The new novel by the author of The Book Thief is about a boy caught in a current, a boy intent on destroying everything he has in order to become everything he needs to be. Ahead of him lies the bridge, the vision that will save both his family and himself. It will be a miracle and nothing less. At once an existential riddle and a search for redemption, this tale of five brothers coming of age in a house with no rules brims with energy, joy and pathos. Written in Markus Zusak’s distinctive style, it is a tour de force from a master storyteller of the heart.
A little more light ridicule, mockery and fun to start the day as the satirists read the tabloids and surf the social media storms for an irreverent look at what’s tickling the nation’s fancy – and driving it to splenetic fury – today.
Socrates is the philosopher whose questioning gave birth to the ideas of Western thought, and whose execution marked the end of the Athenian Golden Age. Yet despite his pre-eminence among the great thinkers of history, little of his life story is known. What we know tends to begin in his middle age and end with his trial and death. But what turned the young Socrates into a philosopher? The Oxford classicist presents him as an heroic warrior, an athletic wrestler and dancer, and a passionate lover. D’Angour sheds new light on the formative journey of the philosopher, finally revealing the identity of the woman who Socrates claimed inspired him to develop ideas that have captivated thinkers for 2,500 years.
A conversation with two outstanding nature writers. Although common, moles are mysterious: their habits are inscrutable, they are anatomically bizarre and they live completely alone. Marc Hamer has come closer to them than most, through both his long working life out in the Welsh countryside and his experiences of rural homelessness as a boy, sleeping in hedgerows. In How to Catch a Mole: And Find Yourself in Nature, Hamer tells his story and explores what moles, and a life in nature, can tell us about our own humanity and our search for contentment. Barrie’s Incredible Journeys shines a light on the astounding navigational skills of animals of every stripe. Dung beetles steer by the light of the Milky Way. Ants and bees navigate using patterns of light invisible to humans. Sea turtles, spiny lobsters and moths find their way using the Earth’s magnetic field. Salmon return to their birthplace by following their noses and birds can locate their nests on a tiny island after crisscrossing an entire ocean. Corrigan is a journalist and travel writer.
Historically often considered as worthless morasses, peat bogs cover three per cent of the world’s land surface. They are unique records of history and today they are recognised as beautiful habitats providing environmental benefits from biodiversity to climate regulation. However, they are threatened by drainage, land reclamation for agriculture and peat cutting for fuel, which has significantly reduced the extent and condition of these ecosystems on a global scale. Transforming the management of wetland, peatland and waterlogged sites is crucial. Henry Chapman is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Birmingham and is a regular guest on archaeological programmes including C4’s Time Team.
The historian Norman Ohler (Germany) is the author of Blitzed. Drugs in Nazi Germany (2016), a book that analyses the systematic and organized consumption of drugs in the army and by high officials in the 3rd Reich, from the rank and file to Hitler himself. He will talk to Diego Rabasa about this practice, widespread among the Nazis, which had historical consequences whose effects we are still living with today.
The Roundhouse Poetry Collective is a group of some of the most exciting young, emerging poets in the country. Previous collective members include Jack Rooke, Caleb Femi and Cecilia Knapp. The group meets weekly to create and experiment under guidance from lead tutors Bridget Minamore (a former Poetry Collective member herself) and Cecilia Knapp. The Poetry Collective performs a mix of heartfelt, funny and challenging material, which they tour across the UK. We are delighted to present a selection of poems from this year’s collective.