Books We Like.

Read much, not many.

David and Goliath is the dazzling and provocative new book from Malcolm Gladwell, no.1 bestselling author of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers and What the Dog Saw

Why do underdogs succeed so much more than we expect? How do the weak outsmart the strong? In David and Goliath Malcolm Gladwell takes us on a scintillating and surprising journey through the hidden dynamics that shape the balance of power between the small and the mighty.

From the conflicts in Northern Ireland through the tactics of civil rights leaders and the problem of privilege, Gladwell demonstrates how we misunderstand the true meaning of advantage and disadvantage. When does a traumatic childhood work in someone’s favour?How can a disability leave someone better off? And do you really want your child to go to the best school he or she can get into?

David and Goliath draws on the stories of remarkable underdogs, history, science, psychology and on Malcolm Gladwell’s unparalleled ability to make the connections others miss. It’s a brilliant, illuminating book that overturns conventional thinking about power and advantage.

Malcolm Gladwell is a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine, and author of The Tipping PointBlinkOutliers, and What The Dog Saw.

'A global phenomenon… there is, it seems, no subject over which he cannot scatter some magic dust' Observer

The average are done for. You don’t need to be.

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"The key questions will be: Are you good at working with intelligent machines or not? Are your skills a complement to the skills of the computer, or is the computer doing better without you? Worst of all, are you competing against the computer?"

If you were paired with a machine to do a task, could together you do better than the machine alone? For Cowen, the answer matters more than you might think - with intelligent machines, he believes, lies the answer to The Great Stagnation he has worried about in the past.

Tamara Mellon shares her whole larger-than-life story, with candour and detail that has never before been made public. From her troubled childhood and her time as a young editor at Vogue to her partnership with cobbler Jimmy Choo and her very public relationships, she offers a gripping account of the episodes that have made her who she is today.

Mellon made a fortune building Jimmy Choo into a billion-dollar fashion brand. She became the prime minister’s trade envoy and was honoured by the Queen with the Order of the British Empire, yet it’s her personal glamour that keeps her an object of global media fascination. Vogue photographed her wedding; Vanity Fair covered her divorce and the criminal trial that followed. Harper’s Bazaar toured her London town house and her New York mansion, right down to the closets. And the Wall Street Journal hinted at the real red meat: the three private equity deals, the relentless battle between “the suits” and “the creatives,” and Mellon’s triumph against a brutally hostile takeover attempt.

In My Shoes is a must read for entrepreneurs, fashionistas, and anyone who loves a juicy true story about sex, drugs, money, power, high heels, and overcoming adversity.

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Beaten by her mother and whipped by her stepfather, Emily eventually finds her way into the care system at the age of twelve, and has an abortion after being gang-raped at thirteen. Continuously abused in a sequence of homes, she runs away at sixteen, becomes a prostitute in Soho, and convinces herself she is being punished for killing her baby. But it was never meant to be like that. Adopted at birth in 1956 by a middle-class family, Emily shared a golden childhood with her adopted sister Amy, attending private schools, and enjoying singing and dancing lessons. Things soon changed when Emily’s jealous mother came to regard her as a rival. A bored and restless woman, she beat Emily for the first time when she was seven years old and from then on seemed to become addicted to inflicting pain on her daughter. Despite Emily’s father’s attempts to protect her, the parental rows grew more malicious, until the mother moved out and remarried a narcissistic widower with alcohol problems and a vicious, bullying temper. The abuse intensified until Emily was placed into voluntary care. And so began a toxic spiral of remand homes, psychiatric hospitals, and sleeping rough. It wasn’t long before Emily became a teenage ‘working girl’, where she was paid to engage in bizarre sadomasochistic acts for perverted clients, including a senior judge and a policeman. It was only when she was almost murdered that she turned her life around. Set principally between 1966 and 1972, Runaway captures the sleazy Soho of the period, and the frightening conditions in which many children were kept in care.
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Beaten by her mother and whipped by her stepfather, Emily eventually finds her way into the care system at the age of twelve, and has an abortion after being gang-raped at thirteen. Continuously abused in a sequence of homes, she runs away at sixteen, becomes a prostitute in Soho, and convinces herself she is being punished for killing her baby. But it was never meant to be like that. Adopted at birth in 1956 by a middle-class family, Emily shared a golden childhood with her adopted sister Amy, attending private schools, and enjoying singing and dancing lessons. Things soon changed when Emily’s jealous mother came to regard her as a rival. A bored and restless woman, she beat Emily for the first time when she was seven years old and from then on seemed to become addicted to inflicting pain on her daughter. Despite Emily’s father’s attempts to protect her, the parental rows grew more malicious, until the mother moved out and remarried a narcissistic widower with alcohol problems and a vicious, bullying temper. The abuse intensified until Emily was placed into voluntary care. And so began a toxic spiral of remand homes, psychiatric hospitals, and sleeping rough. It wasn’t long before Emily became a teenage ‘working girl’, where she was paid to engage in bizarre sadomasochistic acts for perverted clients, including a senior judge and a policeman. It was only when she was almost murdered that she turned her life around. Set principally between 1966 and 1972, Runaway captures the sleazy Soho of the period, and the frightening conditions in which many children were kept in care.

