The whole hog: our full catalogue


Whatever happened to 'mum' and 'dad'?

by Paul Ham and Bernie Brown

If we judge the West by the state of its families, the West is sick. Millions of children barely see their parents, or for only a few minutes a day. One in two families break down, for better or worse. This Kindle Single is a defense of parents and children. It does not suggest a return to the 1950s. On the contrary, it champions the ‘New Family’, which most policymakers, companies, religions and social conservatives have failed to accept or keep pace with. Paul Ham and Bernie Brown offer 12 ‘Modest Proposals’ that might better attune the West to the needs of the New Family.

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What we did for rubber: The Putumayo Affair

by Adam Courtenay

BLOOD RUBBER - HOW THE AMAZON DIED tells the extraordinary story of one of the blackest episodes in Amazonian history, known as the Putumayo Affair. In 1907, Walter Hardenburg, a young American explorer and engineer, was canoeing down a meandering tributary of the Amazon, in search of adventure. Instead, he came upon the rubber plantations of Julio César Arana, who routinely enslaved the native people, and flogged, raped and tortured to death any who resisted. Hardenberg vowed to seek justice for thousands of victims of the Putumayo atrocities, and to publicise the destruction of their lives and culture across the world. This is the story of how he did it.

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Choosing a site for armageddon

by Paul Ham

How did America choose the targets for the atomic bomb? What made Hiroshima preferable over Kyoto or Tokyo? Critical to the mission to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a series of meetings set up in mid-1945 of America’s most powerful military, political and scientific chiefs. These committeemen would decide where and how the first nuclear weapons would be used in anger. In this absorbing and provocative narrative, historian Paul Ham shines a torch on their arguments to reveal the thinking behind the atomic destruction of two cities – and how the Target Committee justified it at the time.

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How one woman found love after breast cancer

by Dr Katherine Schmidhofer

How will sex and love be after breast cancer? How does a couple cope with the sensitivities? For both women – and men – the question is rarely asked. Soon after her 25th birthday, Katherine Schmidhofer was diagnosed with breast cancer, and her doctor advised an immediate mastectomy. Her breasts were removed, and she underwent ghastly sessions of chemotherapy and hormone therapy. Where many women despair after breast cancer, Katherine chose to live her life – to the full. And she chose love. In this beautifully warm, often funny, and deeply moving memoir, Katherine guides us through love and sex after the Big C – and shows why every new day is a triumph of hope and courage.

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The creation of a scientific genius

by Dr Robyn Arianrhod

Everyone recognises the famous physicist with the wild, white hair. But what sort of person was the young Albert Einstein, before he became universally acclaimed as the archetypal genius? And how did his genius unfold? In this brilliant new Kindle Single, scientist Robyn Arianrhod blends biography with popular science to tell the story of how young Albert developed a theory that – unknown to him at first – contained the seeds of his extraordinary equation E = mc2.

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The Girl's Guide to Online Dating, by a survivor!

by Rachel Caton

'The dating world is a minefield. This, my dear readers, is an undeniable fact. For women, it’s fraught with the challenges of interpreting, judging, translating and understanding men, their words and actions.' Thus Rachel Caton opens her essential guide to navigating the world of online dating for young women ready to try something different to the traditional bar-hopping approach. From writing a profile to going on actual dates, Rachel offers entertaining anecdotes from her own experiences and those of close friends. If you haven’t tried online dating yet, this book will certainly make you contemplate giving it a go.

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Tantric Afternoons

by Vanessa de Largie

Writer and actress Vanessa de Largie is insatiably into free love, a sampler of many sexual options. She is fearless in following her sexual cravings, and writing about them. To do otherwise, she feels, would amount to being unfaithful to herself. In this bold, sensual and highly erotic book, Vanessa takes us with her on her quest for pleasure, through exploring Tantric sex, group sex, solo sex and more. (Those offended by explicit erotic literature are urged to buy something fictional, like 50 Shades of Grey.)

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'Dead' is a 4-Letter Word, by Robin Dalton

by Robin Dalton

In ‘Dead’ is a 4-Letter Word, Robin Dalton, ninety- two – ex-intelligence agent, writer, television presenter, literary agent and film producer – takes a hilarious look at death and the way we die these days. With a smile firmly set on her face, her wish is for a ‘jolly death’, without all the pussy-footing, political correctness and false sentimentality around the subject. She looks at death head-on – plain, simple, good old death. Not ‘passing away’, or any of the other squeamish innuendos we have come up with to avoid the issue. ‘Dead’ need not be a four-letter word: to Robin, the grim reaper is a cowled buffoon who should be laughed at and never feared . . .

