What I'm Reading Now
Dr James Inglis
The definitive biography of Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe, the first and greatest press magnate in history and the genius who invented modern popular journalism.
The turn of the century was a period when the world was opening up in new and exciting ways - radio, telegrams, the advent of flight. With literacy and the right to vote extending across and ever-expanding populace, politics and journalism were embarking on a power struggle that continues unabated to this day. Lord Northaw cliff rose to the challenges of this new world by employing cutting-edge technology, upending the outdated mores of traditional journalism and radically reshaping the very concept of 'news'.
He was a tough and uncompromising businessman, frequently levelled with charges of megalomania, but in The Chief Andrew Roberts puts his ruthlessness in the context of a life of visionary business skill, journalistic brilliance, distinguished wartime public service and heartfelt patriotism. The man was, undoubtedly, a genius - albeit a flawed one. From a modest background, growing up on the outskirts of Dublin, by twenty-seven he presided over a magazine empire with the largest circulation in the world. By the time of his tragically early death in 1922, Northcliffe had founded the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror, and had also owned The Times and the Observer. At one point he owned two-thirds of all the titles on Fleet Street.
Based on exclusive access to the Harmsworth family archive, The Chief charts Lord Northcliffe's rise to power and his highly controversial influence in a politically critical period. His influence still resonates today both through his remarkable business innovations and in the way we consume our news and politics.
Miss Meg Bone
Dostoyevsky's great novel of damnation and redemption evokes a world where the lines between innocence and corruption, good and evil, blur. It tells the story of Raskolnikov, a destitute and desperate former student, who wanders through the slums of St Petersburg and commits a random murder without remorse or regret. He imagines himself to be beyond conventional moral laws. But as he embarks on a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a police investigator, Raskolnikov is pursued by the growing voice of his conscience and finds the noose of his own guilt tightening around his neck.
Miss Lizzie Kennett
Expertly researched and visionary in scale, international number one bestseller Ken Follett’s Never is more than a thriller. It imagines a scenario we all hope never comes true, one which will keep you transfixed until the final page . . .
A stolen US army drone.
A shrinking oasis in the Sahara Desert.
A secret stash of deadly chemicals.
Each is a threat to global stability. Each can be overcome with only the highest levels of diplomacy. But when those in charge disagree and refuse to back down, an international chain reaction kicks off with potentially catastrophic consequences: a world edging closer to war . . .
Now three people must work with the utmost skill to stop that from happening:
A spy working undercover with jihadis.
A brilliant Chinese spymaster.
A US president beleaguered by a populist rival for the next election.
The only question is – in a game of brinksmanship, can the inevitable ever be stopped?
Miss Lucy Kirk
The Seven Sisters is a sweeping epic tale of love and loss by the international number one bestseller Lucinda Riley.
Maia D’Aplièse and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home – a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva – having been told that their beloved adoptive father, the elusive billionaire they call Pa Salt, has died.
Each of them is handed a tantalising clue to their true heritage – a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil . . .
Eighty years earlier, in the Belle Époque of Rio, 1927, Izabela Bonifacio’s father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into aristocracy. But Izabela longs for adventure, and convinces him to allow her to accompany the family of a renowned architect on a trip to Paris. In the heady, vibrant streets of Montparnasse, she meets ambitious young sculptor Laurent Brouilly, and knows at once that her life will never be the same again.
The Seven Sisters is the first book in the spellbinding Seven Sisters series, inspired by the mythology of the famous star constellation. It is followed by The Storm Sister.