by Ted Hughes
About the book: A very ordinary boy. Nobody noticed him, he was just like everyone else. But Fred knew he was different. He just didn't know quite how different. And when he did.... Well, what then?
by Alan Bennett
About the book: 'I seem to have banged on this year rather more than usual. I make no apology for that, nor am I nervous that it will it make a jot of difference. I shall still be thought to be kindly, cosy and essentially harmless. I am in the pigeon-hole marked 'no threat' and did I stab Judi Dench with a pitchfork I should still be a teddy bear.' Alan Bennett's third collection of prose Keeping On Keeping On follows in the footsteps of the phenomenally successful Writing Home and Untold Stories, each published ten years apart. This latest collection contains Bennett's peerless diaries 2005 to 2015, reflecting on a decade that saw four premieres at the National Theatre (The Habit of Art, People, Hymn and Cocktail Sticks), a West End double-bill transfer, and the films of The History Boys and The Lady in the Van. There's a provocative sermon on private education given before the University at King's College Chapel, Cambridge, and 'Baffled at a Bookcase' offers a passionate defence of the public library. The book includes Denmark Hill, a darkly comic radio play set in suburban south London, as well as Bennett's reflections on a quarter of a century's collaboration with Nicholas Hytner. This is an engaging, humane, sharp, funny and unforgettable record of life according to the inimitable Alan Bennett.
by Mike Love,James S. Hirsch
About the book: Mike Love is a founding member, lyricist and vocalist of The Beach Boys, considered to be the most popular American band in history, with 13 Gold Albums, 55 top-100 singles, and four #1 hits. Love has been the lead singer of the group one of its principal lyricists since its inception in 1961. In Good Vibrations, Mike Love tells the unique story of his legendary, chaotic, and ultimately triumphant five-decade tenure as the front man of The Beach Boys, from their Californian roots to international fame. Mike Love's credits include such pop classics as "Good Vibrations," "California Girls," "I Get Around," "Fun Fun Fun," and "Kokomo."
by Sarah Hall
About the book: "What else is there?" -- Alice Munro, on why so much of her work deals with the twin themes of sex and death. The drive for life -- for survival and reproduction -- and the drive for death -- for violence and self-destruction -- are the two dominant, instinctive urges of human behaviour. These conflicting compulsions, characterized by Freud as Eros and Thanatos, are also the central themes of great literature. In Sex and Death, some of today's most compelling writers from around the globe -- Kevin Barry, Lynn Coady, Robert Drewe, Ceridwen Dovey, Damon Galgut, Petina Gappah, Sarah Hall, Peter Hobbs, Yiyun Li, Alexander MacLeod, Ben Marcus, Jon McGregor, Guadalupe Nettel, Courttia Newland, Taiye Selassie, Ali Smith, Wells Tower, Alan Warner, Claire Vaye Watkins, Clare Wigfall -- explore these challenging themes with honesty, psychological acuity, brutality, tenderness, and empathy, in stories that are illuminating, disquieting, funny, and utterly dazzling.
by Brie Spangler
About the book: The stunning new novel from the prize-winning author of The Wake. 'Come to a place like this . . . and you will understand soon enough that this world is a great animal, alive and breathing.' Beast plunges you into the world of Edward Buckmaster, a man alone on a west-country moor. What he has left behind we don't yet know; what he faces is an existential battle with himself, the elements, and something that he begins to see in the margins of his vision ... Beast is a vivid exploration of isolation, courage, and the search for truth. Shocking and exhilarating, it confirms Paul Kingsnorth as one of our most daring and rewarding contemporary writers.
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
About the book: In this series, a contemporary poet selects and introduces a poet of the past. By their choice of poems and by the personal and critical reactions they express in their prefaces, the editors offer insights into their own work as well as providing an accessible and passionate introduction to the most important poets in our literature. In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree: Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea. -- Kubla Khan