Profile Books

  • Pleasantville

    Attica Locke

    LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS PRIZE 2016 It's 1996, Bill Clinton has just been re-elected and in Houston a mayoral election is looming. As usual the campaign focuses on Pleasantville -- the African-American neighbourhood of the city that has swung almost every race since it was founded to house a growing black middle class in 1949. Axel Hathorne, former chief of police and the son of Pleasantville's founding father Sam Hathorne, was the clear favourite, all set to become Houston's first black mayor. But his lead is slipping thanks to a late entrant into the race -- Sandy Wolcott, a defence attorney riding high on the success of a high-profile murder trial. And then, just as the competition intensifies, a girl goes missing, apparently while canvassing for Axel. And when her body is found, Axel's nephew is charged with her murder. Sam is determined that Jay Porter defends his grandson. And even though Jay is tired of wading through other people's problems, he suddenly finds himself trying his first murder case, a trial that threatens to blow the entire community wide open, and reveal the lengths that those with power are willing to go to hold onto it.

  • "Do you have a list of your books, or do I just have to stare at them?" Shaun Bythell is the owner of The Bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland. With more than a mile of shelving, real log fires in the shop and the sea lapping nearby, the shop should be an idyll for bookworms. Unfortunately, Shaun also has to contend with bizarre requests from people who don't understand what a shop is, home invasions during the Wigtown Book Festival and Granny, his neurotic Italian assistant who likes digging for river mud to make poultices. The Diary of a Bookseller (soon to be a major TV series) introduced us to the joys and frustrations of life lived in books. Sardonic and sympathetic in equal measure, Confessions of a Bookseller will reunite readers with the characters they've come to know and love.

  • Anglais The Uncommon Reader

    Alan Bennett

    Features none other than HM the Queen who drifts accidentally into reading when her corgis stray into a mobile library parked at Buckingham Palace. Her reading naturally changes her world view and her relationship with people like the oleaginous prime minister and his repellent advisers. The consequence is surprising, mildly shocking and funny.

  • The first story collection in a decade from the great Russell Banks

  • THE TOP 10 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'Everyone needs to read this book as an act of digital self-defense.' - Naomi Klein, Author of No Logo , The Shock Doctrine , This Changes Everything and No is Not Enough The challenges to humanity posed by the digital future, the first detailed examination of the unprecedented form of power called "surveillance capitalism," and the quest by powerful corporations to predict and control us. The heady optimism of the Internet's early days is gone. Technologies that were meant to liberate us have deepened inequality and stoked divisions. Tech companies gather our information online and sell it to the highest bidder, whether government or retailer. Profits now depend not only on predicting our behaviour but modifying it too. How will this fusion of capitalism and the digital shape our values and define our future? Shoshana Zuboff shows that we are at a crossroads. We still have the power to decide what kind of world we want to live in, and what we decide now will shape the rest of the century. Our choices: allow technology to enrich the few and impoverish the many, or harness it and distribute its benefits. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is a deeply-reasoned examination of the threat of unprecedented power free from democratic oversight. As it explores this new capitalism's impact on society, politics, business, and technology, it exposes the struggles that will decide both the next chapter of capitalism and the meaning of information civilization. Most critically, it shows how we can protect ourselves and our communities and ensure we are the masters of the digital rather than its slaves.

  • In twenty years behind the till in The Bookshop, Wigtown, Shaun Bythell has met pretty much every kind of customer there is - from the charming, erudite and deep-pocketed to the eccentric, flatulent and possibly larcenous. In Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops he distils the essence of his experience into a warm, witty and quirky taxonomy of the book-loving public. So, step inside to meet the crafty Antiquarian , the shy and retiring Erotica Browser and gormless yet strangely likeable shop assistant Student Hugo - along with much loved bookseller favourites like the passionate Sci-Fi Fan , the voracious Railway Collector and the ever-elusive Perfect Customer.