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When RBS collapsed and had to be bailed out by the taxpayer in the financial crisis of October 2008 it played a leading role in tipping Britain into its deepest economic downturn in seven decades. The economy shrank, bank lending froze, hundreds of thousands lost their jobs, living standards are still falling and Britons will be paying higher taxes for decades to pay the clean-up bill. How on earth had a small Scottish bank grown so quickly to become a global financial giant that could do such immense damage when it collapsed? At the centre of the story was Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive known as “Fred the Shred” who terrorised some of his staff and beguiled others. Not a banker by training, he nonetheless was given control of RBS and set about trying to make it one of the biggest brands in the world. It was said confidently that computerisation and new banking products had made the world safer. Only they hadn’t…Based on more than 80 interviews and with access to diaries and papers kept by those at the heart of the meltdown, this is the definitive account of the RBS disaster, a disaster which still casts such a shadow over our economy. In Making It Happen, senior executives, board members, Treasury insiders and regulators reveal how the bank’s mania for expansion led it to take enormous risks its leaders didn’t understand. From the birth of the Royal Bank in 18th century Scotland, to the manic expansion under Fred Goodwin in the middle of a mad boom and culminating in the epoch-defining collapse, Making It Happen is the full, extraordinary story.

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Drawing on new research, Julie Kavanagh brilliantly re-creates the short, intense, and passionate life of the tall, pale, slender girl who at thirteen fled her brute of a father and Normandy to go to Paris, where she would become one of the grand courtesans of the 1840s. France’s national treasure, Alexandre Dumas père,was intrigued by her, his son became her lover, and Franz Liszt, too, fell under her spell. Quick to adapt an aristocratic mien, with elegant clothes, a coach, and a grand apartment, she entertained a salon of dandies, writers, and artists. Fascinating to both men and women, Marie, with her stylish outfits and signature camellias, was always a subject of great interest at the opera or at the Café de Paris, where she sat at the table of the director of the Paris Opéra, along with the director of the Théâtre Variétés, the infamous dancer Lola Montez, and others. Her early death at age twenty-three from tuberculosis created an outpouring of sympathy, noted by Charles Dickens, who wrote in February 1847: “For several days all questions political, artistic, commercial have been abandoned by the papers. Everything is erased in the face of an incident which is far more important, the romantic death of one of the glories of the demi-monde, the beautiful, the famous Marie Duplessis.”   

With The Girl Who Loved Camellias, Kavanagh has written a compelling and poignant life of a nineteenth-century muse whose independent and modern spirit has timeless appeal.

 

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What can a brain scan, or our reaction to a Caravaggio painting, reveal about the deep seat of guilt?

How can reading Heidegger, or conducting experiments on rats, help us to cope with anxiety in the face of the world’s economic crisis?

Can ancient remedies fight sadness more effectively than anti-depressants?

What does the neuroscience of acting tell us about how we feel empathy, and fall for an actor on stage?

What can writing poetry tell us about how joy works?

And how can a bizarre neurological syndrome or a Shakespearean sonnet explain love and intimacy?

We live at a time when neuroscience is unlocking the secrets of our emotions. But is science ever enough to explain why we feel the way we feel?

Giovanni Frazzetto takes us on a journey through our everyday lives and most common emotions. In each chapter, his scientific knowledge mixes with personal experience to offer a compelling account of the continual contrast between rationality and sentiment, science and poetry. And he shows us that by facing this contrast, we can more fully understand ourselves and how we feel.

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When Sheelu was arrested for stealing from a powerful politician in the notoriously crooked region of Uttar Pradesh, she was sure that she would be forced to accept a prison sentence, not least because she had alleged that she had been assaulted by a man in the politician s household. But then Sampat Pal heard word of the charges, and the formidable commander of the pink-sari-wearing, pink-baton-wielding, 20,000-strong Pink Gang decided to shake things up. Narrating the story of Sampat Pal and the Pink Gang s fight for Sheelu, as well as for others facing injustice and oppression, journalist Amana Fontanella-Khan delivers a riveting portrait of women grabbing fate with their own hands and winning back their lives.

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When it comes to sex, common wisdom holds that men roam while women crave closeness and commitment. But in this provocative, headline-making book, Daniel Bergner turns everything we thought we knew about women’s arousal and desire inside out. Drawing on extensive research and interviews with renowned behavioural scientists, sexologists, psychologists, and everyday women, he forces us to reconsider long-held notions about female sexuality.

This bold and captivating journey into the world of female desire explores answers to such thought-provoking questions as: Are women perhaps the less monogamous sex? What effect do intimacy and emotional connection really have on lust? What is the role of narcissism - the desire to be desired - in female sexuality? Are political gains for women (‘No means no’) detrimental in the bedroom? And is the hunt for a female Viagra anything but a search for the cure for monogamy?

Bergner goes behind the scenes of some of the most groundbreaking experiments on sexuality today and confronts us with controversial, sometimes uncomfortable findings. Incendiary, profoundly insightful, and brilliantly illuminating, What Do Women Want? will change the conversation about women and sex, and is sure to spark dynamic discussion for years to come.

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It is possible for someone who has entered the second half of their life to start a new career, get remarried, have a young family, run a marathon, travel the world, take up a new high-risk sport or start a new business. In Live the Life you Love at 50+, life and business coach Keren Smedley shows you how to do just that - through following groundbreaking coaching exercises that led hundreds of her clients to success.

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