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The Waste Land, by TS Eliot

Read by Mark Colvin

'April is the cruellest month / Breeding lilacs out of the dead land...' Thus begins the poem by which TS Eliot (1888-1965) will forever be remembered, an imperishable evocation of an utterly perishable world: 'I will show you fear in a handful of dust...' The Waste Land is the voice - or voices - of the 20th century, written four years after the end of the Great War, when loss or death touched every family in Europe. The jazz age is beginning; the world has changed. Yet the poem is a mantra for the surviving souls, bereft of their sons and lovers. The Waste Land is the song of songs of that terrible, beautiful century.

Cover image: © Caroline Barbera / Picturetank

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Dylan Thomas: Requiem for the Welsh bard

Read by Bob Ellis and Bruce Venables

Dylan Thomas (1914-1953), the Welsh genius who gave us Under Milk Wood, is less remembered for a short collection of exquisitely realised poems, as assonant as Gerard Manley Hopkins' and as visceral as Arthur Rimbaud's. Of few writers may it be said that without them their country's cultural identity would be much diminished: Thomas was one such poet; so were Yeats and Shakespeare. Here, writers Bob Ellis and Bruce Venables take the poet by the scruff of the neck, and robustly convey the lavish tone and scalding sensibility of Thomas's finest, shorter works.

Cover image: © Eric Flogny / Aleph / Picturetank

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The Hunting of the Snark, by Lewis Carroll

Read by Judy Nunn, Isobel Kirk, and Bruce Venables

The Hunting of the Snark (An Agony in 8 Fits) written by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) in 1874 is much more than a 'nonsense poem'; it is a kind of tragicomedy. A bunch of loveable buffoons set off in pursuit of a dream, in a story in search of a climax. The poem appeared at the height of the British Empire's sprawling power, when Englishmen ruled the world. The notion of a verse ballad about a bunch of heroically ridiculous ones, on a quest for a monster in a distant land, is richly satirical - and magnificently entertaining, as Judy Nunn, Isobel Kirk and Bruce Venables demonstrate in this heart-lifting recital.

Cover image: © All rights reserved

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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by ST Coleridge

Read by Bob Ellis

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, is a phantasmagorical journey into the human soul, uniquely rendered by Bob Ellis in this historic interpretation. 'It is an ancient mariner / And he stoppeth one of three...' Thus begins Coleridge's ballad of a voyage - a voyage like no other, told by a 'grey beard loon', the ancient mariner, to a wedding guest who is late for a wedding. What unfolds in the listener's head, as the ship strays off course - with terrifying consequences for the crew - is a tale of horror, faithlessness and redemption.

Cover image: © All rights reserved

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Coleridge: drunk on the milk of paradise

Read by Bob Ellis

Few poets were as troubled as Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834). The original Lake Poet seems a parody of the drug-addled, nature-loving, alternative man. Yet Coleridge was the authentic version. He and William Wordsworth revered the natural realm. Coleridge, however, did everything to escape himself, to a realm of dreams fuelled by opium. The result, Kubla Khan, Frost at Midnight and Dejection: An Ode, are among the most haunting poems in English. Our reader, the gravel-voiced Bob Ellis, immerses himself in the spirit of a poet on the edge of sanity.

Cover image: © Laurent Weyl / Collectif Argos / Picturetank

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Shakespeare's Sonnets - as you've never heard them before

Read by Judy Nunn and Isobel Kirk

Shakespeare's Sonnets are the poet's passionate expression of his platonic - some believe sexual - love for a younger man, his 'fair youth'; and for an unidentified woman, his 'dusky' or 'dark' lady. The poems are inexpressibly beautiful and deliciously honest - by turns playful, self-admonitory, searing and grief-stricken. In this sublime and joyful celebration of Shakespeare's Sonnets, Judy Nunn and Isobel Kirk recite - and swoon over - a selection of the finest, and unravel the mysteries of Shakespeare in love.

Cover image: © Franco Zecchin / Picturetank

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Kill All the Lawyers, you know you'd like to

by Michael Bradley

Has the public finally lost all respect for the legal profession? Top lawyer Michael Bradley certainly thinks so. He argues that lawyers have only themselves to blame. He goes much further, in this eviscerating inquiry into the decline of the legal profession: the law has become a base commodity; lawyers reward themselves according to the second hand on the clock – imposing absurd charges on their hapless clients – and not according to their perceived ‘value’ as legal counsellors.

Cover image: © Thinkstock

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