  • What was history''s biggest empire? Or the tallest building of the ancient world? What was the average life expectancy in medieval Byzantium? The average wage in Old Kingdom Egypt? Where did scientific writing first emerge? What was the bloodiest ritual human sacrifice ever? We are used to thinking about history in terms of stories. Yet we understand our own world through data: vast arrays of statistics that reveal the workings of our societies. So, join the radical historians Peter Turchin and Dan Hoyer for a dive into the numbers that reveal the true shape of the past. Drawing on their own Seshat project, a staggeringly ambitious attempt to log each piece of demographic and econometric information that can be reliably estimated for every society that has ever existed, Figuring Out The Past does more than tell the story of the past: it shows you the large-scale patterns.

  • If you were to master the twenty languages discussed in Babel , you could talk with three quarters of the world's population. But what makes these languages stand out amid the world's estimated 6,500 tongues? Gaston Dorren delves deep into the linguistic oddities and extraordinary stories of these diverse lingua francas, tracing their origins and their sometimes bloody rise to greatness. He deciphers their bewildering array of scripts, presents the gems and gaps in their vocabularies and charts their coinages and loans. He even explains how their grammars order their speakers' worldview. Combining linguistics and cultural history, Babel takes us on an intriguing tour of the world, addressing such questions as how tiny Portugal spawned a major world language and Holland didn't, why Japanese women talk differently from men, what it means for Russian to be 'related' to English, and how non-alphabetic scripts, such as those of India and China, do the same job as our 26 letters. Not to mention the conundrums of why Vietnamese has four forms for 'I', or how Tamil pronouns keep humans and deities apart. Babel will change the way you look at the world and how we all speak.

  • The concise edition of the 2019 WINNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS BOOK AWARD From the million-copy bestselling author of The 48 Laws of Power Robert Greene is a master guide for millions of readers, distilling ancient wisdom and philosophy into essential texts for seekers of power, understanding and mastery. Now he turns to the most important subject of all - understanding people's drives and motivations, even when they are unconscious of them themselves. We are social animals. Our very lives depend on our relationships with people. Knowing why people do what they do is the most important tool we can possess, without which our other talents can only take us so far. Drawing from the ideas and examples of Pericles, Queen Elizabeth I, Martin Luther King Jr, and many others, Greene teaches us how to detach ourselves from our own emotions and master self-control, how to develop the empathy that leads to insight, how to look behind people's masks, and how to resist conformity to develop your singular sense of purpose. Whether at work, in relationships, or in shaping the world around you, The Concise Laws of Human Nature offers brilliant tactics for success, self-improvement, and self-defence.

  • @00000400@Happiness is one of life's greatest mysteries. But what even @00000373@is @00000155@happiness? Why does it mean so many different things to different people? And how can we actually @00000373@be @00000155@happier? @00000341@@00000341@Drawing on decades of experience in crime writing, self-help and intensely curious observation of other people, Sophie Hannah sets out to solve the mystery. She lines up her cast of suspects and expert witnesses from ancient philosophers to modern self-help gurus, scientists to ordinary people from all walks of life. Leaving no stone unturned, she scrutinises the clues, evidence, and even the red herrings that unexpectedly lead to happiness. And she uncovers answers - from the secrets of a fulfilling relationship to the joys of boredom, or of the bliss of a cancelled meeting. @00000341@@00000341@Weaving in much-loved poems and hilarious observations from Sophie's own life, this is the ultimate guide to happiness - and the clues that can lead us there.@00000163@

  • Whether it's the Protestant work ethic, or the capitalist need for productivity, most of us in the English-speaking world believe that in order to achieve anything worthwhile, we must first expend huge amounts of effort. In fact, just the opposite is true. In The French Art of Not Trying Too Hard, Ollivier Pourriol shows how the best results in life, love, work, art and even sports come not from working harder, but from letting go. This is not a new idea in France: since Montaigne, philosophers have suggested that a certain je ne sais quoi is the key to a more creative, fulfilling and productive existence. We can see it in their laissez faire parenting, their chic style, their haute cuisine and enviable home cooking - the French barely seem to be trying, yet the results are world famous. Drawing lessons from French legends like Descartes, Stendhal and Francoise Sagan, Rodin and Zidane, Cyrano de Bergerac and Coco Chanel, Ollivier Pourriol explores how to be efficient a la francaise , and how to effortlessly reap the rewards.

