-driven world that wants to convince us that misery is fun, and a call to arms for anyone who hopes to preserve their dignity and autonomy.
Meet the pioneering women who changed the medical landscape for us all
For fans of Hidden Figures and Radium Girls comes the remarkable story of three Victorian women who broke down barriers in the medical field to become the first women doctors, revolutionising the way women receive health care.
In the early 1800s, women were dying in large numbers from treatable diseases because they avoided receiving medical care. Examinations performed by male doctors were often demeaning and even painful. In addition, women faced stigma from illness–a diagnosis could greatly limit their ability to find husbands, jobs or be received in polite society.
Motivated by personal loss and frustration over inadequate medical care, Elizabeth Blackwell, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Sophia Jex-Blake fought for a woman’s place in the male-dominated medical field. For the first time ever, Women in White Coats tells the complete history of these three pioneering women who, despite countless obstacles, earned medical degrees and paved the way for other women to do the same. Though very different in personality and circumstance, together these women built women-run hospitals and teaching colleges – creating for the first time medical care for women by women.
With gripping storytelling based on extensive research and access to archival documents, Women in White Coats tells the courageous history these women made by becoming doctors, detailing the boundaries they broke of gender and science to reshape how we receive medical care today.
The extraordinary story behind A Very British Scandal, starring Claire Foy and Paul Bettany
?Margaret was debutante of the year, the beautiful fairy-tale heiress immortalised in Cole Porter’s ‘You’re The Top’ – who ended up penniless and ostracised from her own family.
Legal actions coloured her life – her divorce from the Duke of Argyll was one of the longest, costliest and most notorious in British legal history. Her diaries, and photographs of her with an anonymous naked man, were used in evidence.
This sparkling biography draws on exclusive interviews with the late Duchess to lift the lid off her extraordinary story, and her scandalous lifestyle. The Duchess Who Dared is a fascinating chronicle of a complex, charming and surprisingly modern woman.