The host of The Repair Shop shares his inspirational words of positivity for making the very best of life. Filled with characteristic warmth and humour, he talks about the life lessons that have helped him to find positivity and growth, no matter what he’s found himself facing. "It’s very easy to be passive in life and just do what you know. But you’ll be a lot more excited every day if you shape your own future." After leaving school at 15 without qualifications, Blades eventually managed to study for a degree in criminology and philosophy at Buckingham University before finding his vocation in restoration. He is co-founder of the social enterprises Out of The Dark and Street of Dreams, working with disadvantaged young people.
In The Silver Bone, Ukraine’s most celebrated novelist transports the reader to early 20th-century Kyiv during the turmoil following the Russian Revolution. This mystery introduces rookie detective Samson Kolechko in Kyiv as he tackles his first case, involving two murders, a long bone made of pure silver and a suit of decidedly unusual proportions tailored from fine English cloth. Inflected with the author's signature humour and magical realism, the novel takes inspiration from the archives of crime enforcement agencies in Kyiv, crafting a propulsive narrative with rich historical detail. Kurkov has written 19 novels, nine books for children and numerous documentary, fiction and TV movie scripts.
Humans are capable of both love and hate, amazement and disgust, fun and misery. So why do we live in a world that constantly urges us to hate ourselves and others, to be repulsed by our own bodies, to be ashamed of pleasure, to be embarrassed by fun? In her new collection, the author and poet asks why we have been taught to hate, and if we might learn to love again. She won the Ted Hughes Award for Nobody Told Me, wrote the three poetry collections Plum, Cherry Pie and Papers, adapted the Greek tragedy Antigone and co-wrote the play Offside with poet Sabrina Mahfouz.