  • Love, Nina meets Black Books : a wry and hilarious account of life in Scotland's biggest second-hand bookshop and the band of eccentrics and book-obsessives who work there 'The Diary Of A Bookseller is warm (unlike Bythell's freezing-cold shop) and funny, and deserves to become one of those bestsellers that irritate him so much.' ( Mail on Sunday ) 'Utterly compelling and Bythell has a Bennett-like eye for the amusing eccentricities of ordinary people ... I urge you to buy this book and please, even at the risk of being insulted or moaned at, buy it from a real live bookseller.' (Charlotte Heathcote Sunday Express ) Shaun Bythell owns The Bookshop, Wigtown - Scotland's largest second-hand bookshop. It contains 100,000 books, spread over a mile of shelving, with twisting corridors and roaring fires, and all set in a beautiful, rural town by the edge of the sea. A book-lover's paradise? Well, almost ... In these wry and hilarious diaries, Shaun provides an inside look at the trials and tribulations of life in the book trade, from struggles with eccentric customers to wrangles with his own staff, who include the ski-suit-wearing, bin-foraging Nicky. He takes us with him on buying trips to old estates and auction houses, recommends books (both lost classics and new discoveries), introduces us to the thrill of the unexpected find, and evokes the rhythms and charms of small-town life, always with a sharp and sympathetic eye.

  • How Bad Are Bananas? was a groundbreaking book when first published in 2009, when most of us were hearing the phrase 'carbon footprint' for the first time. Mike Berners-Lee set out to inform us what was important (aviation, heating, swimming pools) and what made very little difference (bananas, naturally packaged, are good!). This new edition updates all the figures (from data centres to hosting a World Cup) and introduces many areas that have become a regular part of modern life - Twitter, the Cloud, Bitcoin, electric bikes and cars, even space tourism. Berners-Lee runs a considered eye over each area and gives us the figures to manage and reduce our own carbon footprint, as well as to lobby our companies, businesses and government. His findings, presented in clear and even entertaining prose, are often surprising. And they are essential if we are to address climate change.

  • MURDER IN MIDWINTER

    Cecily Gayford

    Midwinter. As snow falls softly outside and frost sparkles on tree branches, it''s time to curl up before a roaring fire, wrap your hands around a steaming mug of mulled wine, and forget your worries for now. But as the temperature drops outside, malice is sharpening its claws ... and murder walks abroad. In these classic stories of mystery and mayhem, let ten of the great crime writers in history surprise and delight you with twists and turns as shocking as an icicle in the heart. Featuring stories by Dorothy L. Sayers, Cyril Hare, Anthony Berkeley, Ruth Rendell, Margery Allingham, Ellis Peters ... and more.

  • THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

    Ian Davidson

    The fall of the Bastille on July 14, 1789 has become the commemorative symbol of the French Revolution. But this violent and random act was unrepresentative of the real work of the early revolution, which was taking place ten miles west of Paris, in Versailles. There, the nobles, clergy and commoners of France had just declared themselves a republic, toppling a rotten system of aristocratic privilege and altering the course of history forever. The Revolution was led not by angry mobs, but by the best and brightest of France's growing bourgeoisie: young, educated, ambitious. Their aim was not to destroy, but to build a better state. In just three months they drew up a Declaration of the Rights of Man, which was to become the archetype of all subsequent Declarations worldwide, and they instituted a system of locally elected administration for France which still survives today. They were determined to create an entirely new system of government, based on rights, equality and the rule of law. In the first three years of the Revolution they went a long way toward doing so. Then came Robespierre, the Terror and unspeakable acts of barbarism. In a clear, dispassionate and fast-moving narrative, Ian Davidson shows how and why the Revolutionaries, in just five years, spiralled from the best of the Enlightenment to tyranny and the Terror. The book reminds us that the Revolution was both an inspiration of the finest principles of a new democracy and an awful warning of what can happen when idealism goes wrong.

  • WINNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS BOOK AWARD 2019 Robert Greene is a master guide for millions of readers, distilling ancient wisdom and philosophy into essential texts for seekers of power, understanding and mastery. Now he turns to the most important subject of all - understanding people's drives and motivations, even when they are unconscious of them themselves. We are social animals. Our very lives depend on our relationships with people. Knowing why people do what they do is the most important tool we can possess, without which our other talents can only take us so far. Drawing from the ideas and examples of Pericles, Queen Elizabeth I, Martin Luther King Jr, and many others, Greene teaches us how to detach ourselves from our own emotions and master self-control, how to develop the empathy that leads to insight, how to look behind people's masks, and how to resist conformity to develop your singular sense of purpose. Whether at work, in relationships, or in shaping the world around you, The Laws of Human Nature offers brilliant tactics for success, self-improvement, and self-defence.

  • IDENTITY

    Francis Fukuyama

    Currently in Bill Gates's bookbag and FT Books of 2018 Increasingly, the demands of identity direct the world's politics. Nation, religion, sect, race, ethnicity, gender: these categories have overtaken broader, inclusive ideas of who we are. We have built walls rather than bridges. The result: increasing in anti-immigrant sentiment, rioting on college campuses, and the return of open white supremacy to our politics. In 2014, Francis Fukuyama wrote that American and global institutions were in a state of decay, as the state was captured by powerful interest groups. Two years later, his predictions were borne out by the rise to power of a series of political outsiders whose economic nationalism and authoritarian tendencies threatens to destabilise the entire international order. These populist nationalists seek direct charismatic connection to 'the people', who are usually defined in narrow identity terms that offer an irresistible call to an in-group and exclude large parts of the population as a whole. Identity is an urgent and necessary book: a sharp warning that unless we forge a universal understanding of human dignity, we will doom ourselves to continual conflict.

  • SERIOUSLY CURIOUS

    Tom Standage

    Some questions you never think to ask. Others, you didn't know you didn't know. And some facts are so surprising they cry out for answers. What can a president actually do? Why do cities sink into the ground? Why is Australia seemingly invulnerable to recessions? Why do people in couples do more housework than singletons? The brilliant minds of the Economist collect these questions. Individually, they might seem bite-sized and inconsequential, but taken together they can reveal a whole new world.

  • An upcoming book to be published by Profile Books.

  • MR FIVE PER CENT

    Jonathan Conlin

    When Calouste Gulbenkian died in 1955 at the age of 86, he was the richest man in the world, known as 'Mr Five Per Cent' for his personal share of Middle East oil. The son of a wealthy Armenian merchant in Istanbul, for half a century he brokered top-level oil deals, concealing his mysterious web of business interests and contacts within a labyrinth of Asian and European cartels, and convincing governments and oil barons alike of his impartiality as an 'honest broker'. Today his name is known principally through the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, to which his spectacular art collection and most of his vast wealth were bequeathed. Gulbenkian's private life was as labyrinthine as his business dealings. He insisted on the highest 'moral values', yet ruthlessly used his wife's charm as a hostess to further his career, and demanded complete obedience from his family, whom he monitored obsessively. As a young man he lived a champagne lifestyle, escorting actresses and showgirls, and in later life - on doctor's orders - he slept with a succession of discreetly provided young women. Meanwhile he built up a superb art collection which included Rembrandts and other treasures sold to him by Stalin from the Hermitage Museum. Published to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth, Mr Five Per Cent reveals Gulbenkian's complex and many-sided existence. Written with full access to the Gulbenkian Foundation's archives, this is the fascinating story of the man who more than anyone else helped shape the modern oil industry.

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