Book of the Week
Be Like the Fox: Machiavelli's Lifelong Quest for Freedom by Erica Benner
iccolo Machiavelli lived in a fiercely competitive world, one where brute wealth, brazen liars and ruthless self-promoters seemed to carry off all the prizes; where the wealthy elite grew richer at the expense of their fellow citizens. In times like these, many looked to crusading religion to solve their problems, or they turned to a new breed of leaders - super-rich dynasties like the Medici or military strongmen like Cesare Borgia; upstarts from outside the old ruling classes. In the republic of Florence, Machiavelli and his contemporaries faced a choice: should they capitulate to these new princes, or fight to save the city's democratic freedoms? Be Like the Fox follows Machiavelli's dramatic quest for political and human freedom through his own eyes. Masterfully interweaving his words with those of his friends and enemies, Erica Benner breathes life into his penetrating, comical, often surprising comments on events. Far from the cynical henchman people think he was, Machiavelli emerges as his era's staunchest champion of liberty, a profound ethical thinker who refused to compromise his ideals to fit corrupt times. But he did sometimes have to mask his true convictions, becoming a great artist of fox-like dissimulation: a master of disguise in dangerous times.
Book at Bedtime
Behind her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
Since her husband walked out, Louise has made her son her world, supporting them both with her part-time job. But all that changes when she meets...David Young, successful and charming - Louise cannot believe a man like him would look at her twice let alone be attracted to her. But that all comes to a grinding halt when she meets his wife...Adele Beautiful, elegant and sweet - Louise's new friend seems perfect in every way. As she becomes obsessed by this flawless couple, entangled in the intricate web of their marriage, they each, in turn, reach out to her. But only when she gets to know them both does she begin to see the cracks...Is David really is the man she thought she knew and is Adele as vulnerable as she appears? Just what terrible secrets are they both hiding and how far will they go to keep them?
Costa Book of the Year
Sebastian Barry has won the |Costa Book of the Year award for the second time, with his latest novel, Days Without End.
Judges' chairman Professor Kate Williams said Mr Barry was the unanimous choice for his "searing, magnificent and incredibly moving description of how the West was won".
After signing up for the US army in the 1850s, aged barely seventeen, Thomas McNulty and his brother-in-arms, John Cole, go on to fight in the Indian wars and, ultimately, the Civil War. Having fled terrible hardships they find these days to be vivid and filled with wonder, despite the horrors they both see and are complicit in. Their lives are further enriched and imperilled when a young Indian girl crosses their path, and the possibility of lasting happiness emerges, if only they can survive. Moving from the plains of the West to Tennessee, Sebastian Barry's latest work is a masterpiece of atmosphere and language. Both an intensely poignant story of two men and the lives they are dealt, and a fresh look at some of the most fateful years in America's past, Days Without End is a novel never to be forgotten.
These are the books that were most popular with our customers last week......
1. How to Measure a Cow by Margaret Forster
2. Woman's Hour - Words from Wise, Witty and Wonderful Women
3. Do Not Say we have Nothing by Madeleine Thien
4. The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047 by Lionel Shriver
5. The Things You Can Only See when You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim
6. At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier
7. The Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore
8. Days without End by Sebastian Barry
9. The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain
10. My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
If you would like to read any of these books, please send us a message from our contacts page, and we will reserve a copy for you.
Silence by Shusaku Endo
David Mitchell Father Rodrigues is an idealistic Portuguese Jesuit priest who, in the 1640s, sets sail for Japan on a determined mission to help the brutally oppressed Japanese Christians and to discover the truth behind unthinkable rumours that his famous teacher Ferreira has renounced his faith. Once faced with the realities of religious persecution Rodrigues himself is forced to make an impossible choice: whether to abandon his flock or his God. Winner of the 1966 Tanizaki Prize, Silence is Shusaku Endo's most highly acclaimed novel and a classic of its genre. It caused major controversy in Japan following its publication in 1967.